Paint it Pink, Paint it Black: Going Black to the Gym

Published in: Makeup, Makeup Tools, Product Reviews

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

  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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. 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!
  5. 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,



Like this post? Tell your friends!

So far, 45 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Sandy says:

    I need to get myself a blot powder. Shu Uemura eyelash curler is so good. It really does curl my lashes =) I don’t dance no more. Boo!! I regret it though.

  2. Karen says:

    Girl, get yourself back into class, asap. I’m going to hip hop class for the first time in a month next week. I hope I don’t pull a muscle. 🙁

  3. Glosslizard says:

    Yet another Elizabeth Arden goodie to check out, I must find myself a proper EA counter right quick (no testing with the vending machines)! Thanks for the tips… always looking for makeup for the workout! 🙂

    I’ve had the Eurythmics song “Here Comes the Rain Again” in my head all day! And I’m supposed to go out to SF in it tomorrow too! Yecch!

  4. Lilan says:

    Loving this series!

    I also have that EA concealer that I’m going to try out soon. Girl, I haven’t used concealer in forever – actually probably never. I’m just afraid that I’ll turn into a white mess. Let’s see how it turns out!

    I’m sooo looking forward to Friday but I’m kind of bummed that the roads will probably be too bad for me to drive up to Tahoe to wish the Madre a happy 50th bday – boo 🙁

    So I’ll probably go see a movie instead (I still need to go see Juno!)

  5. Karen says:

    Oh gawd, Glosslizard,

    So I broke down last week and I actually used one of those vending machine thingys … yep, I bought myself some ProActiv, LOL! It was actually kinda weird and cool at the same time.

    Watcha gonna do in SF tomorrow? I hope it’s fun.

    Shoot, now I have “Here Comes the Rain Again” stuck in my head. Annie L. kicks so much arse it’s not even funny. Every time I hear “Why” it makes me get a lil’ teary.

  6. Karen says:

    Hi Lilan,

    From seeing your pics, honestly, you probably don’t need it. If you can skip a step then skip it (says the lazy beast beauty blogger.)

    Too bad you can’t visit your moms! Are you from Tahoe, originally?

    So my friend at the gym (who enjoys movies and watches them as much as I do) told me that she went to watch Juno and she fell asleep. I asked her how much she missed, and she said, “Well, I missed the part where she was pregnant.” LOL! That was practically the entire movie. Don’t worry though, it’s pretty good and you won’t fall asleep unless you’re utterly exhausted.

  7. Mrs. Lynne says:

    I agree. You got to look cute no matter the deal. I should take my own advice though because I’ve been guiltily over-frumping it this past week, lol. I think I’m feeling the gloomy weather from the bay :/

    I liked Juno. I like the skinny kid, I don’t know his name but the baby daddy! Lol. I loved him in Superbad. And Juno’s personality is hilarious.

    Happy Aloha Friday Karen!

  8. Lilan says:

    Ahh, if I can skip that step, then I probably will! I’m a pretty lazy one too – I’m seriously considering going into the office with a miminal face today b/c it’s raining 🙁

    And it looks like I’ll be stuck in SF today instead of toasting cocktails with the Madre while playing slots – boo. We’re actually from Orange County. I moved to SF back in 2002 and she made her way up to Reno and eventually to Tahoe to open up a couple of nail salons. Hey, what can I say – we’re Vietnamese! 😀

    Oh my, too funny that your friend fell asleep throughout the whole movie! I hope it’s a good one! What other movies do you recommend – I know you’re quite the movie buff 🙂

    Happy Friday!

  9. Tekoa says:

    *laughs at number 3* That bastard is right!

  10. PeeChee says:

    Hey Karen.

    There’s nothing like getting that aggression out on a heavyweight bag, huh? I took Kung Fu and Kickboxing years before and it was the best feeling having to actually get to beat the living *&^* out of it. ha ha. I still find myself wanting to do that. 🙂 Only if I had a decent concealer to look cute in back then. I guess the kung fu uniform would have to do.

  11. Megan says:

    So completely off topic…but I have to tell you that Ulta just started carrying Stila…which is cool for me…because I can walk to Ulta from home… well I can in nice weather…when I feel like it…but Sephora involves a trip to the mall…and I use Stila’s Illumiating tinted moisturizer. So anyway the ulta ad came with a coupon for $3.50 off a $10 purchase or whatever plus 5x bonus points…and I see that they are carrying Stila now…Score because I’m almost out of the aforementioned moisturizer. Oh wait…they have a set for $40 right now that includes the moisturizer…(along with an eyeshadow, eyeliner, lipglaze, mascara, cheek/lip duo etc. AWESOME. Plus I had enough points to take $10 off my order (of course I didn’t just buy the Stila kit…that would be impossible). I just got it two nights ago…and I already tried everything out. I don’t like the mascara that’s in it…because it’s not dramatic enough for me, but everything else…I like. So if anyone is near to Ulta…or loves it as much as I do…you should check it out.

  12. Glosslizard says:

    I don’t really have issues with the vending machines, except that (a) I always need to try any product before I buy it and (b) they need to have a “samples” button that you can push to get some freebies! 🙂

    I’m going on a field trip with my dojo! We’re all going out to SF to train with Yamada Sensei, should be awesome!

    Oh yeah, Annie L. rocks! I can periodically be found in my car bellowing out “Who’s That Girl” at the top of my lungs! 😀

  13. Karen says:

    Hi Mrs. Lynne,

    I liked Juno too. I thought the writing was very smart. It was kinda gross to see Jason Bateman totally old, though. I remember having a crush on him when he was a kid and on “Silver Spoons.”

    Happy Aloha Friday to you, too, my friend. 🙂

  14. Karen says:

    Hi Lilan,

    That’s cool that you guys have nail salons. I take it bad nails aren’t an option in your family. Mine are a wreck. I need some nail tough love, LOL.

    As for movies, I actually really liked Cloverfield. It’s one of those that you’ll either love or hate though. If you’re going to watch it sit in the back of theater and in the middle, so you won’t get “seasick”.

  15. Karen says:

    Hey Tekoa,

    HA! Prior to meeting El Hub, dudes would always run off with my CD collection. I can’t blame them, as the selection is awesome, if I do say so myself. One guy tried to sneak out with the “Trainspotting” soundtrack and I hunted his ass down and made sure I got it back. Grrrr.

    Happy Friday!

  16. Karen says:

    Hey PeeChee,

    Isn’t it liberating? It’s exceptionally liberating when one is mad as hell, ha.

    I am always on the hunt for concealer. What is your fave?

  17. Karen says:

    Hi Megan,

    So is it dangerous that you can just walk to Ulta whenever you feel like it?! I know it would be for me.

    Funny that you mention Stila, because when I was watching “Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles” on TV the other night, I noticed that one of the “good” terminators (a girl), was holding onto a compact that looked like Stila Convertible Color. Yes, I have geeky sci-fi tendencies.

    I know the Pure Beauty (aka Pure Booty) in the next town carries Stila. I’ve never really checked it out but I think I’ll take a look at it! Do the shadows have nice payoff? Hows the texture with the other products?

  18. Karen says:

    Hi Glosslizard,

    Oh, “Who’s That Girl” is a good one. I rock out to AL all the time in the car too. I get more than my fair share of weird looks.

    I *wish* those vending machines had sample buttons. That would be really cool!

    Have fun on your field trip. I’m sure you’ll learn a ton of stuff!

  19. kia says:

    congrats Karen for being one of WWD’s favorite beauty blogs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *happy dance!*

  20. Karen says:

    Thanks sweetie. 🙂 It was a nice surprise.

    You and BabyYum have a great weekend!

  21. Lilan says:

    I try to maintain my nails, but believe it or not, my mom actually likes it when I go see her with ratty nails so that they can re-do them. Talk about a manicure masterpiece!

    Cloverfield was on our “to see” list so I think we’ll check it out! And we’ll definitely sit in the back; I don’t want to get seasick! 😉

    PS – You must be quite a movie buff and would probably kick arse in trivia!

  22. Mrs. Lynne says:

    Ya,… I wasn’t really all for Jason Bateman as an older married man. He just reminds me too much of a kid that the role didn’t seem as fitting.

    Do you and the hubbs have plans for V-day yet?

  23. Amanda says:

    I’m lovin’ the pink-n-black series-cant’ wait for the next set. It’s a really darling idea for a V-Day series. 🙂 and I’m going to butt in with regards to stila eyeshadows-you need to try them. (I actually prefer them the mac, and rate them very close to shu).

  24. Melissa says:

    Hi Karen!

    Lovin’ the pink/black.

    My hubby and I saw Juno last night. Loved it! Am I the only nerd who spotted a Viva Glam lipstick? I pretty sure I spyed the red and black tube when she hopped in the van and put some lipstick on.

  25. congrats on wwd, karen! you rock!

  26. Glosslizard says:

    Yeah, I love those weird looks! I also love seeing other people rockin’ out in their cars, it always makes me smile!

    I just got back from the Aikido seminar and I am tired! Traffic was a nightmare! Learned some really good tips though, and got a great workout!

    But the big news… our girl is a WWD top ten big blogger! I’m so proud of you! I can’t believe that you are so big as a blogger and still find time to respond to each and every one of us! Congrats, you deserve the recognition! 😀

  27. Ping. says:


    love your blog post especially this v’day pink and black post since I’m kinda caught in between. Gotta admit that Shu curler is the best, I thrown away my old one once I got Shu. it’s too good.

  28. Karen says:

    Hi Lilan,

    That’s cute – you can get your nails done extra special and spend time with you mom.

    Yeah, make sure you are near some exits, too. The girl sitting two seats away from me got totally sick in the theater 🙁

    I’ve seen a lot of movies but I dunno if I’d do so great in trivia…I’d probably do better in the song lyrics department than movie facts department.

  29. Karen says:

    Hi Mrs. Lynne,

    Nope, not yet. I can’t believe that’s right around the corner! When did February sneak up on us?

    LOL, I used to have a crush on Ricky Shroeder, too.

  30. Karen says:

    Hi Amanda,

    Thanks, girl! I will def. check out the Stila shadows. I’ve seen a few things from the line but have never been compelled enough, but both you and Megan have inspired me.

    I am going to check out the convertible color, too!

  31. Karen says:

    LOL, Melissa – I could’ve sworn I saw that too!

    I don’t exactly see Juno as a Viva Glam kinda girl though…more like a Lip Smackers kinda girl.

  32. Karen says:

    Hi Makeuplovesme/Marina,

    Thanks! It was a surprise…a good one!

  33. Karen says:

    Hey Glosslizard!

    Glad you got home okay. Driving seemed like a nightmare yesterday…I’m so glad it’s NOT raining. Parts of Marin flooded last night (nothing new) but my neighborhood stayed dry.

    And thanks for the kind words regarding the WWD article. It was an unusual feeling to be on the other side of the interview, as I’m usually the interviewer and not the interviewee. But yeah, twas a nice surprise. 🙂

  34. Karen says:

    Hi Ping,

    Thank you so much for saying hello! It’s good to meet you.

    You just inspired another pink/black post…I’ll do one for the girls/guys that are “in between.” I’ve been there and done that before!

    Are you a Shu fan, too? I love their shadows!

  35. Ping. says:

    haha.. nice to meet you too! oh that would be nice, can’t wait for it. haha

    yeah i’m fan! but mostly I own is eyeliners, their eyeshadows are pretty good with vibrant colour

  36. Megan says:

    Okay…Honestly I like everything in the stila set…one thing in it is a stila convertible color compact in peony (a la terminator). I didn’t use it on myu lips though…only my cheeks. I’ve loved the illuminating tinted moisturizer since i read about it in In Style like two years ago and scored a tube from Sephora. I’m not a fan of foundation really…so i love using this… and it gives your skin a nice dewy, glowy finish without being over the top. The eye shadow in the kit is kitten, and it is very nice…packed with sparkly and pigment….it doesn’t require a lot of coats to build nice color etc. and it has nice staying power. The set also includes Stila convertible eye color in onyx…which is nice… it’s a creamy stick that looks pretty much like a normal eyeliner, with a built in smudger on the end of the wand. The texture is nice, it’s easy to apply, and smudging is easy too… it has a nice color as well. The only thing i wasn’t supser crazy about was getting it all off…Anyway I looked at the package again and it’s actually called the best of Stila set. So I would assume these are some of their best products. 🙂 Seriously… I love make up so much…and I love getting kits/freebies/GWP’s just to play with new stuff and new colors.

  37. gisele says:

    I wonder how Shu’s new curler compare to shiseido? I’ve used shiseido, both the makeup version and the japanese drugstore version.

  38. f. says:

    Loved the paint it black collection – Great post Karen. 🙂

  39. Karen says:

    Hi Ping,

    I’ve never tried Shu eyeliners. Which ones are your faves?

  40. Karen says:

    Hi Megan,

    I love makeup soooo much too. And those GWP things are so much fun. You just never know when you’ll find something amazing. A few months ago I got a Clinique GWP and the best thing about it was Bamboo lipstick! It’s now one of my favorite natural pinks.

    Those “Best of” palettes seem to be a pretty good deal. I saw one the other day from Becca that looked very pretty. It had some cream blushes and eyeshadows. I gotta make it through my Stila and Nars list before I can go there though. Plus, I got a look at the new Laura Mercier spring compacts and they made my heart beat lil’ faster.

    BTW,do you set your Stila Tinted Moisturizer with anything? Or do you wear it bare?

  41. Karen says:

    Hi Gisele,

    I’ve never used the Shiseido one, although I’ve heard that it is comparable to Shu.

    I think the Shu curler definitely makes curling one’s lashes easy, but you also have to have good technique, which makes a difference in how natural the curl looks.

  42. Karen says:

    Thank you F! Hope your Monday is off to a great start 🙂

  43. Jeny says:

    Thanks for the tips.. I usually go run or go straight to the gym from work so I end up wearing the makeup i’ve had on all day (which isn’t a bad idea!).. but the long wear mascara is awesome!

  44. Karen says:

    You’re welcome, Jeny. That Clinique mascara is the shizz! Probably the best waterproof mascara I’ve ever used (and I’ve used a lot of mascara). Let me know if you try it and like it!

    Have a good week. 🙂

Leave a Reply

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

CommentLuv badge