All About Kate Upton's Sexy 'Sports Illustrated' Cover Look

02/14/2012 at 04:00 PM ET

Kate Upton Sports Illustrated
Walter Iooss Jr./Sports Illustrated

Much has been said about that itty-bitty bikini, but Kate Upton’s sexy Sports Illustrated cover look goes beyond the bathing suit. The 19-year-old stunner was glammed up by the magazine’s team of makeup artists and hairstylists — though they admit she didn’t need much help looking gorgeous.

“The great thing about Kate is that there’s kind of a look that she has — she has that blonde hair, a beauty mark in the right place,” makeup artist Tracy Murphy explains to PEOPLE. “She’s like, the girl that’s born to be a bombshell. It’s already there.”

Murphy used some bronzer, waterproof mascara and nude lip balm on her model, touched up her eyebrows and sent her on her way. “She has really beautiful coloring, those naturally rosy cheeks you have when you’re 19,” Murphy says. “It was really effortless beauty with her.”

Her hair was a different story. Though stylist Peter Butler prepped as best he could, Mother Nature got in the way. “Take about 50 to 60 mile-per-hour winds,” he jokes of attaining her beachy waves, which he created using a 2-in. curling iron and Leonor Greyl mousse. “Usually beach hair is pretty natural and raw, so it’s more about trying to control it as much as possible, while still keeping it natural.”

Kate Upton Sports Illustrated
Walter Iooss Jr./Sports Illustrated

Because of the winds in Sydney, Australia, where Upton was shot, Butler had to give his client some tips. “I pretty much told her how to hold her hair in the wind,” he recalls. “We had to find the angle for the wind to blow it the right way. It was a lot of luck.”

The cover image itself was a lucky get, too; senior editor MJ Day says there “was a lot of excitement when we were shooting this. We had really tough weather when we were shooting, and it was one of those days when it was clear and perfect and beautiful.”

Day combed through about 10,000 swimsuits, finding the perfect Suit Yourself Bikini by Kathleen Bruening ($180) for Upton’s shoot. (She also wears a bangle by jewelery designer Sydney Evan.) “It was such a tiny top and such a tiny bottom, but still sophisticated, flattering and sexy,” she says. “We just loved it on her.” Read Upton’s reaction to her cover unveiling here.

Want a sexy swimsuit of your own? Head over to gilt.com/swim, where the site is selling sexy swimsuits and limited-edition surfboards in honor of the annual issue. Proceeds from all sales will benefit the Nature Conservancy. Tell us: What do you think of Upton’s cover?

MEET ALL THE SEXY SPORTS ILLUSTRATED SWIMSUIT MODELS

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Showing 68 comments

makafortune on

I don’t know who her waxer is but “bravo”….LOL.
At least her over-exposed assets are all natural.

SLB on

They should have used the 2nd picture as the cover. The actual cover is not flattering at all. The shadows on her face do not help show how pretty she really is. I saw her on the today show and she came across a bit ditzy but this is what guys like I guess right?

Kate Upton’s Sports Illustrated Cover: All the Details | Malcolm In the Middle on

[…] but still sophisticated, flattering and sexy,” says the magazine’s senior editor People.com Latest News #avatar_footer { display: none; } /* Change this in Users > Avatars. */ Avatars by Sterling […]

mememe on

She is beautiful, obviously. But I don’t think the angle of this photo is flattering at all. It’s like one long long torso with boobies. I really dislike the choice – not her, but the photo.

Bella on

she a natural beauty…

JELIOUS_WOMEN on

WHY ARE ALL YOU WOMEN HATING? WELCOME TO THE WORLD U CREATED!!! IF YOU HAD THE HAIRY CAT TO TELL US MEN THAT THIS IS NOT OK AND NOT TAKE PART IN IT THEN MAYBE THIS COUNTRY WOULDNT BE THE WAY IT IS…. NOW GO BACK TO UR SPOTS AND DO WHAT WE SAY

Lulu on

The model is beautiful — too bad they chose this unflattering, too small suit for her……so many other suits that she would have looked amazing on her body.

Ed on

Stunningly beautiful. Absolutely nothing wrong with showing off a beautiful body. If someone doesn’t think it appropriate to display, then simply get out of the way so the rest of us can get a better view.

JELIOUS_WOMEN on

WHY ARE ALL YOU WOMEN HATING? WELCOME TO THE WORLD U CREATED!!! IF YOU HAD THE HAIRY CAT TO TELL US MEN THAT THIS IS NOT OK AND NOT TAKE PART IN IT THEN MAYBE THIS COUNTRY WOULDNT BE THE WAY IT IS…. NOW GO BACK TO UR SPOTS AND DO WHAT WE SAY2321

Holly on

People are “hating” because she could have looked great, but that swimsuit is horrible for her.

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