I started running around when I turned 50, and then ran in my first marathon a year later. On November 1st, 2020, I’ll race in my 9th marathon — the 50th NYC Marathon! Looking fresh and lively when I cross the finish line and have my photo snapped with the medal was always a challenge . . . until I did a little digging.

For most marathons, photos are taken throughout the race by professional photographers as we runners zoom by, which is why smiling throughout any race is important. Nothing is more cringe-worthy than seeing a photo of yourself looking miserable while you’re out on the course.

Many of us who aren’t sub-three hour racers also snap a few with our phone cameras along the way. My annual favorites are posing with New York’s Finest and New York’s Bravest. My daughters and husband have been trying to get me to stop my habit of slowing down and coming to a screeching halt to thank our police officers and firefighters to take photos with them. No question if I did, it would shave at least 20 minutes off my finish time. Priorities.

For me, the most important photo of the day is holding the well-deserved medal with pride, joy and sometimes tears of relief after crossing the finish line. So my goal is to look perky and as pretty as possible after a hard race.

A full marathon is 26.2 miles and for me, takes about 5 hours (although this year I’m aiming for a 4:45 finish). Even though the NYC Marathon happens in early November when it’s usually cool, you can still build up a sweat. If wearing a bit of makeup is your thing (as it is for me), wearing the wrong stuff will ruin that finish photo pretty darn fast.

After I posted a few photos from the last marathon, many of you wanted to know what I was wearing. Not only was my makeup fairly intact, i.e., no raccoon eyes, I felt ready for my close-up after crossing the finish line, almost eleven hours after putting it all on. Even more amazing (to me), when I ran the aptly called “Dopey Challenge” (four consecutive races, ending in a marathon) in DisneyWorld recently, this same makeup looked pretty good hours after I started, even though it was hot and humid. In fact, it was the hottest Walt Disney Marathon on record! The heat index climbed to 87 degrees — the perfect temperature to literally melt makeup right off your face. But, I was ready to rock the finish line photo.

On the way to the start of the 2019 NYC Marathon!

So, let’s get down to it. What did I wear? Everything is listed below with links so you can investigate further. Please note that I am not an “associate” or “ambassador” or connected in any way to any of these brands. I just really like them. Also, while the focus was on “What did Barbara wear during the marathon?” — these products are also my daily go-to beautifying tools because they are easy to wear, stay put, easy to remove and make me feel pretty. What’s not to like about that?




  • In recent years my eyelids have this annoying pinkish tinge to them, which can make my eyes look tired. To tone that down and brighten up my eyes, I use a bit of concealer on my lids. Works like a charm. Winner: L’Oreal True Match Super-Blendable Crayon Concealer (really amazing, and comes in lots of different shades).
  • To play up my eyes, I always use pencil eyeliner, preferably navy blue or charcoal gray. Black is too severe for me and brown makes my eyes look red. I line them extremely close to the lash line on top and bottom (Tip: Do this with a light hand–you want your eyes to be defined and enhanced, not dragged down). Winner: Thrive Causemetics Infinity Waterproof Eyeliner in Talia (navy blue). Runner-Up: Revlon ColorStay Waterproof Eyeliner in Charcoal. Both stay put, no matter what, but are easy to remove.
  • My eyelashes are kind of skimpy so a little bit of mascara on top lashes is key for me. But finding a mascara that stays on for hours without flaking, smudging or melting in hot and humid temps or from running a marathon was a challenge. I test-drove a few during my summer training runs and found three that really work. (Tip: Put mascara on top lashes only, never on the bottom, and with these, usually one coat is enough). Winner: Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extensions in Black. Runners-Up: Too Faced ‘Better Than Sex’ Mascara and Trish McEvoy High Volume Mascara — both in black. (Bonus Tip: Always curl lashes first).

LIPS: Lipstick is so important to me that if I leave the house without it (which is never) I turn back to get it. While I can forgo face and eye makeup to step outside (but always wear sunscreen!), I don’t even walk Pete the Brittany without a little color on my lips, and my go-to favorites have evolved over the years. When I run any race, I always want a lipstick that has a bit more intensity so it will still be showing when I cross the finish line. My favorite hashtag when posting finish photos is #LipstickStillOn! Winner: Clinique Chubby Stick Intense Moisturizing Lip Coloring Balm in Mightiest Maraschino — but for everyday lip color I like to go a little softer. My two current favorites are the Runners-Up: Bobbi Brown Art Stick Lip Crayon in Dusty Pink and Chantecaille Lip Chic in Wild Rose. Both are amazing, long-lasting (so worth the price tag) and universally flattering (but also come in many different shades). 

I believe that embracing your age and feeling pretty are definitely not mutually exclusive! Whether you’re heading out for a race or a job interview, taking a few minutes to add a bit of polish to your face can make you feel more confident and definitely more pretty.

I have lots of tips on how to feel, look and be amazing at any age in my multi-award-winning book — Love Your Age: The Small-Step Solution to a Better, Longer, Happier Life — so get your copy right here.













Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *