How To Look Like a Victoria's Secret Angel

What it takes to prep for the annual Victoria's Secret fashion show.
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Michelle Villett
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What it takes to prep for the annual Victoria's Secret fashion show.
Miranda Kerr - Victoria's Secret fashion show 2012

"Them" being these genetic freaks they call Angels. Seriously, is it even possible to be that thin, muscular AND curvy? I thought that was one of those trade-offs you have to make in life, like how you (usually) can't have a great relationship, amazing career and perfect home life all at the same time. (I'm not saying we don't all try... just that inevitably, as soon as you get that long-awaited promotion at work, simultaneously your boyfriend will dump you to move to Kazakhstan. Or you finally meet the perfect guy, and your roommate decides to start a home tarantula-breeding business.)

Or maybe I'm exaggerating. Anyway, I'm not here to tell you how to get these girls' bodies—because I'm pretty sure that would require not only their genetics but also weeks of semi-starvation and daily dates with a personal trainer—but I CAN tell you about all the beauty stuff that goes into getting their look.

And if you're rolling your eyes right now, I hear you. There is so much ridiculousness here with these costumes, I can't even.

Doutzen Kroes and Alessandra Ambrosio - Victoria's Secret fashion show 2012

But whatever. If we just look at them in their pre-show silk robes, you have to admit that from the neck up they look very beautiful... albeit in a generic, male-fantasy sort of way.

So here we go! In Canada, the show airs on Global at 10pm ET/PT tonight, and here's what it took to get ready for it...

The hair

Doutzen Kroes - Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2012 - backstage

So don't get excited yet. This is what Doutzen Kroes' hair looked like "before." (And even that is ten times better than I could ever look "after.")

Here's the transformation:

Doutzen Kroes - Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2012 - backstage

It's a whole other level. Like Elle Woods! I'm pretty sure that with hair like this, the world is your oyster. I experienced it once. It was amazing. I had the most incredible blowout at Holt Renfrew and I was like the Pied Piper walking down Bloor St.—I kid you not, THREE guys stopped me on the street with compliments.

By the time I got home, I'd lost about 50 percent of the volume, of course. Because that's the thing—it can look good for half an hour, an hour, tops, but it's hard to make it last.

And that's what's so sneaky about these darn press releases! The official word from Victoria's Secret was that they used three prodz to get this look (all from the VS line): a detangler, a dry shampoo and a hairspray.

They forgot to mention that every girl—not just Karlie Kloss—got extensions. Which helps. The other thing that helps is knowing your way around a one- to two-inch barrelled curling iron. I certainly don't, so something like the Rowenta Versa Styler is much easier for me to use on the rare occasion when I'm not being super-lazy and I want to style my hair like nobody's business. Check out this pic—it's not exactly the same type of wave, but I've had no problem replicating it on my own. It's the closest I ever get to supermodel hair on my own.

The other thing that EVERY Angel had done to her hair was lots and lots of back-combing (or I should say back-brushing, since that seems to be the new, more accurate term for it). Here's my way of doing it if you missed this recent post.

The makeup

Barbara Palvin - Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2012 - backstage

I've talked a lot in the past about the Victoria's Secret signature makeup, so bear with me if I'm repeating myself... but have you ever noticed how they deliberately avoid the looks that one would normally associate with sexiness—i.e. no dark eyeshadow or liner, and no red lips? It's not a natural look, AT ALL, but it's also makeup that is not going to steal the show. (That's what all the boobs are for, after all.)

And it's a good lesson for all of us, actually. There's just no need to have everything INYOURFACESEXY all at once. A low-cut dress just doesn't need a smoky eye and metallic red lips and long glittery fingernails all fighting for attention. It's much cooler to just pick one and let that be the statement.

So the recipe for the VS makeup look is a focus on the eyes. It's a sexy eye but without the heaviness, therefore there's a lot more brown going on than black. Here's what you need to do:

  1. Dust a gold shadow (VS Beauty Rush Ultimate Look Shadow Trio in Most Wanted) over the entire lid.
  2. Emphasize the crease with a medium brown (VS Makeup Eye Shadow Quad in Eye Contact).
  3. Line the upper lash line with a black liner, and the lower lash line with brown liner (VS Beauty Rush Precision Line Eye Pencil in Pitch Black and Foxy).
  4. Same thing with mascara (VS Makeup Extra-lengthening Mascara): black on the top lashes; brown on the bottom.

Sounds pretty simple right? I think the key is in the blending. (Also, I love this quote from makeup artist Tom Pecheux, when asked if it'll make every woman look like an Angel: "It's impossible—there are 40 women in the world who look like that, and they're all here.")

Ah well, we can still try. Finish it up with a lot of blush, some illuminator and duh... lip gloss.

The nails

Karlie Kloss - Victoria's Secret fashion show 2012 - nails

See what I mean about not being deliberately sexy on some things? The nails are surprisingly au naturel. (Because when you think about it, wouldn't red nail polish just look really, really WRONG? I don't know why that is.)

VS is launching new nail lacquers in 2013, so this is the sheer pink called Bitten.

The bodies

Behati Prinsloo - Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2012

Did I not say I was over faux tanning? Turns out, Victoria's Secret is too. Well, kind of. They went for MUCH lighter tans than past seasons, sending the girls to spray-tanner to the stars Jimmy Coco for a super-light wash of colour a couple days before the show, and then applying a variety of glow-inducing prodz from the Beach Sexy line (sprays, shimmer lotions and body powders).

Why didn't they just have no tan at all? Well, the thing is, just about every single celebrity or model who reveals any amount of skin these days has a spray tan. I know this because I interviewed a celeb tanner (not Jimmy) a couple months ago... and she told me that even the palest of celebs, like Zooey Deschanel and Nicole Kidman, get them. So it's not about having a deep, dark tan anymore—it's about camouflaging imperfections and making the skin glow.

And you know what? If I had to prance down a runway in my underwear in front of millions of people, I'd want all the help I could get in concealing imperfections too.

To see all the VS girls strutting their stuff, check out the full beauty gallery of close-ups from the show.

Tell me:

Did you watch the Victoria's Secret fashion show?
What do you think about the whole sexy hair/body but low-key face/nails mix?
Are you into this kind of beauty or do the costumes just enrage you?