Hair and Makeup Tips for Running to Work

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an in-depth review on how to do hair and makeup when running to work. Hair and Makeup Tips for Running to Work

Sitting in traffic or waiting for public transit can be a frustrating way to start and end your day. Incorporating a run into that commute can relieve frustration and help you feel invigorated at the beginning of your workday. Not to mention the money you will save on parking fees and gas.

Although there are many benefits to running to work, it does come with challenges of its own. Many people are faced with long commutes and do not want to sacrifice looking (and smelling) professional to get in a workout. We find that a little planning can combat these issues and have you reaping the benefits of a running commute.

Those faced with a long commute may try running part of the way by getting off the train a stop or two early or finding a parking lot a few miles from the office. You may also find that bringing clothes and shoes into the office earlier in the week will reduce the weight of your running backpack.

Once you have found your route and planned your outfit, many people, women, in particular, may still be deterred by the challenges of arriving to work with sweaty hair and a red face. Here we have come up with some solutions so you can take advantage of a running commute while still looking polished and professional.

Cool Down

Give yourself plenty of time and walk the last half mile or so to cool down after your run. Ideally, you will be able to take a cool shower at your office or a nearby gym. If not, strip down completely in your office or bathroom to wipe down with a cool washcloth or wet wipes.

Take Care of Your Skin

A clear complexion is the best way to keep feel confident with minimal makeup. For run commuters, however, this is easier said than done.

Protect your skin: Sun damage is cumulative so even if your commute is short, daily sun exposure can lead to higher risk of skin cancer and premature signs of aging. Protect yourself every time you step out the door with a hat, sunscreen, and sun protective clothing.

Wash your face: Dermatologists recommend washing your face before and immediately after a workout. Starting with a fresh face minimizes the number of bacteria and dead skin waiting to get clogged in your pores as you run. After your workout, try to wash or use a cleansing wipe before sweat has a chance to dry.

Cool down: Any woman who has tried a quick turn around after hitting the gym knows the struggle of applying makeup to a flushed face. Try washing with cool water and misting with a calming toner to cool skin, close pores and reduce inflammation.

Prevent Breakouts: Your face is not the only area prone to acne and clogged pores. If you don’t have access to a shower at work or at a nearby gym, wipe down with a wet cloth or baby wipes before redressing after your run.

Minimize Your Makeup Routine

Pare it down: Depending on the individual and the office you work in, the amount of makeup you wear can vary widely. Regardless of how much you are currently using, you may be able to pare down a bit. Consider all of the makeup products you use and think about which ones you really need to feel put together. For some people, this may mean a quick swipe of lip gloss or mascara while others may just be able to cut out excess eyeshadow or lipstick options.

Double Up: If you are having difficulty cutting your makeup down to the bare essentials, consider 2-in-1 products that can save space. Scan the aisles at Sephora and your local drugstore and you will be sure to find plenty of multi sticks that can perform the role of multiple products such as lipstick and blush or eyeshadow and highlighter.

Smudge it on: One way to save space in your makeup bag and cut time off your routine is lose the brushes and find products that are easy to apply with your fingers. Cream blush and eyeshadow are easy to dab onto warm skin after a run and they seem to stay in place better throughout the day.

Reviving Your Hair After a Run

You may not need a full wash and blow out after every single workout. Here are some tips for finding the best low maintenance routine for your hair.

Protect from sweat: Sweatbands have come a long way from the bulky terry cloth bands of the 80s. Companies like Lululemon, Nike, and Gymwrap all offer sleeker options that can help wick sweat from your scalp as you run.

Skip the shampoo: Daily shampooing can strip hair of essential oils and end up drying and damaging hair over time. Instead of a full wash, try spraying dry shampoo at the roots. Let it sit while you do your makeup and then run your fingers through hair to give it fresh volume.

Embrace texture: Smooth hair is not realistic for every runner, so why not embrace the natural texture? Try braiding hair before you run or using a texturizing spray at work to enhance any waves. Curly hair girls may opt for a water-based product such as Deva Curl. Products such as these are water-activated so curls can be reactivated by wetting and scrunching after your run.

Pull it back: Some days wearing hair down may not be an option. On these occasions, use a little dry shampoo to volumize the roots and pull hair back into a ponytail or bun.


Running to work may not go smoothly the first few times. Be patient with yourself and think about what you can do to make things easier. Through trial and error you will find the best way to make this method of commuting work for you!