The night before running the New York City Marathon (my first!), I had checked everything off on my preparation list: Training, hydration, nutrition, sneakers, nervous breakdown (jk, but not really). What I had not considered, and frankly didn’t care about, was makeup. Even as a beauty obsessive, the last thing I wanted to feel on my sweaty face was product sliding around and seeping into my pores.
Then, I realized this would probably be my most-photographed day aside from my future wedding.
I had hoards of snap-happy friends and family ready to cheer for me all day—and those sneaky professional race photographers on the course take no prisoners. So, I did what would make me feel best and opted to wear my signature winged liner. It was low-key but added a little something to make me look alive when I had to wake up at 4am…and stay energized until I hit the finish line.
The liner I chose was Pat McGrath’s Perma Precision Liquid Liner. True story: I once saw the brand’s namesake makeup artist herself apply it on her hand and rub vigorously to show it doesn’t move. That’s what I was thinking about as I reached for the fine-tipped pen on race day. My alarm went off at 4AM in order to get on a shuttle bus to the race start at 5:30AM. I wasn’t actually starting the race until 10:15AM, and finishing who knows when, so it really was going to be the toughest test any liner could ever have.
“Your liner looks flawless,” a fellow racer told me two hours into wearing it. We were holed up in a warm tent eating breakfast before starting in Staten Island. I took a quick, very sleepy selfie on my phone to ensure that, indeed, the eyeliner was doing good so far.
The rest of the race, I totally forgot about the liner. I trotted all the way through Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, and Manhattan never once stopping to rub away any panda-like black marks below my lashes. I took a few videos and photos throughout the day to post later and was delighted my cateyes didn’t budge a bit. Mind you, I sobbed three times during the race: at Mile 16 when I saw my entire family holding up signs for me, at Mile 21 when my knees and legs were giving in and I really thought I wouldn’t make it, and at Mile 24 when a random little kid read my name on my shirt and enthusiastically screamed, “You can do it!” I was a wreck.
At the end of the race, I took a commemorative selfie wrapped up in a hard-earned mylar blanket labeled “2018 Finisher” and delighted at the black ink in tact despite my hours of sweating and ugly crying.
After I got home to recover, I started texting my friends thank yous for coming out to cheer for me. Two friends from totally different groups complimented my eyeliner. One from my best friend’s fiancé surprised me—and affirmed that Pat McGrath’s liner is, indeed, unbeatable when it comes to long-lasting formulas. This is not a thing I think a dude ever notices, but looks like he’s particularly observant (a keeper! You go, Tracy!)
Another message from one of my tightest friends Stephanie, whom I regularly exchange critical beauty product recommendations and reviews with, echoed his sentiments.
As expected, I took millions more photos celebrating my finish and didn’t have to be worried about looking like a mess: I finally found a liner that could stand up to all elements. I’d argue it’s the next best thing to winning a medal.