When Vogue Italia’s now-legendary all-Black issue hit newsstands back in September 2008, the first thing we said was, “I mean, duh, we’re fierce and we’ve been fierce.” The second thing we said was, “Wait, who’s this drop-dead gorgeous Arlenis Sosa girl?”

As it turned out, the Dominican beauty was fashion’s Next Big Thing. Sosa had made her catwalk debut in Banana Republic’s Spring ’08 — and seemingly overnight, the sultry-lipped, lush-eyebrowed stunner had become a fashion superstar. Suddenly, she was swanning through the Met Ball, sexing up the Victoria’s Secret catwalk, and landing the modeling motherload: a contract with cosmetics giant Lancome (her latest ad campaign, Hypnose Doll Eyes Mascara, is ridiculously gorgeous!).

Here, we sat down with the 23-year-old to chat about mascara, her skincare secrets and the modeling job that changed everything.