7 Steps to Curating the Perfect Gym Bag with EVERY Base Covered

I’d tried everything. The nylon totes un-precious enough to toss sweaty gear in, the fancy bags in sizes so huge you could fit a small to medium sized dog. And yet still, my efforts to leave the house with one bag, ready to take me from work to the gym and even back again, have failed me time and time again. Sure, it’s what one may call a princess problem–not pressing by any real standards, but the fact is, buying your eighth mini deodorant in a month is a pain. So, when I set out on my Detox Diaries adventure, I decided to create the perfect gym bag–one fit for, well a princess.

Here’s what it takes:

1. Amped up tech-cessories and hydration. I’m unaware of brand that makes a more perfect water bottle than S’well (and trust, I’ve tried many). A S’well bottle keeps your water cold for 24 hours, or your tea hot for 12. Not to mention the sleek design. I packed a mini in one of their new styles, Blanc Crocodile.

And I’m just a little obsessed with those Frends mini headphones with their mother-of-pearl design and white leather. Small enough for the gym, stylish enough for the streets.

2. The right undies. Because sweaty cotton is never chic. As we would only wear the best wicking-fabric leggings to spin in, I deemed undergarments step up to the same level, and while a few sportswear brands make “workout undies,” nothing is quite on the level of Dear Kates, a supercool by-women-for-women brand. Find the Hazel Sport Thong here.

dear kates

3. And socks. Because it’s the little things. As mentioned, I’d made Exhale’s Central Park South location my haven, so naturally I picked their special edition breast cancer month barre socks, with $2.00 from every purchase going to breast cancer research to “sock it to cancer!” 

dear kates eve lom.

In the spirit of giving back, I kept all my socks philanthropic thanks to Bombas, a sock company I recently discovered and fell in love with. Bombas works with a 1:1 model with nonprofit Hannah’s Socks to donate a pair for each pair purchased, because, little did I know, that “socks are the number one most requested clothing item at homeless shelters.” But they also pack a high-quality punch for fitness-snobs–special blister tabs, which I’ve learned the hard way are a necessity. Try their ankle socks, you won’t regret it. You can see my pink ones peeking out of my tote.

4. Someplace organized for those sweaty unmentionables. Curating a super gym bag is all about efficiency. Travel brand Flight 001 makes it easy with their gym gear bag. It looks like a simple pouch, until you unzip and discover a lightweight backpack with individual compartments for your sneaks and more.

closeup gbe

5. Your own personal glamsquad/dermatologist. (In a perfect pouch, of course.) Sweat can lead to skin imperfections which makes for a very unglamorous and unwanted side effect to your hard work kicking-ass at the barre, on the bike, or wherever (you do you). 

The first thing your power-pouch calls for is excellent skincare, always and forever one of my favorite categories. 

The first necessity is Jillian Wright’s new Breakout Blocker. Breakout Blocker helps to reduce redness and bacteria build up with probiotics, Chinese Herbs and tea tree oil. It’s light weight and absorbent so you don’t feel slick or overly greasy after a strenuous workout. It’s non-irritating and helps brighten your skin with plant-based brighteners.

exhale bag  eve lom travel

Eve Lom’s minis, sold in a travel set, are truly compact and make sure the sweat is washed away even in the least glamorous of locker rooms.

malin : mio

The nicest, freshest smelling (eucalyptus!) , and natural (no aluminum here) deodorant via apothecary-chic brand Malin + Goetz and Mio’s Workout Wonder cooling cream for aching muscles if you’ve pushed yourself extra hard–or just ’cause.

6. Emergency hair touchups via Drybar. I picked the appropriately named Detox dry shampoo in it’s mini form, and an adorable yellow mini-brush (for those times when your sweaty hair is really just unpresentable), but a fuller set (with shampoo + conditioner) can be found here.

7. And–pictured above–the best facial wipes in existence via Koh Gen Do for a luxe refresh or just a rush out the door & Tata Harper’s new lip/blush double for a very quick dab of color.

Did you get all that? When I was finally done collecting (I’d gotten very excited and stowed everything away until I was sure the collection was complete) I have to say, I was pretty self-satisfied. This collection truly covers all your bases. Go forth and sweat, pretty lil things.

Read more of the Detox Diaries here.

Top 5 Ways to Werq Your Body and Mind and What to Wear: The Detox Diaries

Working out is so much easier in the summer. I wish it weren’t true, but it is. For me, it has nothing to do with bikinis or beaches, so I can’t entirely explain the phenomenon. Alas, it persists. Fall means getting creative to keep it interesting.

Here are the best solutions I’ve discovered to fix such a quandary:

  1. Look fly as f.
  2. Pick really kick-ass instructors and studios.
  3. Mix it up.

Post fashion week, I got mine handed to me in a variety of ways in a variety of neighborhoods and an even larger variety of outfits (thankful for that last one!).

1. FIND A CELEBRITY TRAINER at REAL PILATES WITH ALYCEA UNGARO

FullSizeRender 2

Pilates is no joke, and SpringTone, the latest class down on Duane Street, will make sure you’re damn clear on that. Alycea is the realest-deal, she’s trained everyone from Madonna to Claire Danes, and somehow manages to teach in a style I can only describe as 50% militant trainer, 50% maternal encouragement.

What to Wear:

IMG_7758

I kept it chic for my TriBeCa workouts in Alala, which I am just as glad to wear on the street anyway.

2. HIT THE MIAMI CLUB SCENE VIS-A-VIS DANCE CARDIO at 305 FITNESS

305-fitness-fun-dance-workout-ny_0232 copy

Named for Miami’s area code and started by 24-year-old firecracker Sadie Kurzban, 305 is deceptively difficult. Instructor Jess Evans could out-dance the Energizer Bunny.

What to Wear:  

zara terez

Photo by my sister, Aliza Spruch-Feiner, who is as unhappy to take it as I am to have volunteered myself to model fitness gear 😉 

Since I love the “Make Sweat Sexy” tagline, I opted for a class-tank and appropriately-bright Zara Terez leggings via Exhale, which might just contain the best variety of workout clothes in town.

3. MOVE TO YOUR NEAREST EXHALE (BARRE (+ DEEP DETOX), + YOGA) 

nesh booty 1

During the initial week of the detox I carved out Exhale’s Central Park South location as a second home. Sakara oatmeal in tow, I pulsed from Core Fusion Barre to Deep Detox at the spa which is not so much a spa treatment as a second workout. This treatment is recommended both after a barre class and as part of a series (though I only did one), and I’d liken it to nothing I’ve ever experienced before, short of maybe electric stimulation in physical therapy.

deep detox

At the conclusion of my treatment, I was told I’d it was like I had done the equivalent of 648 crunches. K, cool, thanks!

What to Wear: Head-to-toe Nesh, an outfit that got lots of compliments in and out of downward dog.

4. TRY SOMETHING TOTALLY NEW, ODD, AND TOTALLY DIFFERENT at TRANSFORMER WITH DISQ

crunch disq

I’m pretty sure I could try a different workout in NYC everyday for the next year and still have some options. TRANSFORMER WITH DISQ (available at Crunch gyms) is one of the less typical. It was developed as a tool to add resistance to essentially anything, anywhere, but for your average person, it makes more sense kept in a gym setting. Strapped on your ankles and hips, classic moves like mountain-climbers become that much harder when sporting a DISQ system. But you can’t help but smile when with every move; you feel like a robot/marionette.

What to Wear:

disq robot

Capitalizing on that robot-thang for a photo-op

Comfy sneaks and high-socks are key, so as to prevent friction between your skin and the ankle straps. Mine are Asics, as are my crops.

5. TAKE YOUR BRAIN TO THE GYM AND MEDITATE at ZIVA

emily f s

As soon as I thought about detoxing the body, I knew a mental detox was necessary too. Somewhat surprisingly, meditation has not been boutique-ified in the same way yoga has and since I didn’t have time to join a monastery I was thrilled to meet Emily Fletcher, who I’ve since dubbed NYC’s queen of accessible meditation. Fletcher speaks with the mixed enthusiasm of a former-Broadway-actress and calm of a very seasoned meditator. I enrolled in her online course, ZivaMind and changed my habits (and brain chemistry) in eight days. But nothing compares to the serenity of Fletcher’s small in-person space, which I also visited for an extra sesh.

ZIVAMIND

Proudest new posession

What to Wear:

spiritual ganster 2

It was pretty obvious that Spiritual Gangster was the way to go to get zen.

15 Minutes to Exhale with Tata Harper

The eye is the first part of the face to show aging – at least for me, and potentially (likely) because I’m perpetually rolling them. As much as I fear aging (I am and will always be 19 you know,) I am unwilling to stop rolling my eyes and absolutely unwilling to cease smizing (how will people know how I’m feeling?!) so I was thrilled to find out that there’s such thing as an eye specific treatment from Tata Harper, whose line has proved to be my new favorite. Part of my job is trying everything out there, and Tata has me obsessed. I can’t stop talking about it.

So this eye treatment is one of four time-crunch spa appointments at Exhale (home of my favorite six-pack inducing workout (one day)). Considering the busy holiday season that is about to descend, it’s perfect. You only have 15 minutes? That is literally all you need. Just decide whether your neck and décolleté, face, hands, or eyes need the most TLC. Or just throw caution to the wind and try ‘em all! I mean what the heck, right? If you do that, I like your style. I suppose you could also give the gift of a Tata treatment. ‘Tis the season and all.

If I’m to start lying about my age I may as well be honest about some other things. The treatment room that these mini facials take place in has foot traffic nearby. You will hear people checking in for class, and you may want to wear clothes for modesty’s sake. That said: the products used smell so spectacular, the treatment so relaxing, that even given the environment, I still managed to walk out feeling like I’d been slipped a Valium. But a flower-filled-field-on-a-Vermont-farm scented Valium.

The express treatments are available at Exhale on Madison Avenue (980 Madison Avenue) through December 31, cost $25 each, and after spa-ing, you will look your true age (19) and you will be commence attempting to recreate the experience at home.