The Best Beauty Products to Pack in Your Gym Bag

Your pre- and post-workout beauty plan for skin, hair and makeup.
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Michelle Villett
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Your pre- and post-workout beauty plan for skin, hair and makeup.
woman-doing-kickboxing

What would I do without all the men in my life? I have this guy and this guy and this guy... and now, the newest member of the team, this guy. I like to call him Trainer George. And basically, I pay him to force me to work out—because left to my own devices, I'm a lazy b*tch who'd sell her soul to Miss Vickie's for a lifetime supply of salt and vinegar chips.

So George helps with that. He and I have logged a lot of "quality time" together over the past couple of months... even though I sometimes hate him (like when he makes me do these awful things called side crawls). Anyway! Since I can find a beauty angle for just about everything, I thought today we'd talk about gym beauty, because even though my thighs are still a work in progress, I've already learned a thing or two about looking (semi-)presentable while working up a sweat. Plus, some tips on how to quickly pull yourself together post-workout. Ready? Let's dewit!

Pre-Workout

So depending on what time of day you're working out (and how cute the guys are at your gym), you may or may not be going bare-faced. I have to tell you: the less foundation and powder you have on, the better. It's only going to mix with your sweat anyway and potentially clog your pores. So if you can bear it, try to remove as much as you're comfortable with using a face wipe. Have you seen this line Simple yet in drugstores? It's just arrived in Canada from the UK, and their cleansing wipes are the number one-selling skincare product there—wowza!

You can buy these right here from Well.ca for just $9.99 (free shipping in Canada; no minimum order).

Simple-Facial-Cleansing-Wipes

Of course, if you're exercising outside or if it's particularly sunny in your gym, then please also wear a sunscreen. Go for a sweat-proof one like Neutrogena's:

Neutrogena-Ultimate-Sport-Sunscreen-Lotion-SPF-30

This is also available at Well.ca, for $15.79 (free shipping in Canada; no minimum order).

Now, if you know me at all then you know that personally, I wouldn't actually go bare-faced even to the gym. I leave my skin itself basically makeup-less, except for some concealer around the eyes, but if I'm really looking pale I'll use this guy that I told you about the other day:

Shu-Uemura-Creamy-Dome-Blusher-in-Fairy-Pink

Sorry, but I can't help it. I NEED blush. And this one's dead easy to swipe on. A smudge-proof mascara is also key for those of us with blonderexic lashes. My go-to is the waterproof Cannonball from Urban Decay, but Janine reminded me the other day of a category I've been forgetting lately—the tube kind. For example, this one from Lise Watier:

Lise-Watier-24Hrs-Glam-Mascara

The most important "makeup" item of all in my book is lip balm. With all the huffing and puffing I do, and possibly-too-frequent sips of water in between sets, my lips get crazy dry in the gym. The only balm that goes the distance for me is this one from Rodial:

Rodial-Glam-Balm-Lip

It's very thick (thicker than my beloved By Terry, R.I.P.), kind of like the consistency of Elizabeth Arden's Eight Hour Cream. So a little goes a long way.

As for hair, well, Trainer George told me that if you're doing your hair in some kind of "style" before going to the gym, then you're not working out hard enough. Okay... point taken. There's no way a cute topknot or braid would stay cute on me after an hour with TG.

But that said, not all of us have the time or inclination to wash our hair after the gym—so regardless of the intensity of your workout, it's definitely worth securing it off your face to minimize the spread of style-killing sweat. I really find these Goody headbands the best:

Goody-Stay-Put-Head-Bands

Unlike regular cloth headbands, they have grip so they don't move at all. I'm also a fan of clear elastics and, for girls with very thick hair, try these super-strong covered elastics from Bunheads (available from the National Ballet School).

Bunheads-hair-elastics

Post-Workout

Well, obviously the first thing I recommend is showering! And actually, the sooner the better you get on that, because if you leave the sweat to sit, it can cause horrendous bacne breakouts (you know, like the kind you get around your sports bra? Ugh). Here are three new ones I've been enjoying lately from Clean & Clear:

Clean-Clear-Body-Washes

Doesn't the packaging make you so happy? They smell great too, and the price is crazy cheap considering how big the bottle is (473 mL). Buy from Well.ca for just $6.99 each here or here (free shipping in Canada; no minimum order).

I wouldn't use a body wash on your face, though, since it might be too irritating. And even worse is the soap in the dispensers at the gym. So if you're not showering at home, just rinse your face with water and then bust out your cleansing wipes again when you get out, so as to remove any final traces of sweat, dirt or makeup. Besides the Simple ones I mentioned above, another new option is from Bioré (who've just come out with all new packaging):

Biore-Make-Up-Removing-Towelettes

Follow that up with a BB Cream on your face for an all-in-one dose of moisturizer, SPF and light coverage. Have I mentioned that I get crazy compliments on the Estée Lauder one? Maybe it's partially my post-Trainer George glow, but this stuff does magical things for me.

Estee-Lauder-Daywear-BB-Multi-Perfecting-Beauty-Benefit-Creme-SPF-35

For your bod, I find a spray lotion the handiest. I'm not sure if anyone else makes them besides The Body Shop? You can't go wrong with theirs in Coconut Milk—an oldie but a goodie:

The-Body-Shop-Coconut-Milk-Body-Lotion

As for your hair, well, I'm a fan of strategic showering for spots like the bangs, since they always seem to require a fresh blow-dry after getting all sweaty. (You can leave the rest of your hair as is.) But if you don't have a fringe, and your hair is basically clean but slightly sweaty, then the easiest thing is to just go with that texture. In fact, I've heard that the salts in the sweat can actually give hair more volume. WOO HOO. Pump it up even more with a salty beach spray like this one from Tigi:

Catwalk-by-Tigi-Salt-Spray

Mist it through, and then either let your hair dry naturally or blast it for a few minutes with a hair dryer.

Now all you need are your makeup add-ons of choice (mascara, liner, blush, lippie) and you can strut out of the gym humming this song:

Tell me...

What's your workout of choice these days?
Do you wear makeup or style your hair a certain way before going to the gym?
Which beauty products do you keep in your bag for post-workout prep?