Puerto Rican top model Joan Smalls has shared her own advice for aspiring models hoping to follow in her footsteps. She believes it's essential to stay in school and learn how to be independent: "Make sure you stay in school. I know that makes me sound like an old person but a lot of people don’t care about education. If you finish school you're one-ahead when you start work, because you’ll know how to speak to people and how to write properly. Most girls start modelling at a young age and have to become adults very quickly. You have to travel by yourself to different countries, you need to get from Point A to Point B, and as a kid it can be a lot to take in at once."
On how the the modelling game has changed since social media became so prominent: "It’s so interesting because when social media started it was just this fun way of letting your fans see you for who you are. Usually the only way people can connect with models is through interviews, and those interviews are always framed in a certain way, so Instagram was this great way of showing people the fun side of my personality. But now it’s obviously changed and you have girls becoming models purely from their Instagram accounts. It's almost like a business in itself, there’s been a real shift. But I don’t get too hung up on it, you just have to evolve with the times."
She has always loved experimenting with makeup: "I always loved makeup, even as a little girl I would steal my sister’s eyeliner and try to draw cat-eye or I’d play with her eyeshadows. I’m very interested in the way you can completely change a person’s face in the way you apply makeup. My favourite makeup hacks are using lipstick as blush (take a small amount on your finger and smudge) and using lip liner as eye liner. I take a burgundy lip liner and smudge it under my eyes a little."
Images: Joan Smalls for Porter