Here's how to achieve that post-workout glow (minus the sweating part)

by Nina Marable, contributor

I can’t be the only one who loves that post-workout glow – it leaves my skin looking supple, moisturized, and a little flushed. That’s how I want my skin to look all day everyday! It’s all natural and very glowy but sadly, with all the sweating involved, it’s also unhygienic and possibly stinky. Instead, you can cheat your way into scoring that athletic glow, without breaking a sweat!


Start with skincare

This is a total no-brainer. A clear face makes for the perfect base, so make sure you're properly cleansing, moisturizing, and protecting your skin! If you aren't doing this yet, start with the basics and make it part of your daily routine. Aside from the benefits of proper care, it will also prep your skin for makeup application.

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Apply a light base

You want your glow to look as natural as possible so it's best to use a light coverage face base that allows your skin to shine through. A tinted moisturizer or CC cream would be right for the job, or you can opt to just spot-conceal blemishes and other imperfections! Set with powder only if absolutely necessary – we’re not going for a matte look here.

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For myself, I use MAC Fix+, Benefit’s Porefessional, and MAC Pro Longwear Concealer to keep oiliness at bay and cover up any acne marks and dark circles.

Light brows and bright eyes

If you’re totally content with how your brows naturally look, then lucky you! You can just keep your brow hairs in place by adding some brow gel. If there are sparse areas, then a brow tint would work just fine, but if your brows need a little more help, a brow pencil is the way to go! Eyebrow pencils are the most natural-looking brow filling products, so go ahead and lightly fill your arches in.

As for the eyes, just go light and bright. Eye gloss would be divine, but if that’s not your thing (or if you have super oily eyelids like I do!), a shimmer shadow would work just fine. You can even use whatever highlighter you have already! Just apply it all over your eyes – it’s that simple.

I used Benefit’s Brow Zings in shade 4 for my eyebrows and Catrice’s Absolute Eye Colour in 950 Gold Out! on my lids.

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Natural contour, flushed cheeks, and a generous highlight

Hit the high spots of your face with your highlight! Athletes have that certain “sweaty” glow, so don’t be shy with loading up on this product. Dust it generously on your cheekbones, the bridge of your nose, and your cupid’s bow to mimic that sheen, and bring it down to your collarbones if those are showing!

A red carpet look's intense contouring will be out of place, so using the right contour shade is crucial – a cool tone or a natural “shadow” shade is your best bet! Apply lightly under your cheekbones, on your jawline, and along your temples to cop narrower features. Blend well so it looks completely natural.

Like your contour shade, picking the right blush shade is also important! Knowing the natural flush of your cheeks will help you pick the right shade. Peach and rose blush picks are practically fool-proof options as they can easily mimic the natural redness of your skin. Work with a light hand and diffuse well.

Since I have yet to buy a contour palette, I used a bronzer from MAC called Mineralize Skinfinish Bronzer in Dark Deep. My glow is by NARS’s Highlight in Hot Sand, and I am using Tarte’s Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Sensual.

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Gloss, setting spray, and mascara

No bold lip color is needed for this look, not even a lipstick is needed! A simple gloss or even just lip balm, with or without tint, perfectly enhances that effortless look. As long as your lips stay moisturized, you should be ready to go (and glow!). Use a dewy setting spray or face mist to help your makeup last longer and refresh your skin.

After your spray has settled, give your lashes some loving. No falsies here - just swipe on your favorite mascara! Choose a lengthening formula over a volumizing one as it gives that “wispy & natural” feel.

I just used my Carmex Lip Balm for my lips, MAC’s Fix+ to set my makeup, and Tarte’s Lights, Camera, Lashes mascara.

For comparison, I did try to workout and take a selfie to set the baseline (on the left). My skin looks a lot better with the beauty hack though! 

Is this a look you'd spring for? What are your favorite products for achieving a natural glow?

Nina is a high school student at Saint Pedro Poveda College. She interns for Project Vanity.