14 Gym Bag Essentials Every Girl Needs to Pack

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how-to-pack-a-gym-bag-06-1Like a lot of women, I’m super busy and finding time to go to the gym is challenging. Since I’m training for my first 10K, I have no excuses. I’ve got to be extra organized to ensure I make the time for the gym. A lot of days, it can still be a struggle, but I think I’ve mastered my gym bag essentials. I’ve found the best products that help me quickly transition from sweaty gym rat to chic mama on the go.

14 Gym Bag Essentials Every Girl Needs to Pack

What to Use in Your Hair When You Work Out

how-to-pack-a-gym-bag-01-1Even before you begin your workout, you’ve got to use the right products in your hair to ensure you don’t end up with one of those awful indentations in the middle of your hair.

  1. No Crease Hair Ties – I use no crease hair ties that you can find at most retailers. They are made of elastic ribbon and they are awesome because they do not pull or dent your hair like traditional ponytail holders.
  1. Headband – Since I have bangs, I also like to wear a headband. It keeps my bangs out of my face and also keeps the sweat from my forehead from getting on my hair.
  1. Hairbrush – I always keep a hairbrush in my purse. I would suggest you keep one in your gym bag too. That way, you can quickly style your hair before and after your workout.

How to Clean Up after Your Workout


  1. Freshening Spray – After your workout, you might be able to get away with just using a freshening spray, like this AO + Mist from Mother Dirt which helps to maintain a balanced microbiome on your skin. You’ll notice improvements in hydration, balancing of oil production and overall soothing of the skin.
  1. Body/Face Wash Combo – If you’re super sweaty or feel a bit smelly, you could opt for this multitasking body and face wash from Mother Dirt which helps to balance microbiome on your skin while providing natural bacteria that are part of the human ecosystem. Unlike a lot of soaps that can be drying or too sterile (which is not healthy for your skin), this product helps to bring health bacteria back to your skin.                                                                      
  1. Moisturizer for Face and Body – I’m currently training for my first race, which means there are a lot of days when I’m showering twice. I’ve noticed my skin has become really dry (and the desert doesn’t help either). Since I started using the Mother Dirt products, I’ve noticed my skin feels more balanced and less dry. Their Moisturizer is also great because it is very light, super moisturizing and is also a multitasker than can be used on your face or body. Besides being multitaskers that work on both body and face, the Mother Dirt products work just as well for men or women.


How to Style Your Hair after You Work Out

how-to-pack-a-gym-bag-02-1Once your workout is over, you can remove your dent-free hair tie and headband and brush through. Assuming your hair isn’t too wet, this is the perfect time to add some dry shampoo or volumizing powder. Both products will take away any grease from your hair while adding major volume.

  1. Dry Shampoo – Finding the right dry shampoo can be such a time saver. On the mornings when I wake up late, I know I can spray in my dry shampoo and make my hair work-ready in a flash. The same is true after the gym. If you aren’t too sweaty, a good dry shampoo with freshen up your roots and also add some volume.
  1. Volumizing Powder – Sometimes I will use a volumizing powder instead of a dry shampoo because they tend to work interchangeably. The volumizing powder I use gives my hair volume while also taking away some of the oiliness. Just make sure you find one that doesn’t leave white residue — the same rule applies to your dry shampoo too. At this point, you could also use your brush and a hair dryer at your roots to add a little more volume.
  1. Styling Serum – To finish your hair, you might want to add a styling serum on the ends of your hair to add some shine and solve any split ends or dryness issues.
  1. Shampoo – If you worked up a major sweat and your hair did get wet, then you might want to take a complete shower and use a shampoo like this one from Mother Dirt. You could also spot wash. On occasion, I will just wash the front half of my hair in the sink. I do this when I’m in a major rush and don’t have time for a full shower, but need to remove oil from my bangs. Once I’m done washing the front, I’ll blow it dry, style and go. This partial-wash technique takes way less time and is perfect for the gym so you don’t have to lug a towel and shower shoes with you.

How to Refresh Your Makeup after Your Workout

how-to-pack-a-gym-bag-03-1Now that your skin is clean, you need just a few products to freshen up your look and be ready to head back to work or out on the town. For my under 5 minute face, I use just a few products.

  1. Concealer Stick – First, I apply a concealer to any trouble spots my face (namely around my nose, and under my eyes). I gently blend that in using my fingers. I love a concealer stick because it is easily transportable and doesn’t require a brush or sponge to apply. Plus, it looks really light and doesn’t feel heavy like some concealers and foundations can.
  1. Blush/Bronzer Combo – Next, I sweep a bronzer/blush combo onto the apples of my cheeks for a pop of color and healthy glow. If I feel like I need even more color, I might use my finger and dab a bit of the bronzer/blush onto my eyelids for a bit of pop.
  1. Eyelash Curler – If you don’t already curl your eyelashes, you need to start. Curling your eyelashes is such an easy step that instantly opens up your eyes and makes you look more awake.
  1. Mascara – Next, I add two layers of black mascara to the top and bottom of my lashes. Even if you don’t want to bother with eyeliner or eyeshadow, simply curling your lashes and adding mascara adds so much definition to your eyes, which is universally flattering.

For makeup, that’s it! In under five minutes and with only three makeup products, you can look your best.

If you find it challenging to go from the gym to work or the rest of your life, I highly suggest you check out some of the products I’ve discussed here. When I pack my gym bag, I always make sure to have these items with me. Not only do I love how many of them are multi-taskers, I really love how great they make my skin and hair look. These are all the gym bag essentials you need to be quick and efficient from going to the gym to your life without major hassle.

What are your gym bag essentials?

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