Monday, 30 May 2011

Backpacking tips for women

Backpacking tips for women are not that easy to find on the net, especially when looking for beauty related tips. I have searched, but I haven't found that many very useful tips to me, so I decided to make a post about and hopefully help other girls like me that want to stay presentable while backpacking.

1) Makeup wipes are great for refreshing your face on the go. They are small and portable and won't make a mess in your pack like other cleansers could.

2) Perfume : If you want to bring a scent for days in the city/nights out (perfumes wi
ll attract mosquitoes and insects which is why you should stay away from them on treks and in rural areas and minimize the use of all scented products for that matter) you should carry a roll-on perfume (or even a sample size if you have them). They're tiny, light and won't spill.

3) Tinted moisturizer : Instead of bringing foundation, try to use tinted moisturizer to cover imperfections. Foundation will feel too heavy while traveling especially in tropical climates. Since you will most likely tan somewhat, the skin's imperfections will already be less noticeable, but if you need even more coverage, a light concealer should be enough.

4) Heat : Avoid bringing any beauty product that can melt with you such a
s lipsticks and cream blushes. You probably won't wear them anyway! If you want something for a bit of color on your lips, a tinted lip balm with SPF is your best bet! You can bring lip gloss too but I would make sure it has SPF as well because it is reflective and might increase the chance of getting sunburn on your lips. Another great compact option is a lip and cheek stain. They’re compact and multipurpose and they last a long time.

5) Blush : if you absolutely need it, choose powder, but you skin will most likely get a nice flush from the sun quite quickly.

6) Mascara : If you decide that you cannot live without mascara, choose a mascara that is natural looking and preferably waterproof. Since you will be hot will backpacking and it might start raining suddenly, waterproof mascara will ensure that you're eye makeup does not smudge and still looks natural.

7) Shaving : if you run out of shaving cream, use some air conditioner instead. The silky texture of the conditioner will protect your skin while you shave and allow the razor to glide smoothly.

8) Baby powder : If you cannot wash your hair for a couple days for any reason (you do not have access to a shower for example), sprinkle either dry shampoo or baby powder on your roots and let it soak in the oil of your hair for an instant fresher look. Massage it into your roots then comb out your hair and tadah! If that’s still not enough, a scarf or hair band will help camouflage greasy roots.

9) Make up remover : If you have nothing else, Vaseline can be used to remove eye makeup. You can also use it to condition lips, dry heels and knees and elbows.

10) Nails : It’s better not to pack nail polish remover in a bottle when traveling. While you may be able to rescue a pack full of shampoo, nail polish remover will stain and damage your belongings if it leaks. It’s safer to pack nail polish remover pads which are sold often packaged individually for convenience. It not only will protect your things, but it will also save space!

11) Lips : To freshen up chapped lips, you can make your own lip scrub instead of bringing one with you. By combining honey and sugar you will make a nice gentle and natural scrub. You can either pick up sugar packs and honey along the way (free breakfast hostels will often have them) or bring them from home.

12) Hair : When spending a lot of time under the sun and in salt water, your hair will become very dry. A quick tip to fix this is to put leave in conditioner in your ends before hitting the ocean water and to deep condition at least once a week to fight dryness.

13) Packing : Do not pack products that have a pump on them as a general rule (foundation with a cover might be alright) because the pump can get undone and make a mess in your backpack.

By the way, this is my 100th post! Hurray =D All that in 4 months. Not bad, it’s 0.83 posts per day! I have a hard time believing my blog has come this far in such as short time ^^ I’m really proud of what I’ve created so far and I enjoy blogging even more than I ever thought I would!

I hope you enjoyed these backpacking tips for women and that they helped you!

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Backpacking itinerary

Backpacking itinerary for my next trip to Central America this summer? Done!

Since I'm so passionnate about traveling I thought I would share how I plan my
backpacking trips in terms of itinerary.

Like I said in my last post, a backpacking trip has no fixed schedule or itinerary. It's about going at your own pace and enjoying yourself. If you like an area more, you can stay as long as you like. If you are eager to progress, you can move quicker. My boyfriend and I tend to be quick travelers, as we move a lot from cities to cities, but there has been a couple times that we have stuck longer somewhere because we really enjoyed it. In other words, you never know when or where you will be at any given time unless you plan to attend a particular event.

Although it's best to keep it spontaneous while backpacking, it's still good to have a rough
idea of places you don't want to miss. For instance, while visiting Peru, you will at least want to see the Machu Pichu or if you go to Europe you won't want to miss, the Pisa, the Eiffel Tower, Amsterdam and so on.This way, you will have a general idea of the pace you might want to adopt while traveling and know kind of in what direction you are going. Therefore, before leaving for any backpacking trip, I like to research the area I'm going to visit for places I really want to see. I also keep in mind the kind of activities I prefer to make sure I have plenty of things to do there. I particularly like hiking, sightseeing, nature, diving and beaches. Therefore, I gear my search towards places that can offer me that.

Enough with the super long intro, now let's talk about the places I have found and I'm interested in visiting this time around. If you have visited Costa Rica or Panama, please let me know the places you've liked! I would love to hear about it ^^

This is an overlook of all the places mentioned in my backpacking itinerary to get a better grasp of the road we will probably travel. Lots of Coast line which means, tons of beaches =D

Costa Rica



Puerto Viejo



Bocas Del Toro


Isla Iguana

Comarca de Kuna Yala

These are only a couple of the places that we will see, but it is a good guideline to follow. We definitely might end up not going to some of the mentionned areas, depending on time and our mood. Our first destination in Costa Rica will be Puerto Viejo, which is on the Carribean Coast and is said to be a nice relaxed sea side village well loved by backpackers. It sounds like a great starting point! Remember, like I said before, mking a backpacking itinerary is optional, but it's a great way to discover places you might like to visit and to have a rough estimate of how long you will spend in each parts of the country(ies).

By the way, I cannot wait to be able to use my own pictures :) I want to provide some sort of a visual support to demonstrate why I'm choosing these areas, but since I haven't been yet, I have to use pictures from the net =p Soon enough I'll have my own to show you!

Monday, 23 May 2011

Tips on organizing a backpacking trip

This is a long winded post about my passion for backpacking and some tips and tricks on how to organize one! ♥ If you love to travel and would like to know more about backpacking then read on ^^ I've added a couple pictures of my latest backpacking trip to Guatemala, El Salvador, Bélize, Nicaragua and Honduras for entertainment purposes because no one wants to read a big wall of text with no pictures to look at =p

The great thing about backpacking is the small amount of planning involved. Basically, backapacking is all about spontaneity, you never know where you will be heading next, what activities you will do and where you will sleep. That's what keeps things exciting in my opinion.

The beach in Caye Caulker Bélize ♥

Of course, it's a good idea to gather information about the area you will be traveling to in order to have a good idea of things/cities you do not want to miss to have a rough idea where you will be going. The greatest difference between backpacking and other types of traveling is that there are no boundaries, no fixed dates or destinations. You travel in function of how you feel, what you want to do. There is no itinary needed and that makes planning a whole lot easier.

Our little hut in Semuc Champey Guatemala

Normally, I proceed by choosing my destination first and finding a good deal on plane tickets. Once the destination is chosen, I start researching the area for must-sees on Internet and in guide books (I purchased a Central America on a ShoeString Lonely Planet guide book for my last trip and I will be using it again!). Once I know roughly what I want to do, I'm pretty much ready to go in terms of planning the trip itself.

Lago de Atitlan in Guatemala

Next, you need to make sure that your passport is up to date and will be valid for the period of time that is required for entry in each country you will be visiting for your nationality. For instance, Costa Rica requires Canadian travelers that enter their country to have a valid passport for 30 days after their entry. These admission guidelines vary greatly from country to country. Some countries ask for your passport to be valid for up to 6 months after your departure.

Purchasing a travel insurance is also crucial. If you get seriously hurt in another country it will allow you to receive medical care which will be reimbursed by the insurance. If you need medical treatment of any kind during your travel you will be glad you got insurance. I had to get rabies shots and receive treatment for a foot infection during my backpacking trips. Every time the medical fees were reimbursed by my insurance! It's a definite must have while backpacking.

If you plan on doing independent travel, you might want to purchase a guidebook for the area you are visiting. Guidebooks contains tons of invaluable information about restaurants, accommodation, transport, activities and maps. I use the Lonely planet while traveling but many also like the Rough Guides and other guidebooks. It's a matter of personal preference but either way a guide book is a life saver since you won't constantly have access to the internet for information.

The next step will be to make sure that all of your vaccines are up to date and to get vaccinated for any specific ailment that is present in the area you are visiting. In general you will need vaccination against Hepatitis A and B and typhoid fever, but in certain countries other vaccines such as against the yellow fever might be necessary. If you are traveling to a country that has recorded cases of malaria, you will also need to take anti malarial medication as well as make sure to protect yourself from insect bites particularly at nighttime since the mosquitoes that carry the malaria virus generally come out at night. Using a good insect repellent with a DEET content of about 30 is ideal. I prefer to purchase this while I'm at home because it tends to be pricey on the road.

It is also important to make photocopies of your important travel papers such as insurance papers, plane tickets (and other travel tickets if you need to travel to reach the airport), passport and ID card. Keep a copy in your backpack and leave a copy at home with someone you trust in case you lose anything.

Before you leave make sure to bring all of these, but also your vaccination report as well as any other important identification. For me, this includes my diving log as well as diver card. If you want to rent a car or other motorized vehicle during your trip, your driving licence will be necessary, but it might be a good idea to look into getting an international driving licence.

Finally, for the fun part, purchase everything you need for your trip and pack! I suggest making a list of everything you need and to keep a copy in your pack to check that you have everything before you leave and along the road. I have developed a very exhaustive list of items to bring backpacking over the years and I will share it with you soon!

View from the Pacaya Volcano in Guatemala

One of my favorite parts of traveling is packing! Especially for backpacking since you have to be careful not to overpack since you have limited space and will be carrying everything on your back. It really pushes you to truly consider what you can and can't live without. Since I'm into beauty, I bring a couple essentials with me to make sure I look my best on the road. Since space is an issue though, I have to choose carefully products that are multi purpose, portable and absolutely essential. I will probably make a post about backpacking beauty tips, would that interest you guys?

The streets of Antigua in Guatemala

I will also make a post about how I pack everything when the date of my departure is closer! Packing is one of the most important thing when backpacking, it's crucial that it is done well and should not be left to the last minute. I like to choose everything I will bring 2 to 3 weeks prior to my departure then to pack my bag at least a week before to see how everything fits and reconsider each item one last time. I often end up removing quite a bit of things before I actually leave! The bag you choose is also very important. It must not be too big or too small and must be very comfortable and fit your frame well. It's also important to consider purchasing a neutrally colored bag since anything flashy and colorful will attract the attention of thiefs. My bag is a 60L bag and is blue and grey. It suits me perfectly, carries a lot and feels comfortable on my shoulders. ^^

Anyway, I'm really excited to write more about my travel tips/organisation/packing! This will be my third backpacking trip so far and everytime I learn more about it and my trip is consequently much more comfortable!

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Ardène Fashion Haul!

I went to Ardène again to pick up some more of their great cheap basics and polishes!

I decided to post about it since I find that what I got was a real bargain ♥ I'm really pleased with pretty much everything I got!

I will list the prices of everything in case anyone is interested!

Before I start with the clothes I also wanted to show some products I picked up that I'm pretty excited about =D

2 more Ardène polish in pink and mint, Aussie 3 minutes miracle (I've looked EVERYWHERE for this), my favorite lip balm ever (which I have been unable to find for some time now)

This cami was 2.50$

This cami was 6.50$ For some reason the lighting went crazy!

This cami was 2.50$

This bikini was 5$ for each piece, so 10$

This cami was 2.50$

This cami was 2.50$

I got this cute skirt 70% off! I paid 4.50$ for it

This cami was 2.50$

This cami was 2.50$

I also got a cute purple beach/tube dress with removable straps! It was only 2.50$ as well ^^ I haven't taken a picture since I'm wearing it with leggings right now! So comfy ♥

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Summer 2011 backpacking trip update!

So I was still debating on the destination of my backpacking trip, or even if I would leave at all this summer until today. I was browsing expedia like I always do when I'm looking for flight deals (I've booked my asia plane tickets and my Central America tickets from them) and couldn't find anything that would go under 1000$ per person which was more than I wanted to pay for a one month trip.

Today I was browsing and I came across a really sweet deal for a flight to Costa Rica in about a month's time and I simply couldn't pass it up! So it's booked! I'm leaving for Costa Rica/Panama and probably Nicaragua and Honduras if I have time in a month!

I'm super excited! I can't wait and I can't believe that it's finally booked! It kind of feels like I've just done something really spontaneous because until this afternoon, we had no idea where we were going. It's not exactly the case though since we've been discussing a possible trip in either South America, Asia, Central America or even Europe for this year. We hadn't started planning anything concretly and now we leave in a month! omg =D

The beaches look amazing! I will be able to go diving and spend days lazing in a hamac! The perfect summer time in my opinion ♥ I will be updating you all with travel organisation and packing lists! I might do a what's in my travel toiletry bag or something like that! Would you all like backpacking beauty tips? =D

EDIT : PS: I cannot wait to take some pictures that look like the ones here myself =D It looks like paradise ^^ I will be updating my blog with my traveling adventures while I'm away so if you would like to read that, stay tuned!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Makeup tips for fair skin!

My friend Frederika recently asked me if I had makeup tips for fair skin, since I'm pretty pale myself. I started writing her a reply, but I soon realised that it would end up being way too long (Wall of text alert!) to post on my facebook wall or even by pm for that matter so I decided I could make a post about it!

Who knows, it might even help someone =p

I'm no expert, but since I'm fair, this is usually what works for me! Hope you enjoy Fred ♥ (and I hope there is at least one thing you didn't know already/I doubt it but it was fun to write anyway!)

My super fair self! (Awesome blurry picture ftw)

1) find out your undertone, the ideal makeup will differ a lot if you are pink, yellow or olive skinned. For example, I am a pink/cool undertone, therefore warm colors such as golds, warm browns and the likes are less flattering on me than blues and purples for example.

2) For a wearable day look, black liner and shadow is generally too overpowering for girls with a pale complexion. Dark browns will looks more natural and softer, less harsh.

3) If you cannot find a color that is pale enough for you in terms of foundations, you can purchase a white foundation (MAC and Makeup Forever make them) and mix some of it with the chosen shade to lighten it up to your complexion.

4) If you prefer lighter coverage, tinted moisturizers are also easy to work with, but rarely come at a lower price point (hard to find at the drugstore, I tried the new Hard Candy tinted moisturizer which is sold at Walmart but it breaks me out, so I have yet to find an effective and cheap one).

5) A subtle flush can really brighten up pale skin, applying a nice pink or coral blush lightly can make any fair girl look healthier and more awake.

6) Bronzer also does wonders for pale complexions and helps camouflage some of the skin uneveness. Be careful not to choose a bronzer that is too dark or it will create a muddy, dirty looking effect on your fair skin. Also remember that any shimmer inside the bronzer will have a tendency to accentuate any uneveness in the skin so it's better to stick to a matte bronzer if you are trying to hide imperfections.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Review and Swatches : Ardène Polish in Purple Rain

Size : 17 mL

Application : Just like the pink I just reviewed, this polish applies very evenly without leaving unsightly streaky marks. The pretty cream finish is glossy and the polish dries quickly. Again, the formula is just thin enough.

Coverage : This color is less opaque than Neon Pink. It is opaque in two coats.

Brush: The brush, just like the other Ardène polish I reviewed is a standard polish brush, not too thin or excessively large.

Durability: I have worn this polish for three days now and it is starting to show some signs of chipping. I’m wearing it without a top coat though, so it is not very well protected. I have done quite a bit a scrubbing this morning too which might have made it chip some more.

Color : The color is beautiful, if not very unique. It’s a pretty shade of lavender, perfect for spring and summer!

Price: 2 for 6$

Pros : Cheap, not tested on animals, pretty color, applies well, good formula, nice finish.

Cons: Only available in Canada (I think)

Would repurchase? : I want all of the colors now! I have my eyes on a minty green and a yellow :D

Friday, 13 May 2011

Review and Swatches : Ardène Polish in Neon Pink

Name : ACO Nail Polish

Colour : A very bright neon pink

Size : 17 mL

Application : Easy and even, does not leave streak marks. Dries quickly and does not bubble up easily. Formula is thin and easy to handle but not so thin that it drips everywhere.

Coverage : Excellent, this is a one coater. If you want it more even though, it’s best to use two coats, but you get the full color in only one coat.

Brush: Standard polish brush, not too thin or excessively large. I have pretty large nails and I can cover my whole nails in three strokes.

Durability: I can hardly comment on durability because since I ran out of top coat, I’ve been using a clear polish to coat my nails to add extra shine. It doesn’t help prevent chipping though, worse it probably accelerates the process since it makes the polish on my fingers thicker. I’ve had it on my toes for 3 days though and no sign of chipping there.

Color : While it might not be unique, I’ve yet to find a neon at the drugstore here in Montreal. This color is bright and fun for summer and different from everything else you can buy at the drugstore. Note that the pictures do not do the color justice, it's a lot brighter in real life :)

Price: 2 for 6$

Pros : Cheap, great coverage, not tested on animals, amazing color.

Cons: Only available in Canada (I think)

Would repurchase? : Definitely, I adore it ♥

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

TAG : Would you rather? The beauty edition

For some reason, since I’ve moved, I haven’t been very inspired to blog. I have no clue what to talk about so I was waiting to find something interesting to update with before I posted another post. The problem is, nothing is coming to me right now and I’m starting to feel guilty for not updating anymore! To solve my dilemma I decided I would make an easy post, a beauty tag! I’ve seen this “would you rather” beauty edition countless times on Youtube and I think it’s fun, so here goes mine!

1.Would you rather go out with messy hair and nice make-up, or nice hair and no make-up?

Nice hair and no make-up! I don’t wear it most of the time anyway when I leave the house :)

2.Would you rather shave your eyebrows or have your eyelashes fall out?

My eyelashes, I’m not a fan of the drawn on look and fake lashes are fun!

3.Would you rather be forced to shop at only MAC or Sephora for the rest of your life?

Sephora! It has more options and anyway I’ve never bought anything from MAC :p

4.Would you rather wear lipgloss/lipliner look or 80's perm?

Definitely the 80’s perm.

5.Would you rather leave the house with an obvious foundation line or overdone blush?

Overdone blush! I don’t wear foundation on a daily basis so it’s pretty much a given for me. Plus, I kinda like the blushing look that’s a little over the top (not the super strong line of blush, but the diffuse kind!)

6.Would you rather wear MC Hammer pants or biker shorts in public?

I wouldn’t mind the biker shorts that much!

7.Would you rather have a bad orange-y spray tan or really weird tan lines that can't be covered?

Weird tan lines that cannot be covered ^^

8.Would you rather have a bad haircut or bad hair color?

Bad hair cut because it’ll either grow out pretty quickly or can be recut to fix it. I’ve had bad colors in the pasts and it not only damaged my hair, but made me look like a freak :/

9.Would you rather have youtube or twitter taken away forever?


10. Would you rather give up using makeup brushes or mascara?

You can make pretty looks without brushes, but it would look odd without mascara!

Tell me in the comments if you decide to do this tag, I'd love to read it =D


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