For as long as Emily Ratajkowski has been in the public eye, she's been a fixture on beauty mood boards far and wide. And the model and author believes fragrance is a crucial element of any beauty routine. Since January 2023, Ratajkowski (perhaps most commonly known as "Emrata") has been the face of Viktor & Rolf's classic Flowerbomb perfume; a year later, she's also helping the brand introduce a new iteration on the beloved scent. On Thursday, the brand launched Flowerbomb Tiger Lily, a tropical, fruity, warm juice that's an olfactory antidote to February's dreariness.
"I love anything that feels like you can bring summertime with you," Ratajkowski tells Fashionista. "I grew up in Southern California going to the beach. I feel my best when I'm in the sun and have...saltwater in my hair, and I feel like this scent really transports you to that kind of feeling. A tropical vacation sort of in a bottle."
Of course, we took this opportunity to learn as much about Emrata's beauty routine as possible. Ahead, she shares the scent she loves on her son (but not herself), the fragrance note she finds most romantic, a beauty secret that "feels illegal," the one makeup product she uses for eyes, lips and face and much more.
What type of scents are you typically drawn to?
Definitely something that feels feminine but strong. And depending on the time of year, I'll go more tropical or more floral.
With Valentine's Day coming up, what's the most romantic scent you can smell on another person?
I think musk. It's so attractive and romantic. I also really like the smell of burnt wood. I don't like men in cologne as much.
Is there a smell that feels nostalgic to you?
Pine trees and saltwater feel really nostalgic. Anything that reminds me of the beach.
What's your go-to perfume application method?
I just remember how my mom applied her fragrance, which is super simple. A spritz on each wrist, then rub them both together and pat your neck. Sometimes if I feel the need to reapply, I'll spray it in the air and walk into it.
What are your favorite non-perfume smells?
This is a weird one, but I like cement after it rains. I grew up in San Diego and there are so many eucalyptus trees, so I also really like that scent. I also just love the smell of my son. I don't know what's going on there, but he has sort of a deep vanilla fragrance that smells so good. And if I'm in love with somebody I usually love the way they smell.
Are there any fragrance notes that you're leaving behind for 2024?
I just said that I love the way son smells like vanilla, but I personally don't want to smell like vanilla.
Walk us through your daytime skin-care routine.
I wash my face every night. I don't wash my face in the morning because I don't want to take away too much of my natural moisture and strip the skin too much. I start my day with some Dr. Dennis Gross Vitamin C Serum, then I use a snail mucin essence to soak up my moisturizer. One of my girlfriends who loves skin care turned me onto the snail mucin line during the pandemic and I've used it ever since. It really works. If you sleep in that and put a mask over it, you will genuinely feel a difference in the morning.
After that, I finish with a lot of sunscreen and I start doing my makeup.
What's one makeup product that you don't leave the house without?
I always say any brown pencil because I can use it for so many things, especially if I'm carrying a really tiny bag. I can use a brown pencil for lip liner, for freckles, for my brows…anything. If I could bring one thing to a desert island, I'd take my brown pencil. But I do like to have my little lipstick. My lip combo is also always with me.
What's your current go-to lip combo?
Lately, for liner, I've been doing the Make Up Forever Lip Liner in Endless Cacao. I think my friend gave it to me to try and I was like, 'This is amazing,' and she told me to take it. I probably have a million of them. Then, I either use a simple pink Pat McGrath Labs lipstick or the Rhode tinted lip treatment.
If you had to describe your current makeup routine as a Taylor Swift Era, which one would it be?
'Reputation,' always. I'm just a 'Reputation' girl, period. I don't do a red lip that much, so that would definitely be my era.
How does your skin-care routine change at night?
I take my makeup off with Bioderma Micellar Water and wash my face with something sulfate-free and super simple. If I didn't wear makeup, I would just use water to rinse my skin. I also use a retinol almost every night.
What's your hair routine like?
I take 20 minutes at most to do my hair. I just don't have the patience for it. I really love Kérastase products, honestly. I've been working with them for a long time. When I first started working with them, my hair was very fine. After using their products, my hair got a lot healthier, which makes it easier to do.
I did get the Dyson Air Wrap and I'm still getting to know her. I wish that I was as good as the girlies I see online. I'm like, 'Damn, how do they do it so well?' My hair is super straight but I have a lot of it. Most days I'm trying to give it a little bit of volume and not have it be weighed down. But honestly, most days I'm just like, 'This is who she is and we're going to live with it.' I tell myself it's French-girl hair.
Do you have any beauty secrets that people might not know about?
I've never been a gatekeeper. I'm not sure people know about my freckles, though. Obviously, faux freckles are a classic trick, but I've been doing it for a long time. People really think I have freckles, but it's just this product I fell in love with from TikTok Shop. It looks so natural that it almost feels illegal.
How do you include self-love and confidence in your beauty routine?
I don't wake up every day feeling like 'Hell yeah!' There are days where I'm like, 'Wow, I'd like a completely new face and completely new everything.' On those days, sometimes my makeup routine can feel like a way for me to meditate and pay attention less to the result and more to the self-care aspect of the process, so that’' a tool for me.
Is there a favorite beauty tip you've learned from one of your "High Low with EmRata" podcast guests?
One thing I've learned from all these guests is that you have to figure out what works for you. I've had guests come into the studio with a full beat and they literally look airbrushed. Then people with no makeup will come in and have the freshest skin and look just as amazing. I think figuring out what you like to look like, what makes you feel good and just really leaning into that is key.
This interview has been edited for clarity.
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