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Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

Gym gloss:

Why do some women wear make-up to the gym?
By Kirsten Anthony
Date: December 27 2013
Tags: beauty, make-up,
Editor Rating:

I hadn’t noticed it until a friend pointed out a woman at our ‘cycle class’, but some women wear make-up to the gym. Even at 6 o’clock in the morning.

Ever since then, I’ve been surreptitiously checking out other women at exercise – at the gym, yoga, running and even at soccer games.

When I asked others what they thought about the idea, all but one said “no way” – but you still see them around, and I don’t mean those who are doing something on the way home from work. As well as the early morning make-up gymsters, there’s also the weekend soccer players in full make-up and, while my ‘research’ hasn’t got into a class or gym session in the middle of the day, I expect there’s a fair share of mums and others made-up then also.

Then I came across this interesting article in the UK Daily Mail which showed that 55% of the fit women interviewed wore at least light make-up to workout. One in five said they would even wear “full face” make-up to run a marathon and 60% would wear “light” make-up!

This emboldened me to ask some of the women I see wearing make-up while sweating it out on the spin cycle or doing leg presses why they do so. Here’s what they told me.

"You never know who you might meet"

Someone I spoke to said this to me.

Yes, the gym can be a place to meet someone special and many women feel that, if they’re at a mixed gender gym or class, they want to look their best. This is even more so if the instructor or trainer is a man.


‘Sweat working’

Just as our dad’s used to take clients for a Wednesday afternoon golf game, some of us now evidently take clients to a yoga session (presumably not Bikram!) or spin class. They want to look their best when entertaining clients.

Yes – another really!

Going home

They might put their make-up on at home (or in the car) around 7am, but by 7pm it needs a touch-up. One regular I see told me she always puts on more colour and lipstick as she leaves the office every evening, even when she’s going straight home to cook dinner. However, most people attending evening classes just haven’t had time to take it off yet.


You know the type. Perfect size 8. 175cm tall. 3 children. And the instructor at your ‘sculpt class’. Pfft!

My instructor who fits this description – who will remain anonymous and really is a lovely woman – says they are encouraged to have their hair and make-up looking good as it’s considered “professional and suitable for the clientele.” She’s at work. She wants to look her best.

Do you wear make-up to the gym? We’d love to know! Tell us why you do or don’t!
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Cherie says: 2013 12 27

yes, i’m one of those people who wears make-up to the gym and I can’t use the excuse that I go on the way home from work. I’m a nurse and work shift-work, and a mum of 2, but I just like to look my best when I’m there.

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