3 Simple Travel Beauty Tips

Published in: Beauty Tips


“I’m on my way, I’m on my way, home sweet home.” — Motley Crue


Today is my last full day in Hawaii. I head home tomorrow, and, as is the case after most vacations, I feel both a sense of sadness (crap, I have to go back to the real world?) and extreme relief (I can’t wait to sleep in my own bed).

As I rifled through the bag I’ve been living out of for the past week, I realized I learned quite a few things on this trip, some of them beauty-related. Most were born out of my bad habit of waiting until the last minute to pack.

What I Learned on Summer Vacation

  • Bring Wet Ones Travel Packs to clean makeup brushes. These are convenient no matter what kind of vacation you’re planning. In humid locales, brush heads used with moist products like concealers never completely dry out and become breeding grounds for mold and bacteria. I’m so glad I remembered to toss a few of these travel-sized anti-bacterial wipes into my makeup bag for the trip. The packaging didn’t take up lots of space, and I can clean all of my brushes with a single wipe.
  • Body lotion can double as shaving cream in a pinch. In my last-minute frenzy to pack, I forgot a few things, one important one being shave cream. I had to improvise because hairy bikini lines are totally not cute. Out of desperation I tried shaving with Curel lotion and my trusty Venus Breeze razor. Lo and behold, it actually worked pretty darn well. No bumps and a close shave, too.
  • Face lotion doubles as eye makeup remover. Would you believe I also forgot to pack eye makeup remover? I had travel samples of both Philosophy’s Hope in a Jar ($28) and H2O+’s Night Oasis ($36) moisturizer and both did a fine job removing waterproof mascara. To use it I worked a dollop onto my lashes and lids with my fingertips, and then wiped it off with a cotton ball.


We leave Maui tonight and head back to Oahu on the ferry. Our flight back to California departs tomorrow afternoon. For the past two days here on Maui I’ve survived on a diet of swimming, resting on the beach, reading and day dreaming.

It has been a long time since I’ve had stretches of time to just let my mind wander, and it felt really good.

Every time I have to leave these warm, crystal blue waters, it tugs at my heart. This ocean has witnessed so many pivotal moments in my life; I was 17 when these waves first caressed my feet in the surf. I was so young, so hopeful and my heart always felt light and free.

These are the same warm waters that held me and El Hub afloat on our first trip together six years ago as he twirled me around and around and promised to love me forever; and, it was here in Hawaii, with waves crashing in the background, where we said our vows.


Years ago, I could never have imagined the things this ocean would bear witness to. Maybe the next time I return I’ll have a lil’ one growing inside of me. Perhaps El Hub and I will be teaching our first child to swim.

I know that my life is just a blip in time to these waters. The waves were here long before I arrived and will be here long after I’ve left this world, but this water — this ocean — bears witness to my life. Even though countless people have come and gone from these islands, have played on these shores, and even though the footprints I left on the beach were washed away seconds after I left them, I’ve made my mark. I’m a part of this ocean, and it’s a part of me.

Now it’s time to go back to work, ya’ll. Bring it!

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



Like this post? Tell your friends!

So far, 35 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. i cant wait to hear about a little make-up addict… Karen ur trip seemed awesome!!!

    i♥makeups last blog post..Make-up Trend: Brow Lift

  2. vivien says:

    “I’m a part of this ocean, and it’s a part of me.”
    …aw that made me smile!
    That picture is absolutely breathtaking, now I’m DYING to go to Hawaii!

  3. Aleks says:

    This is why I love your blog so much. Thank you. 🙂 Enjoy your last day!

  4. Aleks says:

    *last day in Hawaii, I meant to say, but I guess you got my point 😀


  5. Glosslizard says:

    You do have a way with words! I know that sadness/joy of leaving a lovely trip behind! You’ve done such a great job of transporting all of us along with you, I think I’m a little sad too! 🙂

    Great travel tips too, btw!

  6. Beth says:

    Make up expert and poet…is there nothing you can’t do? 🙂

    I just found out the Wet Ones/Brush cleaning thing myself this past week. Purely out of laziness, I should add. I was trying some new eyeshadow combintions in my bedroom, couldn’t be bothered to go to the bathroom and figured what the heck, I’ll try it…and it works pretty well as a temporary thing!

    Enjoy the last day of your trip. I’ve nver been to Hawaii, but you’ve totally sold me on it and its being added to my newly created “places to go before I die” list.


    Beths last blog post..Buy This!

  7. Miss QQ says:

    Hi Karen, I love your blog. This must be the most emotional entry I’ve read from your blog so far. I thought it was only I who feel sad and relief at the end of a vacation LOL! I feel happy for you, that this beautiful ocean is part of you, that at 17, you were hopeful and carefree. However, it makes me sad to think that the same was not for me at 17. But I’ll be making up for lost time haha!
    I can’t find Wet Ones Travel Pack here. How often should I clean my brushes and how? It’s humid here all year round. The last thing I want is to have bacteria infection in my allergic eyes. They used to swell like that of goldfish eyes every few weeks when I was 10 to 12 because my bed was full of soft toys.

  8. Melodie says:

    Sounds like you and “el hub” had an amazing time! I love the pics at Haiku Gardens – takes me right back!! Must be hard to leave the beautiful islands. Glad you were able to find some “down time” in Maui.
    I love this post, especially talk about lil’ ones 🙂
    Thanks for providing me one more use for Wet Ones! Those things are quite multi-functional!

  9. Pia says:

    Karen, your last paragraph totally moves me! I love the idea of us part of the ocean and the ocean is part of us. how true!

    Pias last blog post..Culinary Experience

  10. Nell says:

    I´ve been a silent reader of your blog for months now, I love it.
    This post today has moved me to tears, thank you for that little surge of emotion in my hectic and stressful day.
    All the best for you, Nell

  11. Dao says:

    Awwwwwwe, girl you make me cry! I know how it feels to go back to the real world. Vacations give you lots of energy though, so when you go back you’ll be Super Core Karen 🙂

    I totally love the little wipes, they save my lazy buns on the lazy days when my brushes were really muggy looking. A tip for you: hair conditioner is a good shaving gel too. I use it whenever I travel or want to get rid of a so-so bottle of conditioner.

    Enjoy your last day of vacation my dear. When you come back, we all celebrate, mkay? 😉

  12. kris says:

    Karen….this was a very beautiful article. I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us now. I stumbled your blog about a month ago but didn’t ever comment, amazing you did all this while you were supposed to be on VACATION…that’s amazing.

  13. Lena says:

    Hear, hear! 😀

  14. Amanda says:

    aw-what poignant posting. And just wanted to say thanks for sharing your vacation with all of us readers.

    I will have to remember that wipes tip next time I go on a trip!

  15. Bridget says:

    This is a great post. I’m so glad you have had a great time in Hawaii and that you have a special place.

    As for eye makeup remover I love using Vaseline. I really love Vaseline in general. After I wash my face I put some on my eye lashes and over time they really have come in thicker. Then I put it all over my face before bed, just a thin layer, and it’s so soft and nice when I wake up. Ahhh the wonders of Vaseline.

    Bridgets last blog post..In a former life…

  16. Crystal says:

    Awww your soooo cute! I loved this post 🙂

  17. Karen says:

    Hi Iheartmakeup,

    Aww, me too. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the future. 🙂

    Happy Monday!

  18. Karen says:

    Hi Vivien,

    I’m glad I got you to smile today! I really hope that you get the chance to visit one day. It’s a beautiful place.

  19. Karen says:

    Hi Aleks,

    Thank you, girl! Have a wonderful week.

  20. Karen says:

    Hi Glosslizard,

    Thanks. 🙂 I am glad that I was able to share the trip with you. It was my pleasure! Have a wonderful day!

  21. Karen says:

    Hi Beth,

    LOL, we’ll lets see… there’s plenty I’m pretty terrible at, like, um, sports with projectiles!

    Don’t you love the Wet Ones? Sooo handy!

  22. Karen says:

    Hi Miss QQ,

    Thanks, girlfriend. 🙂 I’m glad you are making up for lost time now… hope things are on the up and up for you!

    Regarding brushes, for me, I clean ’em depending on how much I use them. I do a heavy duty cleaning with MAC Brush cleaner about once a week (or every two weeks, if I’m pressed for time), and use Wet Ones a few times a week. If you want you can always use the Wet Ones once a day, and then do a more thorough cleaning with brush cleaner on the weekends. It’s really up to you, though!

  23. Karen says:

    Hi Pia,

    Thank you, friend. Are you a water person, too?

  24. Karen says:

    Hi Nell,

    It’s good to meet you. 🙂 Thank you for sharing this with me. You really made my day. Have a wonderful week and take care!

  25. Karen says:

    Hi Dao,

    Aww, I didn’t mean to make you teary! I hope it’s good tears. 🙂

    OH! Yeah, I use some conditioner, too! I like the thickness of the lotion, though.

    I’ll be back in commission tomorrow and in FULL FORCE! WOOT! Gosh, I miss my camera (yes, I’m a weirdo) and can’t wait to take some product shots!

  26. Angela says:

    I got teary too, reading about your guy twirling you around, saying he’d love you forever.

    Thanks for sharing your vacation with us also. You’re the coolest girl 🙂

  27. Daya says:

    What a great post! I miss the islands…its been our best vacation so far. Thanks for sharing all the new tips!

    Happy travels home! 🙂

  28. Abby says:

    Well darn, I too am bummed that your Hawaiian adventure is almost over but thank you so much for sharing it! Your pictures are stunning. Thanks for the tip on the wet wones wipes for brushes, *slaps self on head–never would have thought of that!

    Best wishes Karen!!! Have safe and happy return to SF!!

  29. Karen says:

    Hi Melodie,

    Seriously, Wet Ones should win some sort of international award. What else do you use ’em for?

    Remember that time we all had dinner at Haleiwa Joe’s? That seems so long ago.

    Give my nephews big hugs for me! 🙂

  30. Karen says:

    Thank you, Angela!

    I loved sharing it the trip with you. If I am lucky hopefully I’ll get to travel some more in the future.

    Have a wonderful day!

  31. Karen says:

    Hi Daya,

    I hope you get to go back soon. You know the ocean is calling you. 😉

    Hope you are doing great!

  32. Karen says:

    Hi Abby,

    Thank you, girl! The trip back home was pretty uneventful, and that’s just the way I like it. 🙂

    Oh, you’re gonna love using the Wet Ones for quick brush cleaning!

  33. inaya says:

    Your words can truly create a deep impact. Know that it is a git to be you

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge