Simple makeup has always worked best for me. I grew up in Florida, and I think that may be part of the reason. I was really involved with showing horses, and that’s actually why I first wore makeup: Before the horse shows, my mom or older sister would help me put on lipstick or some eyeshadow. It was never about pageantry; it was a little confidence boost that helped me feel more put together.

The other reason I usually do more natural makeup is my personality. I’m a talker—and I don’t have a filter. Plus, I’m always smiling. I think if I walked into a room wearing neon or lots of makeup, people would be like, « Whoa, it’s all too much! » So I tone down my makeup for balance.

My everyday look is based on something a makeup artist once told me, which is, « Start with pretty. » I brush out my brows, put on a bit of brown shadow and mascara, and then perfect my skin with Bobbi Brown’s concealer kit. You can always add a lip color and enhance it from there, but if you start with pretty, then it’s more about the woman than the makeup. That’s Bobbi’s philosophy, too. I remember a few years ago when I saw her Pretty Powerful campaign everywhere, and I was like, « She gets it. » Her message has always been that inner beauty comes first, which is how I feel.

Take Instagram. I want to post a #wokeuplikethis photo and have it be what I actually look like waking up. If you’re touching up your photo or putting on makeup before taking a #wokeuplikethis picture, what does that say? If we all toned it down a bit, and weren’t retouching our own photos so much, that might send a message.

Regardless, wearing makeup isn’t the same as retouching—it’s something I do for myself. It’s a look. It completes my outfit. I mean, you buy nice shoes to make an awesome outfit, and it makes you feel good. Putting on makeup is the same.

Good, no, fantastic news! In celebration of the new Bobbi Brown Hot Collection, Kate Upton is taking over the Marie Claire Twitter account on February 24 at 1 p.m. EST. Tweet your beauty questions for Kate to @MarieClaire with the hashtag #KateOnBeauty, and she’ll answer them LIVE!

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The new Mario Sorrenti-shot Express campaign features bombshell Kate Upton, and aside from the entire super-hot supermodel thing, it turns out she has a lot in common with me (and, therefore, you). I got to preview the pretty pics and then asked her to spill a few of her fashion firsts.

First-date outfit?

« My first date was to the movies, and I wore jeans and an Abercrombie shirt. »

First pair of high heels?

« A pair of gray BCBG heels. I think I still have them! »

First expensive fashion item you bought for yourself?

« The first thing I bought to celebrate a great moment in my career was a Prada purse. »

First thing you bought from Express?

« Jeans! »

First outfit you felt exactly like yourself in?

« I love jeans, boots, and a leather jacket. »

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