I won't lie: I've always been a tad judgmental of people who primp for the gym. It's not that I'm totally against looking cute at all times, even when you're blitzing your way through a sweaty HIIT circuit—it's more that when I catch a glance of someone with an enviable cat eye or impossibly thick lashes in the locker room, all I can really see are black streaks dripping down my own face as I wheeze through my last burpee. And then that morphs into visions of mascara-and-sweat-clogged pores, and suddenly I'm spiraling into a hole of horrific blackheads and never-ending breakouts. I believe the medical term for this is beauty editor-induced skin paranoia.
So when tarte invited me on a fitness-centric trip to famed wellness destination Canyon Ranch—all the while alluding to a mysterious new collection I would be trying out while I was there—I was more than curious to see how this would play out. "No need for any glam on this trip," the itinerary stated for good measure, adding that we would be spending the majority of our time in yoga pants.
I would learn almost immediately upon my arrival to the resort in Lenox, Massachusetts, that the athleisure theme of the excursion was even more pervasive than I initially guessed. Tarte's newest collection consists of the ultimate gym bag beauty essentials: natural-looking makeup and skincare formulated to withstand even the most intense fitness sessions—and help us freshen up afterward. (Tarte even test-drove the new range in sweat chambers.) And that, I suddenly understood, was my real problem with makeup at the gym: I just hadn't found the right products yet.
Over the next few days, as I put the new formulas through the paces of several different fitness classes, the concept felt more and more genius. How was it that this tinted moisturizer kept my skin velvety smooth even as I beat the daylights out of a heavyweight boxing bag? Or how about the mascara that stayed put throughout an entire day of sweating it out—and even after my face was smushed into a massage table for 80 minutes? Sheepish gym makeup convert, party of one.
Keep reading to get the lowdown on my four favorite products from the collection.
Much to the vocalized horror of many makeup artists I've encountered, I generally skip primer—I'm not a fan of putting layers of heavy product on my skin, and I often skip foundation altogether. But I was immediately smitten with this ultra-lightweight formula, which acts as a pore perfector and illuminator all in one go. Even when worn underneath foundation, the luminous look still peeks through, giving your complexion that ever-covetable look of an IRL Instagram filter. But I found that it subtly blurred imperfections even when worn alone—making it the perfect no-makeup makeup product.
I prefer my foundation with SPF built in, so this formula won points with me right off the bat. And it continued to rack them up for its sheer pigment and impossibly lightweight, satiny texture—it literally didn't feel like I was wearing anything at all, but the coverage and matte texture remained even after I duked it out in a particularly tough boxing class.
I wholeheartedly did not expect to like this mascara, since I am ridiculously picky in this arena—and I find that most waterproof formulas either don't work or, on the flip side, are impossible to remove. I've never been happier to be so wrong: The Lifted formula gave my lashes the perfect amount of natural-looking volume, nary a clump in sight. And though the fact that it withstood an entire day's worth of activities made me nervous about taking it off, it melted away immediately with a little bit of cleansing oil.
I very much appreciate this limited-edition blotting palette, if only because I'm constantly rifling around in my purse for one solitary paper, which I then blindly dab around my face if I'm not in eyeshot of a mirror. And FWIW, the powder is made with clay, not the usual talc—meaning there's no risk of that dreaded powdered donut look in photos if you overdo it.
Shop the rest of the Tarte Athleisure collection.