Our Beauty Editor Julia always has some motivating beauty favorites in her gym bag. From the water bottle by BKR to the facial oil by Rodin and Farfalla
Me and working out – that’s certainly a story. Usually I have that little voice in my head that’s quietly telling me I need to get moving, but often I leave it playing on a continual loop in the background and find a way to expertly ignore it. But then sometimes it gets really loud and I go do some kind of sport. I always feel great afterwards, but still I’ve never been gripped by workout-fever.
I’ve managed, however – at least when it comes to yoga – to get used to a kind of regular schedule. I try to incorporate a few moves on the mat into my morning routine and regularly go to classes at Your Space – which I have to admit has something to do with the wonderful Michaela.
What also motivates me to keep active (when it comes to this topic, there can never be too many sources) – and also speaks to my inner esthete – are beautiful sports accessories like my Adidas by Stella McCartney yoga mat and the wooden mala that I bought in Los Angeles. That I use during the meditation after yoga class, or during a break, to focus myself and find peace. Like a kind of mantra, I run each bead through my hands to center my thoughts.
And last but not least, I wouldn’t be a beauty editor if I didn’t have a few beauty favorites that – like in every other area of life – make the time before and after my workouts a little nicer.
These are the things that are currently in my gym bag.
1. Quench Your Thirst
These beautiful bottles caught my attention in one of my new favorite shops in Hamburg. You can buy them there alongside the tastiest, fresh, cold-pressed organic juices. What I’m talking about is Lebeleicht – and the name, which translates to something like “living light”, says it all. Everything that you can buy there isn’t just nice to look at, but also makes living easier if not also more beautiful. Like the BKR water bottles, which originally come from Los Angeles and in all possible colors. Drinking enough water is absolutely one of those basic beauty secrets. Actually it’s not a secret, and rather par for the course. It’s a little contradictory, however, to drink all this water out of the plastic bottles that are often available on-the-go. Much better: a reusable bottle. It’s actually something I stopped carrying in my bag shortly after elementary school, but I’ve been celebrating the comeback at least since I discovered the BKR bottles. Made of glass encased in a colorful silicon cover, they keep water and tea warm while still looking stylish. I have the pink one and get excited every time I see it next to my yoga mat.
2. Freshen Up Your Hair
I recently discovered the Italian haircare and styling brand Oway. As well as the shampoo, I also absolutely wanted to try out the nourishing distillate with the beautiful name of Flowerfall. This spray-in treatment can be spritzed into damp hair after shampooing or into dry hair in between washes. So it’s perfect for freshening up your hair when you absolutely don’t want to wash it after working out, and it’s also like a little spa treatment for your strands and scalp. Nourishing, refreshing, and with the relaxing scent of lavender, rosemary, and rose, this spray leaves you with a refreshed mind – and equally refreshed looking hair.
3. Spray-On Aromas
I’m a fan of scented candles, oils, room and linen sprays – as long as they smell natural. Eau de Cyprès is one of nine different room and linen sprays made by a small Bavarian manufactory called Apomanum. The scent of citrus and cypress woods goes great on your yoga mat or towel and makes me think of relaxing summer holidays. These sprays, which gets their scent from natural essential oils and other plant-based extracts, can also be used as an eau de toilette. That means that after class I’m not just spraying down my sport stuff in its fresh citrus scent, but also myself.
4. Relaxation For Your Face
I actually go without make-up when I go to work out. But that doesn’t mean much for me, since I don’t wear much anyway. Concealer of course, something to shape my eyebrows, and little blush and highlighter – I use those things every day, but that’s really it. But what I love to use just before a yoga class (or for the trip home afterwards) is a facial treatment. Olio Lusso by Rodin is my favorite at the moment. I already have a lot of the brand’s products and have heard a lot about the oil, but just tried it for the first time. And people aren’t raving about this product for nothing. It smells like a field of flowers. No wonder, since it doesn’t contain anything but essential oils and plant extracts. Neroli, sunflower, calendula, rose hip, argan oil, evening primrose oil, and almond oil, as well as jojoba, apricot, jasmine, and arnica come together to soothe dry and stressed-out, but totally uncomplicated, skin. I love the consistency, color, and smell of this oil – and above all, I love the velvety feel that it leaves behind on your skin after it quickly absorbs. My skin fuels up on this oil and can still breathe, or at least it feels that way to me.
5. Workout Wonder
When I come home afterwards with sore muscles, I either soak in the tub with relaxing herbal essences or rub in some Workout Wonder Gel by Mio – or both. This body gel releases tension and relieves pain. I notice a pleasant, cooling effect immediately when I apply this to sore areas. The combination of lemon, lavender, menthol, cypress, and green mint oils that it contains doesn’t just smell really nice, but also works to stimulate and boost circulation. Extracts of buckeye and horsetail work simultaneously to reduce swelling and arnica relieves inflammation. Fig extract, shea and Murumuru Butters also make sure that your skin gets a boost of moisture. Something to relax my muscles and care for my skin – that’s indispensable in my gym bag!
I just spent a week on a retreat in the Santa Monica Mountains in Los Angeles. Surrounded by paradisiacal beauty, I soaked up all kinds of inspiration. From Ayurvedic massages, infrared saunas, sound therapy, meditation, and breathing workshops to botany and herbology all the way to Qigong and tea ceremonies, everything was included in this especially eclectic and lovingly-curated program.
Part of one of the morning rituals included aroma sprays and oils that were made of plants from their own garden. During meditations or Qigong, but also during a massage or sauna, the scent of certain plants would evoke different relaxing, invigorating, or calming effects. My favorites were the lavender and rosemary oils which, whenever I got them in my hands, I rubbed into my temples, on my neck, on my wrists, and even a little on my feet. Unfortunately, you can’t buy the oil to take home with you. But I found a great substitute and that’s the face oil by Farfalla. The Age Miracle Oil with frankincense and the Pure Sensitive Oil with wild lavender are my current favorites. I don’t just use them for my face, but also most of all – either together or separately – for little reflexology massages on my hands and feet before yoga class. Or I put a few drops on my temples and wrists. Both oils care for the skin and their scents have calming effects. Not to mention that the little bottles fit perfectly in every small (gym) bag.
Translation: Melissa Frost
Originally from Hamburg, Julia Alfert moved to Berlin from Paris in 2010. After completing her studies in Art History and trying out different jobs, her path led her to Harper’s Bazaar, where she worked as Fashion & Beauty Assistant until mid 2015. While she’s harboured a love for all things beauty-related for as long as she can remember, her discovery of the written word is recent. When Julia isn’t busy trying out different creams, oils, and sprays she writes and styles for an assortment of magazines and websites.