BLACK SKINNED BEAUTY ALEK WEK TALKS ON HELPING AFRICA!-FROM ELLE MAGAZINE

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FROM ELLE MAGAZINE

ALEK Wek Talks Philanthropy and Her $3.69 Beauty Secret

December 13 2:53 PM

Faran Krentcil | Fashion News

Photo: Alek Wek in Topshop

In this busy world, even models multi-task. There are model-slash-actresses (Milla Jovovich, Lily Cole…), model-slash-DJs (Harley Viera-Newton, Leigh Lezark…), and even model-slash-chess-champions (way to go, Carmen Kass).

Alek Wek is exceptional, but she’s also no exception: She’s a model-slash-human-rights-activist, and she works with everyone from the United Nations to Doctors Without Borders, helping communities in her home country of Sudan, as well as countless other developing nations.

We caught up with the 5’11 goddess (who also designs a line of handbags, Wek 1933, for the British department store Selfridges) at Topshop’s Other Ball, thrown to support the children’s welfare charity Arms Around the Child. (Then Leonardo DiCaprio walked in and the Black Keys started playing, and we thought perhaps this was actually a dream…)

You’re a UN Ambassador and a UNICEF volunteer. Why add Arms Around the Child to your plate?

There’s never too much you can do. I met [the charity’s president] Leigh [Blake] when she was at Keep a Child Alive, and her mission was providing AIDS drugs to children in Africa and other countries. There are over three million [children] living with HIV around the world, and 90% of them are in Africa. Those numbers are much too high! We need to do everything we can to protect the health and welfare of children around the world, but fortunately it’s getting easier to provide things like medication and care. But we still have to work hard to make that happen!

This was labeled as the first “Punk Rock Charity Ball.”

Why not? It’s all about being heard for your cause.

You’re wearing a very sparkly dress. We’re having an office debate about whether sequins are still cool…

Yes! Yes, yes, yes! This dress is from Topshop. I like it with leggings and boots, that way it feels more rock n’ roll.

Is that the right way to wear sequins?

I don’t really believe in a “right way” but when I do it, I like to wear it with not a lot of makeup… no colored lipstick or anything…

But you don’t need any makeup because your skin is incredible! Please tell us a model secret for winter beauty.

[Laughing] I use Johnson & Johnson! I use their baby oil gel. That’s it!

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