Megan Rapinoe on the Power of Saying "No"

The new Shiseido ambassador talks setting boundaries during the pandemic and why SPF is the ultimate skincare tip.

Megan Rapinoe
Photo: Courtesy of Shiseido

You already know Megan Rapinoe is a winner.

The soccer star has two FIFA Women's World Cup Championships and an Olympic gold medal under her belt — plus, she advocates for equal pay and social justice in her spare time. But even world-class athletes like Rapinoe, who are accustomed to being "on" under pressure, are feeling the weight of staying on top of one's game throughout the past three years of living in a global pandemic.

"One good thing that's happened during this time is the total disruption of patterns and habits," Rapinoe tells InStyle. "We do, I don't know, a thousand things a day we don't even want to do. In place of that, you have to figure out what you actually want to do. That process was a little disorienting."

Rapinoe says it's been important to be ok with feeling burnt out and choosing to say no more. "I think that's how I'm keeping my sanity; picking and choosing what things I want to do because they give me life and what things I can let go. It's not always easy, but there's only so much we can do before we run ourselves into the ground."

Thankfully, partnering with Shiseido is one opportunity the top athlete couldn't pass up.

Rapinoe is the new face of the Japanese beauty brand and fronts the campaign for the new Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate, an antioxidant-rich serum that illuminates the skin and strengthens its barrier, in addition to reducing signs of aging. In support of the launch, Rapinoe's campaign video focuses on finding the power and beauty within, set to a bespoke song called "Find Love" provided by singer-songwriter Hikaru Utada.

Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate

To shop: $110;

I caught up with Rapinoe over Zoom to get all the details on her newest gig. She also shared the importance of sunscreen, and the ever-evolving journey of finding one's inner beauty. Ahead, the highlights from our chat.

What excites you about partnering with Shiseido?

Shiseido is an iconic brand and I've been using the products for over 10 years, mostly in the sunscreen category. Very early on, mom imparted the ultimate beauty trick of wearing sunscreen all of the time. So when this opportunity came to me, it seemed like a no-brainer. After having a few conversations with the brand about the mission, especially around the campaign about finding your own beauty, it felt like the synergies aligned. And the product speaks for itself as well.

Your campaign video focuses on finding your power and inner beauty. What has this journey been like for you?

I feel like I'm still on it. I think beauty and self-expression and style is so intimate and personal. It's the people who are just themselves and feel good in their own skin that exude these things. From a beauty perspective, I take the same approach and focus on what makes me feel good and beautiful. I'm always conscious about being out in the sun so much. It's not that I want to keep myself looking a certain age, but I like to have my skin feel fresh and like it's a living, breathing part of me, and less like I'm battling against it.

How has the pandemic impacted your approach to beauty and attitude towards aging?

Because we weren't getting dressed or putting makeup on, we didn't continue to ascribe to having to look a certain way when you went out for dinner or wherever. I think we all started to make choices about how we wanted to look. I really did strip back to what I wanted. And obviously, a lot more time in the house is more time out of the sun for me, so it was a nice break for my skin. I'm definitely not opposed to wearing makeup or getting done up for something special. But getting away from looking drastically different when you're going out than how you look when you go to bed, and instead meeting somewhere in the middle, is something I've found to be much healthier.

In terms of aging. I feel like it's always an evolving process. I've tried to focus more on the actual texture of my skin and not the wrinkles. It's like, I'm 36 and have been in the sun for 15 years, of course I'm going to have crow's feet. I'm also expressive and smile a lot, so of course I have lines on my forehead. It's not like I don't do anything to my skin, but I'm trying to be working with it a little more rather than pointing out things that need to change.

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Tell me about your skincare and haircare routines.

I try to be consistent with it every day. Having my skin feel fresh makes me feed good and gives me confidence. I definitely use a face wash, toner, eye cream, and I love the Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate because it gives a bright boost and really feels like it's saturating my skin. I change up my moisturizer as we go through the year. Sometimes I need a thicker cream in the winter while a lighter one in the summer does the trick. I'll also do an enzyme exfoliator a few times a week. If I ever wear makeup, I'll always take it off. It's so annoying to get back after a night and have to take it off, but just do it! And of course, sunscreen is my biggest skincare tip.

For my hair, I DIY as much as I can. I mix the pinks and lavenders together depending on whether I want to go more pink or lavender. There comes a certain point where my roots get too long and I can't do the color anymore, but I wish I change it up every week. I never DIY the bleach part, so I've let it go for now since we're in the house most of the time right now.

What has helped you stay focused and grounded during this time?

I love taking baths and taking that time to relax. Also trying to stretch before bed, even if it's just 10 to 15 minutes a night. Trying to put structure around my days has helped a lot, but also just realizing that I don't feel at the top of my life right now and I don't think people do. It's been hard, and long and the second we think we're getting out of it another variant hits. Sitting with not being ok and working through it instead of trying to grind through it has helped keep me grounded. Of course, I want to perform the best and do the best work, but we're in a global pandemic and we're all just trying to do what we can – and that's okay.

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