My Beauty MO

Winnie Harlow Doesn’t Want to Be Defined By Her Skin

Why she isn’t concerned about the “definition of beauty.” Plus, the two-step nighttime routine she swears by.

By: Noah Lehava
Photography: Ben Ritter

Don’t get Winnie Harlow wrong—she’s incredibly proud of the skin she’s in, but she’s over being defined by it. “We are trying so hard to get out of one box, but then place ourselves in another one,” the model told us of those who constantly refer to her vitiligo as a “movement.”  To Harlow, beauty is personal—it has nothing to do with outside opinions. And that’s refreshing! Breaking down barriers and celebrating beauty (whatever that may mean to you) is something we at Coveteur always strive to do. Which is why, when we had a chance to talk defining (or not defining) beauty, ignoring criticism (read more about that here), and celebrating what you’ve got, plus the easy two-step beauty routine Harlow is loyal to, we took it. 

 

Realizing that words don’t have ~all~ the power on her:

“[I started ignoring bullies] a few years ago. Although, even today, people will say something to me, and I will have to remind myself that actually, [what they’re saying] isn’t true. I know better.”

Why she doesn’t want to be put into any box:

“I am tired of [my vitiligo] being ‘the thing’ or ‘the movement.’ It just needs to be the norm. We are trying so hard to get out of one box, but then place ourselves in another one, rather than just opening doors.”

She doesn’t have a definition for beauty:

“My beauty philosophy is very general—beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I try not to focus on what someone else thinks is beautiful. People will always say, ‘What is your definition of beauty?’ or ‘What is beauty to you?’ It doesn’t matter. What is beautiful to you? Let’s stick to that. You don’t have to search for someone else’s definition of beauty to know what is beautiful to you.”

 

Why she doesn’t care what others perceive as beautiful:

“I don’t care what other people think of what I look like when I model, but I put a lot of pressure on myself. I have my own idea of what beautiful is. It may not be what the photographer, makeup artist, or viewer thinks is beautiful. I have my own idea to what is beautiful to myself, of myself. That is what is important.”

When she feels like her best self:

“[I feel like my best self with] slayed hair and beat face. I think I look beautiful when I wake up, but who doesn’t like to be glammed?”

The few products she can’t live without:

“I like to keep [my day-to-day makeup] fairly natural. I do always have to have my favorite concealer and favorite brow products.”

Her 2-step nighttime routine:

“[At night] I wet my face with warm water and I always have a new rag, every single day. That was so Jamaican of me, ‘new rag.’ [Laughs] My laundry can build up, but the towel stuff cannot, because I need a new one every single day. I take my lashes off first, obviously, and I wet my face with warm water, and I get the warm water soaked up in my skin. Then I pour warm coconut oil into my hands, rub it together, and emulsify all of the makeup. I take that rag and I wet it a little bit and wipe the makeup right off. It is good for your skin and takes your makeup off so easily. I don’t use any makeup removers. I’ll wash afterwards with African black soap, then moisturize.”

Part of the series:

My Beauty MO

VIEW THE SERIES

“Getting Real”

We’re taking an honest look at love, life, and all the things that come with being an adult.

LEARN MORE
×