Honestly, I don’t know if there is such a thing as a “low maintenance” beauty routine. Not really. I also don’t happen to think that’s a bad thing. I see nothing wrong with taking time to care for your skin and pamper yourself a little each day. I’ve never been more aware of exactly how many steps are involved in my everyday regimen until I traveled halfway across the world. Find out what traveling taught me about my beauty routine to hopefully prepare you for that spring getaway you’ve been planning.
I recently spent eight days in Hong Kong, and let me tell you — packing for that trip was no easy feat, especially in terms of prepping what skincare items, makeup and more would make it across the Pacific with me. I was very meticulous with what I packed. I wanted certain things with me for in-flight skincare and the fewest products possible for everyday wear. I didn’t want to weigh my suitcase down with tons of shadows and bronzers when I could have been saving room for all of the purchases I'd be making while there. Just a little something I learned about myself — I’ll pack lightly if it means I’ll have room for new clothes.
I noticed my beauty routine change in thirteen ways while abroad. These adjustments made my vacation a whole lot easier, and dare I say it, made my process more low maintenance, even if only in the slightest ways. But hey, every little bit counts, right?
Here's what I learned:
1. Don't Skimp On Skincare
Long flight or no, I thought it would be extremely important to still take care of my skin (almost) as well as if I, you know, wasn't on a plane. I wore only a tinted moisturizer for the long flight and brought oil absorbing sheets ($4.99, target.com), a rosewater spritz ($18, glossier.com) and universal skin salve ($12, glossier.com) for any necessary touch-ups.
I found these products to be extremely helpful. It was so refreshing to spray a little of Glossier's Soothing Face Mist to spritz on my face. That, on top of all of the water I drank kept me feeling hydrated for the entire flight.
I typically only spritz with rosewater once in the morning and once at night, but after doing it multiple times throughout the day, I plan on implementing this into my everyday routine more often because it just feels so nice!
2. Less Is More
While I wouldn't recommend leaving any skincare products behind, when it comes to makeup, less really is more. I was totally fine with rocking a no makeup makeup kind of look, and honestly, I think that's just the best way to go. It makes getting ready in the morning so simple, which is kind of the point when you're on vacation, you know? I had better things to do than spend too much time in front of the mirror.
3. Compact Mirrors Are Your Friends
Because I was working to get out of the door quickly each morning and spent hours out and about before returning to the hotel, I found compact mirrors quite helpful.
If I wanted to make sure my mascara wasn't flaking off or if I needed to use one of those handy oil sheets, I could just whip out a tiny mirror to solve my on-the-go problems. The mascara I used ($19.95, eccobella.com) even had a built-in mirror, and that was just the kind of convenience I needed.
4. Reduce, Reduce
If you're taking a long trip, sure that you limit the amount of the items that have to go. I made sure that my face wash ($18, glossier.com), my primer ($36, sephora.com) and all of the essentials were in travel size containers to make them even easier to transport.
5. Pack Multipurpose Products
I brought a couple of different multipurpose products that really were lifesavers. Glossier's Coconut Balm Dotcom was one of the things I carried with me. It's great to use on dry skin, as a highlight, brow gel and lip balm. So, I got a lot of use out of this one tiny tube. The more items you have like this when traveling, the better.
6. Be Sure To Hydrate
Staying hydrated is key while traveling. Not only will it help with your skin, it'll keep those jet lag symptoms like headaches and motion sickness that people often experience at bay. I drank lots of water and pampered myself with a face mask ($22, glossier.com) in preparation for my flight because you can never have too much H2O (or too much spa time, for that matter!).
7. Use Lotion As Perfume
Cut down on yet another item that needs to be in your suitcase by packing a travel size lotion ($9.99, target.com) that has a nice scent. That way, you don't have to bring a bottle of perfume along, but you'll still smell amazing.
8. A Little Lipstick Goes A Long Way
OK, so I did splurge and bring a couple of less-than-necessary products. I brought my two Kylie Lip Kits along to add a bit of color Having these in tow wasn't that big of a deal, and they helped me switch up my look. And if there's a fun item (like my lipsticks) that you just wouldn't want to vacay without, go on and bring it. You want to enjoy your travels, after all.
Another important tip: A bold lip distracts from frizz. Given the humid climate I was in, I was happy to slick some color on my lips to distract from the halo of frizz that even my top knot couldn't contain.
9. Never Underestimate The Power Of A Good Highlight
While my makeup was minimal for most of the days, I did learn that a great highlight adds a lot to your look, with little to no effort at all. So, you should never underestimate just how great highlighted cheekbones can make you look and feel!
10. Do A Lot With A Little
Only having a few key products, especially those multi-tasking ones, taught me that you can do a lot with a little. I stayed in a hotel with a very tiny bathroom, so I learned this lesson in more ways than one. I mean, just look at that tiny sink (and no mirror)! You're not going to have all of the comforts of home when you're away, and that's why you've got to make it easy on yourself and learn to make whatever you have work to your benefit.
11. Oil Absorbing Sheets Are A Lifesaver
I used oil absorbing sheets while in HK more than I ever use them at home. When you're traveling, you never know when you're going to need a little makeup touch-up because you're hot and sweaty from exploring. In that case, an oil removing sheet will help immensely. They were easy to store in my purse and take with me for on-the-go use, and I was so thankful I had them with me.
12. Feel Free To Experiment
You may also want to take advantage of the ability to try new products while you're embracing an entirely different culture. I looked in quite a few beauty stores (they were like the Hong Kong versions of Ulta or Sephora) and ended up giving some face masks a try for fun.
13. Embrace Your Look
Most importantly, remember to just embrace your look. Don't be too concerned with wondering if your eyeliner is in tact when you could just enjoy being in a new place. You'll likely never see any of those people again, so who cares what you look like anyways, you know?
I may have been all packed and ready to go with thought-out items in my makeup bag, but I honestly tried my best not to focus on my hair or makeup after quickly getting ready and leaving the hotel, and it was the best thing I could have done.
So, even though I'm stateside now and definitely enjoying my full-sized sink, there are still plenty of lessons I learned while traveling that will stick with me.
Being in a familiar place may make you feel more comfortable in your surroundings and allow for more luxuries, but sometimes it's being in an unfamiliar place where you become more comfortable with yourself. And that's something everyone deserves to experience.
Images: Augusta Statz/Bustle (15)