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From Disney Princesses to Gaga—Jump Into Olympic Skater Johnny Weir’s Wonderful World of Beauty Inspo


At the 2010 U.S. Nationals, Johnny Weir took position on the ice in a bedazzled bodysuit with slicked-back hair and abstract face paint. What happened next totally transformed his career. Applause erupted when Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” took over the speakers with the audience roaring as Weir effortlessly landed a jump perfectly in sync with the chorus. (P.S. If you’re not familiar with this epic moment, do yourself a favor and watch it on YouTube.) For the two-time Olympian and three-time U.S. national champion, this was more than a performance—it was a jumping-off point (literally) to embrace beauty his way.  “She gave me the courage to go crazy with my makeup and disco ball costume and I felt, for the first time, that your beauty routine could be armor and make you feel empowered despite being behind a mask,” recounts Weir.

From Amish Paradise To The Olympic Stage

It might come as a surprise to learn that Weir’s journey begins in sharp contrast to the glittery world he lives in today. “I come from quite humble beginnings in a rural town in Amish country Pennsylvania where there is certainly a code and style that most people follow,” Weir tells us. While that might conjure up images of drab grey clothing and rigid tradition, Weir explains that his parents have always been the biggest champions of his self-expression, giving him confidence to become the fierce fashionista he is today. However, catering to two worlds is his superpower.

Close-up of Johnny Weir posing during ice skating performance

Courtesy of Jasper Juinen / Staff/Getty Images

In Competition, Makeup Pays A Price

Competitive figure skating is unlike any other professional sport, where a cutthroat atmosphere and extreme athleticism are draped in theatricality and grace—but not too much. “Figure skating is where I found my home. It gave me the chance to succeed, to grow, to learn, to accept everything I am and strength to try anything...even if it was a mistake at times (blonde frosted tips),” says Weir, adding that flamboyant makeup was often saved for gala performances. “For competitions, too much makeup could lead to a deduction.”

But Off The Ice, Anything Goes

As Weir embarked on his post-competition commentating career (alongside fellow Olympian Tara Lipinski), it was game on. Gravity-defying bouffants, graphic liner, gemstones...you name it, Weir’s done it—pulling inspiration from Gaga, Beyoncé, Karl Lagerfeld, and Disney. “Snow White is my beauty muse, so keeping myself out of the sun, eating healthy, and taking care of myself are also huge parts of me feeling and looking my best because let’s face it, we feel better when we feel pretty,” says Weir, noting that he’s dialed it back a bit in recent years to focus on quality over quantity.

And Skincare Is Everything

It doesn’t take long to notice Weir’s stunningly flawless complexion, so obviously we asked him to spill the deets. When describing his routine, Weir touts a less-is-more approach. “Simplicity and consistency are key for me! I have used all CLÉ DE PEAU BEAUTÉ products for skincare and makeup for years. I start with my eye cream and serum, day cream with SPF, and a heavy night cream,” he divulges. On the makeup side, it’s a bit of foundation and concealer to even things out, topped with a swipe of BURT’S BEES lip balm. Oh and those insanely long lashes? Natural. (We’re jealous, too.)

Close-up of Johnny Weir in a sparkly, pink satin suit against pink background holding up a gray makeup brush

A Trailblazer For The Future

Despite the tremendous success, naysayers haven’t shied away from hurling their criticisms of a man embracing beauty—but Weir’s spirit remains strong. “It has been a journey. I would encourage everyone to take the time to look deep into their hearts and not be thrown off track by all the distractions of our world, to truly appreciate the person they are today and who they could be tomorrow,” says Weir.

As for the future of figure skating? Weir believes that the show must go on, even as the world changes. “Sports are such a competitive, and at times, heartless world, that the theater of figure skating inspires people and I hope it continues to do that.”

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About the author
Hannah Cassidy
Hannah is a beauty editor at IPSY and has been creating content for fashion, beauty, and wellness in Los Angeles for over five years. Outside of the beauty world, she’s an avid vintage collector and dog mom to Pumpkin and Turtle.
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Article Last Updated November 30, 2021 12:00 AM