As a female athlete, looking pretty isn’t my priority.  However, I like to dress up every once in a while and keep myself looking good.  It isn’t easy going from a sweaty betty to a done up chick but I have found that there are a few things that make this change a little easier.  Whether you are a long time athlete or new to working out, below are some of my tips and tricks for making the process of staying pretty a little bit easier when you are on the go all the time.

1) Natural beauty comes within.  This means if you take good care of your body on the inside, everything else will fall into place.  If you eat better and pay attention to what you put into your body, your skin and hair will actually look healthier.  It’s as simple as listening to your body.  Knowing what makes your body feel better and what doesn’t.  For example, we underestimate the power of water.  Water keeps our bodies filtered and clean (I’m sure you already know this).  Have you ever spent a day or night of drinking alcohol or even a few days drinking caffeine?…It shows! on your face and skin (at least mine does).  Your face becomes dry and dark circles begin to appear.  Nothing is more counteractive for an active person than drinking til you regret it. I always make sure I drink plenty of water and make sure I am putting more good foods and drinks into my body than bad even though I love my fair share of queso and beer.

2) Ditch the makeup.  I think one of the biggest mistakes women make is wearing makeup when they work out or do a physical activity.  The problem with this is that your pores are opened up from the heat of your body and the sweat coming through so all of the makeup that you put on gets inside those pores and is clogging them once you are cooled off.  I’ve experienced this first hand when I first started running.  I may have been able to pull it off as a teen but as I got older my skin became more sensitive and break outs occur more often.  I understand that you want to look good when you are at the gym and makeup makes you feel that way, but the more you do it, the more irritated your skin will be.  Perhaps this doesn’t apply to everyone because we all have different skin.  I am not against wearing makeup but from my experience, makeup combined with sweat isn’t a fun combo. Besides, if you try it, the more comfortable you will feel with less makeup, which brings me to number 3.

3) A little makeup goes a long way.  Exercise gives you a dewy glow because you are sweating out all of the toxins and bringing your natural beauty to the surface.   I notice when I exercise, my skin is actually tighter, cleaner and smoother.  When I notice the suttle changes with my skin, I don’t put on as much makeup.  Plus, you will save yourself time (especially if you combine #2,3 and 4).

4) Embrace your natural state.  I have naturally curly hair.  Although a lot of women would love to have natural curly hair, there is a lot of maintainence that comes with it, especially if you are active and have to wash it when you sweat a lot.  So, after many years of trial and error, I found what worked best with my natural hair.  I use product that keeps it from frizzing and helps my hair look good when I let it dry naturally.  When you are active and need a shower but don’t have the 30 minutes to an hour or more to get ready, than being ok with your natural state will save you a lot of time, stress and money. Know what works best with your hair, skin and body.  Even if you hate the way something looks, chances are someone else will like it.  Besides, when other people see that you are comfortable and confident as you are, you will be more attractive and thus making staying pretty that much easier in the times of hurry.

5) Wear clothes that make you feel good….all the time.  You don’t have to buy the most expensive clothes to feel and look good. Stores that are less expensive (even the goodwill) have some great finds that will help you rock that run or crossfit class or give you some extra something for your next party.  I like wearing exercise clothes on a regular basis and most of what eats my money is exercise clothing.  So, when I want an extra cute addition to my wardrobe, I go to stores that won’t wear out my wallet but are still cute.  Also, why not show off that body you have been taking care of? Show off your strength and beauty! and wear the clothes that YOU think make you look good.  If you feel good, you’re gonna look good and feel confident.  Confidence is pretty!

6) ALWAYS wear sunscreen.  I cannot stress this one enough.  It doesn’t matter if you don’t burn or you want that base tan to get you going for your summer vacation.  If you fear wrinkles and want to lessen your chances of sun damage, then be very liberal with your sunscreen application.  I tan easily but I also have a ton of moles and freckles which can be signs of sun damage.  Keeping that shit to a minimum is my goal.  We all want beautiful, clear skin.  As with anything else, the better you take care of your skin, the easier it is to show off your beauty.  You can use this resource to find out more information on sun damage: http://www.listentoyourskin.org/.

7) Use natural cleansers for your face and body.  This doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money on the name brand items that have “natural” ingredients.  Instead, I would suggest making your own products.  When I am training, I have to shower all the time.  This means that my skin drys out and the harsh chemicals found in my everyday cleansers (especially for my face) make it worse.  This also means that I run out of soap quicker.  So, a few years ago I decided to make my own facial scrub and body scrub.  Instead of using my usual face soap, I combine coffee grounds and lemon.  I combine raw sugar or coffee grounds with honey, coconut or olive oil and a little bit of fragrance for my body.  I notice that my skin looks and feels healthier when I use more household/natural ingredients vs everyday soaps.  You also save a ton of money when you buy these items in bulk.  Pinterest has some great recipes for making your own beauty products.  Feel free to check out my Pinterest for some homemade beauty product recipes.

8) Take vitamins and supplements.  I am a strong believer in the benefits that come with vitamins and have continued to listen to my mother and take a daily vitamin.  Though I am not an expert and couldn’t tell you which vitamins are necessary, I would advise taking a multi vitamin everyday or every other day.  No matter how healthy us active girls can eat, we can’t fit all of the needed nutrients to stay strong into every meal.  There are a lot of benefits that comes with vitamins such as keeping your hair, skin, and fingernails healthy and strong.  I compare “staying pretty” to keeping a plant or tree alive and strong.  When you give that living organism enough nutrients and water, it’s leaves, stems or petals are lush and aren’t brittle.  Same goes with our bodies.  If we give it enough nutrients, we look healthy.

9) Indulge in some pampering.  Everybody loves to spoil themselves every once in a while. Treat yourself to a spa day.  Get a massage, a facial, take a bubble bath, or even a wax if that makes you feel good.  When we are on the go all the time, we forget how important the relaxation part is.  If you nurture your body on the outside, your happiness and relief of stress will show.  In order to keep that pretty smile of yours, sometimes you need to indulge in the things that will get you there.  It’s like a hot cup of tea, coffee or cocoa on a cold day.    When you experience that warmth, and feed that craving of something warm and tasty, that simple satisfaction will make you a happier person, which brings me to my last tip of “staying pretty.”

10) Stay Positive.  There are times, regardless of how much I exercise and keep things under control, life throws a wrench at me.  As cliche as it sounds, having a positive attitude (in my opinion) reflects the inner beauty of a person which then defines the outer appearance of self.  This doesn’t mean if you have a bad day, you will then become ugly.  It means a person who has a good attitude is a happier person.  Our happiness is vital when it comes to keeping ourselves doing the things that we love and keeping our inner selves just a beautiful as our outer appearance. A smile goes a long way when you are trying to maintain your beauty.