Gym Bag Essentials

I never had a "gym bag" until I moved to New York and had to give up my car (sad day). No car means public transportation and carrying with you anything you need for the day. Lugging around your belongings will quickly force you to pare down what you pack, because somehow eye-shadow, clean socks and your "lightweight" Nike's get real heavy real fast!

Once I became a trainer and was starting my day at 6am, working out in-between clients, and running back and forth between my apartment and the gym throughout the day, I needed to figure out my must-have beauty products and rapidly ditch the rest. I also couldn't just leave my whole make-up bag at work or home, because I needed it intermittently throughout the day. And so the product challenge began! 

There have been many iterations on my quest to build a light-weight but useful gym bag, and I feel like I've basically tested the entirety of Sephora when it comes to dry shampoos, deodorants, and make-up that can actually endure a little sweat without completely melting off. These 6 products (well 7, will add my bag too because it's awesome) have endured many rounds of product cuts and purges, and are pretty much the only extra things I carry around these days. So without further ado, here are my gym bag essentials. Enjoy! 

MC Wallace Metro Tote - Medium

1. MZ Wallace Metro Tote - Medium

They certainly do not give these away, and unfortunately this pattern is no longer available, but honestly I've used and abused this poor bag and it has always perked right back up and held up great. I also constantly get complimented on it.

My favorite feature is the straps, they are thick and don't dig in. It's also like a Mary Poppin's bag, you can fit your whole dresser in it somehow and still have room at the top for your water bottle (finding your keys at the bottom can be annoying though...). Added perk, it comes with a matching make-up bag.    


2. Lavanila Sport Luxe Deodorant

Behold, a healthy deodorant that is paraben and sulfate free that actually works!!! And it smells great. I've been on a mission to find a healthy deodorant for a long time. This brand is amazing, and the sport luxe one in particular works really well for us sweat enthusiasts. 

The product is also free from harsh chemicals, aluminum, silicone, petrochemicals, propylene glycol, mineral oil, formaldehyde and synthetic fragrances or dyes. There is some nasty stuff in most traditional deodorants, give this one a try if you've not found a good Secret replacement!  


3. Tarte - Amazonian Clay BB Tinted Moisturizer 

I'm pretty obsessed with anything from this brand. I've struggled with acne my entire life, and when I started cleaning up my diet to reclaim my health, my acne also started improving (bonus!). That prompted me to clean up my beauty products as well.

This is my favorite tinted moisturizer. It does not get weird if you sweat or as the day wears on. You can control the coverage, and because all Tarte products are formulated without parabens, mineral oil, phthalates, and sodium lauryl sulfates, you can work out in it without breaking out later. 




4. Tarte - Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara 

As I said, obsessed with this brand, so it shouldn't be surprising that I also love their mascara. I have blonde eye-lashes... which means if I don't have any mascara on, I look sickly and people worry about me. So it's my ONE make-up item that I don't typically leave the house without. 

The applicator brush is great, it doesn't clump, and it looks just as good as Dior or MAC products. A lot of "healthy" mascaras lack any sort of volume or wow factor, but not this one. Two coats is all it takes, and it can withstand a sweaty spin class, or the occassional tear if it's that kinda day...



5. EOS - Visibly Soft Lip Balm 

I'm a chapstick freak, have been since middle school when I had every Smacker's flavor available. This brand is my trusty standby, and I have one in my gym bag, my nightstand, and if I had a car you can bet there would be one in there as well. 

Having this readily available also helps mitigate a nasty little stress habit I have of picking at my lips... something I picked up during my years sitting at a desk in finance. But you know what they say, the best defense is a good offense, so this always comes with me. 


6. Hask - Charcoal Dry Shampoo

I should have listed this product first, and could write a whole blog post on how amazing dry shampoo is (I probably will)... it's been that life-changing! This magic can of goodness will extend the shelf life of your hair an additional 2-3 days! Seriously, I do not know how I survived before using it. 

This brand is actually a recent find for me, but I really love it! It's "healthy" and actually works better than my trusted Batiste brand (which I NEVER thought I'd replace). I've tried probably 10+ other ones, and at least for the moment this one is my favorite by a mile. 


7. Chloe - Rollerball 

I don't remember when I discovered this fragrance, but it's been years and I still love it just as much as I did when I first bought it. Trusty standby. These rollerballs are light and don't take up space, which is what allowed this one to stay in the useful gym bag rotation.

It's perfect for those workouts where you didn't really get that sweaty, but definitely don't have time to shower before meeting a friend for coffee. You know the kind, yoga, pilates, barre, heavy lifting with low reps... Nothing a little deodorant and Chloe can't solve!