Supermodel Monika Schnarre Shares Her Beauty Secrets

I finally got a pair of oversized glasses—and then got to chat to the woman who made them!

Like my new glasses? Yes, I know, I'm a few seasons late to the gigantic hipstery eyeglasses trend—but I don't care. I feel the same way about them as I did skinny jeans: it may have taken me a while to embrace the new silhouette, but once I did, there was simply no going back. (Even if they're telling us to wear wide legs for fall.)

And if I may make another skinny jeans comparison? You know how many so-called fashun experts preach that curvy girls should avoid the skinnies in favour of boot-leg jeans (which I SWEAR are way less flattering)? Well, it's the same thing in eyewear. Every time I've gone to get new glasses, the optician steers me toward the boring 1990s frames (which "suit my face") and away from the statement glasses that I really wanted.

Well, not this time. THANK YOU MONIKA SCHNARRE, Canada's first supermodel. You see, she's all grown up now (age 40—how did that happen?) and just came out with her very own eyewear collection in partnership with Optiq Frames. Each pair runs about $200 and I was invited to select one—happy, happy day!—so of course I went for these. Then I got to interview Monika herself and she confirmed that there are no more rules about choosing your frames (a theme that you know I love, whether in eyewear or in makeup). Here's our Q&A on glasses trends, beauty tips and more...

What led you to launch your own eyewear collection?

After launching my line of clothing on The Shopping Channel two years ago, I wanted to branch out into accessories. The opportunity for eyewear presented itself and I jumped at it. I've always loved and worn eyewear and felt that it was very timely. Eyewear is no longer limited to functionality—people are wearing it now more than ever as a fashion accessory. It was a perfect fit.

What are the big trends happening right now in eyewear and sunglasses?

Monika Schnarre: The retro look is very current, supported by shows like Mad Men. The geek chic frame in either tortoise or black has become very popular. From trendsetting street-stylers to a woman doing her daily errands, this trend works for everyone.

[In sunglasses,] aviators have made a huge comeback, as well as the oversized frames that are bigger than the ones Jackie O wore, if you can believe it!

Which are your favourite pieces from your collection that you wear yourself?

I'm in love with my new aviators that have my signature pink and brown colours on the temples. [NOTE: Monika's sunglasses collection is launching this fall!] I also love the oversized tortoise frames because I have a big head! [These are the ones I'm wearing too, but I have them in brown...]

How do you determine which frames suit you? Are there any rules you should follow?

The rules have really gone out the window. Women with smaller faces and finer features are rocking huge frames, small frames and everything in between. It's really up to you. If you're not too daring... I would buy one conservative pair of frames for the office/work and other frames that are more fashion-forward for an evening on the town. Try a splash of colour.

How would you describe your look?

My look is very understated... I stick to classic lines and wear lots of black; however, I'm currently living on an island in Muskoka so it's all about flip flops, bikini tops as bras and summer dresses!

What's the best beauty tip you learned from modelling?

I have about a hundred makeup tips that I've gleaned from the most amazing makeup artists, but one that I particularly love is taking off all of my makeup with eye makeup remover. It's one step and gentle on the face. Also, Clarins has a one step makeup remover that I love.

If your beauty regimen is easy, you're more likely to be consistent. It's all about simplicity and making life less complicated.

How do you take care of your skin and hair?

I've been using moisturizer ever since I was 13 morning and night. I also exfoliate every third day or so with an exfoliant from my esthetician. You don't have to spend a lot of money either—if I'm out of my regular moisturizer I'll just use Nivea and my skin loves it.

When I'm not working, I only wash my hair once a week and let it drip dry. It shocks me how many women wash their hair every day. It's too hard on the hair and just not necessary. In Europe, once a week is standard.

If you were stranded on a desert island with only three beauty products, which ones would you take?

Kiehl's Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50, tweezers and a razor.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I'm really inspired by what people are wearing on the street. The oversized frames in my collection were inspired by seeing Japanese schoolgirls wearing these large black frames. I also scour the internet for inspiration; namely, celebrity trends.

What's next for you?

Right now, I'm working on a line of cosmetic bags and silver jewellery that I hope to have in stores across Canada very soon. It's hard to find the perfect makeup bag!

Love it, Monika! You can check out the eyeglasses collection here, and like I said, sunglasses are up next this fall.

Tell me:

Did you know Monika was a modelpreneur?

Do you agree that there are no more rules when it comes to choosing your frames?

Do you like the idea of "statement glasses"—even if you've got 20/20 vision?

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