Full disclosure: I grew up as a competitive gymnast. And while my dreams of an olympic medal were cut (very) short (as in, it was never going to happen for my 5’6 frame), every 4 years as I sit in front of my television to watch the world’s best gymnasts compete for gold, I can’t help but feel a bit nostalgic. The 5 hour a day training, the blistered hands, the calloused feet, the sore limbs, the flat chest (that brought about many a JH and HS teases), leotards, matching scrunchies, HAIRSPRAY!…. ahhh those were the days.
But I loved it. I loved the structure, the team spirit, the adrenaline, the feeling of accomplishment, the HAIRSPRAY! So, as I watched team USA’s fab 5 compete for the gold (spoiler!!! and win), it propelled me back to the days of getting ready for meets (competitions). Rule of thumb is don’t ever wear so much makeup that it takes away from your routine (note Brazil). But you do want to look put together and presentable (note USA). As for hair, it is imperative that it stays off of your face at all times, hence the need for heavy amounts of hairspray – L’Oreal’s Elnett Extra Strong Hold is my absolute favorite and it will, no doubt, keep everything in place. The scrunchie’s seem so retro – and they are. We used them when I was competing, always matching the color fabric to our leotard shade. But, apparently, in gymnastics, it’s still a cute look (so, too are the butterfly clips that the girl’s wear to keep bangs and stray hairs off of their face and neck).
I believe the first time my mother ever let me wear mascara out of the house was when I was twelve years old to a gymnastics meet. All of the other girls were doing it (hey, we looked like a giant muscle without boobs, the least our parents could do was give us a little eye makeup and some blush!). Excited didn’t even begin to describe how I felt. I have always had a love affair with beauty products, so to be able to wear them in public, well, that was truly a defining moment – even more so than the routine. The mascara was waterproof (naturally) – the only thing worse than a face full of unnecessary color are eyes bleeding black and the blush was a simple Clinique rose color that suited my mom’s pale complexion and hardly showed up on my own. But I felt a newfound surge of confidence and I was ready to take out the competition.
Alas, we come to today’s post. How to work out while still looking fab — like the fab 5. I asked makeup artist Kristee Liu (who has worked with Cher and Kirsty Hume) to explore 3 looks: Brazil which exploded color, Romania which exuded sexy confidence, and Team USA which kept it neutral but pulled together and come up with a “winning” ho-to tutorial.
So, while you may not be competing Olympic style any time soon, you can always use one of these faces next time you kick-ass at your local Soul Cycle class…
The look for (WINNING) team USA is young and refreshing, with minimal makeup that focuses your attention on the flawless skin, a 10 out of 10!
1. Apply Make Up For Ever HD Foundation using a Beautyblender sponge and set with Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder
2. Glide Stila Smudge Crayon Waterproof Eye Color in Smoke over eyelids & blend well with fingertip, let set for 30 seconds
3. Curl eyelashes & coat Eyelashes with Urban Decay Cannonball Ultra Waterproof Mascara
4. Dab Tarte Cheek Stain in Love on the apples of the cheek with fingertips
5. Finish with Benefit Lip Stain in Posie
*Editor’s Note: Stains are ideal for workouts because they dye the skin thus becoming virtually sweat proof and staying on for hours longer.
The color combination says it all, creatively matching the colors of their leotard and of course the Brazilian flag.
1. Apply MAC Face & Body Foundation using a small round brush and dust a light layer of MAC Prep & Prime Transparent Finishing Powder to set
2. Using a soft flat brush, apply Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream in: 24 Yellow (brow bone), 22 Emerald Green (inner half of eyelid) & 20 Intense Blue (outer half of eyelid), blend the seams
3. Line the top of the eyelids with Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner, curl & coat lashes with MAC Splashproof Mascara
4. Apply Hourglass Superficial Waterproof Bronzer with a round blush brush
5. Finish with Tarte LipSurgence Matte Lip Tint in Exposed
The focus here is on the eyes, sultry and sexy, forget me not.
1. Apply Kett Fixx Cream Foundation using a Beautyblender sponge and set with Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder
2. Using a round shadow brush, blend MAC Paint Pot in Constructivist onto eyelids, angling toward the temple to create an uplifting shape
3. Curl & coat lashes with Armani Eyes To Kill Waterproof Mascara
4. With a large angle brush, sweep Jouer cheek tint in Fawn onto the cheeks
5. Dab Hourglass Aura Sheer Lip Stain in Petal onto the lips to complete the look
What look are you?