While some people can’t wait to go on a holiday, wear Thai pants all day and stop spending half an hour styling their hair each morning, others want to keep up a minimum baseline of styling and make-up throughout their adventures. While there’s nothing wrong with relaxing your routines in terms of appearance (and a trekking trip to the Himalayas might not be the ideal occasion to sport a full manicure or a complex braid-do) I myself like to find a middle ground when I travel. Don’t overdo it, but bring a few essentials to do my skin good.
Packing toiletries and beauty products can be a nightmare, especially when you want to save space and weight, or – even worse – only travel with hand luggage. We all know that most hotel hair driers might as well not be there, and that a leaky shampoo bottle is THE WORST. I wondered how do other frequent travelers do it; what are their beauty secrets for on the road? And concluded that the best people to ask were my fellow travel bloggers. If anyone knows how important it can be to look presentable on a trip, be it for networking drinks with potential partners or simply for awe-inspiring Instagram photos, it is people who travel a lot and for whom travel is not just a matter of relaxation and recreation but also a source of income.
I asked other travel bloggers to spill their beauty secrets and tell us exactly which products to take, how to pack as minimally as possible, which items to keep handy on a long-haul flight, and how to look grand no matter how many hours one has spent on a night bus.
‘Only bring items you use on a regular basis.’
Maja from Mexatia
Packing smart and minimalistic is essential, especially when you travel long-haul or with limited luggage. Bring only your favorite and most used products because everything else is unnecessary. Do not pack products you do not normally use on a daily or weekly basis, you will most likely not use them at all. Bring a good all-purpose face cream, quality foundation, nice blush, mascara, perfume, Labello and a lipstick or two. Many cosmetics also come in miniature sizes so you don’t need to carry big items; travel-sized shampoo, shower gel, body lotion and deodorant can save tons of space in your bag. And do not forget, the fact you are traveling is not an excuse not to remove your makeup at the end of the day. Travel-sized wet wipes do a great job and you can use them for many other purposes.
Find Maja on Mexatia
‘Sunscreen is the one beauty product I have with me at all times.’
Cherene from Wandering Redhead
Sunscreen is the one beauty product I have with me at all times. There is no better skin cancer prevention and there is no better way to fight ageing. I want to prevent wrinkles and sunspots every minute I can so I make sure to wear sunscreen every day, dawn to dusk, even in cloudy weather. I only use brands that have zinc oxide or titanium dioxide since these are the only ingredients that block both UVA and UVB rays. No sunscreen is perfect and even the best have to be reapplied every two hours. I love the Elta MD brand. I use either the regular or tinted and bring a travel-sized one for my purse.
Find Cherene on Wandering Redhead
‘I needed something that would combine many cosmetic items in one.’
Liza from Tripsget
I’m a travel blogger and an Instagram addict, so looking good in my pictures is really important to me. Once my Instagram started getting more followers, I had to spend more time preparing for the photographs and choosing which cosmetic items I take with me during my travels. Most of the time I could only take hand luggage with me, so I needed something that could combine many cosmetic essentials in one package and I found it: the travel palette from Clarins! It has almost everything, from eye shadows to mascara. I absolutely love it! However, for my skin I use a separate powder, it’s from Bare Minerals and it’s amazing! And of course, a GOSH eyeliner is always a good idea.
Find Lisa at tripsget.com
‘I hate using hotel shampoo or wasteful travel sized bottles!’
Annika from Midnight Blue Elephant (and Travelettes)
I recently discovered Lush solid shampoo and conditioner and will not travel without them ever again! They are incredibly small and so easy to pack. I find them especially great when I only travel with hand luggage as I hate using hotel shampoo or wasteful travel-sized bottles. I keep my lush bars in little tins that can be reused over and over again.
They are not only practical but also a really great product and come for all different hair types. I have really thick, unruly hair and love Jason and the Argan Oil as well as the Jungle bar as a conditioner. I was a bit skeptical to begin with, but it does manage my hair nicely and makes it super soft. Plus it smells of avocado and lemon and puts me in instant Dora the Explorer mood!
Find Annika at Midnight Blue Elephant
‘I don’t travel with many products, but these are a must-have!’
Barbara from Jet Settera
I usually don’t travel with too many beauty products, because I can’t carry more than a zip-lock bag filled with a few small bottles of shampoo, shower gel, conditioner, deodorant, sunblock and toothpaste in a carry-on bag. However, I like to travel with a couple of Asian sheet masks, because these don’t take up too much space and these are not considered liquids. After a long flight, my skin is usually dry and these masks are very hydrating and refreshing for my skin. Also, when I travel to beaches, I am exposed to the sun all day long and these masks add the necessary nutrition that the skin needs after sun exposure. After a long day, putting a mask on and relaxing for 20 minutes is the best way to recharge.
Find Barbara on Jet Settera
‘As a professional travel writer I always want to look professional when I travel.’
Ashlyn from The Lost Girl’s Guide to Finding the World
Travelling is a part of my life as well as a part of my business as a professional travel writer. So when I’m on the road it’s just as important to look well put-together as it is when I’m at home. Everywhere I go, I carry a dual voltage mini blow-dryer that I can use in any country (just don’t forget to carry an adapter for it). Smaller than the size of my hand, it fits into any bag but is powerful enough to dry my long hair in minutes. But the best part is, it doubles as a clothes dryer when you get caught in the rain and can’t get to a laundromat.
Find Ashlyn at The Lost Girl’s Guide to Finding the World
‘My face had seen some pretty rough days, until I discovered Origins’
Emily from happynfull
When it comes to my makeup and beauty regime, I’m a minimalist and bare-faced. I can’t remember the last time I put on foundation or applied anything other than mascara, blush, and lip gloss. This is a good thing because as I started to travel in a 60L backpack that was supposed to hold all of my clothes and shoes for a year, I had a very teeny tiny airspace for my makeup bag. In 3oz bottles, I packed my two favorite skincare products in the whole world: Origins Checks & Balances Frothy Face Wash
and Origins Essence Lotion with Dual Ferment Complex.
The Checks & Balances leaves my face feeling squeaky clean after a long day of exploration. The Essence Lotion leaves my dry face always feeling hydrated and glowing (why I don’t need foundation). It minimizes pores and – best of all – smells like roses! A little goes a long way and you just use your fingers to pat it on – no need for cotton balls (yay – another space saver)!
Find Emily at happynfull
‘It’s not the trendiest product, but surely the most versatile!’
Christina from Dear Passerby
The No 1 product I always bring with me on holidays is Vaseline. I know it may not be the trendiest product but I always bring a small container with me which has multiple uses.
Vaseline is amazing for removing heavy makeup, especially eye makeup. It will moisturize your lips and soothe any grazes, blisters or insect bites you may get on your travels. It is also vital if you are prone to chafing in hot weather by eliminating any uncomfortable friction.
It doubles up as a highlighter and can even replace mascara if you want to give your eyelashes some definition while you are traveling.
Find Christina on Dear Passerby
Kathi from Watch Me See
And finally, here are my own two cents about the topic. My skin tends to go really bad when I travel. I don’t sleep enough, and the air on planes and in many hotels is too dry, I don’t always have time for the same morning beauty routine, I don’t always eat healthy – the stress of traveling takes its toll on my skin. Over the years I have realised though that it is not so much about what I put on my skin, but rather what I put in my body.
So when I travel, I make an effort to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water and eating fruit and veg that contain a lot of water. I always carry a bottle with me – did you know you could bring an empty bottle through airport security even if it exceeds the 100ml limit? In many countries you can just ask for the bottle to be filled up at a restaurant on the other side of security. For places where tap water is not safe to drink, I’m considering to invest in a Lifestraw bottle which filters the water as you drink.
Check out my blog Watch Me See
Traveling doesn’t have to take a toll on your beauty, and beauty products don’t have to weigh down your luggage, if you put a bit of extra thought into the products you take along.