Are you all about that travel? Even if you have a solid beauty routine at home, when it comes time to depart for sunny skies and new adventures, and especially the beach, it’s time to pair down to the travel beauty essentials.
I recently had the privilege of cruising with Oprah and Gayle King for the O, The Oprah Magazine Girl’s Getaway cruise on Holland America… and it was as incredible as it sounds! Besides being on a ship with a couple thousand women who were ready to live their best lives, we also had a couple of awesome men on board, including O, The Oprah Magazine’s beauty director, Brian Underwood. We got to chatting about the travel lifestyle and decided to share with you a few beauty essentials that make travel THAT much easier, while still feeling prepared AND beautiful!
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With that said, I’ll quit rambling now and let Brian take it away with his beauty essentials and tips!
Brian’s Top 9 Travel Beauty Essentials Every Woman Should Know About
Taking your beauty routine on the road? When it comes to travel, I think it’s best to think of product packing in the same way that you’d approach packing your clothing—whittle things down to the hardworking essentials and you’ll look fresh-faced with minimal effort (you should be spending time enjoying yourself; not painting on your face). Here are my no-fail nuts and bolts, plus a few helpful hacks I’ve learned along the way.
I always recommend traveling with a tinted moisturizer instead of a full-on foundation. We tend to be more active when we’re on vacation (there are sights to see and beaches to lounge on) and these products will give you some coverage while still allowing your skin to breath when you’re on the go. The Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 Sunscreen ($46, lauramercier.com) is an editor and makeup artist’s staple. In 15 shades, it will make your skin look visibly better in one swipe—and it won’t smudge off.
Palettes are your friend
In one compact case, you get everything else you’d need to finish your face—cheek, eye, and lip color. The e.l.f. Perfect Face Palette is one such option—you get 3 neutral shadow shades, 2 lipsticks, 1 highlighter, and 1 blush for $10. TSA- and wallet-friendly.
Get some mini brushes
In my opinion, you’re fingertips are the most effective and underused beauty tool. But if you’re more comfortable applying makeup with a brush, invest in a set of minis for travel. I love the set from Stowaway Cosmetics. It’s 5 pieces designed specifically for travel. Travel-friendly beauty is what this brand does best, so check out some of their other products too (think blush the size of a box of Tic Tacs and lipsticks the size of wrapped headphones).
Tabitha’s Travel Beauty Tip: If you’re looking for a great travel cosmetic case to carry all of your travel beauty essentials, the Kusshi is the best travel makeup bag I’ve found, that SO MANY beauty bloggers, like Meg O., swear by… and they LAST!
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Stick it to your face
Solid products are the ultimate in TSA-friendly skincare, which is why I always travel with a cleansing stick. You can get them for every skin type imaginable now, but the best bang for your buck are the ones from St. Ives. I’m partial to the Rose Water and Bamboo variety, but any of the four will get the job done. If you’re a fan of the lather, take heart: These do suds up…without over-stripping your skin.
Do your skin a solid
Now that we’re on the subject, did you know that you can pretty much get ANY kind of product out there (shampoos, conditioners, serums, face moisturizer, scrubs) in bar form? Not only are these products perfect for your adventures away from home, they’re also eco-friendly since they use far fewer packaging materials than traditional products. I love the brand Ethique for this very reason. Anything you want in bar form, you can get from them. The peppermint scent of the Damage Control Shampoo Bar for Normal-Dry Hair: Divine!
Eye love this trick
Here’s a beauty hack I think is genius: Buy a few contact lens cases at your local dollar chain or big box store to hold products that you may only need a little of (eye cream, serum, face oil). These are well under the 3.4 ounces of liquids allowed by the TSA, and you won’t have to lug around a lot of little glass or plastic bottles with you.
Who knows what the weather and humidity levels in the air will be where you’re traveling, which is why an anti-frizz product is one thing you should consider adding to your travel beauty essentials arsenal. Again, when it comes to travel non-liquids are easiest, which is why I love the new anti-frizz sheets. The Nexxus New York Salon Care Frizz Defy Active Frizz Control Anti-Frizz Sheets (a mouthful, I know) are infushed with argan oil to seal out humidity and smooth flyaways in one swipe.
Tabitha’s Travel Beauty Tip: Looking for the perfect mirror to drop in your cosmetic case? This double sided compact travel mirror is a great companion to your travel makeup bag.
Mist this way
I always travel with a face mist in my carry-on so that I can keep my skin hydrated if I’m on a plane. But here’s something I want you to remember when choosing a face mist: Find one with a little oil in it. Yep, oil. The problem with using mists that are only water is that once the H2O evaporates from your skin, it will take some of your natural moisture with it. A mist with oil creates a slightly occlusive layer on your face to seal in moisture. I’m obsessed with the new Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Ultra-Fine Mist, which smells like the most divine watermelon dessert you’ve ever experienced.
Don’t forget the SPF
No matter where your travels may take you, please pack sunscreen…and lots of it. We know that up to 90% of the visible signs of aging are due to UV damage and unprotected sun exposure can also increase the likelihood of developing skin cancers, so slather it on. On my face, I’m partial to the Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense SPF 30, which is a mineral-based sunscreen that lives up to its name—no whitish cast here. I always opt for sport sunscreens that are water-resistant on my body. The Banana Boat Sport Performance Lotion Sunscreen with PowerStay Technology is my go-to.
Brian Underwood is the beauty director of O, The Oprah Magazine. Underwood is a New York-based journalist with more than 13 years of experience covering beauty and style for dozens of national publications. He was the launch Beauty Director of Dr. Oz THE GOOD LIFE, the magazine partnership between Hearst and Dr. Mehmet Oz, establishing the “True Beauty” section as a highlight of the magazine’s editorial package. After joining the brand prelaunch in 2013, Underwood used his smart, astute editorial eye to help the DOTGL achieve record success: In just 10 issues, it became the number one selling-women’s health and lifestyle title on American newsstands and one of the top ten best-selling American magazines on newsstands overall. Work that he commissioned for the magazine received multiple industry accolades, including recognition from the Skin Cancer Foundation and the Fragrance Foundation, which awarded a piece he edited the 2016 Editorial Excellence Award in the Short Article category—the first time a non-fashion magazine was recognized by the Foundation in nearly 30 years. Underwood has held editorial positions at Fitness, Organic Style, Good Housekeeping, Life & Style Weekly, and Woman’s Day and has written for Women’s Health, Self, Shape, Seventeen, Redbook, Cosmopolitan, and many more. As beauty director, Underwood combines his passion for beauty and lifestyle journalism with a keen sense for hard-nosed reporting and a commitment to uncovering science- and evidence-based solutions for O’s diverse readership.