Triathlon Taught Me How To Solve Panda Eyes (plus the cheapest full coverage foundation)

woman with red hair on beach

There is nothing worse than black rings around your eyes after working out, but there are easy ways to fix this common beauty blunder.

It’s an issue that really crept up on me a few years ago when I was training for triathlon, (which is swimming, cycling and running – in succession, so one after the other).

How and why you would do triathlon is another story, but the issue of panda eyes is inescapable under that kind of physical and environmental pressure.

And no, you don’t wear mascara when competing or doing a whole, actual triathlon, but you train during the day and often with a full face of make-up as there are just not enough hours in the day.

At my peak that meant 9 sessions a week (and I was an amateur), so I was training at lunch times, after work, before work and just about every time of the day you can imagine.

And my beauty routine suffered badly.

The worst part though were those panda eyes, and rubbing them only made me look worse – tired, run down and heaven forbid, older!

So I was forced to find a few solutions for panda eyes:

  1. Don’t wear eyeshadow when doing excessive sport – it runs down your face. Sounds obvious, why isn’t it tho? Eye liner is also a no, no unless it is waterproof. But even then I wouldn’t go there. Anything to reduce the stress.
  2. You have to wear waterproof mascara when training a lot. Remove it at the end of the day with a professional eye makeup remover – micellar was my favourite.
  3. Don’t rub your eyes. Another insider tip that sounds so damn obvious, but just isn’t at the time when it’s you.
  4. Try clear mascara and brow products. These are gel products that actually shape the lashes and brow, but don’t have colour so there is no streaking.
  5. Lash extensions. These were my ultimate saviour, as I tired of all of the above after a few years.  The lasted around 3 weeks even with the swimming (with goggles) and excessive sweat.

Full Coverage Foundation From Luxe to Less

I love a little luxury, but for the days when my bank balance isn’t as high as  I might like, some fabulous products with a smaller price tag are what I reach for.

Estee Lauder’s Double Wear Foundation is the highest selling foundation in the world, as it works for so many different skin types and needs. I wear it most days as it stays on, and has the perfect not too heavy, not too light coverage and texture, and a huge range of colours. They have released a pump which I don’t use. RRP: $59.00

Maybelline Superstay 24 hour full coverage foundation was recommended to me by a gorgeous make-up artist as a cheaper alternative to Double Wear, and what a recommendation it was. It does provide excellent coverage, it stays on and looks matte. The only challenge is selecting the right colour without samples. I bought this on line n a special for $4.95! Regular RRP: $24.95

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Renae Leith-Manos

Editor and Founder of Bondi Beauty

Renae Leith-Manos loves fitness, new beauty products, long chats and long flights. She is at her best when traveling the world writing about luxury hotels and Michelin Star restaurants ( She has had a colourful media career as a journalist inmagazines and newspapers, in Australia and Asia. She spends her time writing, cooking, consulting to new businesses, running and working out.

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