Australian model Elyse Taylor was discovered at 18 and went on to walk for Victoria’s Secret, Dolce & Gabbana and Tommy Hilfiger and has been on the cover of Australian Vogue. The 29-year old, born in Sydney and based in the United States, is now the face of Nude by Nature make-up and involved with Milea swimwear. Taylor chats to me about life, juggling motherhood and modelling, and her quirky cleaning habits.
What’s a day in the life of you when you’re at home in the US?
If I have a day off, I have breakfast with Lila and then I walk her to school, with my neighbour. Our kids are the same age and go to same school. While she is at school, we go to the gym, work out and pick her up and have lunch, and then have enough time with her and just hang out. But then if I’m working, I’m up at five [o’clock] and gone. So it’s constantly changing but it’s good.
How do you juggle it all?
I’ve learnt to be a little bit more aggressive. I’ve had to say no to certain jobs, just because they’ve been back to back. I don’t really want to spend more than four or five days away from my daughter because she is just growing and doing so many things and you don’t want to miss anything. I start getting a little strange after five days. I get really anxious and hostile. So I just try and make sure that I have enough time off and enough time on.
What do you enjoy most about motherhood?
Just the milestones and watching her and seeing her personality come through because she is two now.
Do you have plans to grow your family?
I would definitely love to have more children. It’s just trying to find the right time. If it happens, it happens. It would be wonderful. But we’re just taking it one step at a time.
What’s next for you?
What made you get involved and become the face of Nude By Nature?
I think it was just like a natural alignment. Nude By Nature had a worldwide search for a face that was an Australian kind of beauty. When I got the call saying “it’s you”, I was so humbled and honoured.
What’s your top beauty secret you’ve learnt while modelling?
If you’re doing smoky eye, you put your foundation on afterwards … and with highlighting, just highlight the bridge of your nose and cheekbones.
Out of everything in your life, what are you most proud of?
In life, I feel like I’m most proud of Lila, but my career probably has been over 10 years now. As a model, you never think it’s going to last that long.
When you did the Victoria’s Secret show, what was the most surprising part about that?
The grandeur of the show. You don’t realise how big it is, and how big the machine is behind it. I was also surprised at how it is like a little family – doing the catalogue, doing the commercials and then doing the show. I still keep in contact with the girls.
What’s the worst part about your job?
That it’s not forever. That’s always in the back of your mind, especially as I get older!
What’s your plan after modelling?
There is no set plan. I would like to keep building my brands and keep moving forward and seeing where that takes us. There’s definitely a lot of opportunities, especially in the States. So it’s just trying to find the right outlet for that.
If you didn’t become a model, what would you have done?
I like to be creative. So I think I would like to stay within the industry, but maybe in art direction or maybe on the other side of the lens. I would still like to create content for brands and stuff like that, so that’s very natural for me. I enjoy that.
Do you think Lila will follow in your footsteps?
I don’t know. If she wants to, and if she is passionate about it, I’ll support her in her work. I’d love her to have a real job, one that lasts forever. But if she is passionate about this, then, of course I’ll support her and direct her in the right direction.
Who do you look up to and admire?
I look up to other women that have children with really intense careers. Especially how they find the balance to make it all work and have success after having children as well. You don’t realise how intense and what a whirlwind it is having children and then how much you are actually taking on.
Do you have any quirky habits that no one knows about?
I really am OCD about cleanliness … I clean all the time. I can’t stop. With my nanny’s cleaning, I’ll clean over the top of her cleaning and she is like, ‘is something wrong?’ I’m like, ‘Just go find, Lila. I have to finish this’.
Do you have any fears?
I don’t really like heights … I climbed the Harbour Bridge and I was dying inside.
Where is your favourite travel destination?
My favourite personal travel destination is St Barths, especially with my daughter. It’s a quiet place, to just be with the family, be on the beach. We know the island really well so there is no surprises, which is always great, especially when you have a kid.
How do you stay in shape?
I work out and I try a lot of different diets, and a blood-type diet works best for me.
What is a blood-type diet?
Each blood type is different. I’m an O blood type, so I can have lots of meats and certain kinds of fruits. I can eat as much of that as possible and not gain weight, which is great … because before I was juicing and eating all these types of salads but I was holding all this body weight. Then, once I started that, all the weight came off, all the extra baby weight.
If you have this strict diet regime, what is your biggest indulgence?
Pizza. If I’m in Australia, I like seafood pizzas. And then, if I’m in the States, macaroni – because I try and think of like the worst possible thing I could eat after a week’s rigid diet.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I guess I see myself just keep working and keep planning for the future and keep building on what we’ve already been building; constantly working with different brands and just trying to diversify myself as much as possible. There’s definitely things in the States with [talent agencies] WME and IMG combining, so there is a lot more film and television options that weren’t available before, which is exciting.
WE WENT TO Bistro Moncur, Woollahra
WE ATE vine ripened tomato salad; salad of beetroot, balsamic glazed heirloom carrot, goats curd and hazelnuts; buffalo mozzarella, figs, witlof, basil and vino cotto; pan fried barramundi fillet with mashed peas, crème fraiche and confit spring onion, sunflower seed and caper beurre noisette.
ELYSE WORE Isabel Marant top and Levi’s.