We all want to know the secrets to an Olympic athlete’s success. I was curious to find out how much of it is linked to how they look and feel. So when I was offered exclusive access to P&G hair and makeup artist Jessica Tomes while visiting the P&G Family House at the Rio Olympics, I couldn’t wait to pick her brain. (In case you don’t know, P&G Family House is a cool place where athletes and their families can relax and get pampered during the Games.) Jessica gave me the inside scoop on what it’s like to work with Olympic athletes and their families.
Daniel: How does it feel to be a part of the P&G Family House?
Jessica: This is my first Olympics working with athletes and their moms. I had heard about how wonderful and heart-warming the experience would be, however I didn’t realize it until I was in the midst of it. To be able to give them an amazing experience is great. They’ve all worked so hard, the moms and the athletes. I feel blessed and just so happy to be here.
Daniel: Can you share any special moments?
Jessica: I was with Ryan Lochte’s mom and we were discussing our daughters. I tried putting myself in her position—how she must feel prior to Ryan’s competitions, how it takes an entire family to support an Olympian and what it takes to get to the Olympics. We both got emotional, but it was just so cool. The fact that she was so relaxed and down to earth was amazing. It made me realize how much family and heart goes into athleticism. To be a part of those moments is a great feeling.
Daniel: Can you share with us what a typical day is like for you?
Jessica: We arrive each day ready to offer beauty and hair services to both the athletes and their moms. We are often inspired by the athlete’s patriotism. Obviously we want to represent each country and make them feel proud.
Daniel: What are your favourite beauty or hair trends this season, and are you able to incorporate these trends for the athletes and their moms?
Jessica: Yes, we are! One of my favourite hair trends is braids. For me it reflects some Brazilian flair, and they’re always stunning—soft yet athletic.
Daniel: Do you have a signature makeup look that inspires you?
Jessica: I love anything with a patriotic feel, because it’s bold and fun and you can always put a twist on it. One way to do this is to incorporate some CoverGirl gold eyeshadow, as it adds a hit of flair. The moms get really excited!
Daniel: Are any of the athletes or moms open to pushing their looks a bit?
Jessica: Absolutely. They’re very open to trying new things. It’s nice that makeup, hair and nail artists are trusted to be so creative. The moms and athletes can just sit and relax, be taken care of and hang out. It’s really enjoyable for them. We want them to feel like family.
Daniel: People have travelled from all over the world to get to the Olympics. Do you have beauty tips on how travellers can stay looking great?
Jessica: There are a few must-haves for your beauty kit. The first is a BB cream. It’s wonderful because it’s a one-step fix—it’s a moisturizer, a concealer and a foundation all in one. Put it on in the morning with your mascara and lipstick and you’re on your way. It’s an easy formula so you can feel fresh and beautiful and not too weighed down.
Daniel: The Olympics are about being the very best you can be. How do you think makeup helps with that?
Jessica: Many of the girls I’ve seen around the Olympic village had their nails done in patriotic motifs. They’re proud to be representing their countries. Hair plays a big role for both male and female athletes. You need to make sure it not only looks great, but also that it will hold up during a performance. Having your hair on point not only makes you feel good but also installs that confidence you need in order to do your best.
Daniel: Have you noticed any new Olympic hair or beauty trends?
Jessica: Yes, especially with male grooming. There are many athletes playing with hair tattooing and shaving in their countries’ flags. I mean, why not? They’re the best of the best in their country and possibly the world. This is the time to stand out and say, “This is my country, this is who I’m representing.”