If you do buy something, I may earn a commission.

Ashley Graham is a supermodel, beauty icon, and author. I recently read her new book A Kids Book About Beauty and found it be a very poignant way about discussing beauty not just with children but with ourselves too. I had the honor of speaking to Ashley about her rituals. Read our full conversation below.

Amanda: What’s your skin type? 

Ashley: I have combination skin. It changes with the seasons and I'm flying all the time and because of work, I have loads of makeup on my face all the time. I'm constantly working on my skin and because I'm constantly working on my skin, I have good skin. If I didn't work at it, I would not. I'm full of blackheads, whiteheads, and at times I’m acne prone around the edge of my face. My esthetician often says let's do some surgery. 

AM: How often do you see your esthetician? 

AG: I see her, and this is going to sound really aggressive, but if I'm available I will see her once a week. It's a lot because it's a two-hour session with her. And sometimes we're doing laser. That tightens, then we do the eyebrows followed by a full extraction, then she does a 20-minute red light therapy. She does some kind of oxygen infusion of vitamin c and after the ‘surgery,' I've come out looking 100 times better than I did going in because it would kill her if I have one mark on my face. She's that kind of thoughtful person. Her name is Mzia Shiman, she's on 67th in the city and she's amazing. You can make an appointment. She's not one of those people that, like, you can't get in. 

AM: I'm gonna take note of that, I may have to see her.

AG: She's very good with black skin, by the way. My husband sees her too.

AM: What are your favorite maintenance products when you're not seeing her? 

AG: We all go in waves with what we use, right? I have been using Environ. I like their serums. I also like Dermophisiologique, which is an Italian brand. I use their eye cream. And the only reason I've been using them is because Mzia has them, but it's one of those products that I've never deviated away from. And then my acupuncturist who also works on my face a lot because I don't get Botox and filler, I'm holding out, so I do lots of acupuncture on my face and cupping. Mzia has made me an oil and a hydrator that I cannot live without. It is not FDA-approved and it’s not on the market yet, but she sells it to me. And I get it in these little tiny tinctures and I'm like, this is sabotage because I need more. I have these tinctures all over my house. I need a gallon of it. It's amazing, I don't break out from it. It's super hydrating and I throw my rose water spray over it. It locks the hydration. It's my favorite thing in the whole world, and I know that sucks for this article because you can't go and buy it. And it's so effing rude. 

AM: Cupping on your face. I've not had cupping before, I'm a bit scared because I bruise so easily. How does cupping on your face work? 

AG: Look at my face right now, I am literally just wearing blush and concealer.

AM: Your skin looks airbrushed! 

AG: First of all, thank you, and yes I know! It's ridiculous! I was just cupping this morning. I have no marks. And it's really about how you do it and where you hold it. In the morning I do it as a part of my morning routine. Some people massage their face, I cup. I have four different sizes.  You just simply hydrate your face, and then you do a hydrator, and an oil. And three pumps, 1-2-3, you move it around your face. The areas that I'm always aware of are my smile lines and my jawline being snatched and also my 11s, or fine lines on my forehead, that's where I focus, and you just pull up. You have to make sure you're hydrated and you have all the oils. My cupping tools are from Methatec, a German brand. I do the small one because I like to be able to pinpoint, but the bigger ones are good for the neck. What a lot of people aren't doing is taking tension out of their neck because when you have tension in your neck, it makes your jowls hang. 

AM:What do you use for sunscreen?

AG: I love Supergoop and also Kosas tinted sunscreen. I go back and forth. That's really all we use outside by the pool. The kids just spray themselves with the Supergoop. I also love CeraVe's sunscreen, it’s an easy pickup if I'm out and I just need to run to the drugstore. Are we ever just using one product for something? 

AM: Is there something that you carry with you as a fix-it-all for problematic skin while you’re traveling or working as you have to wear a lot of makeup for your job

AG: If I have a breakout or someone uses a dirty brush, two things: I love Dr. Dennis Gross pads. If I'm about to get a breakout or I can see there's lots of whiteheads or blackheads, I’ll use that. I leave it on for an half an hour then I wipe it off with the second wipe. And then I go in with the iS Clinical serum, I have been using iS Clinical since my early twenties. It's kind of tried and true in my cabinet. I never thought I would have acne prone skin, but I do. The other one is the Tower28 rescue spray.

AM: It's my holy grail. 

AG: Yeah it's holy grail status. And I keep the little minis in my bag, and I just love it. Honestly, I'm so thankful that they came out with that. 

AM: What's your routine with your hair like? 

AG: I'm so bad with my hair. I literally am the worst. I don't really do it, so I braid my hair at night, I just do either two or four braids. If I'm working out in the morning, it just depends on my mood. I'll keep the braids or if I care what I look like I take the braids out. Depending on what day we're on, if we're on day one or two, I spray the Bumble and Bumble after workout spray.  It is the best thing in the world. It fixes my hair. It just takes out all the sweat, dries it up, takes the smell away, there's no itching, nothing. I'm just like a whole new woman after I spray that and I go on with my day. I take R & Co, it's like a paste, and I just apply it to my hands and run my hands through my hair. 

AM: Your hair looks like it’s in great condition. 

AG: Well, after I had my kids, it all fell out. Like my entire hairline was gone, so I started taking Nutrafol. They didn't pay me to say that, by the way. I really started taking it. My passport photo is so hideous because my hairline is literally back here. I look like I have a wig on. 

AM: Did that really work for you, Nutrafol? I'm a bit scared to use their products because I'm allergic to biotin. I start breaking out.

AG: It did. It worked for me. I mean, I'm sure there's 100 other things that you could be taking or, like, you could be massaging your scalp every night, but who wants to do that?

AM: What about your makeup routine?

AG: I've been a Revlon girlie for six years. They have been so good to me, and I'm really a die-hard Revlon girl. It's on my lips, on my cheeks, on my eyelashes. Everything. It's honestly a good product. It's a drugstore brand and it's one of those evergreen brands that is tried and true, you can always count on it and it works for me. I'm always thankful when a new product comes out and they're always trying different formulas.

AM: What's your favorite Revlon product that you must have with you at all times? 

AG: It's the "bare it all" lipstick and the nude lip liner, which is this combo right now with a little Aquaphor underneath. To me, it's the ultimate combination. I could have nothing on my face and just that with a pair of sunglasses. It feels very good together. 

"I feel like social media has really clogged our idea of what a [beauty] icon is."

AM: I have to tell you, Ashley. I know you're not wearing a lot of makeup right now, but you look photoshoot ready. You look so flawless and just glowing. You look amazing. 

AG: It's the cupping and it's the hair. I have it locked in. 

AM: Who is your all around beauty icon? 

AG: It's so hard because of social media. I feel like social media has really clogged our idea of what an icon is. Second of all, like, who really is a beauty icon? Who's thoughtfully thinking about being it versus just living it. I think back in the day, it was the women that were just living it that we really looked up to and now we're like oh, that girl's amazing. But it's all the thought and the specific lighting that goes into every photo. At times I’m like, am I being scammed? So I don't know. You're gonna blush, but you're definitely on my style icon list. You, Lori Harvey, with a mix of Rosie Huntington and Teyana Taylor are like this wildly different group of women that all somehow I understand and get. 

AM: Thank you so much. I'm honored. That's an amazing group of women to be included in, thank you. 

AG: You guys are all so different, but you just all have this thing: it's a full encompass of beauty, understanding what hair and makeup look amazing on you, and what your style is and never really deviating out of what your idea of your uniform is. But it still feels different every time. 

AM: What's your favorite food? 

AG: My favorite food is American barbecue food. If we're making ribs and mac and cheese and cornbread and some beans, and then some vanilla pudding at the end of the day. Oh. My. God. 

But I can't eat like that every day. But this summertime, oh my gosh. I'm having a barbecue, and we're doing that, so that's my favorite. I try not to restrict myself because when I restrict myself, then I go into these spirals and then I honestly just want to binge. Picture there's a whole pizza and then in a snap of fingers, it's gone and I don't know what happened. So for me it's a balance of letting myself do what I want in moderation, but I don't ever go on a diet because I'm not going to say no to certain things. 

AM: It's not sustainable.

AG: It's not. And I love to eat. And I travel too much. I have food FOMO. Fear of missing out on that next bite or that next incredible dish because I'm in another country that I maybe never will go to again. Why would I say no to that carb? Duh. I'm gonna eat five of them. 

AM: Same, food FOMO. What sign are you? 

AG: Scorpio. 

AM: Oh, I'm a Taurus, so we're sister signs. So we love food. What's your favorite drink? 

AG: I have a variety of drinks that I kind of go to because for me, it's like, what kind of party are we having? What's the setting? If I'm out and I know it's gonna be a long night, it's vodka, water, and lemon because I want to feel the buzz, but I also want to stay hydrated, and I want to keep it calm and classy. If I'm at home, I love a glass of Lambrusco, which is like a chilled sparkling red. I don't think a lot of people drink it but it's one of my absolute favorites, especially for the summertime. And I love Sancerre wine. 

AM: What do you do for self care? 

AG:  I do facials. Facials and acupuncture, they’re in my routine but I do look at it also as big self care. I can't live without it but also it's my me time, away from my kids and my day to day life. And I pray a lot. It's one of the things that is integrated into my life and if I don't get the 10 minutes in the morning that I need before my kids wake up, it just sets the tone. It's one of those things that I think people take for granted that this too is a form of self care because if you're not feeding your soul, you're not feeding the rest of your life. We are a tree, and each branch of us matters. So prayer is a big thing in my life. 

AM: That's really poignant. What's your favorite fragrance right now? 

AG: Also kind of ever changing. Right now I'm obsessed with Kayali. It's Huda Kattan’s sister’s perfume. Invite Only is my favorite scent. I mean, everybody's scent is so different. It's kind of musky, but has a floral musky note to it. I have the mini in my purse and I have the big giant one in my bathroom. Love it. 

AM: What is your favorite beauty memory in which you felt really beautiful that day?

AG: It's a hard one. I've had so many beauty moments but the thing that just keeps going and I keep circulating back to is my wedding day. And I actually never said that before but it keeps popping up in my head because that was a day where I was so carefree. It was before I was famous. I didn’t have the top of the top hair and makeup people on me, even the dress I wore for my wedding wasn't custom. I had to buy it off the rack. But it was one of those moments where my friends did my hair and makeup. I found a dress off the rack. I was marrying my best friend. My family was there, we celebrated it like it was this big celebration of life, and I felt so gorgeous because of all of that. It wasn't controlled by a magazine or what the theme of a red carpet was or where I was headed. It was just a very carefree, not stressful moment. And I think those are the moments where I feel most beautiful. When it's not an over the top, overly curated thing. 

AM: I read your new book and it was really beautiful and a special ode to beauty.. What are some words of affirmations that you say to yourself to remind yourself, I am beautiful. 

AG: Mhmm. So I feel like my affirmations are always changing and the ones that I put in the book are I am bold, I am brilliant, I am beautiful. And although they're not my dailies, they are a good reminder for myself that just because I didn't get a job and it went to another girl or whatever the thing was and I didn't think I was good enough for it, I remember that I am beautiful and brilliant because having ADD and dyslexia and being in a finance world, being on TV, and having to do a lot of reading, I don't let those things make me feel like I'm backsliding. These are the things that make me creative and interesting and bold because I just have to remember, I have a mission and I have a voice in an industry that is so dark and cold. So I remember to be bold for the people around me that are younger than me, around me in this industry that's ever changing, so they are a good staple for me. But I think like anybody and depending on what you're going through, affirmations change and the words that we say to ourselves change. As long as they're edifying and positive, then those are the things you should be saying to yourself. 

AM: You made me teary eyed. I just wanna say thank you so much. It means a lot to me. I'm so honored.

AG: Well, I appreciate you asking me. I feel like I'm gonna have so much clout within my little fashion friend group that I'm in this interview. So thank you.

Ashley's Essentials — Skin

Ashley's Essentials — SPF

Ashley's Essentials — Lips