By Claire Connors
February 17, 2011

It's hard to imagine Modern Family's Sofia Vergara-SHAPE'S sexiest woman in Hollywood-ever being considered scrawny, but when she was a kid, her brothers used to tease her relentlessly for her stick-thin shape. That all changed, of course, when she hit puberty. "I was still skinny but suddenly I had these big boobs," she says. "It was terrible! I used to tell my mother, ‘I'm going to cut these off as soon as I turn 18.'" Fortunately, Sofia Vergara learned to appreciate her figure-and even flaunt it. With her glamorous style, curvy shape, and Latin genes, sexy comes naturally to Sofia. But for those of us not "born with it," or who just need an extra shot of mojo now and then, here are her tips for living a passionate life.

Sofia Vergara's Rules of Attraction #1: Find Your Inner Latina Woman

For Sofia, the key to charisma is on the inside. "Confident people have a way of carrying themselves that makes others more attracted to them," she says. "Latin women are very comfortable with their bodies and their sexuality. We aren't afraid to show that off a little bit more." To enhance her allure, Sofia always does a little primping before leaving her house. "If I walk outside without lipstick, I feel naked," she says."

Sofia Vergara's Rules of Attraction #2: Flaunt Your Best Features

Ask Sofia what she thinks is her most appealing body part and she laughs. "I'm sure men would tell you it's my boobs, but I like my eyes," she says. "They have a natural cat's-eye shape, so I try to play that up." Sofia lines her eyes with a copper-colored kohl pencil. "I prefer brown liners because black is just too much on me," she says. Then she uses a shadow brush to top the liner with shimmery gold powder, and finishes off the look with a few coats of volumizing mascara. It's a definite eye-do!

Sofia Vergara's Rules of Attraction #3: Laugh to Relieve Stress

Last year, Sofia started dating Florida politician, Nick Loeb. Six months into their relationship, Nick was in a terrible car accident that left him temporarily unable to walk. "It was hard for us because it happened in the middle of the most fun, sexy time," says Sofia. But throughout the whole ordeal, Nick kept his sense of humor despite the situation. "I don't know if I could have stuck it out with him if he hadn't been able to laugh at himself and be happy even under the worst conditions," says Sofia. "When you see people in difficult times, that's when their true nature comes out."

Sofia Vergara's Rules of Attraction #4: Eat What You Crave

Constantly denying yourself is decidedly not sexy. And because Sofia considers food one of life's greatest pleasures, she finds a way to indulge every day. "If I could, I would have foie gras and éclairs for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!" she says laughing. But her splurge-and honestly, she can't call it that because she eats it almost every day-is cake. "I love it," she says. "Vanilla cake, angel food cake, chocolate cake. For me and my son, buying cake at the grocery store is like buying milk. We always have it in the house."

Sofia Vergara's Rules of Attraction #5: Maintain a Healthy Weight

At 5'7", Sofia's ideal weight is 125. She's not obsessed with the scale, but she does weigh herself to keep track of her weight. "I always allow myself a window of three to five pounds when I'm not working." To drop those extra pounds quickly and healthfully, Sofia orders a two-week meal plan from Freshology, a diet delivery service. "The food is good and I don't have to think about it," she says. "But I don't ever want to get super skinny. I think when women reach a certain age, they look better with a little fat in their face. I'm lucky I'm Latin because people expect me to be a bit more plump."

Sofia Vergara's Rules of Attraction #6: Trade Sit-Ups for Salsa

Want to see Sofia make the "ugh" face? Ask her what she does to work out. "Oh, I hate it!" she says. "But I also know that at my age-I'm almost 40!-I have to do it to maintain my figure. When I can, I do Latin dancing for exercise because it's so much fun and I just love the music." She also recently discovered Physique 57, a cardio program combined with toning and strength training, which she does a few times a week. The hard part for her is actually getting to the gym. Her motivational trick? "I psychologically fool myself into believing it's part of my job. And then, of course, once I'm done, I'm really glad I did it because I feel so good."