“When I first started modeling, I did my own hair and makeup, and had my own shoes and accessories. And now I just show up, they do my hair and makeup, they have shoes for me, and they have an outfit for me! [Laughs] It’s much easier. I’m enjoying it more now. In the past, models were not really interviewed, but now, especially with social media, I get asked quite a lot of questions. I like to tweet out nutrition research because I did my bachelor of science degree in dietetics. I don’t take supplements—I get nutrition from food. I’ve never been to a ‘health food’ store—it’s just low-fat dairy, lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and healthy oils. I have to avoid sweet food because it’s my weakness, and it’s really hard. What you eat will definitely affect your skin, so I really try to stay away from sweets.
I always stay out of the sun and wear a hat. [When I was young] we were terrible! We burnt ourselves to cinders. And not only that, but the models would come to my pool and we would just lie there naked with cooking oil on us because we couldn’t have any tan marks. Can you imagine! Then the research comes out, ‘Stay out of the sun.’ That was when I was in my mid-30s. I’m lily-white now, like a marshmallow, but they can tan me up with foundation [for shoots]. Once a year I go [to the dermatologist] for a checkup. When you’re past 60, that’s important. Fortunately, I am healthy—that’s lucky, but I really blame it on eating well. My mum lived to 98, and she was just a sensible woman, and intelligent, kept working. I don’t think I’ve aged yet—I’ll let you know in 20 years.
I love a massage—I should go more often, but I think I go once a month. If you’re doing a lot of computer work, then your shoulders and neck get tight. While I’m working out I do neck exercises, too. I do thirty minutes on the bike, then I do stretches for ten minutes, and then ten minutes of weights. And I walk my dog four times a day. At this stage, I don’t do ‘no pain, no gain,’ I just do ‘no pain.’ The exercises are much calmer.
Who knows when I went gray—I was coloring it blonde all the time. And then I was getting towards my 60th, and I just said, ‘I’m tired of coloring my hair every four weeks.’ So I started growing it out, and then I cut it very short, and suddenly everybody loved it for editorials. It’s so much easier to manage. I wish I’d gone white earlier. I think I get more respect [with white hair]. Oribe shampoo and conditioner is nice—they have a bit of a purple rinse. You can put the purple in every six weeks or so. [I wash it] every five days, unless I’m modeling. Then I have to wash it every day because it’ll be too much product in it for the next day’s shoot. When I wash it, I’ll just blow dry it and put my fingers through it. I don’t like too much product—I’ll put a conditioning pomade in it. That gives it a more funky look.
I shop for beauty at Ralph’s—Ralph’s is like Duane Reade on the West Coast. I pick up products there. I like NailTek—it’s very inexpensive, I think it’s like $6.99. I have naturally good nails, but when I’m not wearing nail polish I’ll put that on because it keeps my nails strong. On my skin I like CoverGirl Simply Ageless because it’s my moisturizer and foundation all in one. I use an under-eye cream, and lip balm always. I don’t like me in no makeup at all. During the day I’m really quick to apply a compact.
[People’s taste in makeup] changes, and as a model you have to change with it. I know it’s hard. When I was in my teens, it was the ‘60s makeup—fake eyelashes on top, and then individuals underneath, and then the black in the middle. The Twiggy—I followed it exactly. Then it went from that to natural makeup. I was like, ‘Oh, I don’t want to change.’ Now, with the smoky eye, you see all the different colors. I experiment with the CoverGirl palettes—people will say, ‘Oh, I love the color, it brings out the color of your eyes!’ So then I say, ‘OK, that one I will use again.’ [Laughs]”
—as told to ITG
Maye Musk photographed by Tom Newton on January 23, 2018.