While other little girls had crayons, dolls and jump ropes, Jasmine Sanders had prestige beauty products as her favorite playthings. She hoarded them and admired how lovely they were. Little did she know that one day she would have a career that would require her to constantly play dressup, her look put together by professional makeup artists like her mom.

Like many models, Sanders keeps it low-key when she’s not at work, swearing by minimal makeup, rosewater spray and her Vince Camuto Illuminare perfume, for which she is the face. “Now, because I do so much with makeup and I get to test out different looks through work, I don’t really wear it in my day-to-day,” she tells ESSENCE. “I like to just do something on the lighter end. I’m obsessed with highlighter. It makes everything glowy and pretty, and it just wakes up your face.”

Being exposed to cosmetics at such a young age gave her an appreciation not only for a great makeup job but also for the importance of caring for the skin. Since her livelihood depends on hers looking its best, she focuses more on maintaining a healthy regimen and reserves color play for adventurous occasions. “I’ll do a bold lip, but I’m not one to do a bold eye myself,” she says with a laugh. “I let the professionals do their job. For the CFDA [Council of Fashion Designers of America] Awards, we did this really dramatic, beautiful blue look with a couple of different tones of blue eye shadow.”

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It’s really hard to get a look wrong with Sanders. Her piercing blue-green eyes and near-perfect skin need no enhancement. Even so, the 2019 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Rookie of the Year shares the same struggles as the rest of us. With fittings, photo shoots and auditions, she says she finds it difficult to stick to a self-care routine that makes her feel her most alluring. She has to work at making it a priority—and she isn’t talking only about beauty products.

“I wake up and sit outside and listen to the birds chirp for as long as I can,” she says. “I’ve been doing it since I was a little girl. I go over what I did the day before and what’s going to be better today than it was yesterday. That really boosts me. Then I can do my hair and makeup.”

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