It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that sweating out a day’s toxins into layer upon layer of blended beauty products isn’t going to be fantastic for your skin. But if you’re looking for a mini guide to a low maintenance gym face, then here it is (complete with Hollywood validation)!
The key to a sweat proof face is definition. Actor Jeremy Renner, who previously worked as a make up artist before becoming an A-list actor, gives the best advice here on evading blurriness or overdoing it. He understands that sometimes women want to feel in control of their appearance when they’re pushing themselves outside the comfort zone. Here, the focus should on your brows, lashes, and lips. In the gym, if you’re doing it right, the natural flush of exercise will replace the need for blusher and bronzer. Contouring won’t be necessary while you’re pushing yourself through another circuit, and by the end of your session you’ll have a healthy glow without the need for highlighter! However, defining your brows, lashes and lips will give your face a stronger outline, preventing you feeling unrecognisably blinded by sweat without having a lot of product melting and migrating across your face.
Eyebrows are relatively simple to prep for the gym. Some people prefer just to comb them through, although adding a clear mascara helps to keep hairs in place during a work out. If you’re looking to add colour, I would recommend the Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil. At £2.99, it is inexpensive and effective in touching up the definition of your brows. Given that the gym will cause product to inevitably be lost or used up quickly, investing in expensive products for your gym face probably isn’t the most economical idea! This pencil easily allows for a natural looking application. Attached to the lid is a small brush which is perfect for combing through your brows and blending in the colour. A few subtle strokes are all you need to fill in your eyebrows, lending a little colour and shape in framing your face. However, if you want a more luxurious and permanent gym eyebrow, then WunderBrow 1 Step Brow Gel (£19.95) might just change your routine for good. This gel, brushed on like a pencil, lasts for two days after application (until removed with cleanser) – whether or not you need it the entire time, it will definitely withstand any amount of gym perspiration!
However obvious it might seem, waterproof mascara is the key to avoiding a blurry face. Most makeup removers now remove all types of mascara easily: don’t be put off by the idea that wearing waterproof products will result in them being stuck on your face for eternity! Rimmel, Maybelline and Loreal all do affordable waterproof mascaras for under £10 on the high street. A tip for any mascara application at the gym (waterproof or otherwise) is to apply to your top lashes only: this will minimize the chances of any product smudging into your cheeks or falling down your face!
Lips are more of a personal preference in the gym. Some people drink a lot of water during their workout, others wait until the changing room afterwards. Either way, smudging isn’t ideal. Tinted lip balms are great for a low maintenance lip look which isn’t too pigmented or [smudgeable]. Simple Vaseline Lip Therapy pots, or Nivea Lip Butters are easy solutions here. Both can be easily bought in Boots and Superdrug very cheaply, and slicked on with just a fingertip when you’re in the changing room raring to go! A bit of lip colour balances out the flush of cardio in your face, although both these lip balms are pretty non threatening in case of smudge! If you prefer a stronger lip look at the gym, Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butters are great for building colour while still looking and feeling like a lip balm. At £7.99 from Boots they are slightly pricier, but are more pigmented without becoming too bright: a perfect gym statement.
Touching up your face once you have mastered the definitions of gym makeup is simple. Concealer will cover up blemishes without piling on too much product, and mineral powder foundations are much lighter than cream or liquid, allowing your skin to breathe. They’re a little more buildable than face powders, although Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder is a budget touch up tool at £3.99. Loreal True Match Minerals (£14.99) offers more coverage as a mineral powder, and comes equipped with a brush in its pot, making it easy to throw in your gym bag and touch up en route!
This advice won’t suit everyone: some women don’t colour their eyebrows at all, or can’t live without strong eyeliner. Gym makeup just isn’t a thing at all to a lot of girls – there are no rules! The fact that you’re even in the gym and pushing yourself is the real achievement, and if doing it with a bare face, leftover day makeup or Cleopatra style eyes makes it manageable, then go crazy. You can cry about maybe being judged later on while you lie in the sun stretching out the lean muscles you just earned yourself. But whatever your choice, makeup or no makeup, if you’re exercising hard then you’re going to sweat. That is how workout success should be measured: whatever you choose to put on your face is not indicative of the quality of your workout. You can do the same amount of squats wearing fake eyelashes as you can without them. Makeup does not and should not weigh you down, figuratively or literally!