Ashley Graham has spent her entire career as an advocate for diversity, inclusivity, and self-love in the fashion industry, and now she’s ready to take on the beauty industry, too. This year, she made history as the first model of her size to land a major beauty-brand contract when she signed on as a Revlon brand ambassador — a move that she believes should have happened a long time ago.
“It’s mind-boggling to think about how other major beauty companies haven’t really thought about all types of women,” Graham tells Allure. “It says a lot about the makeup industry and how they really haven’t caught up with the times because it doesn’t matter what nationality you are, what religion you are, what part of the world you’re coming from — we all generally wear makeup.”
Her enthusiasm for inclusive beauty is clear when talking about the launch of Revlon’s PhotoReady Candid Collection, the star product being a foundation that comes in 31 shades and promises to block blue-light emissions from cell phones — something we all need these days. But it’s the caffeine-infused concealer that Graham can’t stop raving about. “You want concealer to really open up the eye and brighten it, and [the caffeine] feels like it’s just waking you up in a really great way.”
When it comes to applying her base, Graham has a few other tips and tricks she uses: First of all, she always starts her makeup routine with well-moisturized skin. In fact, she sometimes mixes in a little bit of Weleda Skin Food to make her foundation glide on more smoothly, a trick she picked up while on photo shoots. She also insists that we should all be mixing shades to ensure colors match perfectly across the different parts of the face. (Graham says she’s a mix of 260 and 270 in the PhotoReady Foundation.)
But no makeup routine is complete without a serious skin-care regimen. Graham credits aesthetician Mzia Shiman’s oxygen facials, red-light therapy, and laser work for her radiant skin, along with her dedication to her nightly skin-care routine. “I don’t care how many substances I’ve had that night,” she jokes. “I will wash my face.”
Despite the price tag on some of these treatments and products, I tell her I’m completely sold after speaking to her for just 15 minutes, which, she explains, is the whole point. “People want to hear from a girl who looks just like them.”
And, of course, her candid observation is spot-on. As the new face of a major brand, it’s clear she is keenly aware of the influence she has on the next generation of beauty buyers.
“I know there are other young girls out there who maybe feel like they still don’t have someone to look up to or who are going through a new situation,” Graham says. “And I want to say, ‘Hey, this is what happened to me, this is what I went through. Don’t make the same mistakes, and know you’re not alone.'”
The PhotoReady Candid Collection is available now at on Ulta.com for $10 – $11 with additional concealer shades available later this month.
More foundation basics: