Friday 2 December 2016

Beauty panel: gym buddies - products that look good in the changing room

If body vanity alone won't get you onto the treadmill, says our beauty expert, try stocking up a gym bag worth showing off

Sarah Caden

Published 28/03/2016 | 02:30

Pictured, from left, Vichy Ideal Body Oil; Decleor Aroma Cleanse 3 in 1 Hydra Radiance Smoothing and Cleansing Mousse; Alfaparf That's It Blonde Parade Mask Every Blonde; Chanel La Solution 10 de Chanel Sensitive Skin Cream; Rimmel Sun Shimmer In-Shower Self Tan Hydrating Lotion.
Pictured, from left, Vichy Ideal Body Oil; Decleor Aroma Cleanse 3 in 1 Hydra Radiance Smoothing and Cleansing Mousse; Alfaparf That's It Blonde Parade Mask Every Blonde; Chanel La Solution 10 de Chanel Sensitive Skin Cream; Rimmel Sun Shimmer In-Shower Self Tan Hydrating Lotion.

Today, we're going to operate on the assumption that all of your exercise good intentions have been realised, and that you have now established a good habit that you're not going to break.

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We're going to assume that you're fitter and healthier, and that to go with this self-improvement, you need a good gym kit to match. We can't help on the clothes front, but there's something satisfying about being able to get out a decent-looking toilet bag and take  from it some decent-looking products.  It speaks of taking the self-care to the next level. It also has a smug quality about it. It says that you're not an occasional exerciser who just throws in some ancient travel sizes; you're working out so often that you have a proper skincare system in tow. And smug is OK at the gym. It may well be the only thing that keeps you going there. If it works, then who cares?  Any motivation is better than none.

Our top five this week are products that will look good in the changing room as you unpack them - every little exercise incentive helps - but they also work. A few also have multi-tasking qualities, which can help you avoid putting out your back by hauling a two-ton toilet bag around.

Best overall

Vichy Ideal Body Oil, €23, available nationwide

The time is right for a body moisturiser when your skin remains warm from exercise and a little damp from a post-workout shower. This spray-on dry oil is easy to apply and won't leave either your palms or limbs feeling greasy. Composed of macadamia, rosehip and jojoba oils, among others, it has a nutty fragrance that will boost your smug sense of well-being. "Given that it turns to a dry finish in record time, this is a remarkably rich product," said one panellist. "And, as advertised, it also works well on my hair's dry ends."

Best Wash and Go

Decleor Aroma Cleanse 3 in 1 Hydra Radiance Smoothing & Cleansing Mousse, €31, Decleor salons nationwide

From a gym-bag point of view, this three-in-one cleanser is a winner. You don't want to bring your multiple-step skincare programme to the changing room, so a multi-tasker is a treat. This mousse is a gentle cleanser, but it also packs papaya and grape-seed extracts to acid-exfoliate, and hyaluronic acid to boost your skin's moisture-binding abilities. "The smell of this stuff is divine - very salon-evocative," said a panellist. "My skin is gleaming, but not that tight, and it's also squeaky-clean."

Best Shine Saviour

Alfaparf That's It Blonde Parade Mask Every Blonde, €14.95, for stockists, see xpertpro.ie

We love this range on The Panel, as it works for hair that is not only highlighted true blonde, but also for shades of honey, light brown, and even grey. The shampoos in the line come in colour-specific formulations, but this mask is uni-shade, and will knock the dullness and brassiness right off your head. From a gym perspective, masks more often come in tricky-to-transport tubs, so this tube is handy.

Best Skin Soother

Chanel La Solution 10 de Chanel Sensitive Skin Cream, €74, Chanel counters nationwide

The '10' of the product's name is a nod to the fact that it contains only 10 ingredients, which they promise will increase its non-reactive appeal for those with very sensitive, intolerant or post-treatment skin. With glycerin, shea butter and silver-needle tea extract, it's also oil-free and, significantly, fragrance-free, which can be a stumbling block for sensitive souls who normally have to steer clear of Chanel. "This is light but luxurious," said a panellist. "What it lacks in skin-offenders, it makes up for in moisture."

Best Shower Sneak

Rimmel Sun Shimmer In-Shower Self Tan Hydrating Lotion, €13.99, available nationwide

When St Tropez launched an in-shower tanner last year, we were dubious. But it worked, and so does this new launch. You apply it in the shower - yes, under the water - and a tan develops after you dry off. Key tips: don't miss any bits and don't rub yourself dry afterwards. Slip up on either and you're patchy. But if you are meticulous, you will be tanned. "Sceptical was an understatement," a panellist said, "but, with care, this is impressive. And it's a shower and a tan in one: bonus!"

Email thepanel@independent.ie

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