What Do You Put On Your Race-Day Face?

When I was a four years old, my aunt let me play with her make-up. Shimmery pink blush, purple eye shadow, frosted fuschia on the lips and voila- I was beautiful. My mom wasn’t happy about it, but after that, it became a ritual. Every time I visited my aunt, I headed straight for her vanity. My experimenting continued as I got older; in high school, my friends and I would drive to the best mall in our city and head straight for the make-up counter at Saks. In college, my friends would “schedule” appointments with me for make-up before sorority functions. I still love make-up. I love to wear it. I love to play with it. I have fun trying different products and colors (I wore a bright fuschia lip recently, much to my husband’s dismay. He prefers my “natural” look). I could spend an hour in Sephora and then head across the street to Ulta. (Sorry, husband.)

Fun make-up for a super cool concert we saw a few weeks ago. Alright, it was Kidz Bop. Le sigh.

Fun make-up for a super cool concert we saw a few weeks ago. Alright, it was Kidz Bop. Le sigh.

Earlier this month, I went for a run at 3pm. That morning, I applied some light make-up, and neglected to scrub it off before heading outside to exercise. Well, within five minutes, my tinted moisturizer and mascara were stinging my eyes! Ouch. I sweat a lot when I run, and get pretty flushed, so there’s really no need for make-up. If it didn’t melt off of my face (or into my eyes), one wouldn’t be able to see it post-race anyway. I wondered if my friends wore make-up during their races, especially my girly-gals, so I decided it was time for some chick chat.

BEC:

I don’t think I ever realized that people wore makeup for races until I was getting ready for last year’s Color Me Rad with my friend Heather and she was doing her eyes. And honestly, I was shocked. It had never occurred to me to put makeup on for a race. Even once I knew that this was a thing people do, I didn’t. Most of the time, I’m all ‘I’m a girl! I like pink! I like sparkle! I like pretty!’. But on race day, in addition to being a nervous wreck, I’m all ‘I’m about to go get truly gross and stinky and sweaty. You can keep your eyeshadow, thanks.’ The most you’ll see me rocking on race day is tinted moisturizer. And I promise you, that’s pushing it.

CAM:

I wear waterproof mascara occasionally. But usually I’m just al natural.

JESS:

I rarely go out into the world without makeup. The first 8 weeks of Bug’s life were an exception, mainly because I barely knew my own name! I don’t always view makeup as a necessity, but I love how it makes me feel (yes, and look) and I really try to wear makeup with good-for-me ingredients so I’m not gunking up my skin. 

A small fraction of Jess's make-up stash.

A small fraction of Jess’s make-up stash.

At any rate, I do almost always wear makeup on race day. I have to be camera-ready, even if I end up sweating the majority of it off! Typically, I wear a lightweight powder foundation with SPF to get my sun protection on, a coat of waterproof mascara, and a little bit of blush or bronzer to keep me from looking too pale. Finally, I swipe on some lip balm and I’m good to go! 

MERI:

Nope. None, except for Chapstick. I used to skip it occasionally until my lip started to crack and bleed during the AC April Fool’s Half Marathon. Otherwise, au naturale for this gal. Though I will do my hair sometimes, only to have it immediately frizz up once I start running. Good times, good times.

Fresh-faced Brooke and Meri before the Rothman Institute 8k.

Fresh-faced Brooke and Meri before the Rothman Institute 8k.

VIC:

If I remember to apply eyeliner before I grab my homebrewed coffee and leave for work, I consider my morning routine a success. I am a eyeliner and chapstick girl. I wear little and figure that my glasses hide most of what I don’t want people to see. (Please don’t tell me if I am wrong here, I really don’t want to know if the glasses are actually high-lighting wrinkles and dark circles.)

I’m sure it’s no surprise to hear I run without any makeup on. And races? Forgetaboutit. I’m lucky if I can get out the door with everything I need. I have a few friends who style their hair and apply makeup before sporting competitions. Hair? Hell yes, I am guilty as I love sporting pigtails.

A few years back, when I rowed in an 8-woman boat at the Head of the Charles regatta in Boston, I came across some other masters’ women wearing makeup. The killer? The group applied next to the portajohns, which no longer housed any toilet paper. (Free tip for HOTC-goers – bring LOTS tissue packs. It will save you.)

But those ladies? They were far more concerned about looking great and putting their faces on pre-race and taking some pictures. Me – I’ll stretch, check my footstretchers and use those tissues for a last-minute toilet stop.

Do you wear make-up for a race? Let us know in the comments! 


13 thoughts on “What Do You Put On Your Race-Day Face?

  1. I’m not a huge makeup person in general – I only wear eyeliner/mascara generally (if anything), and never face makeup like foundation or powder or whatever.

    I’m also an incredibly sweaty runner and my face turns bright red and splotchy anyway, so I figure makeup’s not really going to help, haha.

    And may I say, I’m loving the fun makeup, Brooke! Also, blonde looks awesome on you 🙂

  2. VIC’s section reminded me of my days as a woman’s crew coach. I was always stunned to see some of my rowers show up for practice at 5:30AM in full makeup, hair done, the whole thing. I kinda made it a personal mission to see if I could make them sweat it off.

    • Oh yes! I never understood that either. Most of my teammates did not fall in that category, but there was one… (there’s always one) who wore makeup and such. She was a hard worker though and never complained!

  3. I do put waterproof mascara on, but that’s mainly b/c my lashes are blonde and you can hardly see them otherwise lol. It’s definitely a confidence thing for me, if I look great I run great! (or so I tell myself 🙂 )

    • Hi! Thanks for chiming in. SPF 30 is definitely important; I wear that too.

      I think some women feel odd without any make-up on, so I can see why they’d wear it. A full-face of it does seem out of place though! (or maybe I’m just jealous that mine would slide right off in this heat, haha)

  4. Oh I definitely do not wear any for runs or races. I am a major sweater. The one almost exception is that I wear mascara that doesn’t run, ever, but its tough to get off, so I often run with mascara on. Lip moisturizer, definitely. Otherwise I’ll have bloody lips. Gross.

You’ve heard my thoughts! Would love to hear yours here.