How does oldest runway model Carmen Dell’Orefice stay beautiful?

Carmen Dell’Orefice, who at 81 holds the Guinness World Record for Oldest Working Model, is still stunning her way down the catwalk. She made a splash at Fashion Week last week by walking the runway twice in one day, and being photographed with Ryan Lochte.

She was discovered at age 13 while riding a bus in New York, and landed a $7.50/hr gig for Vogue by age 15. It hasn’t been all rosebuds since then, at age 77 she lost practically all of her life’s fortune in the Madoff scandal. That hasn’t fazed Carmen, though, she’s been working steadily ever since that setback.

How does she stay so gorgeous?

Carmen says she doesn’t diet, but unlike fellow octogenarian fashion model Daphne Selfe, she does get “some help” from surgeons.

In 1985, when she was in her 50s, Carmen wrote a (sadly, now out-of-print) beauty secrets book called Staying Beautiful: Beauty Secrets and Attitudes from My Forty Years as a Model.

Besides the occasional “help” from surgeons, in 2008 Carmen swore by Bag Balm, an ointment made by a diary farmer to soften cow teats and is now used on horses, but apparently works wonders on human skin. “If it’s good enough for horses, it’s good enough for me,” she quipped. She also said that it’s just like the much more expensive Elizabeth Arden 8-Hour Cream.

Carmen Dell’Orefice Vogue