Competition Makeup Tips

Competition Makeup at the 2010 World Figure Skating Championships - Mark Hanretty and Christina Chitwood (AP Photo Antonio Calanni)

Competition Makeup at the 2010 World Figure Skating Championships - Mark Hanretty and Christina Chitwood (AP Photo Antonio Calanni)

When you compete in an event that is judged, appearance is typically taken into consideration. Even if there isn’t a mark for appearance, your appearance in how you present yourself can affect how the judges perceive your ability.

As much as it would be nice to believe that only ability is judged, the human eye tends to be drawn toward those who are well presented. If you’re in a sport such as figure skating and you’re female, makeup should be an important part of your competition regimen.

Here are competition makeup tips for figure skaters or anyone in a similar sport or art.

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February 10, 2012

Top 4 Tips Figure Skaters Can Learn from Olympic Gold Medalists Shen and Zhao

 Shen and Zhao's huge split triple twist during their Olympic short program (Photo by Liz Chastney)

Shen and Zhao's huge split triple twist during their Olympic short program (Photo by Liz Chastney)

2010 Olympic pairs champions Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo were two of my favorite role models during my early years in pairs. They still are two of my favorite role models. Shen and Zhao demonstrate qualities which make champions as well as people of good character. Following are 4 top tips figure skaters can learn from Olympic pairs gold medalists Shen and Zhao.

1. When a team is a good match, it pays to stay together.

Now married, Shen and Zhao have been skating together for 18 years. This time has helped them develop their strong elements, great unison, and overall polish to their skating. Their dedication helped them become two of the very best skaters in the sport.

2. Focus on turning your weaknesses into strengths.

Shen and Zhao during their Olympic long program (Photo by Liz Chastney)

Shen and Zhao during their Olympic long program (Photo by Liz Chastney)

In the past, Shen and Zhao had weaknesses artistically, causing them to earn lower scores than the other top teams. They have worked on improving their expression, artistry, and overall skating skills, giving them an edge over the competition. They combined these skating skills with more advanced choreography to create a strong and elegant style. In addition, they now have good unison and speed in their side-by-side spins, formerly their weakest element.

3. Hard work and dedication pay off.

I remember when my sister and I were training as intermediate pairs competitors in Colorado Springs during October 2000. Shen and Zhao were training at our rink for the upcoming Skate America competition. We were lucky to be able to train on sessions with the elite pairs. Shen and Zhao would skate for the whole session, going from element to element and hardly ever stopping for a break. The work ethic they possessed was the best I’ve seen. Although they are now married, Shen and Zhao have continued to show intense dedication to their skating, even living in separate dorm rooms to train for the 2010 Olympics.

4. Nice guys (people) do finish first.

I’ve only heard good things about what nice people Shen and Zhao are. They have always been very humble and well-mannered. Their sportsmanship has been among the best in the sport, and they have always acted professionally regardless of the competition outcome. Not only are Shen and Zhao great role models for figure skaters, but they are great role models for all athletes.

March 9, 2010

Top 4 Tips Figure Skaters Can Learn from Olympic Gold Medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir

Virtue and Moir had incredible levels of difficulty in their Olympic free dance. (Photo by Liz Chastney)

Virtue and Moir had incredible levels of difficulty in their Olympic free dance. (Photo by Liz Chastney)

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir raised ice dance to a new level this season with technical excellence, innovative moves, and smooth, flowing elegance.  They became Olympic gold medalists in the process.  Figure skaters can learn much by following Virtue and Moir’s example.  The following 4 tips are especially noteworthy:

1.  When a team is a good match, it pays to stay together.

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir teamed up in 1997.  The example of Olympic silver-medalists Meryl Davis and Charlie White adds to this point.  Davis and White also teamed up in 1997.  Two long-standing partnerships had the highest results in the 2010 Olympic ice-dance event.

2.  Smooth stroking pays dividends.

Watch Virture and Moir’s stroking throughout their routines to see the flow and grace it gives them between their moves.  Stroking is one of the most important fundamentals of figure skating, and this team has used it to propel them to the top of the world.

3.  Bend your knees.

Virture and Moir’s knees give them the softness of ballet dancers.  They practically float across the ice in their free dance with their movements looking effortless.  Their knee bend gives them the ability to incorporate some of the most difficult skating maneuvers into their routines.

 

Group hug for training partners Virtue/Moir and Davis/White. (Photo by Liz Chastney

Group hug for training partners Virtue/Moir and Davis/White. (Photo by Liz Chastney)

4. You can be friends with your competitors.

Virture and Moir are close friends and training partners with Meryl Davis and Charlie White.  In an interview, Moir said:

I don’t think either of us would be where we are without the other. We help each other on our bad days, and even push it a little more on the good days. To have each other up there on the podium, side by side, it’s amazing. They’re such great people.

I’m sure they wanted to be up on the top of the podium, but they don’t show any of that to us. . . . They’re just such great friends, and they gave us the best hug.

Virtue and Moir are great role models not just for ice dancers, but for figure skaters in general.  Which of Virtue and Moir’s qualities do you find most helpful?

March 4, 2010

Top 3 Training Tips Figure Skaters Can Learn from Olympic Gold Medalist Evan Lysacek

Evan Lysacek during his Olympic long program. (Photo by Liz Chastney)

Evan Lysacek during his Olympic long program. (Photo by Liz Chastney)

The 2010 Olympic men’s gold medalist has been a role model for a long time.  As the 2009 World champion, Evan was already used to performing on a large stage.  Evan’s performance with two clean programs at the 2010 Olympics gave him the distinction of being the first American man to win the Olympics as the reigning World champion since Scott Hamilton in 1984.  Evan’s success is obviously not a fluke, and figure skaters can learn important training tips from Evan’s example:

1.  Hard work pays off.

Everything I’ve heard about Evan mentions his intense work ethic and drive.  He dedicates much of his time to being in peak physical and mental condition.  On occasion,  his coach, Frank Carol, has told Evan to stop running his program so many times.  His hard work really paid off when he became the first American man to win an Olympic gold medal since Brian Boitano in 1988.  Evan is celebrating his success by purchasing an Aston Martin DB9!

2.  Focus on every aspect of your skating.

Evan has worked hard to develop his overall skating skills.  Not only is he a strong jumper, but Evan’s spins, jumps, footwork, and artistry help him be one of the best male skaters in the world.  Even though Evgeni Plushenko, the gold-medal favorite going into the Olympics, landed his quad in both the short and long programs, Evan topped his score because of a stronger overall long program.

Evan Lysacek after receiving his Olympic gold medal. (Photo by Liz Chastney)

Evan Lysacek after receiving his Olympic gold medal. (Photo by Liz Chastney)

3.  Nice guys do finish first.

Evan has a good reputation for being a nice person and shows humility even though he is now the reigning World and Olympic men’s champion.  He graciously handled the debate about why he won the Olympics without a quadruple jump in his program.  He defended the entire men’s field in his response to Plushenko’s heated opposition after the event:

Nobody likes to lose. . . . Plushenko is a great guy, a great skater. I’ve admired him for years. I thought he did an outstanding job . . . For him to discredit the field, though, that’s not right. It’s probably the strongest men’s field there’s ever been, and I was honored to be in the field.

I guess I was a little disappointed that someone who is my role model would take a hit at me in what is probably one of the most special moments of my life.

Evan’s qualities as Olympic champion are important qualitities to have, not just as a skater but as a person.  What do you find to be Evan’s most inspiring quality?

March 2, 2010

Top 2 Training Tips Figure Skaters Can Learn from Olympic Gold Medalist, Kim Yu-Na

Kim Yu-Na during the playing of her country's national anthem

Kim Yu-Na during the playing of her country's national anthem (Photo by Liz Chastney)

Figure skaters can gain much from following the example of Olympic ladies champion, Kim Yu-Na.  Two training tips are especially important.

1.  Work on every aspect of your skating.

One of the primary elements that sets Kim Yu-Na apart from the rest of the ladies in figure skating is her overall skating ability.  Her flow, speed, and artistry are the strongest in the field and come from lots of focus and training on basic skating skills and body and arm movements.  On top of that, Kim Yu-Na has phenomenal jumps and spins which she showcases with her amazing performance skills.

2.  No matter how much pressure there is in a competition, be aggressive.

Kim Yu-Na had incredible pressure as the gold-medal favorite going into these Olympic Games.  She had to deal with the hopes of the whole nation of South Korea, expectations as the reigning World champion, and millions of dollars of endorsements.  Despite the enormous burden, she pulled though and skated two incredibly strong programs, two of the best in Olympic history.  Her speed and aggression into all of her elements helped her achieve this feat.

Brian Orser, Kim Yu-Na's coach during Kim Yu-Na's Olympic short program

Brian Orser, Kim Yu-Na's coach, during Kim Yu-Na's Olympic short program (Photo by Liz Chastney)

In an interview after the event, Brian Orser, Kim Yu-Na’s coach, told about pre-Olympic talks with Kim Yu-Na and her Olympic response:

It’s not any time to hold back. It’s not a time to be conservative or cautious. Be Olympic. . . . We’ve talked about that, coming here. You’ve got to be Olympic. You’ve got to be a competitor. Yes, you’re beautiful. Yes, the programs are beautiful. Beautiful lines. Great presentation and choreography.

But you’ve got to be Olympic and you’ve got to be fierce. And she was.

Watch Kim Yu-Na and other great figure skaters in the Champions Gala tonight!

February 27, 2010