Sunday, March 04, 2012

Sporty Sunday: Sweatproof Makeup

As I’ve gotten older (and begun spending so much time in front of a camera!) I’ve increased the number of cosmetic products I wear. I enjoy the time I spend in the morning crafting that day’s face, but I don’t have time to redo it after working out at noon. Through trial, error, and Makeup Alley reviews, I’ve found the products that stay on my face despite running an hour-long lunchtime run.

Before I begin listing my favorite sweat-proof formulations, I should caveat that I never wipe my face if I want my makeup to last. If I must, I dab with a towel. Actual wiping, with a towel, a sleeve, or your hand, will remove, or at least smudge, even the toughest cosmetics. Don’t wipe!


Both powder mineral and pancake foundations last through a workout and beyond. Liquid and mousse formulations don’t seem to stay as well. I do find that my foundation gets a little “crusty” where salt has accumulated on my skin, after a more strenuous workout. I usually remove the salt with a damp paper towel and then redistribute the remaining foundation with a little lotion.


I use a cream blush and it does not budge. Of course, after a workout, I’ve got a natural flush, as well!

Liner and mascara

Waterproof is the way to go, especially as you age and the skin above the eye begins to sag. Before I started using waterproof products, I’d end a workout with liner smudged under my brows and mascara below my eyes. Waterproof products stay put when I’m sweating. However, even waterproof mascara seems to fade a bit by the afternoon (perhaps just from the physical stress of blinking?), so I usually recurl my lashes and apply a little more mascara during my workout recovery.

Eye shadow

I don’t wear eyeshadow every day, but, when I do, I choose products with a built-in primer or apply a primer independently. Primer is amazing stuff. As long as I don’t wipe my eyes, my shadow looks just as fresh in the evening as it did when I applied it in the morning, no matter what I did at lunch. Even my hairdresser has commented on how well my shadow-with-primer lasts. (And she gets a very close look at my makeup.)


My face eats powder for breakfast. I think I’d have to reapply by 1 p.m. even if I didn’t exercise. I keep a compact in my gym bag and reapply it to minimize the “glow.”


Reapplying lipstick is part of the fun. I don’t expect it to last through a workout, however, on the occasions that I have worn a long-wear lipstick to work, it lasted through intense exercise sessions. And it lasted through the rest of the work day, and dinner, and overnight, and swim practice the next day. I probably looked a little clownish, swimming with bright red lips, but that stuff STICKS.

The above photo was taken on a Tuesday, after a full day of work and 5 miles of treadmill sprints. I’ve used all the products and techniques mentioned above (except for lipstick). Other than a little cakeyness on and around my nose and mouth, my makeup looks just as it did when I applied it 12 hours before.

Because I work for a major cosmetics manufacturer, and want to avoid any conflicts of interest, I won’t mention specific brands or product names here. I recommend researching any new products on Makeup Alley. The user reviews on MUA are always a must-read for me!

Everyone’s skin is a little different. The above formulations work well for my dry-ish complexion. What cosmetics last through your workouts?

Sporty Sunday is a recurring feature in which I share my fitness routine and offer and solicit advice. While this content might seem a little out of place in an outfit diary, a healthy, strong body is the foundation of my wardrobe. I hope to inspire my readers to be fit as well as stylish!


Katharine Coldiron said...

You have GOT to try tubing mascara!! Mine is made by Blinc, and it's a little pricey, but it is unbelievably worth it. It is nothing like normal mascara and it stays on through the sweatiest workouts and even through the next day. Doesn't smear, doesn't smudge, and doesn't take industrial-strength products to get it off. My advice is to use a primer before you use the mascara, though, because the mascara can be a little less obvious on its own and the primer makes the lashes really stand out.

My Own Fairytale said...

I could never work out in my lunchbreak, cause i look awfull afterwards and i takes hours to look normal again :-D
I go to the gym after my work.

XO Arezu

dcresider said...

I workout during lunch all the time and most of my foundation rubs off from sweat but as you said, I should pat from now. Afterwards, I usually reapply powder, eyeshadow and l lipstick.

Kate @ With Little Lights said...

I have a question, but if you feel like it's TMI to answer, I totally understand. Where are you on the sweat / stink spectrum? If I run for an hour I have a definite odor and am sometimes dripping sweat. I can't imagine makeup lasting thru that...but I've also never tried, so maybe it would. Curious if you are also a sweaty stinker like me, because if you are there is hope for a lunchtime run in my life!

Rose said...

Kasmira, I know you don't want to name products, but how do you get your waterproof mascara off at night before bed? I've always had trouble with that, and I don't want to damage the delicate skin around the eye. Any pointers?

Kasmira said...

Kate - I'd say I'm on the unstinky side...probably because I shower so often and the dousings in a chlorinated pool. Everyone has their own bacterial flora. Maybe I just got lucky there.

Rose - I hate to admit that I almost never remove my eye makeup, or any of my makeup. What comes off in the shower or pool is it. I think only oil based makeup removers work on waterproof makeup but I don't like to use those around my eyes.

Liz said...

Kasmira, I'm not sure if you've mentioned on previous Sporty Sunday posts how long your lunch break is, but I'm guessing to get in a workout and shower it has to be at least an hour. I've never worked in a corporate setting so I'm not sure if this is standard or not, I'm a teacher and our lunch break is only 17 minutes long, so going to the bathroom is a luxury. I was just curious if lunchtime workouts are a viable option for most people.

Kasmira said...

Liz - at my workplace, I have the flexibility to work an extended workday in order to take a 90 minute lunch. I am so thankful for that option! (Although it means I'm at the office for 9.5 hours a day.)

Jessica said...

Blush that doesn't budge eh? I've been looking for blush that doesn't come off forever. Would you be willing/able to share via email?

Good make up is so hard to find. And expensive! And what works for some, may not work for others. It's a guessing game at best. I get tired of wasting money trying to find the right products. I also get tired of spending tons of money on good products. I suppose that is the price we pay though.

Jenna said...

I've been wanting to find some make-up that would last through a gym session, particularly foundation. Now I have an idea of what works I'll have to have a chat with some of the sales consultants in the makeup department at one of the local department stores to see what they have.
Thanks for this post.

Jenna said...

Actually went to a local beauty salon yesterday and I ended up getting colour matched for some mineral powder foundation. I'll be trying it out by going out for a run soon to see how it holds up before wearing it to the gym.