Linda Evangelista stunned on the cover of British Vogue's September issue, but she revealed that she had to have her face taped back for the photoshoot, as she opened up about her struggle to 'love herself' again after a botched cosmetic procedure left her 'permanently deformed' and 'brutally disfigured.'
The model, 57, spent the last six years 'in hiding' after suffering from a rare reaction to the procedure known as CoolSculpting, which was designed to decrease her fat cells, but instead, made them become enlarged.
She has since undergone two liposuction surgeries in an attempt to fix the problem, and announced back in February that she was done living in 'shame.' Now, she recently returned to modeling - and she looked flawless on the cover of British Vogue's newest issue.
However, while discussing the shoot, she admitted that her jaw and neck don't look like that 'in real life' and that makeup artist Pat McGrath had to use tape and elastics to pull her features back, which she covered with scarves and hats.
She explained that she is still 'trying to love herself' after becoming 'so depressed' following the faulty procedure, and that using the tape 'took care of' her 'insecurities' so that she could feel confident while 'doing what she loves to do' again.
She explained: 'That's not my jaw and neck in real life - and I can't walk around with tape and elastics everywhere. I'm trying to love myself as I am.
'But for the photos... Look, for photos I always think we're here to create fantasies. We're creating dreams. I think it's allowed. All my insecurities are taken care of in these pictures, so I got to do what I love to do.'
Linda - who appeared in her first campaign in six years last month when she posed for a Fendi ad - was hesitant to call this her 'comeback,' as she noted that she is almost entirely covered in the photoshoot.
Throughout the '90s, Linda was one of the biggest models in the industry, posing for numerous well-known magazines like Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Elle, and Marie Claire, and strutting her stuff in runway shows for big brands including Chanel, Valentino, Dolce & Gabbana, Ralph Lauren, and Giorgio Armani, to name a few.
However, she stopped working in 2016, and back in September, she revealed in a shocking Instagram post that the reason she had decided to retreat from the public eye was because she had developed 'bulges' all over her body after getting a cryolipolysis procedure, which she said left her 'unrecognizable.'
She now spoke out about it further, explaining to British Vogue: 'If I had known side effects may include losing your livelihood and [that I'd] end up so depressed that [I] hated [myself]… I wouldn't have taken that risk.'
Linda recalled deciding to have the CoolSculpting procedure done after seeing frequent advertisements for it on TV.
She dished: 'Those CoolSculpting commercials were on all the time - on CNN, on MSNBC, over and over, and they would ask, "Do you like what you see in the mirror?"
'They were speaking to me. It was about stubborn fat in areas that wouldn't budge. It said no downtime, no surgery. I drank the magic potion, and I would because I'm a little vain. So I went for it - and it backfired.'
'Am I cured mentally? Absolutely not,' she continued. 'But I'm so grateful for the support I got from my friends and from my industry.'
Linda filed a lawsuit last September suing CoolSculpting's parent company, Zeltiq Aesthetics Inc, for $50 million in damages, claiming at the time that she has been unable to work since the procedures - which she settled in July.
In her suit, the runway icon had sought $50million in damages, alleging that she had been left 'brutally disfigured' by Zeltiq Aesthetics Inc's CoolSculpting procedure, which she claimed 'did the opposite of what it promised.
During the CoolSculpting procedure, which has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. a device that's set below freezing temperature is applied to fat deposits, which causes cell death in the tissue.
But Linda soon developed a condition called paradoxical adipose hyperplasia - a rare adverse effect of cryolipolysis, which has been reported in of 0.0051 per cent of the 1.5 million CoolSculpting procedures performed worldwide.
With this condition, the treated area becomes larger, rather than smaller. It can leave a 'painless, visibly enlarged, firm, well-demarcated mass' underneath the skin.
Zeltiq - which is a subsidiary of Allergan - markets and licenses devices used for such procedures.
Speaking to People magazine last year, the former runway star detailed how she thought she was going crazy and 'stopped eating' when the growths started to appear on her chin, thighs, and bust area - and how she now 'dreads running into someone she knows' after spending decades as a catwalk sensation.
Linda detailed how within three months of her treatments, she noticed the bulges forming on her body, with the targeted areas growing rather than shrinking - before hardening and becoming numb.
The star alleged that CoolSculpting offered to pay for liposuction for her to correct the damage caused by PAH after her doctor contacted them. However, she said that on the eve of her liposuction, Zeltiq said they would only pay for the procedure if she signed a confidentiality agreement - which she refused.
She added: 'If I walk without a girdle in a dress, I will have chafing to the point of almost bleeding. Because it's not like soft fat rubbing, it's like hard fat rubbing. [I can't] put my arms flat along my side. I don't think designers are going to want to dress me with that sticking out of my body.'
She also previously said of the lawsuit: 'I have developed Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia or PAH, a risk of which I was not made aware before I had the procedures.
'PAH has not only destroyed my livelihood, it has sent me into a cycle of deep depression, profound sadness, and the lowest depths of self-loathing.
'In the process, I have become a recluse. With this lawsuit, I am moving forward to rid myself of my shame, and going public with my story.
'I'm so tired of living this way. I would like to walk out my door with my head held high, despite not looking like myself any longer.'
In a statement to British Vogue, a representative for Zeltiq said: 'We are pleased to have resolved this matter with Ms. Evangelista.
'Our focus continues to be on empowering confidence by providing safe, reliable aesthetics products and services backed by science. CoolSculpting is an FDA-cleared, non-invasive treatment for visible fat bulges in the nine areas of the body.'
The supermodel now said she is 'happy' to put the case behind her and is looking forward to 'a new chapter' in her life.
While Linda noted that 'you're not going to see her in a swimsuit,' she does want to get back into modeling without having to 'retouch, tape, compress or trick.' But she added that it's most likely going to be 'difficult for her to find jobs' with 'things protruding from her.'
For her British Vogue cover shoot, the model worked with celebrity makeup artist Pat McGrath, who used products from her own beauty range, Pat McGrath Labs, to make sure that the fashion star looked her very best in the photos, having used tape in order to life her jaw and neck.
The beauty pro praised Linda's 'timeless beauty', explaining that she set out to emphasize her natural looks at their 'most luminous' with the makeup she used.
For Linda's complexion, Pat relied on the Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Foundation, Concealer, and Loose Powder, before adding a natural radiance with the Skin Fetish: Highlighter & Balm Duo and the Divine Blush Duo.
When it came to the eyes, Pat used the Mothership X: Moonlit Seduction Palette, the Perma Precision Liquid Eyeliner, and the FetishEYES Mascara.
Once one of the most famous supermodels in the world, Linda racked up over 60 magazine covers during her hugely successful career. But her biggest dream was always to appear on the cover of Vogue - which has now come true again.
During a behind-the-scenes clip shared on the publication's Instagram, she spoke about her long-lasting career in the modeling industry, and how much it means to her to pose for the outlet.
'My big dream was to be on a Vogue cover and it's happening again. I got to work with the most fabulous team, dream come true again,' she gushed.
Looking back on her hectic schedule to British Vogue, she said: 'How did I keep going? This is the truth: I was young. You could go out and eat salty fried food and drink Champagne, sleep at 3am and be up again at 5am.
'Drugs were offered to me, but I never touched them, I'm not saying I was an angel… but I was terrified of drugs.'
Linda admitted that she had some negative experiences in her early years in the industry, including one incident in Japan where a modelling agency asked her to take all her clothes off.
'I went to the agency and it was all, "Take your clothes off, we need your measurements," but they already had my measurements,' she revealed. 'They wanted me naked and it wasn't a "would you do nudes" conversation, it was a "you will do nudes."
'I left and called my mother and she said, "Get out now and get to the embassy." So that's what I did, and they got me home.'
© Associated Newspapers Ltd.