Sonja Morgan shares a no-makeup selfie

So do the Real Housewives really look as glamorous off-camera as they do on Bravo? The stars of Real Housewives Of New York and Real Housewives Of Orange County dish on what they’ve learned since the cameras started rolling, how TV has affected their looks, and if they’re really as glam when they’re not on Bravo! 

All the women admit they’re more casual in real life than they are in reality TV life, usually wearing jeans and shirts or workout gear instead of satin cocktail dresses and Louboutins. Bethenny Frankel confesses to being “braless in pajamas” when she drops off her daughter Bryn at school. “Honestly, that’s where the photographers really should be, because it’s scary. It’s a disaster,” she jokes. Hopefully Bethenny is actually wearing her own PJs and not her daughter’s… 


Heather Thomson agrees that outside of RHONY it’s a life of converse sneakers and ripped jeans. “I’ve been in fashion for almost 25 years. I’m good at what I do. I just don’t normally do it on myself,” she admits. Luann de Lesseps says that years of living in Europe and NY have taught her to “look right for the occasion” but “I dress up a lot more on camera than I would in real life, because we’re going out a lot.” 

Shannon Beador believes that aging on camera is scarier than in real life. “When you start to age in front of the camera, you think, What do I need to do here?” she wonders. 

Unanimously the most important thing the ladies learned was that doing your own hair and makeup always shows! Go pro, or go home when it comes to filmings or events. “Some days I’ll try to do my hair and makeup myself. But if I do it myself, it looks like it,” shares Vicki Gunvalson

“I used to try to do my own makeup, but then I watched the show. High-definition TV is insane,” confessed Carole Radziwill. I looked like a fetus (author’s note: perfect for her dating proclivities!), with two little round eyes—you know those sonogram pictures? It’s all about the lashes.” Although sometimes things go too far… “But I’ve looked at this season, and I’m really wearing too many lashes,” Carole resigns. 

Luann describes the learning curve of HD makeup. “TV makeup is TV makeup. And you learn as you go along,” she explains to Allure Magazine. “There is definitely different lighting when the cameras are around, and you do need a little more makeup than you would need in person.”

Jumping in, Tamra Barney talks on-camera hair. “Do you want to feel my weave?” she jokes. She says the biggest change to her hair, makeup, and wardrobe is freebies that allow her to change-up and amp-up her look. “I’m not just a housewife now; I’m a Real Housewife. So yes, I had to take the hair and makeup up a notch,” explains Kristen Taekman. “I wasn’t doing red-carpet events when I was just a housewife. But personally, I’m living my fashion dream on camera. Sometimes you just don’t have a place to wear big hair and big makeup. I always wanted to, but now I have the opportunity. Now I’m the housewife I’ve always wanted to be.”

Of course Kim Zolciak has undergone the biggest on-camera transformation from plastic hair to real-human hair wigs. Silence Of The Lambs, y’all! “The wigs I was wearing at the beginning were not cute,” Kim agrees. “I got better, more-expensive wigs and better makeup artists once I was on the show. But I’ve always had style with my clothes.” She says as soon as the cameras aren’t rolling off goes the wig and makeup. “And I feel just as beautiful that way.”

“I would say I’ve changed a lot since we’ve been shooting the show, because you see yourself on camera,” co-signs Sonja Morgan. “You’re mortified. Sometimes you think, I have to fix this, fix that. But I was pretty glammed up before the show. My makeup hasn’t really changed. I don’t wear a lot of makeup—only in the confessionals, the interviews.”

Cameran Eubanks of Southern Charm is in the minority, she says southern girls always do hair and makeup – and she manages it herself. “We’re Southern. Southern women always have to look presentable. You go to the grocery store with lipstick on. And I do my own makeup; I don’t have my makeup done for the show.”

Above, Sonja shares a no-makeup selfie. 


[Photo Credit: Instagram]