I know lots of people who are self-proclaimed makeup addicts. They have pots, tubes, pencils, and various other containers full of all the things that they brush, slather, and blend on a daily basis to look and feel beautiful. Then there are the various lotions and potions that go on the skin before the makeup. Anti-wrinkle creams, skin brighteners, moisturizers with sunscreen, moisturizers without sunscreen, and serums. And don’t even get me started on hair care products.
I mean, the makeup section in drugstores can take up three or more aisles and then there are the entire stores devoted to makeup and skin care like Sephora and MAC.
I don’t know if I would describe myself as one of these addicts but when it came time to pare down for this trip I figured that the makeup portion of the throwaway process would be the easiest. While I do like makeup it’s not like I had a ton of it, right?
Oh, how wrong I was.
When I sat down to take on this task I realized I had not one but two boxes full of this shit. There they were, all the tubes of foundation, pots of eyeshadow, and at least 5 or 6 different types and brands of moisturizer. Some of this stuff wasn’t cheap so I knew I had to be careful and couldn’t just aim for the garbage can with each and every dip of my hand into the box.
In the end, I took way, way too much makeup and skincare stuff. I went from two boxes to two bags and guess how much of it I’ve used since we left? Almost none. The Visine is really the only thing I go for on a regular basis these days.
So for all you overlanding ladies out there, these are a few of the on-the-fly beauty routines I’ve adopted for my glamorous overlanding adventure. Or you could just trash your makeup and call it good.
Everyone wants to have nice skin, but the best thing is when someone comes up to you and tell you that you’re glowing. This is even more welcomed when you’re not currently pregnant. The makeup makers go to great lengths to create products that promise that highly sought after glow but when you’re out on the open road there’s no need for that.
Sweat. Sweat is the best glow you can get and guess what? It’s free! Whether you’re frolicking on a 37-degree beach or trudging through a steamy rainforest the sweat that spouts from your face will definitely have people asking, “What’s your secret? You’re positively glowing!”
Another way to achieve that healthy, sun-kissed glow is a little-known secret that is actually two beauty tips in one. After you apply sunscreen to your face and wipe off the sweat that will try it’s best to wash that sunscreen off, then pat a little sand on your cheeks. When the light catches the shiny flecks of sand you’ll look radiant and when you go to wash your face at the end of the day the sand acts an amazing exfoliator. Win win!
Beautiful, Road-Worthy Hairstyles
Okay, in the spirit of honesty and I do try to be 100% honest about the very real struggles of overlanding I suggest shaving your head. I know, I know… this suggestion isn’t very well received among women but the truth is you will have absolutely nothing to worry about when it comes to your hair. I know this because I did it 7 years ago.
However, 7 years and a foot and a half of hair later I can attest that keeping my hair healthy and looking like something other than a rat’s nest is a real struggle. While sweat might do wonders for your face it doesn’t have quite the same effect on hair. Unless you’re the type that likes sodden hair that dries into a crispy, salty mess of tangles.
If you don’t have short, sassy, easy to care for hair this my favorite hairstyle tip, the messy top knot. It really doesn’t even require that you actually brush your hair; you just have to flip your head over, grab all your hair, and twist it into a knot on your head, then secure with pins. The result is an effortless, “I woke up like this” look that will definitely turn heads. “Heads” probably being your own as you struggle to keep your top knot secured and wipe loose, sweaty strands from your face and neck.
Because, you know, hairspray in a camper? How frivolous!
Smooth, Pretty Feet
Back when I had a house I loved to give myself pedicures. Now that I live in a camper I’ve had to adopt some other crafty ways to keep my feet from looking like they’ve been chewed on by a dog. Since you’ll likely spend a lot of time in flip flops or other types of sandals it can be really hard to keep nail polish from chipping and the skin around your toenails from looking like jerky.
Obviously the best answer here is to just head to the salon for a pedicure. But what if you’re in some breathtakingly remote place and there’s no salon in sight? Well, if that beautiful place happens to be a beach then, once again, sand comes to the rescue. Simply get your feet wet and attack them with sand. Sometimes this can hurt a little, especially if the sand is not the sugary white kind, but keep at it. All that nasty skin and probably a fair amount of dirt will come right off.
Now, when it comes to polish I have a nifty little trick up my sleeve. I don’t have any polish remover because “oh shit, if it spills that stuff will eat through anything and stink up the place” but I don’t let that deter me. When my current polish starts to chip or grow out I just cover it up with a different color. That way, when your polish chips because you’ve stubbed your fucking toe on a rock again you get a nice kaleidoscope effect.
Brilliant and easy.
So, as I continue on down this wild road I’m sure I’ll come up with some other inventive ways to help myself feel like something other than a sweaty, dirty mess. Maybe, one day soon, we’ll land in an area with a climate more conducive to makeup and I can unearth my long buried goodie bags and the gauzy, silky maxi dress I know is in here somewhere and we’ll go to dinner.
I’ll be sand and sweat free, my hair will be down, and I’ll have my much-loved makeup on, and my husband will tell me I’m pretty.
Then, as always, I’ll spill something down the front of my dress. C’est la vie.