Beauty and Fashion staples: the backpacker edition
Updated: Jan 31
Hello and welcome back to my wee blog! Lets get straight into it, today we are talking fashion and beauty - wahoo! Sorry boys, this one probably ain't for you. One of the most stressful factors of travelling for me was deciding what to bring. Anybody who knows me personally will know that my double wardrobe at home is filled to the brim with clothes, shoes and accessories. Deciding what to wear is always an extremely long process. Just ask James, he will tell you exactly how long it takes me to get ready, sorry not sorry! So having to pack for a whole year...well even the thought of it was enough to put me in a hot sweat. It was hard, and I still wish I had taken several items with me (I miss my roche trainers soooo badly!) but I did it and I'm surprisingly still alive. Now that I have been travelling for a few months I've noticed a definite trend of items which crop up on a day to day basis. They are what I would call, my backpack staples (since I currently don't have a wardrobe). So sit back and grab yourself a hot cuppa ladies, I'm going to talk you through the items I could NOT live without while travelling.
1. My Birks
Oh. My. God. They. Are. So. Comfy. For all those birkenstock virgins, I would just like to formally tell you that you are missing out. I am not a big flip flop gal, in fact I find flip flops super uncomfy and unsupportive. I guess they aren't meant to tick either of these boxes, but the practicality of simply slipping on a pair of shoes is such a huge advantage when travelling, especially when you're in Thailand where a lot of shops and temples require you to remove your shoes before entry. I bought my birks around 3 years ago in TKMaxx for a mere £19. Yep, you heard me! They normally retail at around £40+ so I really got myself a bargain. They come in lots of different styles, colours and are suitable for boys and girls; what more could you want! I settled for a black pair of the single strap design, and later got myself an identical pair in white after falling head over heels (not literally, don't worry they are very comfy) for the shoes. Unlike flip flops, they don't rub inbetween your toes, although I had to break mine in a little to prevent blisters where the strap meets my foot. However, once you worn them in gently, they adopt to the shape of your foot for maximum comfort. While travelling I have worn my birks pretty much every single day. And they are still going strong! They may not be the nicest looking shoes, James for one thinks they are ugly, but I love them and think they add a bit of quirkiness to any outfit. Invest or even check out your local TKMaxx for a bargain; they are so worth it.
2. Floaty Trousers
They are in fashion and the definition of comfort and style. Floaty highwaisted trousers have been my go to while travelling. Perfect for almost every occasion; casual beach day, night out, exploring your destination, chilling in your room, you name it. You can get these in most highstreet fashion shops nowadays, as well as online in huge variety of styles and shapes. I bagged myself two pairs in H&M sale for a couple of pounds and I have worn them tirelessly throughout our days in Thailand and Aus. The flared shape of the legs allows your legs to keep cool while also protecting them from the sun and those pesky mozzies. And the highwaisted design hides the infamous foodbaby, now if that doesn't sway you I don't know what will. Best of all they take up next to no room in your bag due to their lightweight material. If you are looking for something
cheap and cheerful check out Boohoo!
3. Primark Lingerie
That's right, I said Primark not Boux Avenue. Unfortunately travelling requires comfort and practicality 90% of the time; as much as I love my beautiful matching lingerie sets which make me feel like a million dollas, wearing them while hiking through a jungle in 35 degrees is less than comfortable. I managed to squeeze in one cute set, but my absolute go to pieces in the bra and pants department have been of the sports variety. My comfy Calvins (as in the set that almost every girl ever has, I know I'm so cliche and hipster) are amazing, but so expensive. I couldn't face paying that much for a second set. So I went on a mission to find a cheap rip off and I was pleasantly surprised as to where I found them. Primark have a great range of lingerie for extremely bank account friendly prices. Grabbing three sets for £16 was nearly enough to make me squeal with excitement. Their sporty sets are the same shape and style of Calvins, just without the logo. Although the material is not quite as soft and stretchy they do the trick for a fraction of the price.
1. Brow tint
For all those fair haired ladies, this is ones for you. Unfortunately I was not blessed with dark lashes or brows, so without my beloved makeup on I look slightly terrifying. Not only that, but it makes me feel 100x more conscious of myself. Before holidaying I tend to head to my fave beautician (shoutout to Lauren, follow her awesome Facebook page here) and get my lashes and brows tinted. For a lazy gal like me this is the perfect alternative. It keeps my lashes and brows as dark as they would be with makeup without having bother with a daily application. Sure, it eventually fades but if you're careful it should last you a good few weeks. While travelling this was perfect. I didn't want to apply makeup daily. It gave me the confidence and a natural look with no effort. Once they started to fade I pulled out my trusty brow tint which is sadly now on its last legs. Much like a mascara wand it coats your brows with a (for me) brown liquid which gives them a darker but natural appearance - voila! You can pick these from pretty much any drugstore for fairly cheap; I use the L'Oreal Brow Drama.
2. Lush skin pigment
This one is perfect for us pale, pale, PALE girls. Finding a foundation that actually fits my skintone is pretty much impossible, I am THAT pale. But this stuff does the trick for me, and it is a perfect light alternative to foundation for travelling. The Lush Colour Supplement comes in a small round tub in a variety of different shades - the palest (Mine obviously) named Jackie Oates. This stuff is a dream. You can apply to straight onto the skin or mix it with your favourite foundation or moisturiser. Day to day I have been mixing a little bit with my Nivea Day Moisturiser for a lightweight and natural coverage. Personally, I tend not to wear a huge amount of foundation mostly because I am lucky enough to have fairly clear skin. If you're looking for a full coverage product this isn't for you. When I'm heading out I mix this bad boy with a little bit of my Revlon Colour Stay foundation for better coverage. Like all lush products its made without animal testing, and is soft and gentle on your skin.
3. Lush shampoo and conditioner bars (Pictured within holder bought separately, unfortunately my bars are not very photogenic after two months!)
Okay, so this one is a real game changer. Thanks to my lovely pal Holly who recommended these products, I have had clean and beautiful smelling hair without having a heave around a massive bottle of shampoo for my whole time travelling. Shampoo and conditioner bottles take up so much room and they are surprisingly heavy; while backpacking these are the kind of things you can do without. So I present to you, the shampoo and conditioner BARS. They come in lots of different fragrances, all of which have different benefits for different kinds of hair and they all smell AMAZING. I wouldn't expect anything else from lush. Simply rub these on your scalp, or between your hands and spread all over your hair. You will be surprised about how little you need! These things are compact, light and last for friggin' ages. James and I have had ours since we jetted off and they're still going strong. Basically Lush are awesome.
So there we have it, my absolute must have travel products and fashion items. Of course there are lots of things that I have found super useful on our journey but these six wee beauties are a good base to get your packing list rolling.
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