The first question people asked me when I told them I was going to be traveling for a year was, “How the fuck do you pack for that?”
The idea of living out of a suitcase didn’t really stress me out (deciding what suitcase to live out of, though, was a totally different story), but the idea of leaving behind all of the beauty products that keep my hair, skin and nails looking #flawless was enough to give me heart palps.
To be totally honest, I wasn’t always such a hardcore beauty diva. I’d always liked the idea of having great skin, but only got into the whole “self care” thing in the last year or so after I found two tiny wrinkles on my forehead and realized I didn’t actually have to continue living with all of my teenage acne scars.
In the last few months, I’ve acquired dozens of beauty products (most of them through my work as a beauty writer) and my skin looks the best it’s looked in my entire life — pre-puberty years included. Saying goodbye to the serums, gels and creams that have made me feel like my best self was almost as hard as saying goodbye to my friends and family (don’t tell them I said that).
Here are the skincare products that actually made the cut (after a full fledged purge and three rounds of edits)… At least until I fly home in June to re-stock.
And no, no one is paying me for any of these endorsements. Though if anyone wants to, feel free to #slideintomyDM’s
In The Morning:
There’s something about using mud to wash the dirt of my face that feels a litttttle counterintutitive, but this cleanser is pretty damn amazing. It’s all natural and hella hydrating, and somehow makes my skin feel clean without that aggressive stripping feeling that usually comes with soap.
As you will quickly learn through the rest of this post, I am straight up addicted to Drunk Elephant’s entire skincare line. Choosing which of their products to bring and which leave behind (… I own literally everything they make) felt like someone was forcing me to choose between my favorite children. In addition to coming in a really adorable bottle, this Vitamin C Serum has almost completely eliminated the two wrinkles on my forehead that developed during the 2016 Presidential election.
Between the jet lag and hangovers that define the Remote Year experience, I have never in my life been as thankful for a product as I am for this eye balm. I dab it on in the morning before I put on my makeup, and it works actual magic on the bags under my eyes.
Kylie Jenner uses TizO3 tinted moisturizer, so I use TizO3 tinted moisturizer.
You know those mornings when you wake up and realize you’re having a “bad face” day? (Similar to bad hair days, but arguably more traumatizing). Those are the days when I use this Allies of Skin mask. It’s the first ever “all day” mask (… most are used overnight) and helps supercharge skin with peptides, antioxidants and anti-inflammatories to stimulate collagen production and reduce irritation and blemishes.
There’s something about living in a HOT, kiiiiind of dirty city that makes your skin feel straight up disgusting at the end of the day. I keep a set of these facial wipes in my bathroom to take my makeup off at night, and another in my bag to use when I fly or need to fix the makeup I’ve sweated off by 2pm each afternoon. They’re not tecccchhhnically all-natural, but they smell really amazing and feel a lot less alcohol-y than the drugstore version of facial wipes that most people swear by.
My dermatologist told me I needed to start using eye cream (… among other anti-aging products) four years ago, but 2016 was the year I decided it was officially time to start listening to her. This eye balm is thick and restorative, so great to use at night when I don’t have to worry about putting makeup on over it and it helps eliminate under-eye bags when I wake up in the morning. It does go on goopy and green, though, which has been a really cute thing for my boyfriend to witness our first week of living together.
As far as miracle serums go, this one is pretty high on my list. The glycolic acid acts as a chemical exfoliator, and resurfaces skin by lifting dead cells while also rehydrating the layer underneath.
Considering I have to fit an entire year’s worth of stuff into one bag, I am endlessly grateful for two-for-one products that actually do what they say they’re going to. If I could start and end each day bathing in this moisturizer, I would. It makes my skin feel so soft that I keep asking strangers to touch my face so they can understand what I’m talking about, which has been met with mixed reactions.
I’m still a little skeptical of all of the “walk in” facial spas in Malaysia, so am greatly appreciative of the fact that thanks to Drunk Elephant I can give myself a spa-quality treatment in my apartment (… While J is at the gym). It’s even more powerful than its sister serum (above) and is meant to be used once a week.