Things You Didn't Know About Candice Swanepoel

Candice Susan Swanepoel isn't your average supermodel. The blonde beauty was born on October 20, 1988 in a small village in the coastal South African province of KwaZulu-Natal and was raised on a dairy and beef farm.

When she was just 15 years old, a model scout spotted Swanepoel walking around a flea market in Durban, a small South African harbor city that's extremely popular with surfers, and the rest, as they say, is history. Deciding to pursue modeling full-time, Swanepoel moved to Europe and her risk sure paid off! She soon began making waves in the fashion industry, becoming a Victoria's Secret Angel in 2010 and walking in every single Victoria's Secret Fashion Show (sporting the $10 million Fantasy Bra in 2013, no less!) since then.

In addition to being one of today's most successful and sought-after models, Swanepoel is also a proud mama to two adorable boys, plus she's one smart Angel! Did you know she's fluent in three languages (English, Afrikaans and Portuguese)? Yup, she is full of surprises! So without further ado, here are some interesting facts you never knew about Candice Swanepoel.

She still gets nervous on the runway

You might think someone who has walked in hundreds of fashion shows and posed for countless photo shoots wouldn't be in the least bit phased by the thought of walking down a catwalk. But you'd be wrong! As Candice Swanepoel revealed in an exclusive chat with Her Campus, the butterflies never really go away. Not completely, at least. "The runway, I don't know what's wrong with me, I get more nervous every year!" she said when asked if she gets more nervous on a photo shoot set or during a fashion show. "The fashion show, because it's live, because there's a massive audience, because millions of people see it — it is just crazy."

One of her favorite beauty products comes from the kitchen

The popularity of coconut oil has exploded over the years and its long list of health and beauty benefits have solidified it as a great all-around must-have for some people. As it turns out, Candice Swanepoel has been on the coconut oil train for years. Speaking with Vogue in August 2015, the supermodel revealed her love of all things coconut oil, saying, "I use organic coconut oil to take my makeup off, I also add it to my smoothies to keep my skin glowing. It's a great all round natural beauty product. The main thing my mom taught me was that you can never be too young to start taking care of your skin!"

She thought being named Maxim's hottest female was a "practical joke"

Candice Swanepoel topped Maxim's Hot 100 list in 2014, snagging top honors as the planet's hottest and most beautiful woman. Just one year earlier, she came in at No. 63 (talk about making a serious jump in 365 days!), which just goes to show how quickly her popularity had skyrocketed.

Swanepoel's fame has grown so quickly, in fact, that she couldn't quite believe the news herself. "My agent gave me the call and I was, at first, a little bit wary," Swanepoel revealed to ET Online while attending the Maxim Hot 100 bash celebrating her cover. "I was like, 'Who rigged that? Who decided that? Is this a practical joke?'"

Who was the beauty Candice thought should have taken home the title? "I was really surprised that Scarlett Johansson was not number one," she said. Scarlett Johansson came in second that year.

Her favorite place on earth is Brazil

When Candice Swanepoel graced the cover of 10 Magazine's Sensuality Issue in Spring/Summer 2015, she opened up about — you guessed it — her sensuality, but also about her favorite place on earth.

As a supermodel, Swanepoel has had the chance to travel to plenty of major cities across the globe, but picking just one favorite spot is not as hard as it sounds. "In New York, we base people on what they do, how much money they have," she declared, as the Daily Mail reported. "No one knows anything about the fashion industry in Brazil. They don't care what you do. They just want the beach and the sun and the fun. I feel the freest and the happiest there. There, I can just be the normal Candice."

She almost quit modeling for a heart-breaking reason

After being discovered in her native South Africa, Candice Swanepoel took a major leap of faith and moved to Europe as a teen to try and build her career. Along with the move came serious loneliness. "Every day, I was working with different people who were speaking different languages, so I was never able to form any relationships. I just wanted to go home," she revealed to Self in 2015.

What's more, industry insiders kept telling her to lose more and more weight. "I was [always] crying," she told the mag of why at age 17, barely two years into pursuing modeling full-time, she began to seriously consider giving up on her high fashion dreams and moving back home to her parents' farm and continuing her old life.

She started out as a talented ballerina

Despite her great success in the modeling world, Candice Swanepoel's first love was dance. More specifically, ballet. "I was a ballerina in South Africa before I went to general girls boarding school," she revealed to ET Online in 2014, adding, "That was what I actually wanted to do. I wanted to go to ballet school in New York."

Swanepoel also gushed about her love of ballet in an interview with Marie Claire (via AZ Central) that same year, explaining that her training and passion for dance have helped further her modeling career and continue to make her a better model to this day. "[Ballet] has helped a lot with modeling because I think about all parts of my body, from my fingers to my toes," she explained.

Her firstborn's unique name was inspired by nature

Candice Swanepoel and fellow model Hermann Nicoli welcomed their first child, an adorable baby boy, into the world in October 7, 2016. In addition to making all of their fans swoon by sharing plenty of Instagram snaps of their bundle of joy that are simply too cute for words, Swanepoel made us all super jealous by giving her little guy the most unique name. Swanepoel and Nicoli decided to pay tribute to his Brazilian roots and her love of the country by choosing a unique moniker based on a Brazilian slang word for a bird, Anacã, reported the Daily Mail. So sweet!

She considers modeling to be an "incredible blessing"

Candice Swanepoel makes it a real point to let her fans (and the world) know how blessed she feels to be able to model for a living. Time and time again she has gushed about it in interviews, even telling Vogue, "I feel very lucky to be able to work with people from all over the world, everyone has their story and their journey and we're all there to have fun and create art in our own way." She has also called modeling "an incredible blessing for someone with such a sheltered upbringing" on her personal page on

How Candace Swanepoel likes to unwind

What does a supermodel and busy mama do when she needs to unwind and destress? "My secret indulgence is sleep and massages," Candice Swanepoel revealed to Fox News Magazine in 2016. No doubt those simple luxuries aren't all that easy to come by as Swanepoel continues to expertly juggle motherhood with constant work. Sometimes the best treats in life really are the simplest!

Candice Swanepoel prepped for Victoria's Secret Fashion Shows all year round

Victoria's Secret isn't just any modeling job; it's the modeling job. The brand's legendary fashion show routinely drew in millions of viewers worldwide, and, although all eyes were on the stunning designs, even more attention was paid to the bodies of the women displaying them on the runway. Google "Victoria's Secret Angel workout" and you'll come up with thousands of results because, let's face it, everybody wants to know how they stay in such great shape. In fact, as Candice Swanepoel sees it, being an Angel is a year-round commitment.

Speaking to Vogue Arabia, the supermodel explained, "I lead a really balanced lifestyle. It is important to eat healthy but also allow yourself to indulge a bit. I am also incredibly active and I enjoy working out." After all, it's her job to stay fit so there's really no excuse for slacking off, as Swanepoel acknowledged in an interview with Celebuzz. However, doing little things can make all the difference including squeezing her butt as she climbs the stairs, for instance. The South African native extolled the virtues of doing something you enjoy, too, noting she likes boxing and resistance training in particular.

The idea of acting someday intimidates her

Many models have taken the plunge into the world of acting, from Cara Delevingne to Cameron Diaz, with varying levels of success. As Entertainment Weekly notes, there are several big-name actresses, such as Andie MacDowell and Uma Thurman, whose careers are so huge now you've probably forgotten they started out on the runway. Fellow Victoria's Secret Angel Rosie-Huntington Whitely made the move into acting with 2011's Transformers: Dark of the Moon and continued down the action path with Mad Max: Fury Road.

Although the British starlet has done quite well for herself on the silver screen, Candice Swanepoel is in no hurry to follow in her longtime friend's footsteps. When asked by GQ whether she could ever see herself on the big screen, the supermodel, who professed to being "naturally very shy," admitted, "I have thought about it. But it's different when you're speaking; it's harder for me." It's a shame, since the camera clearly loves her.

Motherhood made Candice Swanepoel appreciate working more

Every mother finds it tough to balance her work and home lives at first, but most of them aren't also supermodels expected to be back strutting the runway in record time after giving birth. Although Candice Swanepoel stunned the world in the VS Fashion Show just five months after welcoming her second child, Ariel, as she revealed to Elle UK, having him and Anacã changed her life irrevocably. "I appreciate things I would have overlooked before. I mean, just sitting and getting glammed on is such a nice experience, I would never say, 'Are we done?' now!" the supermodel revealed.

Likewise, Swanepoel admitted to Vogue UK that, although she was anxious about being back in the spotlight and found it particularly nerve-wracking to walk the Met Gala red carpet, motherhood shifted her priorities. "To be honest, after becoming a mum, you don't really care about much else," she said. The South African native also acknowledged how freeing it is to not be her No. 1 concern anymore, advising, "It's always been about me, and my career, and it's so nice to have this shift and put all my love and energy into something else."

She's a hands-on creator

In 2018, Candice Swanepoel took everything she'd learned from a decade of posing in skimpy clothing and utilized that knowledge to launch Tropic of C, her luxury swimwear line. Far from simply slapping her name on some bikinis and cashing the checks after, the in-demand supermodel took a hands-on approach to her labor of love. As she gushed to Fashion Week Daily, her favorite part of the process is the fittings, "when all my creative input comes to life." As Swanepoel explained, seeing the suits in person gives her team the freedom to add extra finishing touches to ensure "my ideas are executed." 

Likewise, she shared, "It also triggers my fantasies on how to shoot the styles, what location, and with who." The South African native models her creations, naturally, since she has one of the most famous swimsuit bodies in the world, but Swanepoel is proud of acting as the art director on the photoshoots, too. "I get to apply all I learned working with so many amazing photographers, stylists, and creatives," she enthused. Likewise, the Victoria's Secret Angel is instrumental in planning shoots and marketing campaigns, casting models, and plenty more besides. 

Her sustainable label has a real message behind it

Tropic of C was a natural progression for Candice Swanepoel in more ways than one. As explained on the Tropic of C website, one of the most important facets of the sustainable brand is reinvesting in the world. "We create partnerships and programs that support women around the globe. From commissioning products from artisan groups in the developing world to our commitment to organizations like mothers2mothers, female empowerment is central to our mission," the site's about page reads.

Swanepoel also advised Forbes that sustainability has been important to her ever since she was a kid, with the South African stunner growing up surrounded by nature. As a result, sustainable textiles are used for Tropic of C's garments, with each swimsuit created using materials "that are renewable, biodegradable or decrease water and energy consumption." Likewise, their shipping materials are completely compostable, so there's no unnecessary waste there either. 

She earns an incredible amount through Instagram alone

Candice Swanepoel is one of the most followed people on Instagram, with more than 15 million followers at the time of writing. Although she mostly shares stunning shots of herself, her beautiful designs, and her travels, there's a major business mind ticking behind everything the supermodel posts on the photo-sharing platform. A 2018 report by the Evening Standard crowned Swanepoel as the most influential lingerie model on Instagram, above heavyweights and fellow Angels like Adriana Lima and Alessandra Ambrosio.

Although her millions-strong following is hugely impressive, it's the interaction from those very fans that puts the South African above her contemporaries. Luxury lingerie brand Bluebella advised that pics of the scantily-clad supermodel smizing seductively typically get hundreds of thousands of likes more than other VS stars. As a result, Swanepoel stood to earn a whopping £50,000 (close to $70,000) per post. Considering her star has only risen further in the years since, it's likely the low-key beauty is making significantly more at this stage.

Candice Swanepoel loves doing her own makeup

One of the biggest perks of being an internationally renowned supermodel has to be getting fussed over by the best in the business. Although Candice Swanepoel loves getting glammed up, the stunning South African takes great joy in experimenting at home, too. She told Grazia Daily, "I love doing my own makeup." In fact, she said, "Sometimes I prefer doing it myself." Although Swanepoel acknowledged she could never come close to the artists who get her ready for campaigns and shows, she's content to simply "have fun with it." 

Doing her own hair doesn't come quite as easily, however. As Swanepoel confessed to Harper's Bazaar, "I can't [do it herself], I wish I could." The in-demand supermodel typically leaves her tresses to their own devices, particularly in between jobs, to give her hair a rest, shrugging, "I usually just tie it in a bun or let it naturally dry ... I just do that messy bedhead thing." Considering how gorgeous she is, however, it's doubtful Swanepoel's hair ever looks anything less than perfect even with zero effort.