A Valentino Muse in the Making
To kick off our Beauty of the Week series, we dig through the makeup bag and beauty regime of in-demand New York-based model and writer, Anzie Dasabe.
Contributor: Marjon Carlos
Photographer: Quil Lemons
As soon as New York-based model, Anzie Dasabe answers the door of her Brooklyn apartment, you know why the 18-year-old Dallas, Texas native is a face to watch in the modeling world. Sheathed in a vintage Dior bathrobe, with her crown of curls smoothed into a top bun, the Cameroonian beauty and Fashion Fair’s inaugural “Beauty of the Week” feature subject is camera-ready and immediately springs into action. Nimbly applying Fashion Fair’s “Catfight" lipstick to her pout, dancing around to the tunes of Chloe x Halle, and talking us through her beauty routine, Dasabe knows how to get the shot. Just ask Valentino or Urban Outfitters: only a few of the notable clients she’s lent her high-wattage smile to since moving to New York last fall.
Speaking of which, one glance at her flawless skin, and it’s clear why Dasabe is quickly racking up plenty of followers on Instagram. As she tells Fashion Fair, her process is all very simple. Since moving to New York, she’s has had to streamline her beauty routine to accommodate a busy city life that has her going on casting calls in between college classes. Fresh “beats” have since turned into a holistic approach to skincare. Still, Dasabe isn’t afraid of being unapologetically bold with beauty.
Here, she reveals how she got her start in modeling, why Dr.Bronner’s soap is her must-have, and why Fashion Fair’s lipstick has become an instant favorite.
Tell us a little bit about your roots. Where are you from?
“My mom came here [from Cameroon], when she was 19 or 20, and my dad came here fresh at 18. My mom went to London first, so she was on the scene in London. My mom was a really big inspiration for me. I literally used to flip through my parent’s photo albums and get inspiration for what I want to wear or all these places where I want to visit. My mom was also very into fashion and my dad used to write poetry when he was young, so there are little [creative] elements there. My mother actually sold Fashion Fair [when she first moved to the States]. She still uses Fashion Fair. I used to take my mom's makeup when I was younger, I always used to take her lipsticks and they were always Fashion Fair.”
Were you always into fashion and modeling?“I popped out of the womb, put on my mom's shoes and just stomped around the house like, ‘I'm going to be a model. I'm going to be Naomi Campbell!’ I started modeling in high school. I shot with local Dallas photographers. My sister used to help me make mood boards. She put me on to all the girls modeling and styling when I was in fourth or fifth grade. I'd just sit behind her while she was scrolling through the Parisian street style blogs, quietly taking my notes, then borrow her clothes without asking!
Did that influence you wanting to move to New York to start modeling full-time?‘When I got to my freshman year [in high school] I was like, ‘There's nothing to do here [in Dallas].’ I would be on the internet and see these kids doing all this stuff, and I thought, “I want to be doing that. And I'm stuck here.” So I said, "Mom, I'm going to New York." I visited in the summer and set up my life; preparing, making friends, making sure I connected family here. In my junior year I declared, ‘I want to go to school in New York.’ My parents were like, ‘No’, so I spent my entire senior year convincing them to let me go and they finally did.’
What was one of your favorite modeling jobs so far?“When shooting my Valentino campaign, I took off of class. They didn't change my hair, they didn't change my make up--anything. They were like, ‘You look great just the way you are.’ Then out pops photographer Terry Richardson! He says, ‘Okay, I'm shooting this.’ I'm thinking, ‘Huh? What's going on? We went outside. It was raining and they had people carrying umbrellas for me, and I thought, ‘This is it!’ It was great, and it was just really fun. Terry Richardson was saying, ‘You move so well in front of the camera.’
Then we went back inside and the assistant to the creative director came up to me and she says, ‘So, [the creative director] wants the bag that you have.’ I tell her, ‘I got this from the thrift store for like three bucks!’ The assistant explains he wants to take it back to Rome. And I thought, ‘How is my bag going to go to Rome and I've never been to Rome?!’ Then they offered me a Valentino bag in exchange and I was like, ‘Okay, we can do that.’ Then the creative director comes over and says, ‘Yeah, I might turn it into something else or just keep it for inspiration but I really like it’ At this point I'm thinking, ‘Okay, I should probably go back to class.’ As soon as I left and I was on the phone with my friend freaking out. She said, ‘Girl, that was Pierpalo Piccoli! As in the head director of Valentino! Y'all were just talking, chatting it up, talking about thrifting!’ The last thing Pierpalo said was, ‘Oh you have such a nice personality, I really like you, maybe I'll use you for something else.’
Credit: Image Shot by Terry Richardson for Valentino
What an incredible story--and one you can only have in New York! Has living in the city influenced your approach to beauty?“When I first came [to New York], I was doing full beats every morning. I'd wake up early and I would do cool stuff like geometric shapes on my eyelids. I was always experimenting and then it got to the point where it'd make me late for castings. I don't have time to do a full face anymore. I'll brush my brows with Glossier’s Boy Brow and I'll cover a couple spots with foundation and then I'll use a light blush like Glossier Cloud Paint in ‘Haze.’ Then I put on my brown lip liner, a little bit of pink lipstick and then I put on the gloss and I mix it all together. If I'm going out, I'll wear mascara and a red lip. I feel like a lot of brands don't pay attention to darker skinned people when it comes to lipsticks that are pigmented. I was really happy to find that Fashion Fair’s ‘Catfight’ was so pigmented. The first swipe I was like, ‘There we go! There we go!’”
Your skin is stunning! What’s your routine?“I wake up and I wash my face in the shower. I use Dr. Bronner's castile soap and I dilute it because it's actually really strong. I use it for everything. When I get out of the shower, I wipe my face with baby wipes because I have sensitive skin. I mix sunflower seed oil and shea oil and a little bit of tea tree and then I rub it into my face. I rub up like all the make up artists who massage my face advise me to. You could do circles here but the main goal is to rub up on your face: you want your face to be lifted and stay up. You don't want to drag it down. I usually have a bottle [of water] with me, which I refill at least six times a day.”
Let’s talk your hair--have you always been natural?
“I went natural nearly 7 years ago because I thought I would have looser curls. It took me a long time to get used to kinky hair until I found the beauty in it. My hair routine consists of co-wash-and-go’s (washing hair with conditioner and leaving the house) that end up being deep conditions. I use tea tree conditioner and seal it in with sunflower seed oil and go! When I do twist outs I rely on the old faithful Jams conditioning gel--it makes my curls pop. Everyone who touches my hair says it feels and looks really healthy.”
Describe your personal style?“As for my style, it’s a lot more experimental. In the suburbs, my neighbors would be like, ‘What are you wearing?!’ Why are you wearing a trench coat?!” I’d say, ‘Please! This is fashion! You don't understand!’ Now, if I see something I like, I'm just going to get it. I'm more about trying new things now. I don't have a set style anymore.”
Get the look!
Anzie’s Beauty Selfies Guide:“When it comes to beauty selfies:
1/ Always find the light.
2/ Use your space. Sometimes certain spaces wouldn’t be good for a lower angle. Most of the time you don't want lower angle photos, unless you're in an all white room. Higher angles are better when you have hairstyles where your hair is out of your face. But when you do lower angle shots and you have big hair, it really accentuates the style.