How Team USA Gymnastics Is Using Makeup and Hair to Win Individual Points
From the cat eye to the side braid, each member of the Final Five stands out.
The U.S. Gymnastics team may have been wearing identical, Swarovski-studded red-white-and-blue leotards when they took home the gold in Rio on Monday night, but they didn't let that mask their individuality.
The Final Five — Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas, Simone Biles, Madison Kocian and Laurie Hernandez — finished in first place with a team total of 8.209 points, beating Russia and China. And they won in the beauty department too, each highlighting their own unique features, perhaps with a carefully lined eye toward landing lucrative post-Olympics beauty endorsements.
Given the strict beauty (hair must be worn away from the face) and jewelry guidelines (one pair of stud earrings allowed), the team's noteworthy looks are a way to express personal style in a uniform moment.
The Olympics gymnastics team has historically done their own makeup. On Tuesday night, Gabby Douglas was captured on TV touching up in between events. And Raisman told USA Today about getting ready for the 2012 London Olympics, "We got mirrors in our rooms and I think we all did it in my room and we borrowed each other’s makeup, which is kind of gross, but at the same time you don’t really care. It’s the Olympics so you might as well."
At the 2012 Olympics, the team's hair and body glitter was much discussed, as were their hair scrunchies. (Team China is still embracing the look, which seems so four years ago.) But Team USA has moved on, using a strategy that's in step with today's emphasis on beauty diversity, with each member choosing to play up a singular feature.
It's a smart move, considering that post-game, gymnasts have been known to score major beauty endorsement deals.
Gold medalists Nastia Liukin, Shawn Johnson and Alicia Sacramone signed with CoverGirl in 2008. Retired Olympian Mary Lou Retton became a spokesperson for Vidal Sassoon shampoo, as well as the first female athlete to front the Wheaties box.
With their talent, don't be surprised if one — or all — of these Final Five ladies score a beauty contract after Rio.
Let's take a look at how they've crafted their individual looks.
Simone Biles: Glitter goddess
The gymnast, whom some call the best the world has ever seen, sports glittery eye makeup, either in the inner corner (which she wore in the qualifying rounds Monday) or underneath, as seen Tuesday night. (Photo: Getty Images)
Gabby Douglas: Lipstick queen
The Olympic gymnast killed it on the uneven bars — and did so with a flawless dark berry lip. (Photo: Getty Images)
Aly Raisman: Highlighter pro
The U.S. women's gymnastics team captain seems to have a way with shading and illuminating to highlight her high cheekbones. Her hairstyle, a top bun that screams "team captain crown" is another signature (and it doesn't budge when she twirls and flips on the floor; it wouldn't dare). (Photo: Getty Images)
Laurie Hernandez: Winged angel
The 16-year-old gymnast's black eyeliner is as on point as her landings. One can't help but wonder if she draws inspiration from Adele. (Photo: Getty Images)
Madison Kocian: Tress tamer
Forget about silly bobby pins and clips, Kocian's signature side braid gets the job done. And so does she, the surprise addition to the Final Five who didn't disappoint. (Photo: Getty Images)