The Best Makeup for your Workout

I am a firm believer that you should always feel like you look GREAT no matter what you are doing, even working out. No one wants to go to the gym with a full face of packed on makeup, but maybe you aren’t comfortable going out in public bare faced. If you’re anything like me, you wouldn’t be caught dead without mascara and a compact in your purse. Do I wear makeup to the gym? YES! It’s tough to find a find a good makeup to wear to the gym though because you don’t want something too thick that will clog your pores and irritate your skin as you sweat, but you also do want it to be to thin that it makes your skin feel oily and run off with your sweat. So what’s a girl to do?

Tinted Moisturizer: You want something that’s not greasy and that will blend your complexion and give you that fresh, glowing look that won’t fade throughout your workout. The best I’ve used is Jouer Matte Moisture Tint SPF 15 - Nude . It stays on, doesn’t make that oily texture as you sweat. The next best would be bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream - Spice 08 . Each hydrating cream gives a clear, toned complexion that doesn’t fade and keeps your skin looking radiant throughout your workout. The creams are light and you can hardly feel them on your skin so you stay comfortable.

You can either keep it at just the moisturizer or you can add a light foundation over top.

Foundation: Stay away from oil based products. Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation has a matte finish so you don’t look shiny and oily. Run or bike or lift weights, this foundation has a long lasting finish that won’t move. It has a light feel that doesn’t weight you down or give your skin that tight feeling that some foundations can leave you with.

Mascara: CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Waterproof Mascara is my FAVORITE! No mascara streaks down your cheeks, no flakes under your eyes, it gives you a fullness to your lashes and length without clumps. Definitely a must buy and perfect for everyday wear, not just at the gym.

Eyeliner: SEPHORA COLLECTION Contour Eye Pencil 12hr Wear Waterproof is smudge free liner pencil that will last all day long past your workout and keep your eyes looking sharp and the defined feature on your face. Very affordable and worth every penny. I have yet to find a liquid liner that doesn’t fade, has a defined line, doesn’t smudge, and can last through a grueling workout. 

I went into an Anthropologie in a fancy neighborhood while wearing a hoodie (hood up because it’s cold and it helps to ease my shoppers anxiety) and a pair of baggy pants because I didn’t sleep the night before and I wanted to be comfortable at work. I guess it didn’t help that all my nice clothes are dirty and I haven’t felt particularly motivated to wear makeup lately, because almost as soon as I walked into Anthropologie, an employee clearly marked me for a possible thief. In the midst of a store full of well-dressed, well-rested middle-aged women shopping in the middle of the day, I stuck out like a sore, poor, mischievous thumb.

The store either deals with a lot of theft or none at all because the mark was extremely obvious. I’ve worked about four retail positions in my life with varying types of customers - from TJ Maxxinistas and their screaming kids to Sur La Table’s young wealthy couples debating on what type of state-of-the-art coffee machine to buy (you know the fancy copper ones Starbucks introduced a few years ago? These people were buying those before Starbucks started using them). It’s not difficult to spot a shady customer if you’ve worked in retail for more than a second, nor is it hard to know when you’ve been identified as the shady customer.

I like shopping. Especially for the home. Not buying, per se, but looking at all the things, imagining how they’d fit in with my style, dreaming about the day I have a kitchen big enough to own an array of ceramic decorative measuring cups simply because they look cute. I am a calm, slow, contemplative shopper because I let all the things I see spark images in my head of lifestyles I can’t afford, and then I cross-reference those to things I can afford that serve a purpose and see what, if anything, justifies spending any money on. I even do this at the grocery store, gazing at the breads baked fresh daily and imagining the kind of life where I would have use for a four foot long baguette. Usually I wear headphones to simmer in the beautiful images, to forget about how none of my kitchen cabinets have handles and how I can’t install any because it would violate my lease and destroy the particle board masquerading as wood, to imagine a living room that could fit one of those L-shaped couches AND a sofa with a nice rug my cat doesn’t feel compelled to pee on because he’s a rich cat with taste and manners. I let my stress and sense of insignificance disappear and just absorb the beautiful useless things wealthy people buy purely for decoration and to show that they did something with their day.

“I had a very productive day! I went to Pottery Barn and bought a throw that REALLY matches the marble on our fireplace that we never use because we’re so rich our floors are heated and also we have central air.”

I like to look at shiny decorative vases that probably go on fancy mantelpieces in homes where people have mantelpieces and decorate them seasonally, because I don’t know why else you would have a vase with a big bottom and a long, thin, tapered neck other than to say I can afford things purely for decoration. I usually bring my headphones to immerse myself in this ridiculous and lovely dream, but today I forgot them.

So there I was, inside Anthropologie, the catalogue of stores; everything meant to look beautiful and appealing, nothing meant for actual people to ever see a need to own. And I had my hood up. And I didn’t have my headphones to cocoon the daydreams I was planning to embark upon. And that’s when she marked me. “Do you need a bag?” No, thanks. “We have a selection of dresses on sale now for just $69.99, they have signs on them like that one” (here she points to a sign that says Select Dresses ON SALE $69.99). I try not to smirk at the cost of my past due phone bill being equated to someone else’s “on sale.” Quietly, politely, I thank her and suddenly become aware that my hands are stuffed in my hoodie pocket, my hood is up, I haven’t slept in two days, and this is not going to be the imagination adventure I had so desperately wanted.

I have no interest in the clothes - the first time I went inside an Anthropologie, I was 13 and my grandma talked me into trying on a $70 tshirt that was neither well-made nor particularly moving simply because it was so expensive, she had to see it on me to see what all the fuss was about. Their clothes, nor their absurd prices, have changed. I have never since bothered to peruse the racks. I am looking for decor. Cute, decorative, beautiful decor to set my whimsy free. I veer toward a display of ceramic plates that I could never imagine people eating actual food off of. “Do you need help finding anything?” says the perky voice from behind. Some alone time would be nice. My eye catches the Clearance section - a little closet space Anthropologies have that are always hilarious to me because they’re stuffed full of scarves and plates always discounted from somewhere in the hundreds to the low low price of your left kidney. Might as well check, I figure, who knows if there’s gold in that there cave of pyrite. Ten seconds after I’m inside the Clearance section and standing on my tippie toes trying to figure out why anyone would put anything on a shelf that is entirely out of eye sight and reach, “Whoops, ‘scuze me!” A whoosh of fabric brushes my leg. She’s in this tiny shoebox of a Clearance section with me, arms stuffed with clothes that have appeared from who knows where. I ease out of the congested space and head over to another display of kitchen decor on the opposite side of the store. I’m looking at knobs, thinking it’d be so neat to screw some flat decorative knobs into the wall as little accent pieces. Isn’t that a neat idea? Surrounded by framed photos? I’ve got a metal bird knob in my hand. It’s big enough that no one could conceal and I’m not trying. The bird is resting on my fingers like a ring while the long screw is nestled between my fingers. Thirty seconds later, “Do you want a bag for your items while you look around?” No thanks, I’m just looking, I say with a meek smile.

Seriously? Again?? I’m not in love with the bird knob so I put it back, my irritation growing, and I arrange the swivel shelves I had found it on back in the position I found them in, deciding maybe she just didn’t want me messing up her display…of…knobs… Now she’s re-folding shirts near me that were already folded perfectly fine when I walked past them.

I want to dream. I so, so desperately want to indulge my imagination with the overpriced knobs and knickknacks around me. I don’t know how else to get her to stop treating me like a mark, but I’m desperate and willing to do the one thing I always bring my headphones with me to avoid: I start talking to the employee.

Then I start following her, casually, of course, perusing the things she walks past and chatting up a bevy of questions. I begin a long, casual detailing of my “plan.” There’s a corner of my living room I’m trying to decorate, I lie. It’s got this and that, and here’s four minutes of me describing how I decorated another part of my living room, but there’s just one spot I can’t decide on. I even go so far as to come up with several design concepts off the cuff. I’m saying things like “rustic retro” and “unifying pieces” and “50s French cafe palette” without letting on that I was just describing different aspects of Anthropologie’s decor with words I’ve heard on HGTV.

I point out some $300 wall sconces with earnest intrigue and ask her check to see if they’re sold in a different color (they’re not, of course). Oh, bummer, that’s a no-go. I ask her to check if a $500 chair comes in any yellow hues online (it doesn’t, but it is in orange - an appalling comment that sets off a monologue about the olive undertones in my nearly translucent skin and how they so dreadfully clash with oranges). I circle her all over the store, her pace speeding up as my problems became more nuanced. If she walks away from a task to do something else, I wait, and instead of giving her the relief of a segue into the end of a conversation, I pick up where I left off.

“So like I was saying,” comes out of my mouth at least three times, each time feeling more pointed, more of a weapon than the last.

Having circled the whole store’s neutral and blue themes, I settle on a tangible need that I know won’t end with me stubbornly buying a ridiculous thing just to prove I can pay for it (I can’t): a “pop of red” for a “fleur-de-lis shelf with a cascading array of polaroids knotted with twine.” I politely plead her into finding a deep red - no, not bright red, that’s far too harsh - to compliment the nonexistent yellows and soft blues already in my “eclectically soothing French-infused retro-rustic” living room. After she pulls down a small watercolor in a frame I found “too sharp for the room” and details her (weak) pros and cons of a hanging fixture versus a plant and sitting through anecdotes about the process of moving into an apartment with a totally different space, I finally decide I can’t indulge my daydreams or oversaturate this employee with my clingy kindness any longer.

And so, with a grace reserved only for those who know the suffering they have the power to end, I mention a candle I saw that seemed to fit what I was looking for. A single, $28 candle in a red glass. I had spotted it as soon as I had first walked in but didn’t want to get it. I knew it would be overpriced, and I was only there to treat myself to imagining a pretty world far away from my reality.

This candle, spotted just seconds before I would be marked as a possible thief and every shimmer of my imagination dulled into dust by this one employee. A single, red, $28 candle I knew I had to buy just to show I could. Her delight at the conclusion of my torture is manifested into steeling away in a back room, likely convinced I would rope her in to deciding whether a candle is “the way to go.”

A single, $28 candle I’ll be returning tomorrow with feigned disappointment that it was too bulky for the soft, minimal theme I concocted for a corner of my living room before I proceed to peruse the store again, headphones in, without the slightest regret despite how nice the candle is. Because I bought almost the exact same candle right before going into that store for my ‘special treat’ of imagination, except the candle I bought was from Ross. For $5. Marked down from $7. Without even the slightest hassle or dream interruption along with it.