A couple of months ago now I was at a house party and somehow (I have a feeling it began with my admiring someone’s Fitbit) we ended up talking about makeup in the gym (wild nights). And not for the first time, I was involved in a conversation on a topic where everyone had a different view. One came to the gym from uni and couldn’t be arsed taking it off. Another was on a uni sports team and didn’t see the point of wearing it to train. It made me consider: why do people wear makeup to the gym, is it a bad thing, and why does it even matter so much?
I occupy a weird position on this one. My opinion changes depending on how I personally feel, as I’m fairly certain it does for most of us– some days I’m happy not to wear makeup, some days I need a bit of concealer. If that concealer is the difference between me going and not going, then I know which one I’d pick.
More often than not I don’t wear makeup to the gym. I go first thing in the morning, before “normal people” are up, and so I’m not going to put makeup on purely to exercise. But! The exception to the rule: if I have a massive zit, or I have picked a massive zit, I will put concealer on it. Now, I am perfectly willing to admit that this comes from a place of major insecurity. Those of you who have read this blog for a long time will know I used to have a lot of issues with dermatillomania, or excoriation disorder as I’ve recently heard it referred to as. You can Google this, but basically it means you have an issue with the impulse/control system that stops other people from picking their skin or participating in other addictive habits. My issues were my legs- and my face. Occasionally, when I’m mighty stressed, I do find myself picking. And I will then cover this up while it heals. I hate doing this when I go to the gym, but at the moment I still very occasionally do it. So, I can appreciate the level of insecurity that some people have surrounding going bare faced at times, whatever the reason.
Some people simply enjoy looking put together at all times. They love makeup, and they want to wear it. Sometimes they’re coming from a day at work, and the few minutes it would take to remove makeup are the two minutes that their motivation could wane. Believe me, some days two minutes is all it takes. It’s easier to head straight into the gym.
I know a lot of memes say “if your makeup lasts then you aren’t working hard enough”. Trust me, the concealer I use will not budge. I still come out of the gym a mess, but my concealer is- for the most part -intact. That my concealer lasts says nothing about how hard I am working, its just a great concealer and I have lots of practice applying it.
However. I can completely understand why people who come in with a full face of slap- and I mean foundation, brows, lips, mascara, powder etc- can piss people off. And I can explain this very simply having given it some thought. In the moment of my working out, when I am dying, seeing a princess bouncing away on the treadmill for an hour on the slowest speed possible, pausing to take a selfie, is more than a bit annoying.
Here’s the thing though: in the weights room you find exactly the same people. You find guys who sit on their phones, hogging one machine for a good half an hour, doing nothing- nothing but taking flexing selfies. They just aren’t wearing makeup, because it’s not such a social norm.
It’s people who don’t work in the gym that annoy me, and many others. That is the crux of the matter. For some reason, wearing makeup has become associated with not working hard enough. Let me put it this way: you can go to the gym and work hard no matter what you have on your face. It’s personal preference. Some people simply like to wear it, some people wear it because it make them feel a little better.
The only thing I have to say if you are going to wear makeup is this: make sure you remove it properly afterwards. Don’t let it fester on your face for the rest of the day, because combined with old sweat it will irritate your skin if you aren’t careful. This is a major argument for not wearing it, or at least keeping it minimal. A pack of good makeup wipes and a cleanser though should help you out here though.
So, makeup or no makeup in the gym? I don’t feel like there is any one answer. I have my preferences, and others have theirs. Admittedly, until I sat down to write this, I did think that those who wore makeup to the gym annoyed me, but makeup is more of a thing that has become associated with those who don’t work over all else. That is what I think is at the heart of the argument.
What do you guys think? Makeup? No makeup? Depends on how you’re feeling? Let me know below…