Between jet lag, flight delays, a limited wardrobe and inevitably terrible bathroom lighting, it isn’t always easy to look fresh on the road. However, there are some super-simple tricks every fashionista should know about that will have you ready for a day of adventure at a moment’s notice—no blow-outs required. Here are 10 beauty hacks that are sure to change the way you travel.
1) Secure jewelry with a toilet paper roll
Ain’t no one got time to untangle jewelry when they should be lounging on the beach, so make sure you pack your necklaces properly in the first place. Simply thread one end of each necklace or bracelet through a cardboard toilet paper roll, then clasp it on the other end to keep each one separate and tangle-free.
2) Buy refillable perfume bottles
Glass bottles with fragrant contents are pretty much the worst thing you can put in a suitcase—I mean, have you ever watched baggage handlers unload luggage from a plane?! If you still want to bring your favourite spritz, pour some directly from the bottle into a leak-proof atomizer. Along with being teeny-tiny and shatter-proof, they hold enough liquid for more than 60 sprays.
3) Perfect a ponytail
I’ve never been one of those people who can effortlessly throw their hair in a messy-chic bun or who emerges out of the ocean with perfect waves. It’s actually quite frightening how my hair behaves the second it’s exposed it to humidity—think less Bae and more beehive. That’s why I’m pretty darn proud of myself for perfecting a ponytail that stays put all day, looks super profesh, and gives me a few extra days between washes which is a huge time saver on the road. Here’s how to do it:
- Refresh hair with dry shampoo and comb through
- Backcomb the hair around the crown of your head for volume
- Pull it into a half up-do, twist the end underneath itself once, then secure with 2-3 bobby pins
- Gather the rest of your hair into a high ponytail and secure with a tie
- Grab a small piece of hair from your ponytail and wrap it around the hair tie to cover it, then secure with a bobby pin
- Dab a bit of pomade on the sides of your ‘do to keep stray hairs in place, then spritz with hairspray to finish
4) Use a hanging toiletry bag
I still can’t wrap my head around how many hotels skimp on counter space in the bathroom. I get around this by using a hanging toiletry bag, which holds everything I need and can be suspended from a towel rack or robe hook to save space. It’s also clutch for camping, because eww have you seen how dirty those surfaces can get?
4) Condense your makeup bag
With all the selfies you inevitably plan to take on holiday, you’ll want to look your best. Fortunately, it’s easy to track down travel-size products, which means you can still bring your makeup must-haves along while saving space in your bag.
My favourite hack is to head to Sephora around Christmas, and load up on their gift sets which usually include an assortment of tiny mascaras, lipsticks or eyeliner. Not only are they the perfect size for travel, but you’ll also get to sample premium brands without committing to the high price tag. Another option is to head to a department store during bonus time, since purchases typically include a gift bag full of travel-size products.
6) Buy BB or CC cream with SPF
Keep your toiletry bag lean and save a few steps in the morning by using tinted BB or CC cream, which is essentially lotion, foundation and sunscreen in one. It’s moisturizing, gives your skin a dewy glow and even has SPF to keep away those damaging sun rays.
7) Pack non-liquids
Even though liquid restrictions on planes have been in place forever, even the most seasoned travellers (*ahem, me*) can sometimes find themselves at security with more than they’re allowed to carry on. Oops. An easy way to avoid a Sophie’s Choice situation as you decide between abandoning your luxe lotion or dry shampoo is to pack as many products as you can that aren’t actually liquids. For example, this shampoo bar by Lush has developed a cult following among backpackers, and along with not counting towards your liquid allotment there’s another perk—you’ll never have to worry about it exploding all over your bag.
8) #TreatYoSelf to a fab mani that sticks
If you’re anything like me, the only time you shell out for a mani-pedi is when you’re heading out of town. The issue with that is that when your nails inevitably chip or break, you’re stuck with an awkward-looking manicure until you return home for some SOS. That’s why I skip the classic polish and go straight for shellac which is sort of like getting gel nails but without sticking pieces of plastic on your fingers. It lasts longer (two to four weeks), and goes on thick which prevents breakage.
9) Use Ziploc bags religiously
Speaking of exploding liquids, even the most tightly screwed-on lids have a miraculous way of popping open mid-flight, leaving you with a goopy mess to clean up upon arrival. That’s why I always put them in Ziploc bags before tossing them in my tote, which also helps keep them organized.
10) Protect your hats
Let me guess: your Instagram followers go crazy for pics of you staring off into the distance wearing a big floppy hat. But what they don’t see how much of a pain in the you-know-what it is to transport said-hats around the globe. TBH, I still haven’t totally mastered this either, but I’ve come up with a system that gets them all on the plane without getting squished, which I consider a win.
The trick is to stack them together, then place them in a waterproof backpack cover like this one. It easily covers even the biggest floppy hats, keeps them clean, and can hang on the handle of your rolly carry-on bag for easy transport. Best of all, since it’s not technically a bag chances are you won’t get hassled about it at the boarding gate since it doesn’t count towards your total allotment. (I always figure worst case scenario, I’ll just throw them all on my head like on Friends when Joey wore wore alllllll of Chandler’s clothes.)
Have any great beauty travel hacks to add? Share them in the comments below!
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