Cultural Experience | United Kingdom

How to Stay Beautiful Abroad

Your beauty routine does not have to suffer because of travel

Traveling abroad can entail a lot of changes. Everything from the food you eat to the school that you attend is alien to you. One thing that does not have to be compromised is your beauty routine. Just because you are away from home does not mean that you cannot maintain your look. Here are some easy tips for staying photo-ready while you are away from home.

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Do your research

If for some reason that you do run out of items that you brought from home, do not panic. When considering face wash or hair products in the country that you are visiting, be wary of what you are purchasing. It is important to carefully check ingredients on these items prior to use to make sure that your body doesn’t have an adverse reaction to them. The good news is that a lot of European goods are actually better for you in comparison to the ones sold in the U.S. because of Europe’s stricter policy on the ingredients that go into their beauty products. Also, local pharmacists are usually extremely helpful in finding items that work well for you.

Do not get your hair done

As tempting as it may be, do not, under any circumstances, get your hair done. There are countless stories of people getting terrible dye-jobs, awful haircuts and weird blowouts while they are away solely because of a lack of communication. What means one thing at home may have a completely different meaning somewhere else. For instance ‘bangs’ in America is actually ‘fringe’ in England, making for a very confusing hair appointment. If you really must do something about your hair, research as many places in the area as possible. It also doesn’t hurt to ask the people in charge of your program or the local citizenry. Keep in mind that what you do to your hair will become an indelible part of your photographs from abroad.

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Hair appliances

Purchase them in your host country. Curling irons, straighteners and blow dryers from America all have the dubious reputation of overloading electrical outlets in other countries. It is best to find cheap ones in your new city.


Bring a nail kit and polish from home. Nail salon health regulations differ all over the world.

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These are products that can easily be brought from home or purchased in whatever country that you find yourself in. Mascara and eyeliner both have the miraculous ability of making you instantly more awake, which is perfect for those long flights and nights.

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Lip Balm

For day-to-day use, lip balm is the way to go. Between flying and the ever-changing climate, it is easy for lips to dry and crack, which is neither comfortable nor pretty. Lip balm is easy to apply on the go and can be thrown into your bag to carry with you. It is also possible to find lip balm virtually anywhere in the world.

Foundation/BB Cream

In this case, the more lightweight, the better. Plenty of products are lightweight yet still give you incredible coverage, and that is a true win/win situation. With all the walking and adventuring you are doing during your time away, it is important not to have heavy, cakey makeup on. This almost guarantees you some sort of breakout. The lighter the better!

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Setting spray

This little spray is a true gem. It allows you to mist a setting product all over your face to ensure that your makeup stays intact- no matter how sweaty you get, making it perfect for those demanding hikes or hot nightclubs. This stuff lasts all day and well into the night, so you needn’t worry about losing your makeup. Bonus tip: DIY your own setting spray by using hairspray.

Oil Blotters

Your makeup may not move but that doesn’t mean that you won’t experience some shine because of perspiration. Oil blotters truly make the world go round. These magical little papers dab up the oils on your face that cause shine, leaving you with a filtered look. They are easy to store in a purse or even a pocket.

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There is no reason that your beauty routine needs to suffer because you are abroad. In fact, it is quite easy to maintain. Just remember to research before you buy (or do) anything. It is also helpful to get a traveling case for your products to place in your carry-on bag, so you can travel worry-free. So get out there and conquer the world. Smile, you look beautiful!

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How to Stay Beautiful Abroad

Amanda Hackney

Pennsylvania State University | 9 stories

Amanda Hackney is a public relations major and international studies minor at Penn State University. She spent her second semester of junior year abroad in Dublin, Ireland. When she is not exploring the world, Amanda can be found curled up with a good book, hanging out with friends or baking fabulous cakes in her kitchen. Follow her on Instagram @amanda_hackney and Twitter @hackcittty

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