The Importance of Details

In figure competitions, it’s all about the total package. All those hours in the gym count for nothing if you neglect your personal appearance.

October 25, 2012
The Importance of Details

On stage, symmetry and muscle tone will earn you points, but it’s usually the competitor who’s the most polished who’ll capture the judges’ attention.

Whether I’m on stage competing or at a photo shoot, I’m aware that it’s the details that contribute to my overall appearance, such as the depth of my tan, the color and style of my hair, makeup, choice of outfit, nails, right down to the shoes I wear. A lot of thought and effort goes into preparing for these events. Maintaining my appearance isn’t my favorite part of the job; it’s all so time-consuming especially getting my hair colored! But it’s an essential part of the preparation and has to be done.

At home, you’ll never see me in anything but track pants or shorts and a tee-shirt. I like wearing what’s comfortable, especially since the majority of my time at home is spent running around after my kids. I’m definitely a sporty dressing kind of girl. I don’t usually wear makeup. I definitely prefer the natural look and the feeling of fresh clean skin. After a photo shoot or competition, the first thing I do is go home and wash it off otherwise it drives me crazy. Same goes for after a competition, I'm always hanging out for a shower to wash off my my copious layers of stage tan.

When it comes to that all-important presentation, let me share with you what works for me.

Someone once said, “If you can’t get lean, get brown.” Darker skin shows off the definition you’ve worked so hard to perfect. Sunbeds and sunbathing are out as they age the skin prematurely. Use fake tan. Start prepping the body at least a couple of weeks in advance. Exfoliating several times a week is the key to an even tan and it’s essential to have a good surface to work on. I apply light shimmer oil before I go on stage, as matt-looking skin doesn’t look attractive under the harsh lights. I never spray-tan the face. Instead I use makeup to match the tan on my body. When I’m not competing, I always keep self-tanning products on hand, in case I get called up suddenly for a photo shoot.

I generally don’t follow the latest fashion. Instead, I wear what feels comfortable, what I like and what suits my body. When I’m shopping, I keep an eye out for clothing that might look cool for photo shoots. When it comes to contest bikinis, there are a lot of amazing designers out there. At the end of the day the bikini is the icing on the cake. If you’re in shape you’re going to look good in almost any bikini, and likewise if you’re not in shape, even the most beautiful bikini won’t change that.

I try to keep my color up to date and make regular visits to my hairdresser every 6-8 weeks. I wash my hair every second or third day, and most of the time I wear it up in a bun or pony tail around home and also when I’m training. I like the natural look for competitions, so I wear it down, and sometimes curl it.

I cleanse tone and moisturize every morning and every night, and I generally don’t wear makeup. I always wear a good moisturizer to keep my skin hydrated, my favorite products at the moment are from the Environ range, high in vitamin A & C for my skin. Eating a balanced diet and lots of water to stay hydrated.

Body hair
It’s up to you whether you remove hair permanently or shave, wax or use creams. Exfoliation beforehand helps prevent ingrown hairs. Some people remove all their body hair for comps. Even blonde hair can catch the light.

If I’m presenting an infomercial or just wearing casual clothes, I choose Skechers gym shoes. If I’m competing it’s definitely clear heels. They lengthen the leg and help give your calves definition.

Remember: success is in the details… details are vital. Little things make big things happen.

Raechelle Chase