3 Days, 7 Products: How I Survived a Coastal Vacation as a Beauty Minimalist
As much as I've fine-tuned my skills for packing light—I can go from two days to two weeks in a carry-on—beauty supplies are a category that I always overpack. While in sum, the products themselves are typically small and don't take up too much luggage real estate, I also find myself carrying around way too many liquids, gels, and what-have-you (something airport security are never happy to find in said carry-on). So when Chevrolet invited me on a three-day getaway (to celebrate the launch of their newest mid-size SUV), I used the quick road trip as an opportunity to finally challenge myself to streamline my approach to beauty while on the road.
While the car certainly had ample space for all my luggage—and then some—to practice life as a beauty minimalist, I challenged myself to only bring seven beauty products—including for hair. I spent the weeks before the trip debating which products would make it into my final edit, playing around with makeup looks and trying to determine what beauty multi-taskers could best suit my many needs. I ended up surviving the three days with just seven products, and while there are some things I'd switch out for future road trips or short getaways, I was satisfied with how my chosen handful of beauty products performed and was glad to have them in my company.
Head below to see how I survived a coastal vacation as a beauty minimalist and see which products made the cut.
The Beauty Looks
I opt for a fairly natural look during the day, especially if I'm traveling. Still, cutting down on my number of beauty products forced me to go even more natural—and get super savvy with what I decided to bring. My desert-island beauty product is mascara, so that was a must. After that, I wanted a foundation so chose a tinted moisturiser with SPF—another must. I typically only wear eyeliner on my top lid—unless—I'm going out, so I decided to ditch it entirely. I also forewent eyeshadow (or at least the palette I usually use) as that's one of the first things I skip anyway when I'm in a rush. For the past few years I've actually been using a dark eyeshadow to fill in my brows, so I decided bringing that along was enough if I wanted to amp up my look come nightfall. While I'm sure I could have done without it on the trip, I brought along the lip liner I use almost daily. It's close enough to my natural shade it looks great with just chapstick (which I regrettably edited from my packing list) and added some pink to my lips and cheeks with a cream blush in pale pink. I wear my bronzer almost daily for a refreshed glow, so when I got my hands on a new palette that boasts bronzer, blush, and highlighter in six shades I knew it was coming along on my trip. Finally, for hair, I'm lucky enough to not get too greasy after a few days, so only brought along a wave spray to add body and dimension.
The trickiest part about creating my evening look was working without eyeliner or lipstick. As I lined my eyes with dark eyeshadow and filled in my lips with lip liner, I didn't hate the results but I much preferred the look achieved with the products I had left behind. Though its SPF properties were no longer needed, the tinted moisturiser gave me a clean canvas to work with. I swept more bronzer on my cheeks and used the two blush options in the palette that I had skipped during the day. I even tried a bit of the blush on my lids for a subtle rosy effect and added more highlighter along the brow and top of the cheekbone. I nixed the cream blush on my cheeks for evening (thinking the pale pink shade read more daytime) and just put a dot of it on my lips for added dimension. For mascara, I swept a few more coats onto my top lashes and along the bottom set too to make up for the lack of eyeliner. The wave spray worked its magic on my wet morning locks to provide me with polished waves once dry.
What to Pack Next Roadtrip
Ouai Haircare Wave Spray ($40)
For day: I spritzed this wave spray evenly over my towel-dried hair shortly after showering and then scrunched with my hands. I let my hair air dry for beachy waves. I rarely ever use hairstyling tools on my hair so this laid-back approach wasn't too different from what I usually do.
For night: I transformed my beachy daytime waves into a more polished evening look by spritzing in more wave spray then tying my hair up into a bun while I finished my makeup. Once I released the bun, my hair held more controlled waves and the added formula worked almost like a hairspray to keep everything in place.
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Surreal Light ($116)
For day: For daytime I only used the two furthest left shades—the bronzer along my cheekbones and a bit of highlighter swept on top.
For night: Come evening, I experimented with more of the colors in the palette. I added more layers of bronzer and highlighter to the cheeks, a few sweeps of bronzer on the brow (using your fingers instead of a brush turns up the pigment) and added a bit of both blush colors to the cheeks (and a tad to the eyelids) for some extra colour.
MAC Lip Pencil in Soar ($30)
For day: During the day I used my go-to lip liner to line my lips. As mentioned before, I typically fill in with chapstick for a natural, everyday look, but had unwisely chosen not to bring any along with me on the trip (instead filling in with a cream blush that was beautiful but drying).
For night: To make more of a statement for nighttime, I filled in the entirety of my lips with this lip liner that's just a tad darker than my natural lip shade. The resulting look was less creamy than a lipstick, but as matte lips are in I didn't mind.
Bobbi Brown Eyeshadow in Saddle ($42)
For day: Until this trip I had never used this eyeshadow as eyeshadow, but instead to fill in my brows. For daytime I used the pressed powder to fill in as usual.
For night: The "Saddle" shade of this eyeshadow is super dark so perfect for my black brows and occasionally lining my lash line, which I skipped for daytime but did for dinner. I even used my finger to press in a bit of the darker color delicately into the creases of my eyelid for added drama.
Dior Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Mascara ($56)
For day: As previously mentioned, mascara is my desert-island beauty product. I've tried giving it up before (and actually survived for 27 days) but it's the last thing I really want to edit out of my makeup routine.
For night: Come evening, I went my usual route of applying a couple extra coats of mascara. Because my eyes felt a bit naked with just eyeshadow on the lower lash line instead of eyeliner I added a coat to my bottom lashes as well.
Next up, learn how to keep fresh-faced while camping (or glamping).