"Brazil is my home, it's where I was built. I feel very proud when I travel and I see Brazilian musicians, celebrities, models, actors, bringing our culture to the world. We just had the Olympics there, in Rio, and it was unbelieveable—I got to hold the torch, which was a very emotional moment for me because it’s a lifetime event for my hometown and I got to be a part of it. That bought me back to when I was young... I thought of watching the Olympics with my family as a kid, and I never once thought that I would be a part of it, ever. It was extremely special.
I was a normal child, going to school, playing with friends, spending time with my family—modeling wasn't something I thought about. But my best friend and I entered a Ford Models contest at my school for fun, and that's how I ended up in the US. I was asked to come to New York to do some castings, and the next thing I knew, I was working with Steven Meisel for Italian Vogue. And I've never stopped working since. I see modeling as a job, not as an opportunity to appear places and be a celebrity. I see it as a career like any other career, and I want to work with kind people, people with values. Now I'm at a time in my life where I'm representing more mature women. And I think women age so beautifully, and that's why I plan on modeling for as long as I can, because I want to show them—the world, the business—that a mature woman can be a model and be beautiful.
To take care of myself is part of my job. But besides that, I want to live long and I want to look good. Yes, all the way through at any age, I want to look good. How do I do it? I start with what I eat—I eat well but I splurge, of course. And I've been boxing since I was 19 years old. For me, it's great zen time. Some people find that in yoga or meditation, but when I'm boxing, I'm not in my head. That's why I love it. It's also great for my skin and hair because I sweat so much, which gets the circulation going. It's amazing, everyone is like, 'oh my God, your hair'—it's from the workout!
Once a week, I try to do a hair mask. I take my conditioner and I leave it on for around 30 minutes under my shower cap, but sometimes I'll do 45 minutes. I think the longer the better. And I think it's important to change your conditioner every so often. If I use one continuously, my hair will get used to it, so I keep switching it. Right now I'm using the Victoria's Secret Conditioner—I just used it this morning. I love the smell.
In Brazil, we'd take our conditioner or hair mask and mix it with avocado and put that in our hair for a treatment. It leaves your hair super shiny. I'm not joking! And avocado doesn't have a strong scent, so you won't smell funny. I promise.
My skin is pretty normal. But I travel, so I have to work with wherever I am—we'll shoot in the desert for instance, and my skin will be really dry, and it'll react. But I've always taken care of my skin. Herve Herau is my dermatologist, he's in Paris. He's amazing and I try to see him once a month. When I walk out of his office, I literally look 10 years younger. I'm not joking—that's a fact.
Herve has his own line of products and everything is natural. From every product I've tried, his are the best. I have his Face Cleanser and Gel Lotion, and then two creams, a Gel Cream for daytime and an Extra Rich Cream for night. I wear the light one during the day but I'll take the night cream and put it under my eyes. It's really amazing. If I’m on a plane I bring my Caudalie Beauty Elixir, I love that mist.
One of my favorite things is this Maybelline palette, the Rock Nudes, it's perfect. It's super natural—you can mix all of the colors and just look like you're glowing. I love lipstick, too. I carry three lipsticks in my bag at all times—I love Color Sensational Clay Crush, it's an earthy tone, but really sexy. Then I have a pinkier-nude one that's not out yet, and Siren in Scarlet is my red. I'm a lipstick and mascara girl. Right now I'm using Maybelline Lash Sensational—that one works for me, but as long as it's waterproof, I love it. I like my makeup to feel girly.
I love everything feminine, which is why I like Intense by Victoria's Secret. It's very provocative and sexy. You know what? I'm the type of person that has a strong personality, and I like to be noticed, in a good way. There are things you can do to be noticed and not forgotten, and wearing perfume is one of those things. I will be walking the red carpet sometimes with the paparazzi and they will be smelling my scent! They will be screaming at me, 'Which perfume are you wearing?!' They do! It's my most important accessory."
—as told to ITG
Adriana Lima photographed by Tom Newton at New York's 11 Howard on September 7, 2016.