The secret to Christie's age-defying beauty
As Ms Brinkley celebrated her 65th birthday in New York on Tuesday, Caitlin McBride reveals how the model retains her youthful glow
Christie Brinkley's ageless appearance is almost mythical at this stage. Over the last 45 years, Brinkley has successfully transitioned from fresh faced Sports Illustrated covergirl to runway model, tabloid fixture and lifestyle entrepreneur. Throughout those decades, the question remains: how on earth does she look so good?
On Tuesday night, Brinkley rang in her 65th birthday at the Gramercy Park Hotel in New York, wearing a sequin striped mini-dress, a pair of metallic pumps and the kind of confidence that comes from years spent in front of the camera. Just how does she do it?
A lot of is, unsurprisingly, down to genetics and a lifetime of healthy living, but the secrets in her beauty arsenal don't require a time machine or going under the knife. She admits that the only cosmetic treatment she swears by is Ultherapy, a skin tightening procedure which uses ultrasound energy to naturally lift and tighten the skin, which she uses for her chin, neck and chest, and Xeomin, an injectable alternative to botox, for frown lines. She starts her day with warm water and lemon to kickstart the metabolism and then begins applying a regimen of scrubs and creams.
"When I first wake up, I exfoliate using my Complete Clarity Daily Facial Exfoliating Polish to wake up my skin, then I drench my skin in my Pure Radiance Illuminating Facial Oils while I'm making my coffee and warm water with lemon. I let all the biomimic oil, sweet almond macadamia, evening primrose, and all the other ingredients nurture my skin, and then apply my Recapture 360 day cream," she told W Magazine last year.
She wears SPF every day and takes her role in the public eye seriously when she revealed her cosmetic preferences in 2016 (and tied in a partnership with both in the process). "My choice for aging gracefully is to dabble in treatments. To ignore science would be ridiculous. It's my pleasure to be able to let other people know about these things," she told The Cut.
Honesty is always refreshing - when it comes to women admitting the secrets to their appearance, it's a rarity. Brinkley's admission to wearing hair extensions is a welcome one as she acknowledges that a bouncy blow-dry of that length - at any age - is virtually unachievable without some help. "I just think that they're something that every woman needs in her tool kit. When I have these I know that no matter what, I can clip them in and I'm going to look like I did something," she told Coveteur. "They're so easy. I mean, literally, I will either let my hair dry as I'm running around or blow dry my hair and snap them in and it's like, whoa, instant! You cannot tell that there's any fake hair in there, it looks like you have the thickest head of hair. I think it's one of my best hair secrets. It gives you the chicest ponytail you can imagine."
She has been a devotee of Total Gym, her at-home workout routine, for years, which she says she "really uses" in her day-to-day life. "But I also might go to a spin class or work with weights. I would say running is my favourite way to sweat, but I'm not really supposed to do that anymore because of injuries," she told The Cut. "The second you try to adjust those teeny changes, they make a huge difference.
"Some days, the only thing I can get in is a seven-minute run on the Total Gym. Then while I'm brushing my teeth, I'm doing leg lifts. When I'm drying my hair, I do all kinds of squats. There are all kinds of studies that show that kind of exercise that both stretches and strengthens, you know, concentric and eccentric exercising, is the best for your muscles. And that's what Total Gym does. And so I really do use it. And I'm also really into all those biking things. SoulCycle, Peloton, FlyWheel. I just think that it's such a fun way to burn calories, you know? And so, I think it's a perfect combination."
She has been a vegetarian since she was 13 and describes herself as "vegan-ish" preferring all-natural, organic foods where possible.
"I've been sharing my beauty tips for over 40 years," she previously said. "When I find something that works, I generally talk about it. I thought, 'This is so ridiculous'. Women shouldn't have to feel like that. It should be about you and your personal reasons." Her approach to ageing, treatments and tricks isn't one of forcefulness, but rather acceptance and emphasising the importance of personal choice. As a celebrity, of course she's more image conscious and we expect her to follow a path like Peter Pan herself Jane Fonda, but her allure comes from the inside out.
"For me, it's a lifestyle, it's a foundation for your future. Because your health is your greatest wealth. I really think that's something everybody needs to invest in."