Susannah Taylor reveals what she learned from spending a day with the Victoria's Secret Angels in London
They may be put on a pedestal as some of the most beautiful women in the world, but is there anything we mere mortals can learn from the Victoria's Secret ‘Angels’? Yes! says Susannah Taylor, who went backstage to meet them...
1. Not all of their hair is theirs
What many people don’t know about models and actresses on the red carpet or runway is that they often wear hair wefts to thicken or lengthen their hair. What’s a hair weft? It’s a set of temporary hair extensions that are stuck into the hair and look so real you wouldn’t know they are there. Jason Lawrence of the Josh Wood Atelier in London and one of the hairstylists who styled the hair backstage at the Victoria's Secret show says, ”We used wefts for increasing the density of the hair rather than the length, it wasn’t about making them all look the same, but to enhance each Angel. We would temporarily glue the wefts into the hair and razor the ends so that they blended into the Angels' own hair.”
2. The Angels have blindingly white teeth
One of the things that really struck me when talking to the models backstage was their teeth – not a coffee or nicotine stain in sight.
The jury’s out as to whether laser teeth whitening is any more effective over more traditional at-home teeth whitening. The former involves an hour’s treatment where a whitening gel is applied to teeth and activated by a laser. The latter is where you wear a gum shield filled with a whitening gel at night over week. Both have to be prescribed by a dentist and can make teeth up to 8 shades whiter. Contrary to popular thought, it is not damaging to teeth. If in any doubt, go to Dr Joe Oliver at thewelbeckclinic.co.uk , one of the best in the business for a naturally better looking smile.
3. They don’t run, they box
It appears that not many of the Victoria's Secret models do a lot of plain cardio such as running. Portuguese model Sara Sampaio says this makes her lose too much weight leading up to the show and it does nothing for toning her body. Boxing however is a favourite sport of the models since it firms the whole body from the thighs to stomach, waist and arms.
4. They do weights, Pilates and barre work
Lily Aldridge told me she does Ballet Beautiful which is a barre-based class in New York which is, she says ‘All about lengthening and toning and being lean.” She says she does this about 3-4 times a week. Jourdan Dunn does Barrecore in the UK, which is a mixture of ballet, Pilates and yoga which she says is ‘Really really intense.” Meanwhile Portuguese model Sara Sampaio says she hates the gym, and does boxing for her cardio hit as well as resistance training to build a strong core and legs. Three weeks before the show she says she does weights and uses resistance bands and does squats to firm up her legs.
5. That isn’t their natural skin colour
No Victoria's Secret model will strut that glossy catwalk without a full body self tan, and if you think about how small the underwear is, then they must get sprayed butt naked. To get this kind of golden skin at home, Nichola Joss (who tanned many of the Angels backstage) suggests St Tropez’s Self Tan Luxe Dry Oil , £25 (of which Angel Alessandra Ambrosio is apparently a big fan). “Apply to skin with a dry mitt," she says, “Moving in upward motions, buff the oil into dry skin and leave for eight hours.”
6. Angels drink A LOT of water
Gone are the days when models get drunk backstage on champagne. Every model I saw backstage was drinking water, and lots of it. Lily Aldridge told me she drinks water all the time but adds slices of lemon or cucumber to hers to make it more interesting. Why drink more water? Because water flushes out toxins from our vital organs, helping them function at their optimum level whilst also carrying nutrients to cells. You will not only look better, your skin will improve, and it will aid weight loss since everything functions better. To gain great results, the recommended daily amount is 3 litres a day, which is just over 5 pints.
7. Angels eat high protein diets
It seems that the basics of the Victoria's Secret model diet pre-show are high protein meals (to build muscle) and truck loads of vegetables. Lily Aldridge’s favourite meal is sweet potato and chicken which she told me she eats a lot and changes the seasoning on to keep it interesting. She also drinks a lot of cold pressed green juices (the key is that it’s cold pressed so none of the nutrients are damaged or removed). Lily also drinks a lot of green tea which not only contains a huge amount of antioxidants but it is also said to help increase your metabolism which can lead to weight loss.
8. They have their hair done using GHDs
The gorgeous loose waves at the latest Victoria's Secret show were created using GHD tools. According to Jason Lawrence, who was doing hair backstage the GHD Air hairdryer was first used with hair mousse to smooth out the hair, then, when hair was dry, the GHD Curve Soft Curl Tong was used. For the most natural wave, Jason says, “Take a small section of hair, and start tonging at the root of the hair, leaving the ends out to enhance the natural look.” His trick was to wind different pieces of hair in different directions and leaving some pieces of hair on the barrel of the tong longer than others to create random waves. “After a few minutes,” he says, “Rake through with your hands and give hair a little shake!”
9. They wear falsies
You don’t get that glamorous come-to-bed cat eye without a bit of help in the lash department. Each model was armed with fabulous, but natural-looking eyelashes to give that bombshell look. A lot of makeup artists use Ardell lashes. The Individual Lashes, £5.49 work best for real life and will enhance your eyes without looking ridiculous.
10. Angels don’t like having pictures taken bare-faced
Thought it was just you and I that would rather die than have our photo taken at 10am with no makeup on? Even the Victoria’s Secret Angels refused to be on camera without a full face of slap. This made me feel better – I hope it does you too.