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Workout with Makeup

Young Women Hands Hold Water Bottle Studio

Most days of the week I wear makeup, most days of the week I workout; most days of the week I workout in makeup because I either don’t have time to remove my makeup before class, I’m too lazy to take the time to remove my makeup before class, or I’m trying to preserve my beat face. (Please hold your judgement ’til the end.)

A little over a week ago, I worked out at the office with my fellow editor and workout buddy Victoria who created a high-intensity interval circuit for us that had me sweating in no time. It wasn’t long before sweat and some combination of foundation, eyebrow powder and mascara found their way into my right eye which instantly began stinging. I tried wiping away the irritation with the collar of my shirt — also sweaty — but the stinging wouldn’t go away. Victoria offered me a face wipe, the last one she had which had dried out, so as a solution, I dipped it in water and attempted to wipe away my mascara as best I could to keep up with the workout. After all, we were only supposed to be taking 30 second breaks in between moves.

I made it through the workout — one eye open half the time — but at the end I could see both of my eyes were bright red. My face was too from the exertion so I didn’t think much of it and made my way home. On the train, I started to notice the bright lights were bothering my right eye in particular, and by the time I got home I started seeing rainbows around my recessed ceiling lights. The rainbows were a bit new to me, but having a slight eye irritation after working out in makeup really wasn’t (again, we’re not at the end of the story yet, reserve your criticism). I showered, laid down, and fully expecting things to be better in the morning, but they were worse.

I got up at 5:45 am to attend a cycling class and noticed a white cast over everything I saw with my right eye. My eye didn’t have any sort of physical film over it, but anything with an ounce of light to it had me seeing strobes around it. There was some relief in the cycling class which is dimly lit, but as soon as the lights went bright again, the strobes returned. I decided to get some eye drops before I made my way home, but when I sat down to start working it was clear they would not do the trick.

The light from my laptop screen was nearly burning my eye. I put on my computer glasses which I have to wear from time to time to filter the blue light but they didn’t offer much relief either. Because I love Google any time something goes remotely awry with my health, I started researching my symptoms and was torn between Urgent Care and a warm compress. I had stories I needed to write before a 4:30 pm flight so I chose compress.

I began to feel some relief, but because I’d been picking with my eye so much, trying to see if there was a particle inside that needed removing and fully taking advantage of the directive on the eye drops to “use as needed,” my eye started physically hurting. This was magnified 10-fold when I hopped in a cab to the airport on a day that was, randomly, bright and sunny, and the rays from the sun hitting my eye through the window literally forced my eye closed. I tried to fight the rays which made my ear tear up immensely but the pain from doing so simply wasn’t worth it. I turned my head away from the window and closed my eyes, still hoping for the best.

Throughout my flight and the rest of the evening, the halo effects from the light subsided little by little but the pain was still quite present, as was the redness in my eye that I’m sure led to more than a few assumptions about my recreational activity based on some of the stares I received. The following morning my site was about 98% normal and the pain dull but still somewhat present along with slight redness. It wasn’t until about 48 hours after my workout that things completely returned to normal and I told myself “never again.” I don’t know what it was about this particular time that left my eye more irritated, or should I say temporarily injured, than ever before, but now I have a bottle of Triple Action Cleansing Water in my desk drawer from the cleaning lady just waiting to be used before my next impromptu workout session. What good is dropping a few pounds if I won’t be able to see the results?

FYI: See what the experts say about working out in makeup (and why I knew better) here.

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