Van life can take its toll on your beauty regime. You're so busy out on the open road that when you do get around to looking in a mirror you realise your eyebrows are out of control.
With things like hot showers (dare I even mention a bubble bath?) and dressing table mirrors becoming a luxuries it can be hard to adapt your beauty regime to a new life in a van. So here's my top vanlife beauty tips.
• Unless you're planning on going full bohemian, learn to shave old man-style: a bowl of hot water, a flannel, a razor and some shaving foam should be all you need to get those smooth, soft legs.
• Baby wipes are great for freshening up in between showers and removing make up, although let's be honest, who's got time to do make up when there's a whole world explore outside your door?
• Buy a Shewee. Pee like a man. Own the outdoors.
• Stop washing your hair so much. I see articles all the time telling girls how to survive not washing their hair for three days, telling them to lag it in dry shampoo to cover up the grease. Try not washing it for a week! After a few weeks of this and mostly wearing your hair up it will actually start to self clean. The buildup of oils is good for your hair, so be sure to brush it through every day to get them from the roots to the tips. Use dry shampoo as a last resort as it really does dry your hair out.
• When you do wash your hair, think natural. Forget hot showers, learn to love the cold! Cold water is so much better for washing your hair as it doesn't remove too many of its natural oils, and also closes the hair follicles to make your hair feel softer, look shinier and even stop dirt getting in. Go one step better: forgo showers altogether. Find free water- under taps, in the sea, in a lake. Fishing lake water is full of minerals that'll make your hair soft, as is the sea. Just make sure to catch all of the harmful water full of shampoo and pour it away down a drain. I used to wash my hair every week in France in a cemetary and my hair never felt better. I also use the same techniques to bleach and dye my hair regularly so I don't drain our water tanks in one go!
• Talc, Talc talc talc! This stuff is a lifesaver when you're on your eighth day with no shower and you need to look like a human being in public. Forget dry shampoo- take a handful of talcum powder, rub it into your roots and poof! Like magic, your hair will appear freshly washed and full of volume. Best of all you can keep using this technique for 2-3 days before your hair starts feeling sticky.
• Pummice-stoning my feet after a long hot bath used to be my weekly luxury that sadly you can't quite ever recreate in a van. And let's be honest, no matter what you do living in a van and having dirty hippy feet go hand in hand. It's just the price you pay for freedom. A long walk barefoot on the beach will be enough to naturally grind away the hard skin on your feet, but sometimes when it's cold I like to pour some hot water into a bowl and just soak my feet for 10-20 minutes, then gently rub them in circles with a pummice stone. Having baby soft feet makes me feel like I've spent the day at the spa, and adding a few sprigs of wild mint will freshen up your pads too.
• A nail brush might be my top essential item to have in a van. For those long days of hard graft when your nails get all dirty and grimey underneath and you just wanna feel clean again.
• Do some yoga. Okay, this is more of a health tip than a beauty tip, but all those long hours of driving and sitting in not so comfy positions (unless you're one of those lucky bastards who has a sofa in their van) can really take its toll on your back. Look up some stretches, make up a little routine you can remember, and stretch it out every morning and night.
• Invest in some leave-in conditioner and save valuable limited hair washing time. Apply just a little bit to damp hair focusing on the ends, working the conditioner in in sections. Avoid conditioning the roots as it will only make your hair feel greasy sooner.
• No one's got time to style their hair on the road, and curlers and straighteners are a thing of the past. Try tying your hair up in a simple sock bun when it's wet for luscious curls. Don't know what a sock bun is? Think of it as a hair doughnut. Tie your wet hair up in a ponytail, take a scrunchie or a sock with the toe end cut off, pull the end of your ponytail through the hole (it helps if you hang your head upside down) and wrap your hair around the outside of the scrunchie starting with the ends, tucking it through the hole in the middle each time, rolling the bun towards your head until all of your hair is inside and it looks like you have a doughnut on your head.
That's it! My top beauty tips for living on the road. Do you have any tips? Leave a comment below!