crystal renn redken
Photo: Redken

The Redken Muse club is a cool club to be a part of: There’s It girl Suki Waterhouse, street style favorite Soo Joo Park, transgender model and advocate Lea T and as of today, boundary-breaking Crystal Renn, who will serve as the face of the Chromatics Ultra Rich line with a campaign launching in April. We asked the supermodel what it means to be a muse, her best makeup trick and where she goes to escape in the city.

Related article: Watch: Crystal Renn Gets Lyrical For The August Issue

Harper’s BAZAAR: How did you become a Redken Muse?

Crystal Renn: About six months ago, my agent mentioned going to meet with Redken. This is a brand I’ve been using since I was a kid, my grandmother introduced it to me, my mother used it, so obviously I was very aware of the brand, so when I heard we were going to meet and potentially do something in the future, I was very excited. I got along with the entire team immediately, the energy flow was fantastic, their project idea was super exciting and I just love what they stand for, so I thought it was a very natural partnership.

HB: Who do you consider to be your muse?

CR: I think there’s a lot you can learn from everybody; everybody has a story and a strength within them. For me in particular, because I just always watched her and I like her kind of femininity, it’s Tilda Swinton. There’s something very rebellious about her look and how she carries herself—the androgyny, the clothing choices, the movie roles. She definitely has a clear message of who she is and I think how she defines herself in the face of the world is very interesting and a good message—it’s one I can relate to.

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HB: Tell me about your relationship with your hair. What does a good hair day mean to you?

CR: I’m very lucky that I have people styling my hair and teaching me how to work with it, but it wasn’t always like that. Growing up, I had extremely wavy and thick hair and that can be very overwhelming—you end up with the same ponytail every day. But as I got older and exposed to the fashion industry, I discovered that after I get out of the shower, I can braid my hair and put in the Redken All Soft Argan-6 Oil and it fixes me right up. It keeps me from having flyaways and frizz. I’m a big fan of all of the All Soft products because I have such wavy hair and I really believe it starts with shampoo and conditioner.

HB: What are some of your best beauty tips?

CR: I already have very thick brows and maybe someone would disagree with me adding to the thickness, but I like to embrace my eyebrows. So what I do when I’m pretty desperate and don’t have a pencil to fill them in and shape them is use a mascara wand. I wipe down the wand to the point where it has a very little bit left, then I’ll use that to fill in my very black and bushy brows. It’s a good tool to immediately look sleek. And you can never go wrong with a nice red lip. I’m not afraid to wear it during the day or basically any time because I wear a lot of black and it’s a great backdrop for it. I absolutely love Armani, M.A.C. and Chanel.

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HB: What’s your biggest luxury or indulgence?

CR: Going to really exotic and strange locations. I absolutely believe that when one goes on vacation, it should be pure decadence. I believe in trying foods from all over the world, going to markets and finding jewelry and furniture and just treating myself well. It’s important for me creatively to travel. If I were to say a second thing, then really special crystals in different shapes that can’t be found easily. I just found this concave amethyst sphere and the way that it grew and cracked is so beautiful. I’ve been collecting crystals for many, many years for healing purposes and decoration and I think this might be the best I’ve found. I guess since my name is Crystal, I have no choice.

HB: Do you have a favorite hidden gem spot in your Brooklyn neighborhood?

CR: I don’t know if it’s hidden, but I certainly can’t get enough of it: the Nitehawk Cinema. You can go and see strange films at midnight, which I’ve been known to do. They’ll take a documentary or silent film and they’ll have live music come in and orchestrate it in front of you, so it’s a complete, kind of psychedelic experience. Another thing I recently discovered is aura readings, which I’d never done. I went to this place in Chinatown where they have all these crystals and jewelry and in the back, they have this set where they take your picture. I was a very, very bright and solid red with a strip of yellow across my face.

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HB: There’s been a laser-focus on your body throughout your career.  How do you feel about the idea of being a body role model and do you need to tune out the commentary on your size at some point?

CR: I think the most important thing in all of that is that no matter what size you are, you must be healthy. I focus on health as a model, whether it’s doing yoga, hiking, kickboxing–those things bring me joy. Besides being a model, I’m a human and a woman and there’s a fight there every day for the average woman to accept her body and how it changes and what it responds to. And I think that, yes, there’s been a lot of focus on my body, but it’s taught me to appreciate myself no matter where I am. Focus and having energy is the most important goal when choosing my activities and how I treat myself.

From: Harper’s BAZAAR US