Your makeup kit checklist for pre and post-lunchtime gym sessions

25 June 2019
By Fashion Quarterly

How to prepare and recover your skin for a sweat session.

Squeezing in a quick lunchtime gym class always sounds like a great idea in theory until you see the aftermath staring back at you in the mirror (amirite?!). There’s no doubt about it – working out at work without anyone noticing is a hard task.

The tell-tale signs are obvious: wet hair, running makeup, panda eyes and a shiny face. But, if you’re like me and struggle to muster the energy in the morning and have zero motivation come 5pm, then it really is the best (and only) option if you want to stay in shape.

At least a few times a week I get asked how exactly I manage to get back at my desk within the hour and not look like a sweaty mess. The answer? you need a makeup routine that will go the distance. 

From coverage that can withstand spin class to mists that revive and clarify, here is your new gym staples sure to take the heat off your next session:


Primer is your friend
If you plan on breaking a sweat come lunchtime, having the foresight to apply primer in the morning will make a world of difference. Primer will keep your makeup looking flawless and help to combat shine.  Look for a colour-correcting anti-redness primer, which are typically green tinted as green neutralises any red zones on the face.

We love: Maybelline Master Prime Anti-Redness Primer, $18.99; Innoxa Anti-Redness Primer, $29.95

BB cream or mineral makeup
Mix sweat, heat and foundation together and you have the ideal environment for breakouts. Try to stay clear of foundation and opt for lighter coverage like BB cream or mineral foundation, which is breathable and non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog pores – and before you dismiss and think ‘it won’t hold up’, read on for another hack.


We love: Nude By Nature Sheer Glow BB Cream, $34.95; La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL BB Comfort Cream SPF 50+, $31.99

Waterproof mascara
We’ve all been there – lashings of mascara half way down our face following a workout. A durable waterproof mascara is a must when exercising.

We love: Australis Eyegasm Waterproof Mascara, $16.99; Clinique FIT Workout 24-Hour Mascara, $46; Revlon Volumazing Waterproof Mascara, $25.

Brow gel
Much like hair gel, a brow gel will tame and hold your brows in pristine condition. For the Bikram yogis out there, it will endure even the hottest of sessions!

We love: The Body Shop Brow and Lash Gel, $; NYX Control Freak Eyebrow Gel, $14.45.

Setting spray
Ahh the pièce de résistance! The name says it all really – double lock down your makeup with a heavy-duty spritz of setting spray.

We love: Urban Decay De-Slick Oil Control Makeup Setting Spray, $25.


Face wipes
If you can spare five minutes to shower, save valuable time and swap your cleanser for some face wipes to tidy up what’s left over after. Gone are the days where wipes simply removed makeup, now most are also enriched with cleansing agents like aloe vera and vitamin E. 

We love: Nivea Caring Micellar Wipes 3-in-1, $9.99; Swisspers Cucumber Cleansing Wipes, $7.99

Facial mists
But, if you don’t have the time, this genius invention is like a cold shower in a bottle, making it the perfect post gym pick-me-up. In addition to giving your skin a refreshing boost, they also help to calm and balance dehydrated and inflamed skin.

We love: Skinfood Organic Coconut Mist Toner, $12.99; Nutrimetics Clear Mattifying Face Mist, $32.

Dry shampoo
Keep a dry shampoo handy in your gym bag at all times! With a few spritzes, they help to soak up excess moisture and sweat. You can also apply dry shampoo at the roots before working out, which will act as a shield preventing your whole head getting saturated with sweat.

We love: Schwarzkopf got2b Fresh It Up Extra Fresh Dry Shampoo, $13.99

Blow dry accelerators
Yes they are a thing and yes you need one in your gym bag stat! If you have the luxury of a hair dryer at your work these miracle workers will speed up drying time and have you back at your desk faster than ever.

We love: Schwarzkopf got2b Guardian Angel Blow Dry Spray, $13.99

Still perspiring after your shower? While an obvious one before working out, it’s just as important to apply deodorant afterwards. Even after your heart rate and breathing return to normal, it can take a while for your body to cool down. Don’t forget to apply it everywhere that you have sweat glands – not just your underarms. If you’re heading back to work, an invisible deodorant is the safest bet.

We love: Nivea Invisible Black & White Clear Roll-On, $6.99

This article originally appeared on beautyheaven,

Words: Erin Berryman
Photos: Getty Images

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