wellness theories

Candice Swanepoel on Inventing Her Own Workouts and Making Grilled Cheese

Candice Swanepoel. Photo: Courtesy of Juicy Couture

Longtime Victoria’s Secret Angel Candice Swanepoel is one of the most famous models in the world, and now she’s also the face of Juicy Couture’s new scent (containing notes of frozen pear Italian mandarin, pear sorbet, cassis leaves and jasmine sambac), Viva La Juicy Glace. In the ad, she says, she plays “a fun, vibrant Juicy girl – feminine and confident,” which doesn’t seem like that much of a stretch. A new mom, the South African model talks to the Cut about how she makes perfect grilled cheese, how her body feels like an alien, and the moisturizer she won’t share.

How I start my morning: I’m usually up early. I can’t really do anything until I’ve had a coffee or a shower — it resets me.

My breakfast varies depending on my mood. I do a nice beauty smoothie. It contains coconut oil, flaxseed oil, banana, protein, some kind of antioxidant fruit like blueberries or strawberries, or some nut butter. I discovered it from doing research; I like to be on beauty blogs. I’ve always loved nutrition and because I’ve worked out for so many years, I’ve figured out what’s best for my body and keeping my energy up. It’s evolved from that.

Sometimes I also like to have eggs and toast or make a grilled cheese. I have one of these sandwich press things but you do it on the fire (or a gas stove) and it toasts the bread so beautifully.

To me, wellness is: Having a balanced lifestyle between personal and work. It’s being happy and healthy. I don’t like restrict myself from certain foods that I want, or kill myself at the gym. It’s really what’s comfortable for my body at the time and what’s best at that moment.

How wellness has changed for me: The amount of time I have has changed. Now I have a lot less time to focus on myself.

But I’ve always been in tune with my body. I started dancing when I was really young, and it just gives you a different sense of your body. Then I started with Victoria’s Secret and building my body with Justin [Gelband].

I’ve been lucky — I was born with quite a fast metabolism. I’m that girl who orders the healthy plate with a side of fries. Your body is like a machine and everyone’s is different. I know mine quite well.

It definitely changes after you have a baby. It’s really impressive. Having a baby is, like, extraterrestrial stuff. I’m amazed by how it bounced back and repaired. Creating a life in your tummy — it’s amazing.

Photo: Courtesy of Juicy Couture

How I sweat: Lately, I’ve been doing my workouts at night because I’ve had full days with my baby. I’ve been doing my own kind of yoga. It’s not traditional yoga, but I put on some music and mix in some Pilates and squat resistance stuff I’ve learned over the years. It’s calm: I can meditate through it and get some flow with some music. It’s a little ritual for me. I do it every time I feel overwhelmed and stressed — I try at least twice a week. How often I do it depends on if I get my baby down or not.

My first scent memory: It was definitely watching my mom get ready for dinner and dinner parties and seeing her put on her fragrance. I remember seeing her walk around the house and getting her bag. It’s so funny as a little girl, watching her do her liner and thinking, I can’t wait.

She would spray directly on her pulse and I do the same. I do about three spritzes, with the last one in my hair. I think it lasts longer that way.

My beauty routine: I cleanse, tone, moisturize, and then do an eye cream religiously, twice a day. I use this gentle green-tea cleanser that I get from Whole Foods. My serum is Biotherm [Swanepoel is the face of the brand] — they have one called the Phyto Plankton. It takes two weeks to start seeing a difference so I’m putting it to the test. I used to use the Colbert serum, that’s a great one. For my eye cream, I use the Colbert Uplift. I like his products a lot. My moisturizer is from my facialist, which I can’t give you. It’s a secret! My daytime routine is pretty much the same, but instead of the serum I use a retinol that my facialist gave me. It’s a pretty light one because my skin gets sensitive with the stronger ones.

My best wellness advice: I haven’t been going by it lately, but it’s to stop drinking coffee. Before I got pregnant, I was feeling my energy levels go up and down all the time. If you replace coffee with a decaf tea or hot chocolate, it’s a good way to reset your energy levels. But now I need coffee to keep me going.

Three Products I Recommend

I use rosewater for toner, it’s something I get at Whole Foods. I love it. I take it on the plane because it’s refreshing. It’s a good step in between cleansing and moisturizing.

I love to try a lot of different ones and I have been loving this sheet mask. It has the most amazing texture of coconut meat. A makeup artist used it on me for the Biotherm shoot.

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Candice Swanepoel on Grilled Cheese and Her Workout Regimen