The Olympic Gold Medalist Who Has Longwear Makeup Figured Out


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“Hi, my name is Lindsey Vonn (@lindseyvonn). I used to be an Olympic skier, but now I find it difficult to describe what I do with just a couple words. I juggle a lot of different things. I’m the host of a new Amazon show called The Pack, which is a family-friendly reality competition—it’s really special and heartwarming. I’m also working with Under Armour and The Rock on a workout line called Project Rock. I’m in the middle of writing my second book, I’ve just launched a production company with my best friend, and I’m always figuring out ways to help youth through my Lindsey Vonn Foundation.

I’m also currently working on my own beauty line. My beauty philosophy is fast, fast, fast, just like with skiing. How can I get the most bang for my buck with the fewest steps? It’s hard work to not wear makeup and look great. I’ve experimented with so many different brands over the years, and although I’ve been approached for licensing deals, I never wanted to just slap my name onto something. So now I’m creating a whole line where everything is multi-purpose. That was kind of my methodology—I wanted something simple, high-performance, and good for everybody. I live between Los Angeles, Utah, and wherever my fiancé is playing hockey (currently New Jersey). I love sitting on the couch with him and our dogs and watching Law and Order or Yellowstone to relax and stay grounded.

In ski racing you don’t have many opportunities to express yourself—you always need to wear ski gear, goggles, and a helmet. One of the few things that I could do to show my femininity and personality was experiment with makeup. I felt like my eyes were the best place to do it because even if I have a high-collared jacket on, when I take my goggles off, at least you can see my eyes. I started with eyeliner, which I liked because it accentuated my eyes and somehow made my face seem less round. Eventually that became my thing—even if I didn’t put any foundation on, I would always have a cat eye. But at first everyone made fun of me. Headlines would be like, ‘Why would a ski racer wear makeup?’ Now a lot of skiers wear makeup, so I’d say I got the last laugh.

I’d wear eyeliner, mascara, and some foundation for training. But for races, I would always put on a full game face to feel more confident. Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner, Covergirl mascara, and Benefit Hoola bronzer usually worked pretty well. The more success I had in skiing, the more I did red carpets and worked with makeup artists. That really helped me expand my comfort zone and become more comfortable in my own skin. I would ask, ‘What are you doing? Why are you doing this?’ And I would always watch what products they used, because I trusted that they knew what looked best on me. I just tried to learn as much as I could. I’ve been working with my makeup artist Karan Mitchell for six years now, and Karan always says makeup is all about geometry. I’m not very good at eyeshadow, but when I use it on myself I always try to think about making triangles. I love to use browns and purples to accentuate my green eyes—I usually use Bobbi Brown, but I also love this Violet Voss palette. A dramatic eye and a dramatic lip feels a little too over-the-top, so I tend to just use a regular lip gloss or even just a balm. When I raced, I used Chapstick. That worked the best because it wasn’t sticky, and it didn’t make my lips feel cold. But now my favorite is from Kaplan MD—you’ll see that once I find a brand I really like, I kind of stick to it.

I usually don’t use cleanser in the morning. I wash my face after I work out and before bed, and I think three times in one day is too much. After I retired from skiing, I definitely went through a period when I wasn’t working out. My knees hurt more, I was mentally unhappy, and it just made me realize that I feel better when I’m moving my body. I like working out with Gunnar Peterson in LA—he’s really motivating, and an hour goes by so quickly when I’m with him. And now I try to work out with my sisters to make it more fun. The most important thing for me is that if I say I’m going to work out on a certain day, I need to get it in at some point. The majority of the time I work out in the morning, but it really depends on my schedule. If I do it in the morning, I’ll put on my face afterwards, and if I work out at the end of the day, I can just do my normal nightly routine. The middle of the day is the worst, but sometimes it’s the only time I can fit it in.

When I was racing, I’d get sunburnt a lot—just because it’s cold doesn’t mean you’re not getting sunburnt! Now I always try to double up or add as much as I can. My favorite moisturizer is Kaplan’s Daily Moisture Concentrate with SPF 30. I started using that in the last few years I raced, and it was the first moisturizer I actually loved. Before that I’d just use Cetaphil and get my extra sun protection from a MAC foundation. That stuff is heavy duty—I can’t say it was the best for my skin, but I liked that it had SPF 15 and would stay on during a race. If I’d break out, I’d just cover it right back up again.

At night, I shower if I’m just coming from a workout. My hair is very blonde thanks to Monalisa Aguilar, and Olaplex No. 6 Bond Smoother and No. 3 Hair Perfector are necessities in my life. They keep my hair hydrated with the frequent workouts. Then I exfoliate my face with the Diamond Contour Daily Facial from Kaplan. It’s not super intense, so if I’m breaking out more I’ll use it after I work out too. I used to use a lot of spot treatments, but now I just use the Vintner’s Daughter Active Treatment Essence and Active Botanical Serum. A good oil is a must—I think it adds something extra to my skin. The essence smells like apple cider vinegar, and the oil smells like heaven. Finally, I use this Kaplan Diamond Contour Lifting Neck Serum that rolls on. I never really paid much attention to my neck, and this stuff has gotten my neck back on track. Dr. Kaplan has offered to give me facials, but I’m stubborn and I love to mask on my own. The Wander Beauty masks are great for after a flight. I also try to remind myself to drink a ton of water. I hate drinking water, and I either convince myself that I don’t need it or I just forget to, but it really does help. Whenever I drink more water, my skin looks a lot better.

I got veneers recently. I broke both my two front teeth when I was eleven, and had them fixed with bonding. It held up well for a long time, but eventually they started chipping, and I’d have to patch them up... They started looking really gnarly so my dentist recommended veneers. I was scared at first because once you go with veneers there’s no going back, but they look great. I took a video of the whole process because I thought it was hilarious. My lips were numb and really big, and my teeth were shaved down. I didn’t look very attractive, and Dr. Dorfman was a little confused, but I’m just that person. I’ve had multiple surgeries, syringes stuck in me, metal spikes stuck in my arm… Nothing really bothers me anymore.”

—as told to ITG

Photos via the author