Avoiding the post-workout hot mess: my real secrets.

Every now and then I get a comment from a friend or gym or race random to the tune of “How on earth do you look so flawless? You just ran 50 miles. It’s just not fair.” First off: I definitely don’t feel like I look flawless. But thank you 🙂 Additionally, I am usually contemplating my favorite post workout thought: Screw my hair…where can I find food?

It took me all of 3 minutes post race to locate the Cheetos. I’m so predictable.

Un-filtered photo below, because this is real-talk.


However, this end-state was not always the case.

I sweat like a dude. It’s gross. It’s even more gross when coupled with oily skin and hair.

I was a certifiable hot mess in high-school and college, always drenched in sweat, with soggy, tangled hair EVERYWHERE. I couldn’t stand it. I experimented with makeup and new hairstyles, but most ended up running down my face, and became a giant pet peeve of my dad. He could never wrap his head around why I needed mascara at a track meet. Like, DID NOT understand. Especially when my beautifying efforts were a big fat fail, and ended up down my face anyway.

Apparently nowadays, my thoughts and feelings aren’t matching my exterior. Mandy secret you guys: I have just gotten really good at hiding it. I’ve tried the better half of every beauty product on the market, and I guess it’s finally paying off. Comments like those above are the only times that I actually feel like I have been learning something after being a beauty product junkie my entire life. Shout out to my girls at Sephora Union Street too, I owe my skills to them!

That said, I decided to sit down and put together a list of my favorite tips and tricks to not looking like you got hit by a bus after a race or workout. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Especially when you are expected to brunch it up on Chestnut Street afterward. While posting real-time pics on Instagram.


Pre-sweat. Makeup.

1. Waterproof. When you are a disgustingly oily and sweaty mess like myself, and enjoy surfing, anything that stays put in water is a lifesaver. For me, I am a liner and mascara junkie, so stuff that runs or rubs off on my lids after a long day at work before I even hit the gym is a big fat UNACCEPTABLE.

I swear by: Kat Von D Tattoo Liner, Dior Diorshow Extase, MAC Fluidline.

Its all about the gel pots and liquid liners when you sweat. They look fresher way longer than a pencil. Trust me. Learn to use them.

2. Primer. I take an extra 10 seconds to apply a foundation primer before I put on my sunscreen and base. Even if you are just wearing some BB cream, primer will help your face stay put through just about anything.

My favorite: Becca Ever-Matte Pore-less Priming Perfecter, or Dior Airflash Matte Touch.


3. BB Cream or Foundation. Matte is KEY. It helps mitigate sweat too. When I am going into a long ass day where I know my only option is to workout in between a full workday and an evening engagement, I use my airbrush makeup. BB cream is great for weekend days for running errands post-gym, but sometimes you have no choice but to sweat with foundation.

The best I have found for this that stay put and don’t feel heavy or look caky are the following: Dior Airflash Airbrush Foundation(pictured above), Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation. A little goes a long way with these!

BB Cream: Trish McEvoy. BEST $80 you will ever spend. It lasts forever too, a little goes a long way. It is literally skin-altering.

4. Hair Ties. Finding the right hair tie for your hair is like finding a life partner. Once you find it, you feel like you can tackle anything. Concentrate on your workout, not trying to keep your hair from falling on your sweaty body and being gross for your post gym date. If you are doing a light workout, the ribbon ties are great for not leaving dents on your hair. If you have thick long hair like me, the new rubber ones keep your ponytail in place and fluffy post gym so you can go out without looking like you are trying to grow dreads.

FAVE: Scunci No Slip Grip ties. They really are virtually indestructible. They don’t stretch out right away either so that’s awesome, and the rubber doesn’t rip out your hair. Best hair ties I have found!

Key tip: HIGH BUN. ALWAYS. This will keep your hair from getting wet and gross, and also give you a voluminous beach wave look post workout.

Post sweat. Hair. Body.

1. Dry Shampoo. It goes without saying, this product is a MUST. When I am at home and able to use my full size product, I prefer the aerosol type. They are quick and add a nice little scent to you head to help out in the stinky sweat department. It also adds a little bit of body to allow your hair to have more manageability and overall fluff instead of that flat, wet, tangled mess I usually find myself in. If I am on the go, I love the loose powders. They are usually packaged small enough that you can add them to your purse without making your purse 10 pounds more heavy than it has to be.

My faves: Drybar Detox (for brunettes, get the brown version. SO AWESOME.), bumble & Bumble Prêt-à-Powder, Alterna Cleanse Extend Dry Shampoo.


2. Wipes. These serve a million purposes, from freshening your face to your body. I always wipe down and bring a change of top if I am headed out after the gym. There is nothing worse than sitting and freezing in your own sweat. Especially in San Francisco. If you don’t have time to touch up your makeup, lightly blot your face with a wipe and pat dry gently with a paper towel or clean towel. The less sweat seeping into your pores post workout the better, if you are acne prone like me.

Faves: philosophy Purity wipes, and Korres Pomegranate Cleansing and Makeup Removing Wipes for Oily skin.

3. Body Spray. This is amazing post wipe down. Especially one formulated as a deodorant. I choose one from my signature scent, Chloe (pictured above). Its a “deodorant” but I use it all over for a light perfume effect. Its a lifesaver.

Other faves: Clean Shower Fresh Clear Body Spray, philosophy Pure Grace body spray, Murad Clarifying Body Spray (apply before perfume if you are acne prone like me, or instead of a wipe, post-toweling off excess sweat)

4. Lip balm/stains with color. Post working out, lipstick can be a little harsh. I personally prefer a stain or a balm with some color since I am already a little flush from working out. Dior Lip Glow is amazing since it works with your natural color, and has the effect of a balm. You end up looking like you have naturally rosy and plump lips. Win. If you are a gloss girl, or not (I’m not an this product is BOMB), YSL Beauty’s ROUGE PUR COUTURE Vernis À Lèvres Glossy Stain is seriously the most amazing product on the market. Staying power. Non-sticky. Not overpowering. Kissable. There’s no excuse to NOT own this.

So there ya go.

Since everyone loves examples, here’s what rides along in my purse on a daily basis:

purse  products

Other products necessary for surviving San Francisco on a daily basis:

  • Static Guard. This stuff is a lifesaver. LIFESAVER. There is nothing worse than having your dress cling to your crotch or rear. I feel the same about fly-aways. I never leave the house without it.
  • Hairspray. Again with the fly-aways. I get them real bad after workouts, and its nice to smooth it out with something to give me a more polished look.
  • Disposable mini-toothbrush. Duh. Now that these exist, you have no reason not to be carrying them.
  • Brush. Again, San Francisco weather. Obvious need.
  • Setting powder and travel brush. Oily skin means that I am either blotting or buffing with powder. I prefer powder, and the Dior Invisible Retouch Powder is the best I have found to not disturb your makeup or make you look like a geisha.
  • Sample size mascara. I HOARD these when Sephora has them for samples online. They are great to retouch before heading out after the gym, or just after a long workday in general.

That’s all you need folks! All you need to lie to the world to make them think you really just look fabulous 24/7.



  1. Anna Banana
    April 28, 2014 / 6:08 pm

    My fav post 🙂 Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


- powered by chloédigital
Verified by MonsterInsights

Looking for Something?