What comes to mind when you think "Victoria's Secret"? For me: cleavage, pouty lips, wind-blown hair, and the most enviable legs around -- no cellulite or leg dimples. As far as I'm concerned, those Angels are exactly that: celestial beings and not of the human kind, like me.
So when I was invited to go backstage for a Victoria's Secret photo shoot, I was thrilled. I wanted to see what the Angels really look like -- without hours of hair and makeup, spray tans, diamond-encrusted lingerie, and gigantic wings. Turns out some of them are actually perfect (ugh) -- while others just know how to work their beauty products. See how a Victoria's Secret model turns into an Angel with these 6 backstage secrets.
Erin Heatherton, Lindsay Ellingson, and Toni Garrn wore minimal makeup. "It's fresh and light and pretty," said Victoria's Secret makeup artist Meredith Baraf. "There's a little color in the cheeks, some highlighter on the brow bone, soft color on the eyes, and lots of mascara." The models had such gorgeous skin that they needed little more than some VS Pro Airbrush FX Face Primer and a few dabs of tinted moisturizer.
I imagined the room would be engulfed in a cloud of hairspray, but that wasn't the case at all. "The hair should be full and sexy, but also soft and touchable," said Victoria's Secret hairstylist Yusef Williams. "There's nothing sexy about hard hair." All the hairstylists used Victoria's Secret So Sexy Style Clean & Go Dry Shampoo, $14, to create volume. "It swells the hair," explained Victoria's Secret hairstylist Nicole Blais. "Then all you have to do is curl it with a medium-to-large barrel curling iron.
I got to talk with Erin Heatherton about her skin and she told me that she's known for her freckles. I told her how more than one dermatologist has wanted to laser mine away. She was horrified: "That's just terrible -- I would never!" she said. In fact, the campaign images play up her freckles, and Baraf hardly used any foundation on her.
Even though the three models are all tall, blonde, and bronzed, you can tell that they're each distinctly different women -- and that comes across through their hairstyles. "They each have their own personal style, so as long as it's beautiful and sexy, they get to dictate which direction they want to go," explained Blais. "If they want to wear it beachy and messy, or if they want to go for something more glamorous and neat -- that's up to each girl's personality.
After the makeup artists were finished, Ellingson grabbed a bronzer and added a few more swipes to her cheeks. Then, while waiting for the photo op -- which took place in a Victoria's Secret store -- all three models gathered in front of one of the display mirrors to add a few more coats of lip gloss. Throughout the day, each of the models checked her own makeup -- instead of relying on the beauty team.
When I showed this picture to my husband, he very sweetly said, "I think you're the prettiest of the group -- even if it looks like you're kneeling." Not only are they each at least 5'10", they were also wearing giant platform heels, which, according to my math, put them around 6'4". (I'm 5'5", and I was wearing four-inch heels.) I know I'll never grow seven inches, but I've already ordered some higher shoes -- and I'm working on the hair and makeup.