It’s a bright and clear day in the Hamptons. Elsa Hosk and Josephine Skriver are huddled on a couch, in their summer party wear: Hosk’s in a retro ’70s look, her wavy blonde hair (which she recently chopped off) let loose complementing her plunging nude minidress, and Skriver is sporting her tennis whites, in a tied-up crop top, short skirt, and matching headband. They both look like two sides of a Brigitte Bardot coin, who they coincidentally both will later name as their summer beauty inspiration.
Chanel Iman is nearby, getting her makeup touched up, and will join the group shortly — just before running outside to take some Instagram Boomerangs of her dancing by a pool (#summergoals). She’s wearing the off-duty supermodel summer uniform: a floral, millennial pink crop top, jean cutoffs, and flip flops. She explains she prefers simpler shoes during the summer — better to dance in during music festivals.
While it seems like summer may be winding down (sorry to disappoint), temperatures are still heating up, with August being one of the most notoriously muggy and sweaty months of the year. And who knows better about all things heat than Victoria’s Secret Angels who have spent many a humid day being photographed on beaches, managing to look hot without looking, well, hot.
Allure met up with Elsa Hosk, Josephine Skriver, and Chanel Iman during the Revolve in the Hamptons With Moët & Chandon event to chat about summer beauty must-haves, sunny day selfie tips, and lemurs (yes, the animal!).
Let’s start with the basics. What are your favorite summer beauty products?
Elsa: Mine is definitely Biotherm sunscreen, because it protects from the sun and [helps you] stay away from getting wrinkles. It’s just the best beauty product all year round.
Josephine: I always really love traveling with coconut oil for if I get a little burned, especially because the one place I have trouble putting sunscreen on is my scalp. It dries out so much during the summer, so I just kind of sleep with coconut oil on.
Elsa: Also, definitely a highlighter because when the sun hits it, it’s beautiful. I like Hermès Beauty because it’s organic.
Josephine: It kind of works with your sweat!
Chanel: I always like a nice glow stick and highlighter. It’s so hot, especially in New York. Tinted moisturizer is good, with a little bit of a base to it instead of foundation.
What are your favorite swimsuits for this summer? Is there one style you’re leaning towards more?
Josephine: I kind of like retro lately. The bikini, but it’s a little high-waisted, from the ’80s, old school Baywatch, where they pull it up too high. There’s something really sexy about it. It always makes your butt look good.
Elsa: I’m so happy that pulling [swimsuits] up is in style, because I’ve always done that all these years. People always ask why I’m pulling it up so high, and I say ‘it’s hot.’ It makes your waist look smaller and your legs look longer.
Chanel: I’m usually a cheeky kind of two-piece lover, but I was just in Miami for Beach Body fashion show and another model friend of mine was telling me I needed to try out a one-piece with a high waist and high-rise leg.
Any tricks for keeping your hair looking good during sweaty months? Have you learned any tips during photo shoots?
Elsa: For hair, I think it’s always really chic to pull it up in a really tight bun. It always looks really chic when you’re tan if you put a red matte lip. It’s a go-to look.
Josephine: When we’re on set, everybody runs over and puts a cold water bottle [on the back of your neck].
Chanel: The best style is braids for the summer because it’s really cute and it stays in place. You don’t have to worry about something being too tight and it lasts all day.
What summer beauty trends are you still dying to try and which ones do you hope die immediately?
Elsa: I’m not very good at beauty trends because I feel like I always wear the same makeup: a cat eye. I don’t really follow the trends. But I do like a little bit of contouring, that’s really in style right now. I don’t like to overdo it though.
Chanel: I’ve always been a cat eye type of girl. Just a little flick there. It’s super cute, especially if you have cat-eye sunglasses and you take them off and still have the cat eye. It’s super sexy and flirty.
Tips for contouring?
Josephine and Elsa in unison: Blend, blend — please blend!
Elsa: On my face, it doesn’t look good when it’s like beat and thick.
Josephine: I always grew up with ‘keep it minimal.’ For me, it’s all about if I have a perfect brow I don’t care about the rest. And stay hydrated because it keeps your skin glowing and you don’t have to cover it up.
Do you have any tips for the perfect summer brow?
Josephine: Comb them upwards. I always have those little, you know you can grab them from Sephora, those little one-time use mascara brushes. Put a little hairspray on it and brush.
Elsa: I prefer hairspray [on my brows] over gel because hairspray doesn’t show. The gel can also glue them together a little too much. I think it just looks more natural with hairspray.
Josephine: And if you’re looking for a good eyebrow pencil, always go with something ashy or cold. Don’t go for the red tone because when the sun hits, it’ll all of a sudden look like you have orange eyebrows.
Who is your summer beauty inspiration?
Elsa: Brigitte Bardot. She’s the essential summer icon.
Josephine: I think I always have her in the back of my head too. She always has the high-waisted, perky look. Lately, I’ve been wearing a lot of pigtails just because I keep seeing pictures of [Brigitte], and I’m trying to embrace that.
Do you have any tips for taking selfies?
Josephine: iPhones can’t handle direct sunlight.
Elsa: It’s really all about light, you can make anyone look freaking amazing with the right light…most of the time for people, it’s frontal light that looks best.
Josephine: Your perfect light throughout the day would be before 11 a.m. or after 4 p.m. That’s what we call the magic hours at work. You don’t want that light in between. Most of the time you have to step two steps into the shadow, and then you have the pool or a white floor bouncing the light in your face, but you’re not directly in it.
Which do you prefer? Instagram selfies or photo shoots?
Chanel: I like selfies, just because it’s not so perfect. I like all my photos to be very candid, like I’m not trying to be a model.
What’s the craziest summer photo shoot you’ve been on?
Chanel: For Sports Illustrated, I shot in Madagascar with a whole bunch of baby lemurs. I had to smear bananas all over me for them to come, because they were wild. I couldn’t wait to take a photo with them, but when you hear them in the trees swinging you get a little afraid…you’re like, ‘Sh*t, they’re coming.’
Josephine and Elsa in unison: Victoria’s Secret Swim Special.
Elsa: We were in St. Barth’s, and the crew was maybe a thousand people.
Josephine: We had four or five shoots every day. All the Angels, everyone was there.
Elsa: It was hard to take sleep seriously because it was a party every night. You’d wake up and have to shoot at 5 a.m. We’d jump off cliffs, dive with dolphins, do these shoots on jet skis. It was insane…it was six days of that.
Do you ever get sick of being on the beach?
Josephine: It was never my first option when I went on vacation, because my family and my friends would always want to go to the beach and I was like, ‘Yeah, but we’ve been at the beach all year.’ You do get a little jaded, for sure. But now, I miss it! It’s also kind of a tease, because most of the time, you’re not allowed to be in the water. You’re looking at this blue crystal water all day, but they’re like, ‘Don’t get your hair and makeup wet.’ You’re just fuming on the beach.
What’s your beauty mantra?
Elsa: Less is more.
Josephine: We’re both from Scandinavia, I think that’s kind of what you get brought up with.
Elsa: I was never allowed to dye my hair. I was never allowed to have a piercing. My parents are very natural.
Josephine: Me and my mom sat down when I was 16 and had a conversation like, ‘I think I’m ready to wear mascara now.’ And when we were young, if we headed to the disco or something, I’d maybe put on a blue eyeliner. But I wouldn’t have anything else on so I wouldn’t finish a look with anything.
Elsa: Do you remember those Juicy lip glosses? They’re kind of like a toy or candy. It was the only thing I was allowed to wear. There is no makeup in my house.
That must’ve been a wild experience to start going to photo shoots after that upbringing.
Josephine: It was a whole new world opening up to me. I was like, ‘What the hell is a highlighter?’ You learn about it and you realize the magic and power makeup can have.
Elsa: I love makeup now. I think it’s so much fun. I never put it on myself, but I love going to work and becoming a character. It really helps you become something.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
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- How to Become a Victoria’s Secret Angel
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