Bianca Balti: Light Blue Beach Babe
One whiff of Dolce & Gabbana’s iconic Light Blue fragrance, and it’s easy to see why the Sicilian-citron, Granny Smith-apple, jasmine, bamboo, amber, and musk eau has remained a best seller for twelve years. The scent is lighthearted, boasting a certain effervescence that allows it to be unobtrusive while still making a lasting impression. “When you smell it, you smell summer,” says Bianca Balti, the latest face of the iconic scent, whose Mario Testino-lensed ads, shot in Capri, just started to appear in glossies worldwide. A first for Balti—a season-spanning favorite of the Italian design duo who has fronted a number of their fashion campaigns but never a fragrance—the images feature her golden limbs alongside those of male model extraordinaire David Gandy as the two lounge around the Mediterranean island. Here, the model reveals how she wears her Light Blue, as well as summer hair remedies to live by.
How does this scent embody the spirit of the Mediterranean climes featured in its ad campaign?
It’s not because of the campaign or the TV ad that we think about the Mediterranean with this fragrance. When you smell it, it’s really citrusy—lemon. When you smell it, you smell summer. Then comes the Capri sentiment. If I have to think about a woman who wears it, it’s more of a teenager. It’s like the excitement of holidays from school. It’s fresh and bubbly, like the flirtation when you’re a teenager, and you fall so much in love for a week with a guy you meet when you’re on vacation with your parents, and then you never see that guy again! It’s so strong, but fresh. There are not very similar fragrances. It suits you better in summer, but if you put it on with gray skies, then you feel a little bit of summer, too.
Are your summers, as I imagine them based on these ad images, all bronzed limbs, beautiful beaches, and gorgeous white bikinis?
I’m Italian. I go to the beach. I put SPF 50 on, but I get tan anyway. You need to keep your skin safe, but you know, my whole routine is under the sun, diving in the water, under the sun, diving in the water…
Where does fragrance factor in? Where do you apply it—and when?
[I apply it] everywhere. After I get out of the shower, I put on the perfume, and then after, when I get dressed, when I go to the mirror to check [myself] out. I spray it and walk through it so it gets on my clothes and in my hair—just in case. My bag is usually already really heavy, so if I take the perfume, it’s too much. That’s why I put a lot on in the morning.
What are your other big beauty indulgences?
When I lived in New York, I got a manicure and pedicure twice a week—I loved it. I relaxed, I read magazines. Even if I didn’t need it, I loved it. In Italy, it’s different. You don’t have that kind of walk-in process.
What about makeup? Do you never leave the house without foundation, mascara, et cetera?
Working so much, I don’t put so much makeup on myself. I go with no makeup to shoots, and then when I take a shower, I moisturize my skin, and I do a hair mask. My hair gets very much stressed-out, and that stresses me out. I’m really obsessed with my hair. I feel like I had twice the amount of hair that I have now before I started modeling.
What kind of mask do you use?
I put a lot of oil [on]—whenever I fly, even through the night—and wash it out the morning after. If I don’t work for three days, I keep it in for three days, comb it, and put my hair in a chignon. It just looks really clean. On flights it’s great because it’s so dry. I try to keep my hair moist, and the more it’s moist, the less I have split ends. I started with the Argan oil when I went to Morocco. That’s when it all started. But sometimes it’s hard to wash it out, so I use the L’Oréal [Elvive] Extraordinary Oil. It absorbs very fast, so it doesn’t dirty the pillow—and it washes out very easily.