She's as intense in the ring as she is about her love of beauty products. The champion fighter talks all her favorites and more before her highly anticipated April 15 match
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To put it frankly, Michelle Waterson‘s a bit of a badass.

The top ranked UFC fighter, otherwise known as The Karate Hottie by her fans, won her first MMA fight by a unanimous decision at 21 years old, holds a black belt in karate and has maintained a perfect record since arriving in the UFC’s strawweight division. But the star fighter wants the world to know just because she’s tough in the ring doesn’t mean she doesn’t enjoy getting girlie outside of it.

“When I talk to people that have no idea that I fight, their first thing they say is, “Really, you fight? You don’t look like a fighter,'” Waterson told PeopleStyle in between practices for her big UFC match against Rose Namajunas on April 15. “I’m like, ‘Well, what are fighters supposed to look like?’ Some of us like to wear makeup, the red lips, the sexy black dress [too].”

When Waterson’s fighting, she doesn’t like to wear makeup other than a layer of Vaseline on her face to prevent cuts – and isn’t thrilled when her competitors show up with a full face. “When the girls [I compete with] put on foundation and we get to rolling and moving around, I look down on my shirt to see I have their face on my tank top and I am like, ‘Yo!'” she says. But when she gets out of the ring, the 31-year-old fighter is beauty obsessed. Check out the surprising things the star keeps in her post-workout beauty bag, how she glams up her routine at home and more below.

Credit: Michelle Waterson

After my workout, it’s essential that I have… A Wet Brush, because my hair is soaked with sweat from training three or four times a day. Also, dry shampoo. Sometimes I can’t wash my hair, but I brush it through and use Batiste so it looks a little managed. When I do shower, I rotate between different ones based on their scents and the mood I am in. I think I am a smelly person being around a bunch of sweaty men all day, so I like at least smelling fresh after working out.

Then I keep the Tarte Hydrating Moisturizer in my bag because we get so scraped up, and if I don’t keep my face moisturized it has a tendency to cut or scrape even easier. For makeup, I usually do the Tarte waterproof mascara and a Tarte liquid blush that I can blend in with my fingers.

The beauty treatment I splurge on is… I got my eyebrows microbladed last year and it was so worth it. Everyone wants to take selfies after training and I am always like, hold on. I try to pull my bangs over my eyebrows because I have none and I think it’s so important for your brows to frame your face. I was so scared, but now I am not self-conscious anymore when I’m barefaced because at least my face is framed.


In my off time, I like to get glam by… Doing a smoky eye. It’s my favorite and looks pretty with any color. Right now I am really drawn towards olives, plums and smoky brown shades in my Tarte PRO palette. If it’s a day look I go lighter and put on one shimmer shade and some mascara. Then if it turns into a night look I add more dimension layering darker colors in the corner.

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A misconception I hear about UFC fighters is… That our braids don’t [come undone]! It’s a myth. Whoever is able to keep their hair in place after a really hard fight, man, props to them.

Right now I am obsessed with… These lip paints from Tarte. They’re super easy and you don’t have to reapply them, which is the most important thing for me. I’m into the nude, peachy colors. And it’s nice that you can layer them, so if it ever feels weird or too dry, I just put some Vaseline lip balm over it.

I feel the most beautiful… When I am covered in sweat!

Do you use any of the products Michelle’s loving? Share your favorites in the comments below.