Anyone else itching for a little sunny getaway?
Lately, the hubby and I have been checking out some travel deals and planning a winter escape. That got me thinking (more like day dreaming) about summer dresses and sandals, what to pack, and the necessities for travel.
I’m honoured to have been featured in the Beautystopwatch app as a Beauty Coach. I’ve been collecting some of my favourite beauty tips and tricks, especially for travel. I thought I would share some of them with you here, and if you’d like to check out more featured tips, download Beautystopwatch (don’t worry, it’s free)!
Pass the Baby Powder, Baby
I’m about to change your life. If you don’t have this in your bathroom, stop reading (but thanks for reading), go to the pharmacy and get some, come back and find out why I’m basically demanding you buy it immediately. Life changing.
For a while when I was still in school, I had myself some bangs (they were pretty trendy at the time). Well since my hair is super fine and was resting on my forehead it got greasy. I’m not talking after a whole day at school, I mean like an hour or two after I washed it. As you can imagine this was highly annoying. Some mornings when I had just washed my hair the night before, I would grab my bangs and just quickly shampoo them in the sink, just to avoid looking like a grease-ball a few hours later.
Then one day, one of my best friends said “oh why don’t you borrow my baby powder” – I had no idea what she was getting at. She told me to put it in my hair. She had similar fine-hair issues and would shake baby powder into her roots and wherever necessary to soak up the oil. She would even keep a tiny travel-sized bottle with her in her makeup bag. My friend was officially a beauty genius. I now keep a tiny bottle in my purse as well, pretty much all the time. Friends forever, thanks Anastassia!
Baby power is amazing if you have any excess oil, fine hair or not. Dry shampoo is a great tool (but back when I was a student, no one talked about it). I like to use both in the morning (check out my favourite in this post: “Winter Winsome Warriors”). The girl who used to wash her hair daily and shampoo her bangs in the sink now tosses in a little powder and voila. Not only that, sometimes I use it as a face powder too, works just as well for the shine and oil on your face in an emergency. It’s the simplest, cheapest and most versatile beauty tool you can buy! You can purchase the classic varieties such as like Johnson’s, but lately I have also been experimenting with talc free brands as well.
Did you go buy some yet?! I hope you grabbed the full-size as well as the mini, because you’ll need it for travel and everyday life. Keep it in your purse or carry-on, and you’ve got the ultimate tool to combat oil in the smallest little package. No compacts, blotting sheets or mini sprays necessary. If you find that it causes some static, usually a bit of hairspray does the trick. If you’re concerned about putting white powder into your dark locks, try mixing it up with some cocoa powder. Really, my sis-in-law swears by it!
‘Shave’ Space with Conditioner
I bet you’ve never thought about conditioning the hair on your legs before you shave it off. Well that’s not really what you’re trying to do, but it works like a charm if you’ve forgotten shaving cream at home or are saving valuable luggage real estate for clothing instead (I completely understand). For real! You can use this in lieu of shaving gel or cream, and save space and money while you’re at it. I don’t know about you, but I always have more conditioner than shampoo left over anyway (you don’t need as much, why do they make the bottles the same size?).
Another option is these really nifty shave gel bars I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing which I absolutely love and also use at home (read more: “Two Terrific Travel Beauty Products”). Oh, and don’t get suckered into buying those tiny conditioner bottles over and over again. Lots of stores (including the dollar store) sell multi-purpose travel-size bottles and containers that you can just refill. More money for travel!
Braided Beauty Sleep
No, this one is not inspired by a Disney movie, but I really do sleep with my hair braided. Trust me, it’s the coolest move since Rapunzel used her locks as a ladder. If you love a little wave in your hair in the morning, or you curl your do for the day, a braid encourages bounce and movement. I myself have super fine straight hair, so the French braid to bed is my favourite secret weapon, some mornings I just let the braid out, lock it in with hairspray, and go! Not to mention it’s soft and flat, so you won’t be rearranging your up-do when your head hits the pillow. Another favourite option? The twist bun. I simply twist my hair around my finger and clip it real high up on my head. This works especially well if I’ve had hairspray in my hair that day. The result by sunrise? Instant morning curls. Sweet dreams, your hair will be half-finished when you wake up and your Monday morning self will thank you.
Jojoba Ya Heard?!
At first, I really didn’t understand the concept of applying oil directly to my face. I’ve had my share of acne, and from what I’ve always heard oil was part of the problem. Well one winter my skin was so dry it was practically flaking. This was in part to the freezing dry air outside, and to the topical acne medication I was using at the time. The combination of the two completely dried me out. I learned that moisturizing properly can actually work in tandem with your body’s natural oil production. When you’re dried out, your skin overcompensates and produces excess oil. So, don’t make it work so hard!
Jojoba to the rescue (pronounced ho-ho-ba). It isn’t always easy to find, and it can be a bit pricey, but it will last forever once you get your hands on a bottle. I snagged this little one at a health food store and have had it for years. Really, that long. Otherwise, I’ve also tried coconut oil, which is all the rage these days and works like a charm as well. Regardless of your choice, combine it in your palm along with your regular night-time moisturizer, you really only need a drop or two. Then give it some time to absorb into your skin, don’t hit the hay right away.
The uses for beauty oils are endless, and I’m only beginning to understand all the benefits myself. But I can attest that it works great as a facial moisturizer if you’re especially dry or surviving a polar vortex (really, we have those where I live, no word of a lie). Oh, and if you’re worried about it causing more acne or clogging your pores, it’s all natural, so don’t fret. My skin always looks much better after I give it a little jojoba love, and any redness and zits always look calmer by morning.
I usually paint my nails myself. Sometimes I’m ready to try something fancy, other times I just want to keep them clean and simple. On occasion when I travel I treat myself to a heavy-duty manicure that will last the duration of the trip. It’s great if you’re going the shellac route, but it can be hard on your nails and on your wallet. So what’s a girl to do if she wants to keep it natural, but isn’t willing to waste precious vacation time on her cuticles? You could be drinking a glass of wine on the beach instead…
My solution comes in the little pink bottle. It may look like a regular soft pink polish, but I’ve found that Mademoiselle by Essie is unique in its application. Whether I’m doing my nails quickly at home or am relaxing on a beach somewhere, this stuff is my go-to and is sometimes the only polish I bring along. It’s quick and easy since the colour is light and therefore less difficult to apply. It doesn’t streak, which can often be an issue with lighter shades. It dries in no time and it doesn’t chip easily. It’s also forgiving, so if you’re wondering if you can get away with holding out your manicure for one more day, you can. Swipe it on, seal it with a clear coat and you won’t have to interrupt your valuable vacation time. Parfait Mademoiselle (Miss Perfect) until you’re back home, and only you will know how long you got away with it.
Pain in the Pimple
You may be wondering what on earth your go-to headache reliever has to do with zits and acne. Turns out packing those painkillers may also relieve the pain of discovering a new and unwelcome visitor in the form of a zit on your face. Don’t you just love when there is more than one use for something you already have? I do!
You already know you can turn to Advil, Tylenol, Aleve, Ibuprofen, Naproxen and the like for relief when you’re in pain, but taking two pills won’t cure your mood when you discover a little red pimple brewing on your chin. When I’m on vacation, it’s arguably more upsetting since I’m busy enjoying myself, taking photos, going on adventures, and lying on the beach. The last thing I want to be worrying about is some growing species the size of a small planet on my face.
So instead of taking two pills, poke a hole in just one (very carefully!). You’ll need the liquid version of the anti-inflammatory of your choice, available at most drug stores. I’ve tried both Ibuprofen (Advil), and Naproxen (Aleve), and have found both to be effective (name brand or not.) Areas around your lips and eyes are best avoided however as they are too sensitive for this option. Everywhere else is fair game. Poke a hole with a safety pin, squeeze out some medication, and apply a tiny dab on that pink intruder. By morning it should be much smaller, which makes sense since you’ve just anti-inflamed it. That’s totally a scientific word, totally.
Time to pack! Hopefully these little tricks I’ve picked up along the way make your luggage just a little lighter. If you’ve got a tip or trick of your own, I’d love if you shared it in the comment section below.
Enjoy your travels…
Seen in this post:
Johnson’s Baby Powder. Also trying a talc free version by Redmond Clay Baby Powder.
Coconut Oil from The Body Shop.
Nail polish, Mademoiselle by Essie.
Naproxen Liquid Gels, (or use any liquid form of anti-inflamatory you like).
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by BeautyStopWatch and STRUCKBLOG is has been featured within the app. All tips, photos, opinions and silly comments are my own of course. This post was originally published in December 2015 and has been updated for freshness and accuracy.