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Highlights, Hair Masks and Mexico: Behind the Scenes at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show

Veteran Angels Adriana Lima and Alessandra Ambrosio tell THR how they prepared for the annual runway show, strutting alongside Taylor Swift and Fall Out Boy.
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Heaven sent? Hardly, says a gorgeous handful of Angels while backstage at the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. 

The lingerie brand’s veteran ambassadors shed light on their skin regimens, workout tricks and beauty secrets in preparation for the fun and feathered runway party, featuring Taylor Swift, Fall Out Boy, A Great Big World and Neon Jungle as this year’s musical acts.

To prep their faces for makeup, Alessandra Ambrosio prefers the Gentle Exfoliator Polishing Cream from Beautycounter (also because the coconut smell is amazing, she says), while Izabel Goulart fell in love with the oxygen infusion facials from celebrity facialist Mzia Shiman. "It definitely made my skin look so much fresher than it does normally," she told The Hollywood Reporter while getting her hair curled before the show. "It was my first time, and then I loved it so much that I did it two days in a row!"

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Adriana Lima’s skin secret is two-fold: working out. "Sweating gives you a natural detox," she told THR with holding clips in her hair, saying she opts for kickboxing and stays hydrated with coconut water. Ambrosio and Goulart both prepped for the show with TRX suspension training, recommending PPW in New York City for a blend of pilates, TRX and barre classes.

As for their hairdos – an hour-long process that using products from Victoria Secret’s So Sexy haircare line and entails blow-drying with volumizing mousse, spritzing with finishing hairspray, and curling the hair into waves (while leaving the ends out; extensions optional) – Lima likes to apply moisturizing hair masks, since her hair is particularly dry, while Goulart makes sure the ends of her hair has fresh highlights to catch a little extra light on the runway.

Ambrosio found herself in Brazil a month ago, and took advantage. "I was doing a lot of the special treatments that they have with multivitamins to clean the scalp with astringents," she said of the relatively early hair preparation. To replicate the runway’s piece-y hairdo at home, lead hair stylist Orlando Pita suggests switching out the curling iron for a ghd tri-zone styler, as it’s "almost like curling a ribbon with a scissors, which is a lot easier to use."

And even though the runway show – also featuring Doutzen Kroes, Karlie Kloss, Lily Aldridge and Candice Swanepoel (wearing the $10 million Fantasy bra by Mouawad) among others – was taped at the 69th Regiment Armory in a very chilly New York City on Wednesday evening, these three Angels were glowing with sunkissed skin. Ambrosio said she squeezed in one last spray tan the night before, while Goulart’s serendipitous work schedule kept her skin shade fresh. "I was lucky to just be working in Mexico, so I was able to work on my tan for a few hours!"

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So is that why does the Victoria’s Secret face always looks so fresh on the runway? We found out a few more reasons: the minimal makeup routine is reapplied just before show time, since the entire process takes between five and ten minutes. And to get that facial glow, lead makeup artist Dick Page puts lipstick on the nose and cheeks with a brush and buffs it out before applying as little foundation as possible. "Nothing graphic, nothing sharp – but I’m sure some of the girls are sneaking off and putting on lipliner as we speak, because they tend to do that!" The most common pre-runway touch-up is just a hint a lip balm—not even powder, like we would’ve guessed. "I don’t really want to powder them," said Page. "I like to leave a few highlights on the skin because it just looks and feels healthy."

The annual broadcast – complete with a very pink arrivals carpet – also drew Maroon 5’s Adam Levine (cheering on his fiancée, VS Angel Behati Prinsloo), Valentino Garavani, LaLa Anthony, Katrina Bowden, Ciara, Olivia Palermo, Estelle, Michael Strahan, Man Repeller blogger Leandra Medineand Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley, among others.

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After all 67 looks debuted on the glittery runway – either surrounded by a thousand feed of Swarovski beaded fringe, reflecting the hot pink flashlights from the live audience, or catching the "snow" during Swift’s performance of "I Knew You Were Trouble" – the models joined attendees at TAO nightclub. But the big party happens on Dec. 10, when the show airs on CBS.

"It’s a huge celebration – last year it was in New York, the year before it was in LA, and the year before that, it was in Chicago," said Ambrosio, with Lima adding, "We have a whole Victoria’s Secret reunion and bring our families. Whoever walked in the Fashion Show, we all watch it together."

Email: ashley.lee@thr.com
Twitter: @cashleelee

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