Pushing Their Limits: 4 Pro-Athletes Talk Beauty & Power

·Editor in Chief

I am a huge fan of athletes. I am so inspired by their power, determination, and passion, along with unbreakable confidence in who they are and what they do. Four fierce, dynamic and daring female athletes who leave me in awe are American World Cup alpine ski racer and Olympic Gold Medalist Julia Mancuso; three-time Olympian and seven-time X Games Medalist, snowboarder Hannah Teter; World Surf League (WSL) Longboard Champion and professional surfer Kelia Moniz; and world record BASE jumper Roberta Mancino.

I partnered with the four athletes to have them test out my cosmetic brand’s Long-Wear makeup. Each woman captured footage of herself with a GoPro camera doing her sport while wearing the products. I also got a chance to sit down with these amazing women and talk beauty, confidence, and what keeps them pushing their limits and living fearless lives.

Bobbi Brown: I am so honored to be speaking to all of you. I think female athletes are some of the most beautiful people in the world. I am a fan of each and every one of you and so blown away by your many accomplishments. What have been your biggest and proudest accomplishments so far?

Hannah Teter: Winning Gold at my first Olympics when I was injured.

Julia Mancuso: My childhood dream was to win a gold medal, and to reach that goal was very fulfilling.

Kelia Moniz: Making it 21 years. Making mistakes, learning, and growing—life is a huge achievement!

Roberta Mancino: Working as stunt woman for movies like Iron Man 3, which allowed me to fly in my wing suit in the most beautiful places on Earth. Taking what was a dream of mine to fly and making it my career, and then setting world records doing what I love has been a dream come true.

How did you all get started? How did this become your career?

HT: I was nine years old. I grew up in a family of snowboarders, and in a house with four brothers, some who were pro boarders also. When I was young, I used to watch my brothers build half pipes and parks in our backyard. I remember thinking how cool they were.  I always wanted to be like them—and now I am.

JM: I was two years old when I first started skiing. I grew up with Squaw Valley as my playground. My older sister loved to ski and she was my role model. I liked to chase her around the mountain.

KM: I probably caught my first wave at age three with my dad, but I didn’t really get into surfing until about the age of seven. My dad was a professional surfer, so the ocean and surfing have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.

RM: Since I was little, I always wanted to fly, and the best way to feel free like a bird, is base jumping in a wing suit. I started to skydive when I was 19 and I trained for many years before I started to BASE jump and fly with a wing suit.

Jumping out of planes, speeding down the slopes, facing the ocean head on… I think it is safe to say that you all take a lot of risks. Are you ever just plain terrified? 

HT: There have been a few times when I definitely felt super scared to try something off a jump, or in the halfpipe, but when you overcome fear the first few times, you learn that it’s just another obstacle you can make it over.

JM: What I love about skiing is living in the moment.  It takes a lot of preparation so I feel confident about what I’m doing and let it fly! I have my moments of nerves leading up to a big race or finding a new line to ski, but I try to really stay centered and feel confident that I put in the work to make it happen.

KM: I do enjoy the rush of surfing waves that scare me, but I know my limits. There have been a few situations that have scared the life out of me in Tahiti. Shallow water, reefs as sharp as razor blades, and 12 foot mountains of water coming straight for me…it’s not very comforting!  

RM: I still feel scared when I’m at the edge of a cliff or on top of a building—or when it is a new jump or I’m trying to do something different. But, I never really feel scared when I’m with the sharks. With any stunt, it is important to have the right training and know what you are actually able to do.

When do you feel the most confident?

HT: When I’m on the mountain riding with my friends.

JM: When I kick out of the start gate. My mind shuts off and I just go for it.

KM: When I’m surrounded by my friends and family who love me unconditionally. It’s a time when I’m the best “me” that I can be.  

RM: When I fly or when I’m in the water, I feel very connected to what I’m doing. When I fly with my friends or my boyfriend, or if my mom is waiting for me to land, I feel very confident.

I know you are constantly training and competing. How do else you stay healthy and fit?

HT: I am really strict with my diet, and I work out a lot. It’s hard to stay healthy while on the road, but I have a lot of experience in keeping it simple. I never get sick.

JM: Living out of a suitcase, it can be tough to get the right nutrition.  I try to stay away from sugar and travel with lots of superfoods so I can always supplement my body with nutritious snacks between meals. I start every morning with my powdered greens. I also bring a bag of travel Pilates gear.  If I can do my 15 minute warm-up everyday, I notice a big difference when I get the time to really get a full body Pilates session in.  I try to keep my balance and strength between the crazy training.

KM: I truly believe that happiness is good health. When you’re sincerely happy, your body reacts positively and you naturally start to live a healthy lifestyle. With internal happiness, it radiates externally. That said, I surround myself with the right friends, and eat yummy, healthy food. Eventually, your body will crave to work out.

RM: I’m Italian, so I am never on a diet. I like to eat everything, so I try to go to the gym almost every day. Every morning I drink a glass of water with a lemon, and Fish Oil, Acai, and vitamins are my essentials. I also lay in the sun whenever possible.

Let’s talk beauty. Do you wear makeup while doing your sports?

HT: I wear tinted moisturizers, colored eye liner and fill in my brows. My face is all you see cause the rest of me is covered up, so I like to look pretty on the slopes.

JM: I do like to wear makeup while competing because I am always getting my photo taken.

KM: I don’t usually put on makeup to go surfing, but if I happen to be out and about before hitting the beach, I use specific water resistant products, like waterproof mascara to avoid raccoon eyes once I do hit the water.  

RM: I don’t wear much make up when I jump, but I do use a really good cream with SPF to protect my skin, and a lip balm. When I dive with sharks, I love a waterproof mascara and eyeliner.

What do your day to day beauty routines consist of?

HT: I usually wake up and after drinking green tea and stretching, I wash my face, spritz with a toner, and apply tinted moisturizer with SPF. My skin is usually slightly red from extreme cold temperatures, so I always wear something to even out my skin tone. Having a surfer glow is my favorite look, so I wear blush and bronzer on my cheeks, and add some flare to my eyes with mascara and a cream shadow stick with some shimmer.

JM: I take a shower in the morning to warm up my muscles and then apply a serum and SPF 30 face lotion, followed by a little mascara and brow pencil. When I’m skiing, eyebrows and lashes make a huge difference. At night, I repeat the same routine.

KM: After a shower, I moisturize my face and body. Since I’m a total tomboy with some serious scars, I apply tea tree oil after every shower. I like to use oil on my hair because the salt water and sun really dry out my ends. Then, I go to my vanity where the actual beauty happens. I use tinted moisturizer on my entire face, and your [Bobbi Brown] Skin Foundation Stick to cover my blemishes. Then I use mineral powder to set the moisturizer, a little dust of blush on my cheeks, fill in my brows with a dark brown pencil, and always finish with a coat of mascara. 

RM: I never leave the house without mascara - I have long eyelashes and I like to have them all in place.

You all workout in extreme weather conditions, and you all travel a ton which can wreak havoc on your skin. How do you keep your skin healthy while traveling or competing?

HT: Diet, hydration, and good skin products help keep me looking on point, even while traveling. I usually wear a ski mask to keep safe from the sun, cold temperatures, and wind. At home, I apply hydrating face masks.

JM: I like to drink chia seeds and take EFAs. They really keep my skin and joints healthy. Keeping my skin moisturized makes a big difference. If I remember my serum and lotions, it keeps my skin looking healthy day after day.

KM: I make sure to softly cleanse, exfoliate weekly, and use extra moisturizer when flying.  

RM: I always wash my face and put eye cream under my eyes at night before I go to sleep. I use a face cream with a very high SPF to protect my skin, and a good mask to protect and repair my hair.

These are great tips. Any other favorite beauty tricks you’ve learned along the way or picked up from other athletes?

HT: I just recently learned about the power of infrared saunas to detox your whole body. I have one at home that I use almost every night when I am home. Another tip is t make facial steams by boiling water in a pot, adding loose chamomile leaves and other calming herbs for an at home facial. You just put a towel over your head and breathe deep—just make sure not to burn yourself!

JM: I’ve learned that a little tinted moisturizer can go a long way. The wind and cold temperatures can be really tough on your skin.

KM: Yes! My best friend and roommate is also a surfer, and she’s from Brazil. If there’s one thing you will quickly learn about Brazilians, it’s that they know their beauty products and have a “secret sauce” for everything. She pretty much teaches me everything I know from taking care of my skin to my hair, and since we are in the sun and salt water so much, one of the most important things she is constantly reminding me to do is MOISTURIZE!

RM: I learned from modeling that it’s really good to put cucumber slices under your eyes in the morning before a full day of pictures.

We’ve talked a lot about beauty. It is very clearly important to all of you, and you’re all gorgeous and in touch with your femininity.  However, many people expect professional female athletes to not be so girly – what do you think of this stereotype? Do you agree with it or defy it?

HT: I like looking good on the slopes! You can turn a lot of heads if you’re hot and badass at the same time!

KM: I think this generation of female athletes is changing that stereotype. I mean, if you look at some of the top rated surfers now, they are all young, beautiful, and carry themselves with so much elegance, that it’s impossible to look at them and say, “Look at that surfer girl, she’s not feminine or girly at all.” Personally, it doesn’t bother me that people look at female athletes this way because they constantly defy this stereotype. Once you lay your eyes on them, there’s no denying their beauty and strength.  

JM: I think this is definitely a stereotype that is constantly being broken once you get to know any female athlete. I have met so many beautiful women inside and out, and the common denominator amongst female athletes is that they can really understand how to balance that energy. I think as a role model, it’s important for us girls to show that you can be feminine and fast!  

RM: My sport is mostly men, so I’m proud to show that women can do this sport too and be really good at it. I also think it’s nice to look good when doing my sport. It makes a difference for me. I don’t mind doing a jump wearing a dress or makeup or high heels because I like to be different from the guys.

That is so inspiring. What motivates you to continue pushing yourselves and testing your limits?

HT: I started snowboarding when I was young because it was fun and it gave me something bigger to focus on.  I was one of the only kids who skipped school dances so I could get a good night’s rest before an event.  To me, snowboarding is a sport that always enhanced my wellbeing. It pushed me to become more dedicated to all areas of my life, especially my health.

JM: The fun that I have skiing. It’s challenging and it takes me to the most amazing places. On a bad day, all I have to do is go out and have a free run and it reminds me how fun the sport is.

KM: There really hasn’t been anything to stop me yet, and I mean that in the most humble way possible. I am well aware of what I have and where I am in life. It would be selfish if I stopped because of a silly bump in the road that we all hit at times. The lives that I am surrounded by remind me every day of how extremely blessed I am - they are the driving force behind everything I do.  
RM: The peace and happiness I feel when I am flying or diving keeps me going. I am constantly learning and always have a new project in mind, and that excites me—to see how far I can go and what I can accomplish.

Do you ever rest? What do you do when you get a day off?

HT: I’m usually always doing something! I love to read, so when I have the time and I am relaxing, you’ll most likely find me reading.

JM: I try to find something fun to do! I like to create adventures with my GoPro and edit the movies.

KM: Most likely I am with my friends or boyfriend having coffee, eating, shopping, or baby-sitting. You will never find me alone, I hate being alone!  

RM: I love animals, so I try to spend as much time as I can with wild animals. I also love to cook and dance salsa.

You have all accomplished so much, and in speaking with you, I don’t think there is anything you can’t do or haven’t done. So, what’s next?

HT: I want to compete and medal at one more Olympics. I could then see myself coaching up-and-coming boarders.

JM: I want to keep exploring and inspiring myself, as well as future generations. I want to help teach girls what I’ve learned through my sport and my love for nature.

KM: I’m 21, I’m a pro surfer, I travel the world with my best friends, and I live in California with three of my favorite people. For now, I’m just trying to enjoy this beautiful dream I’m living! I feel so fortunate to have what has been so graciously given to me. There’s so much that I want for my future, but I don’t want to force anything or expect anything more. I believe with timing, hard work, a vision, and patience, I will be able to live out more of my dreams. And, when people ask me what my dreams are, it’s never related to just surfing, or world titles. I simply just want to make people smile, restore confidence in lives, inspire, and be relatable.  

RM: I’ll continue helping the ocean and the animals with more charity events. I would love to produce videos where there is wildlife and nature involved.

I didn’t think I could love you all more, but after this chat, I do. I’m so honored you took the time to share your stories with me, and I am so excited for my brand to share your stories and celebrate you all for the pretty powerful women you are. Thank you.

Follow these amazing athletes on Instagram (@juliamancuso, @hannahteter, @keliamoniz, and @mancinoroberta) and watch their full length videos here.

Disclaimer: Bobbi Brown is the editor in chief of the Yahoo Beauty.


Maria Sharapova Talks Beauty, Business, & Vodka

Teamwork Is the Secret to Alex Morgan’s Success

Paralympian Alana Nichols