I’m pretty low-maintenance when it comes to my skincare, makeup and hair routine. I used to have terrible acne-prone skin but all my problems were solved after a happy accident on a cruise ship over a decade ago. It’s a long story but the short version is that I forgot my expensive cleanser at home and had to use a bar of soap to clean my face for the duration of the cruise. By the time I got off the ship, my skin was glowing, the scars were gone and I’ve never looked back. Using bar soap to clean your face is an unpopular choice that I’m sure no dermatologist would recommend but it was a miraculous discovery for me and saves me so much money since I no longer spend a fortune on expensive cleansers. TIP: This is the soap I wash my face with now and my skin is clear, no acne and the scarring is gone.
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My hair routine is extremely low-maintenance too but when I travel, I do like to have my tried-and-true products with me. My long, thick hair does not respond well to the generic shampoos many hotels have and in Europe, you’re lucky if you can find conditioner so you should probably bring your own.
When I’m packing for a trip, these are the hair products and accessories I never travel without:
Drybar Lemon Bar Paddle Hairbrush
First things first: A hair brush. Like many women, I struggle with hair falling out and breaking. The Drybar Lemon Bar Paddle Hair Brush is the first I’ve used that brushes through my hair without breaking or damaging it too much and slides through tangles easily.
Drybar Baby Buttercup Travel Blow Dryer
For an international trip, you’ll need a dual voltage hair dryer and I can’t recommend the Drybar Baby Buttercup Travel Blow Dryer enough. Not only is it dual voltage but it folds in half, making it nice and compact. And despite being a travel hair dryer, it packs such a powerful punch that I actually use it at home as my every day hair dryer, making the expensive price tag more tolerable.
Conair Universal Travel Adapter
Over the years, I’ve fried hair dryers and flat irons when traveling internationally because of the different voltage. Save your devices from an untimely demise with the Conair Universal Travel Adapter, which offers a combination of the four most common regional adapter plug configurations in one compact unit.
Revlon Hair Dryer Brush
For domestic travel or anywhere you can use 110v, this is the only hair tool you need. It’s a hair dryer and round brush in one and has been a game-changer for me. It also cuts my hair drying time in half. Buy the Revlon Hair Dryer Brush here and read my full review here.
Remington Pro Wet2Style Flat Iron
I have invested in a fair number of flat irons over the years, always wanting to use something high-quality (which really just means expensive) but this inexpensive Remington Pro Wet2Style Flat Iron has been my go-to for years now. At under $30, this flat iron does it all. It has 1.75-inch ceramic and titanium plates that are nice and big so you can cover large sections of hair at a time and finish much quicker. Plus, it’s designed for use on damp or dry hair.
Nexxus Humectress Shampoo and Conditioner
The Nexxus Humectress Shampoo and Conditioner duo is hands down my favorite, both at home and when I travel. They’re both deeply hydrating and beat most hotel products unless you’re at a luxury property. The size pictured here is pretty good for my travels (I use a fair bit of conditioner) but you can also decant the product from the regular size containers into travel-friendly, leak-proof toiletry containers like these.
Aveda Dry Remedy Moisturizing Oil
Every time I buy this, I think I must be crazy to spend so much on this small bottle of hair oil but it lasts a very long time and a little really goes a long way. I’ve been using the Aveda Dry Remedy Daily Moisturizing Oil for well over a decade and hope they never discontinue it. In wet hair, it takes my drying time down to a few minutes (not its intended purpose but that’s what happens, for me at least) and once your hair is dry, it delivers serious shine. It’s my secret weapon. And of course, there’s the divine Aveda fragrance.
DryBar Hot Toddy
If you do a lot of heat styling like I do, you need to protect your tender tresses and DryBar’s Hot Toddy is the product I like best. It coats the hair to protect it from heat damage and like all DryBar products, smells amazing.
DryBar Sparkling Soda
Speaking of good-smelling products from Drybar, I use the Drybar Sparkling Soda Shine Mist for an extra shot of shine when I’m finished drying and styling my hair. Because can your hair ever be too shiny? Nope.
Moroccanoil Dry Shampoo
When you’re traveling, you don’t always have time for the full wash and blow dry routine so a bottle of dry shampoo can be a massive time-saver. Just be sure to use sparingly and use it in a well-ventilated area and don’t breathe it in while you’re spraying. I hold my breath and spray in one room, walk away and style my hair in a different room. The Moroccanoil Dry Shampoo in Dark Tones is my favorite. It comes in a variety of colors and it works great and doesn’t leave a terrible white cast on your hair (a little, though).
L’Oreal Magic Root Cover Up
I always travel with L’Oreal’s Magic Root Cover Up for two reasons. The obvious is if my roots start growing in and I need to touch them up. But I also use it to cover up the white cast that dry shampoo sometimes leaves behind if I can’t brush it all out, which can be hard to do on dark hair. This Magic Root Cover Up to the rescue!
I generally wear my hair down but when I’m traveling and don’t have as much time (or desire) to do my hair, my go-to solution is a bun, made perfect and easy with a hair donut like this one. It takes me less that two minutes to achieve a cute, polished look and it’s great on hot summer days when you want your hair up and out of your face and off your neck. I got these tiny three-inch hair donuts for my three-year-old daughter and her hair looks ridiculously cute in it.
Goody Bobby Pin Box With Magnetic Top
Bobby pins are always handy but why is is that no matter how many I pack, I can never find them? Like socks in the dryer, they just grow legs and run away, I suppose. This Goody Bobby Pin Box With Magnetic Top is a brilliant solution, especially for travel.
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