Your Guide to Wearing Makeup at the Gym

Wendy Rodewald
Wearing makeup at the gym

Photo: Getty Images

Yes, I wear makeup to work out and no, I’m not ashamed. I’m not talking red carpet level looks or, like, serious contouring, but just a little something to make me feel like a more pulled together version of myself. Now that I’m turning 30, I find I have to (and want to!) spend much more time exercising than I used to, so I might as well look good doing it. Plus, there are a lot of mirrors at the gym.

Here’s my strategy for looking hot while getting sweaty.

Let your face breathe.
Yes, heavy duty cream or oil-based foundation can trap sweat in your pores, but a lightweight, noncomedogenic BB cream or concealer will do no more harm than a moisturizer or sunscreen would (and you are wearing sunscreen if you work out outside, aren’t you?). I tend to avoid any sort of powder because sweat makes it look gross almost immediately. Think glowy and dewy! Matte is just not going to happen.

What I use: Olay Fresh Effects BB Cream ($12.99, feels way less makeup-y than any other I’ve tried, and gives the perfect tint.

Add color where it counts.
There’s no point in worrying about blush when you’re just going to get red-faced and sweaty anyway. Instead, I use a tinted balm on my lips to counteract my perpetual paleness. I swear it makes me look alive even for crack of dawn trainer dates.

What I use: Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Rosé ($22.50, adds a hint of natural color without looking like you’re wearing lipstick. And it has SPF!

Embrace the lived-in look.
In editorials, makeup artists use all kinds of tricks to give eye makeup a disheveled texture — such as creating a smoky eye look, then totally destroying it with moisturizer and makeup remover. But nothing works better than real-life sweat. Seriously! When I go to a kickboxing class after work, I just leave on whatever eye liner I was wearing that day and pretend I’m in one of those photo shoots that involve a vintage car, the desert and rocker clothes. Yeah, I’m cool like that.

What I use: Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes ($19, sticks around through even the steamiest sweat sessions.

Remember, some makeup has no place in the gym.
Elaborate eye shadow looks. Lip gloss that attracts loose hair like a magnet. Vampy dark lipstick. False eyelashes. None of this stuff is a good idea, for obvious reasons.

Read more: 6 Hidden Beauty Dangers at the Gym

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