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Look Good While Breaking a Sweat

03/25/2015 07:44AM ● Published by Melissa Gulden

The Fashion of Fitness

April 2015
By Melissa Gulden

Let's be honest. Even while working out, we still want to look presentable. But where does fashion meet function? I love to work out, but I also like to feel good about how I look while squatting, lifting, and yes, even running. So what products work while sweating and what can we do post-workout to avoid the drowned rat look?

No need to wash hair every day; in fact, you shouldn’t. Instead, try a dry shampoo. Simply spray on roots to freshen scalp. For long hair, spray a light conditioner on ends of hair and twist into a topknot for a quick shine treatment. The ponytail is a perfect hairdo for a workout—it’s stylish and transitions well from workout to night out. For curly hair, run a cream (try Moroccan Oil Curl Defining Cream) through hair for defined curls. Short hair? Headbands keep you stylish while keeping flyaways at bay. Post shower, add some mascara and lip gloss. Your face will probably already have a glow to it, so you’re good to go.

If your workouts take you outside, be sure to protect your eyes and face from the sun. Use an ultralight moisturizer with sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) you can sweat in to avoid clogging pores. Coola sun care products (coolasuncare.com) are organic and offer a weightless matte finish. The after-sun lotion with aloe helps cool off skin after an outdoor workout.

Now for the gear. A good rule of thumb when spending money on fitness gear is the tighter a garment rests against your skin, the more you should pony up cash for quality (especially sports bras and leggings). High-quality gear also holds up to lots of wear and washing. We see the Lululemon symbol everywhere, and yes, it’s great (lululemon.com), but there are less expensive options. Fabletics offers a complete outfit for $25 when you order online (fabletics.com). I’m also obsessed with VS Sport (Victoria’s Secret). It’s still a bit pricey, but the clothes hold up well and fit curves nicely, plus they’re super cute. H&M Athletic offers inexpensive collections for running, training, and yoga (hm.com/us). Try different brands to find what is comfortable, fits your body well, and what you will feel good wearing. Save money on items like tanks, T-shirts and even outerwear—as long as it’s windproof, waterproof and breathable, you’re in good shape. Whatever your sport, a high-quality pair of shoes is invaluable. Injuries can stem from ill-fitting shoes, so even if you look for end-of-season sales, be sure you find the right shoe and fit.

You need to protect your eyes if you spend a lot of time outdoors and the right pair of sunglasses has to be comfortable and stay in place for hours. High-quality sunglasses are engineered to fit perfectly and be comfortable and functional even when you’re sweating and working out for long stretches. Verdict: splurge. As for activity trackers, if you’re interested on monitoring your effort and recovery time, a good heart-rate monitor is worth the money. But most people don’t use all the bells and whistles that come with pricey trackers, and there are a lot of great apps (some free) that will track steps and calories. That’s really all you need.

The right gear and the right beauty essentials can help you feel good about yourself during and after your workout. And that’s half the battle, right? So get out there and hit the trail! Sweating daily releases endorphins, which can improve self-esteem. And who can’t use a little more of that?


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