Let me be honest with you, friends. When I travel, I usually give up wearing makeup about two days in.
Suddenly, getting an order of mango sticky rice from the street vendor and finding the nearest beach seems a lot more important than applying eyeliner.
What Makeup to Bring on an Extended Trip
Wearing perfume is one of the things in life that makes me feel like a laaaaady. When I travel, I spend a large portion of my time clamoring over architectural ruins, wading through busy markets and attempting to befriend llamas – none of which are very aromatic pursuits.
So in addition to one very large stick of deodorant, I like to bring some solid perfume with me. It won’t spill all over my bag and every time I smell it when I’m home, I’ll think of orange vendors and cobblestones.
Tinted moisturiser with spf
Dude, forget three separate bottles for foundation, moisturizer and sunscreen. Cut to the chase with one product that does all three things.
I think it’s also important to use a product that’s SPF 30 instead of your usual 15 (which you already wear daily, right?) because you’re going to be outside so much more than usual and certain travel destinations offer ozone holes in addition to other amenities (I’m looking at you, Australia and New Zealand).
Light-colored eye shadow
There are many opportunities for red-rimmed eyes while traveling – the goodbye at the airport, the early morning flight, the sandstorm, the lost sunglasses, the $1 glasses of wine. But these can be countered acted pretty successfully with some light-colored eye shadow. I particularly like a light gold for my warm skin tone, though I imagine cool toned ladies could rock a sparkly white.
Another bonus? You can apply it with you finger in the back of a bus and no one will be the wiser. The same cannot be said for liquid eyeliner, friends. This cheap set of six neutral shades is perfect!
Clear nail polish
There are a million uses for clear nail polish (keeps your buttons from falling off, stops fabric from fraying, um, cures ringworm?) but I mostly just use it on my nails. It makes me feel put together, and when it chips, no one’s the wiser.
Tinted chapstick, SPF 30
Leave the lipstick at home. To me, wearing lipstick while traveling is the equivalent of dragging one of those wheelie suitcases into a hostel: obvious and embarrassing. Tinted SPF chapstick is easy, protects your kisser and, again, can be applied in the back of a bus which is really the test of all travel make up, I think. This is nicely tinted, spf 20, and super cheap.
If you’re traveling for more than a few weeks and you’re wearing sandals for most of that time, you’re tootsies are going to take a beating. I get oddly self-conscious about showcasing dry, scaly feet, so I will totally exfoliate my feet before tucking them into my Chaco sandals and pulling on my technical gear.
Really, I think it’s a lovely way to feel a bit more decadent in the midst of a hostel dorm room and a backpack full of dirty laundry.
I have expounded on the wonders of solid shampoo before, but please allow me to sing its praises again. It weighs two ounces! And it will last forever! And it won’t spill in your bag! And it’ll give you sexy beach hair! Convinced? I thought so. Lush and Burt’s Bees both make nice shampoo bars.
If you’re going to use a shampoo bar, you’re going to need some conditioner, too. I really like leave-in conditioner for travel. It continues in the vein of beach hair and can double as lotion if you’re really in a pinch. It’ll last forever and you can even use it to deter that ridiculous static cling hair that happens every time you enter a plane.
Bar face wash is awesome for the same reasons that shampoo bars are awesome – they won’t spill in your bag and they last forever. Lasting forever is particularly important if you’re traveling for months at a time.
Because it’s a total bummer to run out of face wash when you’re backpacking through Thailand and then discover that every cosmetic sold there includes bleaching agents. Because I’m trying to tan, people. Not go home lighter than when I started.