Beauty / IN THE BAG

Paco Rabanne face Luma Grothe on her beauty rituals and love of acting

If you haven’t watched the film campaign for Paco Rabanne’s latest fragrance launch we certainly suggest you take a look (scroll down for your viewing pleasure) – a Mad Max-inspired extravaganza filmed over 14 days, with a crew 250 people-strong in the desert of Namibia. Car chases, horse riding and a desert storm. Whilst in Australia, New York-based model and actress Luma Grothe spoke to RUSSH on her favourite scent, filming in the desert and her love of acting.

Do you get any holidays while here in Australia?
Not this year because I took some time off to study this summer, and so I couldn’t go on any holidays. And I’m continuing my education in September, so I don’t really have time.

What are you studying?
I’m acting in New York, currently [studying] at William Esper. I love it. It’s so good.

What was the shoot for the [Paco Rabanne Olympea] campaign like?
Honestly, it’s hard to find words to really describe how it was. Like arriving [in Namibia] and seeing all the cars and everything that they had made for months, and all the hard work that they have done – for Nick and I to then bring it to life … I mean, when they started the storyboard it was amazing. Not one fragrance had ever done this before, it was like an action movie. I felt so empowered and strong. It was just so good, if I could do it again I would. Every single moment, every single scene we had done was just full of life. I’ll never forget it.

How long have you been wearing the scent?
I always wear it. Vanilla has always been my favourite scent. And so I really enjoy wearing it. I don’t know, it’s so good to have your signature fragrance, especially when you’re the face of it. It smells amazing.

My morning beauty routine is …
In the morning I was wash my face gently. I use a product called Go 360 from L’Oreal as a gentle scrub [Editor’s note: discontinued but try this alternate]. I have a company called Boie USA and we just launched a little scrubber that I use every morning. I put on a toner, like a minx toner, and then a sun cream and moisturiser. That’s my morning.

My night beauty routine is …
And night time I try to always keep my face really clean. I use something from my dermatologist that helps you clean your pores, so I avoid acne or anything, sometimes I get small breakouts in my skin.

My favourite form of exercise is …
I’m really into yoga, Pilates, horse riding, skateboarding, and then in the gym I do light weight training – nothing to crazy. You always have to make sure that you have a good posture, so using correct techniques to avoid injuries is important when using weights.

Do you own a horse, and do you get to ride much?
I ride horses from a place called Gallop New York City and you go to a little farm in the woods and do a bit of riding, it’s nice to escape outside of the city. It’s great.

My favourite detox is …
I love to detox with a nice spa day. There’s a place in New York called Ancient Bath, they have both super hot and super cold pools. And salt pools, so you can go from one to the other. They also do massages and the food is amazing. Very nice way to set you up for the day.

My favourite retox is …
I am so easy when it comes to food, I eat everything. 80 per cent of the time I’m vegetarian, but I eat everything like pasta, sweets, savoury. Everything. I always make sure I’m fully hydrated because I’m travelling [and] flying so much, I’m always keeping up my electrolytes.

My beauty icon is …
I have more than one: Angelina Jolie [and] Michelle Obama.

 The best advice on beauty I’ve received is …
Learning to embrace yourself, knowing that beauty comes from within and I think that will give you more confidence. And confidence will make you beautiful.

The best health advice I’ve received is …
Actually, recently a friend of mine told me that I should never drink coffee before food. And it changed my body, it made me feel a lot better. Sometimes it would made me feel sick, you know just like too much caffeine. So, it feels a lot better eating first, drinking water and then having the coffee after.

The product I can’t live without is …
I have a few. I cannot live without my liquid blush from L’Oreal – magic blush I use that a lot, and a sun cream. And of course, my eyebrow gel. 

What’s your favourite memory from the campaign?
The day that it was raining. It was raining so much it was crazy because you know Namibia only rains like once a year, and we were there for that one day. And the sky was just crazy with all the colours that you could imagine –  from yellow, to purple, to blue. Everything. It was just insane. And because we couldn’t shoot at the time because of the rain, we had a break and I went to the horses and I was feeding them carrots. It was really nice to just bond with the animals like this so that they were ready for the action.

Did you have to ride the horses?
Yes, I did 80 per cent of my stunts.

Was it scary?
No, I was having so much fun. There are not many things in life that makes me scared. And for me to have the opportunity to participate I was really excited. And when you have a connection with the horse that you’re riding it’s like the horse watches out for you, so he could feel my vibe like when I’m ready to go or not you know. One time when I was scared of the cars the horse reacted and bucked, so I had a bit of a bond with them which was really special. There were four different horses, we had to switch them out, and each of them had a different personality.

Do you have any acting projects in the works or are you just studying at the moment?
What’s most important to me right now is to really master a technique and develop a good technique, because once you have done that you then can become freer in your work as an actor. Which is what I was practicing while I was in the summer program for six weeks in New York and it was going really well, I was really enjoying it. My teacher basically made me go back to the two-year program, so I signed up. You really open yourself up so much and get so much out of it.

Do you have an earliest memory of a scent?
At about five years old I had this cherry tree in front of my house that I always used to climb and get cherries to eat. And my Dad went on a work trip and he brought me back a little fragrance and it smelled exactly like those cherries. I think that’s why I love Olympea so much, because they have fruit and I’ve always like the fruity scent.