It's Thursday morning. You have a full day at the office, then you want to hit the gym before heading out to dinner or the theater. How and what do you pack to accommodate so many beauty needs in just one day? In this age of multi-tasking, even beauty products are designed for two-in-one use, which considerably streamlines the contents of your bag -- and the demands on your time.
Always remove makeup before beginning your workout. "Washing your face before exercising is very important," says Dr. Shobana Sood, assistant professor of dermatology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. "You are sweating when you exercise and pores can clog. After exercising, wash again with cool water and a mild soap or cleanser to remove sweat and dirt sitting on the skin's surface."
To remove makeup preworkout, use a convenient no-rinse cleansing cloth. Avon Clean N' Go cleansing cloths ($5.99) contain a facial cleanser formulated with soothing chamomile and aloe vera. Basis' So Refreshing facial cleansing cloths ($4.99) contain green tea, comfrey and chamomile to keep skin soft after cleansing.
If presenting yourself at the gym with a naked face is a bit intimidating, here are two products you can wear without worrying about skin eruptions: Olay's Aqua Care mascara ($7.25) is a waterproof, smear-proof formula; Blistex's Complete Moisture lip balm ($1.89) keeps lips moisturized and well hydrated.
Dermatologists say that keeping hands away from the face will keep bacteria that cause breakouts away, too, so have moisturizing antibacterial wipes handy to wash without water. Lever 2000's wipes ($1.99) cleanse and moisturize with vitamin E. Herban Essential towelettes ($12 for 24) are made of natural antiseptics that leave hands refreshed but not sterile.
Use shower products that do double duty in order to reduce what you carry back and forth to the locker. Molton Brown's sport wash for hair and body contains menthol to stimulate sore muscles (it even removes chlorine from swimmer's hair). Philosophy's Power Shower washes both hair and body with a ginger-cider formula that deodorizes, exfoliates and detoxifies. Fight stubborn tangles after shampooing with Joico's Integrity leave-in conditioner-detangler. If you don't need a thorough shampoo, try Sebastian's Dry Clean Only hair refresher ($9.95) with the fresh scent of mango, absorbing oils and a volume-building formula.
After showering, use quick-drying deodorant by Kiss My Face in a fragrance-free, nonirritating formula. Then, try a quick spritz of Nivea Body Sheer moisture spray. Before reapplying makeup, use Lorac's postshower facial essentials in travel-kit sizes: The Skin Care To Go kit contains an oil-free face wash, mild alcohol-free toner and oil-free moisturizer.
Maybelline's Express Makeup 3-in-1 stick is a concealer and oil-free liquid foundation with a powdery, lightweight finish. Lip Express all-in-one liner and lipstick by Maybelline delivers perfectly finished lips. Stila offers a triple-color action product for eyes, lips and cheeks. Color Courier from the Stila Sport line is a simple, monochromatic look that is subtle and easy to apply.