Shocking Swimsuit Modeling Secrets Told By Real Models

Even though they're models, not all swimsuit styles are easy to pull off.

Denise Bidot, the first plus-size model to walk in New York Fashion Week and the face of swimsuitsforall's "Beach Body. Not Sorry." campaign, and Hannah Ferguson, a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model, share some truths about swimsuit modeling and what really goes into getting the perfect shot.

1. They place hand warmers all over their bodies to stay warm in their bikinis. â€‹"One time, I had a shoot here in New York, and we were shooting on a rooftop. The wind was blowing. It was just freezing. I had hand warmers, but I had to put them all on the backside of me. It's kind of funny to see the behind-the-scenes of that shoot because in the pictures, it looks so warm and nice out, but then I have these heaters all around me.​" —Hannah

2. Models dye their hair winter shades in the summer and summer shades in the winter. "Usually you're shooting coats in summertime and sweating, or you're shooting swimsuits in the wintertime and you're freezing. That's just the nature of fashion; we're always one season ahead, so we're usually definitely off topic off time. It's one of those things where I'm like, 'Oh my god, here I am, while people are going summer blonde, I'm going winter brunette.'" —Denise

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3. Bystanders and beachgoers often stare at the models during a shoot. "If there are bystanders or people walking around, I'll feel a little awkward. If it's just the crew, I don't really think anything of it. I'm pretty comfortable. I just feel awkward when they walk up and stare. They're not used to it so they're staring, watching. A lot of times I'll be shooting in a pretty remote location already so you don't really have that issue, but it can be awkward at times." —Hannah

4. Photographers use drones now to capture those really cool shots like the ones in the "Beach Body. Not Sorry." campaign video. "I would turn around and the drone was almost in my face and all of a sudden, you blink and it would zoom up to the sky. It was so cool. I felt like it was the next generation of photography." —Denise​

5. Even though they're models, not all swimsuit styles are easy to pull off. "Bandeaus are really challenging for me to wear. I think the trick for me is just to tie it really tight because it makes your boobs pop a little bit and it won't slip down. Bandeaus are definitely the trickiest for me personally. Some girls can do it. It's just a matter of how busty you are, so for me, it can be challenging at times." —Hannah​

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6. They too suck in while getting their photo taken. "I usually try to flex or tighten my stomach. I kind of do that all the time. I think [it's] because I used to be a ballet dancer; it's all about the tightness in your core. In bikini modeling, I definitely try to tighten my stomach and make it look good." —Hannah

7. The "glow" the models have is actually makeup and body oil. "Everyone's putting all this SPF on, but we're also putting on body oil. I like to go with more oil-based things 'cause that just enhances yourself. We just wanna get the skin really glowy, so they'll just put [on] different oils and lotions. And the Madina Shiny Stick [editor's note: Madina Chic and Shine Stick]. I swear to you, when a makeup artist uses that thing on my face, it's like magic. I can always tell when a makeup artist pulls that out that it's gonna be a good day. You can only get it in Italy, and I'm, like, begging my friends who travel over there, 'Please, just get me a shiny stick.'" —Denise

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8. They use their favorite foods as motivation for a shoot. "One hard thing with swimsuit modeling is being in shape 24/7. If I have a big shoot coming up, I try to buckle down a little bit more. But I definitely try to be consistent working out, four or five times a week without eating ice cream. Ice cream is definitely my weakness. I eat healthy across the board, but that's my weakness. It's motivation for me after."​ —Hannah

9. They get fake tans to hide "imperfections" and make their skin glisten. "I'm a firm believer in a good spray tan. I mean, why not? You're gonna be out there on the beach. I just feel like a tan makes everything look better. I mean I feel like all imperfections disappear at that point. Like you can't see cellulite or stretch marks and everything, and your skin's just kind of glistening. There's, like, a St. Tropez lotion that people swear by actually. But I usually go and spray-tan before." —Denise

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10. They like to act normal at the beach when they're not working. "When I go to the beach on a normal day, I'm hoping I look good in my bikini but I'm not posing or anything. I'm just being a normal person like anyone else. Whether we're boating or fishing or hanging on the beach, I'm a pretty normal person. I just keep the modeling stuff at work. I don't pull any tricks on my downtime."​ —Hannah


This article originally appeared on Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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