Wink and smile. Puckered-up lips. Arms thrown in the air joyfully. Victoria’s Secret PINK model Elsa Hosk is rapid-fire posing in front of me as a photographer snaps her every move. Hand full of balloons, head cocked to one side. Hair twirling. A bra—specifically, the new VS PINK Wear Everywhere Bra she’s promoting this morning—held in front of the face, the two cups strategically placed over each eye.
A PR girl standing to my right leans in. "She’s good, right?" I raise my eyebrows and nod.
She’s so good, in fact, that I find it hard to believe that the lithe blonde girl in Isabel Marant heels (these ones) standing before me played professional basketball (yes, really!) before modeling full-time—do the two even have anything in common? According to Elsa, possibly. Read on for her thoughts on sports versus fashion, her fellow Angels and Swedish candy.
Lucky: Before you became a model, you were a profession basketball player. Which career is more demanding?
Elsa Hosk: While the two are different, I definitely brought things from my background as an athlete to into modeling. Just knowing your body, and knowing how to work in front of the camera and knowing your angles. I feel like I still have those muscles from when I was basketball player. It helps with modeling!
All that training must have been tough on your skin and hair. What did you do to prevent and repair damage?
My skin is like everyone else’s—I break out, my hair gets oily and damaged. I think being gentle with your skin, and not wearing too much makeup [helps a lot]. Obviously I have to wear makeup while I’m working, but I always take it off right after. I never sleep in makeup; I always make sure I have a clean face [before bed]. And don’t wash your hair too often! If you have some time, and aren’t going out and seeing anyone, put your hair in a bun and let the natural oils come out.
Speaking of beauty tips, what’s the best one you’ve picked up from a fellow Angel?
Oh gosh, the Angels are all really good at beauty! They all know exactly what they’re talking about. I think the number one thing that we all do, though, is not stay out in the sun too much—we always get spray tans. That’s so much better for your skin than getting sun damage. So all those pictures you see where everyone is tanned and glowing and beautiful, it’s all spray tan. So I definitely recommend doing that instead of lying out.
Another beauty question: what are the best products from your home country, Sweden?
You know, there are some really good ones, although I travel there too seldom to pick them up! I don’t know if there’s a brand here you could get. But I think there’s so many great brands [in America], though. One of my favorites is RMS Beauty—it’s all organic, and a Victoria’s Secret makeup artist created it. It’s really all about being gentle with your skin, and not putting too many chemicals on.
So no beauty products, but what about candy? Is there any Swedish candy you can’t live without?
I try to go to Sockerbit [a Swedish candy store] in the West Village at least once a week because I’m obsessed with salty licorice. Ah, it’s so good! I want some right now! It’s the only place in New York you can get it, so if I’m in the area I’m constantly like, "Yeah, let’s go to Sockerbit and get some candy…"
What else can’t you live without? If I were to go dig through your purse right now, what are five things I’d find?
A lot of RMS beauty products—I love the bronzer, the eye creams and even the foundation is great. Lip gloss—I love Victoria’s Secret lip glosses, they’re so good and have better texture than any other lip gloss. I like these roller essential oils, instead of perfume, because perfume gives me headaches. I always keep a nail file, in case I damage a nail—boring stuff, really! I think I’m pretty normal.