Beauty / Gym Bag Beauty Essentials: Don’t Look Like You’ve Been To The Gym When You’ve Been To The Gym

Gym Bag Beauty Essentials: Don’t Look Like You’ve Been To The Gym When You’ve Been To The Gym

Beauty Jul 23, 2019

We love a good solid workout —but do you really need to look like you the sweat session you just had? Take this opportunity to enhance your post-workout routine to include spa tricks and simple products to make your brown beauty glow! Check out our gym bag beauty essentials right here! 

The dog days of summer are a difficult time to maintain one’s fitness discipline.  The oppressive humidity and relentless heat leave us parched and exhausted.  However when faced with kulfi and mango sorbet at countless melas, weddings and potlucks, foregoing exercise is simply not an option because living healthily is essential to a beautiful life.

One way to keep yourself motivated to hit the gym when you feel like hitting the ice cream parlour is to use beauty products that enhance your brown glow after your work out… These products add  simple, summer glamour that serve as a soft complement to the hard core sweat that you shed during your work out.


The first step is to clean the face, and remove all traces of make-up and skin care.  I recommend using an oil-based cleanser that will dissolve multiple products and gently lift away grime.  I enjoy Beautycounter Countertime Lipid Defense Cleansing Oil because it leaves my skin bare and hydrated, not stripped and squeaky clean.


Gym Bag Beauty Essentials: Beautycounter Countertime Lipid Defense Cleansing Oil. Photo Credit:

My mixed skin does not clog because the impactful mix of several oils such as citrus lemon peel, orange peel, bergamot fruit and soybean, are gentle and can be used twice — before you work out (if you arrive at the gym made-up) and after the work out. I also enjoy inhaling the soft citrus scent because it smells like a spa.  I turn the occasion into a treatment by washing my hands, taking two pumpfuls of product and massaging them into my face and neck using large circles. I then take tepid water and rub it over the same areas, until the oil turns white and then I rinse away to a perfect clean.

The heat wave that we are experiencing means that we can retire the face lotions and creams momentarily because the humidity turns much of our skin care into white sweat.  Regardless of the power of humidity we need to add a touch of moisture because air conditioning dries the skin.  I rely on the Beautycounter Countertime Mineral Boost Hydrating Essence  to smooth and plump my skin to dewy glory.  Its mix of seawater, fermented sugars and alpine rose lend it a spa-like look and feel, which results in a spa-smooth finish. I once again follow my mini treatment massage to turn the occasion into a spa moment.


Gym Bag Beauty Essentials: Beautycounter Countertime Mineral Boost Hydrating Essence. Photo Credit:

The one area where we need to maintain our regularly-scheduled hydration routine  is the contour of the eyes.  The skin is thin and takes a remarkable beating between the elements and make-up. The skin dries quickly and makes the silkiest of concealer resemble marzipan during a heat wave. I adore the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Eye Rescue because it brightens my dark circles and smoothes out lines with a few taps.   I make sure to tap my contour using my ring finger, and I repeat the exercise twice for each contour to deflate puffiness and ensure that the product is properly massaged into the skin.


Gym Bag Beauty Essentials
Gym Bag Beauty Essentials: Charlotte Tilbury Magic Eye Rescue. Photo Credit:



The body is deserves extra TLC because it has been challenged and detoxed. The body also manifests allergic reactions. I dread when my skin starts to itch because I know that it was exposed to an allergen, and the scratching always results in minor scars that fade long after the boys of summer have gone.  Consequently, I cleanse and hydrate my skin with gentle products that are scent-free and designed for sensitive skin. It is precautionary measure that pays dividends because enjoying the great outdoors puts me at risk and I want to minimize my skin from being irritated.

I strongly recommend  the Avène XeraCalm A.D. Lipid-replenishing Cleansing Oil because our skin expels its natural oils while we sweat.  The skin needs to be restored and the product protects against the drying effects of water.  This fragrance-and-soap-free product contains thermal spring water which makes my body feel soft and silky.


Gym Bag Beauty Essentials
Gym Bag Beauty Essentials: Avène XeraCalm A.D. Lipid-replenishing Cleansing Oil. Photo Credit:

As noted above, heat and humidity turn skin care into white sweat, and the same applies for body lotions.  The body, like the face, still needs light hydration, and I love how dry oils add moisture without the grease.  Again, I prefer to use a gentle product for sensitive skin such as Avène Body Skin Care Oil.  I am astounded by how this product which contains thermal water, coconut alkane (which is the likely source for its soft, gentle scent) and safflower oil are rapidly absorbed by the skin and soothes my legs after I shave them.


Gym Bag Beauty Essentials
Gym Bag Beauty Essentials: Avène Body Skin Care Oil. Photo Credit:

Regardless of allergy fears, for many people fragrance is the magic touch to end the body ritual.  If you are lucky to not have to check your skin for irritations after a heavy work out or hot weather, switch your after work out fragrance to a light one that elevates, rather than taxes, the senses. Remember, after a work out your whole body needs to relax because it worked hard.

I recommend eau de toilette because the concentration of fragrance of less than that of an eau de parfum and the intensity is ideal for summer. Caudalie’s Fleur de vigne is a great choice because its soft mix bergamot, mandarin, grapefruit, grape flower, cedar and sandalwood, evoke the outdoors and captures summer’s love affair with citrus with a dash of South Asia.

Gym Bag Beauty Essentials: Caudalie Fleur de vigne. Photo Credit:



The hair, like your body is also soaked in sweat after an intense work-out.  However, given that you are outside of your own bathroom, I recommend a simple routine, namely use a co-washing product such as Kérastase Cleansing Conditioner Curl Idéal from the Discipline collection and then let your hair air dry. The Discipline collection addresses unruliness and frizziness and its goal is to create a smooth finish; this product works well in my coarse, thick, wavy hair.


Gym Bag Beauty Essentials
Gym Bag Beauty Essentials: Kérastase Cleansing Conditioner Curl Idéal. Photo Credit:

I turn the hair washing into a spa ritual: I wet my hair, pump out four dollops of product; rub my palms together; rub the product into my hair and scalp; massage my full scalp using the tips of my fingers to make tight circles all over  for 2 minutes; and then rinse it out.  As my hair dries I love that it does so in a smooth manner and it is easy to brush afterwards.



The final frontier is a simple beauty routine that is about fresh-faced glow which showcases your health and strength.  I have found the following products which should be added to your summer workout beauty trousseau:

Your skin is percolating energy and freshness, and should be shown with full brown pride to the world. I have fallen in love (again) with the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Oil Free (15 shades available). It contains SPF 20 and since the pigment is subtle, I use the appropriate amount to cover my face and neck to achieve the protection.  I love that it evens out my darker areas; delivers a soft finish; and hint of hydration so the product never cakes when I am in air conditioned places.  I massage it into my skin using tight circles all over my face and neck to encourage circulation and achieve perfect application.

Gym Bag Beauty Essentials
Gym Bag Beauty Essentials: Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Oil Free. Photo Credit:


Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips 2 Amazing Amal is a gorgeous warm, berry-pink that suits ALL South Asian skin tones. The soft matte finish glides on like butter and sets like a soft powder that stays—never clings—to the lips.  The pigment is bright, not flashy, and works in both social and professional settings. The matte finish means that you can dab it onto your cheeks and create an instant blush!  I loved using this classic trick, and felt sophisticated that my lips and cheeks matched.

Gym Bag Beauty Essentials. Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips 2 Amazing Amal. Photo Credit:


Dior Backstage Glow Face Palette is a fantastic quartet of shades – Glitter Strobe Gold, Glitter Strobe Pink Gold, Peach and Bronze, that flatter ALL South Asian skin tones. I love to tap the Bronze on top of my berry cheeks to create a sculpted, glamourous look. I also apply a mix of the strobe shades on the mobile lids to bring light to the area, and then define the crease with Peach.  Each shade is infused with a  hint of gold which works beautifully on brown skin tones.  These four squares create a lot of beauty magic!


Gym Bag Beauty Essentials
Gym Bag Beauty Essentials: Dior Backstage Glow Face Palette. Photo Credit:


Laura Mercier’s two new eye products add light definition and continue the theme of freshness. Curling the eyelashes exposes more of the whites of the eyes, and opens the area.  The Artist Eyelash Curler is lightweight and easy to handle in the delicate eye area.  I like that when I clamp down at both the base of the lashes and midway, that I am never uncomfortable and there is no pinching.


Gym Bag Beauty Essentials
Gym Bag Beauty Essentials: Artist Eyelash Curler. Photo Credit:


The brightened area is defined by the Caviar Volume Panoramic Mascara which adds a glossy finish to the lashes.  The heavily-bristled applicator means even the tiniest lashes are coated in product and you may just consider foregoing liner.


Gym Bag Beauty Essentials
Gym Bag Beauty Essentials: Caviar Volume by Laura Mercier. Photo Credit:


Sure working out is very important to your overall wellbeing. But it should also give you the chance to pamper and treat your body. I love how all the products mentioned here are lightweight and gentle.They change the act of cleansing from “shower and go” to mini-spa experiences without adding more time in the changing room. The endorphins that are released and the glow created during exercise result in a fresh-faced beauty that is enhanced by lightweight products that work with rather than cover our lovely brown skin.

Main Image Photo Credit:

Meena Khan

Meena Khan


Meena (@meenalaregina) always loved the idea of exploring the non-conventional idea of beauty. Having grown up as a pimply chubby teenager, she wanted to see the change in the world that best reflected your uniqueness as well. Her well-received collection of blogs where she tries on various beauty p...


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