KNOCKOUT: Boxing Champ Laila Ali Talks Beautyby Leah Furman
The stunning youngest daughter of Mohammed Ali is a study in contradictions. After opening her own nail salon, she decided to follow her legendary father’s footsteps into a world that couldn’t be harder on a manicure – pro-fessional boxing. Now that she’s hung up her gloves as the undefeated Super Middleweight Boxing Champion of the world, Laila is ready to take on her toughest opponents yet: Bad hair days and dry skin.
Hair’s How sat down with this inspiration to talk hair, skin and makeup:
Hair’s How: Has it been difficult to maintain your appear-ance given your career as a boxer?
Laila Ali: Not really. I wasn’t really conceed about my looks when I was preparing for a fight. I would just braid my hair up so it would stay out of the way. You can’t really focus on your looks when you’re in the ring.
What was it like making the leap from running your own nail salon to becoming a professional boxer?
LA: When I was young, I always wanted to work for myself and be independent, so I got into doing nails as a way to support myself while going to school. When I saw women’s boxing for the first time, I decided I wanted to do it, so I planned to train and prepare myself and just do it. I always have a plan and I follow it closely.
What inspired you to create your own skin and haircare line?
LA: I want to give women results: Healthy, beautiful hair that’s also earth friendly and nontoxic. We pay a price for a lot of the products out there. With all the toxins and parabens that go into many of the products, it was very important for me to create a line that was earth friendly.
Can you describe your fragrance, Laila by Laila Ali? What was the effect you were trying to create?
LA: Something that’s clean smelling. Not too strong or in your face. It’s citrusy, a clean scent with a touch of citrus and musk. It’s an all-around scent. When I find a scent that I like, I wear it wherever and I wanted to come out with something like that as well.
What are the partic-ular needs your hair care products are designed to address?
LA: My products are for hair health, creat-inghair that’s soft and shiny and manageable and maintaining that.
What about your skin care line?
LA: The skin care line is for all skin types. For the initial signature line, I wanted to come out with something that everyone can use. As far as the moisturizers, age defying cream and face wash, anyone can use my products. Down the line, I’ll introduce more specific products for different skin types.
How would you describe your look?
LA: My look is pretty simple. I’m not really a trend follower or a trend setter when it comes to my style. My look is more about healthy skin, healthy hair and being fit. It’s not about what I’m going to wear, it’s more about me standing out. Most of the time, you’ll find me in jeans and sandals.
What has been your biggest challenge with your own hair over the years?
LA: The major challenge is trying to work out five days a week and still have glamorous hair. Going to the trouble of blowing it out and flat ironing it feels like a waste of time when I just have to go back to the gym. So the biggest challenge is trying to mix it up because I’ve gotten so used to throwing in a pony tail. When I go out to dinner with my husband, I have to remind myself to take the time to actually do it.
What are your must-have cosmetics for day?
LA: Mascara and lip gloss are definitely my must haves. Sometimes I need a little concealer and Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat is the best.If you didn’t get enough sleep and you need something under your eyes, it blends really well.
Has having a baby affected your beauty rou-tine?
LA: Now that I’m a mom, I don’t have time to put outfits together. I just keep my skin clean and healthy. I drink a lot of water. I wash my face and hydrate in the evening and moisturize in the moing.I don’t really wear a lot makeup, mostly mascara and lip gloss.
You’ve been in the public eye for so long, what are your favorite beauty tips/tricks that you’ve picked up over the years?
LA: What I try to do is just stay ready. Keep the basics, like a manicure and pedicure. Do whatI need to make sure that my hair and skin is always looking good. My main job is being a mom, and at the same time, I’m a public person, so I have to keep myself up so that it’s nota major undertaking every time I have to bein front of the camera.
1. Fragrance Laila by Laila Ali
2. Yves Saint Laurent, Touche Eclat