When it comes to going for a work out, I’ve got my getting ready routine down to a fine art and that’s all because of what I take with me when I go to the gym. I used to think that going to the gym was a bit of a carry on and a lengthy chunk out of my day but now I’ve really got my routine down to a T. I can be in and out within a two hours, depending on what work out I’m doing, and a lot of that is down to the gym that I go to as well as what I take with me.
The gym I go to is at a hotel leisure club that has a fitness suite with all of the cardio and weights machines I could need and a swimming pool, sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi so it is the perfect mix of exercise, toning and relaxation. The changing facilities in the gym that I go to are great and were a massive selling point for me. The showers are individual and the changing rooms have proper hair dryers and large mirrors so I can get ready just the same as I would do at home, this is really important to me as the gym and pool I used to go to was in a public leisure centre all with shared facilities and it felt like a free for all and a rush to get out. I’d end up going out with my hair wet and not even properly dry, looking a little dishevelled, meaning that I’d not be presentable to go anywhere and I’d often end up with a cold by going outside with my hair wet.
I’ve been going to my new gym for months now and I absolutely love it. Today I am going to show you all what I take to the gym with me in my gym back and also a make up look that I find quick and easy to apply after I’ve been for a work out.
My Gym Bag
The bag that I take to the gym with me is from Jack Wills. I’ve had this bucket style bag for years. It is amazing quality, made of a thick, heavy material and very spacious. It is easily carried over my shoulder or in the crook of my arm and has stood me in good stead through years of carrying it to university and to the gym. Whilst this bag is no longer available on the Jack Wills website, there are others on there, including a gorgeous barrel gym bag at the moment, and they’re always bringing out new bags every season.
The items that are in my bag are very much interchangeable depending on what I’m going to be doing, particularly in terms of my beauty products as I add in what I need as and when I need it but the majority of types of items stay consistently in there. I keep the majority of my gym things in the main part of the bag but there is a big pocket inside that I like to put my phone, purse and car keys in.
My Membership Card
In the front pocket of my bag, I keep my leisure club membership card, £1 coin for the locker and code for the changing room door in a Radley Travel Card Holder. I used to use this for my bus pass back in college but since learning to drive, I haven’t had a use for it until now. I sometimes keep my iPod and headphones in this pouch too if I’m going to boot camp on the beach or for a walk before or after going to the leisure club. If I’m just going to the gym then I don’t take it with me as there’s a TV in the fitness suite and I always put the music channels on and turn up the volume- it is quite a small fitness suite and I tend to go when it is quite so I’ve usually got the place to myself with the music up loud!
My Work Out Clothes and Trainers
When it comes to the clothes that I wear to work out in, I don’t really have any pieces that you would typically consider to be gym gear like the lycra running leggings from sports shops or anything like that. I’m not too bothered what I wear when I am in the gym, as long as it is comfortable and casual then I am happy, regardless of whether they are new pieces or old. The clothes I tend to wear are pieces that I could wear for the gym or for a casual day out.
For tops, I either wear a vest top (my favourites are from Next. This light blue one is one of their neppy vests that I also have in oatmeal and fluro) or a polo top from Ralph Lauren– these are so comfortable to wear as they’re breathable. I tend to keep my Abercrombie hoodie in the boot of my car just in case its cold but general I tend to just dash from my car into the gym as I park right outside. On the bottom I wear either my Simply Be leggings or my joggers from Next.
The trainers that I wear to the gym are from Asics that I bought off the Very website. I know very little about running shoes but what I do know is that these are super comfortable and they have gel in them so they fit to the shape of my feet. The socks I take with me are the Calvin Klein trainer socks from House of Fraser. These are pricey for socks but they’re the best ones I’ve had. Very comfortable, thick, they wash really well as they stay in shape, soft and don’t discolour and they really cushion the feet.
If I’m going to gym first thing on a morning then I’ll go wearing my gym clothes and running shoes, other wise I’ll put them in my bag to put on when I get there from work.
The swimsuit I’m wearing the moment is from Swimwear365, its the Lascana Black Tropical Swimsuit. I really like the way that it looks as though it is a two piece tankini when in actual fact it is an all in one swimming costume. The base colour of the swimsuit is black with what would be considered to be the bottoms, all black. There are some gorgeous tropical flowers on the top half of the costume in summery pink, orange and white colours. The swimming costume is great fit, making it practical to be able to wear to swim lengths in but it still looking stylish and cute. The straps are adjustable and whilst the bust has a small amount of padding, it isn’t overly formed, it just holds you in and flatters your shape with the elastic that has been fitted underneath the chest. The sides of the swimsuit are ruched too making it look slimming. I find that this swimsuit fits and flatters and makes me feel confident around the pool. It would be a good one to take on holiday too.
The only thing that I am needing to get to complete my gym bag is a pair of swimming goggles. When I first signed up to the leisure club I’d intended to mostly use the gym but I’ve been enjoying using the pool more and more, particularly when it is hot outside. Sometimes I have been going to use the sauna and the pool and to just chill out with my Kindle on a sun lounger when I am on a rest day or even on a night after I’ve already done my swim and gym work out that morning. One thing that I have found is that my eyes are quite easily irritated by the chlorine in the water so I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I need to get some goggles. The ones that they sell at the health club aren’t best and there isn’t an extensive range to choose from so I am looking to get some swimming goggles from Zoggs so I’ll update you on those when I get them.
The wash toiletries I take with me really depend on how I am at the time, e.g. if I need to exfoliate the last remaining bits of tan off then I’ll take a scrub with me (see my after gym pick me ups post here). I pack all of my toiletries into a rubber Gucci wash bag so that it doesn’t get ruined if anything leaks.
Hair and Body
The showers at my gym provide shampoo, conditioner and shower gel for you to use and whilst the conditioner does really soften my hair, the shampoo and shower gel are shockingly bad so I make sure that I take my own with me.
The shampoo I’m using at the moment is the Anne Semonin Gentle Mistletoe Shampoo. This is perfect for normal to oily hair which I have and it works perfectly well with my hair extensions, leaving my hair super clean as I lather it up and rinse it out. It contains extracts of Mistletoe Flowers, Fennel Fruit, Yarrow and Camomile which have soothing and calming properties so they’re great for sensitive scalps and it also contains extract of Melissa which is Lemon Balm which is found to strengthen and fortify the hair. This is a sample size but the full size is available for £21 from Liberty.
For conditioner, I always buy the Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Reconstructor deep conditioner when the mini sizes are on 3 for 2 at Boots. This is easy to apply and I leave it to work its magic while I use my shower gel, then I rinse my hair and it is left ridiculously soft and looking so healthy.
The shower gel I’m using at the moment is the Anne Semonin Exotic Verbena Bath and Shower Gel. I love the way that this shower gel smells as it is quite spa like. It is perfumed with Litsea Cubeba which is revitalising, energising and stimulating- it really awakens the senses. The shower gel is enriched with extracts of Seaweed so it is full of marine elements. This is a sample size but the full size is available for £21 from Liberty. If I’m at the gym, I just massage this over my body and find that it gently foams, if I am at home then I use my full sized bottle on a shower puff and find that it foams up even more. It leaves my skin feeling clean but not squeaky, just soft, clean and moisturised.
When it comes to brushing my hair after I’ve been in the pool and in the shower at the gym there is no other brush I’d rather use than the Denman D90 Dolphin Tangle Tamer. Now hear me out on this one, yes it is a bright blue brush with dolphins on designed to lull a parents little mermaid or merman into a sense of tearless security while their knots and tangles are painstakingly brushed out BUT this is seriously the best brush I’ve used on my wet hair, especially while I’ve got my hair extensions in.
The Dolphin Brush has soft bristles each with micro fine surfaces that are innovatively clustered in two different lengths that are designed to gently separate the hair and tease tangles. A comparison to this brush would be the infamous Tangle Teezer as although the brushes are different, they are along the same lines, being designed to glide through the hair and detangle it. However the Denman D90 is a far superior brush than the Tangle Teezer as it gets right down to the root of the hair and detangles it from the scalp and all the way through the hair whereas I feel as though the Tangle Teezer just graces the surface of my hair and whilst yes it does detangle, it does it by just smoothing down the top layers of hair and it doesn’t get right to the scalp and detangle my hair fully.
The Dolphin Tangle Tamer is really easy and comfortable to use as it is light weight and has a slim handle. The bristle pad is shallow and air cushioned pad make it even more comfortable when brushing through the hair, particularly when I have my Great Lengths hair extensions in as it doesn’t tug on them, it just gently detangles as it brushes. I’ve spent a small fortune on brushes to use with my hair extensions and this is by far the best brush I’ve used. I would definitely say it is perfect for children’s hair but also for adults.
The Denman D90 Dolphin Tangle Tamer is £6.98 from the Denman website. I honestly couldn’t recommend it enough.
When I’m in the gym, I always have my hair tied up with a thick hair bobble to secure it in place- I keep plenty of these in my gym bag.
I don’t take a towel with me to the gym as these are provided by the health club already. After getting out of the shower, I towel dry my hair then add a good dollop of the Aussie Take The Heat Leave In Cream through the mid lengths to ends. This acts as a smoothing cream and as a heat protectant in one so it saves space in my gym bag and protects my hair.
Deodorant is super important both before and after the gym. The one I pack is the Sure Maximum Protection cream deodorant. This keeps me feeling and smelling fresh. No other deodorant comes close. Its about £5 from Boots which I think is pricey for a deodorant but it is seriously AMAZING!
There are three moisturisers that I take with me in my gym bag. The Kiko Light Legs Mousse, that I’ve talked about in full here, is an awesome product to use to cool down tired legs after you’ve been doing squats or a lot of cardio. I like to pop on a foot cream as well to combat the terrible dry skin that I get on my feet. The one I’m using at the moment is the Manuka Doctor ApiNourish Foot and Heel Cream, from Holland and Barrett, that I have repurchased countless times and reviewed in full here. It makes my feet really soft and cools them down.
The third moisturiser that I have in my gym bag is the Chocolate Body Butter from Derma V10. I love this as it is so thick and creamy. It smells great too but if you’re not a fan of scents like the Palmers Cocoa Butter, like my friend like my friend Mammaful Zo then you wont like the smell of this! It is super cheap at only £1.25 from Amazon and places like Poundstretchers and is a great rival for the body butters from The Body Shop as it is an absolute steal compared to their prices. It leaves my skin ridiculously soft and moisturised, particularly after I’ve been in the pool that tends to dry my skin out. I love it!
When I go to the gym I either go first thing on a morning or last thing at night. My gym is open from 6am until 11pm so literally waking up time to bedtime. I get the gym to fit in with my daily routine as best I can so if I’m going first thing on a morning then I use skincare and make up products that I can put a quick, presentable look together with so that I can go straight out afterwards and if I am going late at night then I use the night time skincare pieces that I have with me. Oh and I’ll let you into a little secret… I even have PJs that look like yoga pants and a vest top that I put on to leave the gym in so that I can literally hop straight into bed when I get in… Yes, I am that person!
The skincare that I have in my gym bag to use at night consists of four items- a joint cleanser and toner, a night time moisturiser, eye cream and lip balm.
The dual action cleanser and toner that I use when I’m getting ready after the gym actually comes in the form of wipes from Murad. These aren’t wipes that you can feel guilty about using as they’re actually good for your skin but I’ll come onto that later.
If I’m going to the gym from work, I have some make up removal wipes in my car that I use en route to the gym, usually when I’m sat in the car park. I use a variety of brands, none of which are particularly better than the other, they all do the same job in removing the majority of my make up, not the most deep set make up but certainly the make up that is sat on the surface of my skin. By the time I come to use the Murad wipes, I have already used the other cleansing wipes and fully washed in the shower so my skin is clean.
The Murad Clarifying Wipes for blemish prone skin are the very first face wipes launched by Dr. Murad, the skincare specialist. They contain a plethora of beneficial skincare ingredients including Witch Hazel which helps to control oil and tighten pores, Algae Extract which helps to regulate excess sebum production, Grape Seed Extract and Vitamin E which help to protect the skin from free radical damage, Menthol which soothes irritated skin and is very cooling, Cucumber Extract which hydrates the skin and minimises skin irritations and Calendula which calms inflamed blemishes.
Whilst they are targeted for those who suffer with blemishes and oily skin as they reduce shine, I’d say that they are fine to use on all but those with sensitive skin as they do feel a little strong, which I assume is down to the Witch Hazel and Menthol. They have a combined cleansing and toning effect and are clinically proven to keep the skin clear by removing dirt and bacteria from the skin as well as sebum that clogs the pores. When I’m using these I really do feel as though they’re clearing out my skin and toning it at the same time. They’re very refreshing and great as a quick cleanse like if you’re at a festival, travelling, coming out of the gym or even if you’re simply too tired to cleanse properly at night which, lets face it, happens to us all from one time to another as a wipe cleanse is better than no cleanse at all (for me, it is usually after I’ve either been driving a long distance or had one or two glasses of vino… note the ‘or’, never together!). I find that these are really cooling and effective on my skin and I would recommend them for use on the face but avoiding the eye area as they are a little strong if used on the skin around my eye thanks to the menthol in them.
The Murad Clarifying Wipes are £18 for a pack of 30 and are available direct from the Murad website.
At night, after I have used the Murad wipes, I apply my night cream which is the Manuka Doctor Restoring Night Cream that I’ve reviewed here and the Good Things Bright Eyes Eye Cream that I’ve talked about in this post.
I then slick on a super moisturising ChapStick lip balm. This one is in the apple flavour and it tastes lush. I put this on just as I’m leaving the gym and my lips feel lovely and moisturised the next morning when I wake up. It really helps my lips to retain their moisture and soothes them so that they aren’t dry. With regular application of ChapStick, my lips remain uncracked, soft and moisturised. It has SPF 15, not that that makes a blind bit of difference at night but its a nice addition to protect your lips if you’re using it during the day time. This lip balm is really cheap at just over £1 from Boots.
If I’m nipping out to the shops and going about my day straight after I’ve been to the gym then I like to use a few quick products that I have in my make up bag to apply a presentable amount of make up to my face- nothing over done, just something super natural and quick. You’ll notice that I haven’t included an eyebrow pencil or mascara here; that’s because generally I have my eyelash extensions applied and my brows tinted and shapes to its unnecessary for every day wear. If I weren’t to have had these treatments done then of course I’d just add these to my gym bag.
So I start with the Murad wipes above and then the same eye cream. For a moisturiser, I use the Origins Vitazing (review here) as this adds a touch of colour to my pale face too. I wish I had tanned skin but unfortunately I’m pasty white so this really helps to perk up my complexion.
I then apply some of the Derma V10 Medium Tinted Eye Roll to my under eye circles and blend out. I double this up as a concealer too and apply it to blemishes and areas that need a little extra coverage. I wouldn’t recommend this product. I was given it in a goody bag and I’m just using it up here, when I am finished with it, I’ll be replacing it with a concealer like the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer. This one from Derma V10 is ok for use after the gym where I don’t need my make up to be particularly long lasting and it is cooling and does provide some coverage but it isn’t fantastic. Whilst it is only around £1, I’d rather spend a couple of extra pounds on something a little better. That being said, it has been fine in my gym make up bag and I will continue using it until it runs out.
I then apply some of the Benefit Posie Tint for a pop of pink on my cheeks and slick on some of the ChapStick Shimmer in Berry.
The ChapStick Lipsensation Shimmer is a line of shimmery formulated Chapsticks. I have this one in Berry which is a pearlescent lip balm with a slight touch of pinky red. It gives a really pretty flush to the lips.
Here is my go to post gym make up look. I tend to just plait my hair, tie it up or leave it down and wild and I apply the make up as described above. It’s just something simple, cute and very natural, almost as though I’m not wearing any make up.
I quickly roll on a little of my Sugar Lemon perfume from Fresh and I’m good to go!
So that’s everything that I keep in my gym bag from clothes to trainers and from toiletries to make up. It seems like a lot when I write it all down but it all fits in a relatively small bag. I love the items that I take with me as they really encourage me to go to the gym because I know that I’m not adding loads of extra hours to my day.
This has been a highly requested blog post and I have an injury right now so Mr WLL has sat and typed this up for me while I’ve dictated it so I do hope you enjoy it and it has been worth waiting for and many thanks to my Mr for his help!
What do you keep in your gym bag? What is your ideal post gym make up look?
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