Some people enjoy working out. It’s their “thing.” They talk about marathons with starry-eyed awe, and become giddy at the prospect of deadlifts.
I lack the proper motivation to truly enjoy working my body to the point of exhaustion. When someone mentions the gym or the yoga studio, it sounds like a good idea… you know, in theory.
As a girlie girl, I’ve always hated simple maintenance workouts — because they don’t feel pretty. You sweat. You breathe heavily. You make funny faces. Oftentimes, you wake up super-early to hit the gym before you step into the office, or you exercise after that already-too-long workday. Ugh.
Working out actually feels downright ugly — which is why I sometimes doll up to work out. Yes: I make sure to have cute workout outfits prepped and ready to go daily, and I usually apply a bit of makeup to brighten up my complexion.
Now there’s a reason, and it’s not vanity. Sometimes, I’ll immediately wash that makeup off and go run errands with a fresh face. The reason is simple, but not necessarily practical: I’ve always felt like my best and most-confident self with makeup and a cute outfit on.
A lot of people think exercise is just “that thing you hate, but do anyway to stay in shape.” It doesn’t have to be, though, even if you can’t find a workout you like better than a Netflix marathon.
Dolling up a bit gives you an excuse to wear fun, bright sporty clothes and test out some new makeup formulations. You know that old saying, “When you look good you feel good”? It applies in all contexts, whether on your wedding day or on the mat for yoga class. If you’re a girl who’s inspired to go grocery shopping just to test out her new riding boots, or has been wondering how BB cream wears on a warm day for a while now, workouts present another opportunity to play. Utilize ’em.
Every time I step into my cute activewear crop top and slimming leggings, after applying a swipe of color on my cheeks and lips, it’s like: Hey, this whole workout deal isn’t so bad after all! It’s amazing how the little things do a number on your attitude.
Try it yourself. Here are my tips for dolling up right:
Check the Label
Apply oil-free, non-comedogenic products to your face only. These won’t cause breakouts, or clog pores. I like tinted moisturizers (try Laura Mercier) and BB creams (try Garnier), with a light touch of oil-free powder on top to set. I also use a dab of cheek and lip stain to add some color (try Benefit or Dior).
Curl, Don’t Coat
Skip mascara and other eye makeup for exercising. You’re still there to get a job done, which involves sweat. You’ll regret the mascara when you’re wiping your irritated raccoon eyes. Instead, simply curl your eyelashes for a wide-eyed wake-up.
Update Your Up-Dos
Play with your hair. Workouts represent great opportunities to try new hairstyles, from fishtail braids and crowns to criss-crossed bobby pins and glittery headbands. If it keeps your hair out of your eyes and sounds interesting, test it. Go to town.
Take “Athleisure” Risks
There are so many workout clothes on the market these days, so try new items. Go for the crop top or the rainbow-colored tights. Activewear is a whole new world of color and print, so you don’t have to worry about toning it down. Take risks. You may just discover your new off-duty look, especially with “athleisure” styles officially becoming fashion-forward. You want something that’s both extremely flattering and extremely comfortable, so find styles that can be your “feel good” go-tos. Try H&M, Old Navy and T.J. Maxx as affordable, stylish options.