For something just as expressive but a little less permanent than a tattoo, lots of female athletes, like gold medalist swimmer Allison Schmitt, are turning to the beauty trend du jour: nail art.
Missy Franklin swam her way to a gold on July 30 with the nails on her left hand painted blue and painted red on the right, while each thumb and ring finger displayed a tiny replica of the U.S. flag.
Kayaker Caroline Queen got even more patriotic on July 29, adorning her nails with alternating patterns of stars, stripes and other shapes in red, white and blue.
No discussion about nail polish is complete without mentioning hair and makeup. The teenagers on the U.S. gymnastics team – seen on July 30 after the gold medal win – have employed lots of hair clips and even (shudder) scrunchies to keep their locks in place as they tumble, flip and soar through the air.
Venus Williams, right, added a few strands of blue and red to her crown of brown braids when she and little sister Serena, left, – with her own scrunchie-secured ponytail .
The gymnastics squad also made the most of their Olympic debuts, sticking with the ubiquitous smoky eye. All-around gold medalist Gabby Douglas chose a purplish shade that pretty closely matched the electric blue leotards the girls wore on July 29. The girls have “just a touch of the smoky eye, but not the I’m-going-to-the club-smoky eye,” says Corbett. Their makeup says, “‘I’m wearing makeup like a grownup, but it’s not distracting.”