Friday, 12 July 2013

On the Road: 3 Travellin' Beauty Tips

Going natural with your makeup feels a lot like going gluten-free or eating raw: it's all a piece of (coconut-sugar) cake until you leave home. That's when the clay mask hits the fan. Here's my take on what to take, what to leave, and what to do when on the road...

I love to travel. Though I can be pretty high maintenance sometimes, what with the lotions and the oils and the DIY manis, there's a version of myself (that maybe just lives in my head or the future), where I have one tiny bag, an iPad mini and a ticket, and off I go into the wild for adventure. It's too bad that when travel time actually comes along, I find myself lugging an old wheel-less suitcase up to the checked baggage drop off, cursing the extra everything I packed, and hesitating to look and see if my week's worth of things I'm likely not going to use stuff is more than fifty pounds.

During a recent trip to Oosyoos, BC, I found myself lumbering around airports with a 39 pound suitcase, and realised my traveller's folly: I hadn't planned, and I didn't pre-organise. I was carting around all of my current beauty faves, oblivious that the point of vacation is to take a break. From. It. All. Um, duh.

To be a smart traveller, I've decided one must plan ahead, pare down, and chill the fudge out. The point is not to look perfect but to have a fantastic time. If looking babe-like happens, then all's well that ends well, wouldn't you say?

Here are my 3 tips for getting it right (and making it easier) when hitting the road (or the skies, or wherever):

1/ Oil it Up! 
Oils are super double (triple even!) duty. You can use oil as a face wash or exfoliator. I love this trick from Linda Thompson, founder of Oile Biologique: Use the sugar packets from your hotel room, or snag a couple if you grab a coffee (I prefer raw sugar when I can find it), and mix with a few drops of oil for a quick exfoliant. I also use coffee grinds from the coffee maker in the room mixed with a bit of oil for a quick full body scrub. It works really well and wakes me up too! Oil is also great to sub-in as a hand cream, makeup remover, and spot treatment for dry areas. If you have super dry skin, or are heading to a dry climate, pack a balm as well for extra protection.

Leave Home: 5-step skin care routines. Try even taking a break from your Clarisonic or other scrub-perfect behaviour. You just might be okay.

Try: Oile Biologique Power Trip Trio, $33; MJ's Herbals Calendula Salve, $15

2/ Question the Locale.
Heading to the dessert for a geo experience? Hitting up the best late night spots in a new city? What I pack for makeup depends on where I'm going, and I like to take the stance that every item must have two purposes. I pack a colour crayon, (for lips and cheeks), a clear lip balm (I use it during the day and right before bed as an eye cream and lip protectant), concealer (I like a pencil for a quick go under eyes, around the nose, and for spot coverage), mascara that I can build on in case of a night out, a soft grey pencil for a little definition that can be layered and blended in case the need arises for a smoky eye, and a blendable lip shade that can be layered for full effect, or nearly wiped away for a subtle stain. If I'm heading somewhere where it's all about the nightlife I'll toss in a luminizer and a second eye pencil in black.

Leave Home: Palettes of shadows, glittery shades, eyelash curlers, and anything else. It just won't be needed, and if you do happen to need all the extras - be creative with what you have. That's the fun of leaving the comforts of home.

Try: Ilia Beauty Lipstick Crayon, $24; Hurraw Vata Lip Balm, $5; Santé Coverstick, $17; Ilia Beauty Lipstick, $24; Studio 78 Paris Double Effect Mascara, $34; Lily Lolo Eye Liner Pencil, $18

3/ Pack Packets.
Though I sometimes use small containers to resize my shampoo and etc, I prefer items in thin sample sizes. It's not always possible, but ready-to-go packages like RGB polish remover pads, samples of hair care items, Tata Harper Serums, etc. are great and hardly take up any space at all. I also find that travelling is a great time to test out new products. You know when you order something from one of these great eco companies and they send you samples? Well, travelling is the perfect time to use them and perhaps discover a new product love affair while you discover a new place in the world.

Leave Home: Full size anything. Trust in the nature of the journey that it'll be okay with less stuff. Forgo the checked baggage and experience an easy breezy traveller's paradise. Just trust me and try it. You might love it more than your 10 pounds of body lotions and hair supplies.

Try: RGB Non-Toxic Color Remover Pads, $28; Kaia Naturals Juicy Bamboo Travel Size, $20; All the samples in the back of your medicine cabinet. 

On a final note, when paring down to bail outta town, it's tempting to cry - "AVL, but my hair! What am I going to look like without my straightener and curling iron?!" And I hear you, but there is one thing I've learned about beauty and travelling: Climate makes your skin and hair act differently. Why not let it for a bit? If you're concerned that your super curly hair won't be tamed in the humidity of a tropical country, then just let it be frizzy. Find a local solution - it could be coconut oil from the local shop, or just learning to like it. Worried your straight fine locks will just look lank and flat? Part it down the middle and rock that 90's 'do! Don't be afraid to get out of your beauty element. That's the point of travel - to learn, to adapt, and to grow along the way.

It's cool, just be free.

Image Marie Claire Australia via Pinterest.