Sorry to break the news but smooth, glowy, flawless skin doesn’t come easy. Gasp, right? But think about it for a moment. How do you sculpt a kick-ass body? By working out relentlessly and eating with discipline. How do you get to the top of a corporate food chain? By putting in the hours and slogging over the details. How do you win a sporting event? By training every single day. How do you shine on the stage? By practising your spot over and over and over again.
So, how and why should having gorgeous skin be any different? Yes, there are 5-minute cures and 60-second makeup tricks that will do the job (many of which has been spoken about on this blog as well) but these are either temporary cover-ups or part of an overall routine. Lemon juice will give you a blemish-free complexion and honey will put the glow back but not if you use them haphazardly, as and when the mood dawns. To really work, these small and big things need to be done on a regular basis – and for at least over a period of 28 days (the time our skin takes to renew itself).
Nobody knows this better than our supermodels – those catwalk queens who manage to stay so annoyingly radiant despite their jet setting, chain smoking, zero-sleep lifestyle. With the advent of hi-def televisions and camera phones that pop up everywhere, having bad skin covered up with inch-deep makeup is no longer an alternative. Then how do they manage? Through a regular regime that works day in and day out to keep their complexion crystal clear. No, it doesn’t take just 5 minutes out of a day. But then neither is it something that you and I can’t happily work into our lives. And it will give you super-sexy skin. For keeps. Take a look.
Supermodel beauty secret #1: They keep their act clean
On the very first day at most agencies, models get the skin lecture. Salient points? Cleanse, cleanse, cleanse. And do it according to your skin type or you’ll end up with an irritated complexion. Dry skin? Never use hot water or tap water to wash your face (only mineral will do, dahlin’). Oily skin? Avoid heavy cleansing creams and alcohol-based toners. Also, don’t use an exfoliant cleanser every day as it’ll scratch your face. And no matter how much champagne you have glugged down, take off every scrap of makeup at night.
Do the models listen? Jessica Gomes: “I cleanse my face and moisturize every morning and again at night. I also take off all my makeup at the end of the day, no matter what, and exfoliate twice a week.” Then there is Candice Swanepoel: “I’m pretty neurotic about keeping my skin clean. In the morning I wash with rosewater and use a rich moisturizer and sunscreen every day.”
Supermodel beauty secret #2: They don’t believe the hype
It stands to reason that a model would know exactly how skin treated with the latest must-have innovation looks without Photoshop. So they stick to the basics, eschewing the latest and “greatest” in favour of the truly tried and tested. Top of the list is choosing a good frills-free moisturiser that locks in the moisture without being greasy or clogging the pores.
Supermodel beauty secret #3: They swear by indigenous recipes
Even though supermodels can afford the most expensive treatments, they also know that regular at-home upkeep is just as important. Which means they are pretty happy whipping up their own all-natural beauty recipes. Miranda Kerr has been known to wax eloquent about rose hip oil: “I use it as an intensive nourishing face treatment, to remove eye makeup, as a cuticle treatment. And I add a few drops to my face cream every night to wake up with a brighter complexion.” Zoe Saldana buys an aloe vera leaf from Trader Joe’s, peels it and puts the juice on post-sun skin.
Then there is Scarlet Johansson, who has a natural remedy for every skin ailment. One of her staples is Manuka honey: “Steam your face to open the pores, then take a spoonful of honey and apply it directly to the skin, leaving it for 10-15 minutes. Once you wash it off, there will be an amazing glow and your skin shall be super-soft. The honey will also pull out all impurities.”
She also believes in the power of raw lemons: “When my skin is dull or has some red spots, I bring out raw lemons and dab on the juice on my face. You can either dilute the juice with water if it’s too stingy, or you can apply it directly. If you have a big event, do this every night before you go to bed for the five nights leading up to it and your skin will be so much brighter. It’s amazing!”
Supermodel beauty secret #4: They pop pills
Supermodels know that even the best diets don’t give our skin all the nutrition it needs. So, they treat their complexions with supplement top-ups. These boost the skin’s structure and improve its ability to hold water – vital for a glowing, spot-free complexion. As Jessica Gomes explains, “My secret to beautiful skin is eating a healthy diet, with lots of fruits and vegetables. I also eat a lot of fish for the high omega-3 content and take fish oil supplements to help keep my hair shiny and my skin glowing. And I drink lots of water!”
Miranda Kerr, in the meantime, loves the multi-nutrient benefits of coconut oil: “I take 4 teaspoons of coconut oil every day, either on my salads, in my cooking or in my green tea. I will not go a day without coconut oil.”
Supermodel beauty secret #5: They know the power of balance
Yes, these famous faces work hard and party harder, often going without sleep or living off cigarettes and junk food. But they also know that every misstep needs to be balanced out with ultra-clean living. So they make amends at every opportunity to stave off the cumulative damage. Case in point? Jessica Gomes: “I pretty much eat whatever I want but if I’ve had a few biscuits or I’ve splurged on a hot chocolate, I might walk down the road to do my grocery shopping or to meet a friend, rather than drive or catch the train.” And then there is Karlie Kloss: “I love to make just really yummy, clean, boring protein shakes with chocolate protein powder, almond milk, and banana or blackberries.”
Supermodel beauty secret #6: They paint smart
When you work with the world’s top make-up artists, you get to know a few tricks of the trade. Like the one touted by Scarlet Johansson: “If you plan to be out all night or eating dinner, bring a lip pencil with you to reshape and color in your lips, then throw a gloss on top. Otherwise, if you try to reapply lipstick in a dark bathroom, the shape just gets weirder and weirder.” Or by Erin Heatherton: “I learnt that you can change your whole face with just different concealers in different places. Like opening up your eye by putting the lighter concealer in the middle, making it lighter under your eyebrows, making it lighter on your cheekbones and contouring underneath.”
My fave, though, comes from Gisele Bundchen: “If you’re wearing smoky eye makeup, a little beige or gold pencil on the inner eye corners will open up the area, but you only want to do it if the shadow is really dark. Otherwise, light pencil makes your eyes look too far apart, like a fish.”
Do you have a regular skincare routine? Or are you more of a slap-dash kind of girl? Will you be making any changes after reading this post?