Race Day Makeup: Yay or Nay?

As a recent Facebook post illustrated, running in makeup is a topic that elicits just a fraction more opinions other crazy important and debatable topics, like whether Red Vines are an acceptable substitute for Twizzlers.

Seriously, though, we think Christy Rose, profiled below, said it best: "In my time as a runner, I’ve found that every woman I’ve run with has her own way of feeling her best when heading out for a run.

From a naked face to a red lip and beyond, we all want to put our best foot (and face!) forward."

Amen to that. We support whatever choices you make for your face — and thought it might be fun to share some routines from nope, I never run with makeup to of course, and here's the routine I love.

Take a look: You might find your next favorite product, or you might decide to take it all off the next time a race rolls around.

running in makeup

Currently, the only makeup in the house belongs to my 16-year old daughter because I haven’t worn it for years.

I’m not making an Alicia Keys-style statement, I’ve simply decided that it’s not a routine I want to make time for. As I’ve aged, I’ve made one exception: I do slather on a moisturizer with SPF every morning (usually Aveeno Positively Radiant but I’m not married to it) and re-apply before an afternoon run. — Adrienne Martini

running in makeup

I don’t wear a lot of makeup to begin with. I’m at an age where I have to be careful about foundations, as they can just accent the cracks in my face. I’m usually concerned with getting up early enough to eat, digest and go to the bathroom, and get out the door. Adding makeup to my face before a run would just be another chore.

Full disclosure: There are times after work when I go running I haven’t washed my face from the morning’s application. I usually end up with black under my eyes afterward.

My race photos are hit and miss, but that’s usually because of the face I’m making at the time the camera caught me, not because my face is devoid of makeup.

The Nike Women's half in 2014 gave out Neutrogena face wipes at the 20 K mark to wipe your face before the finish line camera. It was a nice touch but I don't think it did much for me. The race photo shows me with a very red face.— Susan Atkinson

running in makeup

Tinted moisturizer is good. When you get flushed, it gives you a natural look. Plus, tinted moisturizer acts like a breathable base, which allows you to have sheer tint cover with SPF as well. When you sweat the tinted is less likely to run but it is a moisturizer that absorbed into the skin leaving that sheer base coverage.

I think you should wear something that acts as a barrier, not only from the sun but from any outside elements like free radicals. I like Bb flawless by Younique or Laura Mercier. Rimmel is also nice if you want something high quality but less expensive. — Penny Mislowack-Cooper

running in makeup

I use IT Cosmetics CC cream with SPF 50, a little mascara, and lip balm. That’s it!
It is truly bulletproof.

This combo protects from sweat, water, and Gatorade spills, and it is always still on at the end of the race. It gives me confidence knowing that, at age 49, when the photographer is snapping I’ll look at the pictures and feel great about them. Plus, I like that it has SPF for sun protection.— Erin Humphrey

running in makeup

In my time as a runner, I’ve found that every woman I’ve run with has her own way of feeling her best when heading out for a run.

From a naked face to a red lip and beyond, we all want to put our best foot (and face!) forward. Personally, putting a focus on my eyes makes me feel more “awake” and ready to face the miles — and the day — ahead.

For my pre-run/race face, I use Clinique’s Pep-Start for morning under-eye issues, Neutrogena’s Visibly Even daily moisturizer (fights dark spots AND SPF 30?! Yes, please!), and 2 coats of Urban Decay Perversion mascara. (There’s a waterproof version for runs in the rain). — Christy Rose

running in makeup

I rarely wear makeup in my daily life unless I am going out to meet people or for work. I walk around in gym clothes with a fresh face 90 percent of my life.

Other than SPF in the summer, I never wore makeup when I raced. Then I decided to run the Disney Princess half last February. I wanted to be in-theme, so I wore a Cinderella outfit with a crown.

Because I was in what appeared to be a costume, I decided to wear makeup. I just did my makeup like I would if I were going out with my friends/or on a date night: Liquid foundation, bronzer, mascara and a red lip.

I was concerned about the heat and sweating during the race. It was hot and humid but the beginning part of the race was before the sun came out. I really thought I’d look like a mess by the time I crossed the finish. I was pleasantly surprised when my race photos came back and every single one of them was magazine quality!

Since that race, I’ve started wearing my mascara. Typically, I don’t wear a full face of makeup unless the race is a fun run, like Disney or Pride. I try to have my hair tamed and always wear a good sunscreen.— Sarah Pampillonia

running in makeup

I don’t normally wear makeup (except leftover makeup from the day before) on training runs but on race days I like the Neutrogena Anti-Aging Perfector because it blends well, doesn’t look like makeup, but smoothies away the slight melasma from pregnancy and all my freckles from running outside.

It makes me look healthy and youthful, rather than settling into wrinkles, as a typical foundation would.

I use whatever eyebrow pencil I have on hand, because I lose them all the time. I look TERRIBLE without eyebrow pencil because my brows are invisi-blonde. I typically use taupe or light brown.

I usually just use waterproof black mascara, on my eyes, and the L’Oréal Voluminous is what I’ve used since high school. In the picture, I’m wearing L’Oréal eyeliner, which is waterproof, but I usually use Revlon ColorStay eyeliner in black or brown, if I’m going to use eyeliner. I usually use it in the winter when I’m fish-belly white.

The Maybelline Baby Lips in Cherry Me keeps my lips from getting wind-chapped. It has a nice hint of color without looking garish. I feel weird in lipstick for some reason so I only ever wear lip balm or gloss. — Susan Landolt

running in makeup

I have always been a makeup person for race day. I want to feel put together at least at the start of my adventure/performance. Whatever happens after that, I just take it as it is. But there are a few things I am consistent about.

Besides the products below, I always wear a hat or buff. It provides some shade for my face and eyes. Plus, it keeps the sweat from running down my face even on the most humid and hot race days.

running in makeup

Below are the products I use and have had the best results with. I have been consistent with the same items for a while:

Step 1) Neutrogena Age Shield Face Sunscreen with an SPF of 110: if it’s going to be sunny, I apply this first.

Step 2) Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Flawless Wear Concealer: This product seems to work well for my 46-year old wrinkled eyes and dark circles.

Step 3) Urban Decay Original Eyeshadow Primer Potion – Nude: This product is the bomb and holds my shadow on for more than 24 hours in a race.

Step 4) Amazonian Clay BB Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20: This goes on smooth and soaks in looking natural and evens skin tone without feeling or looking like cake. I don’t want to look like a teen who just discovered makeup.

Step 5)  Urban Decay Naked2 Basics Palette: This my favorite natural selection that looks good on everyone with a matte and realistic appearance. I always line the top of the lid with the darkest color with a thin angled shadow brush. I’m sure other brands have similar palettes.

Step 6) Maybelline The Colossal Waterproof Mascara: This is one of the many I have used. I think the key is to have a fresh bottle and I prefer a bush that separates the lashes.

I also usually start a race with some lipstick. Revlon Colorstay is one I like.— Jill Plamondon

Ok, what about you? Yay or nay to makeup on race day?
If yay, what products would you recommend?

10 responses to “Race Day Makeup: Yay or Nay?

  1. sometimes I will wear Clinique’s BB cream. I like that it evens out my skin tone just a bit but even better, it is SPF 30 and doesn’t run like most sunscreens!

  2. So fun! I’ve been known to take on a Saturday morning 12-miler in Friday night’s full face of makeup. My daily routine includes Mary Kay’s CC cream, waterproof mascara, and LipSense in Bella (stays on forever!) regardless of it being a run day or a jammie day.

  3. For training runs, it’s usually makeup from the day before. My eyeliner and mascara stay on FOREVER with my primer. I’m awful about washing my face before bed (SO BAD! I know…). Or if I showered the night before and actually washed my face, I’ll throw on some mascara and some tinted loose powder before I head out. I almost always have sunglasses on so not terribly concerned about eye makeup but I like a bit of powder to help with the shine and it doesn’t look cakey when I sweat.

  4. I never do, but mine is more because I don’t want to worry about wiping sweat on my clothes and leaving behind a makeup streak. That and I worry about breakouts. But you ladies look beautiful! And definitely checking out some of the above options!

  5. I always wear makeup to races. I want to look cute in race photos. I even use the hashtag #lipstickmakesmefaster
    I use Esteé Lauder Double wear foundation, a bright pink or red lipstick, and mascara.

  6. Y’all look amazing! I may need to step it up! i wear Burt’s Bee’s tinted lip balm and a pair of sunglasses! haha! Its amazing what sunglasses can do for you!

  7. Mascara is the one constant in my makeup life. I used to say it was the one thing I’d want with me if I were stuck on a desert island! I don’t even leave the bathroom after a shower without mascara on. So, running or not, it’s always there. L’Oreal Voluminous has always been a go-to, but for Christmas my daughter got me a small tube of Milk Makeup Kush mascara. O.M.G. Perfection in a tube! It’s a little spendy, but worth it. I’ll use waterproof in the summer. Lip gloss or balm is always on too and I’m ready to go. Sidenote: my eyebrows disappeared with menopause, so I was constantly filling them in, and they would melt away. Finally had my brows microbladed…gamechanger! Now I am truly a 60 second makeup gal!

  8. I only wear makeup for a Disney race because the makeup is part of the costume and the race photos are amazing. Interesting, I wear much of the same makeup as what other women have posted.

  9. I use Beautycounter dew Skin tinted moisturizer with SPF 30. Wonderful coverage and no harmful chemicals! Just enough tint to even out skin tone. I typically wear a little mascara to give my eyes some definition and make me look awake. Not fancy but it works!

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