Plus Model Lauren Koenig Talks About Her Favorite Beauty Must Haves, Respecting & Appreciating Yourself, and More!

Lyall Aston Photography / Amatullah El-Amin (LaLa) Hair and Makeup / Vanessa Albalat Styling

Lauren A. Koenig is an internationally represented plus model, new to the industry and taking it by storm. She was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago. Her appreciation for the arts spawned as a young girl and she credits her creative mind, interests, and abilities to her artistic upbringing. She swam competitively throughout childhood, high school, and college. She graduated from Ball State University with a B.A. in Telecommunications and a minor in French. Following graduation, she moved to Nancy, France where she worked as an English professor and backpacked throughout Europe.

After a two-year stint in web design for an international culinary travel company in Chicago, in 2009 she decided to take on a completely new career and started modeling. Her hard work and determination has led to representation in nine different countries as a plus model and her portfolio continues to grow. Her passions are broad ranged – she spends her time dabbling in Photoshop, painting, or traveling anywhere she can. Her most favorite place in the world is her family’s lake cottage in Ontario, Canada. Lauren is also known for her upbeat personality – always empowering those around her – and her own personal motto: “On a scale of 1-10, I’m a 12!”

Rod Roberts Photography / Jess Elizabeth Artistry

How do you think plus modeling is helping to redefine beauty? 

I don’t think that plus modeling is redefining beauty at all. I think it has simply been an aid to those who have had their eyes closed for so long. 

What advice would you give to aspiring plus-size models? 

Many think modeling is an extremely self-indulging industry, which couldn’t be further from the truth. In order to get a great photo, you need a great photographer, makeup artist, hair stylist, designer, and lastly… the model. Modeling is a collaborative effort for all to partake in. Once you realize that each photo shoot is a project, and that it IS NOT about you… it’s about the jewelry, clothing or product you are showing; you will succeed. 

Respect yourself – think twice about what ‘type’ of shoot you want to partake in and how it will later affect your career. Take matters into your own hands, be the project manager and create shoots, submit to magazines, retailers etc. Make sure everyone benefits from the project and appreciate those you are working with. Finally, you ARE marketing a product – YOU. My number one piece of advice is be “the best person you can be” and LOVE YOURSELF!

Tom Clark Photography / Lelys Malespin Makeup / Hair by Tish / Francisco Azucar Designs

Have you read any good books that help promote positive self-esteem and healthy body image that you would recommend for girls, pre-teens, teens, or women? 

I recently read The Noticer by Andy Andrews. It’s an extremely easy read, but the message and impact is quite intense. This book concentrates on inner beauty and strength…both men and women of all ages can relate. I believe real beauty starts within. If you do not have good energy – a lit and roaring fire on the inside – you will never have anything to shine outward and brighten up someone else’s life…and isn’t that what life is about…helping others and being the best person you can be?

Have you ever struggled with self-esteem or body image issues in the past? If so, how did you reach the point of accepting and loving your body as it is? 

Of course! We all do! However, instead of trying to fight what was given to me, I started channeling my energy inward. I began to build and strengthen my infrastructure – focusing on my ability to understand and better myself. When you know who you are on the inside, you will come to terms with what you see in the mirror. 

What advice would you give to girls and women, who are struggling with body image and self-esteem issues? 

You must first understand that you will never be perfect in everyone’s eyes. There is always room to grow, room to improve, room to better yourself. Life is very short – you are given one body, one mind and one chance… and if you wake up every day and be the best person you can be, then take a moment to appreciate who you are and what you can offer others. When you are comfortable in your own skin, this will reflect in your daily life and in the end… help someone else who may be struggling with self-acceptance as well – always pay it forward.

Alex Ha Photography / Jess Elizabeth Artistry

Where do you like to shop for clothes? 

I prefer quality over quantity…I have always frequented TJ Maxx and Marshalls as they always tend to have my sizes laying around and for reasonable prices. To be honest, I’d rather buy sunglasses, a watch, or a purse over clothing any day!

Do you have a favorite workout routine?

This really depends… I like to change it up a lot, as I swam most of my life and I really fear being stuck in a rut. Spin class and boxing are probably my most favorite workout activities. The more difficult — the better!

What are some of your beauty must haves?

1. Listerine pre-brush whitening mouthwash is a must have! (Nothing sexier than a white smile.)

2. Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer. This really helps your makeup to stay in place when it starts warming up and moving around.

3. Smashbox DNA Mascara – I’ve tried so many mascaras, but this one is incredible!

4. Big Sexy Hair’s volumizing dry shampoo, I go through bottles of this! Especially when living in a big city, it really helps refresh your hair before a big ‘go-see!’

5. I recently discovered Moroccan oil and it has really helped strengthen my hair.

6. My number one beauty must have is AQUA and lots of it!

Naomy Raquel Quinones Photography / Aisha Naomi Makeup / Rey Hernandez Designs

What is your most memorable modeling experience?

There are so many great places modeling has taken me already, but my most memorable shoot was in Miami this past March. I thoroughly enjoyed all Miami had to offer, but what made the shoot so memorable was the dynamics of the team I was lucky enough to work with. 

The stylist, Vanessa Albalat was new, fresh, and so on top of her game. Lala did such a great job on my hair/makeup and was a joy to be around! She really knew the goal we were trying to attain and she nailed it! Lyall Aston, is not only a former successful model, but he is now a successful photographer! Working with him changed my whole attitude about my career. Our energy fit really well together; he taught me so much in just one day – helping me understand my angles and strengths unlike any photographer I have shot with. I have to say, I was very sad when the shoot finished and I can’t wait to work with him again!! It’s people like this…that make me love my job.

What are you excited about right now?

I am taking a very big leap and moving to NYC to take my modeling career to the next level. I am so excited about the people I have already met and the connections I have already made… but most importantly, I look forward to being in the center of one of the biggest cities in the world and doing what I love most! 

Lawrence Lau Photography / Cindy Vasquez Makeup / Juliette Buford Designs

*Thank you, Lauren!

To learn more about Lauren Koenig please visit her website at


2 Responses to “Plus Model Lauren Koenig Talks About Her Favorite Beauty Must Haves, Respecting & Appreciating Yourself, and More!”

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    A bientôt.


  2. AZUCAR Says:

    Awsome. Thanks and u c i used your pic for my plus size show now in May …hope all is well.

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