Not every 27-year-old can say they’ve been building on their dream career for half their lives, but model Megan Blake Irwin isn’t your average girl. Scouted in her early teens, she hit the high points of the down under fashion scene (walking for David Jones, being featured in Vogue Australia) before the siren song of the US called. Now based in LA after a few years in the Big Apple, she is represented by none other than Storm, the iconic modelling agency that signed a freshly-discovered Kate Moss back in the day. She spoke with us about what she loves most about the shift from the east coast grind to laidback California, and the beauty staples she relies on thanks to the recommendations of a certain Australian skin expert.

“I was brought up by the beach in Adelaide. My older sister Kirsty and I were outdoor babies, who loved anything to do with the sun and surf. 

Kirsty was the first to get into modelling. I went with our mum to pick her up from a shoot one day, and the photographer said that they would love to shoot me, and that I should think about getting into it. I eventually got scouted and the rest is history. I haven’t stopped working since then and I can whole heartedly say that I love what I do. I feel truly blessed for what it has given me and where it has taken me. To me being a model isn’t just my job it’s a massive part of my identity.

I’ve learned so many valuable life lessons through modelling, which have opened my mind to many incredible things.

I feel so grateful to have the pleasure of getting to know the amazing and talented people I work with. And the travel is incredible, of course. Being able to see the world from such a young age really shaped me into the person I am today, as I had to be much more mature and self-reliant than I maybe would have been otherwise.

The downside of this life is definitely being away from my family, but that’s life, isn’t it? Highs and lows. Once you learn the balance and are more used to what to expect, it isn’t so bad after all.

I have a love/hate relationship with social media.

It has been instrumental for me and my career in so many ways, and a wonderful platform for me to connect with my followers, but I would be lying if I said that I hadn’t felt the weight of the negativity that also comes with it.

I have learned a lot through trial and error. I have become more conscious of what I share and what I keep private these days. I have seen first-hand how easy it is for a post or comment to be completely misconstrued or open up a channel into bullying and negativity. 

My relationship with my body and with the comments I receive about it as a model haven’t always been simple. I have had my fair share of struggles throughout my life and career with self-esteem.

Now I am in my late twenties and have been modelling for almost 15 years, I can see that it is true what they say about loving yourself more as you get older. I really feel the happiest, healthiest, and confident I have ever been.

For me, a lot of insecurities really subsided when I learned not to take everything so personally, and prioritise what truly makes me happy. I know that I am doing the best that I can in every situation I find myself in, and I find comfort in having a great support network who want to see me win.

I consciously try to use difficult life experiences as a catalyst to learn.

On Christmas Eve a few years ago, I received a phone call from my sister, telling me that our father had a Stage 5 brain aneurysm. I was living in Miami at the time, and not able to get a flight until the following day. Being all the way across the world during moments like that is one of the most challenging parts of my life. It can be really difficult being away from those I love the most, who are back at home. It can make you feel distant and helpless.

Of course, along with the rest of the world, I found the pandemic an extremely difficult time, and it was heartbreaking to be separated from my family and friends. My grandfather passed away during it, so not being able to attend his funeral was particularly upsetting. It did bring me a sense comfort to watch the whole world come together and unite in such unprecedented times, though.

As I got older, I realised that where I lived was the key to my happiness and state of mind. I simply fell in love with LA, and so I made the move!

I crave nature and time outdoors, so it has everything I love going for it – the beautiful sunny weather, hiking trails, the beach… and if that somehow ever gets boring, you can drive to Malibu for the day or go into The Hills to relax and take in the city lights.

I still love New York for its electricity and fast pace, but after many years of living there I was ready to slow things down, ground myself and start my next chapter. I made a choice a long time ago to live overseas and it is truly where I find the most joy, even on days where it pains me to be away from all the people that mean the most to me. On those hard days, I remind myself of all the reasons why I do what I do, why I live so far away and what this brings to me in the long run. My family worked hard so I could have the opportunities to work, live and love the way I do; I know their happiness also comes from me living my truth.

The biggest lessons in my life so far have been about following my heart, and knowing that life is too short to not experience everything the world has to offer us all.

I think it’s powerful and sexy to love the skin that you’re in. Be kind to yourself, only use words of love towards yourself, and then you can further nourish your body through food and movement.

I always start the day by brushing my teeth! Then I down a litre of water. I’m not the best morning person so I always have to jump straight into the shower to wake up properly – for me, this is my coffee. I prefer to exercise in the mornings rather than the evenings as it gives me energy and makes me feel like I can get the best out of my day. I will either train with my trainer, train at my home gym or use The Pilates Class app on my iPad.

Breakfast for me depends if I’m on the go or not. If it’s a day where I am on set early, I will make a superfood smoothie and take it to work with me, and usually also take a banana and some nuts for a snack. If I am at home and have the time, I will make an egg with avocado on gluten-free toast, topped with micro greens, lemon, and hot sauce (I have a very real obsession with hot sauce and anything involving chilli!) After I have eaten, I take my morning supplements: probiotics, vitamins C and D, zinc, fish oil and turmeric.

Skincare is my one true love! I live and breathe it, it’s always been something I put a lot of time, money and effort into.

For me, having good skin is where I draw a lot of confidence from, so I put a lot of time into testing and research skincare. Most importantly, I always make time for my skincare routine, no matter what.

For sure, hands down my favourite beauty product is Augustinus Bader The Rich Cream. I have been using it for a few years since Melanie Grant put me onto it and it’s changed the way I see skincare! It truly is a one stop shop for perfectly balanced, supple, plump, hydrated skin, that’s beautifully clear. I have been going to Melanie for facials since I was 19. Being in one of her studios – whether I’m in LA or when I’m home in Australia  – is my happy place.

My top tips for taking care of your skin are to drink lots of water, and to always use sunscreen (yes, even in winter). Also, if you are someone prone to breakouts, do not prod at your skin, and don’t touch your face with dirty fingers My mother taught me that when I was younger, and I thank her for it every day.

I double cleanse my face morning and night with Cosmedix Purity Clean Exfoliating Cleanser.

I’ve been using this since i was about 19 years old, and for me it is the best face wash around. Just make sure you don’t use it on your eye area.

Then I alternate between two serums, using either Cosmedix Simply Brilliant 24/7 Brightening Serum or iS Clinical Pro-Heal Serum Advance+  to keep my complexion even and clear. I like to let each layer of skincare that I use sink into the skin for a minute or two so it absorbs properly. Around my eye area, I apply either Cosmedix Opti Crystal Liquid Crystal Eye Serum or La Mer The Eye Concentrate. And then it’s time for my beloved Augustinus Bader The Rich Cream. The products in the First Aid Beauty range are incredible and much more affordable than a lot of others that I use. I love their Ultra Repair Cream in particular.

My nighttime skincare is a little longer tham my morning routine. I double cleanse with the same Cosmedix cleanser, then i use Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 on a cotton round. I do not rub it into the skin as I find that too harsh; it’s a very strong exfoliant. so it can irritate if you’re not careful. Then I apply a retinoid; I love the Jan Marini Age Intervention Duality which is really great if you’re having a break out. I love using face masks, and probably do two a week. I use a lot of hydrating masks, as I am often in dry climates, whether it’s just living in LA or flying a lot. Some of my favourites are Jan Marini Skin Zyme Mask, and Biologique Recherche Crème Masque Vernix (I love to put this on at night on clean skin and sleep in it). I also use the FAB Pharma Arnica Relief & Rescue Mask and Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask a lot.

I have learned lots of good little tips over the years sitting in makeup artists’ chairs.

I wouldn’t call it a trick, so to speak, but I like to always do my eyebrows. I think it helps to shape the face, and even if you don’t wear any other makeup, you can still look a little polished. I use the Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil in Platinum Blonde.

My hair is naturally slightly wavy, so on days when I’m not working, I try to lean into that and not blowdry it. I will always air dry my hair when I can, because I have heat on it so often for work, which is so damaging.

Hair care-wise, Fudge is my go-to brand. I have been colouring my hair since I was a teenager, and using Fudge for just as long, so I’ve seen for years how important it is to find the right shampoo, conditioner and treatment to enhances my blonde. The Fudge Clean Blonde Violet Toning Shampoo really helps with neutralising my hair and removing any brassy tones, which is a lifesaver. Once a week I love to do the Fudge Clean Blonde Damage Rewind Violet Toning Treatment, which is an intense treatment which helps with tone as well as hydration.

I recently moved into beautiful new house in Venice with my 2-year-old French bulldog, Valentine.

It is hard for me to relax and switch off sometimes, so I really try to meditate as much as possible – the Calm app has been a great support with this. I find a lot of happiness walking with Valentine by the beach each morning –it always feels very therapeutic and centering. I think something people may not realise about me is that I am someone who really lives from my heart. I am just like everyone else in the world who is trying to do their best to learn, to love and to figure life out during these crazy times that we’re all living in.”

Story by Zoe Briggs. Photography by David Higgins for Fudge Haircare, and select images from Megan’s personal collection. Megan has a paid relationship with Fudge Haircare.

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