Taylor Hill, who has just turned 21, is still so young, and yet she works in an industry where she had to grow up fast under the watchful gaze of her 7.7 million Instagram followers. The young model has recently signed as an ambassador for L'Oréal Professionnel, alongside Hailey Baldwin.
We meet in a Paris hotel suite where Baldwin is also conducting interviews in the room across the hall. What strikes me about Hill is how friendly and warm she is, it feels just like I'm chatting with one of my younger cousins. And yet, here's this 20-year-old giving me sound beauty advice, a perk of having sat in the makeup and hairstyling chairs of the world's most talented.
From makeup advice and hair icons to the one trick she relies on for falling asleep fast, keep scrolling for our exclusive interview with one of the most in-demand models of the moment.
BYRDIE UK: How did you come to work with L'Oréal Professionnel?
TAYLOR HILL: Well, it was actually kind of random—I just got the call and I was like, "Cool, let's do it."
BYRDIE UK: What's your natural hair type?
TH: My hair is naturally wavy. It actually used to be more curly than this, but with all the [heat styling] that has been done to it, it has lost some of its body. Now it's wavy, but underneath it still gets curly.
BYRDIE UK: Any tips for our wavy-haired readers?
TH: I would say conditioning treatments help a lot and help to bring life into my hair. A lot of the problems with wavy or curly hair is the loss of elasticity or that it's overly dry, so you just need to watch for that.
BYRDIE UK: You're the face of the Serie Expert range; what do you like about it?
TH: Well, I really love that it's kind of based on salon treatments, my mom is a hairdresser, and she's worked in a salon for 35 years, and she's cut my hair ever since I was born, so it's really cool for me. It’s a little bit ironic, like, I'm working for a salon brand, and my mom's a hairdresser! So for me, it's kind of a bit funny.
What's really cool about Serie Expert, and what I know my mom would appreciate, is the diversity in the line. It's not for "all hair types." I think that's kinda BS—nobody has the same hair type; everybody is different. The range has products for different hair types and problems that you want to fix, which is really amazing. You know, a lot of my damage is heat-based—flatirons, curling irons, blow-dryers, things like that. So I may not necessarily have the same problem as somebody who doesn't have that, who has maybe sun damage, for example. I think it's really special that they have so many different solutions to so many different problems, and that's why it's, like, L'Oréal Professionnel. Like, it's pro.
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BYRDIE UK: You have seriously great skin—what's your secret?
TH: Well, I'm no longer a teenager, so goodbye, teenage acne! I try to be super diligent about washing my face; I always wash it in the shower. I heard that the steam opens your pores so when you wash your face with your pores open you get more [dirt] out. I don't know, I heard it somewhere, and I've noticed a real difference. Every time I wash my face in the shower, I feel like it does way more than just splashing it.
BYRDIE UK: You lead such a hectic lifestyle, especially during fashion weeks. How do you keep going?
TH: Getting a lot of rest is important. Drinking a lot of water and staying mentally focused is key. It's more of a mental game than anything, just because there is a lot going on, and you can get so caught up in the little details, but you absolutely cannot otherwise you will lose. Your. Mind.
BYRDIE UK: You've said before that sleep is super important; do you have any tricks for falling asleep and having a great night?
TH: Sleep is a really big one for me. A lot of the time, at night, I think a lot, and I can't stop thinking, so I play meditation music. You know the music they play in a spa? Like, I looked it up on iTunes, and it's thing, you know? It exists, besides in a spa. If I feel really jet-lagged or can't sleep and can't stop thinking, it's a really great distraction, as you listen to the music, your brain turns off and it helps you fall asleep because it's reminding you of a relaxing situation. Smells too; I use aromatherapy. Eucalyptus, I think, is a sleepy thing.
BYRDIE UK: Any hair or makeup tricks you've learnt from working with the biggest names in the business?
TH: With makeup, the key thing I have learnt is blending. If you think you have blended enough, just keep going. Really blend it. I prefer the sponge; it's easier for travel so I don't have to carry a lot of brushes. But I feel brushes are sometimes more effective, so with the sponge, you should really, you know, go for it with the blending.
BYRDIE UK: I've heard you love doing makeup for events—any tips for our readers?
TH: Usually, if I do it myself, I do a cat eye. I've been doing it for a long time. I usually start on the outside, make a little triangle: up and out or long/shorter and then work my way inwards. If you use a liquid, I think it's easier; a pencil gives a smudgier effect, but a liquid liner is more precise.
BYRDIE UK: What does your workout routine look like?
TH: I try to do three sessions per week, but I travel a lot, so I can't always do that much. In that case, I just have to accept and move on, I can't always be perfect on it. I workout with a personal trainer named Lauren Duhamel in New York, and she teaches me a lot of things I can do on my own. I do more muscle isolation exercises to tone specific parts of my body, focusing on smaller areas and working those little muscles you didn't know you had and it sort of builds towards the bigger picture.
BYRDIE UK: Any healthy snacks you love?
TH: Popcorn is a really good one. I love the lightly salted ones, but I really love the cheese ones, which I don't know isn't all that good for you, but it's a good in-betweener. I'm not really an almond fan, so I'd have to say popcorn.
BYRDIE UK: Who is your hair icon?
TH: I always thought Gisele has really great hair, not to say I would want her hair specifically because I'm a brunette, but in the sense that she has always stayed true [to her look], and she really loves it and takes care of it, and she always looks great. Brazilian beauty—there's something in the water!
BYRDIE UK: Your brows are incredible; what do you do to them?
TH: Well, I really don't touch them because my mom says they thin as you get older, so the less that you pluck them, the more you'll have later. I pluck the middle ones only. If I'm doing it myself, I leave it because I don't really know [what I'm doing]. I feel like it's hard to do it perfectly. I just like it to be natural; if I do it, I do the bare minimum.
BYRDIE UK: Do you get them threaded?
TH: No way; it would ruin them! I don't let anyone touch them.