Emily Ratajkowski on Perfume, Motherhood, and Her Favorite Juicy Lip Combo

Plus, her dream podcast guest.

Emily Ratajkowski

Viktor and Rolf

The One Thing

Our series The One Thing is a Sparknotes version of the products, rituals, and moments your favorite celebrities and influencers swear by—their go-tos, must-haves, and can’t-live-withouts. So go ahead—take a brief, intimate peek into the lives of your favorites through the things (and people, and moments) they hold dear.

Emily Ratajkowski is all about duality. She's the body (in campaigns, music videos, skimpy bikini photos on Instagram) and the brains (her deeply personal book of essays, My Body, as well as her new podcast, High Low with EmRata) behind her many projects. Much of her work explores the complex relationship between feminism and fame—and where Ratajkowski herself fits into it. So it's no surprise when she explains why she's excited to be the new face of Viktor & Rolf's iconic Flowerbomb, a fragrance that's known for being layered, complex, and a bit hard to pin down.

"I really like it because it's so feminine," Ratajkowski says. "But it's also not delicate. It's a really strong, powerful scent." The balance of femininity and power is something that comes up in our conversation again and again. Ahead, Ratajkowski chats about motherhood, her beauty essentials, and TikTok obsessions.

Emily Ratajkowski

Viktor & Rolf

The One Thing She Loves About Flowerbomb

"My friends were so excited when they found out [I was the face], they were like, 'I used to buy that!' Everyone has some connection. You know, a 60-year-old woman knows what Flowerbomb is, and so does a 15-year-old girl. And so I just felt really honored to be the face."

The One Thing That Smells Like Home

"Where I grew up in San Diego is surrounded by eucalyptus trees, so eucalyptus always makes me feel like I'm back in California. I've definitely [put it in my shower], and I have some eucalyptus candles and stuff."

The One Skincare Product She Can't Live Without

"Weleda Skin Food ($19). I've been slathering it on. It's winter. I'm so dry. And it's the only thing that doesn't irritate my skin and get my skin to produce oil or makes it too oily. It just really absorbs into my skin."

The One Thing She Does at Night to Wind Down...

"I should probably do like breath work and meditation, but I honestly just watch TikTok and lay in bed."

Emily Ratajkowski

Viktor & Rolf

....and to Amp Up

"When I'm amping up [to go out], I have my playlist. I listen to like Bad Bunny, or I've actually gotten more into electronic music. Oh, I have International Players Club, a classic. Outcast, and that TikTok song, 'Melody (1983 Club Vinyl Mix)-Plus two.' I like that song."

Her One Favorite TikTok Trend

"Right now I'm on the Brazilian dance-offs. Have you seen that? Oh, my God. They're like 12-year-old girls, and they do this [dance]... I really want to learn it. I sent it to my friend, she was like, I have none of these videos. I'm not kidding you, my entire page is the same sound. TikTok is so crazy, I'm in one world, and she's not."

The Makeup Products Always in Her Bag

"I love a brown pencil, like an eyebrow pencil, but I don't use it on my eyebrows. I use it as a lip liner and for freckles, and to fill in my mole. Something I really love is Hailey Bieber's Rhode lip stuff. It looks so slutty and good, and it tastes good. I just feel like I'm just all mouth when I put that on, in the best way.

"I like Patrick Ta's little blush palette, blush is just so underrated. Whenever I get my makeup done I'm like 'put more, put more!' and they're like, 'you look crazy.' I'm like 'no, I don't, I look great.' I want to look sunburned. I love any cream blush so much, and I like to put it like on my cheeks and on the tip of my nose."

The One Thing That Keeps Her Grounded

"My good friends, my close friends."

The One Hair Change That Made Her Feel Like Herself

"[My bangs are] new. I got extensions over the summer, I had hair down to my ass, and it was quite a look. Now I look back, and I'm like, 'what an interesting moment.' At the time, I was like, 'I've never looked better, I'm never getting rid of them.'

Then, when fashion week came around, I was like, 'shit, I have to get these out for the shows.' So, I went into Jenna Perry's salon. I was like, 'I just can't go back to my normal hair, we're cutting bangs.' We did it, and I have trimmed them myself many times. I actually trimmed them last week and tried to make a TikTok, and then was like, it's the TikTok or the bangs, only one can be good. So I gave up. But now I love them, and I think I'll never not have bangs."

Emily Ratajkowski

Viktor & Rolf

The One Outfit She Can Always Count On

"We're transitioning away from fall, but I love a mini skirt. motorcycle jacket, and boots. Like very Motomami. Or I love a long trench and a mini dress and boots."

The One Beauty Trend She Loves Right Now...

"I love the anti-clean girl aesthetic. I love the messy, like throwing on your makeup and not trying to be perfect. I think that's really great."

... And One She Doesn't

"I feel like this was an older trend, but like where people were putting blush so high on their cheekbones. Like up here—I did not like that. It looked bad on me. I was just like, 'Everyone's wrong. This isn't right. It doesn't look good on your face!'"

The Best Beauty Advice She's Ever Gotten

"Know your face and figure out what looks good on your face specifically. Don't pay attention to the trends! [On set], I've just figured out how bad people can make me look if they do the wrong thing. So I think I've just picked up the right things to do, and I've stuck with them. And I always believe in using products for different [uses] like blush for a lip, using it for something else. I love an all-in-one stick."

Emily Ratajkowski

Viktor & Rolf

The One Person She'd Love to Have on Her Podcast

"I have so many. I'd really like to have Pamela Anderson on the podcast, so fingers crossed. I think she has such an interesting relationship with her image and body. She talks about really traumatic things really flatly, and then also has a really complicated relationship with feminism. I just would want to get underneath all of it."

The One Thing Being a Mom Has Taught Her

"There's just so many little things. And I feel like I'm still kind of figuring out what the big lessons are. I mean, you learn so much about yourself. I think I've just learned to value... time moves really quickly. And when you have a child, you see it in action because they're growing so fast. And I feel like I just gave birth, and now my son is talking to me.

"I also think I've learned some really important lessons about love and about appreciating someone as an individual while also still loving them—like not trying to make them yours or possess them. My son is just so himself and his own person in the world. As much as I'm his mom, I also love him just for who he is and not because he's mine. That's been a really good lesson.

"[Watching him become a person] is amazing. Watching his thought process and his personality, and his moods day to day, it's so amazing. You believe in a higher power, for sure."

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