Once you reach your thirties and forties, it can be uncomfortable for some women to leave the house bare-faced — even if it’s just to work out. While I support embracing your natural beauty, I’m also a professional makeup artist. I personally play tennis; and when I do, I can completely relate to those clients who want just a little bit of makeup on during their workout, yet have to fight against sweating it off.
I admit that it can be hard to find the best products to use when exercising without looking overdone. (After all, showing up to the gym with heavy foundation and red lipstick is not the best choice — especially knowing how it will melt.) But if you really can’t forget the face paint, here are the five products I recommend using during a sweat session. They’ll make you look just a little bit better than your natural, beautiful self.
You may want to add a little something to open up our eyes — especially those of us who are working out in the early morning! Applying mascara is the easiest way to do this, yet it is the most likely product to smudge when you get hot and sweaty. That’s why you need a water-resistant formula, but they are not all created equal. Often, they can be too hard to get off, which can break the precious lashes that we work so hard to grow long and keep.
I swear by Clinique’s High ImpactTM Curling Mascara ($19), because it promises 24-hour smudge-proof wear, and comes off easily with warm water. Laura Keever, co-owner of WIP Fitness in Hartford, CT, concurs. “My daily workout is sandwiched between dropping off the kids and hitting the grocery store,” she explains. “Although I don’t want anything heavy on my face that will sweat off during the workout, I do want to look a little glam while out and about. This mascara has been tested during my hardest workouts, and doesn’t smudge or flake and gets me through my long days.”
Longwear Undereye Concealer
Before I had children, my undereye area could be seen by others at the gym without too much alarm. Now, with two kids under my belt (and over a decade of interrupted sleep), I wouldn’t dare. After years of spending up to $80 on individual concealers, I was thrilled to discover the IT CosmeticsTM Bye Bye Under Eye ($26) formula at a fraction of the price. But when I realized that it is completely waterproof, I could wear it to the gym, and it wouldn’t crease or drip, my life was changed.
This formula offers the perfect amount of color correction for dark circles, redness and discoloration while simultaneously treating delicate undereye skin with anti-aging ingredients like hyaluronic acid and peptides. Those ingredients even help to smooth out wrinkles and uneven texture in the eye area over time. It allows you to roll out of bed, dab it on, and hit the gym looking bright-eyed and well-rested.
When you are working out, lipstick is a product that you can easily forego. However, there are many women who just don’t feel comfortable leaving the house without a little bit of color on their lips. If you are one of those women, choose something nourishing, hydrating, and light. Sheer lip tints are the best choice. They give a wash of color to the lips, but also treat them during your morning jog or tennis match.
My absolute favorite (I have one in every bag and vehicle I own) is the ClarinsTM Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector ($26). Whenever I wear this product in the shade Apricot Shimmer, women often ask me what I have on my lips. This makeup/treatment hybrid has a vanilla scent coupled with a creamy, luxurious feel. The joy experienced from having nourished, subtly stained lips may or may not help you through that last set of burpees.
Tinted Brow Gel
As we age, we can lose the color and volume of our once lush and supple brows. There are so many amazing products to choose from to use for our everyday life, yet “workout brows” are something a bit different. You definitely do not want to arrive at your boot camp class with dark, overly-sculpted arches. On the other hand, you don’t want to show up with no eyebrows at all, so finding a happy medium is key. Tinted gels are the perfect solution, as they supply just a hint of color and keep your brows in place while you sweat.
Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow+ Volumizing Eyebrow Gel ($24) adds the right amount of natural volume and is water resistant, making it the perfect choice for your gym appearance. The best part is that it is so easy to use. Quickly sweep this tiny mascara wand through your arches before you walk out the door for the appropriate amount of brow filler to get through a dance cardio class.
When working out, the worst thing you can do is add a heavy foundation that will drip, wipe off on your towel, and clog pores. A tinted moisturizer is a great solution as it will even out your skin tone just enough
The Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 ($45) even works for your outdoor workout, as it provides sun protection. Mary Kate Doyle, co-owner of WIP Fitness and bootcamp lover, swears by Laura Mercier’s product. “I wear it because when I head out to the gym, my skin tone is even and I feel confident communicating with clients,” says Doyle. “It’s hard to do business as a sweaty mess, but the tinted moisturizer gives that little boost without making me look or feel ‘made up.’” And whether you wear just one of these products or all five, heading to the gym feeling uplifted could be just the ticket to a successful calorie-burning session.