It Takes Five People and Twenty Layers of Butt Makeup to Ready Each Victoria’s Secret Model for the Show

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"A lineup for the dance / yeah bring those fancy pants / y'know there's disco in the air / and hairspray everywhere." Photo: Getty Images

As if we need to write this down for you: The Victoria's Secret fashion show airs tonight on CBS. And though the models make it look fun and flirty and sexy and easy, it is grueling work that even the most professional of models have difficulty with. Each girl spends three to five hours in hair and makeup before the show. Each girl gets five hair and makeup people to ready her for her great walk. At least an hour, probably longer, is spent on body makeup. Selita Ebanks says it's "all about creating the illusion of this amazing body on the runway":

"People don't realize that there are about 20 layers of makeup on my butt alone."


Which in itself presents another logistical challenge, because what if a girl then has to put on tights or leggings over that makeup? How do they avoid getting it on the outside of the garment during their quick changes and winding up looking like victims of unfortunate accidents? And what if they forget it's there and sit down for their seventeenth interview with Access Hollywood? But apparently that is the least of their problems. The greatest challenge for a Victoria's Secret model is multitasking: walking while wearing clothes:


Ebanks' first look on the 140-foot-long runway is a gold lightning bolt strapped lengthwise across her middle. Think supersized Christmas tinsel weighing 30 pounds, and with dangerously sharp points.

"They added a 15-pound sandbag to my hip so the points wouldn't scrape my thighs when I walked, and there was a metal rod in it," says Ebanks. "When I first came out and cut that corner, my whole body tilted to the side and I thought, 'Oh my God, if I fall in this thing, forget my ego, my body is going to be jacked up.'"

Collectively, the 35 models in the show wear 100 pounds of body glitter, which works out to 2.86 pounds of body glitter per girl. So they already carry plenty of extra weight before their fifteen-pound sandbags go on. At least now we know why they pant so much.

Victoria's Secret Angels strut runway in $3 million bras, 100 pounds of glitter [NYDN]
Related: What Do Models Talk About Backstage at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show? Food, Mostly.
Video: Backstage at the Victoria’s Secret Show