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Beauty secrets with Ally Ertel

How old are you and where are you from?

I’m 26 and I’m from Florida. 


Do you live in NYC now?

Yes, in Williamsburg Brooklyn.


Someone told me you’re vegan. How did you get into it?

I am! I did a school project with animals when I was 12. I’ve always really cared about animals, and people would always ask me about my protein and vitamin intake, and I wanted to have informed answers, so I researched. I found out about health and the environment and how it all works together and I loved it.


Do you have pets since you love animals?

I don’t right now, but my mom does. She has five cats and two dogs, and I grew up around animals: hamsters, birds, fish, dogs, cats, horses, you name it. We would take in rejected cats from the shelter. We also had a blind hamster named Einstein who had a tumor. 


Do you have a favorite animal?

Giraffes. They’re super tall and elegant and they’re also plant eaters.

What’s your favorite food for an energy boost?

Fruit. All of them, but mangoes are my favorite. It’s very high in vitamin A, high in water, and high in fiber.


So you kind of go by the seasons when grocery shopping right? Since you love fruits and vegetables?

I definitely do that yes.


What’s in season right now?

Persimmons. They look kinda like a tomato, they taste very sweet. They’re like a cross of mangoes and sweet potatoes. You have to wait till they’re ridiculously soft and then they get really juicy and delicious. Citrus is also in season right now. Tangerines, oranges, etc. It’s like a beautiful package of vitamin C; especially in this winter cold when we need vitamins. 


What did you have for breakfast?

I had green juice this morning. One of my beauty secrets for sure.


What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?

Drink an enormous glass of water. All of it. If I don’t get that I just don’t think clearly.


How many hours of sleep for you get?

At least eight. I’m not a morning person. My boyfriend is though, and that’s definitely a challenge sometimes. 


Do you have a ritual in the way you eat?

With travel I mix it up and I really try to eat seasonally so it changes every season. I’m also a little into routine. I have a green juice almost every morning and I really like salads for dinner. I also drink a lot of water. At least a few liters, and I also love to eat it. Cucumbers and Watermelons are about 90 percent water and super hydrating. Model cliches you fall into, but they really work.


How do you keep your face moisturized in the NYC brutal winter? Any tips?

It’s actually something that Zenia (Office Beauty Director) introduced me to. I was using a moisturizer that I love from Eminence, It was this organic spa skincare thing. It wasn’t cutting it in the winter so I switched to Weleda Skin Food. It’s actually in my bag right now. It’s amazing! She turned me on to it. She used it on set on me and I can’t live without it now. I’m telling everyone I know about it. She put it on my face and my skin looked amazing. I also use this other amazing balm, a kind of body balm that’s all organic. I’m really into organic products. It’s in the farmer’s market in Union Square. I bought a whole package for my agency.


Does your skin routine change while you’re in different cities traveling for work?

When I travel, before I go on the plane I put a thick layer of moisturizer. It's so dry up in the air. But skincare is usually the same. I wash with fresh water and remove my makeup with coconut oil (if any).


Do you ever suffer from acne?

During fashion month I do get like one or two! But not really. I attribute my good skin to eating healthy and I also don’t wear make up. I’m not wearing any right now. I like to let my skin free as much as I can.


Has your style evolved since getting into high-end fashion modeling?

Definitely. Not hugely. I’m always simple and comfortable. But it's definitely more refined, and now I see myself in things that I would never imagine. I’m sometimes like “oh that actually looks good on me!” I’m more open to trying weirder stuff. It’s very fun.


Any up-and-coming designer that you look up to?

I have to admit, I work in fashion, but it’s not my forte. I’m still continuing to grow. It’s such an incredible job and it’s been such a blessing to work in it.


Do you have a favorite one?

I love all of them! But Celine has been really good to me. They’re probably one of the first ones I shot with. Classic. 


What would you be working in if not modeling?

I almost went to grad school for counseling.


What kind?

I like the idea of working with families. I grew up with divorced parents, and then they remarried and divorced again, and I always love talking and helping people. I’ve become so passionate about health, fitness, nutrition, and natural beauty, so something along those lines as well.


Is there anything you would never agree to do as a model?

I used to say that but I don’t say never anymore. I told myself I would never dye my hair and then I went red for a Marc Jacobs campaign and it was one of the best things I ever did. It stuck for a long time, and I had to go blonde again for something with Givenchy, but I loved it so much. It was fun. It taught me to not have too much attachment to anything and opened me up to more possibilities.


Is being a model as strict as people make it seem?

It can be at times. I usually check in with my agency about a haircut, or certain clothes to wear, but ultimately it's your own business. There are certain expectations that people don’t realize at times, but at the end of the day you have to make the best of it. I think it’s a choice to be in this industry and to do this job, and you can always say no to it.


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