Beauty tips for travel: How to look exquisite whilst exploring

This is my beauty for travellers tips guide which will help you look fabulous whilst having fun. No one wants to wake up from a long bus trip or flight looking like a zombie. You want to look photo ready to be able to document your special travel moments. I went on a lot of day trips, and weekend trips during my year in Germany. So I often had just one day or weekend to take hundreds of photos and I had to look human and presentable after long journeys. I will be sharing my tips which I picked up along the way. So let’s get started.

Stuff the puff
Ice in a washcloth can be used for puffy eyes. You can even use a cold soft drink applied gently against the bottom of your eye to reduce swelling.

Don’t catch the Redeye
Take Eye drops this will moisturize your eyes, especially if you are stuck on a long flight. Pour a few drops in your eyes to help combat dryness. And if you are travelling on a tour bus like I did which makes many stops get an eye cover to sleep well. The light at stops won’t bother you then. This will prevent red bloodshot eyes. I used my eye cover on every trip just don’t forget to wash it regularly to prevent germs from spreading on to your face.
Be Mascara free
Don’t use mascara whilst travelling to your destination it tends to smudge whilst sleeping, you don’t want to awake with a racoon face freaking and then having to struggle to get the black streaks off your face. It’s not worth the hassle and it also melts in very hot places, if it’s not waterproof it will run in the rain. Sleeping with mascara on is also a big no-no it will hurt your eyes. Skip it and rather apply it when you get to your destination.
Nail polish
I read that you should wear clear or muted tones on your nails when travelling. Chips stand out more on brightly coloured nails. I love colour so em I disagree with the experts. Instead, I chose to wear my bright orange nail polish but, I added several coats. And I used a clear top coat to seal in the colour and prevent chipping. Alternatively, why not get a gel nail manicure done on your own nails. I wouldn’t do fake nails, because you could lose a nail whilst travelling around. But, gel nails or a good manicure which will last for a good amount of time if you can afford it.

Don’t touch
Avoid the bad habit of touching your face all it ever does is spread germs from your hands on to your face causing spots. Use hand cleaners to wash your hands or carry drinking water and splash your hands clean with it when you can. I know that antibacterial hand cleansers tend to dry my skin so I used hand masks when I got back from travelling. You can also use honey and coarse brown sugar and exfoliate your hands with it after you get back home.

Plane maintain
Lots of travellers complain about dry skin after long flights. My skin doesn’t have that problem but, if you do use a good moisturizer before taking your in-flight nap. This way your skin won’t feel dry when you wake up. I use bio-oil when my skin feels dry or sweet almond oil it doesn’t clog my pores and makes my skin feel soft but I’m lucky plane trips doesn’t make my skin dry out.

Hair Care
There’s a range of hair powders and dry shampoos to help keep your hair looking fresh and smelling great even if you haven’t had a chance to wash it in ages. I’m fortunate enough to be able to skip this since my hair isn’t oily. I do however tend to spray a bit of perfume or deodorant on my hair when travelling sometimes you are forced to sit in places where people smoke and the perfume helps combat the smell.

Home Care
When you are back at home take care of your hair. Regularly have dead ends trimmed and use moisturizers such as argan oil and sweet almond oil. These oils don’t make your hair oily; they are lightweight and help strengthen hair. Do the same for your skin, invest in masks eat well, think fresh fruit and vegetables. Oranges and blueberries are good for your health and for your skin. Try to steer clear from oily deep-fried foods. Drink water and exercise. If you keep your skin clear whilst you are home it will be easier to maintain when you are travelling.

Me wearing a facemask in my flat back in Essen Germany. After I got back from travelling.

Lip Care
Use a lip balm like Labello or Soft lips I suffer from dry lips and I’m not good at applying lip balm. My lips started cracking badly and I learnt my lesson, apply lip balm it matters. Skip 24-hour lipsticks. Yes, I have them but they tend to dry your lips. If you can’t go without long-lasting lipstick try to moisturize your lips more with a product like Labello or even vaseline and drink water regularly it helps combat dry lips.

Keep it up
Use the same beauty products for at least a month. Changing brands before then is hasty you won’t know what really works, be patient. And use the same brands whilst travelling; don’t disrupt your routine if it’s working for you. If you can take your face cleanser with you if you can’t try to get a facial wipe that is exactly the same brand as your cleanser. I used Grainier facial wipes since I used the same anti blackhead and pimple cleanser at home.

Essence powder
This fixes makeup and helps manage oily skin. I travelled around with this compact.

Fun size
Buy the smaller mini travel versions of your beauty products it will save you space. You can keep the empty containers and refill them. I did this with my sunscreen I still have my tiny German sunscreen bottle and I just refill it every time. It just takes patience and a bit of skill.

Keep it simple
I once had a friend visit with a beauty bag which was the size of a medium luggage bag and she was only staying for a weekend. Pack your essentials, you will need space for all your travel buys and you aren’t starting a makeup store at your travel destination. Remember that in some places make-up is actually cheaper than in your home country. I bought a few items and brought them over to South Africa. I still have my makeup brushes from Germany and a few other makeup items.

Skip foundation
Foundation or base as it’s called in South Africa is unnecessary. In the heat, it will melt off your face and it will take up space. It can also burst out and make a mess in your makeup bag. I used concealer instead by Essence called stay. It’s in a compact cylindrical container, it stays on the name is fitting and has a brush attached to it. It hides dark rings under the eyes and spots and doesn’t feel sticky on my skin.

Beauty Rest
Try to sleep, lack of sleep will make you look and feel bad. There’s a reason it’s called beauty rest.

Cold water
Use cold water when washing your face. If you really can’t bear it use lukewarm water. The heat of warm water tends to dry out skin and the water in your new destination could have a different effect on your skin. In some places the ph levels are different and that can change the texture of your skin and hair. It can cause your hair to feel hard and breakage can occur to so take care.

Versatile products
There are lipsticks which are lip glosses too, and eye pencils with special brush attachments to allow you to create an eyeshadow effect on your eyelids. These products are great because they take up less space in your luggage and I love the flexibility I have with them. I have a royal blue eye pencil which I can also use as an eyeshadow that I bought at DM in Germany. So if you want more options buy products like this. My sister hates versatile products I love them, try them out and see if it works for you.

Hide it
If all else fails with trying to tame your tresses wear a stylish beret or wear an elegant silk scarf around your neck to draw attention away from your frizzy locks.

If it’s sunny wear sunscreen if it’s cloudy wear sunscreen. The sun’s rays accelerate ageing of the skin and can wreak havoc. And it’s not just wrinkled that’s the problem skin cancer can be prevented by wearing sunscreen. If you are visiting a place like Cape Town(my home city) remember to buy sunscreen with a high SPF level, 40 or more. Apply regularly every hour at least and more than that if you plan on swimming. Your skin will thank you and sunburnt skin hurts. I’ve been there with red lobster skin. Dealing with sun blisters isn’t the way you should be spending your time whilst travelling.

Be yourself
On your photos, it’s important that you look like yourself, not a stranger, after all, you will want to share your experiences with your friends and family back home. So I advise against having a rushed haircut just before your trip or adding eyelash extensions. You don’t want to regret what you looked like in your photos. Enjoying the trip is important no one has time for eyelash extensions which are busy falling out when you need to run to catch your plane to Paris. That being said if you’ve done it before and it fits with your sense of style go have that haircut after all beauty and fashion should be about what makes you feel comfortable and beautiful.

This also applies to your makeup wear colours you love and are used to. I like bright colours so my matte lipsticks tend to be orange, red and bright pink. This fits with my style. Don’t get me wrong I have dark purple and burgundy lipsticks that are moody but I wouldn’t wear this whilst travelling in the day. My darker toned make-up products make me look strange in photos and no one wants to look strange in their own photos. Find out what suits you, what you like and what makes you look gorgeous.

I lack extensive make-up experience since I only really started wearing makeup when I moved to Germany in 2015. I could afford drug store make up from DM since lipsticks were €4.45. This amounted to about R67. In South Africa (my home country) Maybelline lipstick sells for far more. So I experimented, I also started a skincare routine. I never grew up around women who applied make-up often, eyeliner and lipstick were reserved for special occasions. But, my year abroad allowed me to try new beauty products.

What are your beauty tips? I’d really like to know even if they aren’ travel related beauty tips. Please share. I still can’t apply liquid eyeliner it’s looking at me barely used in my makeup bag so help a girl out if you are an expert at it pretty please.

Happy travels!

xxx Nikki xxx


  1. Rêveuse says:

    Great tips 😊 thanks for sharing 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks a million so happy you liked the tips.

      Liked by 1 person

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