Racing in full make-up

This is genuine curiosity, not a criticism. Admittedly I've never been a very girly girl, but I always find it surprising when I'm at races and other women runners have gone to the trouble of applying full make-up. If I'm getting up on a freezing cold December morning to run 13.1 miles, you're lucky if I even bother having a wash. And I even saw one very carefully groomed young woman just before a muddy 6km cross country race. No idea what she looked like afterwards.

So, women: what I want to know is: how many of you put on make-up before a race? If you do, do you just do it as part of your normal routine, or do you take more care over it because it feels like an occasion? And doesn't it just come off when you sweat anyway?



  • I never wear make up so certainly not for a race. Sometimes I see people wearing make-up in the swimming pool - now what is that about?

  • absolutly not!!!....something I have never understood either....although I do feel like a bit of a bog rat standing next to these very groomed women at the begining of the race!!!!......However we all look the same at the end, just some of us with less mascara down our faces....!......x


  • the women with full makeup son't sweat... they glow.

     i only wear makeup...once or twice a year...

  • No way! I don't see the point. Although admittedly, I do feel a bit naked without my eyeliner onimage

  • I glow buckets. Never wear makeup.

  • Apparently Jordan has run Brighton half. Wonder what she wore?


    A lot of pink, apparently. Anyway, glad it's not just me and I'd forgotten about the glowing! Though I'm starting to suspect 'being a woman on a running forum' and 'being a woman who runs in make-up' are two separate things.

  • I've wondered about this too, and those in the gym applying their make-up before a class. Personally it feels like a waste of time unless for a special occasion - a friend's wedding or similar. I like to be able to 'scrub up well' as my grandma would have said.

  • And there was me thinking only rough looking women ran
  • well, clearly everyone on this thread is so breathtakingly gorgeous already that we just don't need it

  • Women of all types run, but we all look knackered when we cross the finishing line, and the last thing i am thinking about is how i look. Maybe thats a male thing. I will never forgot when i did the Boxhill ultra half, and this one girl, almost like supermodel, and perfect make up. Her appearance didnt flicker even when she crossed the finishing line. Maybe she got a taxi there.

  • I detest wearing make up. Yuck - who'd put all that junk on their skin??! I'm always amazed at the girls turning up at the gym at 0630 with full face applied. And in the changing rooms afterwards - how long some of them take to get themselves looking fabulous for work...

    Or maybe I should take more pride....
  • Women of a ll types run. Good point.

    When I was watching the Olympics I got to wondering why some sports, like boxing and judo, have different categories whilst other don't. The main one I was thinking about was basketball. It really does disadvantage the short and I would have height categories. Under 5 feet, 5-5.5 feet, 5.5-6 and giants.

    Thinking about running and women I think having age group categories is rubbish. They should have categories based on bust size. I have noticed that women at the front usually have flat chest and women at the back have large ones. The 1st Double G runner was, would be much fairer.

  • Ghostrider wrote (see)

    Apparently Jordan has run Brighton half. Wonder what she wore?

    i stood with her on the start line of the silverstone half 2 years ago and chatted for a bit, she was actually sans make up (or at least obvious make up) and pretty excited and vocal about her training and the race. came over as a pretty nice person actually, i must admit i was quite surprised. 

  • each to their own i say

  • I'm a girly girl but there's no way I would wear make-up to go running.  

    If you're so vain that you can't draw some sort of distinction between how you look when you're going to work, going out etc. and how you look when you're exercising then you're a bit flipping weird IMO.

  • I never wear makeup for running.  I wear makeup for going out, when I want to look nicer than usual!

    If you wear a faceload of slap all the time, how do you make it different for special occasions?


  • I regularly do spinning classes with a woman who starts off looking like a woman wearing lots of eye make-up, and finishes looking like Alice Cooper.  I can't fault her efforts on the bike.

  • I don't think it is necessarily about vanity, I know some women who are genuinely very self conscious about how they look without makeup (one in particular who has acne scars on her cheeks, not very noticeable in my opinion but it bothers her a lot, and she won't ever go without makeup in a public place even though she knows that sweating while wearing heavy foundation is probably making her skin worse).

    The only makeup I have worn running is mascara, just because I wear it for work and do a lot of training during my lunchbreak. Mascara is a right pain to take off (and get it all off properly so I don't turn into Alice Cooper half way through my run!) and then reapply in the space of an hour without making my eyes feel gritty and irritated. I found a super-sweat proof one that doesn't budge at all during workouts so I just leave it on image I wouldn't apply it especially for running though.

  • These women who apply foundation like they're a plasterer look awful, and there's nothing worse than kissing a girl and all this slimy slop rubs off onto your face.

    Women look so much better, even if they think they've something wrong with their skin with little or no make up, less is definitely more.

  • I don't wear makeup for races, because I just don't see the point - it's going to sweat off and I'm afraid that I glow buckets when I run - just the way I'm made. 

    If I have to go for a run after work, then I will be wearing what is left of the day's makeup (that hasn't slid off...) as I tend to just change and get out as soon as possible before the motivation leaves me...but I would never and have never applied make up just to go for a run - more than anything it's a waste of money as make up isn't cheap these days!

  • Maybe RW should do a series of articles on how to look good in race photos. Something similar to Snog/Marry/Avoid, featuring a different woman each month. They could call it Follow Closely/Run Beside/Overtake quickly.

  • i never wear any.

  • StiltsStilts ✭✭✭
    I wear makeup every day for work but never for running mainly because the mix of sweat and slap would play havoc with my skin and I don't fancy the Alice Cooper look coupled with a big red shiny face ... mmm ...

    I am slightly disappointed though at the trend for big name female athletes to put their face on to race - raises lots of questions about perceptions of women + sport + appearance + self confidence etc etc. Not great role modelling IMHO (crudely put - you might be a gold medal winner but you still gotta look good) but as everyone says, each to their own.
  • StiltsStilts ✭✭✭
    TimR LOL they'd probably like that idea if the endless stream of totty they find for the magazine cover is anything to go by
  • Maybe our priorities change as we develop as runners - I used to wear full slap when I worked in an office and didn't run but the more I ran the less time I had for faffing about - I'd rather spend an extra few minutes stretching before a crazily rushed shower!  I always wonder how long some ladies spend making themselves look so picture-perfect : there's just not enough time in the day...

    And I definitely don't see the point of blusher image

  • No make up here either. I am always amazed at how long it takes other women at the gym. I don't blow dry my hair either - it takes hours - just tie it up and away I go.  I always reckon that most people would prefer me to turn up at work on time and tidy than with full make up.

    I also agree - how do you look like you've made an effort for a night out if you always look like that?

    With regards to running, even with a full face of "not run" make up I would look a state as my hair goes really frizzt

  • I don't look like I've made an effort for a night out because I generally haven't. image

  • Never wear make up even for going out. I can't imagine running with it on my face.

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