Exclusive Interview: Irina Shayk, StyleBistro Guest Editor

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Irina Shayk
Soccer, or shall we say futbol, fans know Irina Shayk as the way hot WAG of Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo. But look out, buddy: As this year's Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue covergirl, Irina Shayk is becoming a household name (even if to the chagrin of envious wives).

But be nice, ladies. This perfectly lovely Russian beauty is a proponent of putting good vibes out into the world. She says, "Positive emotions always make you beautiful."

But Irina does have a few real beauty tricks up her sleeve—chamomile ice cubes, anyone? Check out an excerpt below from our interview with StyleBistro guest editor Irina Shayk, or get the whole story here!

SB: Why do so many beautiful women come from Russia?

Russia is a very big country populated with people of many origins, so you can find many different types of beauties—not only of the so-called Slavic type, but also Brazilian-looking, Asian-looking… And in my country, women spend a lot of time on beauty rituals and take very good care of themselves. Natural beauty is carefully cherished and is brought to perfection by make-up, clothes and the unique combination of little things that are called 'personal charm.'

SB: What is your diet and fitness routine?
I never really diet. I think that a person can eat what she likes and do some exercises to be in shape—doesn't matter if it's going to be gym or swimming, walking in a park or pilates. It should be a pleasure as positive emotions always make you beautiful! I personally love going to [the] gym! I have a great trainer, and work out three to five times a week. When I travel, I try to work out at least three times a week. It’s very important for me. After it, I feel full of energy!

SB: What are your skincare secrets?
I spend a lot of time in the sun due to my work, so I always protect my skin. I use a sunscreen with high SPF index, an after-sun lotion for my face and special sun-protecting homemade oils that I get on Seychelles or the Bahamas for my body. In the morning, I like to rub my face with an ice cube made of chamomile infusion or green tea. I love to moisturize my skin with a slice of fresh cucumber. And I love a Russian sauna—banya—and always use there a special scrub that I make myself—I mix honey and sea salt. I use only this scrub for my face and body.

SB: You recently landed your first Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover…congrats! How does it feel?
It was the best day of my life! Nobody knew who would be on the cover as it was kept top secret till the last moment. When I was at [the] David Letterman show with nine other SI models, I had no idea that I will be on the cover! And when the curtain [fell] down and I saw the cover, I was so happy that I even cried…it was like living in a fairytale! I always loved working with SI, and of course I dreamt about being on the cover as all the SI models do. But when my dream came true, it was a very special moment for me.

SB: You've also done high-fashion shoots for magazines including Elle and Harper's Bazaar Spain. How do those experiences differ from swimsuit shoots, and which do you prefer?
I was lucky to work with great photographers for those shoots—Santiago Esteban and Rafa Gallar. When a photographer is great, the shooting feels like an adventure and a lot of fun. Mainly the difference between the shootings for swimsuit and fashion is in the location: For swimsuit, it’s often [at a] beach in some exotic place, but for fashion it can be anywhere. I like both!

SB: How would you describe your personal style?
I like to mix styles. For example, it can be a pair of simple jeans and [a] T-shirt with a Chanel bag. I like bags and shoes—they always add a personal touch to any clothes. And I love underwear. I think that a woman in beautiful underwear feels very confident and sexy even if she wears a business suit or jeans. I love Intimissimi lingerie because it feels like second skin, is very sexy and beautiful.

SB: Of all the cities you traveled to for work, which is the most stylish?
I love Italy, and Milan is definitely one of the most stylish cities in the world—Italian people dress beautifully and are very elegant. But my favorite city in the world is New York. You can find everything in New York. It’s very energetic and is always on the top of fashion and trends.

SB: What are your favorite places to shop?
As I live in New York, I usually go shopping in New York. My favorite stores are Scoop, Intermix, Jill Stuart, Blue and Cream. When I come to Milan, I always check [the] Intimissimi store to make sure that I have all the new collection, and I love to discover small shops in new towns.

SB: What is your definition of "sexy?"
My definition of sexy is very simple: You need to be yourself, natural, the way you are. It’s the most attractive thing in the world. People who love themselves the way they are are always very sexy and attractive.

Irina Shayk's 15 Hottest Red Carpet Looks
Irina knows how to make a statement—and it's a hot one. From her signature bandage dresses to sequins and vibrant frocks, check out this Sports Illustrated cover girl's hottest red carpet looks!
A Scorpio, wife and mother of weiner dogs with a crack-like addiction to fashion. Follow me: Twitter
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