“I’m from the island of Oahu, Hawaii—born and raised, although now I live in California. I love anything to do with the ocean. When I was two I was thrown in the water, and I fell in love. And then I started surfing at four—my dad taught me. Surfing’s been in my family for two or three generations now. There’s no other feeling in the world like riding a wave. My sister, who is 10 years older than me, was a competitive surfer when I was young. She would compete in all sorts of contests, traveling the world. Watching her, I just knew that I wanted to do the same thing.
Ideally, I’m in the water almost every day. Surfing uses your entire body and your mind—it’s definitely physical and mental. When I was on the world tour—that’s like the elite, best of the best—I was ranked seventeenth in the world. The oldest person I was surfing against was maybe 32 at the time, and the youngest was probably 17. My first sponsor, my major sponsor, was Billabong. I’ve been with them since I was 11—I’m 25 now. I was blessed with Billabong. They pay for all my expenses—travel, business expenses... and it all helps to let me live this life that I live.
I’m not the type of girl who wakes up in the morning and puts on makeup or does her hair. The kind of life I live, I’m surrounded by a beach pretty much all day. I’ll wake up, I’ll surf, come back, eat, train, go surf again, and then that’s pretty much my whole day already. Then I’m in bed, and repeat. It’s been that way pretty much my whole life. When it comes to beauty, I like the natural approach. I like to keep it simple because I know I’m going to get in the water, and it’s going to get ruined anyway. I use a variety of things. I definitely moisturize a lot, and I definitely use sunscreen—I need something really thick. I use one from Clarins, and it has a tint. I’m such a tan person, every other sunscreen just looks really white on my face. I’ve been using Sun Bum for quite a bit, for just my body.
Lately, I’ve been using Perricone MD Nourishing Moisturizer. And then I’ll use Rodial Dragon’s Blood Serum. This is my day-wear—I’ll use this when I come out of a surf, or in the morning. Right before bed I use a series of treatments. I cleanse with Perricone MD Gentle Cleanser, and then I use Perricone MD Intensive Brightening Regimen 15% Vitamin C, because I have some dark spots. I’m using an eye cream—surfing, you’re in the sun the whole time, and you don’t realize how much you squint. You totally could wear sunglasses that strap on, but it just doesn’t look cool. [Laughs] So I use eye that cream, and then I finish with their moisturizer.
It’s funny, a lot of people love my hair, but they don’t understand how bad it actually is. I have a hairstylist who does hair treatments for me, Lo, and she owns Wheeler Davis Salon. Whenever I can, I go in—I have a lot of blonde that needs to get cut off sometimes, and she’ll do a little color. At home I use It’s A 10 moisturizer for my hair. It’s a spray or a thick cream, depending on what you get.
For my hair I use Olaplex—it's really good for keeping it healthy. I try not to shampoo every day, but because of the salt water, it’s mandatory. If you’re a woman who’s trying to get into surfing but you don’t want to damage your hair, it’s important to put on a moisturizer before you go in [the water]. Once you’re out, rinse out your hair and get all that salt off. It’s so gritty, and you don't realize how often you touch your hair. You can damage it quite often like that. Most girls, they’ll put their hair in a bun, or they’ll tie it in a ponytail. I try not to do that, because that’s also damaging. For me, I go for whatever’s functional.
I’ll definitely wear makeup when it’s a night out or something really formal. But other than that, I don’t do foundation too often. Instead, I’ll use my day cream, and then I’ll use Smashbox Photo Finish Primer. It has SPF as well. And then these are my three steps: I do the Laura Geller Illuminating Stick. I love the little shine—it’s like a highlighter. Then I’ll do the Perricone MD No Makeup Blush, because I was told that they used this on Gal Gadot for her Wonder Woman no-makeup makeup look. I love it. Very subtle. I finish with Winky Lux. It’s this lip balm that interacts with your heat—it can be a different color on every person, it’s not one color. But it’s pretty good, and it’s a nice moisturizing balm.
People ask me about my lashes all the time. They’re fake! I get extensions at The Beauty Room in Hawaii. They actually stay in place, even after I’ve gone in the water, and I love that I don’t have to wear waterproof mascara anymore—it’s really bad for your lashes and your eyes. If I’m doing something more glam, I use Kevyn Aucoin The Etherealist Skin Illuminating Foundation. It’s a liquid foundation, and it has levels. If you put on a lot, it can get to maximum coverage, but I just need a little to even my skin. The thing I like about it is the product spreads nice, and thoroughly. It doesn't look like, ‘Wow, she has makeup on.’ And then I’ll do a lip gloss over the Winky Lux. I have this Charlotte Tilbury lip gloss—oh, her products are pretty awesome. I like the quality, and it feels nice on the skin.
There are certain makeup [products] I really like—good, quality makeup that lasts for a long time. I have my little Rihanna Fenty Killawatt highlighter—Trophy Wife, it’s very gold. You just kind of put your little finger in and put it on your cheekbones, or your clavicle—pretty much anywhere, depending on how shiny you want to look. And then I like this highlighter from Becca, the Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal.
When I’m using foundation, I also always make sure to use this bronzer from Estée Lauder, Bronze Goddess, in Medium and Deep. And for brows, this has been my favorite—Expert Wear Brow and Eyeliner Pencil in Dark Brown. I have a brow pencil as well, from Jane Iredale. I just fill in the spots that look spotty. And I like Anastasia brow gel in Clear, just to keep the brows in place.
I don’t really do many body treatments—I just feel like I don’t have time. I try to pamper myself as much as possible, but if I’m getting work done, I will see a chiropractor. I go to Terry Romine. He’s based in Costa Mesa, California, and he also works on other professional athletes. I was injured, and when I sprained both my ankles and my knees, I would see him to get physical therapy. I don’t do many massages unless it’s chiropracting work, where I’m getting stuff fixed. It doesn’t feel good, let’s put it that way.
But something I love is an oil from Oshan Essentials. They’re from Maui, so everything’s made there. They have really cool oils with cool names—there’s one called the Opio Oil, and it’s an anti-aging oil that you just kind of put on your face. But you have to wet your face first, and then you just kind of lather it on, let it sit, and then rinse. I do it in the shower—it’s really nice. And have you heard of Kai fragrance? I love their perfume oil so much. It smells floral, just like Hawaii. And home.”
—as told to ITG
Alessa Quizon photographed by Tom Newton in New York on February 20, 2019.