Since Anok Yai burst onto the fashion scene, she has quickly catapulted to supermodel status; her talents gracing endless designer runways, campaigns, and most recently Vogue’s May 2023 cover paying tribute to Karl Lagerfeld. We can’t get enough of the South Sudanese star and are eagerly awaiting her third Met Gala appearance this year. “When I do my makeup for Met, I like to have like one thing that’s like out of the norm,” she says, recalling her 2022 glam dreamt up with makeup artist Sheika Daley complete with shimmering pink highlighter along her collarbones, shoulders, and cheeks to complement her bright fuchsia Michael Kors gown. But what is the 25-year-old’s go-to look when she’s off-duty? Here, she reveals her daily beauty routine, from caring for her skin to executing expertly lived-in eyeliner.
“Once I started having an actual skin-care routine, it helped a lot with my hyperpigmentation,” Yai says. “I have super oily skin, but then when I have days of shooting a lot or during fashion week, it gets really dry.” Each morning, Yai starts with five drops of the SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF vitamin C serum. Next is a facial massage courtesy of two wands which she keeps refrigerated. “I use it to help with lymphatic drainage and depuffing.” The last steps are a layer of Heliocare’s gel SPF 50 for sun protection and a few squeezes of eye drops.
“I am like a one-trick-pony; I tend to do the same look over and over again,” Yai admits of her makeup philosophy. First, Yai begins filling in her brows with black and brown pencils, though instead of following her brow’s natural arch, she draws them upward for a face-lifting effect. Sharp swipes of concealer add extra definition. For foundation, she applies a Pat McGrath Labs formula with her hands. “Pat is my fashion godmother,” she muses. “When we’re backstage, [her] energy just calms me down a lot.” Once concealer is blended where needed, she moves onto eyes. “I have really hooded eyes, so I like to do a really thin layer of liner,” she says, etching a small wing with a liquid formula. To add further smolder, she uses a black L’Oréal pencil to line her waterlines and inner corners, followed by strip lashes to further open up her gaze. To complement her eye look, she lines the corner of her lips with an onyx pencil and a coat of clear lip gloss. Lastly, her complexion is set with a dusting of Laura Mercier’s translucent powder and Danessa Myricks’s dewy balm. Bidding us farewell, she says, “Thank you for watching, and I’ll see you soon.”
Below, shop Anok Yai’s beauty routine.
Director: Gabrielle Reich
Director of Photography: Josh Herzog
Editor: Tajah Smith