Thursday, November 01, 2012

Gym bags for the beauty obsessed

I suppose I could start a month-long series of blog posts devoted to diet and fitness with my stats--how much weight I've lost, how much more I intend to lose--that sort of thing. But I think I should play to my strengths and blog about what I know.

I run into a lot of "what's in my handbag" posts, but I don't read a lot of (read: any) diet/fitness blogs, so I don't know whether people talk about what they keep packed in their gym bags.

But over the past five months, I've kept a bag packed in the car because I've reached the point where I am hit by spontaneous urges to go work out. Yes, really. You never know when the urge to work out will strike! So here's what's in my gym bag--I mean, in addition to workout clothes and clean underwear and flip-flops and such.


Even though my skin is, in general drier than it used to be, probably because I am, in general, older than I used to be--working out all the time has a mitigating effect. All that cardio definitely adds a glow, and my skin feels softer and more comfortable. This wouldn't be the case if I were spending two hours a day in a chlorine pool, but since I'm usually working with a trainer or on the elliptical, it's almost as if I'm hitting the steam bath on a regular basis.

Actually, come to think of it, I'm pretty much a walking steam bath. (Yuck!)

Anyway, I've learned that in the morning when I head to the gym, I should be absolutely bare-faced. I really dislike the sensation of sweating off a face full of makeup. I don't even wear moisturizer, since my moisturizer has sunscreen, and when I sweat the sunscreen runs into my eyes and stings. So I do my workout and then go clean up. And finally get around to using some products. But not many!

I always have a package of Oil of Olay wipes

because they're spill-proof, non-irritating, and refreshing.

I carry some Garnier Nutritioniste eye cream

because the eye area is the only part of my face that feels truly dry these days.

And right now, instead of a lot of different skin treatments, I'm just using beauty balm

to see whether it can take the place of moisturizer, sunscreen, and base. So far so good!


I definitely need to put on lotion after a shower, so I've been relying heavily on scented body lotions. They're easier than carrying fragrance and lotion, and they don't break. Right now I'm enjoying Chanel #19.


Ack, hair. OK, I hate the hair dryers at my gym because they don't have nozzles to concentrate the air flow, and when I use them, my hair ends up a frizzy mess. That means if I really want to look good, I have to pack my own blow dryer. And a brush. And a heat-styling product. And maybe a flat-iron. Which adds up to a second gym bag just for my hair.

So what I really do is check to see how well my hair has survived my workout. If I think I can get away with it, I use a shower cap and skip the shampoo / blowout. Of course, I make sure I have some covered elastic bands. And some Klorane dry shampoo. I mean, I'm not totally without standards.

I can see your eyes rolling from here. Great. The internet thinks I'm gross. FINE.


I always pack a stash of makeup in my gym bag, because when I get rushed, I am wont to do things like pack a full-on ladies-who-lunch outfit--and then forget to bring my makeup.

When I'm getting dressed at home, I'll amuse myself by coordinating my makeup to my outfit--say, gray and plum eye shadows when I'm wearing purple. But for the gym, I need to carry a bag of basic makeup that is guaranteed to look good with anything I'm wearing. It should also be non-breakable, leak-proof, and cheap, since it's going to be spending a lot of time in the car.

In addition to my beauty balm, I tend to carry a cream blush in a goes-with-everything shade of pale rose pink.

 Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Pink Truffle

Mascara and eyelash curler


And an eye quad for when I really feel like putting on the dog.


  1. Isn't it interesting how our skin changes as we age?
    I have had to ramp up my regime with more emolliient potions.
    Your beauty gym bag would also be great for traveling.

  2. I enjoyed this post, probably because I'm weirdly obsessed with finding the most perfect, streamlined selection of post-workout beauty essentials.

    But what are these "spontaneous urges to work out" of which you speak? This concept puzzles me....


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