EXCLUSIVE: The “Scruffy” Angel Lands at Victoria’s Secret
The look at Victoria’s Secret hasn’t changed much in the eighteen years since Angels in lacy underwear and million-dollar bras captured the world’s attention in more than 185 countries, but it’s the subtleties, hair pro Orlando Pita explained, that make all the difference. “In the past we’ve done a dry, sandy, beachy texture, but this year it’s shiny and glossy,” he said. While this may appear like a minor change to the naked eye, it makes a major impact on high-def cameras.
For face painter Dick Page, he aimed to make the girls look a bit more “scruffy,” which caught the attention of one of the executive producers of the fashion show. (Scruffy and sexy might not normally go hand in hand, but when it comes to Page, you have to trust that the finished product will be spot-on.) During the huddle with both beauty gurus, last year’s look was discussed: Lipstick should give way to a more balm-y, just bitten mouth; the shadow should be a bit more smudgy (and therein lies the scruff); and absolutely no glitter should be used.
To get the glistening waves, Pita prepped the strands with Victoria’s Secret So Sexy Body & Hold Volumizing Mousse and blew them dry with a round, vented ceramic brush from ghd to build body. Next, he glued in multiple levels of extensions—opting for a tone that played up the lightest shade seen in each model’s roots. “Dark hair, especially, can look really dense on television; this [trick] gives it depth and makes it look more natural,” he said. The ends were razored to approximately each girl’s natural length, and strands were misted liberally with So Sexy Style Hold & Finish Hairspray. Using his signature technique (where the middle of the hair is wrapped under and over the barrel of a curling iron, in this case a 1.5 inch version—leaving the ends out), Pita created loose curls before finger combing and finishing with more hair spray. To get the look at home, however, he suggests using an easier-to-wield flatiron, like the forthcoming tri-zone styler from ghd. As for the part, there was great debate as to whether it should be in the middle or slightly off center, but the final decision was to follow the way each model’s hair naturally fell—keeping their individuality intact. (If you’re wondering, Karlie Kloss will be maintaining her signature bob.)
“I’ve been given a very strict directive, but I’m going to fuck with it like I do,” Page said of the makeup. After the recent death of Lou Reed and listening to The Velvet Underground & Nico, the master of maquillage came up with the “scruffy Angel” concept. To achieve it, he used a black-brown liner pencil on the inner rim and ran it imperfectly along the top lashes before smudging the pigment up and over the lid. To intensify the outer corners, Page dusted the dark chocolate shade from the VS Makeup Eye Shadow Quad in Eye Contact in a “V” shape, then applied the shimmery gold color over the inner half of the eye to catch the light. Instead of traditional blush, he warmed up Color Drama Lipstick in Taken on the inside of his forearm and used a cosmetic wedge to apply it to cheeks (a similar method was employed at Narcisco Rodriguez this past season). “I want them to look like they’ve had a really good shag, or anything else unorthodox that would make you pink in the face…like excitable shopping,” Page quipped. The skin was then layered with a sheer foundation using a brush—allowing the color to come through much like a natural flush. “I want to have final control over the complexion,” he said of his approach. Color Drama Lipstick in True (for models walking in the Pink portion of the show) or Flawless (worn by the rest of the girls) was pressed onto lips, then top lashes were coated with Volume Lift Mascara in black, and brows were lightly defined with a pencil as a finishing touch.
The only things left to complete this slightly undone Angel: wings and sass. “This show is probably the closest you get to real modeling, where the girls are truly animating the clothes,” said Page. Or in this case, the lack thereof.