Confession: I’m not a Victoria’s Secret model and never will be—but I’ve accepted this reality and come to terms with it. Since most of my free time is spent firing up my Netflix queue, sharing memes on Instagram and I get way too hangry to ever go on an actual diet, rock-hard abs like an Angel’s will always be out of the question.
While Angels’ fitness level is something to be applauded, as someone with acne-prone skin I’ve always envied the models’ clear, radiant skin that (sorry for being obvious), looks like they used those wings to fly down from heaven onto the runway of the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Since testing products and various beauty routines is part of my job, following the same skincare regimen as the Angels do when they’re prepping for the show was worth a shot. And if the final result was a glowing complexion that rivaled an Angel’s? Consider that the equivalent of a first-time model getting her wings.
As it turns out, the models’ routine is pretty standard and actually doesn’t require too much extra effort. “My main skincare goal for the models is to achieve a luminous glow and definition. I want to leave them with perfect skin that is ready for makeup and ready for the show,” Mzia Shiman, celebrity facialist and the woman behind the Angels’ amazing complexions told me. Although she regularly works on the Angels throughout the year, she gives them all skincare routine to follow in the weeks leading up to the show as well as a professional treatment the weekend before it tapes.
Above all, the Shiman warns the models against introducing new products or treatments—which I’m completely guilty of because I irrationally expect to see instant results when using skincare products. However, I practiced self-control for three weeks and was monogamous with the Angels’ routine.
The morning lineup consists of cleansing with Decléor Aroma Cleanse Essential Cleansing Milk ($30; nordstrom.com), a spritz of Decléor Aroma Cleanse Essential Tonifying Lotion ($30; nordstrom.com), and applying Decléor Aromessence Rose D’Orient Soothing Serum ($73; nordstrom.com). At night, the facialist suggests the Angels finish their days by washing their faces with Decléor Aroma Cleanse 3-in-1 Hydra-Radiance Smoothing & Cleansing Mousse ($35; nordstrom.com), spritzing on the Tonifying Lotion, and massaging on Decléor Aromessence Rose D’Orient Soothing Night Balm ($42; dermstore.com).
“The models very much benefit from calming treatments, which is why we I products and techniques that work against inflammation, redness, and dehydration,” Shiman explained when I asked how she conjured up the most optimal routine for the models. And after a few days, I could see the same effects on my skin, too. Usually when I breakout I overdose on every acne-fighting product I have in my medicine cabinet even though I know better. This usually results in a skincare product hangover where my complexion is red, irritated, and inflamed.
VIDEO: Inside the Victoria's Secret Models' Pre-Show Workouts
In just a few days after I started following Shiman’s product lineup, my skin was noticeably calmer. I experienced less inflammation, and aside from the average blemish or two that coincided with my cycle, my skin was relatively clear. However, I expected this all to change when I travelled over Thanksgiving weekend.
Aside from the fact that the in-flight air sucks all the moisture out of skin, I indulged in a weekend of gluttony full of foods that Shiman recommends the models keep their hands off of like carbs and salty dishes. While Shiman treats the Angels to an Oxygen Facial right before the show and ensures they’re using Decléor Aurabsolu Instant Glow Hydrogel Mask ($20; decleorusa.com) a few times the week of the show, I went the more practical route and popped on the Hydrogel Mask after my flight.
The instant glow that the jasmine-infused sheet mask gave my skin may not have been ethereal, but my complexion looked fresh and dewy enough to warrant a compliment from my friends, not to mention the new, overall zen-like sate of my skin—and that’s better than any pair of wings.