I’m not too big of a person to admit that I seethe with jealousy any time someone tells me they worked out over their lunch break. I would kill to be able to do that. Could you imagine how much more productive I’d be in the afternoons after a little midday pick-me-up?
Thing is, it’s not really a time issue for me. I’m the queen of high-intensity, super-short workouts that are just as (if not more) effective as slogging on the treadmill for an hour. What I can’t quite master, though, is the post-workout cleanup routine. You guys, I’m going to be blunt here: I am a sweaty, disgusting mess after I work out. I pretty much have to shower completely, top to bottom, to recover, and who has time for that plus a good workout on a lunch break? Not me.
Or at least, that’s what I always figured until I talked to local beauty experts Béke Beau, a fab Main Line makeup artist, and Monique Mason, owner of Old City’s organic beauty and haircare studio, Moko. They’ve managed to convince me that with a little advance preparation and a well-stocked arsenal of beauty products, even sweaty, disgusting me can join the ranks of the lucky lunch-hour fit-erati.
If you’re in my boat, you’ll want to read on. Here are their best tips for looking positively powder fresh after an awesome lunchtime workout.
1. Primer Is Your Friend
I’ll admit that I’ve never used a makeup primer; I just never saw the point—until now. “Primer makes your makeup last longer,” says Beau. Just use a dab all over your face in the morning before you apply your makeup for best results. If you’re not willing to commit to all-over primer, Beau says to at least use a good eyeshadow primer; she likes Urban Decay’s Primer Potion ($20). That way your eye makeup, which takes the longest to apply, will stay put, leaving you with just cheek-and-skin-touchup work post-workout.
2. Use Waterproof Makeup Wherever Possible
Waterproof mascara’s a given, of course, but did you know they make waterproof eyeliner and eyeshadow, too? There are also waterproof bronzers, blushes and even foundations. With all the sweat involved in a midday workout, certainly can’t hurt.
3. Focus on Fixing Your Skin
Ok, now that your eye makeup’s definitely staying put, it’s time to invest in products that will restore your skin post-workout. First, get rid of the sweat and excess dirt with a face wipe. Beau likes Josie Maran’s Bear Naked Cleansing Wipes ($12), which are made with natural ingredients and are paraben- and fragrance-free. “They won’t take off too much makeup, so you’re not down to your bear skin, but they’ll get off everything you need to get off on your face other than your eye makeup,” she says. Once your skin is clean, touch up under your eyes with a concealer pen if your makeup smudged and go over your face with a pressed-powder foundation. “Don’t use a creamy foundation after a workout,” says Beau. “It will leave a dewiness on your skin.”
4. Find Products that Do Double Duty …
This will save you time and space in your gym bag, says Beau. She likes The Multiple from Nars ($39), a creamy accent stick for cheeks and lips, and RMS Beauty’s Lip2Cheek ($36), a mineral-based two-in-one. Her go-to is the Smile shade.
5. … And Ones that Are Available in Travel Sizes
Again, this is a space-saving measure more than anything else, but Mason swears by Intelligent Nutrients, a certified-organic beauty and makeup line that comes in travel-friendly sizes. For your post-gym purposes, she swears by the pore-scrubbing anti-aging mist ($18), which you can spritz over top of your newly touched-up makeup or immediately after your workout if you don’t have time to reapply.
6. There Is Such a Thing as Anti-Perspirant for Your Face
I know—I was shocked, too. Beau says she knows of makeup artists who actually put clear, unscented deodorant (like, the armpit kind) on clients’ faces to help control sweat. She doesn’t recommend going that route, but if you’re hitting the gym at lunch and have, say, a hot date after work, it’s safe to break out the Michael Davy Sweat Stop Anti-Perspirant Skin Prep ($10), which she keeps in her makeup arsenal for particularly glisten-y brides and grooms. Just dab a drop on problem areas (the bridge of your nose, upper lip, or forehead, for example). “I wouldn’t use it all the time, but once in a while is okay,” says Beau. “My clients really seem to like it.”
7. A Good Fragrance Goes a Long Way
Yes, ladies, it’s time to ditch the fast-evaporating Bath and Body Works body spray from high school (totally guilty, mind you). Upgrading to a scent that actually lasts can do wonders for a post-gym cleanup routine. Mason loves Intelligent Nutrients’ Destress Express hair and body spray ($40). Infused with scents of mint and spices, “it’s almost a natural Ben Gay-type effect,” she says. Dab it on your sweatiest parts for an insta-cool sensation.
8. Have a Plan for Your Hair
If you’re one of those magical types who can take your hair out of a ponytail without having that horrible rubber-band kink, I hate you. For the rest of us, the Good Lord invented Bobby Pins and headbands. You only need a few of the former to create a pretty chignon in seconds. But if that’s too far out of your beauty wheelhouse, you could always freshen up your ponytail (I like low ones to the side, personally, but you can do whatever looks good with your face) and add a braided-hair headband ($10) for some style points.
>> Are you a lunch-time gym-goer? What are your post-workout beauty tips and tricks? I’m dying to hear ’em. Share in the comments, please!