In the latest Marie Claire Beauty Bytes special, I make it a Wimbledon special by sitting down with world class tennis star Venus Williams to chat pre-match rituals, cheat meals and the most useful beauty advice I think I’ve ever heard. Not only is she in London to appear in the world’s most famous tennis tournament, but she’s also here to shout about her active wear brand – EleVen by Venus – that’s just launched into Selfridges.
KT: HOW OFTEN DO YOU WORKOUT?
VW: Oh my God, I’ve been working out my whole life. My life is one great, big workout, but I think it’s the best life actually.
KT: YEAH I MEAN THAT’S PRETTY IMPRESSIVE. MUCH MORE THAN ME. YOU’RE OBVIOUSLY A PROFESSIONAL TENNIS PLAYER, BUT WHAT ARE THE OTHER WAYS THAT YOU LIKE TO EXERCISE – DO YOU EVER DO YOGA OR DIFFERENT CLASSES?
VW: Because of what I do, my training is very specific, but sometimes I do try to mix it up. I’ve done Bikram yoga, I love Pilates and I actually have a reformer in my house.
KT: OH THAT’S THE DREAM.
VW: Occasionally I’ll swim, but a lot of that is to with injury prevention, which is part of my tennis training.
KT: YEAH, OF COURSE.
VW: And then sometimes I do dance classes, which is cardio for me. I kind of do a bit of everything.
KT: AND IF YOU COULD CHOOSE ONE OUTFIT FROM YOUR LINE TO WORKOUT IN, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
VW: Oh definitely something from the Seamless collection. It’s so soft and buttery – it’s amazing and definitely my favourite collection. It’s extremely comfortable.
KT: AND WOULD IT BE LEGGINGS AND TOP OR A DRESS AND SHORTS?
VW: Leggings and top. There’s actually some Seamless on the stand here at Selfridges. I brought mine with me to London – I wasn’t sure what I should wear today, it was so funny – I was rushing out of the locker room at Wimbledon this morning and didn’t know what to put on.
KT: WELL YOU’RE WEARING THE PIECES THAT ARE EXCLUSIVE TO SELFRIDGES, AND I CAN’T THINK OF ANYTHING MORE APPROPRIATE TO WEAR WHILST WALKING AROUND SELFRIDGES.
VW: Yeah, you’re right!
KT: WHAT DOES WELLNESS MEAN TO YOU?
VW: Wellness is not just body it’s mind and I think it’s just being at peace with yourself and your life. And a lot of that is to do with how you feel. So, moving your body is also wellness and hopefully being able to look how you want is wellness too. So it’s just not physical.
KT: SO IT’S ABOUT FEELING CONFIDENT TO BE WHO YOU ARE AND –
VW: Yes it’s about confidence, but also I think working hard helps you feel accomplished and confident. So if you aren’t feeling confident it doesn’t mean you can’t work to get there.
KT: DO YOU HAVE ANY PRE-MATCH RITUALS?
VW: No. I am not superstitious, I’m very much like ‘it’s all the hard work that got me here’ and not crossing my legs on every changeover or anything random like that.
KT: WHAT ABOUT PRE AND POST EXERCISE MEALS. IS THERE ANYTHING THAT YOU MAKE SURE THAT YOU ALWAYS EAT RIGHT BEFORE WORKING OUT OR AFTERWARDS?
VW: I actually don’t eat a lot when I workout. This morning I had a green smoothie, so that’s like my food before the workout. And post – I love to have like to encourage recovery, so a lot of aminos and Vitamins. So I’ll do a protein powder or take supplements and all that stuff. I just want to be able to recover for the next days of, you know, hardcore training.
KT: HOW DO YOU TAKE CARE OF YOUR SKIN? CAN YOU TALK US THROUGH YOUR MORNING AND EVENING ROUTINES?
VW: Yes, I am obsessed with skin! I love skin products and I got myself into a routine now that’s quite simple. I just always exfoliate my face – even if it’s just with the towel or a brush, like those electric ones…
KT: LIKE CLARISONIC TYPE THING?
KT: WHAT’S THE WORST BEAUTY TREND YOU’VE EVER ATTEMPTED?
VW: Oh Lord. I don’t know if I’ve ever tried anything crazy ‘cause usually you don’t leave the house if you look ridiculous. You have to be honest with yourself – if you look crazy it’s best to just keep it real.
KT: WHAT’S THE BEST BEAUTY PRODUCT RECOMMENDATION THAT YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED?
VW: I don’t know. An eye cream? Or maybe I recommend that for everyone, is an eye cream.
KT: HAS ANYONE IN YOUR FAMILY RECOMMENDED ANYTHING? OR MAYBE A FACIALIST?
*One of her family interjects: ‘Weren’t you the one telling everyone to use NeoCurtis Eye Cream?’*
VW: Yeah, but I don’t know what the best suggestion that’s been given to me is though. Maybe I haven’t been giving any – I don’t have enough nice friends giving me suggestions! Well sometimes people give me suggestions and I’m like ‘that won’t work!’. Oh actually you know, probably best beauty product suggestion I’ve ever had is collagen powder. Yeah. I mean it’s not for the face, but you take it and I don’t know if it works but it makes me feel like you’re at least doing something!
KT: WHAT ABOUT THE BEST BEAUTY ADVICE?
VW: Best beauty advice is ‘update, don’t be late.’ My sister Lyn used to say that. You don’t wanna get caught up with the same hairstyle ten years later, or the same clothes… Like you have to update, don’t be late.
KT: I AM OBSESSED WITH THAT; I LOVE THAT PIECE OF ADVICE. WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE BOOK?
VW: I don’t have one, there’s too many. I am always onto the next one. What am I reading right now? I’m trying to read this book called Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.
KT: OH YEAH, I THINK THAT’S BEEN TURNED INTO A FILM.
VW: So haven’t quite gotten through it yet, but I love a new adventure.
KT: WHAT’S YOUR CHEAT MEAL?
VW: Doughnuts. I love doughnuts.
KT: GLAZED OR WITH JAM?
Venus: Just a plain glazed doughnut.
KT: WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE TV SHOW TO BINGE-WATCH?
VW: Oh my gosh. I can’t pick one! What do I watch a lot? I watch a lot of How I Met Your Mother. I’ve watched the whole thing way more than twice.
KT: YOU NEED TO FIND A NEW SHOW.
VW: Yeah, I definitely need something else.
KT: WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT TO STALK?
VW: Well if you’re stalking you don’t really want anyone to know right?! So, it’s best I don’t tell…But I do always look at Serena Williams’s account.
KT: OH REALLY?
KT: OH YOU DO?
Venus: Yeah and I respond to everyone and like each comment.
KT: THERE MUST BE SO MANY FOR YOU TO LOOK THROUGH! WHAT ARE YOUR THREE MOST USED EMOJIS?
VW: Definitely crying laughing face and the fist…
KT: AS IN THE FIST BUMP?
VW: No like the threatening ‘you better’. Or probably strong arm and an excited smiley.
KT: THANK YOU SO MUCH VENUS.
VW: THANK YOU.