How to Get the Face of an Angel, the 2011 Edition
To the naked eye, it was business as usual for the nearly naked bodies that graced the Victoria’s Secret runway yesterday—long legs, bejeweled bikinis, bronzed skin, and all. But backstage, there was a beauty revolution afoot. “Sometimes, after a point, you realize that ‘more’ is your worst enemy,” makeup artist Tom Pecheux said of the relatively pared-down approach he and hairstylist Orlando Pita took when prepping models for the show. In stark contrast to previous years’ presentations, nary a false eyelash or spray-tanning booth could be spotted in the crowded room on the third floor of the Lexington Avenue Armory in New York, where angels (and countless camera crews) had gathered. “We thought, ‘Why do you have to put so much fakeness on the girls?’” Pecheux asked rhetorically, explaining his decision to steer clear of the copious amounts of bronzer and sparkly pigments that typically color these events. Of course, a subtle pinkish honey hue was still visible, thanks to a blended wash of Victoria’s Secret Very Sexy Luminous Bronzer in Glitterati and its VS Makeup Mineral Blush Duo in Starlet. Pecheux also dipped into its Brilliant Shimmer Shadow in Golddust, which he swept across temples and dotted on the inner corners of eyes for light. Looking for a seasonal muse to embody his new “real glamour” inspiration, Pecheux thought about who would have been a Victoria’s Secret angel if the brand had been around in the fifties. The answer: Marilyn Monroe. “I stole the liner from Marilyn,” Pecheux admitted of the thin black line he drew along upper lash lines using Victoria’s Secret Precision Liquid Eyeliner in Blackest Black, adding a customary flick on the end. Finishing touches came by way of multiple coats of its Triple Drama mascara and a slick of its Lipstick in Whisper, a champagne pink, that was painted onto mouths.
And the scale-back effort didn’t stop there: Even models’ notorious faux glows were taken down a notch. While tanning guru Jimmy Coco worked some spray-on magic a few days prior to the main event, on site it was more about moisturizing to create lush limbs: 30 full bottles of Victoria’s Secret Angel fragrance lotion were used for just 38 girls—almost a full bottle per model. Once the cream was thoroughly massaged in, a light veil of its Flawless Airbrush Instant Bronze Body Spray was applied for contouring.
As for those requisite sexy waves, Orlando Pita kept it dually simple. It’s “undone glamour this year,” the coiffing star said of the “lived-in” sets he created by prepping hair with a texturizer, like Victoria’s Secret So Sexy Style Clean & Go Dry Shampoo, creating a deep side part and finger-combing the soft bend he had imparted with a one-and-a-half-inch curling iron. A halo of VS’s Brilliant & Glossy Shine Mist added a glimmer when models graced the catwalk. “It’s not so complicated for me—it’s more complicated for the girls. I’ve heard from them that there’s a lot of wind resistance with those wings when they walk,” said Pita. “Passing each other is also hard,” Jacquelyn Jablonski confirmed from Pita’s chair. Ah, occupational hazards.
Photo: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images