Before there were Basketball Wives, there were the footballer WAGs (aka wives and girlfriends), as the British tabloids fondly christened them. In the UK and all over Europe, being a footballer (what we Americans call a soccer player) is like being Tom Brady and Derek Jeter all rolled into one. Men want to be you and women want to be with you. Not just any women, though--women whose spending habits and glamour are so mesmerizing that rag mags devote multiple columns and online articles to reporting on them.
Public appetite for WAGs and what is dubbed the “WAG factor” is so overwhelming that some blamed them and their hard-partying antics for England’s 2006 Baden-Baden World Cup defeat. Adding some fuel to the speculation, the English coach even banned (or rather, limited) WAG presence at the 2010 World Cup games, permitting them to only visit once a week. The Euro Cup final will be played on Sunday (Italy vs. Spain), so we thought these soccer sirens deserved some of the spotlight. From Victoria Beckham to Spanish hottie Sara Carbonero, we've whipped up a guide for recognizing the world's most notorious WAGs, as well as some of their reputed favorite British and European beauty brands. Click through to see these five ladies and what's in their beauty arsenal (not to be confused with Arsenal, a UK football club).
She is the number one reigning WAG and the only one to successfully cross over to the States--and she obviously needs no introduction from us. From Spice Girl to wife of David Beckham to successful high-end fashion designer, VB is the WAG who all WAGs aspire to be.
Keeping in line with her sophisticated image, one of Victoria’s favorite brands is the luxe British spa and skincare line, Elemis. With its blend of science and elegance, the Elemis range of products are what you might see on the vanity table of the British equivalent of an Upper East Side doyenne. Victoria tweeted about one of her favorites, the Elemis Japanese Camellia Oil. Body oils are both the newest and oldest formulations of body moisturizers. Oldest because they’ve been used since the ancient Egyptians, but new because they’re the latest moisturizer type to hit the market. They’re absorbed into the skin more easily than their cream siblings, and leave behind a dry-glossy finish.
Elemis’s Camellia Oil is an incredibly fragrant, musky mix of Japanese camellia flower plant extracts and sweet almond oil. I like to splash this all over post-shower, or tip a few drops into a hot bath. I’ve also heard that it’s very useful in preventing stretch marks. This must account for the pregnancy glow that Victoria was sporting while pregnant with baby Harper.
Get it here.
Victoria is also a fan of Butter London’s line of non-toxic nail polishes with British themed namess like Trout Pout and No More Waity Katie. Her favorite shade is the appropriately named Yummy Mummy, a slightly shimmery medium nude, that is described as “magic” for its ability to look good on anyone.
Get it here.
Perhaps one of the most controversial WAGs, she is as polarizing as Kim Kardashian. Some snipe that she isn’t a “style icon” (or as Countess LuAnn would say: “Money doesn’t buy you class”) while others cite her every-girl image (and massive credit card usage) for her popularity. The EIC of Vogue UK, Alexandra Shulman, put her on a 2005 cover. Prior to Coleen’s cover appearance, Alexandra wrote an op-ed piece in the Telegraph defending that her cover choice “has become famous entirely through the filter of the paparazzi and tabloid press and that, in itself, makes her a phenomenon of our time.” (Can you picture Anna Wintour ever saying something similar? The differences among international Vogue EICs fascinates me.)
Her love for spending and luxury goods is well-documented. For her wedding to high school love, Premier Leaguer Wayne Rooney, she inked one of the most lucrative photo rights deals ever, receiving £2.5 million for the pictures. You can read more about her crazy, extravagant £5 million wedding here, where they detail the custom-made Marchesa wedding dress, three bachelorette parties, and a private performance by Westlife (I’m glad this was included as part of their extravagance. Westlife is like the British version of The Backstreet Boys.)
Despite the over-the top spending, Coleen tries to maintain a girl-next-door image, and recently told the Mirror UK that one of her favorite blushes is the Bourjois Paris Little Round Pot. Bourjois is an old-school drugstore brand sold all over Europe, a brand which started as the cosmetic supplier of choice to actors and actresses in Paris’s theatre district. The round blush pots are one of their original and signature products; it goes from a baked, dry texture in the pot, to a silky, powder finish on the cheek with a faint rose aroma. Coleen’s reputed favorite shade is #34, Rose D’Or.
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Like Helen of Troy or Emily of The Bachelorette, reports of Cheryl Cole’s beauty abound. In response to a reporter who asked Justin Bieber whether Cheryl would make a good wife, he eloquently replied, "She is really hot but, most importantly, she is a really nice person and is kind to people so, yes, I think so."
The Awl has a great summary of Cheryl Cole’s rise to fame but here are the basic facts: She came from a working class background, then competed on a reality singing show to win a place in Girls Aloud, a pop group akin to Destiny’s Child in terms of success. Her mentor is Simon Cowell, and she was voted "Britain’s Toughest Woman," in a poll done by Maxim magazine, beating out cellphone-flinging supermodel, Naomi Campbell. Impressive, yes?
She married Chelsea footballer, Ashley Cole, who she later divorced after numerous reports of his philandering. After Cheryl revealed to The Daily Mail that one of her favorite moisturizers is E45, a 60-year-old formula which sells for £2, retailers and stockists girded up their supply. One skincare buyer said, “We know from previous experience that when Cheryl Cole gives a beauty product the okay then sales can rocket.” I haven’t personally tried this product before, as it appears to be only sold in the UK, but you can find it here.
A former nail technician, Alex Curran is married to Liverpool captain, Steve Gerard. She’s very close with Coleen Rooney. After The Daily Mail caught Rooney, Curran, and a host of other WAGs walking around town, post-salon visit, with their hair in curlers, Vogue UK supposedly also endorsed the curler, both inside and outside the home. Pictures of WAGs in curlers “were a fashion statement...an affirmation of the legitimate and lasting desire by women to have fabulous curls and big, big hair.” Vogue UK did a piece highlighting these microwavable hair curlers on their site, citing their ease over cold or electric ones.
Because everyone knows bigger hair is better hair.
Sara Carbonero, a Spanish TV journalist, was voted FHM’s Sexiest Reporter in 2009, and is now engaged to Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas. After Casillas let in the sole goal scored by Switzerland in a 2010 World Cup match, some angry fans claimed that Sara’s presence there as a reporter distracted her boyfriend from making a proper save.
Some compare her to Adriana Lima for her penetrating eyes. Sara’s makeup artist recently dished that she uses eyeliner from German professional brand, Kryolan, softly lining around the edges to play up Sara’s eyes. [Ed. Note: We are running immediately to get this if it will make us look like Sara.]
Get it here.