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6 Beauty Tips I Learned In Paradise

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On a recent trip to the tropics, I picked up a few extra tips that transformed me from product junkie to beach-bound goddess. SPF is priority number one (always!), but I experimented with different DIY recipes and natural materials to see just how minimal my beauty routine could become. These are the six mantras I learned in paradise.

1. EXFOLIATE WITH NATURAL ELEMENTS

To slough off dead skin from the dry flight, I massaged and exfoliated with beach sand. It's a classic trick, but it always gets the job done and my skin felt soft and smooth. If you want a full-body treatment, take sand back to your hotel room and exfoliate in the shower.

2. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE SEA

Who needs a chlorinated pool when you've got a mineral-rich sea lapping up at the shore? I made sure to dip in the ocean at least once a day. Plus, the salt gave my hair those sexy beachy waves that are oh-so-trendy every summer.

3. GET HIGHLIGHTS—NATURALLY!

I gave our natural highlights cocktail a real road test on my brown hair. For added caramel tones, I sprayed a DIY rum/seltzer concoction before heading out to the beach. After a week, I noticed sun-kissed strands and smelled like coconuts—win!

4. TURN LOCAL FRUITS INTO SKIN CARE

I totally gorged on the local fruits—on my face! For a revitalizing face mask, mix papaya and pineapple pulp in a bowl, then apply a thin layer to your face for ten minutes. Your skin will feel clarified, smoother, and brighter. Mine sure did!

5. THE SUN IS YOUR FRENEMY

While my pale skin absorbed the vitamin D it so desperately lacked, I had a love/hate relationship with the sun while abroad. I found out what a sunburn on the back of your knees feels like, and it's not a pleasant experience. The sun is so much stronger than you think in sub-tropical climates, so wear your hat, sunglasses, and SPF! For continuous coverage, make sure to apply and reapply your SPF, especially in the most uncommon body parts: ears, lips, ankles, neck, and, of course, the back of your knees.

6. KEEP IT SIMPLE

Throughout my trip, I shocked myself by using only four beauty products (concealer, highlighter, lipstick, and eye lash curler). Sometimes, it's nice to break up with your makeup for a week, so avoid the extra baggage charge and pack less. And when you're in a warm weather tropical climate, who needs to cover up?