Probably one of the most frequent questions I get asked year after year is about gym bag essentials and more specifically, makeup and working out. It’s one of those lovely dilemmas if you’re single because it’s a great place to meet guys and gals, so the tendency is to want to look somewhat cute! But your poor skin is going to be sweating and you don’t want to clog your pores while they’re trying to breathe. Because after awhile, your skin is going to break out, then you’ll end up piling on more cover-up and now your towel is covered in foundation and you’ve become “that girl” who you swore to yourself you wouldn’t become. We’ve all been there. Eventually we end up learning to love ourselves with minimal (or no) makeup and the natural flush that happens during a spin class or boot camp and we move on to our next dilemma: how to keep makeup and skincare essentials in our gym bags for a quick refresh in the locker room before going back to class or work. Luckily, cosmetic companies clearly have employees with the same problem because six of them have come out with these clever handy kits!


  1. Pinch Provisions Fitness Kit: This one is the full Monty for the over-prepared Type A personality in all of us! The teeny-tiny case small enough to toss into your gym bag is packed with an assortment of 15 just-in-case essentials to ensure you have a great workout, including a hair band, ear buds, blister balm, deodorant and even extra socks.
  2. Yuni Sweat, Refresh, Go Healthy Portable Workout Essentials: I love this one because there are large body wipes for a regular workout and a flash bath no-rinse wash for insane workouts.
  3. Wander Beauty New York Minute Kit: This is for the multi-tasker who loves upscale luxury on the fly. There are three gems that are really five because two are dual-ended. And they happen to be all I need. Well, almost. I also throw my favorite foundation in it because I have some uneven skin tones that need even-ing!
  4. Tarte Gym Bag Grabs Athleisure Essentials: By now most of you know Tarte. And to know Tarte is to love Tarte because of their good-for-you formulas and trendy color ways. I love this kit because the mascara is sweatproof but there are eye wipes specifically formulated to take it off if you choose to.
  5. Clinique Pep Rally Gym Bag Heroes: This kit is great because it has wipes for when you only have a couple minutes, an exfoliating cleanser for when you have a few more minutes, a moisturizer, a mascara and everything comes in a super cute water bottle.
  6. MILK Makeup Vibes Vibes Vibes Kit: If you haven’t heard of MILK before, let me introduce you! MILK Studios in NY and LA are where some of the biggest photo shoots happen. And like Smashbox, they learned a lot about lighting and makeup and ways to blur and highlight. This kit comes with their four bestselling kits to do just that. And everything feels super sleek and modern.