Joan Smalls on Her Career, Heritage & Mother's Beauty Tips

Puerto Rican beauty Joan Smalls covers the latest issue of Glam Belleza Latina and also speaks to the magazine on her career, her heritage and the beauty tips her mother has given her over the years. 

On wanting to be a veterinarian as a child: 

"I grew up on a farm in Puerto Rico and wanted to be a veterinarian. I was always playing with animals! But…people would tell my parents that I should model." 

 On her heritage: 

"[P]eople don’t realize that when you’re Latin, you’re so diverse. I am black. I am Latin. I am Spanish. You know? It’s a little bit of everything, and that’s beautiful. So, everybody, claim me. I’m fine with that!" 

On feeling a sisterhood with the Estée Lauder models: 

"[I]t was an affirmation that Latinas were beautiful and worthy of being represented. I’m their first Latina model, and it felt like a sisterhood with [Estée Lauder models] Constance [Jablonski] and Liu Wen. I felt like the contract represented my beliefs." 

 On her mother's beauty tips:

"Well, to this day she still says, ‘Tu no te vas a poner lipstick?’ She always wears it, so even if I’m wearing lip gloss, she’ll ask if I plan to wear color."


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