Road trip? International flight? We’ve got you covered with these expert-approved beauty tips for your vacation makeup, skin, hair and nails

By Sarah Y. Wu
June 15, 2021 09:00 AM
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gigi hadid; maybelline beauty
Credit: Getty

Pack a suitcase and map out the best Instagram walls: It's officially time to use those vacation days. Whether your (post-vaccinated) summer plans involve a cross-country road trip or international flight, get a head start on that itinerary with these travel-friendly beauty tips. We asked the experts for advice on keeping skin fresh through a plane flight, locking in heatless hairstyles and making sure your manicure stays intact until you're back in the office. 

Double Up on Makeup Multitaskers

Erin Parsons, Maybelline Global Makeup Artist, is all about an easy glow that can seamlessly transition to any setting. Whether creating a backstage look (her roster of supermodel clients includes Gigi Hadid, Bella Hadid, Candice Swanepoel and Kendall Jenner) or putting together her personal makeup kit, she's all about sticking to her staples.

This summer, follow this tip from Parsons: Stock up on makeup that pulls double beauty duty. She recommends the Maybelline New York Instant Age Rewind Concealer, which works as both highlighter and concealer in one.

"You can use it to brighten your skin at the high points, like the bridge of the nose, under eyes and under the brow bone," she says. "It's super hydrating, so you always look flawless." 

To cover every eye makeup possibility from a subtle lid wash to night-out smokey eyes, swap out your eyeshadow singles for a compact palette. Parsons loves the ease of a neutral eye, created with the Maybelline New York Nudes of New York Palette.

Get creative with color combos and top off your look with a hydrating gloss like Maybelline New York Lifter Gloss in Ice, which looks gorgeous alone or as a shine-boosting topper to your favorite lip liner or lipstick.  

Madelaine Petsch; renee rouleau
Credit: FilmMagic

Get Glowing With Hydrating, Soothing Essentials

The proper skin prep ensures you'll land at your destination looking like you just left the spa. Esthetician Renée Rouleau—whose celebrity clients include Demi Lovato, Camila Mendes, Lili Reinhart and Madelaine Petsch—advises a few key tips that help your skin retain hydration as you change environments.

Layering a hydrating toner and serum as a pre-flight routine shields against low cabin humidity. Rouleau's preferred order is one layer of her Moisture Infusion Toner, followed by Skin Drink Concentrate, two more layers of toner and a few drops of Pro Remedy Oil. The serum gets carried into the skin by the toner and then sealed in by the oil, she says. Daytime flyers should also add sunscreen to protect from heightened UV exposure.

Once you land, try her mini facial to reset your complexion. Wash your face, exfoliate with a gentle scrub or acid peel, then soothe skin with a thick layer of the Rapid Response Detox Masque. The rinse-off formula hydrates, brightens and provides an antibacterial effect that curbs post-travel breakouts.

If you're short on time, you can try an even easier trick to boost circulation and naturally brighten a tired complexion: Rouleau tells clients to lie down and hang their heads upside down for three minutes to quickly take skin from dull to radiant.

Tessa Thompson/Instagram

Break Out the Braids (and Bobby Pins!)

Can't pack hot tools? Braids and bobby pins are guaranteed to get you through any kind of trip, says Lacy Redway, Unilever Global Haircare Brand Ambassador, who works with Amanda Gorman, Tessa Thompson, Sadie Sink and Zazie Beetz.

Bobby pins always make it in her travel kit, she says, because "they not only help me secure styles in place, but also help create an added texture." To create quick and easy crimps, she opens each pin up and twists hair around it in a figure-eight formation.

Another heat-free hairstyle perfect for any destination or hair type: braids. For a beachy touch, Redway likes to add shells or beads, as styled on Garrett Bradley at the 2021 Oscars. "It's so easy to do," she says. 

As for products, skip the stylers and just make sure you have a good shampoo and conditioner on hand. Redway likes Tresemmé Pro Pure Damage Recovery Shampoo and Conditioner, which help hair recover from the effects of chlorine, saltwater and sand. Pour them into travel-sized containers if you're packing light.

nails of LA; Orly bonder

Nail Your Vacation Mani

Nothing lasts through a trip like a gel manicure, which gives you a couple weeks of wear without chips or smudges. If you don't have time to go to a salon, Brittney Boyce, celebrity manicurist to Megan Fox and Bailee Madison and founder of Nails of LA, has two alternate suggestions.

For regular lacquer manicures, wipe down clean nail beds with alcohol or polish remover, she says. This ensures your polish will stick. Then, paint on a layer of Boyce's favorite, Orly Bonder Base Coat, which will act like double-sided tape for your polish.

If you want to try your hand at nail art, go for an outlined French manicure, Boyce's current signature design for clients like Shay Mitchell. "It's such a cool minimalist alternative to the original French mani," she notes. "It also highlights the length of the nail."

Opt for classic white or mix it up with colorful rainbow shades. To make the process super seamless, grab a pack of Nails of LA Press-On Extensions in The Realist. The easy-to-apply set features Boyce's celeb-worthy nail art, no private booking required.