What's a Workout Without Makeup?

Latest celebrity trend: Getting glamorous before getting a workout in.

Dec. 4, 2007 — -- What does it take to run a marathon? If you're first-time marathoner Katie Holmes it takes lots of training, a good pair of running shoes and apparently, some eyeliner.

A photo taken of Holmes after she finished the New York Marathon set beauty bloggers buzzing because it looked like Holmes was wearing makeup during the 26.2-mile run through the streets of Manhattan — a practice normally frowned upon by hard-core racers.

But Holmes is hardly the only celebrity to think sweating and a little shimmer go hand in hand. Serena Williams has been known to enter the Center Court at Wimbledon in full glamour mode.

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So, do cosmetics and exercise mix? The answer depends on whom you ask.

David Goldberg, of Mount Sinai Medical Center and director of Skin Laser and Surgery Specialists in New York and New Jersey, couldn't be more clear: "My recommendation is not to wear makeup."

When you exercise you increase the blood supply to your skin. That's a good thing.

More nutrients are delivered to your skin cells, making your skin healthier. But sweat can clog your pores and when you add foundation on top of that, well, the results can be ugly.

"We see it all the time," said Goldberg."We see more breakouts and skin problems because of this."

But just try explaining the no-foundation rule to West Coast makeup artist and regular exerciser Mary Erickson.

"I wouldn't go outside without makeup, never mind to the gym. I'm 48 OK, not 20. Of course, I wouldn't have gone outside without makeup at 20 either. … I don't wear a lot of makeup, but I put my full face on to go anywhere."

On the East Coast, makeup is also the rule, not the exception, at the Equinox Fitness Club in New York City on Park Avenue

"The age range of our club is between 25 and 35. It's a little more of a scene here. People see people they know so they want to get a little glammed up when they go to the gym. I've seen women doll themselves up before they go into a fitness class," said club general manager Kellan Finley.

And, even among regular runners, there are those who refuse to eschew cosmetic esthetics.

In 1967, Kathrine Switzer, then 20, was the first woman to officially enter and run the Boston Marathon. She signed up using only her first initials as the event was men only. When officials discovered a woman running, they tried to remove her from the course.

"I tell you I used to wear makeup all the time," said Switzer. "It was very important to look as good as possible and as feminine as possible." Switzer said she wore hair ribbons, earrings and makeup to prove to her detractors that women athletes weren't "masculine" or "threatening."

Even the magazine Runner's World has gotten in on the act by offering a recent story on Boonsom Hartman's "lucky" lipstick.

Hartman, a mother of four, has run 100 marathons and always wears the same shade of lipstick when she crosses the finish line. In case you're wondering, it's Artistry Perfect Moisture Lip Color in Cherries Jubilee.

"I think a few years ago some runners might have looked at someone in full makeup at a race and said 'oh, she's clueless,' but people are more open now," said Tish Hamilton, executive editor of Runner's World. "There are just so many people from all walks of life running and exercising from fast to slow … and I have to tell you some of them look pretty darn fabulous."

Hamilton has run in more than 33 marathons, but doesn't wear makeup only because she's "lazy."

Part of the problem, of course, is that makeup generally isn't designed to hold up under a punishing sweat. Foundation may streak, lip color can disappear and forget about finding a mascara that won't run. But if you're one of those women who blanches at the thought of exercising facially naked take heart, because there are some beauty products that should work well with your workout.

Makeup artist Mary Erickson recommends Mineral Illuminaire liquid foundation. "It's a cream rather than a powder so it won't get cakey. It's going to sit nicely on the skin and won't move if you sweat."

And if you don't use anything else, try a touch of Keromask concealer. "Just wearing that under your eyes will hide a lot of flaws," said Erickson.

California-based Stila cosmetics used to have a sport line. Although it doesn't anymore, the company has incorporated many of the same ingredients into its current cosmetic lines.

Stila's Amanda Rozelle recommends three products: waterproof mascara, a tinted moisturizer with an SPF 15 and a lip glaze. "You want things that put moisture back into your skin. If you use a regular lipstick with pigment, it will dry your lips. You don't want that when you're biking or working out. So I recommend using a gloss or glaze."

But Mount Sinai's Goldberg offers up his own ideas. "Wear a headband and keep the make up off. And those things are free," said Goldberg.

Free but not nearly as fashionable.