She's nicknamed Supernova and Natalia Vodianova's modelling career has been suitably stellar. The mother-of-four shares her hair and beauty secrets with HELLO! beauty editor Nadine Baggott and tells why doing good comes from the heart.
"Oh I love HELLO! magazine so much, you have always been so supportive of me." As greetings go, they do not get much better than that. Receiving such a resounding endorsement from supermodel Natalia "Supernova" Vodianova is particularly gratifying.
After growing up in poverty in Russia with her mother and two younger half-sisters, Natalia went on to find fame on the catwalk, becoming one of the world's most successful models. However, she is far more than just a pretty face and remains passionate about using her high-profile image to help others. In 2004 she founded the Naked Heart Foundation, which provides disabled and underprivileged children in Russia with safe places to play, and she recently launched Elbi, a social media app that connects charities with people around the world.
Workwise, too, 33-year-old Natalia goes from strength to strength. She is fronting Stella McCartney's autumn/winter campaign and is the face of the tenth anniversary edition of Calvin Klein Euphoria fragrance.
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Natalia Vodianova is the face of the tenth anniversary edition of Calvin Klein Euphoria
Where was your new Euphoria campaign filmed?
"On a beautiful tropical beach on Hawaii, with the gorgeous black rocks and sand and the dramatic sky. It was magical."
You have a long history with Calvin Klein. How did you first get involved with the label?
"Back in 2001 I did a CFDA Fashion Award campaign with art director Fabien Baron. Calvin was getting an award, but Fabien then went to him and said, 'You should look at this girl. She is perfect for you.' Luckily Calvin agreed and I did my first show for him. After that we did our first campaign.
"I was living in New York at the time, in an apartment overlooking the Hudson, and they had these huge billboards with the Calvin Klein campaigns on them five blocks from where I lived. There were iconic to me, so even though I had lots of offers, I chose to work with Calvin because I liked him and his style. I mean, my first perfume was CK One and I always wore Calvin's jeans, so it was a dream come true."
What do you particularly love about Euphoria?
"It was the last perfume created before Calvin retired and it's an amazing heritage to be associated with. It's sensual, classy but light and flirty. It's fantastic."
Natalia described filming the Calvin Klein Euphoria campaign as "magical"
You are only 33. What is the secret of your success?
"I feel that I have a lot more to achieve. The truth is that my adult life seems longer than most other people's. When I was six years old my mother gave birth to my sister, who has special needs – very severe autism and cerebral palsy. That completely changed my life, as my mother became a single mother to three children; she couldn't work full-time but had four part-time hard-labour jobs. I had to learn to cook and clean and help look after my sister; do everything that a grown-up would do.
"So my life experience has been very rich and this gives me the perception that I have been around for much longer than other people my age.
"I think it's also why I do things more efficiently than other people my age – because I'm used to working very, very hard. And to me that is the only way to do something well."
Do you believe that great models are born or made?
"Models are born but also made, because we are surrounded by people who also work hard to create a picture. There is the person behind the camera, the team around you; and the dynamic of the people on the set is also seen in the picture."
What is your biggest beauty concern?
"I'm pretty confident. If I do take extra care of anything it is my hair. If I have a bad hair day it makes me feel uncomfortable, so I put a lot of care and attention into that.
"Every couple of weeks I go to Leonor Greyl to have a massage and conditioning mask so my hair feels good and healthy. I even have injections of biotin [also known as vitamin B] twice a year because I recognise that my hair needs the most attention. I live in Paris now, so I go to Christophe Robin for hair colour. He is lovely."
The supermodel revealed she takes extra care of her hair
You have had four children yet you are in amazing shape. Do you exercise and watch your diet to stay that way?
"I don't know how to say this without getting thousands of women hating me, but I really don't exercise much. I have done Pilates, but I am genuinely always on the move, always busy and always doing something so I guess it's the stress that burns the calories. However, I follow the blood type diet and I am AB+, which means I am allowed bread and dairy but only certain kinds of meat. It doesn't feel restrictive and it's for health rather than vanity."
What is the best beauty advice anyone has ever given you?
"My grandmother caught me trying to pluck my eyebrows when I was a teenager and she told me to stop. I am so glad that I did now."
Talk us through the idea behind your Elbi app…
"It's very simple: Elbi is a platform that connects people via charities. It allows you to inspire and donate to children's charities; you can do a drawing or write something and it goes directly to the beneficiary so you engage with them and this inspires you to donate. It's not guilt-based, like so much charity fundraising.
Using social media to bring people together, then?
"Yes, we even have a love button because we believe that if you love something you can put a little money behind it. It's like crowd funding for a good cause. The name Elbi is short for little big. In other words, a little change can make a big difference."
Natalia revealed her beauty must-haves
Supernova's Star Buys
1. Leonor Greyl Masque Quintessence, £80, from cultbeauty.co.uk
2. Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder, £32, visit charlottetilbury.com
3. Moroccanoil Treatment, £31.85, from feelunique.com
4. Rouge G de Guerlain Lipstick in Gaetane, £32.50 from John Lewis. "A natural burgundy, but in a formula that feels like a lip balm."
5. Guerlain Super Aqua-Crème Day Cream, £73, from Selfridges and John Lewis. "I love this and recommend it to everybody."
6. Leonor Greyl Nourishing Shampoo, £26, from net-a-porter.co.uk
7. Calvin Klein Euphoria, £70, from Boots.