Stories
Getting along swimmingly November 25, 2013

Initially created to meet the needs of the French Synchronized Swimming team – the ultimate test for waterproof makeup - the MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua range is still going strong 25 years later. As is the French Synchronized Swimming team. The partnership between the two is solid as well, evidenced by the annual MAKE UP FOR EVER OPEN and our ongoing support of the French team as they prepare for the 2016 Olympic Games.

The question a lot of people have wondered about for years? How their hair stays out of their faces and perfect when their underwater. “Unflavored gelatin,” May tells us, laughing at the look of surprise on my face.

Getting along swimmingly

November 25, 2013

Initially created to meet the needs of the French Synchronized Swimming team – the ultimate test for waterproof makeup - the MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua range is still going strong 25 years later. As is the French Synchronized Swimming team. The partnership between the two is solid as well, evidenced by the annual MAKE UP FOR EVER OPEN and our ongoing support of the French team as they prepare for the 2016 Olympic Games.

The question a lot of people have wondered about for years? How their hair stays out of their faces and perfect when their underwater. “Unflavored gelatin,” May tells us, laughing at the look of surprise on my face.

We met poolside at INSEP, the high performance training center on the ‘other side’ of the Bois de Vincennes. May, Margaux and Ifanoe, in their training ‘uniform’ of bathing suits and shorts, are in the middle of getting their makeup applied for our photo shoot by Julie Dupy, their dedicated Makeup Artist from MAKE UP FOR EVER. The surroundings are impressive.

Spending up to 8 hours a day in the pool training, the team members are studying to get degrees at the same time – to be teachers, journalists, and architects, and that’s just three of them - so their minds are being worked as hard as their bodies. Olympic athletes are by nature pretty focused people. These women are no exception.

They tell of a memorable moment during the World Championship duet preliminaries in Barcelona. “We walked out, we were standing on the deck waiting to go into the water, smiling, focused…and the wrong music started! We waited, we waited - the camera zoomed in on me and I may have been smiling but my hand was shaking,” says Margaux. “Luckily our coach got it straightened out. But we had to stay focused and act like nothing was wrong”

As we talk, they were transformed by Julie Dupy. They move together in total harmony when they compete, and their makeup definitely adds to that ‘twins’ feeling, as totally different faces get made up to look identical.
How do you know when you’re in sync with somebody else when underwater and moving the whole time? “You can feel it,” Ifanoe tells us. “You just know. After 8 hours a day training with the same 10 girls, you have a kind of telepathy.”
“You know from sounds of the water, the splashes, if you’re together or not,” continues May.

Each costume change means a new makeup look designed to match. Julie Dupy draws face charts for the team, then does an atelier to show them how to do the makeup themselves. That way, whether they have a competition in Tokyo or Madrid, they are self-sufficient and can apply their own makeup with precision. Makeup is part of each team’s overall presentation score in competition, so it needs to be as coherent – and beautiful! – as possible. Though initially using MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua makeup in the pool for performances, they all now wear it out of the pool whenever they get done up. Once you get used to makeup that is waterproof, smudge, sweat and tears-proof, it’s hard to go back.

The question a lot of people have wondered about for years?  How their hair stays out of their faces and perfect when their underwater. “Unflavored gelatin,” May tells us, laughing at the look of surprise on my face. They take the powder, mix it with hot water, and once on, it becomes hard like cement. “You could leave it on for a week,” continues May. “It nourishes the hair, too. Every country does the same thing, even if they add some secret ingredient to it that we don’t know about.” You learn something new every day.

As we say goodbye, we ask what happens if one of them doesn’t like, or doesn’t look good in, that year’s bathing suit/costume, or the makeup doesn’t suit them. They are, after all, very different women. Everything can’t suit everyone. “We’re a team,” they tell us. “We have no choice but to accept it gracefully.” Spoken like true champions.

  • Tags:
  • Synchronized swimming,
  • Waterproof,
  • Aqua Range,
  • Aqua Lip,
  • Aqua eyes,
  • Aqua Rouge,
  • Aqua shadow,
  • Aqua Cream