Show-Proof Makeup You’ll Actually Want to Wear (Really)

Growing up riding horses and enjoying the great outdoors, you wouldn’t expect this quintessential tomboy to become a makeup artist, but that’s exactly what happened. I’m a walking paradox. A high heel wearing, Jeep Wrangler driving, acrylic nail loving equestrian.

Working in the fashion industry for ten years as a makeup artist for one of the largest brands in the industry taught me more than a few tricks that I may or may not have started to cross over to the show ring. Lessons learned while doing makeup at New York Fashion Week include, but aren’t limited to, ‘how to pull off natural glam’. Also, how to put makeup on faster than one would think is humanly possible, which also lends itself to hectic show day mornings. Yes, it is possible to be natural looking and glamorous all at the same time. This principle is what drives my go to look and essentials for the show ring. What happens on the stage/runway doesn’t have to stay there, it’s not Vegas.

I mean, I’m not the only one that wants to look my best at a show, right? Can’t that include a little mascara and bronzer? Okay, fine and maybe some concealer, foundation, and lipstick too. Surely, I’m not the only one who cares about my glam just as much as my horse’s turnout. I’ll admit it, I want my face to look as fierce as my show coat.  

Here are five products I absolutely can’t live without at a show:

1. Glossier Invisible Shield

Don’t wear SPF? There’s no time like the present. Also, please – riders are in the sun like crazy. This water-like gel isn’t your typical SPF. It’s lightweight, non-greasy, completely clear, and won’t leave a white cast. Not to mention it has active microcapsules that work to keep free radicals and dust from the show ring out of your skin. Use as the last step of your skincare routine.

2. Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation

Fear the inner lining of your helmet after a show? Nervous, the evidence of a full face of makeup will forever be marked on the rim of our GPA? I have your answered prayers this transfer-resistant and waterproof formula lasts for 36 hours can be used as your go-to Show Day foundation or concealer or both. This oil-free nourishing formula offers medium to full weightless coverage with a satin finish.

3. Becca Skin Perfector Highlighting Powder

Ultra-fine luminescent pearl reflects light for a high impact, high-intensity glow (I like to call it a blue ribbon glow). Smart pigments adjust to complement your skin’s natural undertones. I particularly love the idea of more is more when it comes to your highlighter during show days. Your helmet adds so many shadows to the face. I’ll use my highlighter to really bring out my cheekbones and I’ll even tap a little highlight on the inner corner of my eyes. Shine like that medal you are sweating it out to win.

4. Eyeko Sport Waterproof Mascara

It took me 28 years to find this mascara. It won’t flake or smudge in the sweatiest of conditions, even in the middle of the day in the middle of August.  The ergonomically shaped brush catches every lash giving your lashes the length and volume they deserve.

5. Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour

Lipstick at the barn? Yes, I’m that girl. But this product isn’t really lipstick – it’s a feather-like, smooth-suede, color-riche liquid lip color that comes in 20 shades. I try to pick a shade that simply enhances the natural color of my bare lips. Not sure what color works best for you? Take a peek at the inside of your lip. Is it coral, pink or plum? This is a helpful trick when selecting a cheek-enhancing blush as well. Back to this liquid lipstick, I’ll tell you why I really love it – it doesn’t feather and truly lasts eight hours. Feel free to pair it with your favorite lip balm to turn it into a creamy, hydrating wash of color. “Lady be Good” happens to be my favorite Show-Shade.

6. Ben Nye Final Seal

I know, I said, “5 products I can’t live without.” Well okay, I lied, make it six. There are six products I can’t live without, and they all truly deserve a spot in my ring bag. Once you try this one, you’ll understand. Mist this on after your makeup routine and you are bound to feel minty fresh. This keeps makeup waterproof and in place for hours. It won’t clog your pores and gives your skin a matte finish. Pro tip: stretch your arm out and up. That’s where you should be spritzing this on. A la’ Show Sheen, don’t spray it too close and don’t use too much. Less is more here. I recommend 3 spritzes.

Just like our precious sport, practice makes perfect. Find a makeup routine that works for you and don’t be scared to change it up every now and then. Trying new techniques doesn’t necessarily mean wearing more, except for highlighter (never enough highlighter). We’re adult amateurs, after all, and we can do whatever we damn well please. We’re also not 15 with skin that bounces back from a sitting trot like a trampoline, so I think we deserve a little self-care. I’ll be looking for you naturally glamorous competitors in the ring.


Photos by Jessie Leland. Model – Allison Campbell, Rider at Jasmin Stair Stables in Rancho Santa Fe, CA.

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