by Helen Clemson and Jill Percia
Summer clothing is like the zoom feature on your camera: It focuses attention directly on certain areas. And who better to help you perfect these areas than “parts” models—women who are paid to showcase their fantastic tushes, feet, legs, or hands in ad campaigns. Here, they reveal tactics for getting billboard-worthy assets.
Model: Bailey West
Her lovely limbs have appeared in ads for Vince Camuto, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Caché, and West attributes her proverbial (slim, toned) leg up to an active lifestyle—”any time there’s an opportunity to move more, I take it”—and a balanced, junk-free plate. These are the other ways she keeps her stems shapely:
Take it outside. “As kids growing up in California, we never watched TV. When the sun was out, we were too. I loved playing outside and running, and I try to keep that up in my day-to-day life now. I run long-distance, I’m a horseback rider, and I enjoy gardening, too. I love to keep my body going.”
Undo black-and-blues. “Leg models have to be really careful about getting scrapes and bruises, but if I do get one, I soak a cotton ball in pure lavender essential oil, then place it on the spot for a couple of hours to help fade the bruise. I just tried it one day and it worked, and now it’s a remedy I use all the time.” (Makes sense: Lavender is a great anti-inflammatory agent.) Try 365 Everyday Value 100% Pure Lavender Essential Oil($25, at Whole Foods).
Shave smoothly. “I’ve always wanted to do laser, but blonde hair [like mine] doesn’t take treatment well, so I just shave. My trick is to use lots of soap and lather it up really well—I use the white Dove bar ($4 for a two-bar pack, at drugstores) because it’s so gentle—then glide the razor upward very lightly several times, which is better than doing it less and pressing too hard. I haven’t cut myself in eight years, I think.”
Go faux. “St. Tropez Gradual Tan Everyday Body Moisturiser($30, at sephora.com) is awesome, because it looks so natural and fades off evenly without flaking. I’ll use it for a full week leading up to a lingerie shoot to give my legs a little color so they photograph better. And I apply it as soon as I get out of the shower, because self-tanner absorbs best when skin is clean and fresh. Plus, I have to moisturize anyway—this product does both!”
Model: Yana Zinovyena
When she first started commercial print modeling, this beauty had no idea parts modeling even existed. Now, her famous hands grace campaigns for Dior, Estée Lauder, and Sally Hansen. “Regular modeling requires me to go on castings, but once you become well known for your ‘part,’ you just show up and work!” says Zinovyeva. Even if your hands aren’t up to modeling standards (long nail beds and fingers; perfect, spot-free skin), you can still beautify them.
Clean your slate. “When I’m not working, my nails are bare—leaving polish on them can turn your nails yellow. And whenever I go home after a shoot, the polish comes right off. It’s not much fun!” (Tip for your tips: If you don’t want to walk around with naked nails, always apply a base coat before polish to prevent staining.)
Hydrate, big time. “One of my favorite hand creams is Eau Thermale Avène Cold Cream Hand Cream ($15, aveneusa.com for stores). It’s important to really massage it into drier spots like knuckles—especially after each time I wash my hands to replace moisture.” Every night, right before bed, she applies Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil ($8.50, essie.com).
Try to DIY. “I stay away from inexpensive manicures—they aren’t as good as the ones I get on set—and do an at-home manicure once a week. I know exactly how to shape my nails–rounded edges and a square tip—and use cuticle remover.” It’s gentler than cutting cuticles. Try Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover ($6, at drugstores).
Go undercover. “I wear gloves even at the beach to protect my hands from the sun, which is really aging. Once I explain what I do, people don’t think it’s weird.”
Model: Serafin Margolis
Despite the fact that Margolis’s feet took a hammering during her ballet-dancing childhood, they’re up to foot-modeling snuff—meaning smooth skin, evenly shaped toes and nails, and zero calluses or blemishes. “I was self-conscious about my feet, but people started commenting on how pretty they are and began requesting them for shoots,” she says (Margolis started her career as a regular model). Take her advice for looking sizzling from the ankles down.
Slough and soften. “Before a shoot, I soak my feet in bath salts and hot water, exfoliate them with a pumice stone—concentrating on the back of my heels and side of my big toes–and then apply a heavy moisturizer. If I have a day’s notice, I apply heavy skin cream and sleep with socks on so the cream soaks in, leaving my feet very soft.” Try Clarins Foot Beauty Treatment Cream ($25, clarins.com). “I don’t overhydrate my feet, though; too much moisturizer and my skin gets too soft, leading to a blister—a total no-no in my business. One or two days of treatment is perfect.”
Add a shield. “To protect my toenails from shoes and nail polish, I never forgo a base coat.” Try Sally Hansen Triple Strong ($6, at drugstores). “I mostly wear flats, but if I opt for heels, I use gel pads in the soles to alleviate any stress and pressure on my feet.”
Trim smart. “Sometimes shoes on the job are too small (I’m a size 8), and wearing tight shoes can result in ingrown toenails. To avoid them, I cut straight across the nails and try not to make them too short. I leave them long enough so there’s a gap between my nail and the skin.”
Model: Vera Casagrande
Being in kick-(um)-ass condition isn’t a new thing for Casagrande. “I had a six-pack when I was 12,” the former gymnast says with a laugh. But now it’s her divine derriere that’s getting the attention, having made cameos in campaigns for Kenneth Cole and Silkies lingerie, and even right here on the pages of Women’s Health. A few tush tips to try:
Lift and stretch. “At the gym, I’ll run and then do squats with light dumbbells-it’s amazing for toning my butt and thighs. Then I end with a long stretch, which I feel helps maintain that ‘yoga body’ look. One of my favorite moves is to sit on the floor, legs apart, then bend over each leg for a few minutes, really feeling a good stretch in my hamstrings and glutes,” she says.
Moisturize inside and out. “Drinking lots of water helps hydrate the skin and give it a smoother appearance. I also opt for natural coconut oil and apply it everywhere to keep my skin smooth, soft, and hydrated.” TryVMV Hypoallergenics Know-It-Oil organic coconut oil ($40 for 8.5 oz, vmvhypoallergenics.com).
Fuel wisely. “My plate is mostly vegetables, with some grains and meat. I avoid fast food and sweets, which can cause weight gain and possibly cellulite.”
Blur the lines. “If I go to the beach, I always apply sunscreen to prevent tan lines from my bikini bottom, which don’t look good when I’m shooting. If I do get them, I even things out with self-tanner.” Her pick: Jergens Natural Glow Foaming Daily Moisturizer ($9, at drugstores).