The top Canadian model dishes on the ups and downs of the industry and why she formulates her skincare here at home.
Lana Ogilvie started her modelling career at 17 and moved to NYC soon after, where she quickly appeared on the covers of Vogue, Marie Claire and Elle and in endless campaigns, including Ralph Lauren, Bergdorf Goodman, DKNY, Victoria’s Secret and Guess. We asked the industry veteran about how her 30 years in the business inspired her self-care journey and planted the seed for eventually launching her own skincare range, Lana Ogilvie Cosmetics.
You were the first person of colour to be signed to CoverGirl. How do you think the modelling industry has changed or not changed enough, in recent years?
Certainly in regards to representation, everyone is trying to be more inclusive. It’s not necessarily equal representation, but more inclusive representation. You may have a certain number of white models in a shot along with one Asian or Black woman. Because, you wouldn’t normally have two of those ethnicities in one group, right!? That doesn’t make sense! So, while people are striving for more inclusivity and more diversity, it’s not always equal.
What did you learn about taking care of yourself throughout your modelling career?
I spent so much time with different makeup artists who used so many different products on me. I really started seeing my skin react really adversely to many things. I have eczema and my skin is already quite sensitive and reactive. I had formulas give me hives, make my eyes swell shut, and cause massive rashes. I quickly started paying attention to what was safe for me to use and not use when I was at work. After a while, I also started asking myself why that was and looking into what was consistent with these products. I eventually realized that I really needed to personally avoid synthetic fragrances and colours and ingredients like parabens, silicone, and mineral oil.
Winters in Canada can be pretty harsh on the skin, especially for those that have irritations such as eczema and rosacea. How do you cope with that?
Layering is the thing. You have to start with the least occlusive layer. So, if you have a light serum, you start with that. Then a lotion or cream and an oil. Layering is a really good way for anybody with dry skin to lock in hydration. For daytime, I use my serum first. It’s a water-based serum, so it soaks in quite quickly. Then, I use the Reflect Facial Lotion and then layer that with the Renew Facial Oil, followed by sunscreen. The oil is really lovely and also soaks in quickly, so you’re not sitting around for ages with an oily-looking face before putting on makeup. It also has a wonderful orange colour which naturally comes from the sea buckthorn and rose hip oils. It gives you an instant glow on top of hydrating your skin. At night, I like to apply my eye cream to the lines around my eyes, between my eyebrows and even on my forehead. Like many eye creams, it has a higher concentration of actives, so it’s great for spot treating fine lines. Then I layer on face oil again.
What else was important for you to consider when creating your skincare line, Lana Ogilvie Cosmetics?
I’ve been a skincare addict for so long. It’s something I love and it’s always been a passion of mine. I put a lot of effort and research into the formulas because I think of it as personal treatments for my own skin. There’s so many people with skincare issues and I was really motivated to formulate without the bad stuff so it could be a good solution for more people. I worked with a Canadian lab, which was also very important to me. I wanted to come out with a Canadian line by a Black Canadian woman. Someone who’s been in this industry for many years and who knows this space firsthand.
A lot of skincare these days feels overly complex, but you’ve obviously avoided that approach with Lana Ogilvie Cosmetics.
A lot of things out there are complicated, but this is really streamlined and easy to use. I started out with three products: the serum, the eye cream, and the face oil. The serum is a triple threat with peptides, vitamin C, and hyaluronic acid. This year, we also launched the lotion that filters the blue light and the UV rays that you’re exposed to during all your screen time. After talking to customers, we sourced an algae that works to protect the skin because everybody’s at home sitting in front of their phones and computers.