In your dreams, you wake up early, hit the gym, get ready in under five, and make it to work with a natural, dewy glow. You’re feeling and looking good. But in reality? Not so much. Your workout is intense—like, really intense—and you’re a sweaty, red mess. You don’t have time to shower, so you spend the time you do have trying to fix just one thing (sweat-matted hair, redness around your nose, runny mascara, etc.), and before you know it, you’re late to work.
If this scenario sounds a bit too familiar, you’re not alone. The majority of us aren’t blessed with a perfectly rosy post-gym glow, which got us thinking: What does everyone else do when going from workout to work in a hurry? (Aside from using a flurry of face wipes, of course—our pick is from Almay.) To get to the bottom of it, we asked the industry’s leading makeup artists and hairstylists to share with us what they do in a pinch. And as expected, they shared some brilliant one-minute tips we’re bookmarking for the next time we find ourselves sprinting from workout to work.
Don’t skip your spin class—ahead, get the scoop on how to freshen up in a flash from some of the best in the biz.
“I like to apply a brown or black pencil right on the [upper] lash line, followed by a soft brown or taupe shadow [using something like the new Almay Shadow Squad™, $5] blended into the lash line,” says Stephanie Flor. “It really opens up the eyes and is perfect for after a workout because it’s fast and easy.”
“[A great workout-approved hairstyle is] twobraidspulled into a bun so it’s still off your back to avoid sweat,” shares Nunzio Saviano. “A topknot also works well, especially if you want to preserve volume. Avoid a long ponytail [while working out] because you’ll end up with flat, sweaty hair.” Pro tip: Make sure the hair ties you use won't crease your hair!
“Always curl your lashes! Then follow up with a great mascara, which will also give the appearance of bigger eyes,” says Tobi Henney. Side note: Almay One Coat Mega Volume™ Mascara ($7) has become an editor favorite. Have you seen its wand? The megaphone-shaped brush is unique and coats lashes with just the right amount of product.
“[After a workout,] if big bright eyes are what you’re going for, avoid bottom eyeliner, as it can make the eyes seem smaller, unless you’re blessed with big doll eyes naturally!” Amber Amos says. Instead, dab a highlighter like Almay Instant Glow™ Highlighting Duo ($12) along your brow bone and blend in using your finger. This will not only give your brows a lift, but it’ll open up the entire eye area.
“Ice rollers are amazing,” Afton Williams tells us. “In addition to reducing redness, rollers help with muscle pain, inflammation, and puffy eyes. Store them in your freezer; then throw them in your gym bag on your way out the door. Roll your face after your workout for an instant refresh!”
“A spray toner closes pores quickly and calms and refreshes skin. Also, a facial wipe is refreshing—especially if you feel sweaty or sticky after a workout!” says Melissa Rogers. Formulated with rice milk, Almay® Ultra Hydrating Cleansing Towelettes ($5) are perfect for replenishing and hydrating skin after a good sweat sesh.
“I like to use concealer on the inner eye—closer to the tear ducts—to give the eye area light,” says Annie Tevelin. “Similarly, a shimmery cream shadow in the center of your lid (placed right above your pupil) gives the eyes a more glowy and enlivened look.”
Remember that you only need a little product to brighten the eye area. Using Almay Smart Shade™ Concealer ($6), lightly dab product on the inner eye and blend in with your fingers. If you don’t want to use any shadow, adding concealer to your eyelid can also brighten up the area.
“After a workout, you’ll be flushed and dewy from the sweat and oil production, so stay away from powders. They tend to get muddy and gray-looking when combined with dewiness,” says Joshua Ristaino. Stick to liquid formulas that improves your skin over time, too. Almay® Clear Complexion Makeup ($11) is especially great for after sweaty workouts. It helps cover blemishes while working to prevent future breakouts—win-win.
“I’m all about wearing your natural flush after a workout, but if you feel that you’re too red, look for lightweight, breathable makeup formulas to wear,” says Neil Scibelli. “Start with a face primer with a green tint, which will immediately tone down the redness in your skin. Wear it under a tinted moisturizer or even mix some with your moisturizer.”
“[Once your workout is done,] you can never go wrong with a strong part and a slicked-back ponytail,” says Spenser O’Shaw. “It’s a confident look that shows everyone who’s boss!”
Talk to us: What are your tips for going from workout to work?
This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used in the place of advice of your physician or other medical professionals. You should always consult with your doctor or healthcare provider first with any health-related questions. See our full health disclaimer here.