Image Source: Tori Crowther
I've had the travel bug for as long as I can remember; I just can't stay put for too long. Before I'd even finished the last of my university work and graduated, I was off to the USA to stay with family for six weeks. From there, my boyfriend and I travelled around SE Asia, part backpacking, part nice (budget) holidaying. I'd managed to pack up my belongings in a bag of a similar size to the one I now carry to work every day. I'd also packed less makeup and skin care for the trip than I use in a day at home.
I packed only six items: cleanser, exfoliator, moisturiser, SPF, shampoo, and mascara. That's it. I'd recently had an HD Brows treatment, so I didn't need to worry about them. I didn't even take conditioner or hair oil (though I later regretted this and bought some on my travels). To say I packed light is an understatement.
Over the first few days, I missed my acid toner, mists, and array of concealers to rid my blemishes and dark circles. But surprisingly, after the initial shock of only having minimal products, I actually forgot about my lack of beauty products and didn't miss having those extra steps in my day.
Although I've been blessed with a quite a good complexion, I still have my skin hangups. Right now I could tell you exactly where all my skin concerns are (two spots by my nose, a scar on my left jaw, and a weird blackhead on my left cheek). I stare at them every time I do my skincare routine, wishing them away. But I actually can't tell you if my skin was particularly good or bad when I was travelling, because I didn't notice it, nor did I care. I didn't have the time (or energy) for a 15-minute skincare routine, which is one of my favourite things at home.
Image Source: Tori Crowther
My skin has definitely benefited from using an array of products, and I don't think I could ever have such a minimal routine long term. However, I have learnt that giving my skin a break also gave me a break from obsessing over every blemish and imperfection. It also made me appreciate makeup. When I did decide to wear a slick of mascara once or twice in the evening, I felt great, like really great. I was amazed what such a tiny amount of product could do as a confidence booster. Never underestimate the power of mascara!
Now, I'm not saying that you shouldn't ever think about skin care again. Although there is more to life than beauty products, I strive for perfect skin and I really enjoy trying different products to find what works for me. But there are no benefits to scrutinising your every blemish in the mirror twice (or more) a day, because it probably isn't doing you or your skin any good. Sometimes, the basics are all you need. Embrace your natural beauty and enjoy those no-makeup moments as much as the makeup moments!