Top Model Advice: Sorting Fact From Fiction



Hey y'all!* The new crop of would-be models for America's Next Top Model have been announced. Thirteen young ladies are still on their way to becoming... America's. Next. Top. Model. (Honestly, I live for this show.) Tyra and her cohorts constantly give modeling tips to the contestants, and some are pretty spot-on. Others, though, are clearly designed to make better television. I've worked on a few photo shoots, so I thought I'd share my thoughts on whether the show's hair and makeup tips are based in myth or truth. Most of the good ones can be incorporated into your own beauty routine, so read on, my pretties!

Models need to know how to do their own makeup and hair.
False. A basic knowledge of hair and makeup helps, of course, but most commercial and editorial photo shoots will have a stylist or makeup artist who knows how to work with the lighting. There are exceptions, but most models don't need to have a second career as a makeup artist!

There are four other Top Model myths and facts—plus a gallery of all the new girls—so read more

A personality is as important—if not moreso—as good looks.
True. A model with a lousy attitude won't make it. I once booked a model only by looking at her beautiful comp card. But when she showed up to the shoot, her apathetic attitude made the photos look dull. For us non-models, the same thing applies. It sounds corny, but confidence attracts more people than simply being pretty.

Models are chosen because of their clear complexions.
True and false. Yes, the ideal model will have blemish-free skin—but she has to work at it. Models suffer from zits and blackheads like the rest of us; there's no secret model DNA that keeps their skin clear. What they do do is follow their dermatologist's instructions to a T, while those of us who don't have to rely on our looks for a paycheck might not be as religious about cleansing, treating and moisturizing our skin.

A drastic hair makeover is normal for new models.
False. Yes, new models might get highlights and a new cut. But it's not mandatory, and the makeovers you see on Top Model are more about manufacturing drama than creating a model. Remember Brittany's terrible red weave from cycle 8? Sure, she looked markedly different, but let's face it, the hair was fug. Keep this in mind anytime you're thinking of trying out a new cut or color. You may be able to update your look without going the whole nine yards. Use a makeover simulator to see how such changes might look.

A top model knows how to play up her strengths and downplay her flaws.
True. Everyone, model or not, has good angles and not-so-hot angles. Models practice in a mirror to figure out how to trick the camera through presenting their faces and bodies in the best way possible. You can do this at home, too. For instance, I've found that opening my eyes a little wider than usual looks goofy in person, but great on camera. Even if you're not going to be on the pages of a magazine, spend a minute or two testing different angles. When you're photographed at a party or even a driver's license, you'll be glad you did!

*(Yes, that's my Tyra Banks impression. It's also my Britney impression, but trust me, it's all in the delivery.)

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