We might not know exactly what it takes to be a professional athlete, but we do know that it probably involves a lot of time spent training, meal prepping, and working out. We also know that it probably doesn't leave a lot of time left over for a complicated, multi-step beauty routine. Our theory is that athletes, by nature, are mostly minimalists. When it comes to Kelia Moniz, who is a professional surfer and model, our theory is proven correct.
Moniz relies on a simple and effective beauty routine—the basis of which is sunscreen and fortifying haircare. Both help protect her skin and strands from the hot sun and salty ocean. It comes as no surprise then, that she's the newest face for the beloved drugstore hair brand Bed Head by TIGI. She's teamed up with the brand for the "Your Vibe Our Tribe" campaign, which celebrates creative individuals, their lifestyles, and their unique hair. We caught up with the pro surfer and asked her about her daily routine, favorite products, and best confidence-boosting tips.
Regular beach-goers know how the sun and water work together to provide natural beautifying effects (we're talking about the piece-y texture salt water gives your hair and the sun-kissed radiance the sun imparts on your skin). As long as you're protecting yourself from harmful UV rays and dehydration, there's nothing wrong with reaping those benefits.
Moniz agrees. "All the elements of the ocean and beach allow your natural beauty to really shine, from salty beach waves to sun kissed skin," she says. It allows her to keep the rest of her routine simple, especially since "the ocean will wash everything off." One of the only products she reaches for before and after surfing is the TIGI Ego Boost Split End Mender Leave In Conditioner, which uses keratin and glycerin to seal the hair strands, protecting them from environmental damage. She says it keeps her hair healthy with lots of moisture (because as we all know, saltwater is great for creating wavy texture, but can be super drying).
She keeps her hair and makeup routine down to the bare minimum while surfing, but she bumps it up a bit when she's out of the water. "Every day begins with sunscreen for me—just a simple daily moisturizer with SPF in it, followed by brow gel," she tells us. "I find that brushed brows are essential to make your face look bright and lifted! I usually apply a little highlighter of some sort, just for some glow."
She finishes her look off with "a happy amount" of hair product. In this case, it's the Bed Head Small Talk Leave-In Conditioner. This is a multi-use product that provides volume, texture, hold, and conditioning properties (thanks to vitamin B5). "I have very frizzy curly hair so this product helps separate my curls, settles the frizz, and gives my hair the perfect shine."
We were curious to know her sunscreen habits. After all, it's literally her job to be out in the sun all day. "I’m a sunscreen geek," she says. "I'm always testing different sunscreens. I make sure to choose brand who not only care about my skin, but the environment as well. Choosing a sunscreen that doesn't contain reef-harming UV filters is crucial for me. As for SPF strength, I use 50+. If you’re surfing for more than an hour you should be putting something a little more thick on your face, so I like to use a zinc that I know will stay on and keep my skin from wrinkles and sun damage."
We like Sun Bum sunscreen, since it's formulated without any oxybenzone or octinoxate—the two chemicals that potentially harmful to humans as well as our oceans' coral reefs. Not only is it reef-friendly, but it's also vegan, cruelty-free, hypoallergenic, and water-resistant up to 80 minutes. (Click here for the SPFs eight pro athletes swear by.)
It's one thing to protect the skin that you're in, but it's entirely different thing to feel confident in the skin that you're in. Body positivity can mean something different to everyone, and we were itching to know what it meant to a professional surfer and model like Moniz. After all, it's literally part of her job to be in a swimsuit.
"I think these days it’s inevitable not to face some sort of pressure of feeling like you need to look a certain way," she says. "Being a professional surfer, I’m spending most of my time doing a sport half-naked, not to mention being photographed. It's quite tricky to not let insecurities take over! So yes, I do have moments of feeling like I need to look a certain way, but I also admire diversity—from the way people dress, to different hairstyles and body shapes, etc. I really have worked on reminding myself that every individual is so unique—no two people the same."
Her best tip for banishing insecurity is self-care, but that doesn't necessarily mean taking a bath with crystals and bath salts, or going to a yoga class once a week (although it can mean those things). It's anything that helps you to embrace your body and keep it "strong, healthy, and happy. As long as those things are in order I can’t allow silly insecurities to affect me," she says. "It’s not easy, but It’s also not worth stressing over silly negative thoughts. Our bodies are wonderfully strong, it’s up to me to actually do the work and keep it as healthy as possible. And to be proud of it."
Next, check out our exclusive interview with Kaia Gerber, in which she talks about her favorite fragrance, her biggest beauty icon, and how to stay sane while traveling.