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When you’ve been crowned Miss Universe, graced the cover of Sports Illustrated and have nearly 5 million followers on Instagram, it’s safe to say that you know a thing or two about beauty. Even better, Rhode Island-native Olivia Culpo (she won the Miss Rhode Island USA competition and then was named Miss USA, before winning Miss Universe in 2012) is not afraid to share. She’s perfected the art of the self-tan, so it makes perfect sense that she’s now the Brand Ambassador for Bondi Sands. Culpo spills how to get the perfect tan, the beauty and skincare products she really uses, and her self-care advice.
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Why did you decide to partner with Bondi Sands as their Brand Ambassador?
There are a lot of different reasons. I think one of the biggest for me is the price point and that it’s so accessible for people to have a great tan. And, obviously, needing to protect yourself from UV damage. I’ve always been a huge fan of self-tanners, so that is another huge selling point for me. And the quality of the product is another reason.
How do you avoid common mistakes like streaks and uneven color?
I would first and foremost recommend using a tanning mitt. For example, the Bondi Sands Dark Self-Tanning Foam has a mitt that comes with it. It’s really important to use and really important to wash your hands after, and test the patch beforehand. Another thing that is really important is just knowing that if you do mess up, it’s not the end of the world. There is a Self-Tan Eraser from Bondi Sands as well. I do think you should practice beforehand. And one more trick and tip I use personally is doing everything in the shower, because obviously you don’t want to get it on your walls, your carpet or anything like that. So, if you get in the shower, you can easily wash your hands from there.
What’s your go-to Bondi Sands tanner?
I have a few but I really love the Self-Tanning Foam. I use it with the Application Mitt; it just goes on really clear and has a green undertone which is very important when you’re trying to find a good self-tanner because the last thing you want to be is orange. It’s very blendable. If you get a streak, you just add a little bit more to that spot and it goes on and blends very well.
What’s the rest of your beauty and skincare routine like day to day?
I usually start with a cleanser; I really like the Clinique cleanser, it’s just really gentle. Right after I use either the Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel or I use the Biologique Recherche Lotion P50. It’s actually more like a toner, so it’s a liquid, but you put it on with a cotton pad and honestly I have to say it changed my skin, so if you haven’t tried it you really should. For moisturizer and under eye, I love Dr. Barbara Sturm, I love Shani Darden. A drugstore product that I really do use regularly is Neutrogena wipes. Almay has a wipe that’s biodegradable. I think that’s really important because you can just throw it in the trash without feeling any guilt. It’s sustainable. And then Murad has a really good spot corrector. I also love Zitsticka for their stickers. I use Augustinus Bader The Cream — he has really good stuff as well. One oil that I really love is the Furtuna Skin Due Alberi Biphase Moisturizing Oil.
Over the last year during the pandemic, has your beauty routine changed a lot?
Yeah, I would say I started simplifying a lot more. I noticed that I was breaking out from masks, of course, and part of that was due to having too much congestion and not enough air on my face. I was able to combat that by using a less heavy moisturizer and using the Biologique Recherche Lotion P50, and then a moisturizer on top of that. The other thing is washing my face morning and night because otherwise, under the mask, it’s so hard to keep clean.
What are a few of your favorite beauty hacks and tips you’ve picked up backstage and on sets over the years?
Oh my gosh, I have so many. I would say I’ve learned everything that I know about beauty from being on set and from everything I’ve done, [being in the] public eye and working with really talented artists. One simple trick is using a cool compress under the eyes. Drinking water is so important. I’ve learned a lot about spot correcting: If you have a purple spot, you want to use something with a yellow undertone and then if you have a red spot you want to use something with a green undertone. One trick that’s pretty cool is putting tape in the corner of your eyes if you’re going to do a winged eyeliner, or maybe using a credit card — something with an edge can make it easier to put on your eyeliner. Or, putting on an under-eye mask while you’re doing your eye makeup and peeling it off, and you’ll notice it’s a lot more smooth and clear and there was no transfer from the eyeshadows.
What did being crowned Miss Universe teach you about beauty and makeup?
To be completely honest with you, I learned a lot of things about my own unique taste in beauty. I think everybody has a different formula that works for them. I actually realized that for me, contouring is too heavy on my face and I realized that fake eyelashes look really horrible. I’ve learned what to do and what not to do. And because I was so much younger back then, I was still learning. So, I was like, okay, this doesn’t work, this doesn’t work. And then getting to know my personal preferences and how I like to create a look on me, which is something that I think only develops like in time. Everyone is different. It’s about what makes you feel good.
Since we are still in this pandemic, what does self-care mean to you? And what do those rituals look like?
I think self-care is in so many different forms. It’s definitely doing the best to take care of yourself so that you can be your best and show up as a better person, friend, employee, boss — whatever line of work you’re in. Whatever that means to somebody is so personal. For me, it means balance. So, making sure that I spend time with myself, with my family, with my boyfriend, with my passion, which would be my work. It’s been hard when you grow up in this industry — you kind of morph into this industry, you feel like you have to do everything and nothing ever really feels like enough. I think that probably goes for everyone’s career and work. I had to understand that I don’t have to do everything and be everywhere and try and give everything to every single work opportunity. Instead, it’s about doing the other things so that I can be a happy person in a well-rounded way.
What upcoming projects do you have in the works?
I started practicing with a quartet, which is very exciting; I have been playing the cello since I was six. I have one project coming up in film that I’m not able to talk about yet. I also have another restaurant that I’m opening with my family in Rhode Island called Union & Maine, which is super exciting. Also, I’m launching a charity-based clothing line close to my birthday and can share details on that soon.
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Jeriana San Juan