When the opening ceremony of the Sochi Olympics kicks off Friday, Feb. 7 on NBC, you might see a familiar face that seems out of place during the station’s never-not-streaming coverage: Nastia Liukin, the Olympic all-around gymnastics champion (and winner of five medals) at the 2008 Beijing Games.
No, Liukin hasn’t switched over to winter sports. She’s providing viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the lifestyle behind the Games in the by-the-Black Sea resort area of Sochi, Russia. “I’m basically giving everybody back at home an inside perspective of being at the Olympic Games,” Liukin tells InStyle.com. “(I’ll be) going around the city and checking out local attractions, restaurants, shopping, and then doing some interactive pieces with some of the athletes.”
We caught up with Liukin to chat about what events she’s looking forward to most, and what she’s packing in her suitcase to survive Sochi’s temperamental temps.
Even though the 24-year-old NYU student was born in Moscow before moving to the U.S. at age 2, she admits she found the trip “interesting to pack for.”
“I’ll be in-studio a lot doing stuff for NBC, and you definitely wanna look cute and chic when you’re on camera, but then you don’t want it to be in spring/summer looks (outside),” Liukin says. “So I’ll be doing some cute skirts and booties, but a lot of blazers, a lot of flowy pants, (and) some dresses.”
As for trekking through the Sochi snow, she tells us, “I just got these really cool Chanel boots that I’m obsessed with. They’re black and flat, and they’re great because you can dress them up,” adding that they’re also perfect for just kicking back in leggings, a sweater, and scarf.
Liukin is used to traveling to very different climates, so we definitely took notes when she mentioned her beauty essentials. “On a regular day-to-day basis, I always wear Makeup For Ever,” she tells us. “They have a really great light primer and foundation, which is tinted.” She also loves mascara and swears by the Gigablack Extended Play Lash Mascara by the RiRi Hearts MAC line. “It’s a mini one and it’ll fit great in your purse,” she says.
And in cold weather, Liukin knows lips are not to be neglected! “I’m into some different lip glosses,” she shares, “but Burt’s Bees is really great, especially for cold weather because my lips are always chapped.”
So at what events can you catch Liukin cheering along with the crowd? “I’ve always been a huge figure skating fan so I definitely am hoping to check out the figure skating,” she says, calling American skater Gracie Gold a “frontrunner” in the event. “I’m also a hockey fan, so hopefully I’ll be able to go to some of the games.”
For more winter weather must-haves, check out our roundup of the most moisturizing body lotions out there today, and see how InStyle staffers are staying warm for the other big winter event happening this week — New York Fashion Week!