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.

Put Some Spin On It

For your next group get-together, grab a paddle and bring on the competition. New York’s take on Ping-Pong injects some serious glamour, so break out of the bar routine and take your friends to SPiN in the Flatiron District, a posh Ping-Pong parlor where you can perfect your serves, slams, and boo-yas. Hold court and talk trash at one of seventeen tables, or grab some beers with your buds and check out the expert paddle-work of the pros—their crazy skills just might rub off on you.

The casual crowd is ready to yell like mad when a rally won’t die or somebody pulls off a crazy shot, helping you feel like the champion you are. Full-service means you won’t waste time fetching balls, as there’s staff for that, as well as for mixing up your crew a creative collection of cocktails for the losers to pay for. An interior that feels more like a nightclub than a basement rec-room makes the atmosphere even livelier—your crew can take solace there after you’ve schooled them in the awesome power of your topspin.

[Photo: Anthony Quintano]

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Listen to Big Black Delta’s Soaring New Album Streaming Now

When it’s mid-August and the air is so thick it rests on your skin like electric sugar, and it’s night and you’re lying in the grass staring at the stars not paying mind to the bugs eating away at you, that’s my favorite time to sink into the sonic world of Big Black Delta. With songs that pit you off into another realm and make your hips shaking as you float away into the dark abyss, Jon Bates brings his unique and anachronistic style into future, casting a spell over your brainwaves and sucking you into that interstellar hiss between the stars.

When I spoke to him back in August, we talked about the atmosphere of his work, to which he said he wanted to create something, "Like being three or four years old and just that magic, that warm blanket of ambiance. That’s why I take a lot of time to make things go out of tune and waver and oscillate so that for a moment you’re in tune and a moment you’re out of tune and it just puts me in that place." And with his self-titled album out next week, Spin gives us a taste of the record, streaming now in full. The 13-track beauty amagalgates songs you already know and love like "Capsize," "Huggin & Kissin," and "Dreary Moom," with new heart-quivering tracks like "Into the Night" and "Love You This Summer" that move you into a hazy, melodic trance that you’ll never want to escape from.

 Take a listen HERE and read more about the wonder of Jon Bates HERE.

WTF: LMFAO Still Together :(

Earlier today, the internet (and myself!) were shocked—SHOCKED, I tell you!—that LMFAO had broken up. It was all based on some comments from the elder member of the band (band? group? collection of two weirdos?), Redfoo, who said that he and his musical partner / nephew (never forget that detail, folks) were focusing on their personal projects, namely his own desire to coach tennis or something. But ha ha! Fooled ya! They didn’t break up after all.

A publicist for the band (band? duo? pair of wackos with bad hair and terrible clothes and horrific songs?) reached out to Spin to let the world know that RedFoo and SkyBlu are still together and partying, rocking, and partyrocking. Welp, now it’s certainly time to drink some paint thinner and call it a week. 

Follow Tyler Coates on Twitter.

BlackBook Tracks #12: Acts To See at Fashion’s Night Out NYC

It’s Fashion’s Night Out, which for some people, might be the best day of the year (just call it Treat Yo Self 2012). Special deals, limited edition gear, and complimentary drinks and snacks abound. If you’re in NYC, here are some options for music to see around town.

Theophilus London – “Last Name London”

Check out the ever-stylish rapper/Cole Haan collaborator at the Gramercy Park Hotel.

 

Azealia Banks – “1991”

If you weren’t lucky enough to catch her at Spin’s Fashion Week party last night, Yung Rapunxel will be appearing at the MAC store in Soho, presumably to support their new lipstick collaboration.

 

Icona Pop – “Sun Goes Down”

Rising Swedish duo Icona Pop will be bringing their non-stop energy to no less than four appearances tonight. They’ll be DJing at Helmut Lang in Soho, AllSaints in the Meatpacking District, and Mister H at the Mondrian Soho, as well as fitting in a live performance for Urban Outfitters.

 

Poolside – “Only Everything”

Dreams take flight in the new video for Poolside’s single “Only Everything,” their latest slice of chilled-out disco. Catch up on BlackBook’s Q&A with the LA-based duo and check them out tonight at 8 at Moods of Norway in Soho.

 

St. Vincent – “Champagne Year”

Sweet-voiced songwriter St. Vincent always has great style, so it’s no surprise that Rag & Bone are bringing her to their party. Here’s her song “Champagne Year” for a champagne night.

 

Frankie Rose – “Know Me”

The veteran member of Vivian Girls/Dum Dum Girls will take her darker solo project to Theory in the Meatpacking District.

 

Chairlift – “I Belong In Your Arms” (Japanese Version)

Synth-pop darlings Chairlift will be performing at Prada’s party in Soho. This is also sure to be a popular one.

 

Haim – “Forever”

LA rockers Haim have been working their way up for years, and they’re now undeniably buzzworthy. They’ll be playing at Topshop tonight.

 

Wild Belle – “Keep You”

Sibling duo Wild Belle will be bringing their dark pop sound to Mulberry in Soho. If you don’t get to see them tonight, you can always try to see their session at Le Baron next week.

 

POP ETC – “Live It Up”

The reinvented Morning Benders will be lending their weirdo R&B vibes to Morgane Le Fay’s event in Soho.

Afternoon Links: Russell Brand Gives Homeless Man $600, Dave Chappelle Joins Twitter

● Feeling "a bit bad" about his recent behavior (and maybe also trying to impress his new girlfriend), Russell Brand gave a homeless man on Hollywood Boulevard a quite charitable $600 in cash. According to someone nearby, "Russ told him to spend it wisely and to make sure he says ‘Hello’ if they ever cross paths again." [PageSix]

● Why you hatin’? Spin runs down the who’s, how’s, and why’s of the 30 most hated acts of all time. [Spin]

● Dave Chappelle has joined the Twittering masses. [SplitSider]

● The paparazzi caught Rihanna dropping by Ashton Kutcher’s L.A. home last night for a late-night pow-wow. She then snuck out sometime around 4AM. [MTO]

● Kreayshawn says her full-length, $1-million debut, Somethin Bout Kreay, will be ready for release sometime this summer. [TheFader]

● Sophia Coppola’s new movie, The Bling Ring, supposedly opens with a "knowing quote" from noted Twitter poet Nicole Richie. The future truly is upon us. [IndieWire]

Watch How a 17-Piece Disco Band Gets Down in Escort’s ‘Why Oh Why’ Video

Escort’s self-titled debut is one of my more played albums of the year, but even a sparklingly crisp approach to retro disco can’t disguise a little bit of gimmickry: It’s unlikely you’re going to see another 17-member disco orchestra play in your lifetime, much less in 2012. Apart from being a hell of a lot of fun to listen to, Escort seems like they would be a blast to see in concert — an experience you can reasonably recreate by watching the video for "Why Oh Why," which is a standard performance piece shot at a recent concert giving you the full picture of the band’s live dynamics. Watch it after the click, via Spin.

Spin has also had the album streaming for some time, in case you haven’t checked it out yet. It’s a real charmer: play it loud, then give it to your younger relatives and friends so they can get into the groove. As Neil Young sang, "Hey hey, my my / Disco dancing will never die."

NYC: The Best Bars to Entertain Holiday Visitors

The holiday season means higher-than-usual tourist density in New York City, and naturally, that spike in traffic is due in no small part to your own eager friends and family, who descend on the city for an authentic, fairy-lighted experience of the Big Apple in winter. But after a day at Macy’s, an evening at Rockefeller Center, and a dinner somewhere “New York-y,” as per their request, where do you, their trusty tour guide by default, take them for a night on the town? Here are a few crowd-pleasers that will still earn you some street cred, whether that crowd involves your boyfriend’s distant Uncle Larry, Mom and Dad, long-lost friends who’ve emerged from the woodwork, hard-to-impress rubberneckers, or your old high school mates. A comprehensive list of the best yuletide boîtes to celebrate the new year – and the best of NYC.

Bars with Games Good For: Who doesn’t like to indulge in the nostalgia of old-school games, especially this time of year? Whether you’re with a raucous bunch of old friends, have a score to settle with your Mom over ping pong, or need to take the focus off a conversation with relatives you barely know, these bars offer distractions and can make for a festive time. Bar 675: Basement rec room goes for casual chic with Jenga, cards, and board games. Earn extra points from sceney friends, who will be thrilled to tell the folks back home that they hung out in the Meatpacking. The Diamond: Brooklyn bound? Beer makes shuffleboard so much more fun at this Greenpoint joint. SPiN: Table tennis for mom, and the fact that it’s owned by Susan Sarandon will appease cousin Name Drop as well. Barcade: Are your friends from the Midwest looking for “authentic Brooklyn?” Watch their wide-eyed wonder as they take in skinny-jean gangs playing thumb-cramping faves like Frogger and Tetris for an authentic 25¢ a pop. Ace Bar: Skee-Ball bar pleases the kiddies and anyone else who likes bare-bones décor sprinkled with bits of pop-trinket nostalgia from your childhood. V Bar: Siding with the gaming snobs of the world, this spot is best for your Princeton-alum brother (who happens to be a chess genius). Café and wine bar stocked with NYU grad students, chess and Scrabble battles, and a nice selection of beer and wine.

Next: Cozy Fireplaces

Cozy Fireplaces Good For: Catch up time with people who came to really enjoy holiday spirit in the city. Rose Bar: Have friends or family more interested in being around artists than actual art? For example: I once took someone here who fawned over what he thought was a Warhol (he read about it in a city guide) loud enough so that he was sure Neve Campbell, seated a table away, could hear. It was a Haring. Rubber-necking friends aside, the velvety banquettes and giant fireplace are a cozy departure from the winter weather courtesy of Ian Schrager and Julian Schnabel. The Lobby Bar at the Bowery Hotel: Wood paneling, stuffed animal trophies, and twin oils of hunting hounds give off an English-manor-library vibe. Can be a headache to get a good spot, which are usually reserved for “hotel guests,” monied travelers, and pretty hipsters. Try eating at Gemma first and brown nose your server for a spot by the fireplace. The Back Room: Semi-secret spot for those wishing it was still Prohibition. They’ll get a kick out of drinking their $11 cocktail from a mug. Employees Only: High-class weirdness, with a gypsy psychic at the door and stellar mixologists to determine your fate. The smell of the fireplace and the sight of all the handle bar mustaches will really transport your visitors. Highlands: Décor is pub-meets-hunter’s-lodge, with stuffed deer on brick walls and salvaged woods. Cozy, and it exacerbates that whole “New York Melting Pot” idea. Savoy: A townhouse in the middle of Soho with a fireplace as the festive cherry on top. Shoolbred’s: Scottish pub parlor warmed by actual fireplace. Ten brews on tap. Scotch, natch. It’s Highlands for the East Side set, with a low key (NYU students) crowd.

Next: The Oldest Bars in New York

The Oldest Bars in New York Good For: Skip these precious spots if you’re with a crew that couldn’t care less about anywhere that doesn’t have a VIP list. Otherwise, impress friends and family with the storied, often quirky backgrounds of some of New York’s oldest watering holes. Bridge Café: Opened in 1794, old but not musty. Looks like the site of a nautical murder mystery and is rumored to be haunted by ghosts of sailors and whores, like your parents’ bedroom. Ear Inn: Classic New York-on-the-waterfront feel, minus Marlon Brando, but with plenty of coulda-been contenders. I’ve seen a Soprano in here. McSorley’s: Born in 1854, and perhaps the most renown bar amongst the younger members of the Historical Society, this beer-chugging joint sees tanked fratboys, the cirrhosis crowd, and, after a court order, a few ladies (in other words: no women were allowed until 1970). Sawdusted floors, dust-encrusted wishbones, and loads of cats make this a very special place, indeed. Delmonico’s: Quenching your bloodthirst since ’37 -1837, that is – your parents will appreciate the air of refinement this joint still exudes, not to mention the supposed hauntings. Mahogany wood dining room with glowing chandeliers is the ideal noir-glam setting for steakhouse staples and a bustling bar separate from the dining room.

Next: Mixology Bars

Mixology Bars Good For: The mixology trend is widely known across all towns and townships, so let your slightly underage cousin Timmy learn firsthand just how delightful muddling, zesting, and spicing can be. Just about anyone who doesn’t limit themselves to wine coolers will appreciate the craftsmanship and ambiance. Apotheke: For those who want the back alley as much as they want the absinthe, welcome to Albert Trumer’s quirky school of cocktail science – this former opium den has been transformed into a medieval apothecary by the Austrian mixologist. Bonus: it’s in Chinatown. The interior is antique-sexy, with warm lighting and super-friendly bartenders. PDT: Oh, this is good. Through a hot dog joint you’ll go, and then through a phone booth, where you’ll have to say some secret something-or-other (though they’ve grown lenient in their older age) before you take your dumbfounded guests back to a room with a diagonal slat ceiling, de rigueur taxidermy, and a glowing bar. Note: Make a reservation earlier to get a good seat and smooth entry. Little Branch: By far the most talked-about speakeasy, this West Village spot boasts no signage unless you count the line out the door during peak hours. Retro cocktails served with cool swizzle sticks by tall drinks of water. Go on the early side of a Sunday night to chat up the mixologists and catch some jazz. Mayahuel: The cocktail connoisseurs at Death & Co. built an agave altar. Intimate confessionals, stained glass, and communal pews evoke a Mexican mission. All tequila, all the time, with all the bells and whistles to render previous tequila blow-outs null and void. Death & Co: Dark and polished, this cocktail den packs in a lively crowd. Bartenders in suspenders and vests serve up expert cocktails, and clearly love what they do (they don’t take of their vests when they get home). Great spot for just about anyone who can appreciate such a scene. Cienfuegos: Cuban rum bar from Mayahuel/Death & Co vet seduces with pink couches and sugarcane.

Next: Impressive Hotel Bars

Impressive Hotel Bars Good For: If your guests really “wanna see stuff,” like mine usually do, guiding them to impressively-designed hotel bars around NYC—usually the crown jewels of the hotels themselves—will go over well. Here are a few that leave a lasting impression. Bemelmans Bar: It’s classic New Yawk! Located inside the Carlyle, this timeless upscale New York City bar near Central Park draws bold-faced names, many of whom your out-of-towners could care less about. They will enjoy the classic cocktails and gilded ambiance. Hudson Bar at Hudson Hotel: If your guests approach things like rock music, sushi, and democrats with trepidation, this bar on acid may not be the place for them. Shrek-green lights illuminate the escalator, there’s a chandelier the size of a Volkswagen, the floors glow, the chairs seem to float—except for the tree stumps—and the whole thing makes you feel like you’re living in 2001: A Space Odyssey. It’s that cool. The Waldorf Astoria: Ah, the sprawling impressiveness of the Waldorf – the stuff salads are named after! Three bars, four restaurants, and Jazz Age overindulgence. A certain spirit abides, especially during the holidays. Jane Hotel and Ballroom: This place is for your visiting sorority sisters – leave the parents at home. Dual bar spaces decked out with Edwardian charm, as befits the hotel’s 1908 origins. Posh couches, leafy palms, tortoise shell ceilings, and an ancient disco bar all made better by the creatively-dressed PYTs. Plunge Rooftop Bar + Lounge at the Gansevoort Park: This hotel bar sort of looks like the New York in the Sex and the City movies. It’s slick and arty, with shinning angles and scrumptious views of the Empire State Building. Stoke your vertigo with windows in the terrace floors that look straight down on distant midtown traffic. Your guests will feel so very modern. The Standard Hotel: So this is the place with all the naked people? Depending who you’re with, I’d say a stroll around the grounds with a stop at the bar in the hotel’s Standard Grill will be enough. Unless you’ve got some young model/socialite family members, why waste family time on rubbernecking at Boom Boom? The Ace Hotel: It has a curious cheeky quality to it without being a tourist magnet. The Lobby Bar is reminiscent of an all-American library, with Ivy League reading-room tables, a bar serving up Old Fashioneds and the cult favorite Porkslap Pale Ale, a vintage-style photobooth, and a massive, tattered American flag on the wall. Bring people—not sheeple.

Next: Editor’s Picks

Editor’s Picks Our editors are often tasked with selecting the perfect place for their cousin Sarah’s college roommate’s mother, who’s coming to the city for the first time. Here’s where they like to bring their special holiday guests this time of year. Chris Mohney: Pegu Club. Great place to take any out-of-towner who likes a good drink. Still some of the finest cocktails in the city, and now that it’s been around a while, almost always chill enough to easily find a spot without worrying about crowds. Ben Barna: Fatty Cue. It’s good for anyone, really. Except maybe vegetarians. It’s got the kind of vibe you can only find in Brooklyn, and the kind of unique cuisine you’ll only find in New York. Also, it’s a restaurant meant for sharing, so that’s fun. And the drinks are as good as the food. I’d like to just bring my bros, but it’s expensive, so I take my parents as well. Megan Conway: The Good Fork in Red Hook. I’d like to take my parents to visit this historic, less-trodden waterfront neighborhood. This cozy restaurant offers inspired grub in one of the more unique pockets of the city. Nadeska Alexis: The Dove. It’s a well rounded place that’s chill enough for friends, and I’ve been there with adults and have not been embarrassed. Fun cocktails too. Victor Ozols: Rudy’s. It’s a really lasting, authentic experience that stays with someone. Cayte Grieve: Oyster Bar at Grand Central. For New York newbies and friends and family who haven’t spent a lot of time in the city, the Oyster Bar is one of those bars-slash-attractions that sort of kills two birds with one stone. Grand Central? Check. Getting Grandma drunk? Check. All done with old-style glamour.

Next: Around Rockefeller

Around Rockefeller Good For: Sometimes you just gotta give the people what they want: A Disney-fied version of the most wonderfully commercial time of the year! While your skating, shopping, and taking photos around The Tree, you might as well ease your sensory-overloaded nerves with some family vodka time. Rock Center Café: Tourist magnet, priced accordingly, and you will wait accordingly—yes, even the early birds. Perhaps it’s best to skip the food and opt for a toast instead. Perfect before, during, or after a spin around the rink. Watching wipe-outs with the fam never felt so corporate. The Modern: Danny Meyer’s unabashed flamboyance for air-kissing culture whores. It’s at the MoMa, kids, so take only those who desire such a scene. If you’ve got yourself a crew outfitted in suits and ties longing for a culture cocktail, here’s your promised land. 21 Club: It’s so famous! Free parking if you show up before 6:30pm, if that tells you something about the demographic, but only the locals and culture snobs will take note. Skip the steaks and head for the scotch with the people who’ve read about the place or heard about it in hip-hop songs. Morrell Wine Bar & Cafe: Here’s a cozy place to get warm after running with the masses around Rockefeller. Please remember that other people longing for a night cap will also be directed to this wine bar, which boasts over fifty well-chosen wines by the glass and 2,000 bottle choices on the menu.

Susan Sarandon and ‘The Magnus Effect’

The Magnus Effect: according to Wikipedia, “In many ball sports, [it’s] responsible for the curved motion of a spinning ball.” Eschewing for now the obvious lines one could draw between “the curved motion of a spinning ball” and ping pong social club SPiN co-owners — and reputed lovers — Susan Sarandon and Jonathan Bricklin, it’s also the tentative title of a new reality show being produced by BBC America.

The Magnus Effect will have a two-stranded narrative, “one that follows the top junior players who compete at SPiN on a regular basis (including 15-year-old Michael Landers, the reigning U.S. men’s singles champion), and another that tracks SPiN chef Will Horowitz and his staff at Ducks Eatery as they send out dishes from a basement kitchen without any ventilation.”

The delightful Sarandon will narrate in that Mrs. Robinson way of hers, discussing, one would assume, the velocity of flying ping pong balls, the fast-paced delivery of food at Ducks, and the speed with which a bullet pierces straight through Tim Robbins’s heart, which is where many assume it’s been lodged since rumors of Sarandon’s dalliance with the much-younger Bricklin surfaced.