Peloton's Tunde Oyeneyin on the Secret to Sweat-Proof Makeup and How Representation Can Change Your Life

"I understand that just my mere presence breaks down barriers and judgments."

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Peloton's Tunde Oyeneyin on Sweat-Proof Makeup, Resilience, and Changing the World
Photo: Revlon/ Tunde Oyeneyin

When I think of what it means to be resilient, I think of everything that leads up to it. The sadness, the stress, and the strength it takes to overcome those powerful emotions. But after speaking to Peloton instructor, Tunde Oyeneyin, I just think of her.

Those familiar with her workouts likely know what I'm referring to. During her Peloton rides, Oyeneyin pushes the people in her class to make it through a tough 45-minute Tabata ride while encouraging them to be vulnerable and find their inner strength — all while sharing personal experiences with powerful music playing in the background.

And it all hits on a much deeper level once you know Oyeneyin's journey.

The fitness pro has gone through some struggles many of us can relate to, like grappling with body image and self-confidence. But she's also gone through major tragedies, namely losing three people in her immediate family.

And while heart-wrenching, it has only made her stronger.

In a recent conversation with InStyle, Oyeneyin shared some of the moments that have made her feel grateful despite loss, how representation has helped her to find herself, and the secret to sweat-proof makeup.

Before hopping on a bike, Oyeneyin was a makeup artist for over 15 years. Her products of choice for a workout are: Revlon's ColorStay Awaken 5-In-1 Concealer, which is formulated with caffeine to lightly plump the skin for a well-rested look, Revlon's So Fierce! Big Bad Lash Waterproof Mascara for sky-high lashes that won't transfer when put in contact with sweat, and Revlon's ColorStay Lock Setting Mist to keep it all in its place.

"Less is more. When people want their makeup to stay on, they think to go heavier and really cake it on, but then, [because] there are so many layers, it breaks apart," she says. "So, I like to start with thin, sheer layers, work my way up, and only give myself coverage where I need it."

One could ask why she wears makeup to a workout, and the answer is quite simple: "At the end of the day, I'm going to work, and when you go to work you look your best, and my form of working just happens to be in a 45 minutes Tabata class while sweating and screaming on a bike."

VIDEO: Here's How to Properly Apply Concealer

Showing up for oneself is something she talks about quite often, and it boils down to living with purpose, on purpose.

Oyeneyin explains that it all starts with finding your service, which she describes as "when it feels like every hair in your body is sitting up because you are so connected to what you're doing." Once you've done that, she believes you can tap into into it to live life more fully and create great change. Almost synergistically, which weaves into her partnership with Revlon.

"I have very dark skin, and when I was a kid it was really rare to see Black women in advertisements— this was the early 90s. I walked into a drugstore with my mom, looked up, and saw this campaign with three Black women — it was Iman, Beverly [Johnson], and Louise [Vyent Holland]. I just sat there and stared because I had never seen Black women [in ads] to showcase beauty. It's one thing to see someone selling you a burger for a food chain, but to say hey, this is cosmetics, we're selling the beauty product, and these women are beautiful — that meant something to me," Oyeneyin shares. "So to now be a part of the Revlon family where the concept and idea of beauty started for me, it's really full circle."

tunde oyeneyin x revlon interview
Courtesy of Revlon

Having the huge platform that she does is something Oyeneyin says she never takes it for granted, and it's one of the reasons she started her S.P.E.A.K. series, which stands for surrender, power, empathy, authenticity, and knowledge. On her Instagram account, she spotlights stories and voices of those who have thrived and shown resilience in the face of adversity. Of the guests she's interviewed on it, such as Allyson Felix and Venus Williams, she shares one conversation that's really stuck with her has been the one she had with Cynthia Erivo.

"She's one of the most brilliant performers — not just of our time, but of ever ever," she begins. "She talked about how growing up, there were only so many roles that she could play lead in as a Black woman, because only so many Black stories, or stories that required a Black woman as the lead, were being told. And so I thought about that, and you think about systemic racism and about evolution in time and opportunities. When she said that, I asked myself how many times that has happened — how many other Cynthia Erivos went unnoticed, undiscovered."

Oyeneyin goes on to explain that she's never taken for granted the space she holds at Peloton, not just as a Black woman, but as a Black woman with dark skin and no hair. "I know what it means to represent and the doors I've opened for other people. I understand that just my mere presence breaks down barriers and judgments."

In addition to being a Peloton instructor, motivational speaker, and now a face of Revlon, Oyeneyin is also about to add the title author to that list — you can pre-order her book "Speak: Find Your Voice, Trust Your Gut, and Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be" now — so, it goes without saying, she's pretty busy. Still, she prioritizes giving herself time to pause as part of her regular wellness routine.

"I allow myself moments," she says. "Sometimes the entire day, to do nothing, to not touch the to-do list."

That's the best self-care of all.

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