Blanca Padilla takes a holistic approach to the high-octane world of modeling.
Blanca Padilla is cradling a cup of tea. She is on a pit stop in Paris for the launch of the Givenchy Beauty Teint Couture Everwear collection. She’s flying to Los Angeles the next day, before crossing the world again to spend 24 hours in Uzbekistan. “I feel like a ping-pong ball,” the 24-year-old jokes.
Despite being exhausted, the Spanish model sits poised. Chocolate-colored locks frame her signature features: the deep brown eyes, bold brows, and radiant skin that first caught the eye of an agent five years ago on the metro in Madrid. At the time, she was a student at ESIC Business & Marketing School. “I didn’t pursue modeling – it came to me,” she says. “I didn’t refuse to do it, of course. I opened myself to it and my life changed completely.” After signing with Next Management in 2014, her career accelerated. She walked for Victoria’s Secret the same year, landing her first Vogue Spain cover in 2015. She also landed a Dolce & Gabbana campaign, and walked for Chanel, Christian Dior, and Versace. A defining moment arrived when she walked for Riccardo Tisci’s last show for Givenchy in 2016, and she was signed as the face of beauty for the house a few months later. “They treat me so well, we are like family,” Padilla says. Givenchy’s artistic director for makeup and color, Nicolas Degennes, is at the helm. “We work hand in hand, he’s really inspiring,” she says. “I always ask him where he gets his ideas from and what the story is behind the collection.”
For Teint Couture Everwear, Degennes looked to the beauty of the skin, creating a line that is “life proof.” “I want you to trust what you are applying,” the makeup artist explains of the foundation and concealer. The buildable foundation offers medium to high coverage, with up to 24 hours of wear. His main priority was that it looked like a second skin. “Skin is beautiful,” says Degennes, who did not want to distract from a woman’s natural radiance but, instead, enhance it. By working with pigments and radiancecorrecting powders, while offering two undertones in pink or yellow, this is exactly what’s been achieved.
“I love the concealer,” gushes Padilla. “It’s like a mini version of the foundation.” Offered in 10 shades, it masterfully conceals dark undereye circles and helps smoothe out fine lines. “I’m just wearing concealer today,” the model says, proving its power of diminishing the signs of fatigue and restoring radiance. It has now become one of her three beauty essentials, alongside Givenchy Teint Couture Radiant Drop highlighter in pink, and hand cream.
Padilla’s biggest beauty lesson, gleaned from her years of working with the world’s top makeup artists, is the importance of washing your face every day. “I feel like we don’t clean our skin enough. Prepping the skin before foundation is so important,” she says. Degennes taught her to use a face mask before applying makeup, letting the formula penetrate the dermis. “When your skin is plumped and glowing, you can really see the effects of the makeup,” she explains. The globe-trotting model also invests in skincare, especially to combat jet lag. “I keep thinking maybe I can find the magic key to cure it, but there isn’t one – you just have to go through it,” she smiles. Along with staying hydrated and taking a nap whenever she can, she believes in a holistic approach to beauty. “Essential oils are important. Lavender helps to calm down the mind, and when I go from the plane straight to a shoot, peppermint helps to wake me up.”
Originally published in the April 2019 issue of Vogue Arabia
It’s not all skin-deep, though, and the model acknowledges that mental health is as important to staying on top of her game. “My biggest battle is controlling my mind,” she says. “I’m very empathetic. I take so much from others; I’m like a sponge, I absorb energy.” To combat this, she does restorative yoga with her trainer in New York. “I also do breathing exercises everywhere: on the plane, in my room, before bed. It helps me relax.” Her one piece of advice for working women? “Listen to your body. Sometimes it tells you exactly what you need.”