I don’t know what it is lately, but it seems like everyone on Instagram would have you believing they’re effortlessly dressed to the nines in full makeup and flowing dresses. This new breed of DIY travel girl next door turned faux fashionista seemingly hikes, bikes and adventures with round hats, umbrellas, floaties, Aztec rugs, shawls, and other over the top accessories in tow because those are the kind of props and details that make a good picture. Whether the goal is to create an aspirational image of a destination or this is just the natural progression of the glossy print mag days transported in the digital world, it leaves me scratching my head at how unrealistic it all is.
I’ve preached time and time again that I’m a yoga pants girl through and through. For me, comfort never trumps style. But that doesn’t mean I still don’t like to look effortlessly presentable (you never know what nice gentlemen caller you may meet at the airport). Travel makes beauty routines challenging, as it’s hard on your body and skin and fitting all your products and tools into a carry-on is no easy feat. That’s why I’m giving you a peek into my makeup bag as a cheat sheet for the laziest DIY travel beauty routine possible.
Find a dry shampoo you love.
Yeah, I’ll say it. Sometimes showering is inconvenient. Maybe you’re staying in a hostel where the shared bathrooms are gross or maybe your sightseeing schedule is just too jam packed to sacrifice hours of time getting ready. A good dry shampoo can be a lifesaver. Some are powdery and leave a weird flaky residue in your hair, but the good ones will make it look like you’re fresh as a daisy. One brand I recommend is Batiste Beautiful Brunette, but try a few to see what works for you because everyone’s hair color and type is different.
Leave the straightener at home.
Aside from short-circuiting more than a few styling tools thanks to different country outlet voltages, a lot of climates I travel to are sticky and humid or the bathrooms just aren’t made for primping. You know what doesn’t mix with hot weather? Fried hair. Adopt the beach hair, don’t care attitude and go au natural with some basic mousse to tame the waves and frizz. You can tame the locks with travel-sized creams and gels.
Opt for eyelash extensions.
If there’s one feature that really makes your face pop, it’s your eyes. Eyelash extensions are what acrylic nails are to your hands – a time saving hack that keeps you from ever needing mascara. Long lashes make you feel beautiful the second you wake up without even needing to put on makeup. I was a bit apprehensive at first because I had no idea what to expect from the procedure, but it was completely painless (and I was even able to fall asleep in the chair for a catnap)! Putting them on takes about an hour and a half for a half set and they require touch-ups every 2-4 weeks if you want to maintain the look. (For those of you that are local to Denver the team at Lash Blvd. is amazing).
Throw Aquaphor in your carry-on.
There’s no question about it: planes are gross. There’s very little ventilation or air circulation and they make my skin and lips incredibly dry. I’ve tried virtually every moisturizing cream on the market and the only one that can even remotely withstand the arid in-flight air is Aquaphor. Much too oily for normal everyday use, on planes, it’s a lifesaver. I also use it on my lips because I can’t count how many chapstick tubes have melted into a mess buried in a jacket or jean pocket.
Find a B.B. cream that works for you.
Until recently, the only makeup I wore during the day was spot cream, under eye cover-up and a little bit of eyeliner. But flying makes me breakout and adult acne is a headache no one needs. I was anti-foundation because I thought it would irritate my skin even more, but B.B. creams are the real deal. They’re moisturizing, have sunscreen built-in and leave your skin feeling smoother than a baby’s bottom. Try a few to find a brand that you love, but my go to is simply Maybelline from the pharmacy.
Pack laundry detergent and a dryer sheet.
After having my luggage lost completely twice, I only ever bring a carry-on with me. As such, I have to be very discriminating in what and how much I pack. If I’m traveling somewhere for 2-3 weeks, I’ll throw a travel-sized tide detergent packet in my toiletry bag and plan to do a quick hand wash load in the sink somewhere in the midpoint in my trip (if you’re moving around a lot, make sure you’re somewhere long enough where clothes will have time to dry). Even if I don’t plan on doing laundry, packing a dryer sheet in your suitcase is a good way to keep everything from smelling funky.
Pamper yourself once you get home.
Massages on the beach or from fancy spas around the world are great, but more likely than not, you’re just going to be sore again after spending hours cramped on a plane. I wait to treat myself to a massage or facial until I get back from vacation. It gives me a little something to look forward to and makes it just a little bit easier to get back into the grind. Look on Groupon – I’ve gotten some amazing spa deals for massages as little as $35 (just remember to not be a dick and tip on whatever the real dollar value is). Or, make it a #SelfCareEverday with a few face masks and bath bombs at home.
Get a gel manicure before you go.
I’m rough on nail polish. Regular manicures usually don’t even make it home from the salon without me ruining at least one nail. Gel manis last 2-3 weeks and won’t chip when you’re lugging suitcases or running around countries. You can even hike and rock climb while still maintaining your girlish charm.
You never know when baby wipes may come in handy.
I use moisturizing toilettes for just about everything. They feel refreshing on your face when you’re sweaty or grimy and have saved me from a number of awkward bathroom situations around the world. You never know where may not have toilet paper.
Use Body Glide to fight chub rub.
It’s an awkward subject to talk about, but a painful side effect of sweaty summer activity is chafed skin. If you’ve ever experienced chub rub, you know how uncomfortable it can get. The easy answer is pack bike shorts to wear under dresses or skirts in an effort to limit the skin on skin contact, but if that’s not an option, Body Glide is one product that does help to sooth the friction.
The opposite of supersize it, cosmetic brand Stowaway makes compact, travel size makeup that’s meant to fit in your purse without being wasteful. It’s yet another way to help maximize valuable carry-on space.
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