Candice Swanepoel

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The Protocol: Candice Swanepoel

Our series featuring the daily routines, expert advice, and beauty tips of industry insiders (read: those who’ve got it down to a science). Because we should all have a Protocol.

There are supermodels, and then there are Supermodels. The inimitable Candice Swanepoel clearly falls into the elite second category. Not only is she one of the most recognizable Victoria Secret's Angels of all time, the South African-born beauty is a notable philanthropist and entrepreneur; Candice founded the eco-conscious swim and lifestyle brand Tropic of C in 2018, "born from a life spent on the beach," and needless to say, it's garnered more than a cult following. 

As the line's creative director, she has seamlessly merged sustainability and distinctly effortless summer style (their signature Praia top, a modern wraparound update on the classic triangle string bikini, is instantly recognizable, as are their handmade crochet pieces). Tropic of C is also created with both the environment and female empowerment in mind. They have an ongoing partnership with Mothers2Mothers, an international coalition devoted to ending AIDS and creating brighter futures for women in sub-Saharan Africa, with whom Candice is also an ambassador. 

Here, the mother of two shares her advice on achieving that extra glow, why hitting reset is key, and how to make every day feel like a beach day.

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?

I definitely go through cycles, so it really depends on how I’m doing. Sometimes I’m so bombarded with work and being pulled in a million different directions that I don’t really have a schedule or time to focus on a beauty routine. I'm lucky if I can make a coffee and sit in peace for 10 minutes.

I think we all just try to keep up with how fast life has become, but I also know when I need to stop and take care of my wellness inside and out, so those mornings would be waking up and not looking at my phone immediately and having a coffee and breakfast or a smoothie to start the day.

Ideally, I'll have gone to bed early and wake up early enough to go for a swim in the ocean, catching that light early sun. That truly is the best way to start my day.

Describe your morning and evening skincare routines.
Mornings, I cleanse, tone, and moisturize, and use a strong SPF. Nighttime, I double-cleanse, tone, and use a retinol or U Beauty's amazing Resurfacing Compound and moisturize with a thicker product.

I love your hydrating moisturizer, The SUPER Hydrator, and I never forget my eye cream. If I have time, I use product on my body. I use The SCULPT Arm Compound on my entire body. 

Do you have a fitness routine? If yes, what are your objectives/goals when you work out?
My routine is constantly changing but depending on what is going on in my life, I am either allowing my body to rest or working out for a specific goal. My goals when working out are to build on my foundation. I am naturally extremely thin, so I need to add weights to keep my curves, which is how I feel my best and most beautiful. I don’t overdo it, as I like to keep a natural feminine figure. Thirty minutes a day, four times a week does the trick for me–if I can be consistent. Which is not always the case.

I also work out just for the mental strength. If I am overwhelmed, I feel working out helps me to feel mentally stronger, too.
Have you tried any in-office cosmetic procedures (lasers, microneedling, etc.)?
Yes, I’ve tried a couple of things. There is no miracle procedure, in my opinion, but I do find laser procedures to be preventative and help the skin from aging. I have oily skin, so I need to do extraction facials occasionally and am a firm believer in exfoliating and trying your best to stay out of the sun–something that is very hard for me to do.

Which procedures do you love, and which would you never try (or never try again!)?
I tried microneedling once and broke out terribly, probably also why I’m not very experimental when it comes to new facials.

What’s your diet like on a typical day?
If I am home with my children, we love to switch breakfasts up: some days eggs, some days pancakes. I love a smoothie in the morning or post-activity. I love homecooked meals. We usually have rice and beans in the fridge for everyday; a very Brazilian meal, with a protein, vegetables, and salad. Then at dinner, I enjoy sushi or Italian food.

I don’t stick to a specific diet. I eat whatever my body needs or craves. I have to eat a lot to maintain my weight, so I’m lucky I can eat anything, but I do focus on foods that make me feel good and give me more energy.

What's the last thing you do before you go to bed?
Drink a glass of water and put on eye cream.

Who’s your beauty idol?
I don't have a specific beauty idol. I respect women who age gracefully and are not afraid to show that they have lived a full life, laugh lines and all. I’m a
firm believer in letting your natural beauty shine.
What’s the most high-maintenance aspect of your beauty protocol?
I try not to have any part in high-maintenance things. I love to be able to do as much upkeep as I can in the comfort of my own home, as I don’t need more chores. I think the most high-maintenance aspect is my hair. My colorist Jacob is a perfectionist and it takes time, but it’s definitely worth it.

I also invested in laser hair removal for a few years and that was a pain in the ass to make sure I made the appointments at the correct times, but now that it’s done all I need is the occasional maintenance.

What’s the best piece of beauty advice you’ve gotten?
Try to keep out of the sun, and beauty starts from the inside-out. Feed your body with good ingredients and it will show in the glow.

What’s your 24-hour plan for getting ready for a big event or photoshoot?
If I can get a workout in, that always makes me feel more confident. Exfoliating and making sure my skin is soft and moisturized. Also, making sure I’m eating well and getting enough water to be able to endure a long day on set. I love a quick sheet mask or under-eye patch in the morning to give that extra hydration.

What do you do when you want to reset, regroup, or detox?
I disappear from society. Haha. Avoid eating out and drinking alcohol and make sure I’m going to sleep early and exercising. Rest is extremely important for me to have the energy to do the things that help me reset.

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