Stealing beauty: We chat with Olivia Culpo

Stealing beauty: We chat with Olivia Culpo

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Text: Renée Batchelor

Former Miss Universe Olivia Culpo, is now an actress and model adored for her natural beauty. We find out her insider tips and the products she actually uses

Olivia Culpo is all the way in Singapore to help launch Skin Inc's newest product the Oxy-Recharge Bubble Mask. Based between Los Angeles and Boston, she first came into prominence upon winning Miss U.S.A and then Miss Universe in 2012. But it's clear that she has long left her pageant days behind her. A darling on Instagram with over two million followers, Culpo has the kind of jaw-dropping, natural beauty that puts many an overly made up starlet to shame: Think a flawless complexion, perfect jawline and thick, dark lashes that don't even require mascara. 

But with two movies coming out in 2018, a restaurant that she runs with her family in her home state of Rhode Island, and a new website to update, it's clear that Culpo is no stranger to a hectic schedule. We sat down with her to find out more on her skin, hair and makeup routines, the joys of travelling the world, and what she really learnt from her pageant days.


You came to prominence when you won Miss Universe. What beauty secrets did you learn, or what wowed you, backstage?
I never realised so many girls wore fake eyelashes. I could not figure out what they were, and how to put them on. I learnt that, but I don't wear them anymore. Also, a lot of the girls wear hair extensions — clip-ins — and I had no idea what those were before either. I thought, "These girls were wearing... whaaat?"

When I was doing pageants I didn't know anything about makeup at all. I learnt after that, and if I could go back in time, I would have done my own makeup, because pageant makeup was so heavy... it's not my preference any more. I have to be honest, I didn't learn a lot of beauty stuff from the pageants. I've learned more from professional artists as I grew up in modelling.

What is your skincare regimen like at home and when you're travelling?
My regimen is very much the same. For skincare, I wake up and exfoliate. I have been using the Skin Inc Oxy-Recharge Bubble Mask, because it helps to exfoliate off the dead skin, and after that I use a serum. I've created a custom-blend serum here (Skin Inc's My Daily Dose) so I have been using that.

After that I apply moisturiser with some sort of glow drops and then eye cream. In the winter, I find it really important to exfoliate — the more dry it is, the more my skin needs it.


What made you decide to cut your hair?
I've always had hair that grows really fast, so I felt okay about cutting it, because it would grow back. I was curious, and I wanted to see how it would look, and it ended up being something that I loved. Because it was long enough to get up into a bun, and it was different too.

Who are the stylists you work with?
For red carpet, I use Justine Marjan a lot. For cut, I use Robert Ramos and also Jen Atkin. I've never dyed my hair. But I feel like I might be getting greys soon so I'm going to have to do it.

What's your routine like for your hair?
I used ghd every day because the tools really protect your hair. I also use Oribe because it smells so good. I also love Ouai, as they have great texture products. I wash my hair with Pantene.

What products, tools and skin treatments do you love?
My routine changes every week. My top skincare discovery is LED light therapy and frequency therapy — which is what the Optimizer Voyage Tri-Light does from Skin Inc, and also its's portable, handheld and battery operated which is really convenient for travelling. I do go for LED Light Therapy and Laser Genesis to stimulate collagen.

You've worn adventurous makeup looks on the red carpet. Which has been your favourite?
I did like my Golden Globes 2017 look a lot. I think it was fun, it was a risk — and fashion and beauty to me should be fun. I always have a vision and the hair and makeup artist has a vision, and we discuss it and we usually come to some sort of common ground. But sometimes we have the exact same ideas, which is always fun.

Her favourite beauty look, at the Golden Globes 2017

What are your go-to makeup products?
I love Koh Gen Do Moisture Foundation with the aqua illuminator, Charlotte Tilbury Setting Powder used with a beauty blender, Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer, M.A.C lip liner, Dior lip balm and their brow pencil, and a good eyelash curler. I don't wear mascara.

What are your favourite Skin Inc products?
I really love the Tri-Light because it is so easy to travel with. The customised serum is really special too, because it contains three serums in one. The bubble mask is good for me because I'm a big exfoliator. I even did it on my boyfriend [NFL player Danny Amendola] because he wanted to get rid of his blackheads... and he was like, "It's foaming!" And I assured him it was normal. I would use that mask three to four times a week.

What are your exciting projects in 2018?
I have two movies coming out. One is an action movie with Bruce Willis called Reprisal and the other is a comedy with Amy Schumer. Movies and fashion shoots couldn't be more different. With creating content on my Instagram, I have creative control over anything I post, but with movies, you're restricted to the script and what the director wants and also working with somebody else. It's much more of a collaboration. My restaurant is continuing to grow, and my website just launched. I'm also excited for the upcoming fashion weeks.



What do you think of Singapore?
I love it. There are more shops than I ever imagined, which I love. It's very green, organised and everyone is so nice and kind. It's very different from a lot of other places that I've ever been. Even coming out to the baggage area, the bags were all neatly placed on the belt with the handles facing out and there were no lines at immigration — usually it takes two hours!

Which places have you enjoyed visiting?
I really enjoyed India, Dubai, Bali and Sydney. I also went to Indonesia thrice and there's just a different culture — people are so pleasant and gentle, compared to the hustle and bustle of L.A and New York... so I appreciate that a lot.