A version of this story originally appeared on the Strategist U.S.
If you’re like us, you’ve probably wondered what famous people add to their carts. Not the JAR brooch and Louis XV chair, but the stain remover pen and the tongue cleaner. We asked Serena Williams about the eyeliner, headphones, and book she can’t live without.
I can wear this when I play tennis, and that’s why I love it so much. Other waterproof brands have just not been as reliable. This never wears off or budges, no matter how much I’m sweating. I own it in both brown and black. My sister Venus also wears it — I assume for the same reasons. We share makeup tips and product suggestions sometimes, but my former physiotherapist Esther Lee actually first introduced me to this a few years ago.
I try to read the Bible daily — usually first thing in the morning. If I’m driving, I’ll listen to scriptures on Audible. It’s also something I’ve tried to implement in my daughter Olympia’s life from infancy. Religion is a personal decision that everyone has to make on their own, but I make sure she knows principles from the Bible and how to live her best, most respectful life. I have specific passages that I turn to if I need inspiration or wisdom. Right now, I know a lot of people are feeling the pressures of the times that we are living in. In moments I feel overwhelmed, I like to remind myself of Matthew 6:30–34. I focus on verse 33, where we are reminded to keep seeking the kingdom when you feel anxious about the future. It really helps me calm down.
I do my makeup really fast every morning because I’m always in a rush. I’m no pro, but it’s been fun to learn new techniques from watching my favourite makeup artists over the years. In the past, I’ve always had to mix different foundation colours to find my perfect match, but this product does a really good job matching my skin all on its own. I can just use one shade instead of two or three.
I am on my phone way too much. Usually I’m still half-asleep when I pick it up in the morning — I’m so bad. But in my defence, the first screen I look at in the morning is our baby cameras, to see if Olympia is awake yet, then I pick up my phone. I use it for all the basic things: checking email, texting, social media. But I also do research for my fashion line on my phone. I create so many different mood boards for upcoming collections and find inspiration via so many different avenues. Doing it on my phone allows me to collaborate with my team so we can bounce ideas off each other throughout the day.
Whether for meetings or a formal event, I always wear this red lipstick from Pat McGrath. I feel like the colour completes my look. It’s just enough to feel “done up,” and it’s also very versatile — if need be, I’ll use it as a blush on my cheeks, as well as on my lips. Another reason I love the lipstick is because it’s long-lasting — I often forget I have it on because of how natural it feels. I use a few other products from Pat, too; I also like the Skin Fetish Highlighter + Balm Duo and the Eyedols eye shadow.
These are the best headphones I have ever used. They have true noise cancellation, which gives me the silence I need to focus and train. I use them on business calls, and I’m always listening to music. Music absolutely changes my mood and helps me get in the zone — it really puts me in another world. I’m able to shut off any distraction and focus on what I need to in the moment. I’m sure a lot of people can relate to that.
I try to emulate a powerful, confident persona, like a queen, as much as I can, but I’m not perfect. That’s why I really like the engraved messages on my jewellery, because they’re a reminder to give yourself love and admiration. Even when you may not feel like a queen, the jewellery is there to remind you that you are one. I’ve worn jewellery every day since I can remember. It’s a staple in my life, and I don’t feel the same without it on. I really like to layer it — sometimes I’ll keep it simple, but if I’m feeling more playful or want to get more dressed up, I’ll just add layers on. That’s also why I think my jewellery is great: All of the pieces complement each other but also look just as beautiful alone. [Editor’s note: Serena’s site doesn’t currently ship to the UK, but we will update this post when they do.]
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