Statuesque, confident and perfectly presented, Ksenija Lukich is a head-turner. So, it’s little wonder the former model beat a plethora of hopefuls to land a dream gig as Australia’s first ever E! News host on E! Down Under. Since taking centre stage, the role sees her interviewing the biggest stars in the celebrity galaxy, whilst maintaining an über glamorous façade. But, away from the bright lights, she is eloquent, friendly and a self-proclaimed makeup geek.
Beauticate was lucky enough to be invited into the Art Deco apartment she shares with fiancé, Dan, in Sydney’s Elizabeth Bay. The abode was adorned with eclectic bits and bobs and, to our delight, a serious space dedicated to beauty. We were dying to know the makeup aficionado’s tips and tricks so it was lucky Ksenija was open to sharing her fabulous beauty insights along with her culinary conquests and the workout that keeps her fit on film.
“I wasn’t allowed to wear makeup when I was younger.
Maybe that’s why I’m so obsessed with it now. When I went to school – I don’t know if my parents even know this – I used to leave the house in the morning with no makeup on and sneak to my best friend’s house and we’d put eyeliner on. I’d put it right on the inner corner and that’s all I’d wear. Then I’d quickly wash it off before they would get home. Now, on the weekends I try to wear nothing, or just mascara – it’s good to give your face a break. After a long day working when I’ve got a full face of makeup, the first thing I want to do is wash my face, lather moisturiser on and just hang out.
I still watch YouTube tutorials on how to do makeup…
…because I love it, I love seeing how people do different things. If I could do a winged eyeliner like Chloe Morello I think I’d be set! My friends would come over for sleepovers and I’d go, ‘Can I do your makeup?’ I’d do the worst job. We have photos of it and it was shocking. I’ve always really loved playing [with makeup] and when I started modelling I was always so interested in what the makeup artist was doing to me.
I always buy two colours of foundation…
…because I change colour so much; I’ve either got a spray tan or I’m pale, so I mix to make sure I have the right colour. It’s good practise - you’re not going to be the same colour all year. For proper foundation, Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk is the best foundation. I don’t want to admit how many bottles I’ve been through. And Rae Morris Radiance Brush is the best brush in the world. When I’m on camera, the It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye is a really nice concealer. It covers everything and is very thick, so I only put a little bit as a triangle under my eye and pat it in.
I’m very simple when it comes to skincare.
I have this amazing beautician in Double Bay that does my facials, Isabelle Almeida, she’s ah-mazing. She’s old school – she used to do Miranda Kerr’s facials. She recommended a cleanser, Jan Marini, and I use it everyday. I used to have all these under-the-skin pimples and this cleared it up – it’s amazing. I also use the GlamGlow Mask and the Embroylisse Lait Crème Concentrate is the nicest moisturiser. Then twice a week I use a Clarisonic.
I don’t like it when [my hair] looks too perfect.
I wash my hair with a Kevin Murphy Plumping Shampoo. When it’s still wet, I put this O&M Rootalicious Mousse or a Kevin Murphy one through it and let it dry naturally overnight to get a bit of texture. When I tong it, I always spray it with De Lorenzo Sandstorm or L’Oreal Elnett and then I’ll tong and brush it out - it leaves a bit of grit.
I really like smells that aren’t super feminine.
I wear Tom Ford Black Orchid. I’ve had it for a while now. I like that it’s a little bit androgynous. I love candles, as you can probably tell around my house - there's like ten! I love a nice candle – I love the way someone walks in and goes, ‘It smells good [in here]’. I love the Ecoya Violet, Fig and Cassis.
I love cooking. My fondest memories are with my family eating…
…and with my mum in the kitchen cooking. I love cooking something for someone and they go, ‘That’s delicious!’ I love making people feel good, I love entertaining. We have our friends over all the time. For New Years Eve this year we didn’t go out we just had dinner here. I made whole baked snapper and salad and potatoes and a cheeseboard. I’d much rather do that than some crazy party.
I love bread and I really love gluten.
When we’re home, my fiancé and I will cook. It’s pretty simple; I do roast chooks, lots of meat, lots of fish and lots of salad. I eat everything. I have no qualms with food, nothing makes me feel ill. Some people feel unwell when they eat gluten, I personally feel fabulous! It’s delicious! Obviously I don’t eat pasta every night, but occasionally I love a Fratelli pasta or I like to cook pasta. I’m Serbian, I think it influences my appetite! It has a lot to do with the way you’re brought up, and for me…
I never used to like exercise…
…but my fiancé has always exercised a lot and in the last two years, I have started exercising four to five times a week and I love it. I feel so much better. I train with Transform Health; he’s a personal trainer called Jordan Ponder. I train down at the park or at his gym with a lot of circuit and body weight training and he’s incredible. He’s transformed me – I’m so much stronger and fitter. He trains a lot of models (Nic Trunfio, Jess Gomes and VS model Bridget Malcolm) so he gets the lean thing. Then I do yoga twice a week at BodyMindLife. I also do circuit training with Dan - we go to the park or beach or go for a run along Bondi.
I’m really into Australian brands.
I’m wearing a lot of Camilla and Marc. I think I like to be a little bit chic with tailored pants, a high heel and a cropped top but I think overall my style is relatively pretty, with some colour and a little bit sexy. I bought knee-high suede boots in LA – they make me feel like a superhero. But, it’s not all sexy. I’m most obsessed with a pair of Mara and Mine espadrilles from Disneyland, Florida my friend (the designer) sent me.”
Story by Chrisanthi Kaliviotis. Photography by Titus Pengelly, Hair and makeup by Rachel Montgomery.