When asked about their beauty and fitness secrets, some models give vague answers and skirt around the issue, preferring to keep their efforts shrouded in mystery. Kate King is not one of these models. “I’m not someone who, over the holidays, is like, okay, I can eat whatever I want,” she says matter of factly, when we ask her for her healthy eating advice. “Even over the holidays, I try to work out, I try to limit the amount of wine I’m drinking, the amount of unhealthy snacks and chocolate and desserts.” King's honesty and frankness is refreshing (it’s somewhat validating to know that even models have to practice restraint), and it translates to her modeling, too—her signature sultry, open-faced look has made her a favorite of Domenico and Sefano, the designers behind Dolce & Gabbana.
To celebrate her new campaign for Dolce & Gabbana’s latest fragrance, Dolce Floral Drops ($83), we caught up with the model and asked her about everything from her purse essentials to the secret to her pore-less complexion. Keep scrolling to read our interview!
The campaign is stunning—tell us a little about what it was like shooting with Domenico and Stefano.
King: Working with Domenico and Stefano was so inspiring—they are just so talented and so great at what they do. It made the process fun, inspiring and laidback. I think how they work is really lovely—in the moment they’ll be inspired by something, like, Aha! And they’re ripping off the dress and pulling down the strap, or Stefano will come and spray me with a perfume. It is just very authentic.
We’re assuming you’ve smelled the new fragrance, which is a lighter version of the much-loved Dolce. What do you like about it?
King: I think it’s a very versatile fragrance—you can wear it during the day or at night. I love Floral Drops, particularly for a warmer month—it will be so nice to wear it during the spring in New York.
How do you usually pick a fragrance for yourself?
King: I like a fragrance that stands out from others—that can be instantly recognizable. Dolce Floral Drops has this white amaryllis ingredient that no other perfume has, which I think is a really beautiful element.
And what about choosing a scent for a friend?
King: I guess sort of the same thing, but with them in mind—just a fragrance that feels very unique.
You have such beautiful skin—can you let us in on your routine?
King: I love coconut oil for everything! Hair, skin, lips nails…like, I bathe in it. It’s something I try to incorporate into my beauty routine as often as possible. In terms of my daily morning and nightly routine, it’s just about removing everything off my face—having it be as clean as possible, and then just moisturizing.
Do you have any skin rituals you swear by?
King: In the morning, it’s about really soothing my skin because for some reason when I sleep my skin gets so sensitive. I wake up puffy. I don't know what happens when I’m sleeping! So in the morning, it’s about really soothing. I love the Dolce&Gabbana Aurealux Mask ($169) for when I wake up, especially before work. I’ll just put it on just for ten minutes to wakeup my skin, to brighten it, and to add some moisture. I think makeup artists appreciate it, or else I’m a little scary and puffy when I wake up!
You’ve walked countless runways for the likes of Dolce & Gabbana, Chanel, and Burberry—any good beauty tips you picked up backstage?
King: Yes! The importance of eyebrow grooming. Before I started modeling, I never really thought about my eyebrows at all. But now, I realize if you tweeze them just a little bit, give them a good arch and fill them in nicely so they just look a bit fuller, it makes a big difference for framing your face. And if you want to bring them out even more, use an eyebrow pencil and run a little bit of gel through them to keep them in place. I like a good brow.
Us too. What about finding the right shade?
King: A good tip is to always go one shade lighter with your eyebrow pencil than you might think. I always think, “Oh, this is the color I should get,” but then it always looks a bit too harsh. I like a soft, lighter brown.
On to your workout routine—what are your diet and fitness habits like before fashion week or a big campaign?
King: I try to be healthy all the time, to have a balanced lifestyle, because I don’t like stressing myself out thinking that I have only two weeks to look good. So I just try and stay relatively healthy and happy with the way I look. Maybe, if I have a special shoot coming up where I have to do it in a bathing suit or something like that, then I’ll hit the gym a little bit more. I’ll take yoga and there won’t be any crazy beer nights and hotdogs and hamburgers. I should cut out the really bad stuff, but for the most part, I can’t resist a little bit of pasta, a little bit of bread. Maybe I’ll try to cut them out, but I usually fail, so I don’t really give myself too much of a hard time. I think life’s too short! To me, it’s about finding a balance. Maybe if I have a really heavy meal one night, the next dinner I’ll have something light.
Courtesy of Kate King
Since you’re constantly traveling, what items have you curated as absolute purse essentials?
King: I just have Dolce Floral Drops, the Aurealux mask, a bottle of water, Lucas Paw Paw Ointment, which is like an Australian Chapstick…how many is that? Four, so one more...oh, cell phone. Well, that’s easy!
Lastly—you’ve fronted major beauty and fashion campaigns and walked down countless runways. Being called beautiful must be something you hear on a daily basis. Looking back, what beauty advice would you give to your 13-year-old self?
King: I think I would tell my 13-year-old self to lay off the hair straightener, because I just straightened my hair within an inch of its life. In the mid-2000s, very straight hair, very over-processed straight hair was in and it’s so damaging. Straighten your curls occasionally, maybe, but not everyday—I think it’s a bit much. And now I don’t have them anymore! It’s a little sad that I didn’t embrace my natural wave. So I’d say, embrace your natural look and don’t try and change it too much!
Scroll to see King’s campaign for Dolce Floral Drops below!