Rachel Lindsay is not afraid to express her opinions. The lawyer/sports commentator/former Bachelorette won America's hearts all the way back in 2017 with her no-bullshit, truthtelling attitude and fantastic sense of humor as a contestant on season 21 of The Bachelor (Nick Viall's season) during which she came in third. A few months later Bachelor Nation was enraptured, watching her find love as The Bachelorette with now-fiancé Bryan Abasolo (they're set to wed in August). Now, two years removed from the show, Lindsay has had a lot of time to reflect on her time on the series and grow from it. As MarieClaire.com's resident Bachelor expert and self-proclaimed Rachel Lindsay stan, I jumped at the chance to talk with Lindsay ahead of last Monday's explosive episode of The Bachelor. As is to be expected from Lindsay, it was an open and honest conversation about the way she takes care of herself (the 34-year-old recently became a spokesperson for Vaseline, a brand she's used since childhood), the impact Bachelor Nation has had on her life, and her hopes for the franchise in the future.
On Life Post-Bachelor/ette:
"You can imagine my life has been turned upside down, but in the best way. Prior to doing this...I felt that something was missing out, that I was longing for love in my life. I had just come out of a five-year relationship and it was my co-worker who nominated me and put this whole thing in motion."
"You know, there is the saying 'You have plans, and God laughs.' I have never thought that I would be in front of the camera, and here I am now, working in sports, working in entertainment. I have friends that I never thought I'd have, met people that I never thought I would meet. I met my fiancé on TV, which is still insanely wild for me to say. I never would have thought that I would get all the things that I wanted, and then at the same time still be able to, like...I don't feel like it changed me. You know, I still feel like I'm 'Big Rach,' I'm still the same."
On Whether the Show Is Worthwhile:
"I would definitely say do it, because I just feel like if you're granted with an opportunity, don't cut yourself off before it's already begun. I almost didn't do the show. I was like, 'No, this isn't for me, this isn't my world.' I can't even imagine what—well, I know exactly where I would be, I'd be in my office, staring out my window, wanting and hoping for something more. I would encourage a family member, a friend, whatever to do it."
"I would just say it is so important to know who you are before you go and do this show. Everybody will try to tell you about yourself. It is so easy to fall victim of everybody else's definition of what you should be."
On the Current Season of The Bachelor:
"This is how I will sum up Colton's season: If the writing is on the wall, read it. Don't try to make things happen. Sometimes the red flags are waving so fiercely in front of us and we choose to ignore them." [Editor's commentary: Cassie could have been wearing a cape made out of a red flag and Colton wouldn't have seen it.]
"I think that this season has...I have to separate it in half. I thought it started off terrible and it has become so good. I'm a fan of Real Housewives, so I personally like drama. I've been thoroughly entertained this season, and I will definitely say the second half has been really good. It's just good TV, right? I don't necessarily think it makes somebody a good Bachelor or Bachelorette, but it's definitely been entertaining."
On How the Show Changed Her Beauty Outlook:
"Makeup has become something that I...didn't use before. You don't walk into the courtroom and people are heavily made up. When I came onto the show, I actually had to have a friend help me buy makeup, because I had no idea where to start. The only thing that I kept in my makeup bag was mascara, Vaseline, and, like, a Clinique pressed powder to take the shine off my face. That's it. That's all I owned."
"Now, I would say that my go-to, what I can't leave without...I do lashes now, so that's one thing." [Editor's commentary: Remember when she left them on the floor of Peter's hotel room during one of the worst breakups in Bachelor history??] "I would say an eyebrow pencil—a brush and pencil, I cannot leave home without that. Definitely concealer, just because of traveling all the time. I use MAC, and the color I use is a mix between NC42 and NC45. I cannot leave home without that because I'm blotchy. Otherwise, I would say mascara."
On How She Practices Self-Care:
"Being a lawyer is absolutely stressful in its own right. But then, doing The Bachelor and The Bachelorette and all the media afterwards, you can imagine, that's just like a whole new level of stress. The stress for me is at an all-time high, being a person who said they never stressed out. It definitely starts to seep out of me with these new ventures. To take care of myself, you know, you go back to your roots, you go back to what you know. I'm an avid Vaseline user, not just the petroleum jelly."
"I naturally have dry skin, but you can imagine all the flying that I do. I travel to four of five different places in a week, and I have to be on camera, and you can just imagine that that adds to the level of how dry my skin gets. So, I use the Vaseline Clinical Care Extremely Dry Skin Lotion, which helps me out so much. I put it on my feet andcover it up with socks when I get on the plane as a preventative measure. I put it on my skin at night. I put it on my lips. So that is definitely something I pulled from my roots that still use today." [Editor's commentary: As a woman whose mother slathered her in Vaseline during her childhood, I feel seen.]
"I love to take a bath. Turn the lights off, light candles. I'm really trying to do this once a week now. I'll even Instagram it. A bubble bath, candles, some R&B music. Just relaxing. Sometimes I'll have a glass of wine and sometimes I'll do an Aveeno bath just to completely calm myself down, just to take that moment."
"I will admit that I've gotten... I'm good now, but there was a time when I was just so exhausted, I would just fall asleep with all my makeup on. I would watch my skin suffer because of it. I'm in my 30s now. When I was 20, I could do that and it'd be fine. I would just put alcohol on my face, go to sleep. Or sleep with all my makeup on."
On the Future of Bachelor Nation:
"I don't know what's coming next, because as we know, they lost one of their executive producers, Elan Gale, who is so influential in how the season is put together. It'll be very interesting to see what the show is like after Colton's season, because it'll be the first season without [Gale]. It'll be interesting to see how it progresses from there on out."
"Generally, I think the show is just going to have to change, and kind of catch up with the times in regards to social media and the huge influence that has had. We've already seen it have such an impact. Even on my own season and Becca's season. Social media has really affected several contestants—how they screen them to come on the show. And also with spoilers, and people being here for the right reasons. What you can get from being on the show makes you question even more so why people come on it. I think that's going to have to change."
"I also would love to see more diversity on the show. You're seeing women and men of color go farther than they ever did, but we're not seeing leads. I just hope to see more of that. I hope the show is more reflective of America."
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