Arizona Muse Takes On The Haters

It can be hard to believe that someone as drop-dead gorgeous (and flat-out charming) as Arizona Muse could have detractors, but, as we learned in an intimate sit-down with the stunning model, she's had her fair share of encounters with haters. However, the 24-year-old doesn't let the negativity get her down — her star has only risen higher and shone brighter these past few years, as evidenced by her new gig as the face of Estée Lauder's Modern Muse fragrance.
We scored some face time with Muse to talk about the gig, as well as her best beauty secrets (take notes people — they're pretty awesome), her style philosophy, if she gets along with her supermodel peers, and yes, how she deals with the naysayers. Our guess? By looking damn fine, all the time.
Read on to get the scoop on all things Arizona.
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Photographed by Nina Westervelt.
So, what's it like being the face of a fragrance?
"It's amazing to represent the Modern Muse. It's such a big name to begin with, and the fact that Muse is my name just makes it really special to me."

When describing the scent, Estée Lauder execs used the words "independent spirit" and "inspiration." How do you feel you embody that?
"I hope I'm an inspiration. I feel like as I get older, I might become more of an inspiration, but it depends on what I do (laughs). I hope that I inspire people to be the best versions of themselves that they can be. And, to have fun with life and be real — just to enjoy your surroundings and find joy."

Who inspires you?
"My mother, my friends — I'm so lucky I know so many beautiful, talented, powerful women. And, I've met so many since I started working as a model. I don't know her personally, but Angelina Jolie is someone who I really, really look up to. Not only is she so beautiful, but she's so good at what she does, and she's really taken that to the next level. [She is so involved in charities] that protect children, which is really special to me because I'm a mother. So, I share that with her, and I hope that I can follow in her footsteps — because what she's doing is just amazing."
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Photographed by Nina Westervelt.
Models face more and more public scrutiny these days. What has been your experience with this kind of personal criticism and negativity?
"Well, it is really hurtful to have negative things said about me. I'm always told to ignore it, and that it doesn't mean anything. But, it is really hurtful actually to read negative things about myself. Most of the time I read them and I'm like, 'wait this person hasn't met me. They have no grounds to say this. This isn't true.' I just try my best to remind myself that they don't know me. I think writing negatively actually reflects more poorly on yourself than the person you are writing about."

Is it hard to ignore the comments?
"I'm told not to read it, but it's hard. I do read them, because I like to be educated. I started getting Google alerts on myself and that might've been a bad idea because now I'm like...(sighs)."

What do you do to deal with it? To get out of that dark place and project positivity?
"Surrounding myself with friends who I know love me, and who know I love. And, trying not to think about my own problems — thinking about other people and how they are doing. Making someone else's day more fun just takes my mind off of whatever little thing."
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Photographed by Nina Westervelt.
On to happier topics: Let's talk about your son. Has your beauty routine changed since becoming a mom?
"Not since becoming a mom, more since becoming a model. I was 20 when my son was born, so I was still a bit of a child myself. I certainly looked like I was 12."

Does your son know what you do? Does he have any interest in that world?
"He's been to work with me before, so he knows what I do. When Mommy's going to work, he knows what that means. And, he loves to play around — if I'm putting makeup on in the bathroom, he likes to be there with me. He loves the sprays because he likes to spray things. It's like, 'No, Nikko, that hairspray doesn't belong in the bathtub.'"

You might have a budding hairstylist on your hands.
"He's more of a builder — he says he's going to build me a house. He's a keeper."
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Photographed by Nina Westervelt.
You're kind of our short-hair mascot right now. Do you have any tips or advice for girls thinking about going short?
"I've loved having short hair. My advice is that if you have long hair and you're thinking of cutting it short, stick with it for a while. Don't just cut it and get scared and grow it out again. That's the fun part about short hair — you can get it cut every few weeks, you can change it. You can go three inches shorter and, then it can grow another three inches. You can just play around — get layers in the front, layers in the back. Just have it short for like a year or two and just see what you can do with it in that time."

A lot of women with short hair complain that they don't have a lot of styling options. How do you style your hair to switch things up?
"My hair is quite wavy, but not curly, so it's pretty easy to make it either straight or curly. I don't like to spend a lot of time doing anything, so I put a little mousse in — because my hair is fine and silky, at the end of the day it just flops around if I haven't put anything in it. I like volumizing mousse or volumizing spray. Dry shampoo is also great because it volumizes and texturizes." 

Any favorites?
"I like Bumble and bumble products. They're so good and they smell really nice. The hairspray brushes out and it's not sticky. Hairspray can be sticky and that's never good for my hair."

As someone who spends a good portion of her life in the makeup chair getting primped, have you picked up any beauty tips from the pros that you thought were genius?
"Just this morning I picked up a really good one: When you are putting foundation on, mix it with a little bit of Estée Lauder's Advanced Night Repair. Just put a little bit on the back of your hand and mix your foundation with that. Apparently it 'volumizes' the foundation, and you end up not using quite as much foundation, so it won't look cakey."

We can't not talk about your brows — they are just so striking. Any great brow-taming tips?
"If you have thick brows, people tend not to do anything with them — which is great. I'm not saying pluck them, but, I actually fill my brows in sometimes even though they are really thick because you can get gaps. So, my best tip is just to fill them in— not making them bigger or darker, just filling them in — and making sure you don't lose the end of it. Usually when you're doing your makeup, you are facing a mirror, so you don't see the sides of your face. So, just remember to turn your head and fill in that little bit at the ends, so you don't lose them."

What kind of products do you use on them?
"I like a compact powder with an angled brush. It's a small brush and it's angled and it's just perfect for eyebrows."
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Photographed by Nina Westervelt.
Tell us a bit about your style. Who are you wearing today?
"Well, I'm wearing all Lanvin today. My style has changed so much. I used to be really shy, but as I'm getting a bit older, I'm having so much fun dressing up. Once in a while it's fun to wear something crazy and wild, or really glamorous. I think I'm in a very experimental phase. I really like wearing high heels now — I'm really enjoying being a girly woman, rather than just wearing jeans all the time. It's nice to take care of your appearance. It makes you feel special. And, I think that's really important for women to honor that. It's totally fine to want to dress up and feel special and go out to a nice dinner. I think that's good once in a while."

Who are some of your favorite up-and-coming-designers?
"Trager Delaney. They're amazing. They're based in London and their designs are flawless. They're making the best patterns — they're perfectionists and they're doing everything so well. They're using really, really quality materials to then make really beautiful clothing with them. And, they're so much fun, the designers. Kim Trager and Lowell Delaney — they're funny and they don't take themselves too seriously. I'm really happy that I have a friendship with them."
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Photographed by Nina Westervelt.
Now that you're an Estée Lauder face, you work really closely with the brand's other supermodels: Liu Wen, Constance Jablonski, and Joan Smalls. What's it really like?
"When I first signed, they all came up to me — because we all do shoots together, we've been together quite a lot — and said welcome to the team. It was so sweet. Of course, we'd all been friends before, but they have made a special effort to include me and make me feel welcome, which is so nice of them."

So there's no animosity or competition?
"Models band together. You'll see us sitting together. We're all friends, we support each other. It's really nice."
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