Let me first say that yes, I've been a fan of Kate Moss ever since I can remember, and no, I never once thought I'd get the chance to meet her. That unthinkable moment happened this week when I traveled across the pond on behalf of Rimmel London, which hosted an event to celebrate the 15th anniversary of its partnership with Kate and launch her limited-edition collection of shades for its Lasting Finish lipstick. I was also lucky enough to have something of a cheering squad in my friends and co-workers, as well as my dad, who was mostly just proud of himself for knowing who Kate Moss is.
There were about 12 of us in the room, sitting across from each other on benches draped in vintage scarves, surrounded by clothing from Kate's very own closet. Of course I recognized the pieces instantly — the red sheer gown she wore to Mario Testino's 60th birthday party, her beloved Balmain leather pants — but they all but disappeared from view once she walked in. She definitely seemed a bit nervous at first, but once she sat down with host Scott Wimsett and her fashion stylist, the amazing Zoe Bedeaux, it wasn't long before the tension subsided.
I didn't blame Kate for feeling anxious. She came up in the '90s, an era of models "being seen and not heard," when she didn't have to give interviews, pose for selfies, or even meet with press. I can't imagine how it must feel now, to be in a new world where models have to be brands and are expected to talk about themselves all the time. I've always loved Kate for being such an enigma, and I respect her a lot for evolving with the times and essentially "playing the game."
What I didn't expect was for Kate to be so open. I imagined that the cheeky one-liners, dry sense of humor, and loud, ringing laugh I'd read about were reserved for close friends and famous colleagues, but I was wrong — and so happy to be. Kate lived up to my every idea of her; she was every bit of the charismatic, funny, and witty person I've seen in photos and rare interviews over the years. She revealed things that I wasn't expecting to hear — like that her 13-year-old daughter, Lila Grace Hack, tells her what to do with her makeup and that Kate "chews" her lipstick off but is getting better at breaking the habit. Here are a handful of things I learned during my brief meeting with the other queen, Kate Moss.
- The first lipstick she ever bought was by Rimmel . . . and it was gold. The shade was called Heather Shimmer. "I was 8 or something," Kate said, adding that she bought it "in Boots" and wore it "to the school disco. It's not like I was going anywhere else."
- She wears more makeup now than she ever has. Kate admitted, "I didn't use to wear really that much and I didn't know how to do makeup, but now I know how to do it a bit more. I can do an eye [laughs]. Eyes, I mean. Both eyes!" She added that she has "paid more attention in the last few years than I used to."
- Red carpets make her nervous, but she has a cure. "I'm happier on the runway," she told us. "[On the red carpet] I am not being myself. It's a weird like, 'Who am I? Am I me? Am I them?'" Kate also revealed who helps her get red carpet ready: "A friend, [makeup artist] Charlotte Tilbury, does [my makeup]. We just laugh and then I don't feel nervous. It is more like hanging out with my friend. We just gossip."
- Her daughter, Lila Grace, has already caught the beauty bug. "Lila is obsessed with makeup now," Kate told us. "She knows how to curl her lashes now and she does her brow. She tells me off for not doing it: 'It's about the shape of the brow,' and I'm like, 'Really?' She tells me what to do instead of the other way round. She does my makeup sometimes, which is hilarious. And we do a lot of nails."
- She got her favorite vintage dress from a very thoughtful neighbor. Kate called the dress "a really weird find" and explained just how it came to be: "My neighbor put a note on my door that said 'I've got a Thea Porter — do you want it?' I was like 'Uh, yes!' and it fits me perfect because it has that kind of bohemian chic, like going to lunch in the Summer, easy and floaty."
- She has a habit of chewing her lipstick off. "If I can wear lipstick, anyone can," Kate joked. "I literally chew it off; I don't know why I do. It's like I eat it or something."
- She prefers to wear nude lipstick when she goes to concerts. Instead of a "strong red lip," Kate goes nude for gigs. Why? "It's better for kissing loads of people backstage," she quipped, before miming the way she approaches a band after their show: flinging her arms out, tossing her head back, and shouting "You're amaaaaazing!"
- She loves getting ready to go out so much that she sometimes doesn't even make it out. "Everyone gets ready together and it's a big part of the evening," Kate said. "Sometimes we're having too much fun."
- Like you, she overtweezed her eyebrows back in the '90s. "They plucked them into oblivion. I had like, three hairs," she laughed.
- She loves the "celebration of makeup" happening now. "I saw a lady on the street wearing blue lipstick, just getting on the Tube and I was like, 'Wow, amazing! You're out there!"
- Confirmed: she's not above a cheeky joke. When asked how many pairs of leather pants she has, Kate said, "A few. But [the Balmains] are my favorites!" She went on: "They have been resewn a few times on the kneecaps." When Scott Wimsett joked that the holes were from "doing skids across the dance floor," Kate gave a sly smile before saying, "You know. . . whatever, wear and tear."