The Only Beauty Products (and Tips!) You Need for a Camping Trip


You may remember in the remake of The Parent Trap , in which a pair of twins (two Lindsay Lohans!) go on a camping trip with their dad and evil stepmom-to-be, Meredith Blake. The entire time, Meredith is dressed to the nines: full face of makeup, perfectly coiffed hair. Being in the middle of the woods but looking like she just stepped out of the salon is meant to convey how villainous she is.

Nobody wants to be a Meredith Blake on a camping trip. But there’s a big difference between high-maintenance, low-maintenance, and no maintenance. I’ve done the latter on many a camping trip (ratty gym T-shirt, chapped lips, and greasy bun). The result: I unintentionally photobombed every beautiful waterfall and mountain that I so carefully posed in front of. But you can be fresh-faced, au naturel, and still put together without much effort. Now I stick to these low (really low) maintenance tips, and pack just a few beauty essentials, so that I can show friends and family my vacation photos without having to cover myself with my thumb.

Essential Packing List

products: concealer, waterproof mascara, moisturizer with SPF, makeup remover wipes, tinted lip balm, dry shampoo, eye drops
extras: compact mirror, bandana or sock for a sock bun, ear plugs, sleeping mask ****

The Easiest Sleeping-Bag Grooming Routine

Keep makeup minimal

If you pack the items above, you won’t need much else makeup-wise. In the morning, whip out your compact mirror and apply moisturizer with an SPF and then use concealer to spot-check blemishes and under-eye circles. Follow with a swipe of mascara and tinted lip balm. If you have waterproof mascara, now’s the time to use it—the weather gods have an uncanny way of bringing rain your way once they know you’ll be in a tent for the weekend.

Wash up every night

We tend to slather a lot of weird things on our skin while camping—bug spray, sunscreen with SPF 1,000, the occasional glob of melted marshmallow—so it’s crucial to wash your face every night before bed. But, while you’re snuggled up around the campfire, the bathroom can seem a million miles away. So bring makeup remover wipes to whisk away dirt and debris quickly without having to find your way through a dark and probably monster-laden forest. And, of course, wipes are essential if there is no bathroom or sink where you are.

Get good sleep!

Hello, campers, Mom here. Sleep is the best weapon in your beauty arsenal. Pack a pair of earplugs and a sleeping mask to ensure that the first rays of sunlight or the early-bird retirees next site over don’t yank you from slumber. In the event you don’t sleep as soundly as you’d like, eye drops can help clear away any redness that might be related to lack of sleep or allergies—they’re a quick way to look refreshed.

Tame your mane! Four easy hair solutions

Bandana headband: Roll a bandana and wear it like a headband, either tying it at the nape of your neck or atop your head a la Rosie the Riveter. Bandanas are a two-fer: they soak up hairline sweat while you’re hiking, biking, or running from a bear, and they hold back flyaways and frizzies. If your hair is longer, try a bandana headband with a high, messy bun. Best for: any length

Braids: Greasy, slept-on hair that smells like a campfire? A French braid is the cure-all you need. Opt for one long one, two in pigtails, or a side braid that tucks into a low pony. If you can’t French braid yet, watch this tutorial—or go for regular braids, which do the trick, too. Braids are great in that they look like you put in a decent amount of effort, but really, they’re a cinch to do. Best for: medium to long hair

Sock bun: If your hair is long enough, a sock bun is easy to do and effortlessly chic. Best to save it for low-impact activities, because it might jostle loose. (Pssst, here’s a tutorial). Best for: medium to long hair

Dry shampoo: If you happen to be in a campground with bathrooms and running water (lucky you!), shower and style to your heart’s content. If you’re going the more primitive route, especially if just for a weekend, you can get away without washing. Sprinkle some dry shampoo in at your roots, comb it through, style, and you’re good to go. Trust me: I onced washed my hair with biodegradable shampoo in a frigid alpine lake while a family reunion looked on from the shoreline. It’s not an experience worth repeating. Best for: any length

What are your campground must-haves? Tell us below in the comments!