A Look That Works When Working Out
So we’re a little over a month into 2020. Whether you’ve been hitting the gym regularly or have decided to to work out (or get back to it) as part of a new year’s resolution, congratulations!
When it comes to working out, Ann and I differ when it comes to our preferences. Ann is more of a hit the gym and work out on different types of equipment girl. While I like doing that, I’m more about taking different classes: barre, running, cycle, HIIT, pilates, boxing. You get the idea.
So, you’re going to the gym. As we all know, half the battle is showing up. But let’s talk about before and after the gym. Is makeup part of your look? What do you wear after you work out? What’s really in that gym bag?
Before You Hit the Gym: Minimal Makeup
Let’s start with your face. If we’re honest, we really don’t like the idea of wearing makeup when we’re working out. It just doesn’t feel right. Think of all those clogged pores! At the same time, going completely au natural doesn’t feel right either, especially if you plan on running errands after your workout. So what’s the happy medium?
Here’s what I do (and it’s not a lot): After washing my face and putting my hair into a quick pony, I dab on a little moisturizer and then a fabulous newer product from Rodan + Fields called Radiant Defense. (I use the color Sand.) The company actually created a new category for this particular product called Dermacosmetics. They say it’s good for your skin! I like that it evens out your skin and provides a dash of color, especially in the winter.
Then, I do a quick swipe of eyeliner (yep, Kat Von D tattoo liner) and add a little pop of color to my lips. When going to a class, I don’t want to wear any heavy lipstick, so I go for the sheer look of a subtle gloss with a hint of color like Maybelline Baby lips in My Pink or any of the new ChapSticks with a hint of color (Try Pink Nude or Merlot in ChapStick Total Hydration Moisture + Tint formula.)
Nivea also makes a line of subtle shimmer glosses. And Burt’s Bees has a whole line of lightly colored glosses. I love Burt’s Bees!
(Click on item to purchase: Kat Von D Tattoo Liner 2 pack – Amazon $39, Baby Lips – Amazon $15, Chapstick Hydration – Amazon $4, Nivea Lip Care – Amazon $10, Burt’s Bees 3 pack – Amazon $19)
While the look is very minimal, so is the effort. By taking that one extra minute, you’ll feel a bit more pulled together and less likely to want to run and hide if you do bump into someone you know. Don’t forget sunglasses!
Clean Up Your Act
It’s a great idea to bring wipes to class to freshen up after your workout. Just throw them in your gym bag or purse! A couple great choices: Duke Cannon Cooling Field Towels, Fresh Effects Everything Off by Olay and Clinique FIT Post-Workout Face + Body Cleansing Swipes.
(Click on item to purchase: Duke Cannon Cold Shower Towels – Amazon $24, Olay Everything Off Cloths – Amazon $6, Clinque Post Workout Cleansing Wipes – Amazon $11)
An Outfit that Works After You Work Out
(Click on item to purchase: Dokotoo Camo Cardi – Amazon $21, Open Front Cardi – Amazon $25, Levaca O Neck Loose Pullover – Amazon $24, UGET Baggy Pullover – Amazon $17 … all sweaters are available in an assortment of colors.)
Let’s chat about what to wear after you work out. We’re not even going to discuss what to wear when you’re working out. That is such a matter of personal preference—what looks good and feels good on one person doesn’t on another. We’re talking leggings, tops, shorts, sports bras. Ditto with shoes. People are so loyal to their workout brands and for good reason.
When you find a brand that fits, go for it. Buy multiples. If you were a Lucy fan, you know what I mean. (You can still get Lucy at REI and North Face.) If you sweat a lot during class or while you’re at the gym, bring a change of clothes with you. Or maybe you don’t sweat a ton and don’t feel the need. Any way, you’ll still want multiples of what you love best.
OK. You’ve finished your workout…good for you! Now, time for the hard part; let’s chat about your lower half. I know some people may disagree, but I think it’s a good idea to partially cover your booty—or your bum or whatever you want to call it— post workout.
When I say this, I don’t mean if you’re just getting into your car and heading home after the gym or a workout class. I mean if you plan on meeting friends for coffee or are planning to be out and about running errands. And I’m not even saying you have to change out of your leggings; just consider covering up a little.
Honestly, no matter how great you look in your Lulu’s or Sweaty Betty’s, please please trust me on this one. (I’ve heard too many snide remarks made about others in the locker room.) Maybe you just do a little tail wrap by simply wrapping something around your waist. Perhaps you like the look of a cool, longer swing layering piece or tunic-style sweater to throw on over your workout clothes. Whatever your choice, a little coverage is essential—especially if you are over 25.
Even though this is a staple in my gym bag, this is one place that I make a conscious effort not to spend a whole lot of money. Let’s face it, these tops end up crumpled at the bottom of a gym bag, alongside sweaty clothes and shoes. Why break the bank?
So What’s in My Gym Bag?
Let’s first talk gym bags. To be honest, I usually throw everything into an oversized Lulu or Sweaty Betty bag, but lately I’ve been thinking about amping that up a bit. It would be nice to have some compartments versus everything being just kind of thrown together. Here are some cute options:
(Click on item to purchase: Xiazuo Gym Bag with Compartments – Amazon $21, Under Armor Undeniable Duffle – Amazon $39, Adidas Diablo Duffle – Amazon $18 … all bag are available in an assortment of colors.)
But’s what’s in the bag? Besides my lip gloss, a top and yoga pants, I also bring along gym shorts and flip flops because I’ve been doing contrast therapy for my knee. It seems to really be working for me.
Contrast therapy just means using both cold and hot therapy to treat an injury. Obviously, I’m not a doctor and this is just my personal experience, but I’d really recommend it to anyone who is experiencing any sort of joint and/or muscular pain or is rehabbing an injury.
I’m lucky because Equinox has a cold plunge pool and an amazing hot tub. Both are salt water and I think that probably helps. I go back and forth between the two. I first go to the cold plunge pool (up to mid-thigh) and hang out there anywhere from 3-5 minutes. I then head over to the hot tub where I do the same thing for maybe a little longer. Again, this is just what works for me. Some say you can get the benefit of cold therapy in less than a minute. I then finish with a quick dip into cold. From what I understand, it’s great to end this type of approach with cold. After the first few times of doing this cold/hot thing, I’ve grown to love it! Hard to believe from someone who has issues with jumping into a swimming pool because it’s too cold, but it’s true.
I get that most people don’t have access to plunge pools, so you can do the same thing with ice packs and heating pads. That is, if you don’t want to jump into a bathtub filled with ice cubes.
Back to the bag! Rounding out the contents of my gym bag are these other essentials.
I’m all about my Yeti. I love that my water stays incredibly cold, even hours after I put it in. And yes, there are still ice cubes floating around! I really like the stainless steel ones. They come in lots of great colors.
Apple Air Pods. I can’t say enough about these fabulous little things. Not only are they adorable, but they are tiny and comfortable, made especially so because they offer a customizable fit. And, yes, you will hear your music better than ever. Love the fact that they are truly noise-cancelling and sweat and water proof to boot! I never understood how people could be so addicted to earbuds, but now I truly do. Did I mention how much more enjoyable your next run (or whatever) will be?
Remember the scrunchie? Well, as you’ve probably seen, it’s back and better (for your hair) than ever. It also helps keep your blow outs lasting longer if, before you go to sleep, you pull all your hair into a very high pony (literally, on top of your head). Also try using silk pillowcases. Thanks for the tip, Athena Ciraulo! (Another staple: the old tried and true Goody black hair ties.)
I’m ravenous after most workouts, so I always keep a stash of these in my purse and in my car. I like to look for options with less sugar, but I refuse to eat something that tastes like cardboard. I also love the variety packs so you can sample a bunch of flavors. Here are a couple of my favorites:
(Click on item to purchase: LUNA Bars (12) – Amazon $13, Purely Elizabeth (12) – Amazon $26, Kind Bars (12) – Amazon $14, Pure Protein (18) – Amazon $12)
Sometimes it’s nice to bring your own towel from home, especially if your gym doesn’t offer towel service. Yoga towels are especially comfy. Check out these options:
(Shandali Go Sweat Towel – Amazon $8, Alfamo Cool Rag – Amazon $8)
Some of my favorite socks are Bombas socks. They are so comfortable and cushiony (no seams!) It’s hard to wear anything else when you’re running or doing any type of HIIT. And I just love that cute bee on the top! Also worth mentioning: Saucony socks. Lots of colors and comfortable too! And, if you’re into barre, pilates or yoga, cute grippy socks that actually stay grippy are key. Try the ones from Elutong.
(Click on item to purchase: Bomba Ancle Socks – Amazon $20, Saucony 8 Pack Performance Sock $15, Elutons 4 Pack Gripper Sock $15)
Lately, with all the focus on deodorants being potentially harmful, I decided to give the paraben-free and aluminum-free ones a try. I like that they’re cruelty-free as well. The one that gets my vote is Native. There’s lots of good fragrances to choose from…I like the coconut & vanilla option. I also love that there are a ton of options, including cute travel-size ones. (Click on the item to purchase: Native 2 Pack – Amazon $26)
Hopefully, we’ve inspired you to SWEAT! Nothing makes you feel better and nothing can elevate your whole being better than taking care of yourself. Because if you don’t, who will? Now, stop reading and get going!