Since my last post on this topic in September, I decided it was high time I swapped my canvas totes and old t-shirts for some new gym kit. Despite doing some serious damage in Nike Town, it was a challenge to find a gym bag that would hold both my boxing gloves and a yoga mat.
I ended up with the Sweaty Betty Essential Gym Bag. It wasn’t cheap and fabric didn’t feel the toughest, but so far it’s proved itself highly durable, useful and able to handle all things I’ve stuffed into it – and as the top is drawstring this can equate to rather a lot. As with most large bags I own, I seem to have deemed it necessary to fill all possible space with various bits and pieces, some of which are my new gym essentials.
The sweat and bacteria (lovely!) of gym environments can take their toll on skin, so I keep a mini skincare in my bag. I’m yet to find face wipes that cut it for me, so I currently have a tube of The Body Shop Cool & Creamy Wash*. It’s not something I’d use on a daily basis thanks to my sensitive skin but, as the name suggests, it feels really cooling on the skin which is ideal post-workout and the tea tree and salicylic acid help to flush pores of bacteria and impurities. To finish a quick post-workout cleanse I also carry a tiny Muji spray bottle filled with Burt’s Bees Radiance Toner and a Muji tub containing my favourite Kiehl’s Skin Rescuer.
I don’t bother with anything but a little waterproof mascara at the gym, but I do keep a small stash in my bag for afterwards if I have to be somewhere. Currently my little mesh Muji pouch is holding the very last uses of an old NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser and Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil, Urban Decay All Nighter Eyeliner*, Max Factor 2000 Calorie Waterproof Mascara and Apivita Lipcare with Pomegranate, Organic Beeswax and Olive Oil.
After the default 13 year old Impulse stage, I didn’t think I’d ever return to body spray – but expensive fragrance, glass and gyms do not mix. Q Radiance Body Sprays* are designed to compliment some of the most popular perfumes in the UK and they’re much lighter than most body sprays (avoiding that awkward noxious cloud effect when sprayed), leaving behind a fresh scent free from any sickly sweetness. I’m currently using Radiance which has notes (yes, really) of mandarin and rose, but I also like Awe which is based on a chypre fragrance.
To take care of invariably messy hair, I have a little can of Philip Kingsley One More Day Dry Shampoo. It isn’t necessarily the most discrete of dry shampoos on darker hair, but it is the one I find most gentle on my scalp. If I’m somewhere with access to a blowdryer I’ll use a quick blast of this around my hairline, where things can end up a little wild, before blowdrying out with a paddle brush. This usually leaves me looking vaguely presentable if I don’t have time to shower.
Finally, for soothing weary muscles, Mio Workout Wonder* has replaced my Weleda Arnica Massage Oil. Like the Weleda oil, this doesn’t feel as powerful as deep heat when applied but has a much more pleasant, cooling peppermint smell. Containing arnica, horse chestnut and magnesium, it’s designed to be used pre-workout too but I’ve found it’s most effective after exercise to reduce next-day muscle soreness.