The talented contemporary dancer is now based in London, with festivals across Europe on her plate for the rest of the year — including two weeks in Barcelona, working with choreographers from around the world.
“I’m anxious at the moment, because I’ve only ever lived in Wellington, so it’s moving my entire life!” the 24-year-old told FishHead, as she prepared to pack her bags.
Olivia glows up close and on stage, which she attributes to the massive water intake that comes with her line of work. “Because we’re exerting so much energy and sweating constantly, you end up having three or four litres a day.”
Team that with her number-one product pick: any brand of almond oil, used as a facial moisturiser before bed. “It’s $6 at the supermarket, and I think because I am exercising so much, I feel like natural is better. I’ve got this thing about toxins,” she says. “It’s good for moisture rebalancing. It’s crazy, because it’s so cheap.” She also adores The Body Shop Coconut Body Butter — calling it “a godsend” for dry winter skin.
The dancer admits she’s a little scared of breaking her baggage allowance, but says all of her beauty products will be on the road with her. That includes Schwarzkopf BlondMe Shampoo “because my hair is a mousy brown, dull colour, I guess that zhooshes it up!” and Schwarzkopf Extra Care Strong Styling Hairspray — a must-have for any dancer.
A makeup minimalist when she’s not on stage, Olivia’s everyday foundation is Elizabeth Arden Flawless Finish Mousse Makeup. “I’ve got this thing about androgynous dressing at the moment, and that’s the lightest makeup that’ll give you a little bit of coverage but not look like a cake-face.”
At $67, Olivia says it’s “an investment” that’s worth every cent. “It’ll last four to six months, which is ideal when you’re a poor artist.”
Lancôme Khôl Hypnôse Waterproof is her go-to eyeliner while performing — “with the sweat factor, we need something that’s going to last the show” — or for a night out, paired with the on-trend maroon of MAC Dark Side lipstick and the nude shades of her Dior Eye Palette, perfect for creating a natural look or blending for a smoky eye.
Olivia says it’s scary but exhilarating to be leaving her home town, and the dance company she joined nearly four years ago, fresh out of the New Zealand School of Dance. She says she’s been incredibly lucky to forge a career in dance, and describes Footnote as “an amazing place to be”, especially for dancers who’ve just completed their training.
“I’ve grown so much in terms of what I’m inspired by and what I produce. [At Footnote], we work with a range of choreographers who were born in New Zealand and… have careers over in Europe.
“I’ve been introduced to a whole bunch of people who are based over there, and I’m really inspired by the work they produce, so I’m keen to learn from like-minded people over there.”