A few weeks ago I met the beautiful Tonia Couch, 23, who will be competing for Team GB in the Olympics this summer. Synchronised Diving. SYNCHRONISED DIVING, PEOPLE! As if diving from a ten metre high board wasn’t petrifying enough, she has to do it in sync with somebody else. I can’t even carry a pint through a pub without sloshing it all over the place, so the level of co-ordination needed for synchronised diving is way beyond the realms of my imagination.
Actually, sport in general is way beyond the realms of my imagination. I am not a sporty person – I’m too scared of injury. Running, fine. Skipping, fine. Cycling on a bike that’s fixed to the floor, inside a gym, fine. Diving, roller-skating, skiing, hurdles, proper cycling, high jump (ARGH!), all very not fine.
So it will come as no surprise to you that when I had the opportunity to interview Tonia, I was most interested in her hair and makeup and not in her diving technique. Thankfully, she turned out to be quite a girly-girl and a bit of a glamourpuss and seemed to welcome a bit of frivolous makeup chat! I was desperate to know how she kept her blonde hair in such good condition and – more importantly – how it was that she always had impeccable eye makeup even when she had just thrown herself into a pool at a thousand miles an hour.
AMR: Hello Tonia! [Insert here a few minutes of my best banter, which, to be fair, is world class. I covered prisons, stalkers and psychopaths in the space of 3 minutes and 12 seconds!] Can you please tell by what sort of wizardry you are managing to keep your eye makeup on whilst diving?
TC: I wear the Urban Decay Liquid Eyeliner on my eyes and also the primer – Eye Potion. It’s really hard to find makeup that stays on when you’re in the water all the time – this is the best one I’ve found and I wear it all the time now.
(Time Out! Can I just say, I have worn Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliner pencils IN THE SHOWER and they wouldn’t come off! Just wanted to add that in…)
RC: I suppose, though, that it shouldn’t really be about looks, more about the sport…
TC: Yeah, but on TV they shoot straight up into your face, your hair’s all slicked back and your face is wet! You don’t look your best, so the eye makeup definitely helps! [Points to her very sexy eyeliner.]
RC: Any tips for handling nerves, seeing as you’re flinging yourself from the equivalent of the top of a three-storey building?
TC: I’ve been competing since the age of seven, so I’m kind of used to it. Now, if I go into a competition and I don’t have nerves…I can’t seem to get myself up for it! So having nerves is something I need. I like getting nervous. But not overly nervous!
TC: No, but someone’s done one for me.
RC: Oooh. That’s kind of weird!
[Tonia’s Dad, who is sat on the other end of the couch shakes his head at this point and mutters darkly.]
RC: [rapidly changing subject] How about skincare? You’re in chlorinated water and you’re sweating when training in the gym…what’s your routine?
TC: I don’t really do anything like that. [Cue me fainting.] I just moisturize and use any old shampoo and conditioner.
[Short interlude as I have to be fanned and splashed with cold water to bring me back to my senses.]
TC: Yeah, just because I’ve tried everything and nothing seems to work. All I like to do is put my makeup on.
TC’s DAD: and you rub shaving cream on your shins…
TC: Yeah, something grippy on your legs, like men’s shaving cream, stops you from slipping out of your tuck-shape mid-air.
RC: [pale] I’ve never dived into water in my life.
TC: Never? You’ve never even stepped in?
RC: I’ve never put my head before my feet.
RC: So what do you think about in the very last few seconds before you dive?
TC: Nothing really, it doesn’t bother me at all. Ten metres is just like I’m on a bit of a step. I’ve landed flat on the water so many times and really hurt myself, so I know what to expect. I’ve slapped my face, had headaches, legs have been black and blue..
RC: I’d land flat every time. Belly flop. You must have to be a certain type of person to do this, with an…an innate sense of bravery. Does it feel strange, like you’re living some kind of dream?
So, there you go – brave and very lovely girl Tonia Couch – no skincare routine, but a whizz with the eyeliner. I’ve just been in the kitchen plunging my face repeatedly into a full sink of water, and I must say that the 24/7 liners are brilliant when it comes to length of wear. They just don’t shift! If you want to have a look at the waterproof liners, they are £14 each on BeautyBay.com
You can wish Tonia luck on Twitter, if you fancy! I’m sure she’d appreciate it. She’s at: @toniacouch
I’ve just realised that I used the liquid liner when I went to Bestival as “Dolly Parton”. (An insult to Dolly, unfortunately, as you’ll see in the post!) Bestival and Boobs post is here