It’s Valentine’s Day, 1998. I get no roses; I get no candy. What I do get is a kickboxing class and time alone with a punching bag in a stinky karate studio down the street from my house.
Twice a week I was taking a kickboxing class with 30 other women, punching and kicking the air to a techno soundtrack. That was all fine, but far and away my favorite part of class was when they brought out the heavy punching bag.
Fresh out of a bad relationship, I derived great joy from pretending that the bag was my ex. In class on Valentine’s night, I beat that bag with reckless abandon. “You’ll never get the best of me, bastard!” Punch, punch, kick, kick. By the end of class, dripping in sweat, I had punched my knuckles raw. Happy Valentine’s Day to me!
This Valentine’s Day, if your date for the evening is with the gym or a punching bag (try it sometime), you might as well look cute. Work it out with these road-tested gym makeup tips:
Paint it Black, Vol. 1
- Clinique Lash Power Mascara Long-Wearing Formula ($14, available in February). Thank you, makeup gods, for bringing this mascara to the US! Designed for humid weather and only previously available in Asia, Lash Power is the ultra-marathoner of all mascara formulas. It won’t streak, run or smudge, not even through sweat, tears, rain, humidity or a dip in the pool. It is the Terminator of all mascaras.
I’ve been wearing it on my heavy duty cardio workouts at the gym. Even after 60 minutes of sweat it hasn’t even begun to streak or smear.
What’s the secret? The formula responds to heat. It comes off with very warm water (39 degrees C/103 degrees F). All you do is dab a cotton pad soaked in warm water, and it cleans right up.
- Lancome Potion of Love Lip Stain in Ruby Kisses ($18.50). You don’t have to be in love to wear Lancome’s Potion of Love Lip Stain. With its felt-tip pen applicator, it’s kinda like a Magic Marker for your lips. Lip stains apply like watercolor paints. They’re more watery than lipsticks or glosses. Potion of Love isn’t shiny, either, so it gives my lips a natural, flushed look with just a hint of ruby red tint.
Best of all, the formula isn’t the least bit sticky, which is handy when I’m on the treadmill and the overhead fans blow my hair all over the place. I can’t stand it when stray ponytail hairs get stuck to my lipgloss. With Potion of Love Lip Stain that’s not a problem.
- Elizabeth Arden Flawless Finish Maximum Coverage Concealer ($18). This cream concealer has a natural finish and lasts through an entire 90-minute dance class without budging. If I’m in a hurry, I dab it on my dark circles with warm fingers et voila — my dark circles disappear faster than an ex-boyfriend did with half my CD collection (that bastard).
- MAC Blot Pressed Powder ($20). You’ve finished your workout and plan to drop by the juice bar for a quick snack to tide you over before dinner. I know you’ve worked hard, but you can’t leave the gym looking like a complete wreck, girl. Sorry!
- Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler ($19). Lash Power isn’t a great thickener, but it does create long, natural looking lashes. To use it, I have to curl my stick-straight lashes first, and that’s where the Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler enters the picture. It doesn’t pinch my lashes, and the tension is just right. Sometimes with other lash curlers you get this very hard, sort of angled curl. Shu’s curler doesn’t do that. It produces a very natural, soft curl.
After your workout, brush out your hair and dab a little bit of MAC Blot Pressed Powder to hide the shine. You never know when you’ll bump into Mr. or Ms. Right at the juice bar.
Paint it Black is part of a series of posts highlighting pink and black products for Valentine’s Day.
Aren’t you glad tomorrow is Friday? I’ve got a ton of laundry to do tonight before another big rain storm arrives. Tomorrow I was supposed to have coffee with my friend, Jen, and get my hair did (my roots are way past the point of being socially acceptable). Unfortunately, I’d rather stay warm and dry at home than drive very far in the rain, so it looks like dark roots remain in my immediate future.
Stay cute (and dry!) my friend.
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,