When you watch the Victoria’s Secret Angels strut the runway in $3 million bras and barely there lingerie, it might be easy to believe the models just show up 30 minutes before showtime, slip into some bedazzled underwear and hop on stage. But in reality, countless hours of work go into making the models look so sexy.
“It’s all about creating the illusion of this amazing body on the runway,” says Selita Ebanks, who walked her first show five years ago. “People don’t realize that there are about 20 layers of makeup on my butt alone.” (!!)
In addition to body makeup, which Ebanks estimates takes well over an hour to apply, the Angels prep in hair and makeup for three to five hours before hitting the runway, with an average of five people–hair stylists, makeup artists and manicurists, working on each of the 38 models.
And if the hours of makeup, laboriously applied hair extensions and 100 pounds of body glitter (worn collectively) weren’t enough, the models are also squeezed into some of the most intricate garments imaginable. But Ebanks says she makes it all work by repeating the mantra “I’m fierce” over and over in her head.