3 Minutes With
Our spokesmodels are often more than just ambassadors for the brand—they become like family. (See: Carolyn Murphy, who’s been with Estée Lauder for almost 16 years.) We’ve known Hilary Rhoda since she was 20; now, at almost 30, she’s making her return to the brand as the gorgeous face of our newest addition to the Advanced Night Repair family, the Eye Concentrate Matrix. It’s a revolutionary spin on eye care that repairs, fortifies and hydrates with a double dose of
Estée Stories caught up with Rhoda to chat about her beauty routine and best travel tips, and how she’s grown up since she first became a spokesmodel for Estée Lauder.
You were originally with Estée Lauder for 7 years, starting from the time you were 20. Is there a sense of feeling like you’ve grown up with
Yes, definitely. I feel like a part of the family. I’ve been with the brand almost my entire career, so it’s a huge part of my life. It feels really good to be back and seeing everyone and working with everyone again.
I feel a lot more grown up, in a way, because I started when I was so young. I’m turning 30 next year, and I just feel like I’ve changed a lot and come a long way. It’s nice to come back in a different phase of my life.
Modeling has changed so much over the last few years. Can you talk about what that evolution has been like for you? What are some of the differences you notice from having been with Estée Lauder before and back again now?
I think [the change] is great. Social media has definitely made things more fun. People still take their jobs seriously, but it’s made fashion more fun again, in a way that that’s more inclusive and allows people to show their personalities. It gives us a much broader audience. I love being able to share what’s going on in my
life with everybody.
What is your definition of success?
Being happy in my career and with my husband and having kids. I think it’s different for every person, and it’s also something that’s always changing, depending on the stage of your life. I think success has to be a balance of doing well in work and at home, both in your relationships and how you personally feel.
What does it mean to you to work with Estée Lauder?
It just feels like home. I know so much about the Lauder family, and I love the brand, and Estée herself—she was such a pioneer. I love how she’s still such an inspiration for women in business, doing your own thing, starting your own company. That’s another thing that I think has changed a lot in the last few years since I started working with the brand—starting your own business is so much more prevalent now, but Estée was the original.
Has your beauty routine evolved since you were first with the brand?
Before, you know when you’re younger, I did start doing my regimen with Advanced Night Repair serum and DayWear Multi-Protection Anti-Oxidant 24H-Moisture Creme. Now I’ve added a couple more steps. I love oils, and I still use Advanced Night Repair serum. Maybe I wasn’t so diligent before, but now I need to do it, morning and night. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize—that’s the most important thing.
Working with Estée Lauder has taught me the importance of taking care of your skin. It has become a top priority for me. It’s the most important thing you can do, and it makes you look healthier, more radiant and makes makeup look better. That’s the most important thing I’ve learned and carried with me.
What do you love most about the new Advanced Night Repair Eye Concentrate Matrix?
I love how creamy it is. You can really feel the hydration and that is exactly what
you need in an eye product!
Is taking care of your eyes a big part of your beauty routine?
Yes, it is! I use the Eye Concentrate Matrix morning and night. I also think an eyelash curler is a foolproof way to look more awake. I don’t wear much makeup in my everyday routine, but I always curl my lashes before going out the door.
What is one of the best beauty tips you’ve picked up on set?
It’s all about the skin. I love fresh, dewy skin. After my makeup is on, I put a little bit of Advanced Night Repair serum on my cheekbones to give me that dewy look.
What are your top 3 favorite Estée Lauder products?
Definitely Advanced Night Repair, because I use it as a serum and with my makeup, too. Let’s see, what else? Also the Advanced Night Repair PowerFoil sheet masks, because I don’t know what I would do without those—they save me when I travel. And Sumptuous Bold Volume™ Lifting Mascara.
Your job requires a ton of travel. How do you take care of your skin between flights, jet lag, and long shoot days?
I try to sleep as much as I can on the plane. And I drink a lot of water and use those sheet masks while I’m on the plane, which, I’m sure I look crazy, but I often have to come right off of a red eye and into a job. Sometimes when I’m in the car on the way from the airport to the studio, I’ll have the mask on. And then people can’t believe I just came off the red eye! It really helps—it’s all about hydrating the skin, and then you can hide the tired for the time being. I’ll use the sheet mask and then apply DayWear 24H-Moisture Creme afterward.
And how do you stay centered when you’re always on the go?
For me it’s exercise—that’s what helps me clear my head. Even if I’m tired, sometimes that’s the best thing when you’re exhausted or jet lagged and you get off the plane. It’s just good to get the blood flowing and sweat a little bit.
Supermodel Hilary Rhoda teams up with fashion photographer Vanina Sorrenti for Diminishing Benefits story coming from the pages of Town & Country‘s June July 2017 edition. In charge of styling was Nicoletta Santoro, with beauty from hair stylist Didier Malige, makeup artist Alice Lane, and manicurist Bethany Newell.
PHOTOGRAPHER: Vanina Sorrenti
MODEL: Hilary Rhoda
STYLING: Nicoletta Santoro
HAIR: Didier Malige
MAKE-UP: Alice Lane
NAILS: Bethany Newell
“I COOK MOST NIGHTS OF THE WEEK,” SAYS MODEL HILARY RHODA, CASUALLY DRESSED IN JEANS AND A CANARY YELLOW SWEATER PUNCTUATED WITH A SKINNY LEOPARD BELT WHILE COAXING A GIGANTIC VAT OF CHOPPED ONIONS INTO A CARAMELIZED DREAM FROM HER KITCHEN PERCHED ABOVE DOWNTOWN MANHATTAN. “I used to watch Food Network and Ina Garten when I was in high school. Now I love to go online and bookmark recipes from different websites and the New York Times.” Though she may be one of fashion’s most sought-after models whose all-American beauty, full-stop brows and bod with a capital “B” have graced the covers of countless magazines and international campaigns, today Rhoda is channeling her artistic sensibilities through her famous health-fied onion dip–a dish that nearly went viral on her Instagram story feed (a cheeky string of candid videos that star Rhoda on set at work, biking through Manhattan city streets or experimenting with her favorite facial mask at home while casually whipping up grilled cheese). We caught up with Rhoda who talked joining a CSA, her peanut butter M&Ms habit and what travel beauty secret that has her fellow passengers staring.
Photos by Sasha Israel
How did you discover your CSA?
I’ve been taking acting classes at Kimball Studio and the owner’s sister runs a farm called Essex Farm upstate. She’s from New York City and was a writer who was on assignment. She met this farmer, they fell in love and she left her life in the city to run this farm.
What do you love about getting your food from a CSA?
It’s just super good. They come and deliver a box every Wednesday. You get every kind of vegetables, fresh milk, sauerkraut, all kind of potatoes and grains. They even make their own sea salt and maple syrup.
Has it changed the way you cook and eat?
It makes it a lot easier when you have everything on hand. I find myself looking up recipes for new vegetables and how to cook them in different ways. Like celeriac—I didn’t even know what that was. So I made celeriac mash and it was amazing. The other day I did braised leeks, which I’ve never tried to make before. Now I’m obsessed with leeks.
What does breakfast look like?
I’m not a big breakfast person but on a Saturday afternoon I’ll do three eggs with the yolk and two of the whites, a little bit of skim milk and a sprinkle of cheddar, which is really good. Then I’ll add some sauerkraut. The farm makes sour cream too, which I’ll put in at the end because that’s what makes them really soft and creamy. I read somewhere that is Anthony Bourdain’s trick.
What about lunch?
I’ll do my custom Sweetgreen salad, which is mesclun mix, sweet potatoes, onions, feta cheese, apples, sunflower seeds and a lemon squeeze and balsamic vinaigrette. In the summer, I do pretty much the same thing but instead of sweet potatoes and apples, I do corn and tomatoes.
What are your favorite healthy snacks?
I like eating berries. I’ll also do greek yogurt some raspberries, chop up dark chocolate and add a little honey and granola. My favorite granola is Early Bird. The mix of yoghurt, chocolate and berries and granola is so good. I like to do it after the gym. It’s not that sweet with the raspberries, it’s a little tangy, but then you get the sweetness from the chocolate. It’s really good.
Peanut butter M&Ms. I go through a big bag every few days. It’s disgusting, I know. I need to stop.
What’s Sean’s favorite thing that you make him?
I love making chili in our slow cooker and he loves that. Anything that I can cook and keep in the fridge is always nice, to have as a quick meal. And pasta. When he was playing hockey, he would eat the same thing before a game, so that’s his go-to. I’ll do a homemade sauce, which is nice because if you don’t have the time to cook a whole meal, you can do little things like homemade sauces instead of store-bought.
Are there any things that you don’t eat?
I don’t really eat red meat. If it’s in chili, that’s ok. Otherwise, I want it really well done.
What are your favorite kitchen appliances?
We have these amazing mason jars that we got from our wedding registry at Food52. I also love my cast iron skillet. I make eggs in it and I made cast iron pizza last night. I was afraid of it for so long because of the way you’re supposed to clean and season it but I’ve gotten the hang of it. I also love my enamel pot from Best Made. It’s a camping store. You could put this on a stove and they’re really cute.
You have the most amazing skin. What are some of your beauty faves?
I love Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser. It’s soft and gentle enough that you can do it every day. Charlotte Tilbury, has a good eyeliner that’s kind of like a crayon. It’s creamy, so you can put it on and smudge it. I like Living Proof for hair products. Anything that’s volumizing because my hair dries so flat. They have a great sea salt and volumizing spray.
Can we talk about your brows?
(Laugh). They don’t really grow. I just pluck in the middle and a couple underneath, but that’s it. I just started using Lancôme’s Sable eyebrow pencil. I never needed to before because they were so thick, but as I’m getting older, they’re thinning out a bit.
We always love seeing your post-workout posts from Tracy Anderson. What do you love about it?
I was always into fitness and I played sports my whole life. I’d tried a couple different trainers and it was okay, but I was seeing results. I wasn’t excited about it. Then I found Tracy and Soul Cycle. Those are the two that I do. They’re part of my everyday. I haven’t missed a day of working out in years. And if I don’t work out, I just feel like shit.
How do you get around the city?
In the summer I bike everywhere. I got my bike at Bicycle Habitat but Sean just got the URB-E scooter–it’s this sleek, black thing with little tires and looks kind of silly but it’s so cool.
Since you’re so active, you must have a serious self-care regimen.
Massages are a big thing. I go to Greg at MPower Bodywork once a week. Before I was just going to hole in the wall place, but you need someone that knows muscles. I also do reflexology at Yan Foot Spa right down the street from La Esquina. I see this guy, Kevin is so good. It hurts like hell. You’re crying, but it’s so good.
What about facials? Do you do stuff like that?
I do derma planing at Tribeca Med Spa. They use the back of a scalpel to take the dead skin off your face. It’s the ultimate exfoliation. Afterwards, people are like, “Oh my god, you’re glowing.” I do that every six weeks.
What about workout clothes? What sneakers do you wear?
I wear basketball shoes, which are good for the dance cardio. I replace my sneakers every month. For clothes, I love Alo Yoga, Koral and Outdoor Voices. I’ve been wearing their new seamless ones that are really amazing. I like anything with a high waist. For sports bras, I like UnderArmour and Adidas. I don’t care about the cuteness of it, I just want something that’s going to make sure my boobs don’t bob around. For socks, I wear Feetures and Balega. Before I started dating Sean, I was like, “Whatever, I’ll wear these old socks that are not for working out.” I think I wore like drawstring sweatpants and t-shirts that I had from high school. Now, I realize it does make a difference in your performance and how you feel.
Do you take supplements?
I just started taking Isotonix. It helps stop free radicals and if you workout a lot, you’re more susceptible to free radicals because you’re breathing more oxygen. I also recently got this collagen powder called Reservage and I take a one-a-day multivitamin.
You travel so much for work. How do you keep healthy?
I took JetBlue Mint last time I flew to LA and the food was from Saxon and Parole. They had kale and avocado salad. It was so healthy and good. It didn’t feel like it had been sitting there for days. Otherwise I try not to eat anything on planes. I’ll take fruit or something and do that. And water. I cut up lemon and put them in plastic bags. I can’t really drink water without it.
What are your travel packing must-haves?
I use a sleep oil that I bring on the plane. It smells so good. I put it on my wrists, under my nose and my temples. It gives the plane a better atmosphere. I also bring 2XU compression socks because my feet get swollen, especially if I’m flying on a redeye straight to a shoot in the morning. They looked like bricks. These socks completely changed my life. They’re super tight. I have to go in the bathroom to put them on because it’s a scene trying to get them on–everyone stares.
What is your workout regimen when you’re travelling?
I bring a jump rope because I hate treadmills and hotel gyms in general. It’s all equipment from 1986. And I always bring my leg weights with me so I can do the Tracy Anderson streaming.
Do you ever get stopped by TSA?
Always, but now I know the drill. I take them out of my bag before. This way they’re like, “What is this?” I’m like, “They’re my leg weights.” And they’re like, “Alright, move along.”
Hilary’s Healthy French Onion Dip
1/4 cup olive oil
4 yellow onions, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 sprigs fresh thyme (i did a pinch of dried if you want to do that)
2 cups fat free Greek yogurt
Fresh ground black pepper
Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in pan and add onions with a big pinch of salt. Cook onions over medium heat until they caramelize into a deep brown color. When the onions are done, add the minced garlic and stir for a few seconds until you can smell it. Turn off heat and stir in the Worcestershire sauce. Add the thyme to the onions and let it cool.
In a bowl, mix the onions and the Greek yogurt until blended. Stir in a few turns of freshly ground black pepper.
And SERVE! 🙂
Supermodel Hilary Rhoda takes the cover story of Dress To Kill Magazine‘s Spring 2017 Power edition captured by fashion photographer Greg Swales. In charge of styling was Fritz, with makeup from beauty artist Victor Henao, hair styling by Victor Henao, and manicure by Angel Williams. For the cover story American stunner is wearing looks from top brands such as Louis Vuitton, Salvatore Ferragamo, Gucci, Saint Laurent, and DKNY to name just a few.
Photography Greg Swales.
Assistant Photographer Amanda Yanez, Casey Franklin.
Fashion Editor Fritz.
Model Hilary Rhoda at IMG Models.
Hair Sasha Nesterchuk.
Makeup Victor Henao for ESTÉE LAUDER.
Manicure Angel Williams using CHANEL Le Vernis.
Videography Lavo Clemente.
Hair Sasha Nesterchuk.
It feels, more than ever, like an important time to celebrate women who inspire. Our Power issue couldn’t come at a better time. In the fashion world, the truest of Supermodels convey strength, confidence, and have an empowering energy surrounding them. Hilary Rhoda is certainly no exception. Whether starring in an international ad campaign, walking runways, or creating art through editorials, she never fails to evoke a powerful message. In fact, she is a force to be reckoned with; not an easy feat when your work relies solely on imagery.
By Megan West
Photographer Greg Swales
Fahion Editor Fritz
At 29 years old, Rhoda has been a fixture on Forbes lists and has remained at the top of her game for over ten years; certainly not typical in a particularly fickle industry. So how has she managed to carve out a lucrative and long-lasting career? Hilary opens up about how she’s grown as a business woman, and shares tips on how to take care of yourself, and how to keep striving for what you want.
Since this is the Power issue, can you tell us what you think makes a powerful woman? Having had so many successes, do you feel like a powerful force in the industry? This profession is always humbling because you can be on top of your game and working all the time and then it can get quiet. There’s always a new hot girl coming in. I think having a good attitude about it and always being up for new things [is important].
I’ve definitely worked with every powerful person in the industry, but I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished everything. There’s always something new and there’s always something that I haven’t done before that I want to do, which is good!
You exude a powerful energy through you work. With so much going on, how do you maintain a balance? I work a lot and I’m travelling a lot. One of the downsides to this job is I can’t really plan anything – like a vacation or a girls weekend – because I find out two days before sometimes that I have to go to Paris or to LA. So that’s kind of tough. To maintain balance I exercise, because that helps me feel good and deal with jet lag. That’s probably the biggest constant in my life.
What is it like being a woman managing her own career? I’ve learned that you have to ask for the things you want to do and make that known. [Earlier in my career] I didn’t do that and I was kind of waiting around for things to happen, but they’re not going to just happen. Agents don’t know you want to do this or that; they can’t read your mind!
What are your ultimate career goals? Is there a trajectory you’ve been following? When I first started I was the only American model – which I know sounds really weird today because there are so many and it’s totally normal. So I had that working against me and I had to fight [perceptions] because people weren’t totally accepting: They thought I wasn’t exotic enough.
I started doing Sports Illustrated when girls who did high fashion did not do Sports Illustrated. I was doing things like that before it was acceptable in the fashion industry. So there was no career mould that I was trying to follow; I was always changing it up and doing things I wanted to do, even if it wasn’t totally cool at the time. But it worked out, so I just follow whatever I feel. Right now I’m taking a lot of acting classes and that’s really the next path I want to go down.
Did being the face of a world-renowned beauty brand, Estee Lauder, change your career? I got the contract [as brand Ambassador] about a year after I started modelling, so it was pretty early on, but it made me feel a little more comfortable. It gave me that little bit of confidence that I would be around for a while. When I started out it was all about who’s new this season. I didn’t have to worry about that so much.
You have a great social media presence. From a business perspective, do you think it’s become a necessary part of your job? I think it’s so important. Pretty much every model has their own. There’s a few who don’t and can get away with not having it, but I don’t understand why they wouldn’t. I think it helps to have it!
It’s amazing and really fun for me to do. You can show your personality, and you can also put what want to do out there – and maybe you get a job out of it! So, whatever you want; I think it’s good to have a nice balance of work and personal stuff.
How important do you think it is for women – particularly in an industry where one can be taken advantage of quite easily— to mentor the next generation of models? I think it’s great. I didn’t necessarily have a mentor, but that’s not to say older models didn’t give me advice, or that I didn’t look up to them. Lauren Hutton is so amazing. One time, when I was younger, we were in Paris doing a show and we were having dinner with our [mutual] agent. She told me “stay true to yourself and give time to yourself”. When she was modelling she’d take it to an extreme; she’d go on vacation for like two months! She’d go on safaris and come back and photographers would say she has life back in her eyes!
Through social media, I get a lot of girls who message me and say I’ve inspired them to start working out again. For me it’s really important: To show that you can stay in shape the healthy way. That’s something I try to pass on to younger girls.
What have been the biggest pinch-me or rewarding moments of your career so far? Being the face of Estee Lauder was obviously amazing and that’s one of the highlights. Also, doing couture shows for John Galliano at Dior; it was really amazing, crazy, theatrical make-up and it felt like a performance. Those were always so much fun!
What is backstage at a fashion show like for you? [As a young model] I was doing 60 shows a season – I don’t know how I would do that now! Now I do one or two shows a season and it’s so stressful! It’s so different now because there’s so many people backstage – It’s crazy.
What is backstage at a fashion show like for you? I don’t really get nervous for shoots. Shows, definitely! I get nervous right before I go on: The adrenaline is running!
Let’s talk fitness. What do you love most about the Tracy Anderson Method? It’s the best workout for me. I’ve tried lots of other workouts and trainers and nothing really worked. I also dreaded [working out] – I did not look forward to it. I have a dance background and there’s something about having to learn choreography – dancing as cardio – that just clicked for me. [ Tracy Anderson] was really fun and exciting and my body really started changing! I could see the results, I stuck with it, and I’ve been going there for 8 years.
While clearly effective, Tracy Anderson workouts can be seriously intimidating. Do you have any words of encouragement for anyone wanting to try it out? It is very hard and it does not get easier! (laughs) It is still so hard! But try it! You can go at your own pace. You don’t have to do all the reps, just take it [slow], and work your way up. Everybody has to start somewhere.
What tips do you have for anyone looking to transition into a healthy lifestyle? Find a friend that’s in the same mind-set and has the same ideas in terms of getting healthy. It’s always easier to do it with somebody else. It also gives you a little bit more responsibility. It’s easier to stay in bed and not go when it’s just you. When I got back into working out, it was with my husband. We had just started dating and he was a professional athlete in great shape. In his hockey off-season he was working out every single day, and he would take me to spin class with him. It was a good motivator!
What are your tips for staying healthy in terms of diet and fitness while travelling? On the plane I try not to eat the food, because it has a lot of sodium. I’ll try and eat fruit to hold me over or bring my own food. I always bring a jump rope and leg weights in my suitcase so I can do any of my workouts in my hotel room. It also helps me feel so much better once I land to sweat and get my circulation going after sitting for so long.
What do you love most about life in Manhattan? I love New York so much. I love that it’s never dead, there’s always people, there’s always something to do, and restaurants are always going to be open. The convenience of it is so nice and I love being able to walk everywhere. I live downtown and I also ride my bike, so I can get around so easily.
City life can be incredibly exhausting. How do you decompress? It is kind of draining and you don’t realize until you go away and get out of it. Sometimes I can get a little high strung feeling like go go go, and feel like I’m always rushing or late for something. I don’t like to go out that much at night. I’m kind of a homebody. I like to come home and cook dinner and watch crappy TV like Real Housewives. (laughs)
What’s your ideal night with friends? I love going to dinners – that’s another thing I love about the city! There’s so many great restaurants and you could try a new one every single night. I keep little lists of places I want to try.
Even models get hooked on sweets. “I eat way too much chocolate, specifically peanut butter M&Ms,” says model Hilary Rhoda, which is why her healthy resolution for 2017 is to cut back on the sweet stuff. In its place, Rhoda wants to eat more bee pollen sprinkled on smoothies or on top of yogurt. “After reading up about it, I learned that it’s one of nature’s most completely nourishing foods,” she says, noting its reputed abundance of protein, minerals, vitamins and fatty acids. (Note: If you’re allergic to pollen or pregnant, bee pollen is not recommended.)
For others looking to clean up their nutritional acts, Rhoda suggests simply drinking more water. “It’s something that we don’t think about enough, and we are often dehydrated. It’s one simple thing that’s actually attainable for everybody,” she says. One easy way: Accept that glass anytime someone offers it—at a store, a meeting, a friend’s house. And drink it!