Sunday, June 1, 2014

My Beauty Basics: Europe

Like my European fashion basics, my beauty basics for traveling are pared down to the necessities. So, I decided to show you all what products I use for train rides, long days of touring in unpredictable weather, and extended walking. On y va!


I'm definitely the palest person I know, so I burn super easily. Coppertone UltraGuard comes in SPF 70, and while that may sound extremely high to you, it sounds perfect to me! Whenever I've traveled throughout Europe, much of my days have been spent outside in the summer sun, so I always carry a bottle of sunscreen in my tote bag. Also, my skin gets really dry, so I always put on Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion immediately after I shower. I usually do my legs, arms, hands, and face. (But more on my facial products later!)


Yes, this is a lot, but I make sure to be prepared for any case of weather! I love using The Wet Brush as my hair brush. It also comes in a mini size, which is perfect for stowing in your carry-on! I'm not too picky about shampoo or conditioner (anything from the dollar store travel-size section is fine by me), but I always put argan oil in my hair while it's still wet. I love Beauty Protector Protect & Oil and Moroccanoil Treatment Light. Yes, the Moroccanoil is $14.80 for a travel size (0.8 oz), but I assure you that a little goes a long way. I've had a full-sized bottle since last August (3.4 oz) and have only used half! The treatment doubles as a styling product when your hair is dry, so it's multipurpose. Plus, it prevents your hair from frizzing up on (Europe's many) rainy days! For days I don't have time to wash my hair (or when a long day of walking makes it look greasy before dinner), I love using Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk. The travel size costs $9, but it's 1.06 oz and is the greatest hair product I've ever purchased. Seriously.

If I don't feel like straightening my hair (yes, I have a European straightener), I usually throw it in a braid or ponytail. I love Twistband hair ties, because they hold up my hair but are a great accessory to my braid! I also make sure to keep bobby pins on hand if I want to get my bangs out of my hair. It may seem like a stretch that I'm including hairspray, but I use it to keep bobby pins, my bangs, braids, and ponytails in place. There are plenty of options that are less expensive, like John Frieda Frizz Ease ($1.99 for a travel size) but I use Serge Normant Meta Luxe Hairspray. Like the Klorane dry shampoo, it comes in a travel size and is somewhat expensive ($12 for 2 oz), but it keeps your hair in place without feeling sticky.


I just got the Clarisonic Mia2 kit, and I'm already in love with it. Rather than dreading my showers now, I'm actually excited, because that means I get to use my Clarisonic! Like shampoo and conditioner, I'm not picky about face wash, so I change it up whenever I go to Target. Right now, I'm using Olay Fresh Effects Shine, Shine Go Away! with my Clarisonic. More importantly, I need to use sun protection on my face and lips. Stay tuned for my face protection, but I use COOLA Liplux as a great lip balm with SPF. (Also, it's peppermint-vanilla scented!)


I need to profess my love for COOLA Mineral Face Matte Tint right now. I first tried it out when it came in my Birchbox, and I'm obsessed. This mousse-like sunscreen doubles as a matte BB cream, and it's extremely lightweight and odorless. A layer of this feels so much lighter (and better) than regular sunscreen and foundation! Usually, the COOLA cream is enough face makeup, but I touch up with L'Oréal True Match Powder if I'm broken out. And if I want a glowing look or rosy cheeks, I use Milani Baked Bronzer or Stainiac by theBalm. I love Stainiac because it's marketed as a lip stain but doubles as a cheek tint. The fewer products you need to pack, the better! I usually use the Stainiac on my lips while traveling, but I wear Milani Lipstick in Best Red if I'm feeling extra bold. Lastly, I wear The Colossal Mascara by Maybelline. I don't mess around much with my eyes, so a coat of mascara is all I need. Plus, my eyes will be hidden by sunglasses for the most part!


Miles of walking, packing and unpacking, and toting around your luggage can induce a lot of wear and tear on your hands and feet, so I pack a few things to combat that. If I had to choose only one thing for my hands and feet, it would be an emery board. There's nothing worse than snagging a nail on your luggage and having to walk around with a broken nail! As far as aesthetics go, I just put on CND SolarOil cuticle oil and Essie Good To Go top coat to give my hands and nails that freshly manicured look without much work (or drying time). Finally, the best thing you can do for your calloused feet is use a foot cream. I love Julep Mint Condition Pedi Cream--I put it on before bed, and my callouses seem to have melted away when I wake up!

I know this list seems like a lot, but it includes almost all of the basic toiletries (except a toothbrush/toothpaste...and shampoo and conditioner and body wash...and deodorant...). Sure, there are some frivolous items (do I really need red lipstick?), but it definitely isn't the whole kit and caboodle.

Feel free to add your beauty basics in the comments!

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