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Models Share Tricks to Beat Sweat During Fashion Week

By Janet Upadhye | September 12, 2012 1:13pm

LINCOLN CENTER — Models are constantly on the go during Fashion Week — primping and prepping for runway shows, networking and posing for countless photographs.

But during New York City's humid, late-summer days, while tourists, photographers and onlookers drip with sweat in the midday sun, models appear to remain completely dry.

Their faces don't shine, their armpits are devoid of wet patches and their hairlines reveal not even the smallest bead of sweat.

How do they do it?

According to some runway walkers, it's all about knowing the tricks of the trade.

"One of my secrets is to discreetly suck on ice cubes," said model Deborah Fenker. "They keep my body temperature low."

Fenker also makes a point of moving slowly and getting into ice-cold air-conditioning whenever possible.

Runway model Jaslynn Irene uses her own hair to take care of sweat. Throughout the day, she sponges up any dampness on her face with her long blonde hair.

"I have really dry hair," she said. "So it quickly absorbs any moisture."

Others take more traditional routes, such as staying hydrated, using tissues and wearing light, airy clothing whenever possible.

For some models, tips on how to stay dry have been passed down through the generations.

"My grandmother was a beauty queen in the '50's," said Cheralee Lyle, fashion stylist and blogger. "She taught my mother, who taught me, to spray hairspray on your face."

These days, Lyle doesn't recommend that tactic, saying it is very bad for pores. Instead, she puts primer on her face before applying makeup and a misted spray sold at beauty-supply stores.

The spray helps her face stay dry throughout the day, she said.

But many models at Fashion Week claim that they just don't sweat.

"I have much less body fat than most people," said Brazilian model Nicole Bernardes. "I am always cold, and I never sweat."

Bernardes said that even after hours of working out at the gym, she remains completely dry.

But model Fenker disagreed, maintaining that everyone sweats.

"The best defense any model has against sweat is Photoshop," she said.