The Twenties Club’s Post-Exercise Beauty Hacks
Most of us have a post-workout beauty routine that is basically a frantic dash from locker to shower to mirror to door, and I’m no different.
My “gym” is actually a hot yoga studio in the CBD, and while there is no calmer space to begin your day than a dimly lit room where you finish each class by lying on the floor with your eyes closed (!!), once you get back into the changing rooms it’s a completely different kind of exercise. There are, however, a few hacks I’ve mastered in my own morning rush that make things a littler smoother (both literally and figuratively).
Before I get into the post-sweat stuff, I have one hack for the pre-game.
Your hair dries out so much when you exercise and if you go to the gym often that’s a lot of stress on your already over-coloured, over-straightened mane. Find a hair oil you love, I like the Ouai Rose Hair + Body Oil, and comb some through the ends of your hair before tying it into a ponytail or bun for your workout. It will have the same effect of locking in moisture as a hair mask but without the time-wasting or the weird looks.
There are only four showers in the changing room at yoga so I often have to wait my turn. While I wait I start applying cleanser because letting sweat sit on your skin for any prolonged length of time is problematic – it carries the grime of what’s built up in your pores throughout class (v yuck). I always use a balm cleanser at the gym because there’s no risk of it leaking in my bag and it can be applied to dry skin so I have the option to start massaging it in while I wait for a shower. My favourite balm cleanser at the moment is Clinique Take-The-Day-Off Cleansing Balm because it’s fragrance free and super gentle.
I’ve become a huge advocate for cold showers after learning their health benefits a couple of years ago. Cold water exposure improves circulation in your body by making the blood rush to the surface of the skin and surround vital organs, and they are so much better for your skin and hair than hot showers which dry out pores and strip the skin of it’s natural oils (plus Hollywood icon Katharine Hepburn swore by cold showers to keep her looking young. So there’s that.) Start with a 20 second burst at the end of your shower and work your way up to a minute, after a few weeks you will feel so alive you’ll be doing it voluntarily.
Okay, back to the skincare.
Once I’m out of the shower I put on a decent layer of the Clinique Moisture Surge 72 Hour Auto-Replenishing moisturiser and wear it for the next five minutes as a mask while I get dressed. I had been using the OG Moisture Surge for years before Clinique went and outdid themselves by somehow improving on an already perfect product. The new version keeps your skin almost twice as hydrated as it did before thanks to ingredients like activated Aloe water. And the reason it says “72 Hour” on the tub is because it was formulated with auto-replenishing technology that actually helps skin create its own internal water source to continually rehydrate itself – even after you’ve washed your face (!). My face is like the Sahara desert after hot yoga which is why I use this moisturiser as a mini-mask while I get dressed and sort out my hair, then I’ll wipe off any excess and massage the rest into my face and neck.
When it comes to the makeup side of things, it goes without saying that I prefer the less-is-more approach (both post-exercise and in life generally).
I avoid powders entirely after exercise because products like powder bronzers will stick to dewy skin and look awkward. I also can’t face (unintentional pun?) putting on liquid foundation so soon after sweating so I opt for concealer with a flexible coverage instead, applied with a damp beauty blender to my under eyes, the corners of my nose, and a little in the middle of my chin. You only need a tiny amount because concealer is so dense and we tend to always put on more foundation than we actually need anyway. I like the Bobbi Brown Instant Full Cover Concealer in the shade ‘Porcelain’.
I use clear mascara, usually a Keratin option, because it won’t smear onto warm skin like a black mascara would and you can use that same wand to slick your eyebrows into place. In terms of blushers and bronzers, I want easy, creamy formulas that can be applied when there isn’t much mirror space and won’t look crazy. I like either Glossier Cloud Paint in ‘Puff’, Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in ‘Calypso Coral’ (this was designed to be a lip and cheek product!) or Tom Ford Shade + Illuminate Palette in ‘Intensity 01’.
Oh and one more thing! You know those drawstring bags that new heels, boots, or handbags come in? Take one of them with you to put all of your dirty gym clothes in so that you can keep it separate from your clean clothes while you shower. This is something I do when I’m travelling but it has the same function at the gym too.
Off you pop gym bunny!