Passionate about Brazil (and a Brazilian), the South African top reveals her favorite places in the country, divides curiosities and career plans, her beauty secrets and tells how motherhood changed her life priorities.
Candice Swanepoel (Way Model) was born in South Africa, but her heart is Brazilian. The cover-girl of the November issue of Vogue Brasil, Victoria’s Secret’s top model and angel has been living in Tupiniquins since she was 17 years old, dates a Brazilian (Hermann Nicoli model), speaks Portuguese fluently, has two houses here (one is in Espírito Santo and the other in São Paulo), she only wears bikinis made in Brazil (and has an insider list of stores in which she buys his own), has a relationship with the body that is typical of our (not just because she has a contract with a lingerie brand) and chose Brazil to give birth to Anacã, her first child (and the experience of living magazine).
During a trip to Sao Paulo to visit the new apartment she bought in the Brooklyn neighborhood, the model chatted exclusively with Vogue and commented on the expectations for the Victoria’s Secret parade in Shanghai, the new fitness and beauty routine, going through the changes physical and psychological after the arrival of Anacã and her hobbies (spoiler: she loves to dance, ballet to pole dance!). Check out the interview result (which she made a point of answering in Portuguese!) For our “30 questions for” series below:
#1 Your relationship with Brazil is getting stronger. Do you ever feel like a Brazilian?
I have my African roots, but I have been to Brazil for so many years, since I was 17 years old. I built a passion for the country. I have many memories, many stories here. So I think I’m already a little Brazilian, yes.
#2 You bought an apartment in São Paulo. Are there any plans to live in São Paulo?
I come to São Paulo a lot to visit friends and also to work, so I wanted to have my little corner in the city. A cozy place and have my face. Besides, sometimes I come to Brazil and I don’t have time to go to Vitoria [where I have a house]. We unite the useful to pleasant!
# 3What is your favorite Brazilian food?
I like everything! Rice, beans, pot pie and meat with farofa … The food my mother-in-law does is wonderful too. When I’m in Brazil I feed myself much better and even so I like to come here to prepare for the Victoria’s Secret parade.
#4 Speaking of which, in 2016 you did not participate in the VSFS to take care of the Anacã, and now in 2017, you return to the show [it will be recorded on November 20 in Shanghai, China]: are you nervous?
I always get a little nervous … But it’s good! It was strange last year to watch the parade from afar. I’m excited, it’ll be wonderful.
#5 How is this preparation to scratch the lonely catwalk?
Is very important to relax. I have difficulties in gaining muscle and in New York my life is very rush and I can’t feed myself properly, so I end up losing weight very fast. So three years ago, I came to Brazil before the parade: first to stay calm and second to feed me properly for the big day.
#6 This year, Lais Ribeiro will use Fantasy Bra. Being a veteran angel, what advice would you give her right now?
I would tell her to enjoy the moment, because it passes so fast! You feel a lot of pressure because the whole press keeps an eye on the angel who will use Fantasy Bra. I ended up finding Lais a few weeks ago at the New York bra test, and – my! – It’s the most beautiful model I’ve ever seen!
#7 What’s on your pre-show menu?
At breakfast I like to eat bread, eggs, ham and cheese. At lunch, rice, beans and some protein … I eat everything, I only avoid sweets, soft drinks, but I’m lucky to be able to eat a lot and not get fat. But overall, I try to be healthy.
#8 What are your beauty secrets?
I like to use natural products, to be natural. I really like being tanned and when I can’t be naturally, I end up opting for self-tanning. I also moisturize my hair every day because I get into the direct water, pool or sea.
#9 What products do you use on your skin?
Since I use a lot of makeup when I’m working, it’s very important to keep my skin clean. For this, I use natural products. I opt for organic coconut oil to remove the makeup, and also mix it in my smoothies to maintain the luminosity of the skin. The most important thing my mother taught me is that you are never too young to take care of your skin. No matter how tired I am, I will never sleep without removing the makeup.
# 10 How is your fitness routine?
I have a personal trainer in New York who has been training with me for more than eight years. Over time, my exercise routine has changed a lot. I do yoga, boxing when I have energy, pilates and a lot of resistance training. I love yoga for spiritual and physical issues; it’s hard to meditate in New York, and that’s why I like to travel to places where I’m surrounded by nature. In Brazil, I try to work out every day, but I don’t spend the day at the gym. I usually work 40 minutes: I like to run on the beach, bike, dive and also do some bodybuilding. I try to do activities that amuse me too. My son is heavy and ends up being a 24 hour gym too – at the end of the day I’m exhausted!
#11 What are your tips for a perfect abdomen?
Practicing boxing, giving lots of laughter, doing pilates, yoga – everything involving exercises.
#12 Are you taking the Anacã with you to Shanghai?
No. I’ll leave him quiet with dad, grandma and auntie here in Brazil.
#13 How Did Motherhood Change Your Life?
Being a mother is very remarkable. Another Candice was born for sure, after Anacã. When I had my son I took the time to dedicate myself to motherhood which was very good. Before I worked hard, my focus was 100% professional. It was good to take time out for my family and get back to working with fresh energy and new inspiration.
# 14 How was the decision to have your child in Brazil?
I came to Brazil for the first time in 2006 and I was in love. I have had beautiful experiences in Brazil since I was 17 years old, so we decided to have our first child here. The fact that I spoke Portuguese fluently also helped in the decision – otherwise it would be very difficult for me communicate at this particular moment. My soul and my energy are always at peace when I am in Brazil.
#15 In the November issue of Vogue Brasil you commented on your humanized delivery. How was the experience?
Dra. Jaqueline Alvarenga and Thais Ramos Dias and Leticia Rios of Gesta Vida helped me realize my dream of a totally natural and humanized birth. It was the most wonderful moment for me. Every woman deserves to choose this moment in order to feel how strong and blessed we are to bring a new soul into the world.
#16 Do you want to have more children?
I want to have more children and they will come into the world as naturally as I can. I want to have a big family. But I need to rest before: I need to sleep for 1 year before! I guess after you have a kid you never go back to sleep like before [laughing].
#17 You’ve come back to parade, to star campaigns and magazines. Can you come up with some new project for 2018?
In the old days I worked hard and did many things. Now my priority is my son. So I always analyze well the work, how long I would have to stay away from Anacan … I put it on the scale and sometimes I need to talk, not for some projects. But next year comes a lot of cool yes, but I still can’t reveal!
#18 And the end of the year do you plan to spend in Brazil?
Of course! I must go to Bahia with my family and friends.
#19 Which places do you love the most here?
Bahia, Fernando de Noronha, Vitória … Rio de Janeiro is also beautiful. I adopted Brazil, it was very natural for me. I will always have African roots and Brazilian heart.
#20 Who’s your beauty icon?
I was inspired by the supermodels of the 1990s: Linda Evangelista, Bo Derek and Stephanie Seymour. They were strong, powerful, and sexy women.
#21 What is the best part of being a model?
Definitely the chance to meet so many amazing places and work in an extremely creative environment. I feel very lucky to be able to collaborate with people from all over the world, where each one has its history and its journey.
#22 What’s your favorite movie?
Wild Orchid. I watched before coming to Brazil the first time and many things in this film inspired me to love this country.
#23 What is your hobbie?
Dance. I love to dance! In New York I do ballet, pole dance …
#24 What is your secret talent?
Hmmm … I do not know. I do not think I have a secret talent. Can it be automation? I know how to do my makeup very well.
#25 Do you know how to cook?
Not very well, but I do! I make a great vinaigrette!
#26 What is your life mantra?
Every day is a new day and a new opportunity for you to evolve.
#27 How would you define Candice?
I’m a calm person, too!
#28 Do you meditate?
I do yoga. I wanted to meditate more, but my mind is very accelerated. So with yoga I can stop a bit and calm down.
#29 What would a perfect day look like in your life?
Wake up late [laughs], go to the beach, enjoy the beach with my son and my family, come home and eat a delicious lunch, take a nap [laugh], get some exercise and meet friends at night. I’m not a ballad, but I like to chat with friends and have some wine at home.
#30 And how do you imagine yourself in 20 years?
The way the world is going I hope to have a little place in the middle of the bush, with many children and surrounded by nature and my family; And I hope to be happy with my achievements at work.
Translated by Chelsea.