Hey, gym bag junkies

Hey, gym bag junkies

On Google Earth it would look like a migration of giant tortoises. Every morning between 7 and 9am, flocks of fitness-seekers pedal and power walk my home-to-office route. Even more stream, panting, in and out of my local gym, and most are schlepping bags worthy of a Dutch backpacker.

So, because there’s a weights workout and then there’s a hernia, here’s how to pare back a hefty gym bag…

While travel-sized portions of skincare and shower essentials make that part of the after-exercise ritual easy, many of us tote much more make-up than we really need. Instead, try getting together a ‘go bag’ of staples, like foundation, mascara, liner and bronzer, and interchanging wardrobe-co-ordinating eyeshadow and lip colours as you need them. Palettes are also a multi-look space-saver, particularly ones (try the ELF Elements Compact, $3.95) that let you switch colours at will.

More problematic are the accessories that go with the post-workout wash. Especially the clunky hairdryer. If your locker room’s not equipped with a decent dryer  (mine ‘coughs’ at me!) yet you simply must shampoo, invest in a petite-but-powerful travel dryer. After much investigation, I’ve found Sunbeam’s Salon Technique 1600W Travel Dryer (Ionic Tech) ($24.95) and the Conair Think Pink Ceramic Travel Dryer ($29.95) to be two of the best. And a super thirsty travel towel (like Manicare’s Supa Dry Towel, $21.99) cuts both dry time and packing space in half.

It’s simpler still to skip the wet wash and opt for a dry shampoo instead. To erase oil slicks and perk up limp locks in an instant, you just spray a little of the grease-absorbing powder on your roots, work it in for a few seconds and brush it out. It’s a space-saving, root-raising revelation! Klorane Extra Gentle Dry Shampoo ($13.50) and Kevin Murphy’s Fresh.Hair ($26.95) are my favourites, but Batiste Dry Shampoo ($8.95) and Label.M Dry Shampoo ($28.50) are also excellent options.

What are your suggestions for a beauty and back-friendly gym kit?

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