Makeup for Working Out

Okay, okay. I can feel the hate for this one just as I start to type it. I know that some people are vehemently against makeup at the gym. I get it, because I don't wear makeup too often when I'm working out...but mostly because I spend my life running from work to events to dinners etc and don't really have time to do my makeup before I work out. That doesn't mean that I don't put on makeup before events where I know I will be photographed, or before races (where again, I'll be photographed). I like to wear makeup in photos because I want my memories to be more about that race, rather than be distracted by my under eye bags.

A lot of brands are advertising their "sweat-proof" "athleisure" makeup for a premium now. Some of it is worth it (like the makeup brand Sweat, which is good for anything, not just working out) and some are just normal makeup packaged pretty. Hey, I'm a sucker for a pretty package so I get it.

I'm writing this post to help provide options for you without breaking the bank. I'm going to recommend my favorite makeup for working out, which will include concealer, mascara, blush, and brow products, as well as options at a lower price point. I want to point out that this makeup I workout in is also the makeup that I wear every day. In fact, this makeup not only survives my workouts, it also survives the entire day at work leading up to said workouts. (I'm going to be using product photos for this, so that the packaging is clearer.)


My favorite concealer for working out is Kat von D's Lock it Concealer. It's an investment at $26, but lasts forever. I also use this to conceal the tattoo on my wrist.

This stuff doesn't budge. Be careful applying, because I'm serious: it doesn't move once it's on, until you cleanse your face at night. I recommend eye makeup wipes to take it off. I'll recommend those at the end of this post. You can wear it all day long, 8-5, and still it will stay put for the gym. 

At a lower price point, I recommend Mary Kay's Perfecting Concealer. It's $16, lasts forever, and applies similarly to the Kat von D. You can buy it online here (which I didn't know!).

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Better than Sex has been my favorite mascara for going on five years. And that is why its waterproof variant is going down as the best mascara for working out. It's a little bit clumpy, as most waterproof mascaras are, but it's not bad and does well to separate and lengthen lashes all day and through your workout. Again, I'll mention my favorite remover a the end of this list. This is available in both full and travel sizes, making it a solid option for your gym bag. Get it at Sephora here.

The more budget-friendly option is an oldie but a goodie. This was my favorite mascara up until my discovery of Better than Sex, and it's really great, especially for the price. It will definitely survive work and your workout and I recommend it almost as highly as the BTS: Covergirl Lash Blast Waterproof. Buy it here.

Blush/Cheek Stain

This is another one that is probably familiar to a lot of you. For working out, I prefer to use a cheek stain. While I love my Nars Stick in Orgasm, it doesn't survive the workouts as well as the Tarte Cheek Stain, available here. It sits at a whopping $30, but I'm still on my original stick in the old, original packaging from 2013 so...yeah, it's worth it. (And I know you're supposed to throw it out, but it was THIRTY DOLLARS. I'm keeping it forever.) I like the color Glisten because it doesn't look like you're wearing anything at all. It will survive the workout and will still be there when your beet red face returns to normal on your walk home (or am I the only one whose face turns nearly purple from exertion?).

At a more reasonable price point is the Sephora brand cheek stain. It's on sale for $7 right now and it does stay put. My only caution is that it's a bit tougher to apply than the sticks are. Just be careful not to apply too much! I use the shade Plumeria.


For your brows, I recommend the Benefit Precisely, My Brow pencil ($24) paired with Anastasia Brow Gel ($22). If you've never used the Anastasia Brow Gel before, you're in for a treat. Shit is like glue. It will keep your brows and that pencil in place all day and all workout. The Benefit pencil is mechanical, so you don't lose product to your sharpener, and it applies so smoothly. I highly recommend it.

For a more reasonable price point and a faster application, I recommend the Sonia Kashuk tinted brow gel ($5.99). This doesn't have as much staying power, but if you apply it right before your workout, it can survive the next hour of sweat!



Taking it all off: Makeup Remover Wipes

My favorite wipes to remove all of this sweat-proof makeup are the Clinique Take the Day Off Wipes ($14). Nothing I've used compares to these. I primarily focus them on my eye makeup, but they also work on lipstick well for nights when you go out or have an event!

While I would argue the price on those Clinique wipes is already pretty good, at a lower price point I would recommend the Olay Fresh Effects makeup remover wipes ($3.74). They work well, but you do get fewer in the package. 

And those are my recomendations for sweat-surviving makeup! It doesn't have to be "specially formulated" for a workout to survive one! 

What are your favorite sweat-proof makeup items?