This month’s Featured Strawberry is Australian model Elizabeth. When she’s not modelling, she’s working on a law degree whilst continuing her passion by working as a paralegal in a law firm. Additionally, Elizabeth is two months off launching a non-for-profit organization specifically aimed at supporting those in the modelling industry (more on that in the interview!).
Elizabeth says she is, “constantly exhausted and overwhelmed. Haha. I am always on the go and always have a coffee in hand. I am a huge music fan, I love a classic Blink 182, Smith Street Band, the Front Bottoms and Modern Baseball. Business, fashion and education are very important to me. As the Oscar Wilde saying goes, “you can never be too overdressed or overeducated.” It’s something to strive for.”
Thank you for being willing to be featured this month! I was struck by your photos on Instagram, which are all so lovely, and you have a sense of class about you. So I ask everyone this first: Any other redheads in your family?
Yes, red hair does run in my family. My little sister and mother have red hair. My father has black hair, but obviously carries the gene as his mother (my grandmother) has Scottish roots. My sister, Emily, has the exact same shade of red as me. Emily and I share a love for fashion. She is studying fashion design and currently making a sustainable fashion collection. I am modelling her look book, which is very exciting.
What was your experience growing up as a redhead? Some girls out there (and, hey, let’s include boys too!) feel uncomfortable with how they look, and occasionally wished they looked more like everyone else. Do you have any advice for them?
Well I’ve had an interesting experience. I hated my height and hair growing up. I was always a head and shoulders taller than the other children (and I didn’t stop growing until I was twenty years old). As a consequence, I was bullied in primary school. And I was never ever considered ‘cool’. Now these two things – height and hair colour – are the reason I am a model.
“I think it’s really difficult to embrace your quirks but you manage to love them over time.”
I think you do come into your own as you get older. I was such a shy and quiet child too, and when people from my childhood meet me now, they are taken back by how assertive I am. I am a completely different person because I genuinely think you just grow into yourself over time. Also, things external to your image become less important. I think intelligence, elegance and how you treat others, at the end of the day, is the more important thing.
How did you get started with modelling?
I actually got my start in the Miss Universe Australia competition. I’ve always been tall and have had people approach me to model, but I was so focused on my studies I never really gave it a second thought. However, one night I was going for a jog and a lady who lived down the hill from my house approached me. She worked for Miss Universe Australia in their accounting team and suggested that I enter. She said they don’t get enough redheads entering, (Australia has too many blonde models haha). I had actually just broken up with my boyfriend and had more time on my hands. So I thought why not, life is short right? I was already twenty one years old at this point, which is older to start modelling, I knew I had a very small window to give this a go.
I entered and made it to the State finals (much to my surprise). After the competition, I didn’t think much would happen but within three months, I was walking in five runway shows in Melbourne Spring Fashion Week. My career grew from there. I genuinely owe my career to my natural red hair. It’s definitely my point of difference and calling card.
What’s been the best (or a few of the best) experience(s) you’ve had in modelling?
I’d have to say walking in Melbourne Spring Fashion Week and Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival. They are the two big fashion festivals in Melbourne and it was exciting to be a part of it. But as cliché as it sounds, the other people that I have met along the way have been the ultimate best experiences. Photographers, make-up artists and other creatives have made working in the modelling industry an absolute pleasure. I’ve made some amazing friends with other models who are genuinely lovely and down to earth girls. If I have a week of working hard at the law firm or studying at law school, I look forward to a runway show or shoot and consider it a creative outlet in what is a busy week. It has definitely made law school a lot easier, when I have something to look forward to.
You’re the founder of the Model Association Australia. How’d that start?
Model Association Australia will be launching in about two months. It is a non-for-profit organization and a way for me to combine my interests. I am three subjects off completing my Juris Doctor (yay) and also have a BA in International Relations with a focus on women’s rights. So the Model Association is a way for me to combine my legal knowledge with what I’ve experienced in the modelling industry. I felt that having had the two experiences, I have a unique perspective on how matters should and shouldn’t be handled.
Illegal and questionable practices are sadly a reality for the modelling industry. The Model Association enables its members to report and seek assistance for inappropriate conduct or work related issues. This is something I am truly passionate about. I love that I can combine my unique experience of legal skills of tort, privacy and defamatory law with my experiences as a model in the fashion industry to support other creatives in an attempt to make the industry a safer place for young women.
What’s the future look like for you?
I think as I get older, I will move away from modelling and into law/business. Most models end their career around twenty-five years of age because the next generation of seventeen year olds come through haha. I’m not quite at that age yet, (and having a round childlike face helps a lot) but I imagine when I hit around twenty-five, I’ll probably be working full time in the legal field. I am also planning on moving to London. But I will definitely continue to develop the Model Association and carry that forward with me. As I grow in legal expertise, I hope that the Model Association will benefit from that too. Also, for the immediate future, I have three subjects left of law school, so finally graduating will be an absolute thrill.
Time for beauty stuff! Have you picked up any tips from makeup artists on photoshoots?
I have a baby face, it’s so round!!! So to anyone else who has a childlike face, I’ve learnt how to contour by asking the make-up artists what to do! I use a bit of the brown Models Prefer Contour Stick Cream under the cheekbone and blend. Then using a really great brush, apply a bit of rose blush to really soften the roundness in my face shape. (Editor’s note: a couple good options might be Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso or MAC Desert Rose.) I also use brown bronzer around my jaw line to make it stronger, which I find also helps remove some of the roundness.
I’ve learnt to do my eye make-up first. Make-up artists tend to do eye make-up before the foundation so no residue from the eye shadow falls onto the cheekbones, ruining the contouring.
I’ve learnt to slightly over-line the top of my natural lip line for fuller lips. Then fill the lips with lipliner before you add lipstick and lipgloss.
The last tip that I’ve learnt from make-up artists is to lightly spray your face with hairspray before leaving the house, so your makeup stays on longer.
What are your favourite foundations, mascara, and eyebrow products? I know I’m always searching for all of those and many redheads are as well!
A good foundation match is always hard for me. I don’t have the classic redhead peaches and cream skin tone, I actually have a yellow undertone that I inherited from my father, who can tan. So I have absolutely no freckles, just white skin. So trying to match white skin with a yellow undertone is really difficult. At present, I am using Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation. This is pretty good as it is thick. So if I have to do my own make-up for a test shoot or casting, I can do so (and not look like a ghost under the lights).
My favourite mascara is Too Faced Better Than Sex, and it truly is haha. It is fabulous. It gives you full and long lashes. I highly recommend it. I actually use the black one very day.
I have really hard eyebrows for a natural redhead. They are naturally brown, it’s so strange. So I don’t touch them at all. But my sister has the typical redhead light eyebrows. She uses a classic brown pencil to fill them in.
What are your 5 favorite things right now?
- I am obsessed with this face mask called Quick Fix Facials – Anti-Blemish Mud Mask. It is amazing for clearing your skin. I find that after a day of shooting or being on the runway, you have heavy stage make-up on and it can damage your skin. The anti-blemish mud mask gives your skin a really deep and thorough clean. I have noticed a difference after I’ve used the mask.
- I love Sukin’s Hydrating Mist Toner. It combines chamomile and rosewater to soothe and tone the skin. It really leaves your face feeling fresh. I usually take it on planes with me.
- Benefit’s High Beam Highlighter is great for under your eyes. It makes under your eyes glow – and covers those bags when you have had a late night of study.
- I am in love with green tea and coffee. I have about three cups of green tea a day. But I am also a coffee lover. Living in Melbourne it’s hard not to be. So I genuinely drink a lot of Nescafe Green Blend which combines roasted and unroasted coffee beans which has more anti-oxidants than green tea itself.
- I modelled for an online store called ‘We Dash Love’. I highly recommend you check it out. It’s run by a fantastic lady who only sells sustainable fashion – check out their Instagram page here.
Thanks again to Elizabeth for taking the time to chat with me, and I encourage you all to follow her on Instagram @eliz_abeth_h to keep up with her, as well as checking out her non-for-profit organization @modelassociation_au!