After working in the modeling industry for more than 20 years, I’ve come to realize that if you want to look your best, you also need to feel your best. This inside-out approach has enabled me to cultivate a slew of tried and tested tips and tricks, from the way I order at a restaurant to the types of clothing I wear during workouts. I employ these methods consistently in an effort to maintain a healthy, youthful and radiant appearance in a holistic, healthy way. Below are my top seven supermodel natural beauty tips and tricks …
1. Sweat it out.
I’m a big believer in sweating. Throughout the years, not only has it helped me shed pounds (goodbye baby weight!), but it also does wonders for your skin by opening up pores and helping flush out toxins.
To increase your sweat flow, wear a trash bag next time you work out. You might look a little ridiculous, but I promise you’ll feel much better afterward. And if you’re able to, sit in the sauna or steam room after working out to ensure you’re really shedding that water weight. Sweating has become so popular as of late, that there are entire clothing brands promising to help you sweat more.
But your commitment to sweating isn’t just about what you wear. It’s also about your mental state. When I work out, I push myself to the max, constantly trying to challenge my endurance and ability to work my muscles just a little bit harder than the day before. I find that using this approach three to four days a week tones and slims my body much more effectively than a moderate seven-day workout regimen.
2. Spruce up your water.
I know it sounds simple, but hydration is a key component to maintaining a young, radiant and youthful complexion. I’ll be honest, I’ve never been one of those people that crave water. So I do everything I can to make it as appealing as possible. Try treating it like a cocktail. Muddle some cucumbers, squeeze in a bit of lemon, or throw in a few mint leaves — do whatever you can to make it feel like a special treat. Not only will it taste better, but it’s also a great metabolic booster.
When I’m in the mood to sweeten things up, I add in a few naturally flavored stevia drops. I also like putting my water in fancy glasses and storing them in the fridge so they stay cool and refreshing. And most importantly, I always drink my water with a stainless steel straw — it makes me drink more!
3. Dry brush, exfoliate and moisturize often.
Dry brushing is undoubtedly the least expensive DIY spa treatment on the market. Not only is it effective at shedding dry skin, but it also boosts internal circulation. Dry brushing is most effective when your skin is at its driest state.
After dry brushing, I take a shower and shed any excess dry skin by exfoliating with a DIY sugar scrub. Afterward, my skin feels so smooth and soft. I get the effects of an entire spa treatment in a 15-minute process!
Once my skin is rid of all the grit and grime, it's critical to top it with a moisturizer. Rather than buy an expensive bottle of lotion infused with avocado oil, I prefer to opt for the real stuff. Any local health food and many mainstream grocery stores carry organic avocado oil these days. It contains vitamins A and E, making it a great natural moisturizer. It’s also packed with sterolins, a natural steroid said to be effective at boosting collagen and reducing age spots. And you can use even use it as a hair serum. This stuff is basically the Windex of oils and I keep a bottle on me at all times.
4. Load up on fiber.
Fiber is key to keeping your metabolism high and your weight low! Every day, I eat fiber crackers topped with tomatoes and low-fat cheese. When I want something a little heartier, I make a great fiber cracker pizza. I spread two crackers with red pepper sauce and Parmesan cheese, then stick it in the microwave for 20 seconds. It’s easy, delicious and really healthy.
Once a week I eat completely vegetarian. Eating plant-based for an entire day helps me get a lot of fiber from fruits and veggies into my system.
Of course, everyone gets a sweet tooth. When I’m trying to watch my weight, I satisfy mine by eating dark chocolate squares (they're rich in antioxidants!) or chocolate calcium bites. When I want a little pick-me-up, I drink low-cal hot cocoa with mini marshmallows. The key is not to deny yourself. Focus on finding ways to satisfy your cravings without throwing off your diet.
5. Don’t be afraid to be high maintenance.
When dining out, there are a few tricks I always follow to ensure I can enjoy the atmosphere without packing on the pounds. I always order a salad before my entree so that I get fuller faster. I also look up the menu ahead of time so I know exactly what I’m going to order and won’t be tempted to cheat when I get there.
The second the waiter brings that amazing bread basket out, I politely ask him to take it away so I don’t get tempted. I opt for veggie-based sides like steamed spinach with a side of Dijon mustard or steamed broccoli with garlic. And I stay away from entrees drenched in a sauce; instead, I request that my meat be grilled with little oil or butter. I’ll admit, I can be a bit militant and high maintenance at restaurants, but that’s OK. I’d rather be skinny than sorry!
6. Learn some secrets to combat greasy hair.
A life on the go has helped me gain a lot of tricks in my back pocket for combating greasy tresses. Dry shampoo is my secret weapon. Not only does it help my hair last at least a day longer without washing it, but it’s also a great styling product.
Braids are another great way to hide dirty hair. In fact, the greasier your hair is, the easier it is to braid it. There are so many fun braids to try! I’ve learned to master Halo, the Fishtail, and have several other styles on my list to try out next. The best part about braids is that they look so fancy, no one will have a clue that your sophisticated style is really just a masquerade for skipping showers!
7. Be a smart traveler.
My modeling career took me around the world and back again, teaching me at an early age how important it is to travel smart. It starts with my wardrobe. I always wear a hat and aviators, with black pants and oversized grandpa sweater or blazer.
And the real key is to always, always wear a scarf. It adds a fun styling element and can double as a blanket when it gets chilly on the plane. It’s become my uniform because it looks chic but is still comfortable and wrinkle-resistant.
In addition to my wardrobe, I also focus on remedies to combat jet lag so that I can feel as refreshed as possible when I get to my next destination. A couple nights before I fly, I start getting adjusted to the time zone. If I’m flying east, I go to bed early, and I stay up late when headed west.
I recently read that if you fast for 12 hours before reaching your new destination and then immediately eat upon landing, your body clock is more apt adjust to the time-zone quickly. The same article suggested taking pine bark pills, sucking on a lemon, and visiting museums as natural ways combat jet lag. I plan to try them all — anything to beat that lethargic feeling is well worth the effort!
Photo Credit: Todd Parker