Welcome to the first of many beauty columns from our newest Byrdie editor, Lindsay Ellingson. Each month the supermodel—and beauty fanatic—will dish on her skincare tips, makeup tricks of the trade, and her latest health and wellness obsessions. This month we’re talking all things Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Keep reading to find out how she prepares for the most-watched show in the world!
I’m all about looking completely refreshed, rested, and just having beautiful, glowing skin. For me, that means getting my skin super moisturized. I love I Pekar products by my facialist Ildi Pekar. The line is based on raw honey, so it’s incredibly hydrating and anti-aging.
The morning of the show I focus on my eyes. I’ll leave these Eye Gel Patches ($30) from Skyn Iceland in the refrigerator and put them on in the morning; they’re great for de-puffing, which is especially important because the show is going to be in London and there might be a little bit of jet lag involved. So I’m definitely going to be working on de-puffing and looking well-rested, making sure that I get nine hours of sleep.
Hair is so important on the Victoria’s Secret runway. It gives you confidence and makes you feel beautiful, especially when it's healthy. Luckily my hair is so thick that they’ve never used extensions on me, which is wonderful, I’m all about the health and integrity of the hair. Instead of regular shampoo and conditioner, I’ve been using Wen Cleansing Conditioner ($32) by Chaz Dean for a year now. And I have to say that from last Christmas until now, my hair has grown at least six inches—it’s crazy! It’s looking better than ever. Chaz also just highlighted it without using bleach. It’s not as damaging and looks super natural. I’m really excited for this show. You always try to step it up from the previous year’s show, and now that my hair is longer and blonder, I'm feeling better than ever!
Head to toe your skin is very important, so there’s a lot of preparation that we all do before the show. I think that most of the Victoria’s Secret girls just keep their skin looking amazing all year with lots of exfoliation and moisturizing. I start kicking that up about 35 days before the show. Dry brushing is already part of my normal daily routine, but it becomes an even more important part of the body preparation. It’s great for exfoliating and boosting circulation, which helps with cellulite.
I also just started using Wen Ultra Nourishing Intensive Body Treatment ($80). It has vitamin k, aloe vera, and all these amazing ingredients in it that’s supposed to even out your skin tone and keep your body super hydrated. I’m using it every day until the show. And then, of course, the spray tan.
The day of the show, we all get this amazing body makeup by Victoria’s Secret called Beach Sexy Tinted Body Lotion ($15). It has a little bit of shimmer in it, so we put that all over. The more bronzed you are, the healthier you look, your muscle tone shows more, and I just feel sexier when I have some color. Then, to top it off, one of my favorite things is called the Instant Bronzing Shimmer Powder ($24). It’s a thick puff that has shimmer powder inside of it. It’s not like major, in-your-face glitter; it’s just very natural. It looks sun-kissed.
To prepare for the show, I bought these ankle weights, which are amazing for working out your hamstrings and your butt. That’s the area that I really concentrate on when working out. I’ve been doing glute workouts with the weights on every day and I’m amazed at how well they work. You can do fewer reps, but it’s so much more work in a shorter amount of time. I do two and half pounds on each ankle right now, but it can go up to five pounds for each ankle. And with the routine that I do, I can bring these weights to my hotel in London and be able to keep up with my workout. I've also been training privately with Nicole Katz at Yoga 216, we do these intense and powerful hot yoga sessions that not only tone your body beautifully, but also leave you feeling so centered and calm.
That last week before the show, I focus on my abs and my butt the most, because those are the areas that are going to give you that beautiful, sexy, hourglass shape. That’s how I feel sexiest in lingerie.
This whole month leading up to the show, we all just really focus on taking care of ourselves. I focus on eating a really clean diet with lots of protein. My ideal meal is salmon or any kind of lean protein with broccoli and sweet potatoes. I just try to have good food that will help keep me energized. You have to, especially with all of the traveling.
The morning of the show, my ideal breakfast would be a breakfast burrito with eggs, potato, and bacon. I try to eat a lot of protein and carbs, between all of the running around and the nerves, you’re burning so many calories. So eating a good, healthy, hearty breakfast is very important.
I either bring my own organic juices or drink the Suja pressed juices backstage, and I get a shot of E3 Live and Chlorophyll, to give me tons of energy. Because there are just so many people backstage, so many photographers and people interviewing you, it’s important to make sure that you stay calm and enjoy every moment. I bring my Rescue Remedy Drops ($18) by Bach, which is a natural stress reliever, and I also bring my rose water mist from an amazing natural skincare line called Pratima because the smell is just so calming.
The day starts at 9 a.m. and the last show goes on at 9 p.m., so we’re there for 12 hours of press rotation, hair and makeup, and the two shows. And then there’s the after-party. It’s so much in one day, but it’s amazingly fun! This will be my eighth year, and even after seven years of doing the show, it's still so surreal. It’s still a dream come true and I'm so grateful. I can't wait to walk that runway. Don't forget to mark your calendars, the show airs December 9th on CBS.
How do you prepare for a big event? Does your routine look anything like this?