Beauty Tricks from a Travel Writer That Will Take You Around the World and Back
Nina Karnikowski gives us the lowdown on her beauty tips, no matter the coordinates.
Who hasn’t flirted with the idea of a life on the road, of jetting off to faraway lands at a moment’s notice with nothing more than a rucksack (even if it is Vetements) and a hazy vision of what lies ahead? Enchanting in theory, but in practice, chances are you’ll encounter any number of unpleasant drawbacks —dull skin, crippling fatigue, unrecognizable cuisine—and that’s before you’ve even stepped off the aircraft. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way. As Australian travel writer Nina Karnikowski verifies, with the right approach, your beauty routine can be transportable. Whether she’s traversing the dusty Moroccan desert on the back of a camel, or camping in a yurt in the middle of the Mongolian steppe, Karnikowoski maintains a fuss-free routine based largely on natural remedies. But above all, one that perfectly complements her peripatetic existence and at the same time, as her Instagram feed attests, promises a more than adequate level of glow.
“Whenever I find myself back in my old home, Mumbai, I head straight to Touch of Joy for a 90-minute head massage. Ignore the cheesy name and focus on the fact that for $18, your head, shoulders, arms, and back are kneaded until you’re looking as good as you feel. Head massages feature heavily in Indian Ayurvedic beauty care; they increase blood flow to the hair follicle, which means nutrient intake is upped and your locks are much healthier. I always opt not to have the coconut oil washed out, to let the goodness soak in overnight.”
“Because of all the flying involved in my job, plus the ocean swimming I do as often as I can, keeping my hair hydrated is really important. I’ve recently fallen for Sans Ceuticals; their products are nourishing, clean, and free of harmful additives like parabens, sulfates, and petrochemicals that our hair really doesn’t need. Their Moisture and Protein Infusion 20 is particularly delicious.
“I add Orchard Street’s Radiance Powder to my morning juices and smoothies wherever I am in the world. It’s packed with antioxidant-boosting ingredients like noni, rosehip, goji, and camu camu—since I started using it I haven’t had a breakout, so I’m sticking with it.”
“I always travel with a little tub of Wild Love’s Wildcrafted Kawakawa Healing Balm. The New Zealand kawakawa tree is traditionally used for healing because of its anti-inflammatory properties, and this nourishing sweet almond oil and beeswax balm is infused with it. It’s great for skin irritations, but I use it mostly as a lip balm when I’m in dry destinations, like a recent assignment to the Atacama Desert in Chile, the driest place in the world!”
“Scent has always been really important to me—whether I’m on the road or at home writing, I always have incense burning or the fragrance of hot tea brewing. I’m drawn to these really earthy, primal scents, so since I discovered Ayu’s Ayurvedic-based scented oils a couple of years back, I haven’t been without them. Souq is my favorite; its blend of sandalwood, rose, and musk transports me straight back to the souks of Morocco.”
“I’m not big on makeup, but I do love RMS Beauty’s “un” cover-up. It’s a blend of yummy oils like coconut, jojoba, and beeswax, so the tint blends straight into your skin and nourishes as well. It keeps me looking fresh and glowy even after I’ve stepped off a killer flight, or even when I’m camping in a yurt in the middle of the Mongolian steppe!”
“I’m an oil gal, inside and out. I slather my salads in macadamia or avocado oil, cook and cleanse my face with coconut oil, and eat loads of avocado and fatty salmon. For outer nourishment, though, I love Monk Oil’s Palo Santo Skin Potion—it has avocado oil to keep skin hydrated, and also smoky quartz, which supposedly dispels negativity. It was a lifesaver when I traveled to Kakadu in outback Australia last year.”
“A day without bathing is not a good day for me. I try to always end each day soaking in a tub, either filled with Epsom salts or a tea tonic I’ve brewed up with fresh lavender, rose buds, St John’s Wort, or whatever other herb I feel like I need that day. Here in the Hunter Valley [in Australia’s NSW] we’re lucky enough to have our own alchemist just down the road, a true earth mama who makes gorgeous natural bathing products from organic local flora under her BARE Nature’sKin label. Her Lemon Myrtle Sugar Scrub is always the best skin reset when I’ve arrived home from traveling.”