She’s boxing. At least I think she is. With her lids included in opalescent red shadow and her face perfectly highlighted, version Adriana Lima is flexing her fingers and baring her toned abs in shorts and a crop pinnacle. The advert has observed the candy spot all girls’ fitness advertising appears to aspire to—somewhere right among sporty and attractive.
Lima is posing for Puma X Maybelline, an exercise-makeup collaboration that includes highlighter, smudge-proof mascara, and liquid lipstick in sun shades like Fearless, a saturated pink, and Fierce, a darkish pink. Maybelline isn’t by myself in seeking to make ladies sparkle whilst they sweat. Cosmetics enterprise Tarte has a whole athleisure collection, subscription beauty enterprise Birchbox’s in-residence emblem, Arrow, is made for an “on-the-move, lively lifestyles,” and Insta-well-known Nike trainer Kirsty God so reps CliniqueFit, whose products encompass a mascara and cheek tint. In January, Wet n Wild released a set it calls Ath-Beauty, at the same time as Covergirl debuted its Active line, geared closer to sporty, photo-aware consumers.
Although some of those offerings are specially formulated for sweaty workouts, others just seem to be tagging normal makeup with an “athleisure” label. Still, lots of the products are selling the identical perfect of Lululemon leggings: the ability to pivot from a workout to the rest of your lifestyles, whether that’s grocery purchasing or a drink with buddies. Athleisure assumes a steady state of busyness that doesn’t come up with the money for your time to exchange modes. So these new items are less blush for the backcountry and extra make-up for weekdays when you’re attempting to break far away from the laptop and opt for a run. “Our customer is a multitasker who’s searching out clean-to-use merchandise so as to serve a clean motive in her recurring,” says Kirstin Ratcliffe, the makeup service provider for Arrow.
Such multitasking is each attractive and terrifying. On one hand, sure, efficiency, please. To that stop, Ratcliffe says Arrow gives girls merchandise that makes their daily life less difficult, due to the fact they can use its make-up and skin care inside and outside of the gym. But the negative implication of that efficiency is that ladies—and this is all advertised closer to girls—have to be made upon the fitness center and shouldn’t be barefaced even while nailing dumbbell rows. It creates yet every other narrative round woman beauty requirements that distract from our athletic accomplishments and desires.
Still, a clean-face exercise may be a hard ask for lots of girls. “It’s no mystery that most dermatologists sell makeup-free sweating. But it’s just now not practical for maximum. For me personally, I hardly ever exit of the house without something on my face,” says Courtney Jones, co-founder of Sweat Cosmetics, a line of foundations and highlighters designed to be worn at the same time as working out.
According to dermatologists, working out with make-up on doesn’t have critical fitness impacts. But due to the fact your pores open for the duration of a workout, something is on your skin—sweat, oil, and makeup—will be extra comfortably absorbed, which could clog pores and cause zits. Meghan Feely, a board-certified dermatologist, recommends searching out products which are noncomedogenic and oil-free, like the CliniqueFit line, and washing your face after sweating. Jones, a former expert soccer player, started out Sweat when she and her cofounders couldn’t find make-up that in shape within these dermatological standards to put on at some stage in all-day education classes. She says the response to the new athletic-makeup line has been strongly effective, due to the fact she thinks it provides a higher alternative for girls who could be carrying makeup even as sweating besides.
At face cost, these alternatives appear like a good issue to me. I realize lots of individuals who like the playfulness and creativity that comes with being capable of exchange their appears. I have friends who say that setting on makeup before their training session makes them sense greater confident—and self-belief is one of the principal reasons why they workout. “Usually, it’s simply anything is left over from the day. Mascara, that form of the element,” says Sierra Shafer, editor-in-chief of Powder Mag. “But I will say, although I’m running out in the morning, I nevertheless get up and put on my makeup, because it makes me experience proper approximately myself. If I’m there just feeling insecure every time I skip a reflect, I realize I’m no longer going to get an excellent exercise. But if I experience cute, I feel like myself.”
I marvel if that confidence would sense barely one-of-a-kind if there weren’t a parade of Instagram influencers giving concrete—but frequently staged—examples of how plenty higher you may appear each time you scroll through your smartphone. The problem isn’t that numerous traces of athleisure make-up exist, it’s that those examples are anywhere and experience inescapable.
For me, and I’m guessing I’m not alone, workout has often been the best time and area when I’m not thinking about how I look. Addressing my look earlier than I begin sweating takes away some of that freedom. It brings the creep of the ever-present external gaze again in, and it pulls away from that secure area where no one is judging you however yourself.
While I don’t need to dunk on everyone who feels better in mascara, the upward thrust of workout make-up seems like the amalgam of loads of terrible trends: the implication that no region is suitable to be barefaced and the onslaught of influences whose lives and asses are flawlessly contoured. It is a consistent, onerous want to be on, which at some point will force us to face first into our graves.
That said, it’s no longer a simple seasoned or con. It’s difficult to untangle #selfcare from what feels socially enforced, and the line of demarcation is different for every person. Workout makeup is a component feminist send-up, driven by the preference to provide us extra time and extra alternatives, but it’s also element performative external pressure, driven by means of organizations looking to capitalize on unrealistic standards of what ladies need to look like.
But that’s what being a female often feels like these days.

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