#SheRides - tips for looking put together post-moto commute.
The thoughts and opinions of a woman who's always on the go...riding two wheels!
I have to start off by saying that this story isn’t about how to look good on group rides. However, the below suggestions can help you out if you're riding with someone you have a huge crush on.
If you read my last story, you know that I like to commute to work on two-wheels—rain or shine. Of late, I’ve been doing this more frequently than I have in the past, and now I feel that I have enough information and experience to write about how to hop off your bike and look fabulous within just five to ten minutes of walking into work. Whether you work in a suit and tie environment or a business casual one, I hope that these tips will make you feel more confident when walking into any meeting.
(Note: This piece is intended to be an open forum of discussion. As I previously mentioned, I’ll write how I personally do it, but I definitely want to encourage all lady riders to submit their input on how they look fabulous in the comments section below.)
When it comes to looking polished, this is the most important one in my opinion. I feel that if you can’t get your hair right, everything else (makeup, outfit, etc.) won’t help. It’s also a huge concern for women riders (or anyone with long flowing 'do) because of the dreaded helmet hair! It’s almost a given that every time you put on your helmet, the minute you take it off it will look out of control.
The good news is that there’s a way to tame it. First thing first: always pack a small comb. It doesn’t have to be a thick bristled brush, just something that can smooth out your locks whether you have super curly or super straight hair.
Now, for ladies who have curly or straight long hair, the easiest style is the ponytail. Hairspray and hair gel are your friends when it comes to this look.
You can simply pull back those long locks, which I had when this photo was taken. At times, I'd braid it too.
Bandanas also help with preventing the hair from frizzing everywhere. Spritz some hairspray first before putting one on though.
For those who have short wavy (such as myself) or curly hair, putting in something that helps hold your waves/curls before putting on your helmet is ideal. I spritz some Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray before I put on my helmet, pack it in my bag, and sometimes spritz some more on once I get to work (if my hair needs it). Once I’m at work, I simply finger comb my hair and I’m ready to start the day.
For ladies who have short straight hair (or if you want to wear it straight), I recommend the Bumble and Bumble Straight Blow Dry (I know, you might be thinking Bumble and Bumble are paying me to promote them, but I’m not. I genuinely love their products), or any other straightening balm to put in before blowing drying it. A good straightening balm works perfectly and it prevents the hair from drying out. It also allows your hair to spring into a straight shape after you remove your helmet and quickly comb through it.
Now that you’ve accomplished amazing hair, do you bother with makeup? I do and you probably should too if you have an important meeting with stakeholders, or if you need to give a presentation to a group of colleagues. You admit it’s a must, but how to do it without smearing it all over your helmet and face?
I have the secret, and it comes in one product: Benefit Cosmetic’s Stay Don’t Stray Eyeshadow Primer. If you decide to buy only one thing that I mention in this article, this needs to be it. Even though it says it’s an eyeshadow primer, I also use this as a concealer under my eyes (to cover the dark circles).
If you wear eyeshadow, mascara and eyeliner, it’ll stay put all day long. I apply this primer first thing before I put on all the aforementioned. It’s been cold lately, and my eyes tend to tear up, so I’m incredibly impressed ride to work, work all day, and my makeup still looks flawless by the end of the day. It takes a good scrub using my makeup remover towel to get it off.
For those who want some face coverage, I highly recommend a BB cream as it has sunblock, moisturizer and evens out your complexion. If you must wear blush, go with a stick because compact blush powder can easily break apart if you toss it in a bag.
Finally, for lipstick I recommend more of a balm over a traditional lipstick. I’d personally go for Neutrogena’s Revitalizing lip balm with SPF 20. It gives a lovely, subtle color and it’s very hydrating, especially on those days you’re riding in colder weather and your lips tend to chap more.
It’s so quick and easy to head into the restroom after you get off your bike, apply the BB cream with your fingers, dab on some blush and lipstick—you’re now ready to discuss the proper way to do those TPS reports with the big man (or woman).
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What sort of “purse” do you bring when you need to bring work documents, a comb, wallet, jewelry, a laptop, etc.?
I personally ride with my Motochic Gear bag as it almost fits about everything I need to go to work, which include gym clothes (I work out after work), tennis shoes, lunch for the day, and small items like lipstick and jewelry. My favorite part about the MotoChic Gear bag is the versatility—I can convert it into a handbag when I head off to lunch with co-workers or whatnot. You can read more about the bag here:
However, there are days when I need to bring more things. On those days, it’s good to have side bags, or to kill two birds with one stone, you can pick up a Kreiga Drypack bag. It’s not as chic, but it definitely helps out when you have a lot more things to carry to and from work. It sits right on your moto’s tail, and it too is versatile as it converts into a backpack if need be.
Do you have gear that requires you to pack parts of your outfit in a separate bag? Or do you have gear that you can take off and have all of your clothes for the day on under, as well as have it look meticulous? If you answered the former, you’re doing it wrong. You clearly want to do the latter to save time and avoid wasting energy on packing five days a week.
First, let’s start from the feet up. I highly encourage wearing ATGATT, so that requires proper boots. However, it can be a pain in the butt to pack shoes, especially if you already have your trainers/runners in your backpack. There are two solutions for this: keep a pair or two of shoes at work or purchase a pair of casual looking moto boots (see number seven on the below guide):
From there, you need pants. I currently have a pair of REV’IT! Women’s Gear 2 pants that I’ve had for three years now. It’s big enough that I can wear any pair of jeans underneath. This helps tighten them around my lower half, thus putting the armor in the right spots. My jacket also fits perfectly with a nice top and a light sweater.
I feel comfortable rocking out a pair a jeans under my riding pants.
Even better than having a separate pant and jacket is an Aerostitch Women’s Roadcrafter Suit. This suit is AWESOME for easy on and off, and it’s incredibly durable despite the high price tag, this thing will last you for many years. This is definitely on my future “gear I really, really want” wishlist.
So, to wrap up how I make my M-F commute looking decent: I wake up and do my eye makeup and hair. From there, I gear-up, ride to work, hop off the bike and then straight into the bathroom at work. I apply the remainder of my makeup and finger brush my hair. I then head to my desk, remove my gear, sit down and start my day doing the good ‘ol nine to five.
I always need coffee too before I actually start working.
At first, it was a bit frustrating to remember to pack everything, but now I’ve got all of this down to a T. Again, I encourage anyone to submit tips and tricks on how to look fabulous when getting on and off your bike.