Careers in modelling – how to look good

Careers in modelling – how to look good
In modelling, your body is your most important asset. If you don’t look after your health and your looks, the telltale signs will be obvious to prospective agencies and employers and you’ll find it difficult breaking into the industry or progressing in your modelling career. Here are some tips on how to look after your health and your body and how to present yourself well to get ahead in modelling.
Eat a healthy diet
Beauty isn’t just on the outside – what we do to the inside of our bodies has a major impact on how healthy we look on the outside. It’s therefore important to eat healthily. Aim to eat a balanced diet comprising all the main food groups. The main proportion of your daily calorie intake should be from complex carbohydrates such as wholemeal grains, breads and cereals, which are a good source of energy and nutrition. Avoid refined carbohydrates and sugary foods as much as possible, although it doesn’t do any harm to treat yourself now and again – the key is everything in moderation. Also get your five daily portions of fruit and vegetables and eat a good few portions of dairy products and protein every day. Cut out as much saturated fat as possible and try to focus on eating ‘good’ unsaturated fats such as those found in oily fish, seeds and nuts.

Eating a healthy diet doesn’t mean restricting yourself. Although models needs to be slim, being underweight is unhealthy and dangerous and you should never try to starve yourself. Ensure you meet all your nutritional needs while getting the appropriate amount of exercise and you should be able to stay svelte and healthy.
Exercise regularly to keep your body in shape. No one type of exercise is better than another – do whatever you enjoy most. Swimming is good all-round exercise and most people have a public pool in their local area, or you could join your local gym where there will be professional instructors on hand to work out an appropriate programme of exercise for you. Alternatively, simply try walking or cycling. As well as two or three dedicated exercise sessions per week, aim to be as active as possible on a daily basis by, for example, walking up to the corner shop to buy a pint of milk rather than taking the car or the bus.
Drink plenty of water
If you’re dehydrated, which many of us are, your skin won’t look as bright, fresh, soft and glowing as it should. Drink plenty of fluids, particularly water, to keep your skin refreshed.
Cover up in the sun
Sun worshippers may look healthy and tanned in the short-term, but excess sun exposure quickly takes its toll and is one of the most ageing factors on the skin, doing as much damage as nicotine from tobacco smoke. Too much time spent in direct sunlight can cause wrinkles and lessen the elasticity of the skin, and worse still it can cause skin cancer. Any time you go outside, even if it’s not a particularly hot or sunny day, cover up appropriately and wear a high-factor sun screen cream.
Facial skincare
Work out a good beauty regime and stick to it. You don’t need to spend money on exclusive or designer skincare products. Just understand your skin type (normal, combination, oily) and try out various good-quality products from your local high street beauty care store until you find the ones that are right for you. Never use soap on your face. Always use a gentle cleanser. You’ll also need a toner to freshen up your complexion and wipe away excess cleanser, and a moisturiser to keep your skin soft and supple. Choose a moisturiser with UV filters to protect your skin from the sun.
Body care
Use a good moisturiser all over your body to keep your skin soft, toned and fresh. Was your legs, armpits and bikini line rather than shaving – it’s a more natural and long-lasting look. Have it done professionally if you want, or simply buy a good-quality home waxing kit. In addition to a good body cream, you’ll need a good foot cream to keep your feet in tip-top condition. There’s nothing worse than feet with hard skin, blisters or sores. Wear comfortable, flat and supportive shoes whenever you can to help avoid irritation and swelling.
Get a good haircut regularly to keep your hair in good condition. The more often it’s cut, the healthier and glossier it will look. There’s nothing worse than straggly hair with split ends. Steer clear of outlandish hairstyles and colours. You want to convey a professional image at all times, and you need to be flexible and adaptable for various modelling purposes. Don’t try to dye your hair at home – domestic dyes are of a lesser quality and it’s difficult to get a natural and stylish result.
Brush your teeth at least twice a day and after meals if possible, and replace your toothbrush regularly to ensure it cleans effectively. Flossing is also an integral part of a good daily dental hygiene regime. Get your teeth looked after professionally too by visiting your dentist every six months for a check-up. Have any treatment that’s necessary for your dental health – a good smile is vital for any model. You can also help to limit decay and staining by limiting your intake of tea and coffee and avoiding fizzy drinks as much as possible.
Attention to detail is important for a model, so keep your fingernails and toenails immaculate – they’ll be noticed if they’re scruffy. You don’t need to go to a professional nail salon on a regular basis. Just use hand cream regularly, keep the cuticles in good condition, and cut, file and buff your nails before covering them in a protective clear varnish. Do this every few days – stale and flaking varnish looks unsightly.
It’s true – you do need your beauty sleep, not just to keep you looking physically well, but to help you remain alert and confident to face prospective agencies. Aim to get at least eight hours of sleep per night. The hours before midnight are particularly beneficial, so try to get into a routine of going to bed early and getting up early. Never go on big nights out or late night drinking sessions the night before an appointment with an agency or a photo shoot. Your bleary eyes and pale skin won’t look very photogenic and won’t convey a very professional image!
Models need to know how to sit up and stand up straight – slouching, arched backs and rounded shoulders don’t look good on camera or in front of an audience. Think about how you sit and walk. Keep your back upright and straight, hold your shoulders back, tuck in your tummy and bottom and keep your chin up. This will help you to stand tall and walk confidently as well as sit in an elegant manner. Classes such as yoga, pilates and Alexander Technique can work wonders for your posture.
Most women don’t wear the right bra size and aren’t even aware of it. A good-fitting bra can really boost your assets and accentuate your waist as well as giving you better support to keep your breasts in good condition. Go to a professional lingerie shop, not just a high street department store where the staff are often unqualified and the bras of poor quality, and get yourself measured for a good-quality, good-fitting bra. It’s better to fork out for a couple of good bras than to have a wide range of flimsy and ill-fitting ones.
Most women make the mistake of wearing too big a back size, yet the majority of the support that a bra provides should come from the back strap and not from the shoulder straps. The back strap should fit tightly but not uncomfortably – you should still be able to slip two fingers between the strap and your back. Another common mistake is to wear a cup size that’s too small, which can result in bulging at the armpits or front of the chest. Ensure that the cup holds your entire breast, from under the armpit all the way round to the front and also above the cup.