As many of you already know, after September’s New York Fashion Week I packed my suitcases for the longest trip I’ve ever been to. It started in London where I attended fashion shows, followed by exploring cult Paris pharmacies, and learning how French girls do makeup. Then I went to a family reunion in Minsk and beach vacation in Turkey. My vacation will wrap up with a business trip to Moscow where I’m heading next. Over the course of this different climate zones vacation, I discovered a lot not only as art lover and explorer but also as a beauty addict. As it turned out, traveling indeed helps to look at things from a different perspective. In this post, I share 5 makeup and skincare lessons that I’ve learned while traveling to Europe for almost two months.
Lesson #1: You Only Need One Palette
If there is one type of makeup products I’m the most excited about, it’s makeup palettes. I always stay tuned about all the new launches, obsessively compare the ones I already have in my collection to each other, try to find dupes, experiment with a different palette every day, and proudly display my collection in the beauty room. In other words, to say that I have a huge eyeshadow palette is to say nothing.
As it turned out during my long trip to Europe, it’s totally possible to make it through almost two months of makeup by using… just one palette! And I’m not even talking about a 16-shades ABH Modern Renaissance palette or the limited edition LORAC palette. Believe it or not, but I managed to make things work with just one four shades YSL Mon Paris Couture Eyeshadow Palette. Granted: I didn’t film any tutorials or took close-up photos for Instagram so it was okay to do the same makeup over and over again, but the idea here is that it’s totally possible to not get bored by using all the same shades over and over again.
It all depends on the quality of the shadows you are using and the color selection though. I really became attached to the rosy pink shade from my YSL palette that I applied for all day lasting look (I repeat, the quality of these shadows is amazing!). I also became friendly with the dark green and purple that I used to turn my daily makeup into a nighttime-friendly. On the days when I felt that I could use something different, I switched to the light pink or glittery gray shadows – and my creative crisis was immediately resolved.
I know that this lesson might sound a bit exaggerated for people who are not as obsessed with makeup as I, but the one palette solution was definitely super valuable for me. Not only it saved me a lot of space in a suitcase, but it also helped me to appreciate quality over quantity when it comes to picking eyeshadows.
Shop: Yves Saint Laurent Mon Paris Couture Eyeshadow Palette, $60 at Bloomingdales.com.
Lesson #2: Sheet Masks Are Overrated
Another major confession here: I took a dozen of sheet masks on my trip but ended up using regular ones – those that came in a tube. Don’t take me wrong: I still love applying my favorite sheet masks while at home, but these are most valuable before I’m about to apply a full face of makeup. I figured what I really need while on vacation are hydrating and detoxifying masks – that’s it! So, next time I’ll be saving my sheet masks for the days when I’m getting ready for the event or while on the airplane and pick just two travel-size masks for vacation.
I used Eve Lom Rescue Mask weekly to deep clean my skin and purify all the imperfections. It features honey-infused kaolin clay which works perfectly for my combination, acne-prone skin. It tingles a bit after application but a few minutes later it delivers so many benefits that it’s worth getting through an initial refreshing sensation. I feel that this mask not only deeply cleans my skin but also helps it to look more “alive” even when I’m very tired. In other words, this mask would work perfectly not only as your regular weekly treatment but also on days when your face feels puffy in the morning or if you are particularly tired.
When my skin felt dehydrated, I applied Kat Burki Complete B Vital Hydration Face Mask. It’s the most gentle and effective hydrating mask that I used in a while. Straight out of a tube the mask looks like a thick yellowy cream, but when applied on the skin it transforms into clear, glossy-looking serum. After using this mask for prescribed 20 minutes, my skin looks like I covered in oil but the effect of this mask is much more hydrating than if you were using just a typical face oil. I have a combination skin and I found that Kat Burki mask benefited both oily and dry patches of my skin and made it overall more plump and glowing.
Lesson #3: DIY Manicure Rocks
I used to be the biggest proponent of acrylic nails for long trips. These last for a long time and look so photo-friendly. There is a side effect though: if something happened to one of the false nails, there is no way to fix the problem immediately so you end up having a half-perfect manicure. Not to mention that gel or acrylic nails cost around $100 and are able to ruin your natural nails after just one application.
This time around I decided to try something else – to bring with me a set of gel nail polish by Essie and a manicure kit. My new strategy proved to be more convenient and reliable: my manicure always looked fresh, even if I broke a nail or two. It also gave me more space for creativity: since I packed two shades of gel nail polish (red and light blue), I ended up switching my manicure so it looks a bit different. I also used the same nail polish set for my pedicure, especially after my original nail polish got discolored after too much swimming and tanning in Turkey.
The manicure set (especially, scissors) ended up being handy not only to refresh my manicure but also to remove tags from new clothes and cutting my eyebrows. In other words, after trying a DIY approach to vacation nails I regretted all the years I’ve been torturing my nails with gels and acrylics. If I knew better, I would save so much money and perhaps protect my natural nails from unnecessary damage.
Lesson #4: The Underslept Lashes
During my trip, I ended up taking so many flights in one month that I haven’t taken in years. Even though I’m taking all the precautions for making myself look presentable even after a long flight, oftentimes I still look pretty beat up the morning after a flight. Usual skincare tricks only helped that much and I started experimenting with makeup trying to find the solution for fixing my puffy under eye situation.
My favorite concealer and foundation combined with a color correcting fluid worked miracles for fixing the under-eye discoloration. The trick that really made the difference was applying false lashes – even when I didn’t have time to wear any other makeup. There is something about the sharp eyelash line that immediately makes your eyes look more open and awake. False lashes are also great for distracting people’s attention from puffiness and under eye circles.
Of course, it’s crucial to pick lashes that don’t look too dramatic if you want to create the illusion of natural-looking lashes. The favorite pair that I ended up using way too many times while on vacation is Eyelure Texture No 117 False Lashes. As always, I applied them with my favorite Duo Lash Glue that lasts all day.
Shop: Eyelure Texture No 117 False Lashes, $9.99 at Ulta.com.
Lesson #5: Red Lip Is Universally Flattering
Being a makeup junkie, I packed an entire makeup bag full of different lipstick shades. I was thinking of every shade that I could possibly need while on vacation, from three version of nudes to a collection of purple, pink, and red lipsticks. As you probably already guessed, I ended up wearing just two lipsticks during my trip. Too Faced Melted Liquid Lipstick in the shade Lady Balls for everyday wear so I don’t need to reapply the product during the day. And Estee Lauder Pure Love Lipstick in 300 Hot Streak for going out, so I could “eat” my lipstick and easily reapply it on the go.
Maybe it’s just my obsession with red lipsticks, but on this trip, I proved to myself one more time that red lipstick is universally flattering regardless what type of outfit you are wearing and for which occasion. Next time around, I’ll be packing just one red lipstick and my favorite lip balm – and I’m certain that it would be more than enough.
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There you have it: 5 lessons that I learned while traveling to London, Barcelona, Paris, Minsk, Antalya, and Moscow for more than a month. While I don’t plan any additional long vacations yet, I feel that the beauty knowledge I received during this trip was valuable. Next time packing for a long trip, I’ll make sure to be a more efficient packer and travel light – in terms of makeup and skincare. At the end of the day, by doing so I will save some space in my suitcase to shop more while traveling!
What are some of the beauty strategies you are using while packing for a trip? Any recommendations on what to pack and not to pack for a long trip?