Sunday, May 18, 2014

Special Edition Sunday Funday + What's In My Gym Bag!

I have been wanting to do the "What's In My Gym Bag" post forever, as per your many requests! Sorry it's taken me so long!  I don't even have that many things in there lol.  But I thought this would be the perfect post to do it in, since I skipped all my weight workouts this week... gasp!  I actually didn't plan to do that, but on Monday and Tuesday, I felt sore and tight in my legs/hips from my run last Sunday in Santa Barbara.  Since I haven't really run in a long time, especially outside, that wasn't exactly surprising.  So I then decided that I should just take the whole week off from the gym... lol!  I've always read from different sources that it is good to take off a week completely every month or 2.  I've been lifting 4-5 days a week for the past year without any breaks (other than when I was really sick and took off a week unwillingly).  So it would probably do me good to take a break now and really let my body rest and recover.  It's also good to take a mental break too.  While I do feel rested, and slept 1-2 hours longer each night this week than usual, I actually felt less energetic.  I guess it's really true that working out gives you more energy!  I did take a barre class (with Lorna Jane Clarkson!), a yoga class, and a spin class though!  So my break was only from my regimented weight lifting program.

So on Thursday evening, Lorna Jane had an event with Physique 57 in Beverly Hills which they invited me to.  Lorna Jane Clarkson (founder of Lorna Jane) is in the US again so she was there.  It was my second time meeting her, she's very sweet and down to earth!  We all took a barre class, and then chatted with her and others.  There were gifts (LJ inspiration tanks, headbands, Physique 57 grippy socks, etc.) and a 40% off LJ coupon again!  That's trouble.  More on that later!

Do you follow Lorna Jane on Instagram?  They posted a picture of the event with me and my sport sisters (lol LJ lingo) in the back row!

So you can't really see in that picture, but I was wearing my very first LJ top - the Erika tank!  I wore it with Lululemon Power Vinyasa crops though - it was 100 degrees and I couldn't imagine wearing LJ bottoms since they are so thick!

Yesterday I went to a yoga class for the first time in a very very long time!  I actually do enjoy taking yoga classes, and I think it's really good for me to get some stretching.  But I don't normally have time for yoga classes when I already lift 5 days a week.  I gotta figure something out, because I want it to be a part of my normal routine!  I woke up all sore in the shoulders and back today from what seemed like a million chaturangas I did!  

Today I took a spin class, which is another thing I used to do all the time.  There was a time in the past that I'd take spin classes 2-3 days a week!  Now I can't remember the last time I did that either.  I could substitute spin class for one of my cardio sessions, but the times that the classes are offered don't really work for my schedule normally.  

I wore the Splits59 Tone Racerback which is the perfect top for spin, since it is so open and thin.   I tied it in the back to make it shorter.  Lululemon free to be bra in laceoflage under it.  Lululemon Inspire crop in inkwell that I hemmed.  I generally like pink and navy combo.  Oh, funny thing with these crop is that I had to repair the crotch area with the iron-on mend when I cut a hole in it accidentally - now they are really nice for spin since there's an extra thick crotch reinforcement... lol!  I wore my Zigi Kickin wedge sneakers to and from class:

Ok, now moving onto Part II - What's In My Gym Bag!

Aside from the obvious - change of clothes and shoes, which I didn't include in there, I do have other can't-live-without type of items in my bag at all times.  I always carry with me: 
  • Water bottle
  • Versa Gripps 
  • Workout gloves -  Right now I am using g-loves gloves which are pretty, but they are really expensive and not necessarily worth the price in my opinion.  They also start stinking after a few uses, and it gets really really stinky... lol!  
  • Hair ties
  • Bobby pins
  • Tampons - gotta be prepared just in case!  I really like the Playtex Sport one.  

In the shower:
  • Shampoo & conditioner - my gym has Kiehl's products which are ok.  But I prefer the Shiseido Tsubaki line (it comes with smaller sized bottles).  It just makes my hair uber silky and soft.  
  • Body wash - I just use the Kiehl's one that Equinox has.  
  • Loofah - I always bring one with me!  I can't shower without one!  
  • Shaver - They also have disposable shavers which I use too.
  • Face wash - Ole Henriksen African Red Tea foaming cleanser.  I used to use their On The Go cleanser which is excellent too.  You can't really go wrong with this line.
  • Scrub - Twice a week, I also use the Ole Henriksen Walnut Complexion scrub along with face wash.  It's awesome.

After showering:
  • Lotion - my must-have ritual is to put Kiehl's creme de corp lotion all over.  Equinox also has it which is awesome but this is the only Kiehl's product that I also buy to use at home. Best lotion ever.  
  • Facial lotion - Epionce Lytic Sport Rx.  I've been using this product for years now.  It really works for me as far as smoothing out my skin tone and reducing redness.  I use it morning and night after washing my face.
  • Heat Protectant Spray - I use the Sedu heat protectant spray after towel drying my hair.  I'm not sure if it really protects my hair, but I don't want to find out the bad way so I just spray it all over before blow drying.
  • Brush - While I'm blow drying my hair, I use the Spornette boar hair brush.  I've been using it for years now and I love it!
  • Styling - I don't really put styling products in my hair normally since I have long and straight hair which is good to go after drying.  But if time permits, I would use my ghd flat iron to go over my hair once.  Or if I'm really getting ready for something fancy, I'll curl my hair using the Sultra Bombshell.
  • After styling, I usually put the Shu Uemura Essence Absolue in the ends of my hair.  This oil smells amazing and it makes my hair look healthy and glossy without being oily.  Love it.
  • Dry shampoo - If I am really crunched for time, and did not sweat too much during my workout, then I will skip washing my hair.  I just blow dry it, and then put the Oscar Blandi dry shampoo in it.  It's the powder kind.  Even though I have dark hair, the white powder disappears in my hair completely and I don't get the white residue that looks like dandruff.  So I'm pretty happy with this brand.
  • Make up bag!  This leads to a whole bunch of products below:

What's in My Makeup Bag:

I don't wear a whole lot of makeup on a normal work day.  I feel like a lot of my go-to products make it so easy for me to apply super fast - I literally finish my makeup within 5 minutes!

  • Eye cream - I use the Origins GinZing eye cream before putting anything else on my face.  It's a product that has slight shimmer and is very easily absorbed by the skin.  It has very light coverage, but the shimmer in it will reflect light to make your under eye area look brighter.  I think it's best for people who just need a little pick me up, not those that have heavy dark circles.
  • Base - Then I use the Sarah McNamara Miracle Skin Transformer in "light" on the rest of my face.  This product really is amazing.  It has very light coverage, but it instantly makes the skin look smoother.  
  • Sunscreen - I don't use this very often, because most days I just go from the gym to the office and stay there all day.  But on weekends or days I know I'm going to be out in the sun, I use my trusted Shiseido extra smooth sunscreen.  It's the best brand I've ever used, and the best part is that it doesn't smell like sunscreen.
  • Primer - I use Laura Mercier primer in radiant bronze.  I got a sample from Sephora a while ago and liked it so I kept using it.  It's very dark, so I actually mix just a little bit of it with my foundation.  The effect is awesome - it gives me just the right amount of tan.  Unlike others I've tried, this one does not make me look orange if I accidentally use too much.
  • Foundation - I actually use BB cream, and still the same one I wrote about years ago!  The Nanoce BB cream.  When I first started using BB cream, only Asian makeup stores carried it.  Now they are made by every major brand and being carried everywhere.  However, I can't believe how much mark up there is on BB cream now.  It's not supposed to be expensive!  My Nanoce bottle lasts forever and only costs $25.  It's a Japanese brand, but there are lots of Korean (where BB cream originated from) brands that don't cost nearly as much as the mainstream brands.  
  • Powder - I use Laura Mercier Mineral Pressed powder after BB cream, to get a more matte look.  A little of this stuff goes a long way - I think it has very high coverage.  So I literally just dab a little bit onto my T-zone and that's it.
  • Powder Brush - This is one of my all time best investments - the MAC kabuki brush.  All MAC brushes are amazing, and this one is no exception.  I've been using it for like 10 years!  When I need to clean it, I shampoo and condition it just like my own hair!
  • Blush - I use the Too Faced bronzer as a blush.  Right now I'm using the "snow bunny" which has a more pinkish and shimmery look.  I've used sun bunny and beach bunny before, both of them are darker (sun bunny being the darkest).  I might go back to beach bunny for less shimmer.  I really love this product!
  • Blush Brush - I use the Laura Mercier travel sized blush brush.  Only because it is small and easily fits in my makeup bag.  I think MAC brushes a way better though.
  • Eye brows - Anastasia of Beverly Hills tinted brow gel - best product for brows, hands down.  I love the natural look, and it's very easy to apply too since it has a mascara head.
  • Clear Mascara - I get eyelash extensions, so I only put Sephora Clear Mascara on it to make the lashes stay in place better.  
  • Mascara - I do use mascara on my lower lashes though!  I love fiber mascara, because they add length and they come off very easily with warm water.  I love two brands - the djv beautenizer fiberwig (stupid Sephora stopped carrying it so I have to order from Asia ugh).  The second is the Dolly Wink Long Mascara.  It's very similar actually, but I can get it at Japanese makeup stores.
  • Liquid Eyeliner - I don't really use this on a daily basis.  But if I want to look more made up one day, I use the Dolly Wink Liquid Eyeliner.  It's amazing.  The brush head makes it so easy to apply even if your hand trembles a little.  I hunt it down in Japanese makeup stores too.  Good thing I work in downtown which is right next to Little Tokyo!
  • Eye Pencil - For the lower waterline, I've been using the MAC eye pencil for years.  It goes on very easily and is very dark.  So it's like instant dramatic effect!  I spent $16 buying one pencil and it's lasted me like 7 years... it's the only eye pencil I ever bought from MAC... lol!  It's very short now, but the value there is seriously unbeatable.
  • Lips - Lastly, I use the Sephora Glossy Gloss since it comes with so many colors and gives a nice gloss.  It's also super easy to apply - just squeeze and use the tube directly onto lips! 

That may seem like a lot of products when I write them all down.  But really I can get it all done in 5 minutes!!  My whole morning routine including shower time takes about 30 minutes at the gym.  So that's about 10 minutes for shower, 5 minutes to get dressed, 10 minutes of drying my hair, and 5 minutes for makeup!

Anyway, I hope this was somewhat helpful for those of you that asked for product recommendations!  I am not a giant beauty product person, but I am a Sephora VIP member so I do have some say lol!  I look for products that are good value, do a good job, and don't require a lot of application time.  Once I find something I like, I stick with it!  That's why you see so many things in my list that I've been using for years and years.  But, I do keep my eye open for new and possibly better products all the time!  I'd love recommendations on your absolute favorite products if you are willing to share!

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  1. Love this post!! I love seeing a peak into other people's routines. Do you keep your shower stuff in a separate pouch and just bring it in with you? I always feel like I'm fumbling with bottles.

    Can I ask you a totally dorky question--how do you get your face/body cooled down fast enough to make sure you aren't still sweating after the shower?! Maybe I'm just really sweaty, haha. But I always have issues with after my shower, my face is still bright red and my body might still be trying to sweat a bit if I took a warm shower--so it is hard to get ready right after, which is why I usually work out at night! But I really want to switch to the morning.

    1. Sorry to hijack...but I have a similar issue. Haha....

      After my warm shower, I would turn the shower to cold water for about 10 secs to cool down. :)

    2. Yeah the trick is to turn the shower to luke warm (I can't do cold lol), and I also turn my blow dryer to cold after I dry my hair. It helps too. I do stay hot for quite a while if I do a hard cardio session. If I only do weights, I don't need to do those things at all and my body cools down pretty well by itself.

    3. Oh sorry forgot to answer your first question - it depends on what gym bag I use. When I use the Bon Voyage Duffle which is huge with lots of separate pockets, I could keep my stuff pretty organized. Now I kind of just throw everything inside and dig around to find things lol. Most of my smaller items are in my makeup bag though, so just the bigger bottles and hair brush, spray, etc. are freely flowing around. =)

  2. I love this post. I'm so nosy about what's in other people's bags. Haha! Thanks for sharing and including reviews, too. Unfortunately, I now have a few items to add to my shopping list. Lol.

  3. What a lot of people don't realize is that rest and recovery are a vital part of training. Athletic performance is based on a triangle, and all 3 legs of the triangle are equal in length: nutrition, training, and rest/recovery. New mitochondria are made during rest/recovery and deep, REM sleep. Micro tears in muscles need rest to heal. A lot of people focus on the training itself, and a lot of people are fairly ok with nutrition, but they tend to ignore rest/recovery. You can't always be catabolic. That's why periodization is so effective!

    1. I agree about the importance of recovery! I have definitely been way more focused on training and nutrition than resting. I think it's a mental thing! I went back to the gym this week after taking last week off, and did my leg workout yesterday. I can barely walk today! Hahaha... I'm just not sure how often I should be taking a longer time off and for how long. My coach doesn't seem to ever talk about this. I think to him working out 5 days and resting 2 is enough. Maybe it is, I don't know! Hahaha.

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