Kelsey Merritt is living an unusual usual model life. She’s currently a student in Ateneo and also signed to Wilhelmina Models in New York City. She juggles that on top of other endorsement projects under her sleeve, which also includes being Maybelline’s new ambassador. It’s like how Tyra Banks had to split her time to study in high school and do modeling gigs back in the day.
In this quick #PreenPopQuiz, we got a glimpse of what Kelsey deals with as a model and student, as well as her go-to products and what it was like working with Gigi Hadid.
As a model and student, how do you balance everything?
It’s really crazy. I have some pretty crazy stories actually. [One time,] I had to do my papers [on a plane since it was the middle of the semester.] I was so tired because of the time difference, but I never missed deadlines. Even though I wanted to sleep, I really couldn’t put it aside. It’s worked for me so far.
Any other crazy stories?
So, I’m a student ‘di ba? I get emails from my agency that I have to leave the country for a shoot, and this happens in the middle of the semester.
Like this one time in third year college, I got an email from my agency that I got confirmed for Vera Wang. They told me that they’ll send my flight details soon. Since there’s a time difference, I usually get emails in the middle of the night. One day, it was weird that I woke up [at 6 a.m.] and I looked at my email, and saw that they had sent me my flight details. My flight was three hours after they’d sent me the email. So I woke up and said to myself, “I have a flight to New York in three hours—haven’t showered, haven’t packed, haven’t even told my parents yet.”
On the way to the airport, I called my mom and told her that I’m going to New York. She was like, “What?!”
What do you usually bring with you, especially for impromptu trips?
Prior to the Vera Wang call, I pretty much know what I need to bring. So it’s just a check list in my head of what to put in my bag. Just the basics—clothes, underwear, makeup. Especially if you come from a flight, you have to be fresh and look good. Makeup just makes you feel better.
What are the beauty products you usually bring to touch up?
I actually like Maybelline’s micellar water to remove my makeup. My skin’s really sensitive and it just doesn’t go well with other products. I use this because it’s not harsh on the skin and it takes off my makeup really well, and I like carrying it around.
What’s your current go-to lipstick shade?
I love Maybelline’s Powder Mattes in Touch of Nude. I’ve been waiting for it for months and it’s finally here. I also like the one I’m wearing right now which Plum Perfection. It’s really nice because it’s that perfect dark red color.
When and where would you wear pink, nude, and red lipstick?
It actually depends on my mood. I think makeup best expresses what I feel and my mood. If I feel like I just want red lipstick, I just put it on. But on days where I want to go for that no-makeup makeup look, I go for nude lipstick.
Are you also into glossy and metallic shades?
Hmm, yeah. You know, I’m always open to try new things. (Laughs) But I like mattes more.
You mentioned earlier that you worked with Gigi Hadid. How was it?
It was May 2015. She wasn’t as big yet—she only had five million followers then, now she has 30 million. I feel like if I shot with her now, I would’ve freaked out more because I love Gigi. I wish I took a photo with her because she’s so gorgeous and nice.
Our shoot was in the middle of spring and she was in a dress. That was freezing for her! I was in a leather jacket and she actually gave us heating pads. We weren’t given heating pads, then she gave us hers. I thought it was very nice of her and it was her initiative.