A Sports Illustrated Model Reveals Her Favorite Italian Beauty Secret

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There's never been an occasion when Bianca Balti looks anything short of flawless. Whether she's walking countless runways, serving as the face and muse of Dolce & Gabanna, or gracing the pages of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue—which she returns to for the second time this year—the Lombardy-born model and mother of two makes an impression with her striking looks. So when we had the chance to catch up with her to discuss all things beauty, we had to ask her to spill her Italian beauty secrets.

"I remember when I was a teenager, somebody told me to put olive oil in my hair," recounts Balti. But the beauty hack didn't go according to plan. "It was the biggest mistake I've ever made," she admits. "It didn't rinse off for a week—so for sure not that one." Though the home remedy for hair wasn't a success, there is an Italian approach to beauty that Balti lives by to this day. "My mom, who's Italian, of course, always told me never to exaggerate with makeup," shares Balti. "I still remember the day she wore a red lipstick. I said, 'Mom, you look so beautiful. Why don't you wear this all the time?' She told me, 'If I always wore it, you wouldn't have noticed.'"

Though the Balti we see is usually done up in modeling campaigns and magazine covers, she follows her mom's advice in real life. "Because of the work I do, I try to keep myself as simple as possible during my everyday," explains Balti. "Then I keep a pair of heels or bright lipstick for those special occasions to feel special."