Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Makeup in the dressage ring: Part 2

Pictured right is another stellar example of appropriate dressage makeup -- even though the rider breaks my rule about post earrings (they dangle, even if only a little). She is wearing a derby hat, which I've heard is sort of out of fashion, but she does wear it well.

Wearing makeup in the dressage ring is probably a debatable point. But mascara? Mascara is never wrong. There are roughly a million kinds of waterproof mascara, and it's hard to put on so badly that the judge at C will notice (the exception, of course, would be Katie Price).

Just for fun, I searched the COTH bulletin board, and found a "controversial" thread about mascara in the show ring. Some COTH members are philosophically opposed to mascara on the grounds that it violates "feminist principles" -- so the thread is about 10 pages long. But the riders who have embraced their womanly vanity -- the mascara wearing equestrians -- offered some great advice for what mascara to wear. Here are the rider recommendations, in no particular order...


Mary Kay waterproof mascara
Diorshow waterproof mascara (for sensitive eyes)
L'Oreal Voluminous Waterproof
Loreal Double Extend (no raccoon eyes!)
Chanel Inimitable (amazing!)
Fresh Supernova
Make Up For Ever's new Aqua Smoky Lash
Blinc mascara from Sephora
Lancome Definicils mascara

NOT recommended
Elizabeth Arden supposedly waterproof (major raccoon action here)
Maybelline makes some riders' eyes burn

Oh, and if you want more, here is a thread on COTH about makeup in the show ring. Mineral makeup is a hot item for equestrians, it seems...


  1. OK, I'm going to be really mean here, but Katie Price looks like the porn version of a dressage rider. The other photo is quite tasteful, and I like the dangle earrings, although I could never wear them without tearing out an earlobe, but I admire a woman who can stay clean and tidy and safely out of the way of danger while doing things like preparing to ride a dressage test.

  2. She does look nice. I fear no amount of makeup would ever make me look that good. *G*

    Never thought too much about my makeup for showing. I always made sure my attire was neat, clean, shining, etc, but aside from sunscreen, I wouldn't bother too much with make up. Guess I am behind the times.

  3. I've never been a fan of makeup in any situation. I had to be forced to wear it at my wedding (applied by a professional since I don't own much). It makes my face feel like it's dirty and crawling.

    But I don't mind if others wear it in the show ring. And I've seen many who wear it well.

  4. Ok- so that pic of Katie price shows she is wearing fake eyelashes, has tinted her brows, and fake-en-bakes. I read somewhere she is a model...
    Since I am NOT a model, I always wear makeup, not garish, not dragish, but just me. As one of the COTH posted, you take the time to groom, press your clothes, clean your tack, so why not look nice?

  5. L'Oreal Voluminous Waterproof is the best waterproof mascara out there! Mary Kay's is also good and is nice and light. Highlighting your face a little with mascara and lipstick is part of a balanced look, IMHO.

  6. Interesting read. Thanks for the suggestion. I have sensitive eyes so might have to check out the Diorshow.

  7. Too much eye stuff in that photo. It's a shame that makeup on horseback should even be a topic of discussion, because it has nothing to do with horsemanship.

  8. I wear the same amount of makeup in the show ring that I do to, say got to lunch with friends, or pick up the kids from school. A little foundation (to cover up the acne I STILL have at 30), a little eyeliner, shadow and mascara (neutral colors! promise!), little lip gloss... oh yeah... and a BIG smile! A big smile and politeness/respect will win judges over! :)

  9. Makeup looks great in that photo. I don't see anything wrong with wearing makeup when competing - I would enhance my features for any other formal event or performance, so why not? I don't wear makeup on a daily basis, even to work, so when I do put it on I feel very "made up" but I prefer to be a bit conservative in my application.

  10. I'll assume that wearing a touch of makeup give women an edge in the show ring. Maybe it's completely personal: a confidence booster because one feels turned out extra nice, and one's nervous pallor is concealed. Maybe it actually influences the judges. What do men in dressage competition do for an extra edge?

  11. Bay Horse, I tend not to wear makeup or do a lot with my hair, but when I dress elaborately (wedding, evening attire) it looks like I haven't finished dressing. I feel vaguely like I need a wig -- or a new head...

  12. That's a great look in or out of the ring. I like the minimal makeup and the hat. It is a sport, but also a performance in a way, so a little bit of makeup can be appropriate. Tennis stars and even Olympic athletes where makeup too.


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