Let’s Work It Out: Answers to Your Workout Beauty Questions

By Genevieve Ernst | December 19, 2019

Whether you’re already riding the “athleisure beauty” bandwagon or you have yet to hear about it, there’s a good reason to get yourself acquainted with this beauty trend. The idea is simple: an effortless beauty routine that can take you from the gym to errands to brunch. It’s all about being low maintenance while on the go — and for those of us who live particularly busy lifestyles, this trend is a lifesaver.

But it’s also making us rethink exactly what qualifies as a gym-bag essential. Gone are the days of only packing a few makeup wipes in your bag to dab off extra sweat. With an athleisure beauty routine, it’s possible to wear products that are good for your skin and stand the test of time – all while hitting the Stairmaster. Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered with answers to a few of the most popular workout makeup questions.

How can I remove all my makeup pre-workout?

It’s shocking every time: you grab a towel mid-workout and yikes. Whether you forgot about that full face of makeup or thought you’d done a good job of cleansing pre-spin class, a smear of foundation on your fresh gym towel is never a good look. Enter: OIL OBSESSED Total Cleansing Oil. This will take off anything from your face, no matter what you did all day (or the night before). It removes waterproof makeup, pro-grade foundation — this is the only cleanser you need to have at the gym. The nurturing essential oils break down oil of all kinds so it’s also great post-workout for clearing away the grime and sweat on top of your skin. If the gym is just one step in a busy day, Mineral Cleansing Wipes are an easy, on-the-go makeup remover alternative. You don’t even need water, as the mineral-rich Micellar Water in these wipes gently removes makeup and impurities — without leaving residue on your skin.

Will working out in makeup cause breakouts?

Sure, doing anything in makeup can cause breakouts IF (and it’s a big if) your makeup isn’t labeled “non-comedogenic.” Non-comedogenic products like our ORIGINAL Foundation (which is in the Allure Best of Beauty Hall of Fame) are specifically formulated so they won’t clog your pores or cause breakouts, so keep an eye out for this designation when you’re shopping. If you really just want a hint of coverage and color, COMPLEXION RESCUE Tinted Moisturizer is another non-comedogenic option. It was actually developed to be skincare (not makeup) which should tell you something about its suitability for just about anything. It also features chemical-free Broad Spectrum SPF 30, which brings us to…

What makeup can I wear while working out outside?

Outdoor workouts are the best — but no matter if it’s cloudy, snowy or clear, SPF is a must. Chemical sunscreens can irritate sensitive skin, so opt for a “physical” mineral sunscreen that blocks UVA and UVB rays, like COMPLEXION RESCUE Tinted Moisturizer. If you want a little more makeup coverage, COMPLEXION RESCUE Hydrating Stick Foundation offers SPF 25 protection and medium coverage. Both are super easy to apply with your fingertips or the Smoothing Face Brush.

What makeup can I wear for post-workout plans?

If you’ll be rushing from your morning workout to brunch and need to apply your makeup first, ORIGINAL Foundation should be your starting point. With only 5 natural mineral ingredients, it’s not just non-comedogenic — it’s literally so pure and clean you could sleep in it. It’s also super buildable, which means it can double as concealer — just keep buffing the creamy powder and the minerals will continue to warm and expand for fuller coverage just where you need it. ROUND THE CLOCK Eyeliner glides on as a cream but sets when dry for another gym-friendly option. Add a bit of LASHTOPIA Mascara (it lasts all day and is smudge-resistant and water-resistant) for a ready-for-anything look.

How do I eliminate post-workout redness?

If you leave your Cardio-Pilates class with a fully flushed face, COMPLEXION RESCUE Tinted Moisturizer is our pick again. Containing mineral electrolytes, this tinted gel cream lives up to the “rescue” in its name. It comes in a gym bag-friendly tube, and is water-based for the instantly calm, refreshing feeling your face craves post-workout. Choose a golden shade to cut red immediately, though all shades will give you light, moisturizing coverage so you look fresh, dewy and more even. This is easy to apply evenly with clean fingers, so it’s the perfect addition to any bag.

If you prefer a full-coverage look post-workout, it’s crucial to start with a great, skin tone-evening base. For this, we recommend PRIME TIME BB Primer. The silky gel creates a smooth canvas for makeup and provides a hint of skin-perfecting color to start evening out skin tone when you need it most.

Speaking of color, lips will often get dry and pale after a workout. The right shade of GEN NUDE lip color can bring back a healthy look without looking overdone, and all of the formulas are moisturizing — yes, even the Matte Liquid Lipstick.

How do I control post-workout oil?

If your post-workout “glow” borders on greasy, then it’s time for MINERAL VEIL Powder. The translucent finishing powder does more than just set makeup — it’s a multitasking wonder. This loose mineral powder is great at absorbing oil when buffed over makeup or on bare skin, and you can even use it as dry shampoo in a pinch. Learn how to choose your perfect MINERAL VEIL formula here — it comes with SPF, a light tint, and even a subtle illuminating shimmer.

What makeup will give me a subtle post-workout glow?

So, you put in the work, you feel amazing and now you know how to control your redness. But how do you achieve that radiant I-just-worked-out glow that you always see on Instagram? Just pump a bit of BAREPRO Glow Highlighter or Bronzer into your favorite serum, moisturizer or liquid foundation and apply all over for a subtle luminous or bronzed glow. Kind of like you just worked out — minus all that sweat.

Genevieve Ernst

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