Athletic-chic makeup tricks
Athletic-inspired beauty has moved off the court and into the streets. Here's how to get the lookBy Tracey Ho Lung
We couldn’t help noticing the “athletic chic” trend on the spring/summer runways. It was defined by bare-bones makeup with an emphasis on glowing skin and strong eyebrows. Hair was a sleek ponytail, or worn loose and wet-looking. In clothing, it popped up as streamlined “team” stripes, toggle closures, track jackets and sweats done in luxe fabrics; or skirts or tees in neoprene and high-tech mesh fabric.
Whether you’re inspired by a fresh-faced model or Canada’s Olympic athletes with their glowing skin and no-fuss hair, here’s step-by-step advice from a makeup artist and a hair pro to give you a look that’s flattering for play and for work.
How to get the minimal makeup look
Because it’s a clean, fresh look without a lot of coverage, Toronto-based makeup artist David Allan Jones, who worked backstage at the Stella McCartney show in Paris, says, “Beginning with smooth skin is key. Use a scrub or mask at least once a week.”
Face and cheeks: Start with a tinted moisturizer for a sheer effect, then apply concealer with a little brush to only the areas where you need it—usually under the eyes, around the nose and over blemishes, says Jones. Blend well with the brush.
For that all-important glow, Jones likes sweeping a larger eyeshadow brush over a pearlescent cream stick highlighter and applying it over the tops of cheekbones, up the temples and on the brow bone. End with a dab to the inner eye corners to help brighten eyes.
Buff a cream blush in a peachy shade onto the apples of your cheeks with a blush brush or fingers. You can even sweep bronzer (in a caramel shade) over cheekbones and temples, and across the chin.
Eyes: The big runway message for this sporty look was a fuller brow. Enhance yours by brushing brow gel (a clear gel, often on a mascara-type wand, to smooth unruly brows and “set” them) up through the brows—this allows you to see the areas you need to fill in. Use a brow pencil that’s one shade lighter than your brows. “This looks the most natural,” says Jones. To soften, brush brows up and out with a baby toothbrush or an old mascara wand. For the rest of your eyes, keep the look pared down with taupe eyeshadow on the lids (or skip this), and perhaps a thin line of black or brown eyeliner close to the upper lashes, plus black mascara.
Lips: Sport a clear or tinted conditioning lip balm.
How to style slick hair
It’s a toss-up between a chic ponytail, and damp hair that gives new meaning to wash and go.
For a polished pony, Terry Ritcey, Montreal-based national educator for Redken, likes applying a creamy paste-wax styling product to damp, towel-dried hair to ensure a sleek texture, distributing it from roots to ends using the fingers. Blow-dry, then brush back (for the smoothest results, use a fine-toothed comb or a boar-bristle brush). Secure pony in a covered elastic. “It can be worn low, mid-height or high—when it’s high, it looks more playful,” says Ritcey. Side part or no part? That’s up to you. Flatiron hair from the elastic downward. When you’ve almost reached the bottom, in a quick movement, give the flatiron a little flick, which will add some movement to hair, Ritcey suggests.
As for that damp-hair look—great for when it rains, but not always suitable for work—go for a modified version. Work the same cream wax into towel-dried hair. If you have coarse hair, or it tends to get frizzy, mix the wax with a few drops of anti-frizz serum. Run fingers through hair, and out the door you go.