Fashion Week kicks off today, and in honour of all the models hitting the catwalk we’re getting real about how they feel – because it’s not all glamour. Especially when they’re juggling hormonal breakouts and menstrual bloats with barely-there Burberry dresses…
Here, model Abigail Kent, 21, talks period spots, swollen boobs and leaking on her stylist's clothes…
How do you cope with modelling when your period hits?
"I only cope because I have to! For models, when your period comes it's like the end of the world. When we receive our call sheets we are praying it's not an underwear job… Thank God for Tampax."
How does your period make you feel?
"Gross and paranoid! I am always checking the chairs I sit on. Almost every five minutes I will feel my bum to check it's not drenched in blood too! I also get extremely tired, really hungry and have horrible cramps for the first two days."
Do you suffer from PMS?
"I get really bloated, my boobs get a lot bigger and the hunger starts. I usually get one huge spot rather than a lot of little ones too (which I think is worse haha)! Everyone notices the big spots more."
Do models support each other when PMS hits?
"We usually say “OMG look at my skin, maybe it's something in the air?" We all secretly know we’ve been binge eating the night before, haha! When I travel I very rarely meet a model who doesn’t think we are all in this together!"
Do you feel under pressure to have ‘perfect’ skin?
"A little bit... It’s kind of embarrassing when you feel the makeup artist dabbing concealer all over your face to cover spots, but I guess everyone feels the pressure to have perfect skin. I've lived with some models who have acne or other bad skin conditions and it's not a problem. Make up now days is magic!"
Do you suffer from hormonal breakouts?
"I don't usually suffer with bad skin but yes and it ALWAYS happens when I get a really good job because I stress more about having good skin."
What happens if you get a massive period spot before a shoot?
"I usually squeeze them (which is bad I know) to make them less noticeable then put Clean & Clear Spot Control over it. This is one of my favourite creams for spots and it also cleans the bacteria from it."
What is your daily skincare routine?
"Every night I will scrub my face with blackhead clearing scrub. Then I will massage moisturiser into my skin for about 5 minutes. I also use 'green tea eye cream' which I bought with the moisturiser. I will massage the eye cream around my eyes for about 2 minutes! Nothing to fancy but it's extremely effective!"
What are your secret model skincare tips?
"Every night I massage my face with a green tea face cream! I also take vitamin C tablets and I try my best to stay away from foods with a lot of oil and sugar. Also, green tea is the best for good skin! I usually drink about four cups on top of eight glasses of water."
What are your go-to products when you get hormonal breakouts?
"Clean & Clear for sure! It's super cheap and really effective!"
What skincare buys do you love (period or no period)!?
"I've tried A LOT of face creams, to be honest. I haven't found my favourite one yet but the one I am using at the moment is very good. I bought it from South Korea and it's called 'Green Tea Balance Cream'. It’s made my skin super soft and has also balanced the colour!"
Do make up artists give you amazing skincare tips on set?
"After every shoot the make up artist usually gives you a facial massage! When I first started modelling I asked them how this helps with the skin. Apparently it helps the blood circulation in your face which allows new skin cells to develop giving you healthy, glowing skin. It also tones your face muscles allowing your face to look thinner!"
Do you get cravings – and do you give in to them?
"Yes and YES! And it's usually carbs."
Have you had any period nightmares?
"YES!!! I was shooting a TV commercial in Barcelona and was SO SO sure that I wasn't due for another week. Anyway, they literally dressed me in rags (if the wind blew you could see my underwear) and made me play a pirate. We got on the pirate ship (yes, a real pirate ship) to start filming and I felt something. I thought “jeez, not now”, but it happened. It wasn't a nightmare, it was real. I was literally leaking on the pirate clothes and all down my legs… I asked an assistant to help me but we were on a ship and would have to sail back to run the store. After two hours of dancing, acting and crying at my unfortunate life, they finally gave me something, but that doesn't change the fact I bled all over the stylist’s clothes…"
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