It may be difficult to picture two-time Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman (she was captain of both the 2012 “Fierce Five” and 2016 “Final Five” U.S. women’s Olympic gymnastics teams) in anything but a leotard and glitter, but the 22-year-old is moving on after Rio, enjoying her time out of the gym and figuring out what comes next in her life. Here, the athlete shares some of her best-kept beauty and wellness secrets, as well as what it was like to shoot with Sports Illustrated for its coveted Swimsuit Issue.
NewBeauty: Tell us about your big Olympic comeback. What did you learn about yourself?
Aly Raisman: I learned how powerful a positive attitude can be and the impact it has on your overall well-being. It was very hard and stressful competing again after 2012 because I put so much pressure on myself to be perfect. I realized after about two and a half years into my comeback (April of 2016) that no one is perfect and I have to respect myself and trust my training. I realized my best was good enough no matter the place or the score.
NB: What beauty or wellness tips have you picked up from your teammates?
AL: It’s funny because I actually give my teammates tips on skin care products, nutrition and the importance of sleep! A lot of the girls I train with are younger than me so some of them are just starting to use skin care products and learning the importance of a balanced diet.
NB: How big a role does skin care play in your routine?
AL: I’ve been consistently using Revision Skincare [Aly is an ambassador for the brand] since I was 19. I use the products twice a day—in the morning I use the Hydrating Serum and then Intellishade Original. Sometimes I’ll put makeup on, but I enjoy not wearing makeup because I think all women should appreciate their natural beauty.
NB: What do you use to take off your performance makeup?
AL: I use Gentle Cleansing Lotion and then Papaya Enzyme Cleanser from Revision Skincare. My skin is so sensitive, so those products are super calming.
NB: Do you only stick to waterproof, sweatproof makeup when you perform?
AL: The only waterproof makeup I use is mascara. Sometimes I will play around and use bright blue instead of black; I think it’s fun for a competition. If I wasn’t using a blue mascara or liner, I would always go for a bronzy eye to go for a more natural look. This past summer I was obsessed with highlighting.
NB: What do your non-Olympic workouts consist of?
AL: Since Rio, I’ve been traveling like crazy. Most of my workouts are at a hotel right now so I will go for a run on the treadmill or the elliptical. If I’m home, I enjoy doing SoulCycle and boxing.
NB: You are featured in Sports Illustrated’s 2017 Swimsuit Issue, which is a huge deal. How was the beauty prep for the shoot?
AL: I believe they used some tanning lotion, but there was no makeup to alter the way my body looks. I’m proud of my hard work and my body and I didn’t want to add/change anything because that wouldn’t be fair to all the women and girls looking at the issue. I was proud to be in the issue to show that all women are beautiful and unique in their own way and women don’t have to be modest in order to be respected. We should be able to express ourselves!
NB: What healthy snacks do you grab when you’re on the go?
AL: I love fruit, Greek yogurt and avocado on toast.
NB: How do you get in the zone before you compete?
AL: I am always pretty focused before competing. There is so much going on with everyone in the audience, so you have to learn to block out all the noise, which I learned at a young age. The most important thing is to focus on yourself and your coach to make sure you can get any last tips of advice before performing.
NB: Do you get any wellness treatments to help with stress, focus, etc?
AL: I love acupuncture, dry needling, massage, hot baths, long, hot showers, cleaning my skin and putting on my skin care products. Routine is often calming for me, so I try and make sure to make time for things that calm me down.
NB: What’s up next for you?
AL: I have many interests outside of gymnastics including fashion and design, but for one of the first times in my life, it’s nice not to have a set plan! I’ve been traveling constantly doing photo shoots with my partners, red-carpet events, speaking events, etc. It has been fun to meet new people and try new things. I’m looking forward to having a relaxing summer with my family and friends.
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