Veronica Webb On Black History Month And Walking The Sergio Hudson Show

Getty Images / David Turnley.

Veronica Webb had a busy New York Fashion Week. She kicked it off last Tuesday by partnering with Shiseido, to celebrate their new Vital Perfection cream, and record a live episode of the Fat Mascara podcast. And last night, she walked the runway for Sergio Hudson’s FW24 show clad in a turquoise, belted dress, glowy makeup, and bouncy wig. “Everyone has beauty. And working with someone who knows how to bring out yours– as opposed to making you into what someone else thinks beautiful is– is amazing,” Webb shared backstage while Sir John painted her face. “This is a look I can wear anywhere, anytime and I love that.”

But the modeling veteran is no stranger to doing iconic things. The Detroit-native is not only the first Black model to receive a major cosmetics contract, thanks to REVLON, she has also graced covers for ESSENCE, ELLE, Vogue Italy, and i-D. This all, of course, happened when she wasn’t on the runways for Chanel and Victoria’s Secret or writing for the likes of Interview and Paper magazines

And a week before yesterday’s show, we had the privilege of catching up with the fashion and beauty legend on all things self-care, confidence, Black History Month, and more. Below for the gems she drops.

Veronica Webb On Black History Month And NYFW
NEW YORK, USA – FEBRUARY 12: Veronica Webb walks the runway during the Sergio Hudson Ready to Wear Fall/Winter 2024-2024 fashion show as part of the New York Fashion Week on February 12, 2024 in New York. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

ESSENCE: What made you want to collaborate with Shiseido and Fat Mascara on this upcoming podcast episode?

Veronica Webb: I have a history with Shiseido because my mom used it when I was a kid and it was something that was very special to her. It was something that she would use to celebrate milestones. Date night was a milestone and getting a different degree was a milestone. She kept getting different nursing certificates. My mother also really respected science and valued natural ingredients. Shiseido is the perfect marriage of those things. I think this launch, for me, is especially relevant because I’m dealing with skin that’s maturing and needs extra help in order to get itself organized. So it really spoke to me both on a personal level and on an ingredients and science level.

The cream smells so earthy and natural– thanks to orchid, sweet orange, and sandalwood–  that you don’t even realize that there’s a smell there. You feel good and it’s also doing good for you because all those ingredients are essential to skin. I use it morning and night and it’s great for my dry skin. 

You mentioned your mom. What are some tried and true beauty secrets that you either learned from her or others throughout your career?

Webb: My mom always used to say, “don’t eat it and don’t put it on your face if you can’t pronounce it or you don’t know what it is.”

What does your current self-care routine look like?

One of the things that I’ve really had to learn to do, because especially as a New Yorker, we live in this constant cult of productivity. It seems as though, if you’re not multitasking as hard as you possibly can, you’re not doing anything. I learned the importance of letting my body completely restore. That means I just lay down without screen time or anything. I’ve shifted my focus to repairing and restoring. I call it my soft life.  

I also love cardio because it’s great for my head. I love to be on a bike for an hour or running for an hour. I try to be outside as much as possible because increasingly we’re chained to chairs and screens, whether we’re working or whether we’re just laying on the couch getting drunk on content. 

What’s your biggest skincare secret?

Webb: I’ve learned that each product needs 30 to 40 seconds in between the last to fully absorb. And if you have a day where you’re at home, you can keep coming back to your skincare and layering bit by bit. Additionally, if you have product left over on your hands, use it on your hands, elbows, knees, and feet. It doesn’t make any sense to put on all this beautiful skincare to just wipe it off of your hands after. 

What’s been your secret to being confident over the years?

Webb: It’s so easy to get down on yourself, especially in an industry where you’re purely judged on your appearance. I have to remind myself every single day to be grateful and to be thankful that my body works. 

What’s next that you’re excited about?

Webb: I’m working with the HistoryMakers which is a project for the Library of Congress that is cataloging the history of African-Americans on film and on audio file.

And speaking of Black history, how does it feel to be a Black history maker? Especially in Black History Month?

Webb: I come from a family of firsts. My mother was in the first generation of commissioned army officers in the US Army. She retired as a lieutenant colonel. My Aunt Hazel was the first Black nursing professor at Columbia University here in New York. My sister Jennifer was the first Black female oncologist in the state of Michigan. And even though this is amazing, I look forward to the time when we’re no longer generations of firsts because of our color, we’re generations of firsts because of innovation.

Veronica Webb On Black History Month And NYFW
NEW YORK CITY – APRIL 12: Model Veronica Webb walking down the runway at the Fall 1994 Fashion Week: Isaac Mizrahi Fashion Show on April 12, 1994 at Bryant Park in New York City, New York. (Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

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