I’m standing in the middle of Ellis Park Stadium chatting to Liz Ruikbie who had just won the Gauteng Marathon Masters category. Still sweaty from my (much slower) marathon, I pull out my phone for the obligatory post-race photo.


“Hold on” says Liz opening her duffle bag “I need to reapply my lipstick first”.


A runner who started later in life, Liz then around 65 had racked up a marathon PB of 3.32 at 62 and won the women’s 60 Marathon event at the World Masters Championships.


Of all the times I saw Liz at time trials or at races she never looked anything short of immaculate. Her porcelain face always done up, hair perfectly coifed, run outfit most likely pressed.


It’s a trait I’ve noticed many older female runners share. I once saw an old fit lady running in Rosebank sporting the brightest red lippie at 7am on a Sunday morning.


Meanwhile, I along with the majority of younger active women arrive to races and the gym with a face bare of anything except for maybe sunscreen. Maybe it’s a side effect of growing up in an era when dressing up wasn’t just for special occasions but done every day. A time when owning an evening dress was standard, hair was always done and leggings weren’t even a blip on the fashion radar.


Now, fashion has become comfort driven with the boundaries of how casual is too casual constantly being pushed. The athleisure trend has made gym-wear appropriate workwear and this trend has leaked into the beauty industry, with makeup brands rebranding as active beauty.


When it comes to wearing makeup to workout, feelings are mixed. Some girls won’t on the basis of not wanting to clog their pores and not feeling the need to present a perfectly done face during “me-time”. Others want to look their best when they work out to feel their best. There’s no right or wrong, there is better makeup – which is lighter, more breathable and in many cases organic.


I don’t wear makeup for working out, but then again I barely wear makeup in general. Meanwhile, Feige won’t leave the house without her face on.


In the lead up to this athleisure beauty piece, we asked a group of active women how they feel about wearing makeup for working out.


Kamini Pather, Winner of  S2 MasterChef SA, host of Girl Eat World TV


Do you wear Makeup for Working Out? kamini-patherDo you wear makeup while working out?

If I work out in the evening and I happening to be wearing makeup, yes, but otherwise no.

My workout is for me and makeup isn’t, really. I like my skin to breathe and to feel free. The most I have ever used was tinted sunblock


What are your favourite products you use when working out?

IS Clinical’s Eclipse SPF 50 sunblock. I’m a runner and my choice of sport doesn’t need to impact the health of my skin.

Follow Kamini on Instagram @kaminipather


Danelle Joubert, swimmer and youtuber

Do you wear Makeup for Working Out? Danelle JoubertDo you wear makeup while working out?

Yes, sometimes but not always. I only wear “foundation”.



I like to cover up the redness on my face and also it helps for protection against the sun, [protects like sunscreen] so it’s a win-win situation.



What are your favourite products you use when working out?

Shield motion sense, any perfume and my foundation.

Follow Danelle on Instagram @danellejoubert


Tracey-Lee Lusty, Law Associate and Blogger

Do you wear Makeup for Working Out? Tracey Lee LustyDo you wear makeup while working out?

No, I always make sure to cleanse my face thoroughly before working out.



As I do high intensity fasted cardio in the morning and high intensity strength training in the evening, both involve a lot of sweat (haha!) and having a face full of makeup just isn’t pleasant. There is nothing worse than mascara running into your eyes and burning like crazy! As your pores open up during exercise, I don’t like the idea of my makeup seeping into my pores and clogging them up, which can cause blemishes and impurities on the skin. So before training, I always make sure to cleanse with my Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel which leaves my skin feeling silky smooth and clean.


What are your favourite products you use when working out?

I don’t have a particular product I use when working out except my trusty Dove deodorant and a tiny bit of Dermalogica Skin Smoothing moisturizer to keep my skin feeling supple and not too tight.


Follow Tracey-Lee on Instagram @fitnessgirl_za


Feige Lewin, Co-founder Nutreats

Do you wear Makeup for Working Out? Feige LewinDo you wear makeup while working out?

I mainly work out in the morning so I just use something to fill in my brows and a lip balm. If I’m having a breakout I will use a touch of concealer/foundation. If my face feels very shiny I will dust on a powder. When I work out in the evening, I wear a full face of makeup that I’ve had on from my day rather than remove it beforehand.



I think I look better with and feel most comfortable with basics on. Brows make or break a face and mine are very light. I try doing it as naturally as possibly. I have definitely evolved as I have gotten older in how much product I use for a morning workout, as my skin has improved I find that I’m ok not wearing foundation to my morning workouts. I think the most important thing is taking the approach of wearing what makes you feel happy and confident. Whenever I see older ladies wearing lipstick at running races it makes me smile, because even though I never would wear a bright lipstick to gym or to a run, you can tell they are doing it because that is what makes them feel good and ready for their race and they don’t care what people think. Makeup is an amazing tool. One swipe of foundation or liner or blush or lipstick – or whatever your go to essential is – has the power to give you so much confidence. It isn’t about hiding or being afraid of showing the real you and I don’t think people choosing to workout in it should ever be something that is looked down on.


What are your favourite products to use when working out?

My current top picks for a brow definer is a gel/powder combo from Elf cosmetics and the Zuii eyebrow pencil (that you can read about over here). For lips my current lip balm of choice is softlips but since trying the Breathe makeup therapy lip gloss (you can read about that here), I’ve been enjoying using that in the morning because of the minty freshness. For concealer I mix between the Breathe makeup therapy and Physicians Formula depending on how much coverage I need (read which is lighter here) and to mattify a shiny complexion the zuii foundation powder is great.


Follow Feige on Instagram @nutreats


Kirsten McCann, Olympic light-weight rower

Do you wear Makeup for Working Out? kirsten mccannDo you wear makeup for working out?

Yes, I wear make up when I am working out.



I am a little self-conscious about my skin, so that is one of the reasons. I use a good foundation and loose powder over that. The other reason is that it I use a foundation that is specifically for active individuals with an SPF of 25 which is so important in protecting my skin from the sun. I found that good facial sun screens wash off or come off easily with sweating during exercise (rowing and running) so I needed something that would last. I also use a sunscreen with SPF 50 under my make up, and then apply the foundation.

I don’t feel ashamed to be a sportswoman who likes to wear make-up when working out. I have become more confident in myself with age and sometimes I dare to go to the gym without any foundation on, but I do not compromise when I am in the sun as the foundation is part of protecting my skin.


What are your favourite products to use when working out?

I love Revlon Colour Stay Active, which is an excellent base as it is ‘sweat proof’, has the SPF and does not damage my skin or cause breakouts. It doesn’t run and really protects my skin and makes me feel less conscious about my skin. I use a Revlon loose powder over that to give it a matt-finish. I also use Revlon mega-lash waterproof mascara to give my eye-lashes a little bit of ‘boldness’. As I am fair, and my hair is light my eye lashes tend to blend into my face and I can look dull. Hence, I use the Revlon waterproof mascara to give my eyes some definition and boldness. I have been told I have nice eyes and should accentuate them and so I do.


Follow Kirsten on Instagram @kirstrow

How do you feel about wearing makeup for working out? We’d love to know – share your thoughts in the comments below.

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