Tomorrow, I hop on a plane to Peru. Today, therefore, is packing day. While I sip my morning coffee, I eyeball my recommended packing list for my Inca Trail and Amazon adventure; bug spray with Deet, anti-malarial pills, sunblock you could sit in a microwave with and not burn, water purification tablets.... check. I've got 'em all.
But if you're a typical girl like myself, when packing , you're undoubtedly facing the age-old question many female travellers have asked themselves: "what beauty products do I need to pack?"
Let me begin by saying I am by no means high-maintenance ( I will be sleeping in a three-walled jungle hut in the Amazon, where rainforest creatures frolic in my sleeping quarters and am trading my nude heels for hiking shoes--albeit they're pink and they're fabulous ).
Now, for you ladies jetting off to posh destinations such as Paris or Milan, you have the luxury of being able to be a bit more liberal with your beauty products. You won't be sweating it off while trekking through the jungle. You also won't need to worry about your fragrance attracting insects that border on the size of small birds. That being said, we adventure girls have a lot less time for our daily beauty regimens ( who wants to spend 35 minutes on your face when you can spend five minutes tops, and instead spending that 30 minutes enjoying your morning java while watching the sun rise over mountain tops?) When embarking on this type of travel, it's tacky to wear as much makeup as you normally would for a night out with your girls, but that doesn't mean you have to leave your cosmetic bag behind.
Now, some women out there may scoff at the idea of even thinking about a beauty regimen while on a trek such as this, but if you're anything like me, this is something that can't be ignored, even at 8000 ft. in the Andes ( you'll thank me when you see how glowing you look in the pics next to that llama). So, if you want to look and smell pretty while also kicking some serious butt as a hardcore explorer, I've got you covered.
I've chosen my top beauty bag essentials for adventure travel, and because I'm a huge fan of eco-friendly cosmetics with ingredients that not only don't harm the environment but are good for you, you'll find my preferences err on the green side. And when you're so close to nature, who wants harsh chemicals and synthetic ingredients anyways?
When I was first introduced to Tarte cosmetics, it was love at first sight. Their slogan high-performance naturals doesn't lie. Natural Beauty is the original shade of their cult classic cheek stains and remains my favourite. Tarte products are vegan-friendly, gluten-free and cruelty-free, formulated without parabens, sulfates, mineral oil or phthalates. This solid gel stain comes in a roll up cylinder that you simply swipe on the apples of your cheeks for a natural, healthy glow. Containing both acai and goji berry extracts, it not only smells delish, but is superb for your skin.
$36.00 CAN, Sephora.
From the mothership of natural beauty comes this fantastic product. The ultimate time-saver, it moisturizes, contains SPF, and gives you a smooth, even glow. It also contains tourmaline, which naturally boosts skin's radiance.
$39.00 CAN, Aveda.
Okay I'll admit it, I was initially drawn to the name of this product because I am actually travelling to the Amazon and thought it was satisfyingly fitting, and then I tried it, and loved it. Once again, Tarte didn't disappoint. It gives you soft and natural looking lashes and it's 100% natural. It also comes in a precious little wooden tube. Swoon.
$12.00 CAN, Sephora.
In one universal shade, a few brush strokes of this super lightweight gel on your brows will keep them looking tidy without having that heavy makeup look ( which is always eww 365 days a year). It takes about 20 seconds to apply and comes in a handy compact size which is key for travel.
$22.00 CAN, Sephora.
Who has time to wash their hair frequently when there is so much exploring to do? This flirty fresh scented dry shampoo will revive your locks so you don't have that unsavoury greasy-hair look. It gives that 'just-washed' feel and takes about 30 seconds to use. Just spray the roots, fluff and go. Your ponytail never looked bouncier while backpacking. Caveat: this is an aerosol container, which of course is an environmentally friendly faux-pas. But if you're going to use dry-shampoo, the only way to go is to use an ultra-fine mist that only aerosol can provide. Use sparingly.
$8.99 CAN, Shoppers Drug Mart.
Another natural beauty must-have. Their line of tinted lip balms contain shea butter which not only keeps lips supple like the original formula, but also gives you a pop of colour. I like the Petunia shade because I find it enhances my natural lip colour, but there are nine natural-looking hues hues to choose from.
$7.99 CAN, Shoppers Drug Mart
This, handy little rollerball is made with pure Madagascar vanilla and smells like the bean, not like an sickeningly sweet cupcake. Dubbed The Healthy Fragrance, Lavanila is free of synthetic ingredients, harsh chemicals, sulfates and parabens.
The base of their fragrances is always pure vanilla, but their formulations include grapefruit, coconut, lavender and lemon infusions.
$23.00 CAN, Sephora.
When you're bargaining in street markets, shaking hands, touching money, and using bathrooms sans soap and water, hand sanitizer is crucial, and you'll be using a lot of it. Unfortunately, this can be very drying on the skin since most are formulated entirely with ethyl alcohol. Nothing puts me off more than a sterile hospital smell and scaly hands. Luckily, there are alternatives. My fave, is the mango sanitizer from the Body Shop. With nourishing ingredients such as fair-trade chamomile oil, it is antibacterial and also triclosan-free; and the smell of fresh juicy mango will lift your spirits and energize you when you have four more hours of hiking ahead of you. Clean hands never smelled or felt so good.
$2.00 CAN, The Body Shop.
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