First Blush – July 2015

Everyone loves the idea of exploring an exotic or foreign land so now that summer’s in full swing, it’s time to plan your vacation. However, traveling is stressful and can cramp your style, especially when it comes to your beauty routine. Looking good while traveling is a major challenge whether you’re jet setting halfway around the globe, catching a train for a spontaneous weekend getaway, or flying for a business trip. Let’s face it: filling plastic mini bottles with your favorite products feels too much like preparing for summer camp, and the faulty, cheap lids inevitably spill their contents all over your digital camera or silk blouse. Instead, opt for a pared down assortment of basic travel must-haves that will keep you looking your best no matter where you’re going or how far.

The key to looking radiant at all times is moisturizing. When you are forced to subject your skin to the dehydrating effects of cabin pressure and stale airplane air, your complexion ends up looking dull, tired, and sallow. Perk up with my all-time favorite travel weapon: Caudalie Grape Water spray. This light, refreshing mist is a grape seed based water toner enriched with mineral salts that works for all skin types—even the most sensitive—and acts as an instant pick-me-up no matter how tired, jetlagged, or queasy you feel from your travels. It is 100% plant-based water extracted directly from grapes and boasts unbelievable moisturizing properties.

I use this product for anything and everything when I travel and you’ll find yourself reaching for it constantly, too. Use it to refresh suffocated airline skin; sooth a sunburn; and as a toner after cleansing or removing makeup. Stash it in your beach bag for cooling off at the beach, to rejuvenate makeup, and for surviving stuffy hotels without air conditioning. Spray it in light strokes over your skin and refrain from patting dry—simply let your skin drink in its goodness. For optimum freshness, store your spray in the fridge. It’s refreshing, hydrating, soothing, and environmentally friendly.

Remember, as a general rule, to keep your hands off your face at all times to minimize unsightly breakouts while on vacation. The last thing you want is a zit when you spot a celebrity, meet someone interesting on the plane, or are posing for your honeymoon pictures! Think about all the bacteria you are picking up while traveling: the London Underground, the Paris Metro, countless taxis, ATMs, and virtually anything in an airplane. Remember to wash your hands thoroughly if you’re going to be applying makeup while in transit.

If you’re an experienced traveler, you know how far a dazzling smile can get you when bartering at the local markets, hailing a taxi, trying to communicate with a non-English speaker, or pushing for an upgrade with a cranky airport employee. Having sparkling white teeth and fresh breath can really make you feel more confident and much less grimy from your travels, but toothbrushes and a tube of toothpaste aren’t always readily available or in convenient shapes to simply stash in your carryon. Buy a pack of disposable Colgate Wisp mini traveling toothbrushes for that “Just Brushed Clean” feeling anytime, anywhere. These three and a half inch brushes are the perfect size for a purse or pocket and allow you to brush on the go with no water or rinsing required, so you really can take it anywhere. The mini brush on one end comes with a Freshening Bead that releases a liquid to give you clean, icy cool breath while cleaning your teeth, and a soft pick at the opposite end to reach tight spaces. Although designed for single use, each pack comes with four brushes so you can freshen up as often as necessary and you can pick from six different options: coolmint, cinnamint, spearmint, peppermint, icy bubble, or coolmint plus whitening.

Too much sun, wind, chlorine, or dry, static-inducing airplane air can leave your hair yearning for some serious help. The quickest, easiest way to give it a boost when you don’t have time to shower is to use a dry shampoo. My favorite is Oscar Blandi’s Pronto Dry Shampoo Spray To Go. Available in an adorable yellow, travel-size spray version of the popular powder form, this innovative product absorbs excess oil and product build-up while also cleaning and deodorizing hair whenever a shower just isn’t an option. Not only does it degrease your strands, it provides texture and adds increased volume at the roots when unfamiliar climates leave your hair looking flat and lifeless while blending with your hair color seamlessly. Add a big European scarf wrapped around your neck to make your dirty, disheveled hair look trés chic. Added bonus: it strengthens hair, nourishes the scalp, and adds a delicious, clean scent.

To revive damaged ‘dos after a full day at the beach, use one of my favorite cheap drugstore products, Aussie Moist 3 Minute Miracle Deeeeep Conditioner. Its intense, fortifying conditioners are a simple fix for distressed tresses. You won’t be able to stop running your hands through your satiny locks, or stop sniffing them with its addictive, summery coconut scent.

Freshly manicured nails always make me feel more polished, sophisticated, and put together, but traveling can take a serious toll on your paint job. Although nearly impossible to avoid, chipped nails are just tacky and who really wants to waste a minute of vacation redoing your manicure? Fortunately, there is a new breakthrough in manicure/pedicure technology from CND called Shellac. A Shellac manicure or pedicure lasts a whopping 14 days without a single chip, nick, or smudge, complete with a high-shine mirror finish that simply cannot compare to any other product available now. Its scratch-free, patent-pending formulation of solvents, monomers, and polymers is why Shellac goes on like a polish, wears like a gel, and removes in minutes. Shellac is applied just like any regular nail polish, but after each coat, the polish is cured for ten seconds under the CND UV lamp. It’s also hypoallergenic and contains no formaldehyde, toluene, or DBP. The product strengthens your nails while preventing damage and boasts zero drying time so you can immediately text, drive, or fish around in your purse for your sunglasses or room key. Although a fairly recent advance, Shellac is available in more than 20 gorgeous shades to suit any personality, and best of all, you never have to worry about wrecking your nails during the embarrassing task of yanking your over packed suitcase off the luggage carousel while trying to remain graceful.

Bon voyage, beauties!

Written by: Genevieve LeFranc

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