It’s hard to miss Elyse Knowles - tall, svelte and with honey-dipped limbs, it’s no wonder she has become one of Australia’s most popular models. And, more recently, stolen the show as a formidable contestant on home reno reality program The Block. With that, her portfolio is now packed to its glamorous brim; she has faced ulta3 and Guess Denim, been an ambassador for the ATC Sydney Autumn Carnival and has worked for big brands such as Myer, Billabong, Bras 'n' Things and ModelCo. She too boasts an Instagram following of over half a million, a big feat for the blonde bombshell. However, a stiletto-step away from glossed up pages, Miss Knowles is a quintessential Aussie girl. She is laid back, unperturbed and a self-confessed tomboy, who sports a backwards cap and bikini in favour of gown and heels. In short, we love her.
On a recent trip to Melbourne, the bubbly Elyse welcomed us into the home she shares with her boyfriend, Josh, and their playful pooch, Isla. Despite the final stages of a renovation, we were able capture some of the magic that has skyrocketed her star and chat openly about makeup, modelling and morning smoothies.
“I was always the one pushing my brother and sister out of the way in a photo…
…standing there with a big cheesy grin. Although I was a very shy kid, my mum saw through that [and she] was actually the one that got me into modelling. I started when I was ten, so she was my modelling taxi for eight years until I got my licence. I went to hundreds of castings, including travelling overseas at the age of 15 and 18, trying to get my break. I have always been very motivated to succeed, but given l started so young it’s been a lot of hard work to get to where l am now. And I still have a long way to go.
If I wasn't a model, I would have been a makeup artist.
I've always loved beauty. I love the creativity and that you can express your personal style through makeup. I love finding new products. I love experimenting even though my drawer of make up is exploding, especially since coming on board as an ambassador for ulta3. I’m like a kid in a candy store! But, there is a fine line between too much make up and being just right. Light and beautiful is the way to go.
I’m all about bronzed, glowing skin.
When I’m working, it’s all about contouring, highlighting and a smoky eye. I always have to go with a clean face and hair, so l make sure that l am cleansed and moisturised. If I'm going out, I like to go heavier to make my eyes pop and make my contouring and highlighting more dominant. Whereas on the weekend, it's minimal.
On a day off I’m usually at the beach…
…so a CC cream, a touch of volume & curl mascara with a little bronzer is all I need. My face is usually a lot lighter than my body so my ulta3 big bronzer is my best friend. - natural, bronzed and edgy when I need to stand out.
My brows are one of my favourite features…
…so l spend a lot of time on them. I love them to be thick and bushy, so eyebrow gel or wax is key. I love doing my eyes; I'm in love with the Eye Shadow palette in Choc-Ice. I blend with matte browns – they really make my blue eyes pop. My eyes are actually getting bluer over time, so it's such a bonus!
A cotton tip can save all mistakes and help create clean lines when applying mascara.
I use single eyelash extensions; I never use the full strip ones as it’s just too heavy. I use products that have moisture, it gives a dewy effect and I always have clean brushes. Buy a range of brushes because they all do different things and blend, blend, blend!
First thing I do for my skin is jump in the shower and cleanse my face…
…with Medik8 products including gentleCleanse foaming cleanser. Then for moisturiser, I’m currently using Ultraceuticals Ultra Hydrating Lotion. I always make sure with any moisturiser that it has SPF, as you always want to protect your face from the sun to stay looking young and healthy for as long as possible. Then I head to the kitchen - it's not just what you put on your skin, it’s also what you put into your body to help your skin.
I have been getting Clear and Brilliant laser treatments on my face from Victorian Dermal in Kew.
They are the best. They help eliminate fine lines, and bring up all the imperfections so they are no longer stuck under the skin. It makes your skin go red and peel for a few days but it’s worth it - I just have to plan a time when I'm not working for four days. I get facials every so often too. I do a lot to keep my face looking young and vibrant, we do have to keep it forever!
I started having skin problems in my twenties.
So it's been a constant struggle to find a product that helps my breakouts over the years. Hormones have had a big role to play, [which] is so hard to get under control. I’ve finally found a solution in Proplenish. It’s loaded with collagen and has been a blessing for my skin. I put it in my water everyday and saw a big difference in just three weeks.
My hair is very important to me.
It constantly gets damaged by people curling, straightening, brushing and yanking my hair all day. It’s all part of the business, so when I get home from work it’s straight into damage control. Using a good shampoo and conditioner is crucial.
I use Eleven Hydrate My Hair products and good old coconut oil.
I soak it over night and wash my hair in the morning. It’s also important to get a regular haircut. [I go to] Joey Scandizzo Salon for all my haircuts and colours. Another favourite is the Eleven Miracle Hair Serum which l use after washing my hair, applying to the ends when wet. Then I let it dry naturally - it creates a barrier, nourishing the hair and strengthens.
Lemon water is always a good way to start the day…
…or apple cider vinegar with some water - it really kick starts your body. Then it’s onto a Vitamix cranking smoothie with all the vitamins and minerals I need in a day to keep me going.
I absolutely love having my special smoothie in the mornings.
The main ingredient I can't do it without is The Super Elixir. My smoothie recipe is: 1 frozen banana, 1/4 almond milk, 1 teaspoon of cocoa and 1/2 cup crushed ice. I also add in 1 tablespoon of Amazonia Slim and Tone Protein and quite a few of their powders. Toppings are great because I like my bowl to be thick and crunchy so it feels like a well rounded meal. I add seeded mix (adds some fibre and extra crunch) and hemp seeds which are rich in essential fatty acids. They help to sustain energy levels, keeping me going until lunchtime.
I try and eat as many fresh veggies and fruits as possible.
I eat a lot of fish and also add in some tofu. I try and minimise processed sugars. Sometimes it doesn't all go to plan, especially when I’m travelling or on a work trip. But I always have healthy snacks on me just in case, like: almonds (raw, toasted or tamari), bananas, sometimes a raw treat - either homemade or a bought protein chocolate ball - and raw muesli bars in my bag. I make time during the week to go to the market to get fresh fruit and veggies. Most importantly I try and keep a positive mind. Keep happy and always think of the bright side of things, and smile!
My phone never stops, so I have to create phone free times…
…where Josh, Isla and I can relax at home in peace. We either go for a walk or snuggle up on the couch. I relax when I'm finally home; no more airports, pulling around a suitcase, stressing over work and, most importantly, when my phone is turned off.
Exercise is my time.
I always make time for my body. I dedicate time every day to exercise. If I don't, I feel terrible. I allow an hour for exercise, but even a quick 30 min walk with the dog [is great]. I've been hitting F45 training in Brunswick. It's one of the best workouts I have ever done. It's a high intensity, big calorie burner; I'm lifting weights and keeping toned. I alternate between going with Josh at 5am or I go a little later at 7am. Then I walk Isla when I get home if I have time.
On the weekend I'm chilled, relaxed and a tad tomboy.
During the week I’m much more playful – a bit more chic and sophisticated. I love playing with trends and changing up my style.
I love playing around with pastels – it suits my complexion.
Zimmermann is a big favourite of mine at the moment. I always love to represent Aussie labels; I know how hard it is to get a brand up and going and then to be noticed, especially at a high level. It's important to me to support our local designers. My favourites are Manning Cartell, Alice McCall and White Suede."
Story by Chrisanthi Kaliviotis; Photography by Ed Purnomo; Makeup by Mae Taylor; Hair by Lauren MacKellar; Fashion styling by Simone Farrugia. All clothing, shoes and accessories from Chadstone - The Fashion Capital.