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Olympic Ice Dancers Dish on Their Beauty Routines

Olympic Ice Dancers Dish on Their Beauty Routines
Meryl Davis and Charlie White spill their beauty secrets from the ice. (Photo: Getty Images)
I’m not going to lie, every time I see ice dancers perform, I want to be one of them. I want to dance in sparkly sequins and leap into my partner’s arms. Since it isn’t likely in this lifetime, I’ll be living vicariously through real life couple and Olympic Gold Medalists Meryl Davis and Charlie White. I caught up with the pair at the opening of the flagship store of Airweave mattress toppers in Manhattan. The American all-stars talked ice beauty with me, sharing their take on grooming, beauty mishaps, and makeup for men.

Yahoo Beauty: What are your beauty and grooming regimens?Meryl Davis: Our regimen for looking good either at home or on the road is very simple. We make a very conscious effort to eat good food, get enough sleep, stay active and keep our skin healthy.

How much makeup do you wear during performances?I definitely wear more makeup for a performance than I’d ever wear day-to-day.

Do you apply it yourself, and how long does this process take?It takes me about 20 minutes, and I apply it myself. I find the ritual rather therapeutic as I prepare for competition or a show.

How many items do you typically carry to performances, in your beauty kit?Makeup brushes, one blush, one bronzer, one mascara, one tinted moisturizer, lots of eye shadow, a few shades of long-wear lipstick, liquid eyeliner and lots of hairspray.

Have you had any beauty mishaps while performing?When I was about 13 and skating singles, I had a fake hairpiece fall off of my bun and fly across the ice. I gave up on fake hair forever at that exact moment!
Charlie, is makeup a part of your competition routine?Charlie White: Looking good under the bright lights of ice rinks is very difficult without the help of makeup, so luckily I’ve always had Meryl around to put some bronzer on my face right before we head out to compete.

How long does this take?It usually only takes a couple of minutes, but it’s become such a part of our pre-competition routine. It would be weird to miss it.
What’s the most interesting beauty product you’ve been introduced to abroad?Probably my Fusion ProGlide razor. It’s crazy the technological advancements they’ve made with razors, but there’s nothing worse than traveling somewhere and realizing you’re going to have to hope some random razor can get the job done.

Airweave-SOHO opening

Well-Rested Davis And White Help Open First Airweave Sleep Store
NEW YORK -- More than 17 years of training together, superb coaching and choreography, and good, old-fashioned hard work led Meryl Davis and Charlie White to the first U.S. ice dance gold at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
A good night’s sleep didn’t hurt, either.
That’s where United States Olympic Committee sponsor airweave, the top-selling brand of premium bedding toppers and pillows in Japan, came in.
airweave’s innovative products are made of three-dimensional, entwined resin fibers, with air occupying more than 90 percent of the material. The ergonomic, breathable design and highly resilient material allows users to roll over easily, and maintain a deep and restorative sleep.
Mao Asada, a 2010 Olympic silver medalist in figure skating from Japan, a huge star in her native country, introduced Davis and White to the mattress toppers when the Michigan natives traveled to Japan to perform in Asada’s ice show.
“The first year we did Mao’s show, in 2011 or 2012, she arranged for everyone in the cast to get a free travel topper,” Davis said at the grand opening of airweave’s store in the fashionable Manhattan neighborhood of Soho on Wednesday. “It gave us a great night’s sleep and it was great to use on the run. We became huge fans.”
When the skaters headed to Sochi last February for their second Winter Games (they won a silver medal in Vancouver in 2010), they brought airweave travel mattress toppers, rolled up snugly in carry cases, with them. They weren’t alone: nearly one-third of medal-winning athletes at the Sochi Games were members of teams given mattress toppers by airweave.
In Sochi, Davis and White added two Olympic medals to their résumé, including gold in the individual ice dance event and a bronze in the team event, featuring the top 10 figure skating countries.
“Many Olympic committees use airweave,” Motokuni Takaoka, the company’s president and CEO, said. “We told Lisa Baird (USOC’s chief marketing officer) we wanted to provide mattress toppers to Team USA. Of course, the muscle density of all athletes is not the same, so we supplied (customized) toppers for each.”
Takaoka created airweave nearly a decade ago when he took over his uncle’s company manufacturing fishing nets and lines. After discovering that the resin used in production had previously been used in mattress stuffing, he was inspired to create the mattress toppers.
In 2007, Takaoka brought 40 airweave mattress toppers to the Japan Institute of Sports Sciences, to be tested by athletes. Many Japanese Olympians asked for mattress toppers to take to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, so Takaoka produced a portable version. After the strong response, he ordered additional testing at Tokyo’s Waseda University, as well as Stanford University, to help further refine the product.
In Sochi, Davis and White won gold with a stirring free dance set to Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade,” the tale of a young bride who postpones her execution by keeping her Sultan husband enraptured each night by her storytelling. But while “Scheherazade” stayed up weaving stories, the skaters knew they needed eight good hours of sleep before tackling the demanding, four-minute program.
“Just knowing when we got to the Olympics, we would be sleeping on something we are familiar with, was incredibly comforting,” Davis said.
“It was very, very helpful to our mindset,” White said. “It’s always challenging to travel to different cities and get enough sleep, and it was so refreshing to have that consistency.”
Lindsay Thornton, a USOC senior sport psychophysiologist, thinks it’s difficult to overestimate how important proper sleep is to elite athletes.
“It is an essential and often under-utilized recovery modality in sport performance,” Thornton said. “When athletes regularly get adequate, quality sleep, they can minimize the negative effects of training and travel-related fatigue on performance, and execute world-class performance when it counts.”
When Takaoka heard about Davis and White’s devotion to his company’s products, the skaters were invited onboard as brand ambassadors. (Fellow U.S. figure skating team bronze medalist Gracie Gold is also a brand ambassador.) The avid sportsman jets all over the world watching the skaters, as well as tennis pro Kei Nishikori; golfers Bubba Watson and Paula Creamer; and other airweave brand ambassadors and users.
“Our product fully supports athletes’ bodies when they sleep,” Takaoka said. “You can change positions very easily, without using many muscles. You can rotate easily. Athletes can recover from tough training and competition.”
airweave has operated in Japan for seven years, with 140 shops inside department stores as well as an e-commerce site. The Soho site is its first stand-alone “bricks-and-mortar” store.
“We are thrilled airweave chose New York City for the home of its first retail store and flagship location,” said the USOC’s Baird. “Our athletes have responded well to airweave’s bedding toppers, and this is an exciting opportunity to increase the visibility of our partner’s phenomenal product.”
The Soho location won’t be the sole U.S. store for long.
“The buzz has been so incredible, we’re adding two more New York stores by the end of the year,” Allen Cohen, airweave’s communications director, said. “We’re also planning stores in other cities, including Miami and Los Angeles.”
Of course, Olympic athletes aren’t the only ones who can benefit from airweave technology. Takaoka, who hails from the bustling Nagoya, one of Japan’s largest cities, is thrilled to bring his brainchild to citizens of the city that never sleeps.
“Soho is full of my kind of people,” he said. “They are very busy, and they need a good night’s rest.”
Lynn Rutherford is a sportswriter based out of New York. She is a freelance contributor to on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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