Despite my beauty-loving status, I don't really advocate attending the gym or going for a run with a full face of makeup [each to their own, but I personally find such an approach a little uncomfortable and usually far from a pretty sight by the time I get home], yet, nor do I leave the house carrying nothing but a fresh change of clothes. There's a well-balanced medium to be achieved in an amenable approach to workout beauty, and it's all about finding the level of comfort and coverage to suit you.
Besides, that healthy post-workout glow is nature's very own makeover, so it's about time we embraced a rosy blush and tousled hair. I personally favour a routine refined to a few precision enhancements/cover-ups paired with a hefty dose of protection and a strong mind towards personal hygiene [with a little bit of luxe thrown in, naturally].
Our gym-bag is pressed for space, and we're pressed for time, so this one is for the beauty lovers who seek a portable and workout-friendly beauty kit, as well stocked as their medicine cabinet.
When it comes to adopting a natural and decidedly more virtuous approach to beauty, we are best served in looking first to those products that may well be doing us more harm than good. A case in point, the deodorant; a purchase governed more often by price, availability, and marketing slogans than with an eye to its ingredients and long-term effects. With studies showing the harmful effects of deodorant landing by the day, an argument for a natural alternative is easily made. Those previously rendered sceptical of natural deodorants will be pleased to learn that Aēsop's works; preventing unwanted body odours and replacing them instead with a comforting fresh and musky scent that lingers all day.
I'm sensitive-skinned and blemish-prone so am always wary of using SPF intended for the body upon my face; facial SPFs too are generally hit and miss, but Radical's is a firm favourite [I can also wear those from Soap & Glory, Eve Lom, and La Roche-Posay without aggravation]. It's easy to forget just how strong the formulation of an SPF can be - often too much for the delicate eye area [which, being delicate, requires optimal protection]. Radical's SPF is designed to be gentle enough to use all around the eye, and is the only one I can apply in such a location without causing irritation and tearing. The perfect complex enhancer, it's enhanced with light reflecting particles and boasts an ever-so-slight tint, which gives skin an even tone and reduces the appearance of redness and blemishes.
I am easily seduced by the charms of a product that promises both skincare and makeup at once. This concealer is at first solid and then cream, blending easily to an undetectable finish that masks even the most noticeable blemishes and scars, without caking or resulting in a chalky cast. It contains SPF35 so I always make sure to apply it well over blemish marks [which are worsened by sun exposure]. A staple in my gym kit as it doesn't wear off, but remains intact no matter what.
As a rule, I never leave the house without some form of product in my brows, even when newly tinted. Exercise is the without a doubt the true test of a brow product, and the benefits of a gel are best suited to address such testing. MAC's is my steadfast favourite; it will keep brows groomed and in place throughout both a 10k run and an hour long gym session, and if you opt for the tinted option [as I do] you can forgo powder/pomade and workout assured that your brow standards are far from slipping [literally].
Smelling good is a prerogative when exercise is upon the agenda, but in terms of portability and efficiency, lugging a 100ml bottle of scent around with you is far from ideal. A roll-on perfume oil is the perfect alternative and Byredo's offerings allow you to inject a little luxury into your routine. Bullion itself is a heady and comforting blend of pink pepper, plum, and magnolia, with base notes of musk and sandalwood.
The only eyelash curler I would ever recommend purchasing [I used Shu Uemura's for years and it's not got a thing on this one]. The curvature perfectly encompasses the eye, meaning you can capture and curl your entire lash line in one fell sweep. If you prefer to rise early in order to snag a cross-trainer before the masses arrive, then there's no doubt that mascara probably doesn't feature within your condensed beauty routine [it's also not a terribly workout friendly product, unless you go waterproof]. Instead, a few pumps with this curler will give you perfectly full, curled, and lifted lashes in less than thirty seconds.
Upgrade your basic shower gel for the gym so as to have something luxurious to look forward to when you step into the shower exhausted, aching, and no doubt smelling none too good. If you consider shower gel to be a no-frills product, think again, for Prismologie presents the ultimate luxury spin on the simplicity of bathing. Post-workout, I favour a shower gel that offers as much by way of fragrance as it does in resetting personal hygiene levels. My favourites are those with a scent that lingers upon the skin throughout the day, strong enough to prompt strangers to ask after the name of your perfume and marvel over the fact that it's 'actually just a shower gel'. This thick, silky lotion is infused with potent botanical oils [citrine, honeysuckle, and bergamot] which combine to a vibrant, zesty, and refreshing fragrance [also ideal for using pre-workout as the scent is something of a welcome wakeup call].
The whole point of gym-bag beauty is products that keep you looking fresh-faced and composed for as long as possible. Clarins' Fix Makeup behaves like a refreshing face spray [always a bonus when getting hot and sweaty is inevitable] whilst setting any makeup you've applied in place and extensively prolonging its lifespan. A quick spritz combines a refreshing and hydrating blend of rose and grapefruit, which provides an instant sense of wellbeing and comfort whilst providing a dewy glow. Application is something I am always concerned with when trialling a face spray [there's nothing worse than sporting a dripping chin], but the diffusion here is perfectly controlled.
Growing up I was firm in the belief that there were not enough eye-rolls in the world to express my annoyance over my parent's seemingly torturous enthusisam for liberal SPF application. Now 22 and well-versed in the importance of annual sun protection, I never leave the house without some degree of SPF upon any exposed skin, no matter what the season. This is expensive, but it's also one of the best SPFs I've tried; I love it for its lightness, comfort, ease of use, and invisibility upon the skin, as well as the way it serves as a super hydrating body lotion. It also doesn't smell like regular sunscreen [massive plus] and [as the name suggests] it's well suited to the rigours of sport.
As both dry shampoo, root boost, and a dab hand in adding an injection of gutsy texture to limp locks, this sweetly scented powder is more than gym kit appropriate. There's no call for styling products ahead of a trip to the gym, and no one wants to waste time washing their hair before a workout to only do so again immediately afterwards, so combine the best of both worlds by massaging a little of this into your roots instead. The effect is instant, it lasts, and is unaccompanied by white streaks. If you've previously been disillusioned by drugstore dry shampoos then here's the inspiration to invest in something a little more luxurious, and ultimately more effective.
What are your gym-bag beauty essentials?