It's been a little over two weeks since Netflix dropped the reality guilty pleasure that is Too Hot To Handle, which just announced a reunion episode this morning. The show follows a group of commitment-phobic, self-proclaimed hotties who are lured to a tropical paradise only to find out that they can't get intimate with the other contestants — unless they want to fork over the $100,000 cash prize.
In the end, the show didn't just leave me wondering which of the newly-formed couples were still together or why these people simply couldn't keep their hands off each other for a few weeks — but more importantly, how on Earth did their makeup always stay that pristine under the blazing sun? Not even the seasoned reality stars over on Bachelor in Paradise can keep things from going south once the cameras roll — while the Too Hot To Handle newbies looked like they had a professional makeup crew running up to do touch-ups between takes.
We caught up with Canadian model Francesca Farago — the show's infamous rule-breaker — who shared the cast's secret for staying just the right amount of dewy. "It was just us doing our makeup," she reveals, before noting one major advantage: air conditioning in a few key spots on the premises. "There were times that we would get really hot under the lights. If there was a little break, we would run into the bedroom or the dressing room."
While tension between the contestants might have played out on screen, the Vancouver-native says that the overall vibe in the makeup room was much more amiable. According to Farago, the entire female cast shared contestant Haley Cureton's $15 lip-plumping gloss from Too Faced — which Farago admits wasn't the most the sanitary move. (We also wonder how Lana would feel about that?). Nicole O'Brien was also generous with doling out faux lash tips. "Nicole taught me this tweezer application tip and how to press them onto the lash line. Before filming, I did not know how to do [falsies] myself, and now I do," Farago says.
Farago, who admits that she is not the best at doing her makeup herself, also got a crash course from her younger sister before heading to the island. With her sister's guidance, she packed KVD Vegan Beauty Tattoo Liner, Arbonne Speak Volumes Mascara, Tarte Frameworker Brow Pomade, and Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder — all long-wearing products meant to withstand intense heat.
While Farago stuck to a classic, budge-proof winged liner on the show, she says that it's her biggest beauty regret looking back. "I don't do that wing eyeliner anymore because I watch the show, and I'm like, Why was I wearing winged eyeliner? I didn't even do it properly. I sucked at it," she laughs.
Now, with more time at home to practice her makeup skills, the 26-year-old model is turning to TikTok for tutorials — which she says have been especially key as her Botox wears off in quarantine. "Recently, I've been using this trick that before applying your makeup, you put setting powder all over your face and then setting spray. After you let that dry, you go in with primer and then apply your foundation. This makes you look so youthful," says Farago, who adds that her new bangs are also doing the trick by covering her forehead. She's also been experimenting with making at-home scrubs out of coffee grinds and aloe vera in her cabinet.
Farago says her beauty routine is a work in progress that she's documenting for fans on her new YouTube channel. "They're going to be like, 'This girl has no idea what she's doing,'" she says. "I'm definitely still learning." We'd say being hot enough for someone to give up $100,000 to be with you is a pretty good place to start.
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