Gym makeup is tricky because you want to look a little put together.
But you’re also going to sweat.
And don’t wanna look an extra hot mess with everything melting and running down your face.
It’s a lot to ask honestly.
For me, other goals for gym makeup are:
1 – It must be fast. No more than 5 to 10 minutes to put it on.
2 – It must be sheer and light enough to not make me break out while glistening with sweat.
3 – It must not be super obvious or caky. I want to look like myself but not like I’m going out on the town and not how i look without ANY makeup. I need something in between.
Lots of requirements!
And after decades of gymming I think I’ve found a really solid combo of products and techniques that have served me well.
HOWEVER, FIRST I’D LIKE TO SAY! — nobody *needs* to wear makeup to the gym.
Personally, I have no problem going bare-faced in a lot of places in my life. Even online, I don’t mind posting photos or videos of myself without any cosmetics at all.
But for the gym, it just makes me feel *ready*.
It’s like part of my training uniform.
Sports bra, racerback tank, lulu shorts, overshirt, sweatpants, socks, slides, loose-topped ponytail, and MY GYM MAKEUP.
It’s just part of the gig. Part of the pre-game. It helps me feel confident and ready.
If it doesn’t make *you* feel that way, don’t wear it!
But if you DO want to wear it and are looking for some ideas to play with, I’d like to share my whole routine with you.
All pics are completely unfiltered.
MY EVERYDAY GYM MAKEUP ROUTINE
I’m going to list all of this in the order in which I do it: face, eyes, brows, lips.
The first step begins right after I’ve washed my face and applied a light layer of these four things in this order as part of my skincare and hydration:
In total, that part takes about 1-2 minutes.
Once it’s done, we get into the actual makeup products.
I sandwich two very thin layers of under-eye concealer with one thin layer of a tinted sunscreen concoction.
I do ALL OF THIS with my hands and fingers because I feel like it’s faster and more hygienic than using brushes and sponges or whatever. I suck at makeup so I don’t even know how to use those things anyway lol
So first, I neutralize my dark ass circles by applying the smallest amount of a concealer with warm undertones to them. Not the whole under-eye area, just the little circles.
The only reason I know this trick is because some amazing makeup artist told me about it at the MAC store like 6 years ago at the only makeup appointment I’ve ever made for myself. I’ve been using it ever since because it was a game changer.
This first super thin layer for me is MAC Pro Longwear Concealer in the shade NW30.
While that’s settling in, I’ll apply that light layer of “tinted sunscreen”.
And for me, what that ACTUALLY is, is a small drop of foundation combined with about double the amount of sunscreen.
So yes, I do a full layer of sunscreen as part of my skincare. And then I mix it in with my foundation to create a tinted sunscreen situation.
Since it’s likely I will be sweating at the gym, I don’t want the look or feel of fully-applied foundation. Even though it’s not a thick foundation, I want it even thinner for training.
So the two products I mix together are:
And back to that second super thin layer of concealer…
This time, I apply it like you’re probably used to seeing it — All around the under eye area. like from the inner corner of my eyes down to the top of my cheekbones and out to the sides of my face.
And the color I use is a shade or two lighter than my foundation with an olive undertone like my own skin.
This second concealer layer for me is MAC Pro Longwear Concealer in the shade NC30.
In total, these three steps I use to even out my complexion takes me 2 minutes or so.
That’s all I do for my face — no blushes or bronzers or anything else. I’ll sometimes use those things to go out other places, just not to the gym. I don’t want any extra cream or powder that could make me break out.
For gym makeup, I wear two products on my eyes:
Eyeliner is first. And the goal of it is to just accentuate my mascara really.
I only apply it to the outer third or half of my eye, I and I don’t use the typical wing I would use if I was going out at night or something. It’s very under-stated.
So I start by tilting my head back a bit (to get my hooded eyelids out of the way) and I trace the tiniest little tick mark on my skin to where my imaginary thick eyelashes would go if I had thick eyelashes.
Like I said, I sort of just use the liner as a way to highlight and accentuate the mascara, because on it’s own it doesn’t really have enough oomph for me.
Once the initial mark is made on each eye and I’ve looked straight in the mirror to make sure these little guide points are decently even, I’ll fill in the rest of the liner.
I draw a small horizontal line from the outer point of the initial mark to about 1/3 to 1/2 of the outside of my eyeball.
That line is also drawn with my head tilted back because of my hooded eyelids. So when I look up with my face directly forward, it looks like a little uptick that kind of lifts upwards like mascara.
Then, we finish the eyes with mascara.
I first use the smallest damn eyelash curler I’ve ever seen lol
The one I use is from Glamnetic and I found it as a happy accident.
A couple years ago I wanted to try their magnetic eyelash system (fyi I was highly disappointed and do not recommend it) — and my order needed a few more dollars to qualify for free shipping.
So I got this tiny eyelash curler because it looked interesting and fulfilled my price needs and OH MY GOODNESS I LOVED IT! I’ll never go back to the old full-lash curlers ever again.
My baby lashes need this kind of individual care. Especially the ones in the outer and inner corners because regular curler never reached them.
ANYWAYYYYYYSSS…. Here’s the tiny curler for your reference..
Once I’ve curled one eye, I apply mascara to that eye as well and then I switch to the other eye.
The ONLY MASCARA I have used for years and will continue to forever use for the gym as far as I can tell is the Thrive Lash Extensions Mascara in the shade Brynn.
It’s a tubing mascara, so that means two things:
1 – It doesn’t run or deposit color down my face when I sweat.
2 – It is super easy to take off. And when it DOES come off, it’s in pieces not smudges.
If you’re into those things, I highly recommend the Thrive brand.
I’ve tried drugstore brands of tubing mascara and they don’t perform the same at all.
So even though the one I use is more expensive than I’d like, it’s worth the extra cost for me.
When I apply my 1-2 coats of this mascara, I have to literally pull my damn eyelids away with my other hand so I don’t make a big mess on my skin and can really pull the lashes back all the way.
Otherwise I have to make super short strokes or can’t get all the way to the base of the lash.
The liner and mascara combo probably takes me another 2 minutes.
Once it looks like I am awake and have actual eyeballs, I’ll move on to brows.
I only use one product for this, also from Thrive, it’s the Infinity Waterproof Eyebrow Liner in the shade Serena.
First I’ll fill in the sparse areas with the stick end of the product, which is a twist-up thingie.
Then I’ll use the spoolie on the other side to blend in and clean up the direction fo the hairs.
Because I use a whole bunch of very light strokes with the stick end, it kind of takes me a long time.
Like a whole minute or two just on that part. Then the spoolie step is like 10 seconds.
Because I have large-ish lips, I feel like I look sick and lifeless without some type of light color on them.
However, I also HATE the taste and texture of lipstick. Almost every cosmetic lip product I’ve ever tried feels and/or tastes super gross to me.
So the only two things I wear on my lips like 99.9% of my life are:
Here is a TikTok of me applying both of them exactly how I do every day, including to the gym.
The applicator that comes with the lip tint is WAY too saturated. So I just use it to dot some product on, and then I use a q-tip to spread a thin layer of the liquid all over my lips.
Once it’s dry about 5 seconds later, I put on hella Chapstick because that’s how I live my life at all times lol…I apply Chapstick after every meal, before bed time, basically all the time. Been that way since middle school tbh.
Anyway, in total, it takes me about 30 seconds to apply both lip products and the light tint last a looong time unless you’re eating and drinking a bunch.
THE FINAL LOOK
And that’s it!
The longest freaking article every to tell you all about my gym makeup routine that honestly takes me less than 10 minutes to finish.
I haven’t changed any part of it in over a year, so I can tell you I’m 100% stoked about every one of these products and how they wear for the gym.
Here’s a little before and after:
Hope it was helpful! and thanks for reading 🙂
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