Despise it or dig it, athleisure hits the beauty scene

The fitness phenomenon may have taken over our wardrobes, but could it be about to take over our makeup too?

Go on confess, we won’t judge, and neither will any of the other 1.4 million Instagram #gymselfie-ers. Gyms are a breeding ground of social media soldiers wanting to share their workouts, outfits and snacks with their online followers, so is it any wonder we want to look good all the time? The pressure is on to withstand the heat – and I’m not talking Bikram.

We modern city women are always under pressure to be one step ahead in the game of life. In the gym one minute and in a business meeting the next, obviously followed by a homemade plant-based protein-fuelled lunch from the latest Deliciously Ella book. In conjunction with this fitness phenomenon, athleisure has become a byproduct (trainers are way more suited to the underground than heels ever were), but could it be about to take over the beauty sector too?

HIIT classes are the saviour to getting sweaty before work Monday to Friday, but when it comes to the weekend where our gym sesh is shortly followed by a coffee or two with a girlfriend, it is something of a sweaty inconvenience. Showering, reapplying our original made up features, getting ready for a second time that day is not something we enjoy. Beauty brands like Tarte, Sweat and the subscription service Birchbox claim to have found the solution to keeping it together…

The pressure is on to withstand the heat – and I’m not talking Bikram.

… Athleisure beauty. Described as high maintenance products with a low maintenance routine, could this be what fit bunny queens have been yearning for? “For us, this line is about more than just going to the gym — it’s a lifestyle,” explains Maureen Kelly, Tarte Cosmetics founder and CEO, on the new Hustle & Glow makeup collection. It’s the “yoga pants of skincare” she says, the products feel good, look good and provide a quiet confidence for your workouts.

The Youtube promotional video garnered over 80,000 views and saw the brand swiftly endorsed by fitfluencers and blogger elites like Laura Sanchez and the Popsugar fitness team. Ladies, girls and women were quick to embrace the new concept and the Clean Queen vegan deodorant rapidly sold out.

In other news, Sweat cosmetics was founded by five professional female athletes in an attempt to solve their fitness woes. Described as ‘high performance naturals’ using multi-purpose all natural ingredients, the collection was created alongside a chemist in order to ensure anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory properties eradicated panda eyes whilst retaining the skin’s moisture levels. However Kate Kerr, advanced skin therapist at Kate Kerr London, explains that “sweat isn’t the enemy when it comes to breakouts.” In fact, the real enemy are the products clogging up our pores in the first place. Sweat is effectively your body pushing out the toxins from your body when our oil glands go into overdrive. This happens as a result of our core body temperature rising during an intense workout. “When you leave a full-face of makeup on, it stops the sweat flushing out our pores effectively,” Kerr explains, “leading to clogged up pores which can then result in the onset of acne, skin sensitivity and post workout pimples!”

“The skin doesn’t breathe, it doesn’t have lungs!”

Anthropologists believe that the very first instance of face and body painting would have been a form of protection from the elements, but wearing makeup to the gym is only protecting us from one thing: ourselves. In a studio surrounded by mirrors where every angle of ourselves is truly exposed, it’s easy to see why women feel more confident when they can hide underneath a layer of ‘breathable’ foundation or ‘hydrating’ cheek tints. “The skin doesn’t breathe, it doesn’t have lungs!” says Kerr. Our bodies are extremely adaptive to our environments and where we can, naked skin is always best.

“I really feel like it’s a personal choice and you shouldn’t have to feel like you have to look glamorous to work out,” says Adrienne Herbert after teaching her Dance HIIT class at the Adidas Studio in London. You’d be forgiven for thinking she was indeed wearing makeup. The Adidas ambassador, renowned fitness blogger and mother of five year old son Jude has invisible pores, hydrated skin and a healthy flush post workout.

“There are some sports and some fitness brands that try to sexualise women working out so it’s got to be padded sports bras and it’s got to be sexy and it’s got to be sweaty,” she continues, “people are always like, ‘oh excuse me I’m not wearing any makeup’, but why are you apologising?” Opposing this, Courtney Jones, CEO of Sweat, explains that the brand doesn’t want to force its products on women, rather they want to use these products as a way to “encourage women to be active and to work out, and give themselves a little bit more confidence.”

If going barefaced is simply too much, Kate Kerr recommends thoroughly removing the day’s makeup and moisturisers before a workout, then applying a light dusting of mineral powder which should help eliminate post workout breakouts. In which case Sweat’s popular refill translucent mineral powder, complete with a twist brush, would be great for on the go ‘barre to bar’ days.

Working out should be a celebration. You’re able to better yourself from the inside out, take pride in who you are and the performance of your body! Sweat is a victory and the completion of a hard workout even more so. “People have become so used to wearing makeup all the time so they kind of feel weird without it,” says Adrienne, “just trial it, get used to seeing your actual face!”

Be confident and the rest will come. Smile at yourself in the mirror, be thankful and the natural beauty you are trying to achieve will come to you. Nature at its best. Promise.

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