My Cheap-Ass Must-Haves for Staying Clean and Pretty While Traveling


You know how fashion editors always have the perfect cute travel case that only cost $158, plus three small roll on French perfumes (each $35), a face mist ($28), and an array of YSL products (>$1K)? They swear it’s the only way to travel and that their regimen, cultivated over years of flying off to distant lands, has never failed them. Usually they post pictures of all their products, complete with Diptyque candle. It’ll look something like this:

this is not real

Unfortunately, this is not the reality for most of us, especially not a girl living on a scholarship stipend. And beauty products are not cheap here in Brazil. So here is the real budget girl’s way to travel.

First, do you have a travel makeup pouch? If not, head to the closest thrift store and pick one up. I got mine for only $3.

If there is one product you ought to splurge for, it’s a classic Cetaphil cleanser. I get mine in packs of two from Costco. (While you’re at it, get a Costco card because it will change your life.) Don’t worry about perfume–I think there is no replacement for a fresh white T-shirt and a swipe of Old Spice. Cleanliness is next to sexiness, is how the saying goes, I think?

While you’re at Costco, I’d recommend their makeup removal wipes as well. If you’re at the beach and don’t plan on heading back to the hostel room between eating breaks, it’s a great way to wipe off the salt and sweat before reapplying SPF 50. (You’re reapplying, right? Swim, eat, reapply SPF, repeat.)

When I’m on a plane, I find that splashing my face with water from the airplane bathroom and quickly moisturizing with Cetaphil lotion helps keep my skin hydrated. It’s not about having the fanciest hydrating serum, but more about actually taking the time to use what you’ve got. Sheet masks are also a great way to keep your skin pampered over a long flight. If you’re a little shy about wearing them in public, sit in the window seat and appear as though you’re sleeping during the required 10 minutes of mask time.

laura in brazil 2

And in just a few simple steps, you’ve saved enough to fly to Brazil and meet some capybaras!


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