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How 90s supermodels are holding back the years

Carla Bruni, 54, walked in a mini dress for Balmain's Spring Summer 2022 show at Paris Fashion Week in September 2021

Three decades on from their heyday, the 90s supermodels are still the reigning queens of the catwalk, but it takes a lot of sacrifices to keep their age-defying looks. 

It used to be that models as young as 30 would be considered too old for photoshoots or to strut their stuff on the catwalk, but now, stars over 50 like Carl Bruni, 54, Naomi Campbell, 52, and Cindy Crawford, 56, are in high demand.

In 2021, seven of the top 25 ranking models were 90s stars, but longevity comes at a price and at an age when they might have been able to take a more relaxed approach, they’re now having to work twice as hard than their younger counterparts at keeping their bodies looking flawless, 

Louise Bula, Dietitian at MyJuniper.co.uk, explained that a woman’s body goes through a lot of changes as she gets older, which makes it trickier to lose weight thanks to the menopause and hormonal changes.

Bruni, who is a mother-of-two and married to the former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, admitted earlier this summer than she makes ‘unspeakable’ efforts to keep thin in her 50s. 

Meanwhile, Naomi Campbell has revealed she only eats once a day, and bathes in vinegar, kosher salts and Epsom salts daily. 

Here FEMAIL reveals the incredibly lengths the supermodels who defined the 90s are taking to remain relevant today. 

Carla Bruni’s ‘unspeakable’ workout routine

Carla Bruni, 54, walked in a mini dress for Balmain's Spring Summer 2022 show at Paris Fashion Week in September 2021

Carla Bruni, 54, walked in a mini dress for Balmain’s Spring Summer 2022 show at Paris Fashion Week in September 2021

Carla Bruni recently showed off her long legs for a shoot for St Laurent

The former French first lady showed off her toned midriffs in form-fitting clothes

Carla Bruni recently showed off her long legs and toned midriffs in form-fitting clothes for a campaign by St Laurent

The former First Lady of France revealed she works out for two hours a day and practices a strict regimen of elliptical bike, Pilates and barre exercises as part of her ‘unspeakable efforts’ to retain her appearance. 

Speaking to French magazine Madame Figaro, the singer and model earlier this month she talked about returning to the catwalk for Balmain and posing for one of Yves Saint Laurent’s recent campaigns. 

The singer confessed she feels ‘too old’ to model and felt strange’ about the fact she felt old enough to be the mother of a younger model she accompanied on set. 

Carla made several noted appearances in form-hugging gowns at this year's Cannes film festival in late May

The former first lady looking sculptural at a gala dinner earlier this month

Carla made several noted appearances in form-hugging gowns at this year’s Cannes film festival in late May, and at a gala dinner in Paris earlier this month, right 

Why is it so hard to lose weight after 50?  

Louise Bula, Dietitian at MyJuniper.co.uk, explained why women over 50 find it harder to stay in shape. 

‘When going through menopause, women will experience hormone fluctuations, especially in estrogen, which can lead to increased fat storage, creating the perception that excess weight is harder to lose,’ she said.  

‘Alongside this, as women go through the menopause, they often become insulin resistant, which also makes it difficult to lose weight,’

‘Interestingly, when going through the menopause, fat storage actually moves, moving from the hips and thighs to the abdomen, and therefore being more visible.

‘Also, those going through the menopause will experience a loss of muscle mass due to an increase in age and estrogen level change, losing muscle mass will start to slow down the metabolism too. 

‘Due to the lower metabolism, it’s suggested that women around the age of 50, need 200-250 less calories, per day, than what they consumed when they were a few years younger. However, this will depend on how active you are.

‘To boost your metabolism, one of the easiest things to do is eat more protein, as this will not only help fill you up for the day, it also builds muscle mass and therefore boosts the metabolism.’

Bruni said she didn’t have a particular relationship with beauty, but that she prefers grace and charm over ‘pure beauty’.

‘I have a silhouette and a style, perhaps,’ she said. 

‘But I make unspeakable efforts to stay thin: two hours of sports per day, some barre, some elliptical bike, a little bit of Pilates. 

‘Beauty is also an inconvenience,’ she added, saying she felt she was ‘destabilised’ by returning to modelling in campaigns for YSL and Balmain after a lengthy break. 

Bruni, who has a 11-year-old daughter with her husband, has previously admitted she struggled to lose her pregnancy weight after giving birth in 2011 and considered to ‘just stay fat and buy new pants,’ she once told Vanity Fair. 

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The top model said she found dieting ‘exhausting,’ but that she looked ‘ugly’ when she was 40 pounds overweight.  

Naomi Campbell’s one meal a day and vinegar and salt baths

The British model is still turning heads at 52, and wowed when she stepped out in a skintight gown to party in Mayfair earlier this month. 

However, just like her French-Italian counterpart, the Panther has had to make concessions in order to keep her looks into her 50s. 

The top model admitted in 2020 she only eats once a day, and according to her private chef Sean John, this one meal is subject to further restrictions.

Naomi said in an interview that year: ‘I eat my lunch. Lunch is my dinner, because I really only eat once a day.

Campbell reportedly does not eat gluten or dairy, but will occasionally treat herself to same ‘desserts’ on Sundays. 

Sean John told Page Six that same year: ‘I have cooked for her for over ten years. She has her own stuff at home, but I prepare one really good meal a day, and it’s super clean and really healthy.

‘She’s an ‘ital’, which is a Jamaican word for clean vegetarian style, like Bob Marley rasta talk.

The chef also revealed that the top never eats plane food, and he has to prepare her meals when she is flying private. 

Naomi Campbell, 51,reportedly only easts once a day to keep thin, and bathes in kosher salt and vinegar daily

Naomi Campbell, 51,reportedly only easts once a day to keep thin, and bathes in kosher salt and vinegar daily 

The top still turns heads when she attends Paris Fashion Week

She was a staple of the Queen's Jubilee Celebrations in June

The top still turns heads when she attends Paris Fashion Week, left, and was a staple of the Queen’s Jubilee Celebrations in June, right 

Speaking of her diet in the past, Campbell told The Sun she could go a whole day without solid food.  

”I eat when I feel like it and I don’t starve myself. If I want to do a day of just not eating, I do it and just do water or juice,’ she said. 

She added that while the gym makes her nervous, she regularly does home workouts to keep her toned physique. 

And it was also revealed the top dedicates 30 minutes of her day ever single day to taking a bath filled with Epsom salts, kosher salt and vinegar, before topping it up with a facial. 

Heidi Klum’s intermittent fasting and ‘unconventional sports’

German-born top Heidi Klum says her looks are down to intermittent fasting and never eats past 6pm

German-born top Heidi Klum says her looks are down to intermittent fasting and never eats past 6pm

The German born model is a staple of US celebrity life, and has been a judge on America’s Got Talent since 2013. 

Her modelling days are also far from over, as she was one of the first model to pose for Kim Kardashian’s Skims campaign last year, showing off her toned physique in nothing but a bralette and pants. 

But the former Victoria’s Secret angel doesn’t owe her good looks to just good genes: she works hard at her looks, both thanks to exercise and dieting. 

The model is not afraid to bare it all on Instagram and regularly shows picture of herself in skimpy outfits

The model is not afraid to bare it all on Instagram and regularly shows picture of herself in skimpy outfits 

The mother-of-two likes to model outfits that leave very little to the imagination on her social media

The mother-of-two likes to model outfits that leave very little to the imagination on her social media 

In recent years, the top model has adopted intermittent fasting, the practice of not eating for some stretch of time either during a day or a week. The practice is credited with improving digestion and reducing bloating. 

Klum told Entertainment Tonight that she has three meals a day, but has her last meal at 6pm, and doesn’t eat until breakfast the next day. 

The mother-of-four always cooks meals from scratch at home, and is not one for take out either. 

‘I think if you often eat out or order food, it can be a bit difficult with a healthy diet. You just don’t know exactly what has been processed,’ she said in the past. 

On top of this regimented eating schedule, Klum leads a very active lifestyle.

She revealed she ‘loves’ to run on the treadmill, however, because of her busy schedule, the model likes to adapt her workout to her daily life, which means her workout regime is very varied. 

‘I have to be creative about where I get my exercise in. I jump on the trampoline with my kids or have a nightly after-dinner dance party or we take our dogs for a hike,’ she said. 

In 2020, the top told Women’s Health that she also swims 20 laps a day in her family pool. 

‘I’m fortunate enough to have a pool at home and, when the pandemic started, I began swimming 20 laps a day. Low-impact exercise like this is much better for my joints than running on a treadmill,’ she said. 

‘Hula-hooping is a great low-impact option, too – as is all the trampolining I do!’ 

The mother-of four also revealed her responsibilities as a parent to children Leni, 18, Henry, 17, Johan, 16, and Lou, 13, contribute to her healthy appearance. 

She added: ‘I go running, jump on the trampoline in the garden at my home in LA and do body-weight exercises – including lots of squats. I get plenty of movement from running around after four children, two dogs and a cat. 

She also turns to cardio, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), or yoga in order to keep her in shape. 

Kate Moss’s daily yoga

Kate Moss began to work out regularly in 2017 and took up yoga as a daily activity. She also gave up booze that same year (pictured walking for Versace in September last year)

Kate Moss began to work out regularly in 2017 and took up yoga as a daily activity. She also gave up booze that same year (pictured walking for Versace in September last year)

At the height of her fame, Kate Moss was better known for stumbling out of clubs and lighting up cigarettes while hailing a cab than she was for keeping fit.

However, as she nears 50, the model has turned a corner in recent years. 

In 2017, she told The Guardian that she started ‘working out’ and was enjoying it, after years of hating fitness. 

‘I’ve never been a gym bunny or anything like that. I was always, like, “UGH”, it made me feel ill, but now I’ve actually started working out, I’m really quite into it,’ she said. 

At the time, she said she tried to go to the gym for an hour ‘every consecutive days.’ and quickly saw results that motivated her to keep going, 

Last year, Kate donned very revealing underwear in a campaign for Kim Kardashian's shapewear line Skims

Last year, Kate donned very revealing underwear in a campaign for Kim Kardashian’s shapewear line Skims 

The British model also put on a leggy display in a Burberry gown at this year's Met Gala last May

The British model also put on a leggy display in a Burberry gown at this year’s Met Gala last May 

The model has also reduced her drinking and turned to yoga as a daily activity, it was revealed. 

It was reported the model turned the basement of her North London home into a yoga studio with a Turkish steam room, and practice the sport every day. 

On top of this, Kate is thought to have thrice-weekly sessions with yoga teacher Nadia Narain (right), a ‘wellness’ pioneer who has written a book titled Self-Care For The real World.

Along with her long-time pal Sadie Frost and other friends, Kate is also a regular visitor to the LifeCo spa in Bodrum, Turkey.

The detox programme entails eliminating alcohol, caffeine, sugar, meat and dairy from one’s diet, while participating in daily meditation and yoga.

The model, who was allegedly once thrown out of an Easyjet flag from swinging vodka from her cabin bag  also reportedly stopped drinking booze and prefers the company of teetotal friends. 

Moss, who was once nicknamed ‘the Tank’ after the amount of alcohol she could withstand during one day,  

Where in her wilder days she might start the day with a glass of wine, followed by wine and vodka at lunch, earning her the nickname ‘The Tank’, she has now been dry since September 2017.

‘It used to be “if you don’t drink you’re out”, now it’s “if you do drink you are out”,’ says an associate told the Mail in 2019. 

But Moss also has a few homemade tricks up her sleeve, including dousing her head in ice-cold water. 

‘Ice in water really works for me, that’s my favourite trick. If I’m feeling a bit puffy or tired I fill a bowl of water with ice cubes and a bit of cucumber. You just stick your head in and out for a few minutes and you feel fresh as a daisy,’ she told British Vogue in 2020. 

Elle McPherson’s green supplements

Elle McPherson, 58, starts the day with a bike ride and a run and tops it up with another hour of exercise, each day

Elle McPherson, 58, starts the day with a bike ride and a run and tops it up with another hour of exercise, each day 

The Australian beauty, 58, takes her skincare very seriously and has turned to natural remedies in order to effect of time. 

The 56-year-old revealed in a 2020 interview with Kiwi Victoria’s Secret model Georgia Fowler, her top tips and tricks for wellness.

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The top said she relied on The top said she relied on greens supplement from her own company, WelleCo, to make her feel and look her best.

WelleCo claims that two teaspoons daily can lead to clearer skin, enhanced energy levels, improved digestion and gut health, stronger hair and nails and a healthy immune system.

The top showed she is still 'The Body' aged 58, thanks to regular exercise, green complements and more (pictured at the In goop Health Summit in New York in 2019)

The top showed she is still ‘The Body’ aged 58, thanks to regular exercise, green complements and more (pictured at the In goop Health Summit in New York in 2019)

But Elle’s age-defying looks are not down to these supplements alone. The 58-year-old schedule it though out down to the minute, starting with a 5am meditation each day. 

She told Harper’s Bazaar in 2020 that she will then do yoga or ‘jump on [her] bike and ride to the beach for a swim’ at 6:30am, and would top it with a beach-side jog or walk. 

And while she said she doesn’t ‘overwork’ in the gym, the mother-of-two will top her morning exercises with another hour of exercise she ‘really enjoys.’ 

‘It might be paddle boarding, hiking or even waterskiing. At the moment, I’m really into boxing or taking spin classes with girlfriends,’ she said at the time. 

McPherson, who was once known as ‘The Body,’ enjoys a plant-based diet and cuts on sugar and wheat in the run-up to Summer to get her beach body ready. 

She starts the day by drinking hot water and lemon and then taking her supplements with a match tea. She also revealed she drinks a cap-full of cider vinegar diluted in water if she is feeling inflamed, and drinks 3 litres of water a day, as well as another WelleCo infusion at night. 

Cindy Crawford’s Botox and daily cardio

Cindy Crawford admitted she turned to Botox to keep wrinkles at bay, but also exercises thrice a week

Cindy Crawford admitted she turned to Botox to keep wrinkles at bay, but also exercises thrice a week 

Cindy Crawford has been candid about the lengths she’s taken to keep her looks in the past. 

The mother-of-two, 56, who made her fortune with her fitness videotapes in the early 1990s, enjoys a varied numbers of exercises throughout the day in order to maintain her toned physique. 

She told The Cut in 2017 that her go-to workout is ’20 minutes of cardio then weights.’

‘Sometimes the cardio is jumping on a trampoline, using a treadmill or elliptical, or running. We have stairs going down to the beach from our house,’ she said. 

‘I put on an audiobook or music while I run the stairs at my house for 20 minutes,’ she added. 

That same year, the mother-of-two admitted she had taken pole dancing as a form of exercise in LA, saying: ‘They keep it really dark, so it’s almost impossible to feel embarrassed.’

Cindy Crawford with her daughter Kaia Gerber, right, at the InStyle Awards in Los Angeles in November 2021

Cindy Crawford with her daughter Kaia Gerber, right, at the InStyle Awards in Los Angeles in November 2021 

The supermodel revealed she tries to squeeze in three workouts a week, which she accompanies by ‘anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour of old school lunges, weights, squats, and bicep curls. 

She added she’s learned this regimen during the early days of her career and has been working out regularly since she was in her 20s.  

She also added that she goes on a hike once a week with a friend to combine exercise and girlfriend time.

In 2009, Crawford also candidly admitted to using Botox in order to keep wrinkles at bay, though she said at the time she hadn’t had Botox in ’10 years.’ 

She told GQ at the time, MailOnline reported at the time: ‘There’s a doctor here in London who I’ve gone to for Botox. I did a whole skincare line with him. But I haven’t done Botox for ten years. And I didn’t do collagen, I don’t think.’

However, in an interview with InStyle UK in 2015, she open up further, admitting she does rely on a French cosmetic surgeon – thought to be the cosmetic expert Dr Sebagh. 

She said: I’m not going to lie to myself, past a certain age, creams work on the texture of your skin but, in order to restore elasticity, all I can really count on is vitamin injections, Botox, and collagen.

In 2017, from left to right, Carla Bruni, Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford and Helena Christensen caused a stir when they appeared on the Versace catwalk at Milan Fashion week

In 2017, from left to right, Carla Bruni, Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford and Helena Christensen caused a stir when they appeared on the Versace catwalk at Milan Fashion week

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