Some people gasp out of horror when I admit this out loud, but if you find me at the gym, I'm probably wearing makeup. I work out every day (sometimes twice a day), and before I head out the door, I'll usually spend a few minutes in front of the mirror applying blush, eyebrow pencil, and mascara.
It may sound ridiculous at first, especially when you think about the fact that I'll likely sweat it off anyway, but walking into the gym looking my best makes me feel more confident and totally prepared for my workout. Unfortunately, there are some people out there who shame me and many other women for wearing makeup to the gym. They'll whisper vehemently behind our backs or text their friends about us mid-workout.
But I'm past the point of caring anymore. I don't need validation or permission to put on a little blush before my cycling class.
When I first started going to the gym, I felt incredibly insecure. It seemed like everyone around me was ultrafit. They knew exactly what they were doing with the barbells, while I was struggling to pick up the five-pound weights. In addition to that, I was overweight and self-conscious about my figure. I was so intimidated that, after my first few visits, I stopped going altogether.
A couple months later, I summoned up the courage to give it another try. This time, instead of leaving for the gym completely bare, I brushed my hair and pulled it up into a topknot. Then I took a stick of all-natural, toxin-free cream blush (I use Vapour Multi-Use Classic) and dabbed it onto my cheekbones. I filled in my eyebrows, applied some mascara, and put on a tinted lip moisturiser. To finish it off, I dabbed concealer on a couple of red spots.
It was an instant pick-me-up. I looked in the mirror and felt more like myself. Just like I feel more comfortable going to work with some makeup on my face, I felt better knowing that I was going to arrive at the gym feeling polished and put together. From that point on, it became a routine.
Since then, not only have I found that I feel more invested in my workouts, but I find that it's easier to socialise with people at the gym as well. It has become easier to introduce myself and chat with friendly individuals around me. I've even made friends with some of the trainers around the gym, who have given me great tips for my workout and sometimes stretch me out at the end of my session, free of charge. I'm also much more likely to document my workouts at the gym, take pictures, and post on social media. This has helped me keep track of my fitness progress and overall weight loss.
That's not to say I couldn't have done these things without makeup on, but they all came easier when I felt confident in how I presented myself to the world.
Knowing that wearing heavy makeup can clog your pores when you sweat and possibly cause breakouts, I make sure to only use light, natural products that give me an organic glow more than anything else. I've been wearing makeup to the gym for over a year now, and I have yet to experience any skin problems. So even if it's unpopular among some crowds, it's a habit I don't think I'll be giving up anytime soon.