There are models and then there are supermodels, and no other group was bigger than the 90s ‘supers.’
Iconic fashion muses, they were known simply by their first names: Christy, Cindy, Naiomi, Claudia, Helena, Linda and Elle, having amassed a countless number of magazine covers and headlines between them. 20 years on and still as beautiful as ever we have to ask, what are their secrets? We delved into the archives to discover their health and fitness tips and golden beauty rules to find out how to supersize our wellness regimes with a dose of ‘super’ know-how.
1. The benefits of yoga
Yoga is the go-to exercise of the beautiful Christy Turlington. The supermodel told us , “I have been practising yoga since I was 18. I was very lucky to discover it so early, and it has been a part of my life since. It’s a philosophy that I put into everything. I started with Kundalini yoga, but I’ve tried pretty much every type of yoga there is by now. I like all of it as it all stems from the same postures.
“These days I practice a few times a week, mostly in the mornings, and I still really enjoy it. I like that it’s a little bit different every day depending on the teacher or class. I like doing inversions in particular - upside-down postures that are really good for the skin and for your internal organs. They get things circulating and wake-up your brain.
“Yoga is something I can’t imagine ever not having in my life. As I have got older, my practice has changed from every day, and being very rigid about it, to being much more relaxed. I used to get up at 5:00 to practice at 6.00 every day, but I just couldn’t do that anymore. It’s nice because as I evolve, my practice evolves. I like being a student and I know that yoga will be something that I will practice for the rest of my life. Having the opportunity to learn, and get better while at the same time learning about myself and the practice makes me feel great and helps me maintain balance and health from within.”
2. Variety is key
“I don’t train really - I do sport,” Elle Macpherson told us . “I really believe that when you combine the fun with the physical benefits it doubles the impact – I waterski, ski, windsurf, paddleboard, swim laps round the reservoir or I go for a run. If I’m in London I go to The Grace in Belgravia as I can combine beauty and fitness there. When I pick my exercise, I choose a sport I love or choose something I want to master – yoga was something I wanted to get better at recently. I also love swimming – when I can, I swim for 50 minutes…a combination of breaststroke, sidestroke on the left, sidestroke on the right, then with the kick board, and then breaststroke.”
3. Set achievable goals
“I think I've grown up enough to not do the fad like, ‘Hey I'm not doing any of this, I'm not doing any of that,’” Cindy Crawford told Elle . “I certainly went through those stages. Now I always say, ‘I try to be 80 percent good, 80 percent of the time.’ Because that's achievable, you know?”
4. Start your day right
“I start my day by taking two IMEDEEN Time Perfection tablets , £43.99. That’s part of my daily regimen,” Christy Turlington told us. “Other than that, I really like to just use a bit of concealer - Maybelline has a product called Instant Age-Rewind , £8.99 that’s very light. I use that and a little bit of Maybelline Volum’ Express mascara , £6.99 and some lip gloss and that’s about it. I don’t like to put a lot of extra stuff on my skin. Moisture is the most important thing for it so once it’s hydrated and I’ve put some concealer on, then I feel my best. I also really love this oil called Rodin , £105 that I use on my skin and hair.”
5. Weekly me-time
“Serums, under eye cream, mani-pedi - a woman should always maintain herself on a weekly basis,” Naomi Campbell told W Magazine . “Body moisturiser, moisturising masks - anything hydrating, especially when you travel. Antioxidants are good for the skin, too.”
6. Get fighting fit
“I'm certainly not a gym bunny. I box in a sweaty old boxing club, and that's a workout that kicks ass, literally,” Helena Christensen told Grazia Daily . “It's hardcore training but if I'm going anyway, I'd rather get instant gratification.”
7. Concentrate on the inside out
“One top thing I have learnt is that we focus way too much on calories and fat proportions, and the weight on the scales, and in my opinion we need to know how the cells are functioning rather than how many calories you consume - that’s an empty indication of how well you are,” Elle Macpherson told us . “I have realised that being nourished from a cellular level changes everything - my body functions at its optimum level when I really concentrate on that.”
8. Less is more
“I really like the philosophy of ‘less is more,’” Christy Turlington told us . “I want to see my skin, and see my own features. I want to use products to enhance my features, but I don’t want to change or hide them. I prefer where the industry is now, and the way I am perceived in photographs and films because I feel more like ‘me.’”
9. Circuit training
“I work out with my trainer, Sarah Hagaman, three mornings a week. We do circuit training for the whole body using weights, some machines, and my own body weight with lunges and squats,” Cindy Crawford told Shape.com . “We usually do about 10 minutes of weights and then a five-minute cardio segment. Right now we are into running stairs, but we switch it up. We repeat the 10-minute weight and five-minute cardio at least three times and then we finish up with abs and stretching. If I can squeeze in a hike or bike ride with my husband or a girlfriend during the week, that’s just a bonus!”
10. Channel your inner beach babe
“If you want a cool look, a bit of texture, don't blow-dry your hair 100%. Walk around a bit to get some movement,” Claudia Schiffer told Cosmo .
11. Find your right light
“Don’t put your makeup on in the bathroom unless you have a good window - without the right light and a magnifying mirror, you’re going to walk out of the house with streaks,” cautioned Linda Evangelista in her interview with Into The Gloss .
12. Adhere to the beauty basics
“The best beauty tips are the most simple, practical tips,” Christy Turlington told us. “Hydration - drinking lots of water. People will laugh when I say that, but it’s really important.
“Sleep - you can never get sleep back, and I feel my best after having had a good night’s sleep.
“Eating really well – what you put in your body is so essential. I am never looking for any kind of solution outside of myself, I’d rather look within.”
13. Treat your workouts like meetings
“I think having a scheduled appointment works for me. That way, I don’t really have to think about it,” Cindy Crawford told Shape.com when it comes to staying motivated to keep fit. “Regarding choosing to eat healthy, it’s getting easier and easier because I know how much better I feel when I do eat right. Certainly making sure you have yummy, healthy choices on hand makes it easier to make a good choice.”
14. Hydration is key
“I like keeping my skin moist because I quite often feel my skin is dry and dehydrated. I also spend so much time on planes and need really great skin products for that. Dewy, fresh skin makes me feel healthy,” Helena Christensen told Harper’s Bazaar . “ Crème de la Mer Moisturizing Cream , £120 is the creamiest, loveliest face cream I have tried… and Nude is a natural brand that works wonders for my skin. It’s my newest beauty discovery. They pack in all the actives while avoiding all the chemicals.”
15. The importance of treating yourself
“I love to play with my products and scrubs, my exfoliants...all of it. I feel like it’s a way of just decompressing from the day, and it’s like cooking - I find an escape,” said Linda Evangelista when speaking about her beauty rituals to Refinery29 . “I just feel better about myself and putting effort into myself.”
16. Water works
“If you want to change your body in one month, my suggestion is to drink 3 litres of water a day,” Elle Macpherson told us. “If you can, make six half litres and number them one to six. Take them throughout the day - for example number one goes beside bed, number two with breakfast, and so on. Also get 7 hours sleep a night and take my super greens , £96 in the morning. If you want to an even greater change, then swim for 40 minutes a day.”
17. Lead by example
“I suspect that the way my children learn the best is not from what I say to them but just by watching me and if she doesn't see me being like, ‘Oh my god, I look terrible, I have so many wrinkles,’ then she won't get that message. I feel like I have to lead by example,” said Cindy Crawford to Harpers Bazaar .
18. Ageing is a privilege
“There aren’t any negatives to getting older, honestly,” Christy Turlington told us. “I think with age comes wisdom, and so how could you argue with that. I think that women are under too much pressure to try to look younger. I wouldn’t want to go back in time for anything. I am happy with who I am now.”
Getty Images: Naomi Campbell, Vogue 1992, Claudia Shiffer, Self, 1993