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My Beauty Rules: Maria Borges

Supermodel and L’oréal Paris ambassador, Maria Borges gives us an exclusive lowdown on beauty advice, plus her recipe for success.

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My beauty philosophy is to be yourself and love yourself, no matter what. With or without make-up, it has to come from within. My mom gave me my first-ever beauty tip. She always said: ‘No matter what you do, you must always put on lipbalm or lipstick because it can change everything. You don’t need to wear a full face of make-up, but your lips always have to be on point.

I never diet. I’m African and love my food, meat and rice – I love it all, but I do like to find a balance. Nowadays, I find that balance is everything you can possibly do to improve your life. I eat everything and I always make sure I balance it with working out or eating smaller portions. I try to avoid things that aren’t healthy for me, like a lot of sugar or too much salt. 

When it comes to exercise, I keep things in moderation. I stay in shape and keep my fitness levels up by doing a lot of yoga. I love Zumba and I do a lot of squats for my legs – I love squats!

I travel non-stop, so I enjoy staying at home to reset and relax. I meditate to unwind and I take five or 10 minutes every day, when I wake up, to recite my mantras, tell myself good things and think good thoughts, like always being grateful for the new day or the new year.

My favourite hairstyle over the years has to be my natural Afro. I sometimes blow-dry my hair, but I quit relaxing it about five or six years ago, so now I always keep my hair natural and I love it short. I use hair products that work with my curls and I keep those curls tight. I’m loving the L’Oréal Paris hair oils or any other kind of hair oil to finish off my style. I like it when my hair shines brightly, like diamonds.

My skin cheat for tired skin, especially when I travel, is a good moisturiser to keep my skin well hydrated. I have very dry skin, so if I had to pick one amazing beauty product to use every day, it would definitely be a good moisturiser.

I never leave home without my mascara, moisturiser, lipstick and blush. I don’t worry much about foundation because I’m lucky enough to have great skin.


“Beauty doesn’t always mean wearing make-up or dressing well. Beauty is being comfortable with yourself and who you are” 


When it comes to perfume, I love mixing different scented creams and fragrances.

When working with big fashion and beauty brands, it’s important for me to identify with the brand and everything it stands for. If I can identify myself with the brand, then I know that’s the way for me to go.

My advice to anyone wanting to get into the world of beauty or fashion is to remember that we’re all different and no two people look the same: we’re all unique and all beautiful. If you think your product needs to be global and you want other people to experience and enjoy it, you need to look around and notice who those other people are, what they look like and what their needs are. It’s important to include as many people as possible in a project and give them the opportunity and the credit they deserve when they do the right thing and the right work.

A tip I have for the next generation is to be confident in whatever you do. Beauty doesn’t always mean wearing make-up or dressing well. Beauty is being comfortable with yourself and who you are. 

This article originally appeared in the October 2018 issue of ELLE.

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