In 2015, England won bronze at the FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada – an achievement that inspired a growing generation of women to hit the pitch and join a team of their own. Today, women’s football is set to become the second-largest participant sport in the UK and around 30 million women are believed to play around the world.
So, what’s next for football’s new legion of female players? For professional team Liverpool Ladies FC, the announcement of its partnership with Avon marks a landmark moment. As the first independent women-focused brand to sponsor the shirts of an FA Women’s Super League club, the beauty giant hopes to increase awareness of, and participation in, the sport while encouraging body positivity and confidence.
The Pool spoke to three of the team’s players to find out what they love about the game, the people that inspire them and the beauty products they rely on to empower them before a match.
When it comes to make-up, I wear it every day – even for training and matches
“As a child, I really loved the film Bend It Like Beckham and it really inspired me to know that girls could play football. I have always looked up to players such as Kelly Smith and Fara Williams, who I was lucky enough to play with later on in my career. I still think there’s a way to go in women’s football, though, and the media can really help squash prejudices and combat the negative comments floating about on social media. For example, when Casey Stoney retired (after playing more than 100 times for her country), some of the comments were degrading and not reflective of what she had achieved. When it comes to make-up, I wear it every day – even for training and matches. I normally moisturise first and follow with a bit of foundation. My foundation needs to be long-lasting so it doesn’t run down my face when I’m playing. I then feel like I’m ready for the day. My favourite Avon product is the Gel Shine Nail Enamel in red from the Mark range as it matches our kit.” Kate, centre midfielder
I do think there’s still some way to go in changing people’s mindsets. I do some work with school children and I’ve noticed that some of the girls think boys are superior – we need to show them that this isn’t the case!
I’ve noticed that some of the girls think boys are superior – we need to show them that this isn’t the case!
“Football was always something that I knew I wanted to do as a hobby and, if possible, make a living out of. It also gives me a sense of pride – not only for myself, but for the people who have helped me along the way. The thing that gives me the biggest thrill, though, is the competitive nature of the game – I always want to get out there and perform the best I can. I’ve been in the game a while now and have seen the growth in the sport, but I do think there’s still some way to go in changing people’s mindsets. I do some work with school children and I’ve noticed that some of the girls think boys are superior – we need to show them that this isn’t the case! Make-up is part of my routine and I wear it most days, even for football. I feel like it gives me a bit of extra confidence. My essentials are eyebrow pencil, liquid eyeliner and Avon’s Wide Awake mascara, as it’s great at separating and defining the lashes. I also love Avon’s Epic lipstick – I wouldn’t wear it for games or training, but I do like to wear it for a night out.” Jess, winger
It’s so important to be a role model for younger girls so they have players to look up to – it’s something we all take seriously within the team
“I started playing football when I was about three years old, with my brother and sister. I joined a boys’ team at primary school and I became professional at the age of 20. I love the constant challenge of always trying to become a better player and to try to win every game. When I was growing up, I always looked up to male footballers as there weren’t an awful lot of female players that I’d heard of. That’s why I now feel that it’s so important to try and be a role model for younger girls so they have players to look up to – and it’s something we all take seriously within the team. The perception has always been that football is a man’s game, but I think people are now starting to realise that it’s not. I wear make-up pretty much every day and I have a special routine for games. It don’t wear very much, but I love Avon’s True Nutra Effects Radiance Tinted Moisturiser SPF20, as it’s less heavy than a foundation and gives my skin a nice healthy glow. I will also use a bit of eyebrow pencil, bronzer and mascara.” Caroline, midfielder