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Ask Belle: Five Workout Bag Essentials

Dear Belle,

Instead of waiting for the New Year, I’ve decided to start working out now in preparation for the Thanksgiving feasting.  I want to start working out in the staff gym during my lunch break, but I don’t want to look like a schlumpadinka for my afternoon meetings.  Any thoughts on how to regroup without having to shower, wash my hair and reapply all of my makeup?

Best Wishes,


While the odds of my getting a lunch break are about the same as the odds that I would use that valuable time to workout, I applaud your decision to start your routine now instead of waiting until the New Year.  It’s my personal belief that too many people use the coming annum as an excuse for procrastination.  So kudos for starting before the pumpkin pie and holiday cookies begin their siren song.

While finding time for a post-workout shower would be ideal, I know that it isn’t always realistic.  Here are a few products that are sure to keep you fresh and clean.


1. Sonia Kashuk Blotting Papers (Target, $7)

I would highly suggest that you at least remove your makeup pre-workout.  This will help prevent breakouts and give your skin time to breathe.  If this is more than you can handle, I highly recommend you invest in some blotting papers to keep the post-cardio oil slick at bay.

2.  Creme Anglaise Body Cream (Lush, $45)

I discovered Lush body products this summer when I purchased their Turkish Delight shower cream, and they are amazing.  The Creme Anglaise is the perfect body creme for those of us with dry skin.  It’s scent is also an amazing mix of honey and vanilla that will make you smell like creme brulee.  

3.  Power Shower Body Wipes ($8)

Can’t shower? These wipes are a shower in a bottle…or a vacuum pack, as it were.  These wipes will kill bacteria and leave your skin perfectly cleansed.

4. Rene Furterer Dry Shampoo (Amazon, $24)

While there are cheaper products on the market that work great for every day, a post-workout dry shampoo needs extra power.  This product will give your hair freshly washed volume and erase any trace of oil from your coif.

5.  Conair Mini-Pro Curling Iron (Amazon, $13)

If your locks need a touch-up, this ceramic curling iron is perfectly sized to fit into your gym bag.  However, if you prefer stick straight locks, Conair also makes a mini-pro straightener ($14).


    leave a comment

  1. Alejandra says:

    I know you listed a dry shampoo here, but I really have to give a shout out for Oscar Blandi's dry shampoo (not the aerosol kind, just traditional, straight up powder) and a hair towel/turby twist – so if you CAN shower your hair is at least somewhat preserved.

    Also a powder foundation like Bare Essentials or Philosophy's The Supernatural are great touch up must-haves.

    I'm a proud Product Ho.

    November 15, 2010/Reply
  2. Katherine says:

    LUSH also makes a couple of great body powders that might help in this situation. I use coconut, silky underwear, and vanilla puff to combat summer humidity, but it seems like they could also be good post-workout, especially if you have to go back to work before you're totally cooled off. Just be sure to transfer it to a non-leak container if you're going to toss it in a bag. Some people also use them as a dry shampoo but I haven't tried it.

    November 15, 2010/Reply
  3. Whitney says:

    I love this post, so clever!

    November 15, 2010/Reply
  4. Ana says:

    Oh, how i wish i could be this dedicated to working out!

    November 15, 2010/Reply
  5. Allison says:

    How about a post on cute workout bags? (That isn't the ubiquitous Longchamp?) I have a hard time finding a bag big enough to fit all my workout stuff that isn't hideous, and that is nice enough to pass at work.

    November 16, 2010/Reply