The Gym Girl’s Guide to Pretty: Makeup Review

I love the gym. I love to sweat and work hard. I love chalking it up, and throwing heavy weights around. Most of the time, I work out with the bros… lots of times, I share their bar… guys frequently tell me they want to look like me, or lift like me (yep, that happens, it doesn’t need to be awkward)… and it’s great fun. However, and this may come as a shock to you, Dear Reader… I’m not really a bro. At heart, I’m just a girl, who doesn’t really want a whole lot more than to look and feel pretty, and eat delicious food. Lifting heavy stuff is a bonus. (just kidding, that’s a lie, I really want all the things… chase your dreams, Dear Reader!)So, even when I’m at the gym for my typical bro sesh, I take a little effort to actually look like a girl. It’s one reason I love Lululemon clothing. Their line is without exception very feminine, very flattering, and I never have to compromise on quality/functionality. But that’s another article…For today, let’s talk makeup.Now, ladies, you may be one who just doesn’t care about who sees what and how much of it. Dark circles, blemishes, uneven skin tone… you couldn’t care less. OR, maybe you’re blessed with flawless glowing skin, and simply don’t understand what the fuss is all about. If that’s you, move on, you don’t need to read any further.I was blessed with good, but not perfect skin, and I just feel better when I put on a little makeup. I also have the dual role at the gym, most times, of coach and athlete, and I do feel a need to put a professional face forward.I’ve found products over the years that work really well under some pretty intense (read sweaty) situations. Just to give you an idea, I occasionally break out (gasp), especially around that time. I have fair skin that tends to be sensitive to fragrances and fillers. I also like to keep my makeup routine simple. I spend 10 minutes or less on my makeup. My standards are pretty high, here’s what it takes to make my list: I need something that can last all day (sometimes that means 10 hours or more), through a hard work out, through the office, teaching lessons, and often back to the gym. I need products that won’t break the bank. While I wear makeup, and am willing to invest in good skin care, I don’t actually believe you need to spend a fortune to get great quality products. What I put on my face must be good for my skin, and certainly not exacerbate blemishes or imperfections. And, lastly, I need ease of use, and accessibility. I’m not going to wait three weeks for my products to ship from Hungary. If I can’t pick it up around town, or get it quickly and easily online, it’s just not going to work. With those qualifications, here’s what fits the bill…L’Oreal Paris Visible Lift Serum Absolute Advanced Age-Reversing Makeup ~$13. This is such an outstanding product. This makeup takes me from gym at 5:00 am to my last class at 7:00 pm with hardly a touch up needed. It provides excellent medium (and build-able) coverage without ever feeling thick or crusty. The liquid formula goes on beautifully smooth (I apply with clean fingertips) and finishes to a powder. It lasts through sweating, and just performs like a champ. I love that it comes in plenty of fair shades, with a few that are even too light for my skin (that hardly ever happens!). And it’s a complete package with effective UVB/UVF SPF 17. In terms of anti-aging, I can’t really speak to the benefits, but as an excellent irritant-free foundation, this is an all-around winner. This formula is appropriate for all skin types.While I am really loving the extra coverage offered by the Visible Lift Serum, I don’t always need so much coverage, and especially in very warm or humid conditions, a lighter formula is what I prefer. In that case, I turn to Neutrogena Healthy Skin Enhancer Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 ~$12 or Neutrogena Healthy Skin Glow Sheers, SPF 30 ~$13. These are both really lovely, sheer formulas, which I have used interchangeably. The Tinted Moisturizer sets to just a bit more sheer and matte than the Glow Sheers.They both blend really well, and offer just a hint of coverage. Add in the SPF and this is just a fantastic option if you’re looking for something light. Appropriate for dry to normal skin types. This one isn’t the workhorse that L’Oreal’s formula is, but is another really great option to even out just a bit.I like to follow up my foundation with a pressed powder. Neutrogena Healthy Skin Pressed Powder, SPF 20 ~$13 has been my go-to for years. Not only does it offer a little more SPF protection (just to be sure) over my foundation, but it helps foundation last longer. (I mentioned I often go for very long days) This one blends really well, wears well, and comes in a variety of shades, without having anything that will irritate your skin.Let’s talk eyes next. I like to keep it simple. I’ve been getting eyelash extensions for a couple years now, and I LOVE them, so I actually don’t have a mascara recommendation to offer here. On mornings when all I have time for is foundation, the eyelashes do their job, and I don’t give it a second thought. But often, time allowing, I like to add a bit of eyeliner to my top lid. Whatever your eye makeup preferences, the last thing you want is the raccoon look when you’re done with that last set. Here’s what I’ve used that stays put.First off, I use a primer. Not everyone may need this step, but since this is geared towards the athletic crowd, I find it’s necessary when I’m wearing makeup, working out, and then heading straight to work to avoid my eyeliner creasing. The less touch up needed, the better. I use e.l.f. Shadow Lock Eyelid Primer, Sheer $2, then follow with a dusting of pressed powder before I move on to eye-liner or shadow. This goes on completely sheer, and does a great job. My only complaint with this is that the tube really doesn’t hold much, but it’s so cheap I usually stock up to keep it on hand. I like to pick this up at Target. Maybelline New York Unstoppable Eyeliner ~$5-8. However thick or thin, if you like to wear eyeliner, this eyeliner holds on and can do it all. Like I said, once I leave for the day, I don’t like to take too much time for touch ups. This glides on smooth, won’t pull delicate skin, and once set is unbeatable for staying power.Revlon ColorStay Eyeliner with SoftFlex ~$6 is another great option, that is really similar to Maybelline’s formula. Both of them apply really well, and stay put.Neutrogena Revitalizing Lip Balm ~$7. Last, but not least, I keep one of these handy everywhere I go. I’m not too much of a lipstick girl. I’m always worried that it’s smeared on my teeth or all over my face, plus I’ve always found it a real challenge to find a texture that I like to wear in a lipstick. My lips dry out easily. This is the perfect solution. It’s very moisturizing, keeps my lips healthy and smooth (a must), AND it has the prettiest subtle color to it. My favorite shade is petal glow. I don’t have to check in the mirror when I put it on, or worry about whether it needs touching up… it’s pretty much perfection!Dear Reader, I hope this was helpful! When it comes to makeup, there are so many options, I find a good recommendation is invaluable! Also, remember, you’re beautiful with or without it! For now, that’s all #gingersays

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