Until very recently, U.S. champion and Olympic medalist Shawn Johnson has relied on another person to keep her in shape. During her time as a competitive gymnast, of course, a coach kept close tabs on her training; during her later double stint on Dancing With the Stars, her ability to reach the finals each season was a direct result of those exhaustive sessions with her partners, Mark Ballas and Derek Hough (both professional dancers).
Yet nowadays, Johnson’s main source of fitness motivation comes from her Nike FuelBand bracelet, which she keeps on her wrist as all times. "When I retired from gymnastics, I was completely lost," she admitted at a launch event for the brand’s new FuelBand SE model yesterday (pre-order yours here). "Now I know if I reach my Fuel goal I’m good for the day. I’ve done what I have to." ("Fuel," in case you’re wondering, is a numerical reflection of a person’s total activity. Rather than calories burned, which varies by physical size, Fuel is an unbiased measurement based on movement. That means you’ll be able to compete with friends and family for the top score!)
Exercising alone, however, isn’t the only thing that’s changed for Shawn since retiring from the world of floor routines and parallel bars. Now that the medalist isn’t required to spend every day in a leotard with her hair slicked into a bun, she’s been having fun with loose-fitting tops and blowouts—although she’s still most comfortable in workout gear. Read on to for her fashion tips for petite girls (if anyone knows, it’s a gymnast!)—and the mascara all her Olympic teammates swear by!
Lucky: People associate a very specific look with gymnasts: leotards, tights, warm-up suits. Now that you don’t have to wear that stuff anymore, would you say your style has changed?
Shawn Johnson: I would say that I dress in baggy clothes now, because I got so tried of being in spandex [all the time]! I’d say the only thing that really carried over is that I live in athletic wear. You know, gymnastics gave me the freedom to design my own leotards, and have a creative side, but now, [I prefer] something athletic.
You’re obviously very petite [Editor's note: Shawn is 4'9"]—any fashion tips for your fellow short girls?
I wear wedges a lot! I am always trying to make my legs look longer, even though they’re not! I also think when you’re little, [it's important] not to overdo it. You can drown in clothes sometimes. So I just keep it simple.
How about denim? A good pair is hard to find when you’re petite.
Denim? Oh goodness—exactly! Hudson makes some good ones, though.
How has you’re hair routine changed post-retirement?
I take care of it now! I don’t gel it, hairspray it and rat it into a mess! Although I wear it down a lot more, I still live in a ponytail most of the time.
Makeup secrets from the Olympic gymnastics team, please!
Everything [must be] waterproof! We were sweating like crazy, so whatever we can put on that won’t come off. We swore by waterproof eyeliner and mascara. We didn’t wear much more than that, though.
Any brand in particular?
We were all into CoverGirl across the board; that’s what we all shared. We were like sisters, so we did everything in unison.