Sara Sampaio On Anxiety, Being Compared To Other Models And The Facial She Won't Be Getting Again

·6-min read
Photo credit: Gareth Cattermole/amfAR
Photo credit: Gareth Cattermole/amfAR

It would be tough to find a Victoria's Secret runway from the last couple of years or so that hasn't been totally dominated by Sara Sampaio. On top of being a VS Angel and the face of Michael Kors' latest fragrance 'Gorgeous', the model has appeared on many a magazine cover, making her one of the most recognisable faces in the fashion world, and what a face it is.

One might assume the supermodel has a jam-packed work out schedule and a beauty cupboard full of products, but you would be somewhat disappointed. It turns out the Portuguese actress is surprisingly minimalist with her beauty regime and spends more time cuddling her dogs than at the gym - a better use of time if you ask us.

ELLE sat down with Sampaio to chat mental health, body insecurities and the facial she won't be trying again anytime soon...

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I wake up at…

...I'm not an early bird but usually one of my dogs wakes me up as soon as the sun is up, like ‘food time!’, so usually around 7am. I’m trying to train him to wake me up a little bit later but he’s not having it.

I go to sleep at…

...it depends on where I am in the world to be honest. If I’m in LA I tend to start getting tired around 9pm, so most nights I’m in bed by 10.30pm but when I go back to Europe I sometimes can’t sleep til 2am.

The first thing that passes my lips is…

...I love, love coffee but I do decaf. I love the taste and I feel like a lot of it is psychological so just the smell is enough.

The last thing that passes my lips is…

...water. I always have my sippy cup with me to get my water intake, especially when living in LA because it’s so dry. I used to snack on cookies or popcorn before going to bed but I managed to stop it. At the beginning of lockdown though, all rules were off the table.

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My make-up routine…

...is quick, so around 10 minutes. I don’t tend to use much, just some foundation, concealer, blush, highlighter and a little eyeshadow - just something natural. I finish with a fragrance and then I’m out the door.

My skincare…

...involves a serum in the morning, then I’ll use the Avène Cicalfate+ Restorative Protective Cream as a moisturiser - it’s really saved my skin. I’ll do a few sheet masks if my face needs that extra moisture too, I love the Rose Gold Brightening Facial Treatment Mask by 111Skin.

My exercise routine…

...during quarantine was zero, but I usually work out at the DogPound. I’ve built a gym in my house, with a Peloton and everything and free weights but it’s so hard to get the willpower to work out when I’m by myself. A personal trainer just helps me get my ass off the couch.

When I look in the mirror...

...I feel like I've just hit puberty and I'm turning thirty next year. When I was younger I had the body of a boy, so I hated it. I had no butt, no boobs, and then I started modelling where you’re working with the most beautiful women in the world and you’re constantly compared to one another. I used to hate my height because I’m short for modelling but it’s so stupid, there’s literally nothing I can do to change it.

I really learned to take my body for what it is; love it if I put on weight, love it if I lose weight - we’re all human beings, we fluctuate but I used to be really hard on myself. It’s one of those things when you’re in your formative years, you really take it personally but now I’m like, I’ve put on weight this quarantine and my boobs grew and I’m like this is great!

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My worst beauty habit…

...I never clean my make-up brushes which is probably the biggest faux pas of beauty. It’s too much work. I tend to use my fingers so it’s not that bad.

The last beauty item I bought myself was…

...some acetone, I had to take my nail polish off so I had to run out at 10pm to get some.

Tell us a beauty secret…

...I always love when my face has had a little bit of sun (which isn’t the best) but I can keep it all year long by taking a blush across the arch of my nose, so it looks like I’ve just come back from vacation.

I feel happiest when…

...hugging my dogs, it makes me feel so much better. I have two Shiba Inu's and they’re basically like cats, they come to you when they want love but if you want love? Forget it.

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The weirdest thing in my fridge...

...is some cold brew coffee with alcohol in it that someone sent me - I haven’t tried it yet because it’s not really my thing but it’s in my fridge! I’ll try and give it to someone when people are allowed to come over again.

Craziest thing I’ve done in the name of beauty is…

...an electro current facial. I feel like people do this every month but it’s weird for me, those electro currents that basically lift up your face. It hurts a little bit, I'm not sure if it’s for me.

I deal with stress by…

...I’m still trying to figure this out. I suffer from a lot of anxiety and depression, I’m on medication which really helps but there’s still some anxiety. For me, what works the best is learning when I need my own space and my own time and if I just need to spend the whole day watching TV, that’s what I’m going to do. Putting those kinds of needs in front of constantly having to do something because if you’re not, you’re not working hard enough. Baths really help and sometimes it really is just sitting in front of the TV eating a bag of popcorn or just sleeping.

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The best beauty advice I’ve ever received…

...less is more - very cliché I know but it’s true. I’m like that with my skincare, make-up, haircare - I just really believe you’re supposed to enhance your beauty and not hide it.

Vanity to me means…

...we all want to look good, I feel like you shouldn’t let that get to your head but at the same time it’s important to take care of yourself to feel good and have some confidence. Sometimes people confuse confidence with vanity.

The last beauty treatment I had was…

...a lymphatic drainage massage at IMD Spa the last time I was in New York - I love it. They do this really painful massage but you get rid of all those toxins from travelling and salty foods and come out a new woman, for like a day anyway!


Sara Sampaio is the face of Michael Kors 'Gorgeous'


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