Although Alina Zagitova does not directly participate in the Russian Grand Prix competitions, she visits all the stages and records interesting vlogs from the scene. The Olympic champion carefully prepares for filming: she thinks not only about what she will talk to the skaters, but also about the pictures in which she will appear in front of the camera.
So at the Krasnoyarsk Grand Prix he caused a sensation! Over three days of work, she appeared with three fashionable looks with touches of audacity. Special makeup and hairstyles were selected for each outfit. Without them, such a surprise effect would definitely not have happened.
All this time, Alina was picked up in Krasnoyarsk by the talented local makeup artist Alena Fefelova. In an exclusive interview with Championship, the specialist explained how she worked with the outstanding individual skater and why she considers this experience a gift from destiny.
“They answered that it was Alina Zagitova. I was surprised, of course!
— Alena, tell us how you became Alina Zagitova’s makeup artist at the Krasnoyarsk Grand Prix. Did she contact you herself or did her agent find you? — It was not Alina Zagitova who contacted me directly, but a person from her team. Then it turned out that she was looking for a makeup artist through social media. They entered the hashtag “Krasnoyarsk makeup” and selected the candidates they liked. First selected by a member of Alina’s team and then sent to her for her approval. Thus, Alina made the final decision herself about who would be her makeup artist.
— Did you agree right away or did you have doubts? — They called me quite late, since the difference between Krasnoyarsk and Moscow is four hours. Alina’s entire team was in the capital, so when they contacted me, it was already nighttime. The connection wasn’t very good and I didn’t hear who needed to make the image. Then they wrote to me on Telegram and I asked again. They answered that it was Alina Zagitova. Of course I was surprised! Also, this is my first such famous client. I doubted it until the end. The person on her team who wrote to me had the most common photo on her screen saver. I thought: maybe this is some kind of joke? Will they give me an appointment, will I arrive and no one will be there?
But no, it all turned out to be true! In fact, for a couple of days I didn’t believe this was happening to me. However, I was incredibly happy and naturally agreed immediately! We even had to change the schedule a little on the second day of working with Alina, because we couldn’t meet the deadlines. I needed to get to the Crystal Arena at a certain time, and I had several clients booked beforehand. Thank God they are very understanding and understand my situation. We literally moved the recording forward an hour. We started with everyone an hour early and it was convenient for both them and me. I got to Alina on time.
Alina can be very different!
“Sometimes it’s not scary to look funny.” 10 incarnations of Zagitova
“I have always been glued to the videos of Alina’s performances”
— How close is figure skating: follow it, watch competitions? — I don’t follow figure skating as closely as, say, its fans or those who skate. But in general, I love this sport very much and I probably would like to play it as a child, but fate was different.
I don’t specifically see competitions, not even the Olympic Games. But if I come across videos of figure skaters performing, I gladly turn them on. Thanks to them I know who Alina Zagitova is. When I see these videos I am amazed at the outstanding athlete we have in our country. And an outstanding actor too. He was always glued to the videos of Alina’s performances of her, so in fact, she couldn’t believe that he had the opportunity to work with her.
— Did you in any way prepare to work before meeting Alina? Did you know beforehand what type of clothes you needed to create looks for her? — Regarding the preparation for the meeting with Alina, I did not specifically develop the images themselves. They were already known, they were collected by their stylist. She selected hairstyles and makeup to match the clothes and they sent me ready-made references. However, I might deviate from them a bit, considering Alina’s anatomy, her hair, etc. Somewhere I slightly adjusted my hairstyle, making it more suitable for her. The changes were also coordinated with her stylist.
Our first meeting with Alina took place on Friday, October 27. For that day’s look she needed ribbons, which she didn’t have. So I got up early to have time to prepare: I went to the store, checked everything, found the necessary ribbons and, just in case, took additional accessories, hairpins and clips. I thought maybe it would be worth adding them to the first image, but then I realized they would be superfluous. However, these hairpins came in handy for the next look. They were really necessary there.
Basically, preparation consisted of putting together a case for the necessary makeup and acquiring some missing materials such as jewelry or hair accessories.
— Maybe you gave him some advice? — I did not give Alina any advice, since I was strictly guided by the images that had been revealed to her. From a professional standpoint, as I said, I made some adjustments after communicating with her stylist.
“She is very sweet, very gentle and very good.”
— Alina mentioned special wishes, what result does she want to obtain, what impression to give? “She had no desire as such because, again, the images were invented beforehand. There was little time to work and it certainly wouldn’t have been enough to discuss any proposals, and it wasn’t necessary. Everything has already been worked to the maximum.
The only question concerned the impression intended to be made. This became as clear as possible when I picked up Alina on the second day. At that point we had already started talking and I came to the conclusion that they were making her into a more daring girl than she is in real life. She is very sweet, very gentle and very good, but they give her more rebellion and status. And that’s great! When you go deeper into these images, you know what will be the first, what will be the second, what will be the third, you draw this line and understand what mood the stylist intended.
This is probably the only thing we rely on to maintain the chosen style. The only thing we stuck to was to deviate a little from the planned references.
— Were there any requirements for cosmetics? Did you use any of Alina’s personal funds? — Alina did not put any requirements for cosmetics. The main thing was to do everything quickly and beautifully. Of course, they didn’t take any of her personal funds. Everything was exclusively mine. I prepared a few things in advance, since she still needed certain products. I talked about jewelry for hairstyles and makeup, for example, on the last day I glued special rhinestones on Alina.
The only time Alina’s cosmetics were used was when she herself was preparing for demonstration performances. She skated at the opening of the Grand Prix and I arrived at the end of her skate to create a new image for the interviews with the skaters.
— Did you spend a lot of time on your hair? Alina didn’t mind her braids and two high pigtails. It seems like they were new to her? – It didn’t take long. I think the last hairstyle took the most – it took about 30 minutes. This is the longest we’ve ever had. The rest did it pretty quickly. In principle, if you take into account how much time is spent on makeup and hair, then more is spent on makeup.
Alina hardly objected to the braids and pigtails, because there was a reference and she liked everything quite a bit. Furthermore, on the first day we decided together with her what we would finish leaving our braids: cut the ribbon or leave it hanging playfully. These hairstyles may have been new to her, but she certainly didn’t mind experimenting.
“When I started working I felt like my hands were shaking”
—What was it like working with Alina in general? — Working with Alina was very pleasant and, of course, exciting. Very exciting. Especially the first day. When I went to see her I was already worried. And when I started working, I felt my hands shaking. But I still have to draw arrows! I told myself: “Alena, pull yourself together. For you he is just a client. This is the same responsible situation as with ordinary customers. There shouldn’t be a situation where someone has more responsibility. She is the same with everyone. Why are you shaking? It was really very exciting!
The first day we barely spoke. I asked Alina a couple of questions about our city and asked her if she had time to see it. And in the second we are already communicating in super light mode! We talk casually, laugh a little, and automatically become familiar. It became very easy.
—What was the most difficult part of your job? — The most difficult thing in the work process was that there was not enough time. On the second day, there were only 40 minutes to remove the very shiny makeup after the performance, remove the patched and gelled hairstyle, put together a new one, and do the makeup differently. Therefore, the main difficulty was the time limit.
On the third day there were no such restrictions and we chose a time that was comfortable for us. We managed to get ready faster than planned, took photos and chatted. Fans were also waiting for Alina in the arena, and she approached them to give them autographs and take photos. So the last day was very easy in terms of time and there were no other difficulties.
Alina Zagitova and Alena Fefelova
Photo: from the personal archive of Alena Fefelova.
— Is this the first time you’ve worked with a figure skater, whether famous or not? “It was really the first time I worked with a figure skater, but before that I trained dancers and girls to participate in a performance bikini fitness competition. Makeup for a fitness bikini is much more complex. Furthermore, we did not pick up Alina to rent her, but to record an interview. No stage makeup was required. But even if we were talking about preparing Alina to go on the ice, I could handle it, since I have experience in stage makeup.
— Have you collaborated with other famous personalities? — If we talk about famous personalities from all over Russia, then no. Alina became my first such famous client, so she was very worried. But I know famous dancers and media people in our city and, of course, I have collaborated with them on several occasions. We communicate regularly and work continues as if we were good friends.
There was another case when I attended Gohar Avetisyan’s program (beauty blogger, TV presenter – Championship note), she is also famous throughout Russia and beyond. I didn’t paint it though! (laughs). She was the organizer and presenter of the program. Of course, we were in contact with her, but this was the first time I had the opportunity to be a makeup artist for a person as famous as Alina.
Zagitova’s Fire on Ice! The most striking photos of the opening of the Grand Prix in Krasnoyarsk
“Everything went as it should: whoever I wanted to work with, I worked with.”
— Figure skaters typically do their own makeup for competitions and ice shows, in addition to styling their hair. What tips and tricks would you give them so that this process doesn’t take too long, but also turns out beautiful? – If you give me some advice, maybe I’ll talk for 10 minutes! But ultimately, I’m a fan of high-quality skin: tone, correction. From the stage, which in this case is the ice rink, this can also be read. Therefore, I would pay attention to more detailed elaboration of the skin and gain speed.
For example, you can save time by doing everything with just one tool: a sponge. Apply tone, corrective cream – sculptor and cream blush. It is important not to overdo it with blush, so that from afar you do not create the effect of a frozen face or too red cheeks. Additionally, you should definitely have a good quality powder in your makeup bag that completely mattifies and illuminates. This way you can save time and not use a sculptor, but simply highlight the necessary areas with powder to create a more voluminous and shaped face.
Another life hack that probably every figure skater knows is the use of thick, fluffy eyelashes. It is better to give preference to simple makeup in bright colors with an emphasis on both eyes and lips. If you want your eyes to have more than one shade, you can paint them one color and buy so-called sparkles, shadows that shine on a softer base. They can be applied quickly with your finger. Make up your eyes with a color, take glitter and apply it to the moving eyelid; the makeup will look more professional and beautiful.
— Can you point out any of the figure skaters whose makeup you like in competitions? For example, Alena Kostornaya once experimented with rhinestones on her face during the Grand Prix. — As I mentioned that I pay special attention to the skin, among the skaters I was very impressed by the makeup in Kamila Valieva’s performances. Her skin is beautifully worked, her cheekbones highlighted and her tone is beautiful. She shines where she needs to. Where it is not necessary, it becomes entangled. Her eye makeup is gorgeous too. But most of all, I love beautiful skin.
Regarding Alena Kostornaya: makeup with rhinestones is a great idea. This is the case when you can spend a minimum of time on your eyes and face and distract attention with rhinestones. At the same time, there are already ready-made rhinestone designs that can be easily glued to the face; it’s very fast. Very! Literally one minute and that’s it. Therefore, it can also be used as a life hack.
Photo: Francois Mori/AP Photo/TASS
— Have you thought about which of our figure skaters you would like to paint? Whose short/free program image inspires this? “I’m actually very happy that the stars aligned and I had the opportunity to collaborate with Alina. Above all, her performance stuck in my soul when she skated in the form of a black and white swan. This dress has sequins that suddenly change and the white swan turns black. It was beautiful, amazing and luxurious! I love this performance of hers, the way she presents this image. Everything went as it should: whoever I wanted to work with, I worked with.
In general, I never thought about which of our figure skaters I would like to prepare for performances or some events. I didn’t think this would happen in the near future. And in the end I received an incredible gift from destiny! Fortune and accumulated experience helped.