Through many a gut-wrenching confrontations with reality, I have realised that trying to look like a Victoria’s Secret Angel from the neck down is simply not going to happen. This kind of superhuman feat requires some sassy genetics, a starvation diet (remember Adriana Lima confessing that she ate no solid food for 9 days before the Victoria’s Secret show and then had no liquids at all for the final 12 hours?) and daily dates with a bootcamp-style personal trainer.
And the kicker is that after all this military-style approach, even the Victoria’s Secret Angels don’t look like Victoria’s Secret Angels without piles of body make up. As Selita Ebanks once put it: “People don’t realise that there are about 20 layers of make up on my butt alone.”
Thankfully, though, above the neck is a different matter altogether. Think for a moment: when was the last time you saw heavy, theatrical, OTT makeup on the Victoria’s Secret runway. Never, in my memory. Because nobody would want the makeup to steal the show (that’s what the boobs and the butt are for!). And because wearing a deep red lip when you are dressed in just lingerie and shiny sequins would be just skanky. Right?
Which bodes well for us mere mortals since even if we can’t emulate those lithe (strangely cellulite free) limbs and sensuous curves, at least we can pull of an Adriana Lima or Candice Swanepoel with the trademark sultry brown eyes, rosy-bronze cheeks and a balmy nude pout.
Prepping the base
Makeup artists always take a couple extra minutes to massage the face and get the blood flowing. This also works to bust puffiness, especially when you need to step out early in the morning. You can easily do it at home, with moisturiser. (Hilary Rhoda)
For the prettiest and most believable flush, makeup artists dabbed on a touch of red cream face paint by Kryolan (popular in children’s theatre) BEFORE blending foundation on top. Finally, he added just a tiny bit of bronzer. The result? Healthy, alive, youthful-looking skin. (Makeup maestro Dick Page)
Soft focus eyes
Makeup artists illuminated eyelids with highlighter on the inner corner of the eye – this catches the light and makes eyes pop with a soft focus effect. (Dick Page)
ALWAYS use eyelash curlers
Eyelash curlers really open up the eyes. Sometimes, you can even skip the mascara afterwards! (Jessica Hart and Doutzen Kroes)
Faking fake lashes
Skip the falsies. Instead, place a credit card or a playing card behind your lashes when you apply mascara and push against the card – this will give you thicker and longer lashes, naturally. (Jourdan Dunn)
Colour it right
Bronzer works in every season – yes, including winter. And it’s not just for contouring. Models apply a soft bronzer to eye sockets and cheekbones to look “more fresh, awake and refined”. (Hilary Rhoda)
Light it up
Another Victoria’s Secret Angel makeup must-have: highlighter. Put it high up on the cheeks, under the eyebrows and on the nose. (Toni Garrn)
As for that signature pout – that’s kissable without being tacky – Page layered a lip gloss over a pink Victoria’s Secret lip stain. To replicate, use a balmy lipstick that’s just a shade or two lighter or darker than your natural lip color. Nix anything that’s too shiny or shimmering. (Dick Page)
Hydration is important
You will always see the Victoria’s Secret Angels chugging away at bottles-full of water because keeping skin hydrated is an important part of any beauty regime. (Lindsay Ellingson)