Updated: Jul 21
Disclaimer: If you're one of those ladies that like to take a break from her preen time on a camping trip, then this guide will probably make your eyes roll.
Whenever you hear the word “camping” it’s a common thought process to think dirt, dust and roughing it. It’s merely impossible to think; polished, styled, and clean because obviously your camping outfit comes out from the back of the closet, or God-forbid, the technical section of a camping shop. However, if you know me, is definitely not how I roll.
I'm not a festival teenager that wakes up with beer bottles as a pillow or forgoes showers to achieve a grunge look. I'm a wilderness camper and Overlander; tent in tow, mattress on the ground, and I aim to look good doing it.
I often get asked how I manage to look so styled and “clean” (again with the assumption that campers aren’t clean.. there are ablutions in most campsites that can contend with hotel bathrooms) and the reality is because I pack well. I plan, I preen and I prep, so when the trip arrives, my routine is just as it is at home, but in microform. Beauty in the bush has never been so simple.
The Glam Guide to Achieving Beauty in the Bush.
BOOK A FACIAL.
Long trips: On longer trips (like the 3-week Namibian overland we did in December), I always get a facial beforehand. It’s my face reset and deep cleanse, especially if the terrain you’re venturing into has harsh weather. You don’t want to be arriving and then just layering a new atmosphere on top of the old one.
Weekend Trips: Back home, I keep up my routine of monthly facials, so even when a weekend trip rears its head I'm face-ready.
LASHES AND BROWS.
Long Trips: Tint and tint some more. I had two lash tints beforehand to deepen the colour on my fair lashes. This allows me to wear no mascara but still makes sure my face is “on”. Mixing this with a lash lift is also recommended as it opens your eyes and really adds that extra glam factor. Tinting brows too, just frames your face and what’s a face without a good frame?
Weekend Trips: As I've said above, you can't go wrong with regular lash and brow tints, but if you just didn't have the time; I love a waterproof mascara for a quick and awake eye. My go-to: Clinique, Lash Power Mascara in Black Onyx. It's honestly the only mascara that doesn't give me panda eyes or has me clawing at my lashes to get it off.
(Watching ladies draw on their eyebrows in the ablutions everyday looked rather tedious, so I thanked my prep Gods for tinting and shaping beforehand. )
PAWS AND CLAWS:
Mani and pedi; Babes, this is non-negotiable.
Long Trips: No one and I mean NO ONE wants to see your dirty paws and claws. I opt for slightly darker Gellish on both toes and hands and start with shorter nails, so by the time I’m home, they’re still manageable and haven't broken. It’s no lie that camping is a hands-on job, I find that the gel helps keep my nails intact and disguises the grubbiness that is inevitable.
Weekend Trips: Yes, there are times a natural nail will do, but as I said above, keeping them short and buffed will make you feel clean and attract less grubbiness.
I’m definitely reliant on my blowdryer, but whilst camping? That’s even to extra for me. It would be like taking a microwave. (Yes, people do that.)
I am lucky enough to have really straight hair, so leaving it to dry au naturelle is no biggie, however, hairstyles are a thing, and add that extra (extra) look to my wardrobe.
Long Trips & Weekend Trips: The morning we leave on any trips I get my hair curled. And with the help of Dry Shampoo I can have a tousled look for at least 4 days of the trip. Beach waves? Erryday.
As the curls fall out, I’ll start mixing up the half-up-half-down look, plait to the side, and eventually a messy bun.
Then after washing my hair, I’ll do some French plaits, leaving in overnight and repeat the beach babe look for another 3 days. It’s a look**. I promise. **Cover pic for reference
**A really good dry shampoo and salt spray will change your life, and if you’re like me and love to play hair, make sure you always travel with them.
KEEP THE ROUTINE:
Just like you have a morning and night routine, shouldn’t mean that this goes out the window when you’re camping. So many products these days come with mini versions of themselves so it’s no excuse.
I have a motto: “Do not leave the house without your face on.” And that also means, making sure you take off the face from the night before.
It’s so easy to go from the campfire to the tent and “deal with it in the morning” but darl, would you do that in your home? (I hope not.)
Long Trips & Weekend Trips: Girl, wash your face. Brush your teeth, and wake up feeling fresh.
BB CREAM, BRONZER AND BALM.
Long Trips & Weekend Trips: The 3 B's for makeup success.
I use a BB cream with factor 50 SPF, it’s super light, great coverage and super protective. It’s got a lovely fresh colour and lasts forever. No need for layering foundation, popping on powder etc. All you need is coverage and SPF protection.
As for Bronzer; Define and Contour! Add that depth of colour to your cheeks, and you’re Insta ready!
And lastly, lippy. Lip colours change lives (and looks). I have a few balms with tints in them, and when I’m needing a little bit more pep I use it as eye shadow too.
MOISTURISE WITH YOUR SUNBLOCK:
Long Trips & Weekend Trips: As camping is generally an autumn/winter excursion for most people, up here in the Highveld things get dry AF. But dually so we also are also blessed with hot days and sunburn. Doubling my sunblock as moisturiser combats the scaly skin and protects it at the same time.
So there you have it, a seemingly simple guide to keep up with a beauty routine whilst
If you have any questions or tips I don’t know about… please, slide into my DMs and let’s chat!