It's the tail end of National Yoga Month and the start of Fall, which makes it an ideal time to reassess the contents of our yoga bags. With so many of us heading from studio to social events, transitioning from a sweaty asana practice requires an extra bit of effort, especially after seeing how immaculately Taylor Swift turns out upon leaving the gym.
The trick to looking "effortless" after a sweat session comes down to preparation. Packing a well-organized bag means warding off any potential anxiety attacks midway through class. (Did I bring my body wash?)
Consider finding a permanent home for these essentials in your bag or locker:
1. Antibacterial Body Wash: Although most hot yoga studios either regularly wash their wooden floors or are equipped with antibacterial carpets, it doesn't mean that everything in between is sanitary. When sharing space with dozens upon dozens of students, adhering to good hygiene is necessary and essential. After a sweat-inducing yoga session, consider a specially-formulated non-fragranced soap like CLn Sport Wash.
2. Skin Cleaning: I've seen ladies in the locker room using their Clarisonic after class. If you have one and can bring it along, why not? If not, try an exfoliator after cleansing. Look for travel-sized products as they don't weigh the bag down. Skin Fitness Therapy is formulated for post-inflammatory skin -- they offer kits that cater to different skin concerns.
3. Antioxidant Serum: Let your pores drink up the goodness of a good quality antioxidant like the potent Ling Apple Stem Cellular Energy that helps tone and clarify the skin, or an anti-redness serum like Hydropeptide's Soothing Serum, which contains a botanical stem cell that hydrates and soothes signs of sensitivity.
4. Moisturizer: Hydration, hydration, hydration! Sweating gallons of water means the skin needs to drink internally as well as externally. For the face, apply Mad Hippie Face Cream, a light moisturizer that is infused with acai, argan oil and resveratrol. For the body, Elemis Pro Collagen Marine Cream softens the skin (thanks to algae), gives it a lovely sheen, and smells divine. It comes in a handy travel size, too.
5. Vitamin Supplement: Tangerine Emergen C packs 1,000 mg of vitamin C as well as 7 B vitamins, manganese, and a host of electrolytes and antioxidants to replenish the body of lost nutrients.
6. Bare-faced Beauty: With skin fresh from a workout, there's no need to layer on clogging foundation. A pop of concealer under the eyes and on any redness around the nose should keep the skin looking fresh and dewy. Jane Iredale makes a Zap & Hide (TM) Blemish Concealer that goes on like a crayon, and it's so easy to smudge and smoothe out! If you do only one other thing, fill the eyebrows in to frame the face (I love Cate McNabb). For more va-voom, a swipe of Merle Norman Wicked Lash adds the look of wet lashes while conditioning them with peptides.
7. Deodorant: Hands down, Primal Pit Paste is the most natural and most effective odor zapper out there. Made with aluminium-free baking soda, coconut oil, and gardenia oil makes this handy stick a no-brainer.
8. Headband: If you don't have time to wash your hair, a simple headband looks cool when paired with a high bun or ponytail. It keeps the straggly bits off the face - Lululemon makes a simple one.
9. Face Mist: It's not uncommon for the body temperature to take a while to come down after battling 90 F temperatures for 60+ minutes. A spritz of Tatcha's Luminous Dewy Mist is a refreshing pick-me-up in between subway rides (it contains red algae and green tea leaf extracts) and unlike many other facial sprays, it doesn't feel sticky at all.
10. Black separates - It might be the New Yorker in me, but there's nothing more chic that head-to-toe black with a pop of color, be it a touch of lipstick, red nail polish, or a jangle of gold bangles. A black long-sleeved top like the one made with merino wool and spandex by super.natural wicks away moisture and keeps skin at a comfortable temperature. Graced by Grit make the spanx of leggings - their Everything Leggings perk the butt, streamline the legs, and are fashioned as outer wear. Paired with boots, head into town channeling Lara Croft.
Oh, don't forget to pack your underwear (unless that's not how you roll)!