It’s a cold February afternoon in New York, however Winnie Harlow is telegraphing one other latitude. Seated on a rattan couch in a sunny loft house, she is an inscrutable presence behind a pair of slim mirrored sun shades. “Very giving The Matrix,” she agrees with amusing, after I point out Morpheus, Laurence Fishburne’s trench coat–carrying character within the 1999 film. Her brown eyes flash above the lenses: “They’re positively a go-to for me.”
Born in Canada to Jamaican mother and father, the mannequin is accustomed to toggling between heat climate and chilly. (Throughout the pandemic she joined the westward migration to Los Angeles, signaling her desire for yard pool life.) The fixed all through, irrespective of the season, is a protecting dose of SPF. “I simply keep in mind operating on the seashores, and my dad slathering sunscreen on my pores and skin together with his tough fingers from being a mechanic,” Harlow recollects of her childhood visits to the Caribbean. At age 4, she was identified with vitiligo, a situation that disrupts the melanin manufacturing in sure areas of the pores and skin, leaving them particularly susceptible to the solar. Her distinctive pigmentation grew to become a subject of dialog in 2014, throughout a activate America’s Subsequent Prime Mannequin, which jumpstarted a profession that has included marquee runway appearances (Marc Jacobs, Schiaparelli), vogue editorials, and a TED Talk about evolving magnificence norms.
Nevertheless it wasn’t till 2018, whereas on a modeling job within the Bahamas, that the seed for Harlow’s new magnificence model, Cay Skin, was born. “I used to be taking pictures from sunup to sunset each days, and on set nobody needed me to reapply sunscreen due to that blue-silver shine that isn’t very complimentary to any pores and skin tone, particularly to darker pores and skin tones,” the mannequin recollects. A severe flare-up adopted. “I needed to have medical doctors come to my resort to provide me injections for ache and irritation.”
The expertise strengthened the concept that there was a lot extra room within the sunscreen house, significantly with inclusivity in thoughts. Cay Pores and skin—the identify nods to the landscapes of Caribbean islands—arrives at this time with 4 merchandise to go well with completely different preferences and wishes. For followers of mineral sunscreen, there’s an ultra-sheer SPF 55 with zinc oxide, alongside skin-nourishing squalene and sea moss. (The butter-yellow tint comes from plant-derived antioxidants.) Harlow’s day by day staple is Isle Glow SPF 45, which units a trio of broad-spectrum chemical filters inside a luminous base. “I put on this beneath make-up, however I additionally put on this as a substitute of make-up as a result of it simply provides such a fantastic glow,” she says. In the meantime, the SPF 30 physique oil delivers the throwback enchantment of a Nineteen Eighties tanning mist with trendy safety.
“Everybody all the time forgets in regards to the lips,” Harlow says of the final product, a luxurious SPF 30 balm that avoids the chalky texture of different formulation. “I needed one thing that was going to be hydrating and nutrient-rich, but in addition defending the lips.”