It’s been weeks since I completed a hot yoga challenge and friends are still curious as to why I chose to exert so much energy over a 30 day period. There are many reasons I decided to kick my fitness habit into overdrive, but the truth of the matter is, none of them had to do with my outward appearance (more on that here). Sure, there are obvious physical benefits to perfecting your downward dog in 100 degree heat (hello arms!), but the emotional ones–like learning not to take myself so seriously–far outweighed them.
However, if I had to identify just one thing I learned about my beauty routine, it’s that I don’t really need half the stuff I use. Self-professed product junkies can understand my obsession with multi-step routines, despite not having the time to actually do them. But regardless of my daily one-hour workout followed by an eight hour work day and events immediately after, I attempted to do it all everyday; cleanse, tone, moisturize, brighten, mask and everything in between.
Spoiler alert: I gave up after a few days and realized that I would have to seriously downsize my makeup bag if I wanted to complete my challenge without having a beauty breakdown. With that being said, I managed to curate a group of just seven products that lightened my load and still made me feel put together everyday. If you’re also a yogi looking for products that will extend your post-workout glow, check out my must-haves, ahead.
A Travel-Sized Moisturizer
I've already waxed poetic about my need to double up on hydration during the winter season. In theory, it seems easy, but when you've got 30 minutes between the end of class and the start of a work day to get dressed, one has to go. So, I said goodbye to my lotion and hello to a travel-sized body oil instead. Oils don't require minutes of rubbing in and absorb more easily into damp skin. This one in particular also didn't leave behind a greasy film and because it wasn't too fragrant, I didn't have to worry about it clashing with my perfume. The price didn't hurt, either.
$8.79, at Target
An Energy Booster
Working out everyday for at least an hour for one month is as exhausting as it sounds. Although I would have loved to get eight hours of sleep every night, the cold, hard truth is I didn't because, life. So when you're not a coffee drinker, what's the alternative? Supplements rich in energy-boosting vitamins are not only a time-saver; they also feed your body the nutrients it needs anyway. This one is packed with a slew of natural ingredients that made my sluggish mornings a little more bearable.
$25, at HUM Nutrition
An Eye Opener
I went into the 30-day challenge knowing I wouldn't have time to apply a full face of makeup everyday. And since I knew sweating in the hot room would do wonders for my skin, it became less about coverage and more about simply looking awake. With that being said, I wanted long lashes that would distract from my under eye circles. This one did just that.
$35, at Lash Star Beauty
A Glow Getter
When you don't have time to put on makeup, but still want to be selfie-ready, a vitamin C serum will take you from sweaty to dewy after a couple uses. Vitamin C is one of those "do it all" nutrients that's clinically proven to even out skin tone, brighten and diminish dark spots. In short: this is how all of the experts get their "lit from within" glow.
$390, at Bergdorf Goodman
A Gentle Makeup Remover
Although I love the convenience of makeup wipes, they can feel pretty harsh when you're rubbing them against your face in a hurry. And if you're someone who wears a lot of makeup everyday, you usually end up using more than one and eventually, running out earlier than you anticipated. In the midst of transitioning to a K-beauty routine, I fell in love with an oil-based makeup remover. Besides the fact that it removed my foundation in one swipe, it also doubled as a moisturizer when I didn't have time to double cleanse after class.
$32, at Savor Beauty
A Sweat-Resistant Cover-Up
I almost never wear makeup while working out, but if a makeup brand claims to be melt-proof, I've got to try it. Sweat Cosmetics' foundations are mineral powder-based, which immediately gave me pause because I swear by liquid formulas. And I was skeptical of the wear time (sweat-resistant up to 40 minutes). What I can confirm is that this foundation does what it says. It offers light--very light--coverage, for just over a half hour. But don't expect it stay on your face if you're working out for more than 60 minutes. By the end of my classes, the makeup had melted off my face and onto the mat towel.
$42, at Revolve
A Fuss-Free Conditioner
There's no worse mix than product buildup and sweat. About halfway through my one hour workout, I would feel my hair products melting down my face and into my mouth. So instead of washing my hair after class, I made a habit of doing it before hand and applying a leave-in conditioner, too. This combined with the heat would lock in moisture and make styling afterward much easier.
$9.99, at Sally Beauty