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The Definitive Guide to Italian Supermodel Beauty

Mariacarla Boscono makes us wonder: Why do French girls get all the credit?!

The Definitive Guide to Italian Supermodel Beauty
Alec Kugler

When we meet Mariacarla Boscono, she kisses us on both cheeks and introduces herself with a heavy Italian accent and manicured hands waving in the air. As she locks herself in the bathroom with our photographer for some photos, she glances back, winking as though “anything can happen!” Later, on the balcony of her hotel suite, she jokes, “You know, only very special people can photograph me” before giving the camera a runway-worthy grin. She is enviably charming and glamorous and every bit as Italian as our favorite pasta.

Mariacarla Boscono has worked with Chanel, Givenchy, and Moschino. She has been a muse for Karl Lagerfeld and Riccardo Tisci. Her face comes to mind when you think high fashion. Yet what she loves the most about her modeling career isn’t her notoriety, but her ability to be adventurous with her makeup and to become someone else entirely. “In the ’90s, everything was diamonds on you; not a natural look, nothing of what is going on today,” she says with raised eyebrows. “I had bleached brows for every show. For [my] hair, curly and then wigs and then nothing. I like that. I like to sell a dream.”

While, indeed, Mariacarla is a dream, in real life her makeup routine is absent of bleached eyebrows, diamonds, or wigs. It’s easy. She attributes part of it to growing older. “You just feel more secure! Now I feel a good conversation is much more charming than a good dress.” But at 36 she looks just like she did at 26, so we’re convinced she must be employing some Italian beauty secrets we need to talk about more, especially as the model was recently tapped to be the face of iconic Italian beauty brand Borghese. We’ve outlined the secrets to Italian supermodel beauty below, which include frequenting steam rooms, not giving up pasta, and finding beauty in age.


Imitate your (Italian) madre:

“You know, I was fussy because my mum had a luxurious way of getting ready; always put on perfume, nails done, hair done, she always took a bath with a mask on, makeup, fancy clothes. Her preparation for dinner, social life—there was always a preparation! She is a glamour woman.

“I grew up watching her. I remember sneaking in and trying to put [things] on. In the ’80s, she had this lipstick that was a green stick, and you put it on and it becomes red. It was a lip stain, so I would get caught because I couldn’t wash it off. [Italians] have a culture of beauty!”

Make the steam room a staple:

“I remember her bringing me to the steam room, you know, the Roman steam room. It’s Italian. We had this girl time where we scrub, and we put a mask in the hair, on the face… It was a very traditional thing.”


Add Fango and hammam to your beauty vocabulary:

“I put [Borghese] Fango all over my body. It is very light and super luxurious. I use it with my fingertips on my skin after the hammam [bath], and then I use it with the gloves all over my body. I use mostly the basic one, they’re quite rough. I keep it on for 20 minutes, then I wash it out. I put a lot of moisturizer all over my body and my face. Then I put on the eye patch mask. Then I just get a good sleep!”

Morning routines should be fast:

“I have a fussy morning routine because I am the mom of a 4-year-old. She is very demanding. She has to have her hair done—at school she has a uniform, but she chooses what hairdo she wants. Generally, I am very fast. I wash my face, I put sun protection on, I run out of the house, and I generally do a little bit of sport, if I can, in the morning. I run some errands, very basic mommy things. Later on, I take a shower. I have to brush my hair; I have this crazy amount of hair—you know, Italian! I do a leave-in conditioner, brush it, I do a braid, generally, and then I’m just comfortable. If I have to, in the afternoon I will apply a little bit of makeup, generally concealer, mascara, a little bit of brown pencil, I will put a little on my lips, that’s it.”


You don’t have to give up pizza, pasta, or red wine:

“How do you get beautiful skin? You eat right! You treat yourself in a way that is going to translate into beautiful skin. But…I am a really bad example because I am Italian! I smoke, I drink, I do it all.

“Do what makes you happy. If you can fulfill balance in life—even take 20 minutes to read something, to exfoliate, to do a mask—maybe it will take away a bit of stress. You are not only using good products, you are also using 20 minutes for yourself. You can erase things because you think they’re not good for you or they are not healthy. Living this type of life isn’t going to bring you anywhere! You have to embrace your beauty, whatever it is. If you have a bigger butt, fine. Just live with that. I mean, big butts are quite glamorous, so you’re lucky now.”

Getting older also means getting more beautiful:

“People want to use [products] to help prevent [aging], but you cannot erase the years of adventure that you’ve done! That would be boring. Who wants to look 14 when you’re 40? At 14 you find yourself really ugly, trust me. I didn’t want to get out of my room at 14.”


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Part of the series:

My Beauty Mo

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