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Brief Published: 1 Jul 2020

Athleisure Beauty Gathers Pace

Sports Hai

With the global physical activity economy valued at $828bn (Global Wellness Institute, 2019) and sales of activewear booming during lockdown, athleisure beauty is gathering pace (see Sports Beauty Steps Up). In early 2020, a trio of British start-ups launched fitness-focused cosmetics, while private label lines flourish in North America.

In the UK, Session's hydrating, brightening and oil-absorbing Performance Primer preps skin for workouts with antioxidant vitamin C, anti-inflammatory aloe vera and moisture-boosting hyaluronic acid and papaya seed oil. The cult fitness product’s “cream-to-satin formula” offers a soft-focus finish, and a breathable base for make-up, if desired.

Skin In Motion’s “exercise-friendly” make-up and skincare includes the Lift It sweatproof mascara and the Cool It facial mist. As well as glowing reviews from the UK beauty press, Skin In Motion’s homepage features a tribute to its Work It tinted moisturiser from an NHS doctor named Serena. “I have been using it under the face masks and it held up really well,” she says.

This points to a growing opportunity to market long-wear colour cosmetics for use with Covid-19 facial protection. Chinese microblogging website Sina Weibo’s “must-haves for face mask make-up” topic had gained more than 14,000 discussions and over 8.9 million page views by February 20 2020 (Kantar, 2020).

Fitness make-up was noted as the latest workout essential in 2017 (NPD Group, 2017), and one in six UK women now wear make-up to the gym (YouGov, 2019). British brand Sports Hai launched its make-up range for athletes with the (now postponed) Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in mind. The capsule colour collection includes space-saving two-in-one products such as a tinted mattifying and moisturising balm stick and a double-ended eye shadow/liner pen. Other personal care items featured are an SPF 50 cream and a gentle, nourishing hair cleanser. 

In the US, monthly subscription service Birchbox has relaunched its athleisure beauty brand Arrow, which debuted in 2016. The new line conforms to Birchbox’s current clean beauty remit and features redesigned colourful packaging. Its reformulated Color Enhancing Lip Balm adjusts to the user’s pH to enhance natural lip colour and hydrates with mango seed butter.

Meanwhile, Canadian active apparel retailer Lululemon launched a five-piece gender-neutral personal care line Selfcare in June 2019. Featuring no-nonsense names such as Anti-Stink Deodorant and Basic Balm, the irreverent line is also sold through French beauty retail giant Sephora.

For more on how other self-care products such as aromatherapeutic, muscle-soothing massage oils are enjoying resurgence during lockdown, see Covid-19: The Beauty Sleep Opportunity.

Skin In Motion