As I've mentioned before, travel causes us to neglect a lot of important self care. Earlier this week, I shared some nutrition tips to help you get back on track after vacation when you overdo it. Today, I'm shifting the focus from nutrition to beauty + wellness.
Most of us have some type of beauty routine when we're at home to properly care for our skin, hair and nails that we rarely stick to whilst traveling. When I got to London after 3 months of hopping around, my hair was dry like straw, my roots had grown out (and NOT in a chic ombré fashion), my skin had broken out like I was a teenager, and don't get me started on my nails. Needless to say, I needed help. Sometimes you can do these things on your own, but other times? You need to call in the professionals.
So if you find yourself in need of some beauty or wellness TLC after neglecting yourself for a bit (be it from traveling, the holidays or any other reason) Here are a few tips I found to be extremely helpful.
1. REFRESH YOUR HAIR WITH A NEW CUT AND COLOR
My hair had grown pretty long but it was in bad shape (I got really creative at masking it to look somewhat decent in pictures for editorial purposes). So when I got to London I started searching for salon partners to help me fix the mess on my head. Enter Atliers Salon by Josh Wood.
Josh Wood is credited as being the most influential and respected hair colorist in the world and owns multiple salons across London. I went to Lansdowne Atelier (which is set in an idyllic Mews House right by Holland Park) and fell in love with the beautiful interior. Since they're in collaboration with SoHo House, they serve fresh menu items from their cafe so I got to enjoy a delicious açai bowl and an almond milk latte whilst getting my hair done. First, I sat down in the chair and let Danielle Keates (Instagram here) freshen up my color. I'm pretty protective of who I let treat my blonde (I mean, it's part of my blog title if that tells you anything) and she did not disappoint. Not only is she incredibly talented at what she does, but she was so sweet and lovely to chat with. After she finished my color, I sat down with James Pryce (Instagram here) to cut off my dead ends. Originally I asked him to keep as much of my length as he could, but he managed to talk me into trying a long bob with some grown out fringe. Normally I wouldn't cave so easily but I quickly decided James could do anything he wanted when I learned he was the one who did Kate Middleton's wedding hair (WHAT?!) I'm so glad I listened to him because I absolutely love the cut -- especially the grown-out "fringe" (or bangs as we call them in the states).
Aside from giving me the fresh look I needed, they provided me with appropriate product to care for my damaged locks and maintain my new do. I will absolutely go back to them whenever I'm in London, and I recommend you go see them if you're in the area as well.
While a refresh to your hair isn't something you should do on your own, there are some things that you can. Danielle told me that it's important to use a purple shampoo and purple conditioner (if you're a blonde) to keep brassiness at bay. Not a blonde? Try something for all colored hair (like this Oribe shampoo and conditioner) or if your hair is more damaged try a nourishing repair shampoo and conditioner (can you tell that I LOVE Oribe? It smells amazing!)
Regardless of your hair's condition, it's important to keep your it nourished, so try a daily nourishing oil for your ends (like this amazing Oribe gold lust) and a mask (like this living proof restore mask or this Moroccan Oil intense hydrating mask) that you can use once a week or every few days for some extra TLC.
2. REFRESH YOUR SKIN WITH A FACIAL
Your skin is constantly picking up dirt + impurities, but especially whilst traveling. Prior to moving abroad, I got facials (from Niki at Hyde Salon) on a regular basis because I started noticing a drastic improvement in the quality of my skin. Niki explained that proper extractions pulled out all that dirt your skin naturally collects and prevents it from turning to blemishes.
Extractions aren't something I'd recommend on your own, so go for a proper facial with someone you trust. And if you can't swing a facial at the moment, go for a pore purifying clay mask instead (my favorite is this one by Vichy that I picked up at a pharmacy in France).
I decided to make a day of it and go to the spa rather than just a facial, so I went to Mokara at the Omni Hotel in Nashville. They did a fantastic job treating and extracting without picking or over-agitating my skin (not to mention they used organic Hungarian products by Éminence that were incredibly luxurious). Even days later my skin still feels significantly better than it has in months.
After the facial I wanted to make the most of the facilities at Mokara, so I went for a steam in the sauna (and also sampled the soap, lotion and every other toiletry they had available, because #spaday) until it was time for my next treatment-- which brings me to my next topic...
3. REFRESH YOUR MUSCLES WITH A MASSAGE
I've always thought of a massage a simple a form of relaxation and a way to spoil myself. But while getting one at The Heritage Killenard during my stay in Ireland, my therapist told me she was seriously concerned about all the knots and tension all over my body. After a bit of questioning we realized it was from lugging my suitcases everywhere, which she proceeded to warn me could lead to serious back injuries or muscle strains. She advised I avoid carrying luggage if possible, or to at least start getting regular massages. Seeing as I'm not in a position to hire my own bellhop, a massage now and then is the more affordable option. So during my spa day at Mokara at the Omni Hotel in Nashville, they worked on the knots and tension I'd accrued since Ireland.
I may sound like a diva for saying this, but it really was necessary. I didn't realize how much damage I had done to my muscles and how tender I was all over from haphazardly throwing my <overweight> suitcase from trains to planes to automobiles. And to make matters worse, my suitcase wheel broke way back in Lake Como so I had to exert even more energy to pull it everywhere (I have friends as my witnesses). Long story short, whether you realize it or not travel takes a toll on your body. In addition to all the luggage, you also have to consider the shift in your bed at different hotels, attempting to sleep in a terribly uncomfortable seat during an international flight, combatting dehydration and overall, just burning through way more energy than normal. If getting a proper massage after a long trip is within budget, it really does leave you feeling noticeably different after.
After my treatments at Mokara, I spent almost 2 hours in their relaxation room to let myself rest (without my laptop). I read my book. I drank some champagne. I flipped through some magazines. I even laid there with my eyes closed for a bit doing absolutely nothing. After months of going non-stop, and weeks of continuing that pace when I got home, it felt really great not only to take care of myself, but to feel pampered too.
If you find yourself in Nashville and are in need of any sort of spa service (or if you simply want a day of relaxation) be sure to visit Mokara. You won't be disappointed.
While I found these 3 things to be the most vital, there are dozens of other things you can do to tend to yourself and make up for some of that vacation neglect. Go for a mani + pedi. Soak for a while in a nice bubble bath. Exfoliate dead skin with a sugar scrub. The list goes on.
What else do you do to get back on track in this department after a vacation? Let me know in the comments below! Stay tuned for more post-travel remedies next week. Until then? Have a wonderful weekend, friends!