October 14, 2014 12 minute read
Lilian Leopold – model. This Canadian stunner was born in Berlin, but moved to Vancouver at the young age of 2. It was because of this move that she became the successful model she is today. Agents had scouted Lilian at the young age of 14, but it wasn’t until a classmate in high school insisted she meet his mother that she entered the world of fashion. This boy’s mother wasn’t just anyone; it was Liz Bell of Lizbell Agency, credited with the scouting and development of some of the most successful models in the industry. Lilian was signed immediately, and since then has been captivating the world with her willowy beauty ever since.
“After trying out many different products over the years I’ve finally found a regime that works for me. I like to keep my products as gentle and basic as I can. In the mornings I wash my face with CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser, and then moisturize with Embryolisse – an extremely hydrating cream perfect for my dry skin. In the evenings I’ll add a Kiehls Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado, but that’s it for my basic routine. When it comes to exfoliants and masques, I’m obsessed with Natural Beauty Skincare a local line that is 100% natural and infused with essential oils. I am HUGE on exfoliating. I use the Micro Gel Exfoliating Gommage with colloidal silver three times a week, and the Facial Spa Mask with Rose twice a week. On sunny days I’ll use Kiehls Ultra Moisturizer SPF 30 and wear a big hat when I’m on the beach.
For pimples, I use this weird device called the Zeno Zit Zapper – sounds attractive doesn’t it? It’s basically designed to remove a pimple from your skin by zapping it with heat. When I use it I notice it reduces inflammation and helps to minimize any blemishes.
When my skin really needs the extra attention, I go to see Nathalie Stowe of Luminescence Spa and Yoga Studio for a facial. She used to work at the Style Company on Lonsdale, but now offers services from her own home in North Vancouver. She uses 100% natural yet effective products and is so good at what she does.
For my makeup, when I’m not working I like to keep it fairly natural with a light mascara like Lancôme Hypnôse Doll Lashes Mascara on the eyes and a tinted lip balm – my favourites are the Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15 by Fresh. I also love an excuse to use Smashbox Halo Hydrating Perfecting Powder, Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream SPF 35, Smashbox High Definition Concealer in Light, Nars Blush in Orgasm, and Guerlain Terracotta Bronzer in Brunette.
The best makeup tips I’ve gotten have come from make up artists Jon Hennessey, Melanie Neufeld, Anya Ellis, and Andrea Tiller [editors note: see Andrea’s Sincerely Skin feature here], to name a few. For example, I’ve learned that moisturizing is key – especially prior to makeup to ensure a smooth look. To achieve that gorgeous dewy look we all love so much, the trick is to use cream blush or liquid highlighter, applying it to the areas you wish to accentuate (on the cheekbones, lips etc.). Contouring is another amazing way to enhance your facial features; I like using Make Up For Ever’s Sculpting Kit. Another great tip is to gently brush your lips with a toothbrush if they’re really dry.
The most important thing for me to do before leaving the house isn’t to apply makeup, since I usually don’t; it’s actually to make sure I look fresh and polished. I do this by massaging my skin with a moisturizer, and dabbing on some Origins Ginzing Refreshing Eye Cream – bright eyes and glowing skin make a big difference.
I like to keep it as natural as possible for my body care too. The majority of my products at home are organic because our skin is highly absorbent and what we put on our bodies ends up in our bodies. My favourite products are Lush’s Ocean Salt Scrub, Apricot Kernel Oil, Weleda Rose Natural Deodorant, and St. Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Lotion when I need it.
That being said, I used tanning beds religiously in high school because I wanted to look super dark in time for graduation – what else is new? Eventually I ended up with depigmentation and even pimples! I no longer use tanning beds but I don’t avoid the natural sun or pack on the sunscreen every day either. I personally believe we don’t get enough vitamin D, and this sunshine vitamin is crucial for various functions in the body. I’ve found that with a touch of sun my skin looks it’s best. So my motto on tanning is tan in moderation…and if you can score a holiday in Mexico and bask in the salt water or salsa dance under a palm tree, that’s good too!
In general, I love to devote time to all self care methods. I’ve tried acupuncture, massage, and have a new found love for the Turkish Hamam bathhouses! All three are so beneficial; however, I regularly invest in Infrared Sauna sessions, manicure/pedicures, and facials every few months.
For my hair, I try not to use any products that will strip it of its natural oils – I think the majority of those drugstore products out there do just that. Right now I’m using Kevin Murphys Angel Wash Shampoo and Angel Rinse Conditioner. I don’t over wash my locks, and I’ll take nutritional supplements that promote healthy hair growth. I also make my own hair mask using avocados and olive oil and apply it once a month.
Recently I’ve been going to the Holts Salon & Spa at Vancouver’s Holt Renfrew to maintain my hair, and so far so good! I used to be very laissez-faire with my haircuts, and then I’d end up with crazy split ends. Now I like to get a trim every 3-4 months to keep it fresh. I don’t colour it at all, although often times I’m tempted to dye it dark for a new look. I’m pretty relaxed with styling it too, I usually wear it down and beachy – I love using a curling wand for some loose sexy waves once in a while.”
“I always knew I would start modeling one day, but I also have so many other career aspirations, one being a psychoanalyst. I’m fascinated by the nature of human beings and why they are the way they are. My interest lies in helping people identify and accept themselves by uncovering any unconscious issues. I’m also drawn to the human body, healing, and holistic nutrition, all of which are fundamentals to becoming a naturopath. Both pathways share the concept of healing people, and that’s what I love.
A few years ago I dealt with a hormonal imbalance in my body, which caused constant breakouts in my skin as well as other health issues. Being ashamed of the inexplicable little bumps that took months to erase, I resorted to antibiotics and harsh skin treatments – neither of which helped. I became obsessed with the various diets and opinions people were advising for me and eventually denied myself of almost everything. When I finally hit my breaking point, I realized the immense level of stress I was inflicting on myself was detrimental to healing, as hormones are greatly impacted by stress. My inadequate nutrition due to improper eating was also hindering my health.
It wasn’t until I stopped focusing on external sources and truly listened to my own body that I started to heal. I drank lots of fresh water, I meditated and exercised to relieve stress, I ate pure, simple foods but did not over restrict myself, and I took supplements to balance my hormones.
Most importantly, I worked to love and accept myself through my insecurities. Healthy eating and good nutrition must be accompanied by self-love because you can’t have one without the other. That’s the philosophy I like to live by when it comes to eating, nutrition, and body image.
In terms of dieting and restricting what you eat, I believe that people who want to achieve long-term health goals are better off looking at it as an adapted lifestyle, not a “diet.” If you’re on a extremely restrictive or unhealthy diet that drains the living daylights out of you, then guaranteed it’s not going to last. The trick is to figure out the lifestyle changes that work for your body, and to make them a part of your every day life while keeping your goal in mind.
I’m not entirely vegan, but staying away from cow’s milk as much as I can is what works best for my body. For example, I eat goat feta instead of regular feta, and drink coconut or almond milk instead of cow’s milk. I stopped having dairy initially because I wanted to clear up my skin, and based on my research I’ve concluded that hormones in milk mess with hormones in the body, which in turn trigger acne and inflammation. I found it helped clear my skin and the less I ate it, the less I craved it.
I also take supplements to balance out my diet. I take fish oil, a multi vitamin, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin B12, and iron. I’ll have a vitamin B complex, which is great for the hair, skin and nails, and primrose oils, which are great for balancing hormones. I’ll also take silica – it’s worked wonders for my nails and hair!
Nutrition is a big part of my job; I’ll typically cut out all simple sugars and carbohydrates, and avoid dairy and wheat products before any big shoot or show. However, I don’t go to extremes because I’m generally always health conscious about what I put into my body. This means I don’t need to detox or do juice cleanses, as I find they’re too hard on my system. I’d rather keep my meals simple and pure and eat smaller portions throughout the day. Every morning I’ll have a glass of water with half a lemon squeezed into it or a tablespoon of aloe vera juice.
I do find that when I’m living in a new city my diet changes slightly due to convenience, time, and culture. For example, in New York I juiced a lot more because there were tons of organic/juice joints around, whereas in Paris they were harder to find. Not to mention I also took up a new hobby of eating cheese and baguette, but that’s excusable when you’re in the land of fromage. Regardless, I try to stick with my staple foods to keep me on the right track.
I think fitness and nutrition go hand in hand. I eat complex carbohydrates before exercising to supply my body with glucose to get the most out of my workout. Sometimes this means having an apple with a little almond butter, or gluten free crackers with hummus. For post workout meals I like to incorporate protein into my meals, for example scrambled eggs with vegetables, or a hemp protein berry smoothie.”
“I believe the maintenance of your overall health is hugely influenced by fitness. It enriches your every day life, whether that’s running, swimming, yoga, boxing, dancing, or simply moving the body in any way you can. I find that when I challenge my body every day I get to restart and reach a new level of mental and physical clarity.
I work out anywhere from 4-7 days a week, with the workouts ranging from moderate to intense. I wasn’t always a huge fitness person though. In high school, I was that girl to reach the finish line last, come flailing her lanky limbs, and be completely exhausted by the end of it all. It wasn’t until I started modeling that I became more curious and interested in fitness.
My ideal workout is running 6-10 km outdoors on a warm day, followed by a half an hour swim in the ocean. They don’t call it “runners high” for nothing, and a swim is the perfect way to stretch and relax my muscles post workout. I love the feeling of working out outdoors and coming home feeling refreshed. But I’ll definitely do what I can when I travel. I get to know a new area by walking around and scoping out gyms or yoga studios. If that’s not an option, I’ll workout on the floor in my hotel room or apartment. Even through the snow and icy temperatures in Paris I ran through the Tuileries looking like an oompa loompa in my 5 layers of fleece – where there’s a will there’s a way!
I seriously love cute workout attire, because when you feel good you’re more motivated to have great workouts. You’ll usually see me wearing all black with a touch of colour, my Nike hat and my Nike free runners; they mold to my feet and are super light and comfortable. My favourite yoga top reads “spiritual gangster” – so awesome.
The best piece of advice I’ve received when it comes to taking care of your body is to respect your body in the sense of knowing it is your tool in life. It is your tool in which you breathe, move, and simply live. Listen to your body, treat it well, laugh a lot, and you will excel in every other aspect of your life. Self love.”
-interview and edit by Emma Hansen, October 2014