Chill Chat

Emily Ratajkowski Believes You Should, In Fact, Get Bangs

The author, supermodel, and podcast host shares her go-to self-care practices and beauty hacks.

Emily Ratajkowski on wellness, self-confidence, and her go-to beauty products.


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Chill Chat
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In Chill Chat, Bustle sits down with stars to chat about all things wellness, from their favorite skin care products to their hacks for getting a good night’s sleep. Here, Emily Ratajkowski shares her go-to self-care practice and the beauty product she can’t live without.

Emily Ratajkowski has fully stepped into her power. The 31-year-old has a rather interesting list of accolades that make her the multi-hyphenate that she is: She’s an author, supermodel, mother, activist, and, most recently, a podcast host. On top of it all, Ratajkowski is in her “b*tch era,” something she herself has claimed and talks about on her podcast, High Low with EmRata, which features interviews and conversations about topics like ethical non-monogamy and plastic surgery and she’s feeling more energized than ever.

In the corner of a cozy bar in Paris, I ask Ratajkowski what makes her feel the most empowered. “It’s funny you’re asking me this question,” she says. “I’m traveling and doing a bunch of work in Europe, and I recorded two episodes for my podcast back to back before I left. Everyone was like, ‘You’re going to be so exhausted and your brain is going to be scrambled eggs, blah, blah, blah.’ And I left skipping. I was skipping on the street.” She smiles; it’s clear that her latest pursuit is one she’s particularly passionate about. “I realized that I was just very joyful and very excited to be doing something that I love. There was a lot of confidence that came from that experience, because I was like, man, I’m doing something I love.”

As a feminist, Ratajkowski would love nothing more than to bottle up that feeling and share it with other women. While that’s obviously a pipedream, she is working with Kérastase — a hair care line she’s been the face of for years — on its new Power Talks initiative, a campaign that connects women with mentors and offers education on self-empowerment. “I love the way they’ve put this emphasis on confidence,” she tells me. “It’s such a simple concept in a lot of ways, but we overcomplicate it a lot.”

Here, Ratajkowski talks with Bustle about her journey with self-confidence, what she does for a mood boost, and her go-to beauty hack.

What has your own self-confidence looked like during your career?

It’s a freaking rollercoaster. [Laughs.] So many things in my life have happened. I would say my confidence overall has skyrocketed over the past decade just because I care less what people think. That being said, going through all the things that happen in life, like having a baby and other transformative experiences, can really rock your confidence in a lot of ways. I’ve had to find my footing in a new identity, in a new world.

I’m sure. What does your morning routine look like?

My morning routine is very different than it was before I had my son. He wakes up at 7 or 8 no matter what, sometimes a bit earlier. I get him out of bed, take him downstairs, and make breakfast for him. We have our time. I’ll have coffee while he eats his eggs. Sometimes he’ll take a shower with me, because I’m by myself.

I don’t really wash my face in the morning but I just started wearing a lot of sunscreen. I can’t believe I lived my life not wearing it for so long — it’s a little scary, but I’m making up for it now.

What’s your favorite thing to do whenever you need a mood boost?

To be totally honest with you — I order Thai food. It’s my comfort, re-centering cozy moment. I’ll take a night in, and then I can re-enter the world after that recharging.

What’s your go-to order?

It’s boring, but I get Massaman curry. Nothing fancy.

Nice. Besides ordering takeout, how else do you care for your mental health?

I wish that I could say that I had a list of things where I’m like, I turn off my phone and this and that, but I don’t. I kind of check in with myself and decide what I need in a given moment.

Last week it was cleaning my entire house. Afterward, I felt so great about it. But sometimes that means going out and seeing friends even when I’m tired — it depends on what I need.

What’s your favorite way to work out?

Honestly, I haven’t been working out recently. I haven’t had time. I live in New York, though, so I walk to my office a lot.

When you’re walking, do you like to listen to anything?

Yeah, I listen to music — not podcasts, because they make me go to another place and it feels unsafe and you’ve got to keep that hyper-vigilance up.

What music are you currently into?

Obviously Bad Bunny [laughs]. I’m going to pull up my playlist. Rosalía’s on it — I love Rosalía. I have a funny mix: Steve Lacy, some OutKast, I have some TikTok songs. Omar Apollo.

What are some beauty products that you swear by?

OK, so I’m all about a good brown pencil. If you have a good brown pencil, you can fill in your brows, draw on freckles, and use it as a lip liner. I do all three with a product that’s meant for your eyebrows. I’d also definitely say Kérastase’s Elixir Ultime. My hair is very straight and relatively fine, and it’s the only oil that doesn’t weigh it down. What else... I’m really into zit stickers now.

If you could only use one beauty product for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Aquaphor. I use it on my lips, I use it on my body in the winter, and I’ll also use it as a highlighter. And for a hack on planes, I’ll put it underneath my eyes.

I read that you cut your own bangs.

I did. And then I had to follow up with a professional [laughs]. I started to do it because I had always had a lot of layers and then I grew them out and was really proud of the fact that I grew them out. Then one day I decided to make a TikTok and cut them — and they looked OK.

I’ve been on a hair journey, actually. Then I got super long extensions down to my waist. And when I went to get those taken out before fashion month, I was like, “So, we’re cutting bangs.” My hairdresser was like, “OK, are you sure this isn’t the revenge bang?” And I said, “It definitely is, and we’re definitely doing it.” And I doubled down. I went in last week and had her make them shorter. I love them. Everybody says you shouldn’t get bangs, but I don’t think that’s true.

What do you do to wind down and get a good night of sleep?

Spend an hour on TikTok. Literally — that’s what I need to sleep.

Does that not mess with your circadian rhythm?

I’m sure it does, but it’s how I relax. Actually, it’s so embarrassing, but I fall asleep holding the phone [laughs] — I know it’s not healthy, but it’s weirdly fine for me. I feel like I do get a good night’s sleep. It makes my brain kind of wind down — it’s like watching TV, I guess.

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