Gym make-up fit for the selfie generation



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You may have thought that the treadmill was one place you wouldn’t have to worry about your mascara . . . but you’d be wrong.

Gym make-up is the latest craze among fitness-mad youngsters who want to look their best in exercise selfies.


The TV presenter Chloe Madeley poses for a gym selfie

The beauty trend is the latest example of how cosmetics brands are cashing in on the health market. Sports leggings outsold jeans last year according to the fashion website Vogue.com.

The make-up products are designed to withstand even the heaviest of workouts. Tarte Cosmetics’ range includes sweatproof mascara (£18) and a powder compact (£27). Eyeko London, a brand endorsed by Alexa Chung, has a range of eyeliners designed for playing sport.

As the popularity of heavy drinking and smoking falls among millennials, the gym has become the place to socialise and be seen. The models Gigi and Bella Hadid, Josephine Skriver and Jasmine Tookes have all posed mid-workout for Instagram photos and the hashtag #gymselfie has been used more than a million times on the image-sharing site.

Exercising in make-up is not advised by experts and can cause spots. Beauty brands have responded with “exercise-friendly” products that they claim do not clog pores and contain hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid.

Arrow’s vegan line of “pilates-to-brunch” cosmetics has become one of the biggest-selling ranges on the beauty website Birchbox. Its most popular product is a colour-enhancing lipbalm containing mango-seed butter that sells for £11.

“We have seen a huge rise in demands for gym-friendly products,” says Alexia Inge, co-founder of the beauty website Cult Beauty. “The social aspect of visiting the gym means that beauty needs have extended past the hair elastic and shower gel of yore.

“Our customers are buying products such as high-performance make-up and heat-activated haircare that is triggered by exercise.”

Katy Young, beauty director of Harper’s Bazaar, said that the trend replicated the popularity of wearing trainers and tracksuits both at the gym and the school gate.

“Just as women are spending all day in their workout kit, they want beauty products that they can keep on before, during and after exercise,” she said.

Gone are the days when a “gym glow” was something to feel smug about. It remains to be seen whether players will be applying eye-liner during breaks at Wimbledon next summer, or if hockey players will be touching up their lippie at half-time.