As the 2016 Olympics bring Rio into the global spotlight, we chatted with three of the country's most recognizable and beautiful faces: Alessandra Ambrosio, Adriana Lima and Isabeli Fontana. The supermodels opened up to HELLO! about their memories growing up in the South American country and dished on their beauty secrets.
The Victoria's Secret Angel is currently one of hottest and highest paid models. While the Brazilian beauty left her home country at 18-years-old to make a name for herself in the fashion world, she still holds Brazil close to her heart and visits "as much as possible".
Photo: Ále By Alessandra
What do you love most about Brazil?
"The people. They’re really humble and friendly. And nature, of course," Alessandra said.
When she is away from her native country, the mom-of-two admitted that she misses her "family, friends, the fresh air, walking on the beach, and tranquillity".
What’s the secret to Brazilian beauty and what makes the fashion so special?
"I don’t think it’s a secret, Brazilians are happy people and we have an ability to be carefree," she said. "[Fashion] has become a means of cultural expression and it says a lot about our country and our people. Brazilians are very sensual and that is reflected in our fashion."
And when it when it comes Alessandra's top beauty products, the model revealed, "I love all the natural products that you can only find there, like the hair ones from the salon Laces and Hair."
Photo: Danny Martindale/GC Images
Tell us about where you grew up.
"I grew up in a small town called Erechim. I believe growing up there taught me to never forget my roots, to be simple and to work hard to achieve my dreams."
Born in the southern Brazilian city of Curitiba, this model's career took off at age 13, which she confessed made her grow up fast. By 16, Isabeli had secured her title as the Victoria’s Secret youngest model by appearing on the brand's catalog. The mom-of-two previously dished to HELLO! Fashion, explaining her theory as to why Brazilian women are so stunning. She shared, “We have a good mix of cultures, people and races. The girls here are very exotic and naturally beautiful at the same time.”
Photo: Diego Uchitel
You recently said that the fashion industry likes to use “fresh girls” and to “feel inspired” – how do you keep inspiring it, after nearly 20 years?
"The fashion industry, like others, is constantly changing. Right now, we’re in an era of technology and social media. So it’s about being able to adapt to those."
What are your make-up bag must-haves?
"Toner, moisturizer, and a great mask! Toner to remove make-up at the end of the day, clean the skin and keep it fresh. Moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated, this is the most important! And I always like to travel with a mask. Being on an airplane a lot can dry out your skin, so it’s important to bring a good mask to help refresh it," she said. "Also, I never go without SPF. It’s one of the most important things to include in your daily beauty routine, no matter where you are in the world."
Photo: Fernanda Calfat/Getty Images
What do you love most about Brazil?
"The weather, the Brazilian people and the incredible vibe."
The brunette stunner, who was born near the city of
Salvador, made Victoria's Secret history in 2015 walking in the brand's fashion show for a record sixteenth time. In doing so, Adriana earned the title of being the brand's Angel who has held onto her wings the longest.
Photo: Victoria's Secret
What do you miss about your country?
"Brazil has a very rich culture and the people are so diverse and always happy despite any hardships. That’s a great quality to have. I try to go back a few times a year. Sometimes it gets challenging with work and my seven-year-old daughter’s school schedule, but I always get excited when I have a chance to go back either on vacation or for work."
Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Wee
How did your hometown shape you growing up?
"Bahia is a very positive, family oriented place that stresses the importance of having good morals and family values. This is what I grew up surrounded by, so I try to bring that with me no matter where life takes me."
Photo: Manny Hernandez
What are your three travel must-haves?
"A great bathing suit, my Jawbone Jambox for music, and a black dress that can be used for day or night," she said. And as far as her must-have beauty product goes, Adriana revealed, "Almond oil, which I use in my hair."
While she uses almond oil for her hair, the mom-of-two admitted that when it comes to the secret behind Brazilian beauty she "always" jokes "that it’s in the coconut water!"