We caught up with the champion swimmer to discuss make-up, beauty, the impending Olympics, her training regime and shooting with top fashion photographer, Rankin.
How does it feel to be chosen as the face of Max Factor False Lash Effect Gold Mascara?
I’m really proud to be an ambassador for Max Factor. As a swimmer I never thought I’d have the chance to do something so exciting! I’m also a big fan of the brand, so I feel really privileged to know it’s supporting my ambitions this summer. I’m actually the face of Max Factor False Lash Effect Gold, which is so cool as this new gold pack edition is the celebratory award-winning mascara!
You look stunning in the advertising – gold suits you! How did it feel to be shot by Rankin?
I’ve always admired Rankin – he’s a very cool guy and has shot some incredible people. I must admit before the shoot I was a little bit nervous but he made me feel very comfortable and took some amazing pictures. I absolutely loved my look; brown smoky eyes teamed with gorgeous full and thick lashes, wet look hair and pink glossy lips. If only I could emerge from the pool looking so glam!
It’s now a real countdown to London 2012, I imagine you’re feeling a complete mix of emotions? And for the fact that it’s happening in your home country!
It’s all very exciting! I also can’t believe that I’ll get to participate in the Olympic Games when they’re in the UK. All my friends and family are very excited for me too. I imagine the nerves will begin to creep in as July 2012 draws nearer.
What does your typical day of training involve? Will it intensify as the Olympic Games get closer?
My training programme will actually stay the same right up to the Olympic Games. I train pretty intensively: most mornings I’m in the pool from 6 – 8am and then it’s a cardio session in the gym for an hour. I then get to go back home for lunch and I head back to the pool 4pm for another two hour session. I get Wednesday and Saturday afternoons off, and Sunday’s my total off-duty day.
How do you stay so focused?
Passion! Everyone has the occasional morning when they want to stay in bed, so if this happens I just remind myself just how lucky I am to have a job that I love so much. I just tell myself to “get on with it!”
Do you have any good luck rituals before you swim?
I’m not very superstitious at all. In fact, I’m very forgetful so if I had a lucky charm like a rabbit foot I’d probably just leave it at home!
What do you love doing on your off training days?
I love hanging out with friends, most of whom are professional swimmers, and we’ll often go to the cinema for a fun night out. I also love seeing my family, especially as I have a baby niece so it’s been fun spending time with her. I also love to bake in spare time – when you’re constantly training you can eat a lot!
How do you maintain a healthy complexion with so much swimming?
When you’re in and out of the pool a good moisturiser is a total must, and for me it’s Olay Total Effects. I use the Day Moisturiser as it’s nice and creamy and feels great on my skin. I also exfoliate three times a week and use a body moisturiser every time I get out of the pool. Finally a touch of blusher also works wonders; it makes skin look instantly healthier. A dab of Max Factor Creamy Blush in Soft Pink on the apples of my cheeks is my complexion saviour!
What are your top tips for going from a pared back pool look to a little bit of night time glam?
For me, it’s all about enhancing my eyes. So poolside glamour is kept simple with a slick of False Lash Effect waterproof mascara. If I’m going out then I love creating a cool smoky eye look with eye-liner and volumising mascara. Oh and I always go for lip gloss. Since becoming a face of Max Factor, make-up artists have given me lots of great tips so I will be trying new looks on night’s out.
What are your five favourite beauty products and why?
Dior Nail Polish in Blue Label – I love dark nail polishes and this deep blue is my current favourite. I have to keep my nails short to avoid scratching other swimmers in the pool, but I still like to paint my fingers and toes so they look nice.
Max Factor False Lash Effect Gold in black – this mascara is my absolute fave. I would never go for false lashes so I love how it instantly plumps my lashes for a false lash look – when I’m wearing it I’m often surprised they’re my own lashes!
Bliss Lemon & Sage Body Scrub – this smells so fresh and leaves my skin feeling pampered and gorgeous.
Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Conditioner – I reach for this twice a week to keep my hair soft, shiny and conditioned.
Oral-B Triumph 5000 with SmartGuide. I can’t use anything else but that along with Pro-Expert now after learning about the amazing things they do!
Who is your beauty/style icon and why?
It has to be Angelina Jolie, she’s a natural beauty and I have to say that I’m envious of her gorgeous full lips!
How would you describe your make-up style?
Most days I’m at the pool so it’s au natural with waterproof mascara if I’m competing. It’s not all off-duty though, as I like to experiment and play with my make-up looks for special occasions and nights out, and then it’s smoky eyes the whole way!
What item of make-up can you not leave the house without?
Mascara! I don’t feel right without it, as it works wonders to frame my eyes.
What’s the best make-up tip you’ve ever been given?
Always take your make-up off before bed! I rarely sleep in my make-up.
What does make-up mean to you?
For me it’s about having fun and experimenting with different looks, especially as it can totally change my typical training look! I’m getting braver with my look too and that’s come from playing with make-up, speaking to make-up artists and picking up tips from friends.
When did you make the decision to be a professional swimmer? Was it an easy decision to make?
I started swimming at the age of four and have been swimming ever since. What started off as swimming lessons, later turned into training and racing. It wasn’t a hard decision to make at all, it happened naturally.
What one piece of advice would you give to girls looking to become professional athletes?
You must enjoy it, if you don’t you’ll never reach your full potential.