Victoria’s Secret models are the unicorns of the beauty world. “They are rarer than superstar athletes,” says Edward Razek, chief marketing officer for the brand. “There are probably fewer than 100 women in the world who could walk our runway, and only 33 were chosen this year.” If you’re not one of these mythical creatures—we didn’t make the cut either— here are some Darwin-inspired strategies to boost your biological beauty hot spots.
DOT THE EYES
Unicorn Adriana Lima.
Bio 101 Men are subconsciously attracted to women with doll-like eyes because it triggers their protective instincts, writes psychologist Nancy L. Etcoff in her book Survival of the Prettiest.
Fake it “Adding individual lashes to the outer edge of your lash line can make your eyes appear larger,” explains Tom Pecheux, makeup artist for Esteé Lauder, backstage at this year’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in New York. “Extending your eyeliner just beyond your lash line will also open your eye.”
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Unicorn Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.
Bio 101 Lips, more than eyes or hair, hold a man’s attention, says Dr. Geoff Beattie, dean of psychology sciences at England’s University of Manchester. In his research, Beattie found that men will gaze at women’s lips for an average of seven seconds compared to 0.95 seconds for eyes and 0.85 for hair. If a woman is wearing red lipstick, she’ll lock him in for 7.3 seconds versus 6.7 when she’s wearing pink.
Fake it “A
red lip is bold and sexy,” says Greg Wencel, makeup artist for CoverGirl. “Dab gloss on the bottom lip to create the illusion of fullness, and use a shade with blue undertones to make teeth appear even whiter.”
Unicorn Candice Swanepoel.
Bio 101 According to University of California research, cavemen preferred blondes because it was easier to detect ailments, such as anemia or jaundice, on light skin. But that doesn’t mean they still prefer them. A City University London study found that 51 percent of men think brunettes are more attractive and 81 percent think they’re smarter. Four out of 10 men described blondes as needy.
Fake it “Whatever your shade, healthy hair turns heads,” says Eric Del Monaco, a celeb stylist. “Use a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner and a spray to tame flyaways.”
Unicorn Alessandra Ambrosio.
Bio 101 The allure of the hourglass silhouette is well known, but new research from Steven Platek, a psychology professor at Georgia Gwinnett College, reveals why men’s brains are programmed to ogle. “When men look at women with the idealized shape, it stimulates the same regions of the brain as drugs and alcohol,” he explains.
Fake it Alessandra owes her supernova shape to Leonardo Carvalho, who created the Brazilian Butt Lift workout. But for a pain-free alternative, Victoria’s Secret tan artist Jimmy Coco suggests a sun-kissed glow. “A spray makes you appear lean and enhances definition.”
Unicorn Karolina Kurkova.
Bio 101 According to research published in The Journal of Evolutionary Psychology, a woman can lure a man by tilting her head downward because she looks more feminine and it makes him feel taller and more manly.
Fake it Once you’ve caught his eye, seduce him with a flawless complexion. “The goal is to have skin that glows from within,” says Diane Kendal, makeup artist for NARS. “Use an oil-free primer, a luminous foundation and iridescent powder.”
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