How to lighten your load to and from the gym.
The Beauty Spy: On what to put in your sports bag
Don't you just hate carrying around all that stuff you need post-workout? I mean as if going to the gym and lifting weights isn't enough, you have to lug half your bathroom around with you. My top tip to avoid tiring yourself out is to stay in nice hotels - hotels where you want to steal the products. So the weight of your gym bag is halved because you have nifty little tester-style shampoo, conditioner, body moisturiser and shower gel.
Testers are really the key to a sports bag. So even if you know you want to buy lots of things from one beauty counter, eke out your trips in order to get more testers. I love the Clinique 3-Step Skin Care System ones: cleanser, clarifier and moisturiser. Get hold of some by buying a tube of the Clinique Super City Block (at least SPF 25, but if you're exercising outdoors, go higher). Or invest in some of their Redness Solutions Urgent Relief Cream, because our worst nightmare is the hideously red face. There is not much you can do about this, I'm afraid. When you exercise your blood vessels dilate and because the skin on your face is thinner than the rest of your body, it takes a while to calm down. You need around 15 minutes for that "I've never been so embarrassed in my life" look to die down. Take advantage of this time and do some stretching. Then take some time showering and washing your hair. If you try to put make-up on before the heat has gone out of your skin, it won't blend well.
Apart from my hotel products, and I do ask when booking a room whether they happen to have L'Occitane or even Aromatherapy Associates (my total fave) products in their bathrooms, I also have a few other little gems in my gym bag. I love Clarins body products and one of my favourites is the Bust Beauty Extra-Lift Gel. It is for the delicate skin around the bust and the décolleté area. The other one I adore is the Clarins High Definition Body Lift, which lifts those parts I didn't have time to work out.
I try to carry as little make-up as possible in my gym bag, but I can't go anywhere without a bronzer, a lip gloss, an eyelash curler and some mascara. A good trick is to have a double of everything you use and keep it in a special little gym make-up bag so you never run the risk of getting out of the shower and realising you are going to be a lip-gloss-free zone all day. Quelle horreur!
SEPHORA EXPRESS DRY SHAMPOO
With our busy schedule it's a treat to squeeze in the gym after work and before going out with friends. But while a quick shower is easy afterwards, shampooing and restyling our hair would take far too long. Enter Sephora Express dry shampoo. Spritz it at the roots of your hair to add volume and absorb moisture, then brush and blow-dry your locks for a sleek look or finger style for wild tresses. Either way, your friends will think you've just come from the salon.
Sephora Express dry shampoo, Dh34, available at Sephora counters across the UAE
Three of the best
CLARINS EVERLASTING COMPACT FOUNDATION SPF15, DH180
Long-lasting. This is deceptive - the formula looks thick and "cakey", yet glides on smoothly and gives you a polished finish.
GIORGIO ARMANI DESIGNER LIFT FOUNDATION, DH325
Skin-smoothing. This formula blends into skin naturally and also brightens, giving the illusion of a lifted face.
GUERLAIN LINGERIE DE PEAU INVISIBLE SKIN-FUSION FOUNDATION SPF20, DH260
Skin-perfecting. Much copied, never equalled. A divine texture that slips on like silk, leaving an evened-out complexion and diminished imperfections.