Yes, hold onto your hats; today is part two of my three part series on sports skincare. If you missed it, check out part one, which covered smart skin protection for outdoor athletes. This post though, is the most frivolous (and arguably the most fun) part of the series, or, how to look good while sweating your ass off.
Yes, I know you may be thinking that this is silly. No, I do not care. I am vain and I’m pretty ok with that. I spend a lot of hours per week sweating my own ass off, and I’m also ok with feeling comfortable with how I look whilst doing it. The whole baloney-pants drama about Alica Keys wearing makeup, not wearing makeup dribbles over to women’s sports as well and it’s dumb. Do what you want, wear what you want, the end.
So, if you’re still with me here, on to part two of sports skincare!
Sports Skincare: protect and enhance your skin
Mmmmkay. Step one in sports skincare, just like earlier in the week, is … you guessed it, sunscreen. You cannot skip this if you are going to be exercising outdoors. If I’m going to be running first thing in the morning, I use a clear sunscreen. But, for other activities like dragon boating that I a. don’t have to get up so early for and b. are not sustained hours of running or whatnot, I will sometimes opt for BB cream instead. BB cream is a full spectrum sunblock with some skincare ingredients and some makeup in one; enough coverage to even out some redness or under eye circles, but not enough to look like you’re wearing makeup.
Missha, a Korean brand, makes my favorite BB cream. The coverage is good, it doesn’t run into my eyes and sting if properly set, and unlike 90% of BB creams, it comes in a somewhat wide range of shades (6 of them on the US website, though darker skin tones are still SOL). You may be wondering why I say that six shades is a wide-ish range of colors, which is a good question; Asian BB creams typically come in 1 to (if you’re super lucky) 3 colors.
**note: if your skin tone is deeper (or lighter for that matter) than the shade range of your preferred BB cream, you can augment it with products like Cover FX custom cover drops without changing the sun protection level or finish. Though … honestly, if a company can’t be bothered to manufacture a more inclusive shade range … do they deserve your money?
Missha is also becoming pretty easy to find without having to order. If you can fit the standard two shades, 21 or 23, you can buy it at Don Quixote in Japan and recently at Target in the states.
A quick note though: if you are using a BB cream in place of your sunblock, you still need to use an adequate amount and it needs to be evenly applied–dabbing it here and there only on your trouble spots will only ensure you get a really weird looking sunburn. With the Missha one, an entire pump is the 1/4 teaspoon+ you need to get the full protection rating on the package.
Step two is to set that shit. Use a bit of powder. I like Maybelline’s matte and poreless and Innisfree’s no sebum powder in this situation. They’re both inexpensive, will absorb a bit of oil and/or sweat, and don’t look cake or like makeup. They just help keep the BB cream from melting off your face.
If you’re feeling fancy you can add a bit of blush and/or bronzer here (consider a cream or gel formula on blush for staying power) … otherwise, continue to step three in prettied-up sports skincare which is:
Sports Skincare: Enhance (or simply locate) your eyes
Eyelashes. Eyelashes give definition to your eyes. Without doing a single thing else, if your lashes are dark and defined, your whole face looks put together and your eyes will really pop. If you’re like me and have clear eyelashes, you are going to need some help here. If you’re lucky and have darker lashes but they’re short and/or straight, you may also want some help. I have several very active friends that swear by eyelash extensions. I rarely see them wearing any other makeup, but just having that one little bit of feminine definition on their eyes gives a very pretty (but not overdone) effect. I’ve done eyelash extensions a couple times, but as I mentioned, my lashes are clear and so as they start to fall out they start looking baaaaaad before it’s time for a fill. Also, I didn’t love having to spend time (and money) for the application and fills so I never really kept up on them.
Outside of extensions, it’s also possible to get eyelash perms and, in the states, eyelash dye jobs (helping out other clear lashed people like me). But the quickest and cheapest option is a bulletproof mascara. And for bulletproof mascara, Japan is where it’s at. You will NEVER look like you’re trying out for a spot in the band KISS when you wear Japanese mascara, even doing water sports. My personal favorite is from Heroine Make, a drugstore brand. I’ve used both the thickening and lengthening varieties. They’re pretty similar, but I probably slightly prefer the lengthening one. I like a more natural (anti-Twiggy) look, and this brand delivers. It takes some work to remove it though; you may end up getting two days worth of wear from one application if you aren’t on top of your makeup removal.
Since eyebrows are having their fifteen minutes of fame (again) right now, if you’re concerned about yours, a clear brow gel will keep your brow hairs wherever you want them, all day. The clear gel made by Anastasia Beverly Hills is definitely up to the task of sweat, water and whatever you throw at it. Like the Heroine Make mascara, it takes a full double cleanse to remove, but it does its job and does it well. Bonus, you can purchase it at the BX, and online through Sephora and Ulta so it’s pretty easy to get your hands on a tube.
Sports Skincare: lock it down
If you’re going to bother with any sort of makeup in hot weather, even if you won’t be getting your heart rate up, you need to set it. If you have very oily skin, you may also want to start with a primer before applying BB cream or any color cosmetics as well, but a setting spray is key.
I mentioned setting the BB cream with a bit of powder, which is also important. But the spray … it’s like my grandma’s trusty old can of Aqua Net for the teased beehive she wore for years. It locks everything down so your sunscreen stays protecting your face, not running down into your eyes. Though, if you’re new to this kind of product, I promise it smells way better than Aqua Net (they don’t usually have fragrance, actually) and doesn’t feel sticky at all.
I use Urban Decay All-Nighter, and it’s never let me down so I’ve never branched out to try anything else out. There are other options though; Skindinavia makes a highly-rated one (they also make the Urban Decay product; I don’t know how similar they are, however). Here are some other options at different price points to look at as well.
Sports Skincare: protect that hurr
The hairstylist I went to for years would always purse her lips when looking at my hair at the end of the summer. “You’ve been outside a lot this summer, haven’t you?” she would say as she almost imperceptibly would shake her head.
The sports beauty tip I have rebelled against the longest is protecting my hair from the sun … like people who are naturally able to tan, I like the effect the sun gives my hair. Well, color-wise, that is. My hair naturally highlights itself in the sun. It also gets super dried out, particularly the top and front sections that bear the brunt of UV exposure. Which is also what happens to your skin when you are sunbathing, cough cough.
If you’re parting your hair in braids (or twin tails) and going to be out long, I would suggest wearing a hat (particularly if you’re going to be on the water), as the part in your hair is very prone to sunburn. Honestly, your hair likes hats best anyway (like sun cut clothing for your skin, a hat will block more UV than any topical product can). But, for the ponytail hanging out of the hat, the top of your hair if you’re wearing a visor, or for when a hat just isn’t happening, there are lots of UV protectants available on the market for your hair.
So, that’s it for part two of sports skincare. If you have any questions or extra tips to share, please email me or comment below! If you missed yesterday’s post on skin protection you can find it here; otherwise, stay tuned (or click subscribe) for the last installment on how to get all that sunblock, sweat, salt and grime properly cleansed off your skin so you can start all over again tomorrow.
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