Can Athleisure Makeup Stand Up to Workouts In 90-Degree Weather?
These beauty lines all promise sweat-proof makeup, so we tested their products during the sweatiest workouts of the year.
Though I *fully support* everyone wearing as much makeup as they damn well please, I rarely ever wear lots of makeup myself and never when I'm working out. Leaving even just a trace of it, I'm convinced, will give me all the zits in the world. Derms back that up, saying that face makeup, in particular, clogs pores, which can lead to breakouts. Plus, I love to let the hard work from my post-shower skin-care routine ~*radiate*~.
But with new formulas developed by athletes for athletes, I had to see if it was possible to have a pristinely flawless complexion during a typical week of workouts. Because even if I wasn't going to start getting made up before my next workout, I am a very sweaty woman. (Sorry if it's TMI, but it's true!) And yes, there are times that the skin-obsessed like myself want to wear a base, too.
So is athleisure makeup the solution to every sweaty woman, weekend warrior, or hardcore athlete's makeup conundrum? I put three to the test on a 5-mile loop of my neighborhood, attending a Vinyasa class, and doing a Nike Training Club HIIT workout in my backyard. Here's how they held up.
Running with Beauty for Real
I've been a relatively regular runner for almost a decade now, and have tackled distances from a few miles all the way up to a disastrous 26.2 miles (one time only, thankfully). All the races that I've competed in, interestingly, have had photographers on the route, which stresses me out because as mentioned, I don't normally get made up to work out. Somehow I always end up looking both red-faced and washed out in the photos. So for my run with Beauty for Real, I decided to test out MVP, the brand's tinted moisturizer that not only provides a more even complexion, but has SPF 25 as well. While in an ideal world it would have an SPF of at least 30, it did shave a few minutes off of my getting-ready routine-always a plus in my book.
I followed up with their Bronze+Glo stick to highlight and add natural-looking depth to my round face. Because I never go halfway with anything, I followed up with their Shadow Stix in Gold, which had such a creamy application-plus staying power-that it's earned a permanent spot in my makeup bag. I also lined my lids with their I-Line in black and finished with the Hi-Def Mascara in Just Black.
[Being that I am in NYC and all, there's a lot of pollution to ward off to start. Not having any sort of antioxidant top coat, either in the form of a setting spray or a face mist, made me feel oddly naked despite having a full face of makeup on.]
I felt weird pounding the pavement with makeup on, particularly eye makeup. I rarely wear any to begin with, especially before a 5-mile tempo run around Queens. After a solid 45 minutes in yes, 90-degree weather, I did a selfie check as I basically sprinted (yes, even after that tempo run) into the shower. And the eye makeup, well, it was a mess. I'm not sure if it's because I oddly have oilier lids to begin with and thus often have problems with any eye makeup (especially mascara) staying put, but I looked like a drowned raccoon. The mascara was probably the biggest offender there, as the creamy shadow seemed to stay put. Because sometimes, creamy makeup looks ever better when you're sweaty.
Vinyasa Flow with Sweat Cosmetics
Although Sweat Cosmetics just launched in 2015, the small, well-edited collection of face makeup was made by athletes, for athletes. Foundation, bronzer, and highlighter all come with built-in brushes and are refillable to keep costs to a minimum. The sheer ease of using Sweat Cosmetics' products is enough to sell me (the powder bullets simply click into the brush applicator) and that lit-from-within no-makeup makeup look is exactly my jam.
I decided to put it to the test during a 90-minute Vinyasa flow class at a high-end Hamptons yoga studio (When in Rome, right?) to make sure Sweat Cosmetics didn't come off when the beads of sweat started to roll down my face.
Although the bronzer and illuminator both seem a bit glittery upon application, the powder pays off with a not-too-shimmery, covetable glow that really doesn't feel like it's trying hard at all-nor like you have makeup caked on your face. However, their SPF 30 foundation is their hero product, in my opinion. Being the most concerned with my monthly hormonal nemesis that'd recently flared up-an angry under-the-skin cyst that'll pop up about 21 days into my cycle (not that I'm counting)-I needed a foundation that could pull double duty as a concealer on an already-difficult-to-cover zit. But this formula did the trick. With just a few clicks and swipes, I had an even complexion free of said hormonal zit and an inevitable bit of summer-induced hyperpigmentation-all without looking like I was wearing any makeup at all. Plus, the formula's mineral SPF provides superior sun protection. I could feel the physical UV blocker while in the car on my 10-minute drive each way.
After 90 minutes of twisting, inverting, and posing, I was pretty sweaty. But when I did a quick mirror check (important in yoga regardless when looking at one's alignment), I noticed not a single stitch of makeup had moved and that my Warrior I and my complexion were both flawless enough to fit right in at the Hamptons. The tl;dr: I've found my new favorite foundation.
HIIT with High Endurance Cosmetics
Considering the makeup brand's name, I figured no line would be better put to the test against a killer Nike Training Club workout in the park than cosmetics literally called High Endurance. Admittedly, HIIT isn't my specialty-I'm much more comfortable contorting in yoga or running a race than I am following a choreographed, strength-focused routine. So if I was going to trip over myself in public, I figured looking cute while doing it wouldn't be the worst decision ever.
I turned to my haul from High Endurance Cosmetics, a makeup line created by a mom and marathoner. Certified cruelty-free by PETA, H.E.C. offers a smartly curated selection of products designed to make you look like your best self no matter what you're doing, whether you want to look more au naturel or go majorly bold. For my workout, I used their SPF 25 BB cream, concealer, liquid liner, mascara, brow gel, and setting spray, along with their newest product, a collection of matte lipsticks.
With punny names and cute AF packaging, High Endurance Cosmetics may not seem like the real deal, but WOW is it sweat-proof. I'm talking dripping buckets while doing burpees, push-ups, and planks. The BB cream and concealer stayed put through the 45-minute session, but even more impressively, so did the liquid liner and mascara-practically impossible on any given day for someone with lids as oily as mine, let alone during a workout. To say that High Endurance Cosmetics is, well, high endurance, is a huge understatement: This stuff is INCREDIBLE. Like, maybe the best waterproof makeup I've tried, as it washed off just as seamlessly as it stayed put with just a bit of an oil cleanser. The mascara has this cool-looking brush that actually works hard at separating lashes while also making them appear fuller-basically made for race-day camera mugging. (No surprise that it's sold out as of press time.) Same with their matte lipsticks, which stayed put through class, lunch, and an afternoon at the pool. My sister-in-law and I are currently arguing over their punchy pink hue, Urban Ballerina.
Plus, with prices on par with any prestige makeup line (or frankly, less) and that fresh-to-death packaging, High Endurance Cosmetics wins the ultimate battle of athleisure makeup for me. For now, that is.