They Might Look Different, But These Olympians Are Fierce Even Without Makeup

With all of their screen time, sponsorships, and endorsements, Olympic athletes enjoy looking their best. The public is so used to seeing gymnast Simone Biles with her glitter and figure skater Gracie Gold with her signature red lipstick, though, that it’s hard to imagine them looking any different.

The thing is, while they look ready to win gold on camera, there are some Olympians who look unrecognizable without make-up, although no less fierce!

Aly Raisman Looks Fresh-Faced Without Makeup

Aly Raisman Looks Fresh-Faced Without Makeup
TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP via Getty Images; alyraisman/Instagram
TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP via Getty Images; alyraisman/Instagram

Six-time Olympic medalist gymnast Aly Raisman might look fresh-faced without any makeup on, but she’s all about the power behind making athletes feel feminine and fierce in their respective sport. For her, that means a slicked-back ponytail, a shiny leotard, and a bit of makeup to tie the whole look together.

“You’re doing your sport, and you’re really strong and powerful, but at the same time, you can feel really feminine and beautiful,” Raisman said during an interview with USA Today. “I think for me, having that combination is what makes me feel confident.”

Simone Biles Looks Beautiful Even Without Glitter

Simone Biles Looks Beautiful Even Without Glitter
Alex Livesey/Getty Images; simonebiles/Instagram
Alex Livesey/Getty Images; simonebiles/Instagram

As a five-time Olympic gold medalist and 19-time World Champion gymnast, Simone Biles doesn’t have to sport glitter and heavy makeup to look fierce. All she has to do is perform gravity-defying flips! With her confidence in the gym, it’s ironic that the highly-decorated gymnast isn’t overly confident when it comes to her own style.

According to an interview Biles had with Fashionista, Biles trains so much that she’s never really come into her own style. She said, “You have to be bold. You have to be confident in what you wear, so I feel like I go for more simple things, just because I feel confident in that.”

Lindsey Vonn Looks So Different Without Her Smoky Eye

Lindsey Vonn Looks So Different Without Her Smoky Eye
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic; lindseyvonn/Instagram
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic; lindseyvonn/Instagram

Three-time Olympic medalist skier Lindsey Vonn is pretty well-known for sporting a gorgeous smoky eye more often than not. She even wears mascara when she’s training on the slopes, even though her face is completely covered by goggles, scarves, and a helmet! So when Vonn steps out without any makeup, she almost looks like a different person.

Vonn has even confessed to using a specific type of mascara, just in case she happens to place in a race. “I have to use waterproof mascara, especially in the Olympics when I was crying so much,” she told the Los Angeles Times.

Gracie Gold Doesn’t Don Her Signature Lip Off The Rink

Gracie Gold Doesn't Don Her Signature Lip Off The Rink
Harry How/Getty Images; graciegold95/Instagram
Harry How/Getty Images; graciegold95/Instagram

Being a figure skater, Gracie Gold is pretty much part of a sport that thrives off thick and pronounced stage makeup. But the 2014 Olympic bronze medalist is all about it! Starting her career, her mom did her makeup. But Gold’s signature red lip didn’t happen until she skated onto an Olympic rink.

During an interview with Hollywood Life, Gold said, “I had a red and blue dress — very iconic USA colors — so a red lip fit really well, so it became my thing.” The thing is, figure skaters wear full makeup even when training! So, for an Olympic skater to not wear makeup is rare.

Ashley Wagner Looks A Bit Paler Without All The Bronzer

Ashley Wagner Looks A Bit Paler Without All The Bronzer
Oscar Gonzalez/NurPhoto via Getty Images; ashwagner2010/Instagram
Oscar Gonzalez/NurPhoto via Getty Images; ashwagner2010/Instagram

Figure skater Ashley Wagner is all about embracing a more natural look. And why not? She looks great without anything on her face! But because of that, the bronze medalist had a bit of difficulty acclimating to the theatrical makeup used in the figure skating community.

During a segment on the Today show, Wagner spoke of her failed bronzer attempts, saying, “I’m really, really pale. So it took me a long time to figure out how to put on bronzer without looking orange. You have to find the perfect color for you — the same bronzer doesn’t work for everybody.”

Alexa Scimeca Knierim Looks Like A Typical Co-Ed

Alexa Scimeca Knierim Looks Like A Typical Co-Ed
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images; alexa_knierim/Instagram
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images; alexa_knierim/Instagram

Without her theatrical makeup, pairs figure skater Alexa Scimeca Knierim looks like a typical co-ed walking down the quad to meet with friends. Of course, she’s not. Knierim is an Olympic bronze medalist and a three-time US National Champion who knows a thing or two about makeup.

During an interview with InStyle, Knierim spoke of figure skaters’ relationship with makeup. She said, “It’s somewhat like stage actors — you want the people in the back row of the theater to be able to see that you have rouge on your cheeks and your lipstick is hot pink.”

Shannon Rowbury Looks So Different Without Her Lipstick

Shannon Rowbury Looks So Different Without Her Lipstick
Michael Macor/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images; Mark Dadswell/Getty Images
Michael Macor/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images; Mark Dadswell/Getty Images

Middle-distance runner Shannon Rowbury looks very different without makeup, especially her signature pink lip. She even started sporting the color when sprinting down the track! Rowbury didn’t just pick the color at random, though. The pink shade is the runner’s way of honoring her grandmother on the track.

During an interview with USA Today, Rowbury said, “In my life, there’s not much that’s more important than getting to go out and represent my family and my country in these races. It’s a nice way for me to kind of keep her memory alive.”

Alex Morgan Is A Tomboy Who Loves Her Makeup

Alex Morgan Is A Tomboy Who Loves Her Makeup
Jason Merritt/Getty Images; alexmorgan13/Instagram
Jason Merritt/Getty Images; alexmorgan13/Instagram

While two-time Olympian Alex Morgan grew up as a total tomboy, that doesn’t mean she doesn’t love getting made up. She might be a natural beauty, but Morgan has admitted to a pre-game ritual that includes more than one makeup product. Hey, who knows when there will be a random action picture!

“I love playing with a full face of makeup,” Morgan told Shape. “For games, it’s always bronzer, a little eyeliner, mascara, and ChapStick. When I prepare for a match, it’s like work, even the way I have to shower and put on my makeup.”

Queen Harrison-Claye Has A Make-up Routine When She Races

Queen Harrison-Claye Has A Make-up Routine When She Races
goqueengo/Instagram
goqueengo/Instagram

While track and field star Queen Harrison-Claye didn’t win a medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics, that doesn’t mean she didn’t look fierce while sprinting down the track during the 400-meter hurdles semifinals. According to the runner, she doesn’t even think about attending a meet without putting on her face first.

During an interview with the Refinary29, Harrison-Claye said, “You won’t ever catch me at a meet without makeup; it’s part of my uniform now, and it’s a performance. When I went to pro, I was like, ‘I’m wearing lipstick and winged liner when I race.'”

Maria Sharapova Doesn’t Wear Makeup On The Court

Maria Sharapova Doesn't Wear Makeup On The Court
Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage; Mike Owen/Getty Images
Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage; Mike Owen/Getty Images

Unlike a lot of other athletes, Olympic and professional tennis player Maria Sharapova doesn’t enjoy wearing makeup while playing. Because of this, some people might think she looks strange wearing makeup! Even so, there is a specific reason why the silver medalist doesn’t like dolling herself up for matches.

According to an interview Sharapova had with Harper’s Baazar, she doesn’t wear any makeup on the court because she doesn’t want to risk anything running into her eyes while she’s playing. For this tennis player, she leaves the eye makeup for nighttime, favoring sunscreen when playing.

Alicia Sacramone-Quinn Is Fresh-Faced Off The Gym Mat

Alicia Sacramone Is Fresh-Faced Off The Gym Mat
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images; aliciasacramonequinn/Instagram
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images; aliciasacramonequinn/Instagram

Former artistic gymnast Alicia Sacramone-Quinn looks lovely with or without makeup. And according to the silver medalist, it’s all thanks to her mom. From a young age, Sacramone-Quinn’s mom taught her that less is more, something she brought with her to both the Olympic stage and her daily life.

During an interview with Glamour, the former Olympian said, “My mom taught me pretty much everything I know…The most important thing she taught me is that less is more, so I never overdo it because I never want it to look too heavy or too caked on.” The one thing she always did while competing: match her eyeshadow with her leotard!

Aja Evans Brings Her Best Looks To The Sled

Aja Evans Brings Her Best Looks To The Sled
Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Women In Sports Foundation; ajalevans/Instagram
Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Women In Sports Foundation; ajalevans/Instagram

It’s rare to see bronze medalist Aja Evans without makeup. The Olympic bobsledder says she always attacks the day by going through her grooming routine, which includes hair and makeup. Evans has even said in an interview that to bring fierceness to the sled, she needs to look and feel her best.

During a discussion with Madame Noire, the bobsledding beauty said, “I always take my look to the sled! You’ll see me many times with lashes and a winged eyeliner through the peephole of the helmet.” Evans’ biggest pro tip for everyone: the key to great skin is to stay hydrated.

Chloe Kim Is A Fierce Contender Either Way

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Rachel Luna/WireImage; chloekim/Instagram
Rachel Luna/WireImage; chloekim/Instagram

At 17 years old, Chloe Kim became the youngest female to win an Olympic gold medal for the snowboard halfpipe. And while it is very rare to see Kim without a bit of makeup on, she looks cute and age-appropriate either way. Surprisingly, she was even wearing a bit during her medal ceremony!

The thing is, because of her eyeliner, Kim had to try very hard not to cry! During an interview with Teen Vogue, Kim said, “I was trying so hard to hold the tears back, ’cause I was like, I can’t cry right now, I can’t do this, I worked so hard on my eyeliner.”

It’s Rare To See Figure Skater Michelle Kwan Makeup-Free

It's Rare To See Figure Skater Michelle Kwan Makeup-Free
Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images; michellekwan/Instagram
Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images; michellekwan/Instagram

For two-time Olympic medalist Michelle Kwan, makeup is just as much a part of figure skating as the skates. Getting into specific characters, Kwan is all about dolling herself up, almost as if she’s an actress getting ready for a stage performance.

“The years that I was skating to Salome [the opera music], I would do the wing look, and it was so fun because I was portraying a character, and I had to get into it,” Kwan told Allure during an interview. “My costumes, my hair, my makeup had to be that part.” according to the figure skater, there is nothing she doesn’t have in her makeup bag!

Gabby Douglas Likes Matching Her Makeup With Her Leo

Gabby Douglas Likes Matching Her Makeup With Her Leo
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic; gabbycvdouglas/Instagram
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic; gabbycvdouglas/Instagram

Honestly, Gabby Douglas might look unrecognizable without makeup, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t just as gorgeous. The three-time Olympic medalist has said that she doesn’t wear makeup while training, but when it comes to competition, she’s all about finding new and fun looks as long as everything matches her leotard, of course!

During an interview with Cosmopolitan, the Olympian said, “When I compete though, I like to spice things up. Getting ready, I enjoy experimenting with eye shadow and fun lipsticks … that complement my leotard.” Douglas also had some sound advice during the interview, saying that makeup should be used to “enhance the beauty that is already there!”

Serena Williams Sans Makeup Is A Rare Sighting, Indeed!

Serena Williams Sans Makeup Is A Rare Sighting, Indeed!
Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images; Marc Piasecki/GC Images
Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images; Marc Piasecki/GC Images

Whether for a magazine cover, an interview, or on a championship court, Olympian and professional tennis player Serena Williams is typically all about her beauty routine. So much so that seeing her without her brows, slight lip, and contour is quite a rare sighting. But, hey, Williams never said she wasn’t a beauty junkie!

During an interview with Into the Gloss, the four-time Olympic gold medalist said, “I’m such a beauty junkie…Honestly, I love going to Sephora — I could spend hours in there.” That said, Williams has admitted that her makeup game has gone downhill ever since she became a mom.

Allyson Felix Is Typically Bare-Faced Unless She’s Competing

Allyson Felix Is Typically Bare-Faced Unless She's Competing
Harry How/Getty Images; af85/Instagram
Harry How/Getty Images; af85/Instagram

Ten-time Olympic medalist Allyson Felix obviously doesn’t need to wear makeup to prove she is a boss when it comes to track and field. The natural beauty can do that all on her own, as she’s proven time and time again. Even so, if she’s competing, she doesn’t mind throwing on a bit of makeup for a confidence boost.

“When I’m training, I usually go barefaced,” Felix told Teen Vogue. “But when I’m competing, I do wear a little bit of makeup. It’s always just a minimal amount, though; I try to keep it natural. MAC and Laura Mercier are two of my favorite brands.”

Katie Ledecky Looks Unstoppable No Matter What’s On Her Face

Katie Ledecky Looks Unstoppable No Matter What's On Her Face
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images; Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images; Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Whether she’s wearing a swim cap and bathing suit, on stage accepting a Golden Goggles award, or cheering her teammates on while wearing an oversized parka, five-time Olympic gold medalist, swimmer Katie Ledecky looks unstoppable. But it’s not her stroke that gives her the extra push, but her personality.

Ledecky’s coach, Bruce Gemmell, might not notice whether she’s sporting eyeliner or not, but he does realize what type of person she is. “As far as I’m concerned, the bigger story is that she’s a better person than she is a swimmer,” Gemmell told Vogue. “We all know she’s a pretty good swimmer, but she’s just a better person.”

Candace Parker Loves Her M.A.C. Clear Gloss

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Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Turner Sports; Julio Aguilar/Getty Images
Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Turner Sports; Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Two-time Olympic gold medalist and professional basketball player Candace Parker doesn’t need makeup to look beyond unstoppable on the court. She has her talent and stats to do that for her! Hey, she didn’t become a WNBA Champ, a five-time WNBA All-Star, or a two-time WNBA MVP by worrying about her winged eyeliner!

But Parker let Vogue in on a little secret — the one product she does wear while playing. During the interview, Parker said, “I love M.A.C. clear lip gloss; I put that on before any game. Otherwise, I don’t wear makeup when I play basketball. It just runs.”

Yuna Kim Goes From Innocent To Smoky

Yuna Kim Goes From Innocent To Smoky
Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images; yunakim/Instagram
Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images; yunakim/Instagram

Yuna Kim might look unrecognizable without the theatrical makeup she sports during figure skating competitions. But when she does take the time to doll herself up, the two-time Olympic medalist has a few signature looks. The first being her “going out” makeup which is more natural and innocent-looking, a stark contrast to her competition looks.

According to Yahoo, when she’s on the ice, Kim is typically seen sporting a strong smoky eye. Unlike other figure skaters, Kim doesn’t cake on the rouge and lipstick, preferring to make her eyes pop on the rink instead.

April Ross Doesn’t Need Makeup to Spike A Volleyball

April Ross Doesn't Need Makeup to Spike A Volleyball
Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic; Harry How/Getty Images
Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic; Harry How/Getty Images

Considering she’s typically wearing some stunner shades on the sand, Olympic beach volleyball player April Ross might look more different wearing makeup than not! Even so, she obviously didn’t need to be all glammed up on the sand to win a silver and bronze Olympic medal.

“When I approach a competition, I usually don’t really think too much about anything involving my beauty routine,” Ross told Elle magazine. According to the Olympian, she sweats too much to bother with an entire face full of makeup. Her hair, on the other hand, gets more than a little TLC from being in the sun and sand all day.

Ali Krieger Looks Gorgeous On And Off The Field

Ali Krieger Looks Gorgeous On And Off The Field
Jason Merritt/Getty Images; alikrieger/Instagram
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic; alikrieger/Instagram

For Olympic and professional soccer player Ali Krieger, makeup sets her in the right mood to compete and, if everything works out, win. It doesn’t matter what she looks like without foundation, eyeshadow, mascara, and the works. All that matters to the all-star athlete is feeling good while doing her job.

During an interview with Bustle, Krieger said, “It’s kind of this look good, feel good, play good mentality. I do feel empowered; I do feel good…I’m going to work, and I want to look good. You’re not only representing yourself but U.S. Soccer.”

Misty May-Treanor Favors Sunscreen Over Makeup

Misty May-Treanor Favors Sunscreen Over Makeup
Mark Sullivan/WireImage; Ryan Pierse/Getty Images
Mark Sullivan/WireImage; Chris Graythen/Getty Images;

Awards shows, magazine spreads, and walking down the red carpet has three-time Olympic gold medalist, beach volleyball player Misty May-Treanor wearing more than sunscreen. While she looks gorgeous during those appearances, seeing her without makeup is like looking at an entirely different person.

Of course, it might have to do with the lack of sweat pouring down her face and the distinct absence of a sunscreen sheen. But she’s a volleyball player, and sunscreen is all she’s ever needed to worry about when stepping out onto the sand. Her favorite brand, according to Allure, is Neutrogena UltraSheer Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF 45.

Madison Kocian Goes From World-Class Athlete To Co-Ed

Madison Kocian
madison_kocian/Instagram
madison_kocian/Instagram

Two-time Olympic medal winner gymnast Madison Kocian is adorable whether or not she’s lounging about UCLA or in full-on makeup for a competition. But when she puts on that dark eye makeup and steps foot on the gym floor, Kocian’s competition knows she means business.

While she was a surprise addition to the “Final Five” USA gymnastics team, Kocian didn’t disappoint, helping the team win gold at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. But she couldn’t have done it alone. Her teammate, Aly Raisman, helped the younger girl get competition-ready, trying out various makeup options a day before the bar’s heat.

Laurie Hernandez Is Adorable No Matter What

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Gregg DeGuire/WireImage; lauriehernandez/Instagram
Gregg DeGuire/WireImage; lauriehernandez/Instagram

Truth be told, Laurie Hernandez looks gorgeous whether or not she’s on the red carpet, competing for gold at the Summer Olympics, training, or dancing to win on Dancing with the Stars. And while she definitely looks “different,” there’s little this two-time Olympic medalist can’t accomplish, fresh-faced or dolled up.

But, let’s all be honest, Hernandez’s competition eyeliner is pretty much as on point as her landings. It is a good thing, too, since the former gymnast has expressed an interest in returning to the sport for the Tokyo games in 2021!

Katinka Hosszú Is “The Iron Lady” Not “The Makeup Lady”

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hosszukatinka/Instagram; Lintao Zhang/Getty Images
hosszukatinka/Instagram; Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

Hungarian swimmer Katinka Hosszú has little need for makeup when she’s training and competing. Hey, she’s in a pool. So, it’s only fitting that Hosszú looks a bit different when she’s getting ready to go out for a fun night on the town.

Seriously, could the world recorder holder’s hair look any cuter with its natural curl? Even so, it’s not nearly as impressive as her stats. Hosszú, aka “The Iron Lady,” is considered one of the most versatile swimmers in the world and became the first, man or woman, to reach millionaire status from her race winnings.

Shawn Johnson East Is Cute As A Button

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Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images; shawnjohnson/Instagram
Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images; shawnjohnson/Instagram

Gold medalist Shawn Johnson East is no stranger to makeup, having grown up around the glitz and glam of professional gymnastics. As it turns out, since becoming a mom, she rarely has time for a routine! But that doesn’t mean Johnson East looks any less adorable without the thick eyeliner and glitter.

Ironically, Johnson East is pretty ashamed of her past routine when she was a young girl in the Olympics. During an interview with Prevention, she said, “I would fake bake, use tanning beds, and I never wore sunscreen. I was just terrible to my skin.”

Corey Cogdell-Unrein Doesn’t Need Makeup To Win Medals

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coreycogdell/Instagram
coreycogdell/Instagram

Corey Cogdell-Unrein might look totally unrecognizable without makeup on, but who needs makeup when you’re a two-time Olympic bronze medalist for trap shooting? This beautiful lady has more than the Olympic Games under her belt, too.

Cogdell-Unrein won another bronze medal at the Pan American Games. Not to mention that in 2006, she made the National Development Team, coming in first at the junior women’s trap competition. The day she won is the day she was asked to move up to the National Team. Not too bad!

Anna Kournikova Iglesias Is A Natural Beauty

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Jason LaVeris/Getty Images; annakournikova/Instagram
Jason LaVeris/Getty Images; annakournikova/Instagram

Honestly, Anna Kournikova Iglesias can wear a paper bag as a dress and still look gorgeous. The one-time Olympian and professional tennis player is just that naturally beautiful, so her wearing makeup only amplifies her already stellar looks.

Even so, it doesn’t take away from the fact that she looks very different without the dark ring of kohl around her eyes, the highlighter, and subtle lip gloss. While her playing made her popular, Kournikova Iglesias’ looks were definitely part of the conversation during her peak.

Amanda Beard Saves The Makeup For Non-Competition Events

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Bennett Raglin/WireImage; Robert B. Stanton/Getty Images
Bennett Raglin/WireImage; Robert B. Stanton/Getty Images

Like many swimmers, seven-time Olympic medalist Amanda Beard isn’t about wearing makeup in the pool, saving her “face” for interviews and red carpet appearances. But no one is really looking at how different she looks after getting out of the pool.

Everyone is too busy being in awe of how fast her legs are able to propel her through the water. At one point, she even held the world record for the 200-meter breaststroke long course.