From balancing 27-pound Swarovski crystal–encrusted wings to strutting in sky-high stilettos in lingerie, walking the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is no small feat mentally or physically. So, yes, even the world’s top models have to psych themselves up—whether it’s through mindfulness or a cardio-fueled fitness challenge worthy of a professional athlete—to feel their best before hitting the runway. Here, eight Angels reveal what makes them feel empowered from the inside out on the big night—and beyond.
“The support I get from my friends and family, especially hearing from them before big moments like this, is amazing. But then there’s also the internal growth I’ve experienced over the years. I’ve realized that confidence doesn’t have to mean the same thing for everyone. For me, confidence is being happy, goofy, and smiley. Now I know I don’t have to be something else and can go out in the world just being the best version of myself.”
“You know, I actually work with a life coach, and together we’ve been changing a lot about the way I think. Before, I was getting trapped in a very negative mind-set. Social media is so toxic these days, and it can be really easy to get sucked into the negativity, so switching up that thought process has been amazing for me. It takes a lot of work, but I feel like myself again.”
“It’s like I have an army back home in the Philippines. I get a million messages every day from my Filipino people telling me how much I inspire them—they are my number one supporters! It’s been amazing, and I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the support I get from them. Their encouragement is what makes me feel confident.”
“This year, [Victoria’s Secret] gave us a fitness challenge, which was really fun. They had us all pick something we’re bad at and then [the goal was] to get better at it. [Laughs] I chose jumping rope because that’s something I’ve hated my whole life and could never really do. But my goal was to learn how to do 30 double-unders, and so far I’ve made it up to five. Taking something head-on that makes me so uncomfortable makes me proud.”
“Confidence is always sexy in a woman. And being around a strong and powerful group of women feeds that energy. Also, knowing that I will have my husband [Adam Levine] in the crowd tonight makes me feel sexy and confident, too.”
“In this world, we all need a ritual that brings us peace, joy, and positive energy that radiates out. These past few days leading up to the show, I’ve been meditating a lot because I need it, obviously. [Laughs] But typically, I do it at least once a week. Usually it’s before I got to bed. I just throw on headphones and meditation music from YouTube so I can really relax before I sleep.”
“It sounds really basic, but I just try to stay as in the moment as possible, because I tend to overthink a lot. I’ve learned to tell myself: No, it’s fine, and stay as present as possible, even in high-pressure situations. Talking to my dad [designer Nigel Curtiss] every day also keeps me grounded. Inspiration-wise, he always tells me what I need to hear. So I just give him a call and he helps set me straight.”
“I love getting a facial—it just gives you that extra boost of confidence before you hit the runway. I went to Tracie Martyn this morning and my skin is already tighter and glowier. I love an oxygen facial because my skin just drinks up all the moisture and immediately feels more dewy and plumper.”
Originally published on Vogue.com.