Model Behavior: Damaris Lewis

Brooklyn-born model Damaris Lewis always knew she was destined for game! Four years ago, while studying dance at Manhattan's prestigious Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music, Art & Performing Arts (aka the "Fame" school), Lewis caught the modeling bug and quickly became one of the hottest faces in the game. Not only has the voluptuous 19-year-old graced the pages of French Vogue and starred in campaigns for Yves Saint Laurent and Benetton; she also landed a coveted spot in the 2009 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Here, the gorgeous Elite model chats with us about everything from the greatness of Oprah Winfrey to her obsession with Dr. Miracle Grease.
ESSENCE.COM Feb, 12, 2010

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Brooklyn-born model Damaris Lewis always knew she was destined for greatness! Four years ago, while studying dance at Manhattan’s prestigious Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music, Art & Performing Arts (aka the “Fame” school), Lewis caught the modeling bug and quickly became one of the hottest faces in the game. Not only has the voluptuous 19-year-old graced the pages of French Vogue and starred in campaigns for Yves Saint Laurent and Benetton; she also landed a coveted spot in the 2009 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. “There have been many highlights in my career, but I recently did an Essence shoot at New York City’s Museum of Natural History…it was so special because I loved the museum as a kid,” says Damaris, pictured here as an adorable toddler on her first birthday. “To shoot in the same rooms I explored as a child made me realize how much I’d accomplished in my life so far.”

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Damaris has appeared in several campaigns, including this stunning spot for YSL Beaute, where her skin looks positively luminous. “I wash my face and moisturize every night and day, and I watch my sugar intake,” says Lewis. “Also, I eat foods with healthy oils to give my face a natural glow.”

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With her flawless cocoa complexion, sculpted cheekbones and strong brows, Damaris is fast becoming a modern beauty icon. When it comes to her own beauty idols, she names Oprah Winfrey, Mary J. Blige and Judith Jameson. “I look up to women who’ve paved the way for greatness while retaining their sense of self,” she says. “Their beauty emanates from deep within their souls.”

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Lewis’s makeup look is classic but chic—think subtly smokey eyes, burnished cheeks and sheer, neutral gloss. “In my bag right now I have ”http://www.drugstore.com/qxp73044_333181_sespider/blistex/medicated_lip_balm_regular_spf_15.htm" target="blank">Blistex Medicated Lip Balm ($3.49), L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara ($7.50), MAC Lustreglass in Wonderstruck ($18) and Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Eye Depuffer ($18.50)…it’s great for traveling!"

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Whether she’s working the runway, posing in a high-gloss editorial or cavorting on the beach for a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit spread, Lewis’ hair is always on point! “I wrap my hair in a satin scarf every night to prevent breakage,” she says. “Also, I love ”http://drmiracles.com/shop/product-t-n-balm-reg.php" target="blank">Dr. Miracle’s Temple and Nape Gro Balm ($8.49) to help strengthen my scalp and prevent hair loss."

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When Damaris steamed up the pages of 2009’s Sport Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, she was catapulted to instant stardom. Her advice to young models just starting out? “Don’t rush to grow up too quickly,” she says. “Being in this industry makes you mature faster than the average person your age.”

Photo courtesy of SportsIllustrated.CNN.com.

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After doing photo shoots and fashion shows all around the world, Damaris has picked up tons of tips from makeup artists and hairstylists. “The best tip I ever picked up from the pros was to always pin extensions into cornrows on your head, rather than using styling glue,” she says, hamming it up with runway coach extaordinaire, Jay Alexander.

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As an SI Swimsuit model, Lewis is recognized all over the world. “I knew I’d made it big when this man on the street came up to me and said, ‘Hi Damaris!’”

SI.com

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A fan of fabulous scents, Damaris’ hands-down favorite is Emporio Armani Diamonds Fragrance ($44), a floral perfume blended with lychee, raspberry, freesia and lily of the valley.

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“The most glamorous part of being a model is the traveling,” says Damaris. “I’ve seen people and places that I thought I never would!”

SI.com

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