1. Cream It Up
Of course I'd heard about cutting bottles and tubes open before but I'd always thought is it worth the hassle? How much can I really save? Quite a lot as it happens. My last suncream bottle gave me another two days worth! And let me tell you, if you are as fair-skinned as me suncream will be a major travel expense for you. I've often had to fork out a ridiculous amount for it because there's been nowhere else around cheaper. Of course I stock up a little when I find it reasonably priced but it's not practical to carry months worth of the stuff around. Also a useful trick for toothpaste tubes and shampoo bottles!
2. Use Soap
It's unbelievably cheaper than shower gel because it lasts so much longer. All you need is a soap dish and you're away. Smells just as good and cleans just as well.
3. Mirror, Mirror?
Don't bother with one. It's just more to carry, they are available in hostels and most toilets when you need one. I actually meant to pack one but forget, never got round to picking one up and then found it was something I just didn't miss or need. And trust me when you are on a 5 day sweaty hike through a jungle, with no showers not having one will do wonders for your self-esteem.
4. More Is Less
I used to wash my hair every other day and it's a well known phenomenon that the more frequently you wash your hair the more it needs it to prevent a greasy mop on your head. I can't stand having greasy hair and it was one of the things that genuinely worried me before I started travelling. However less really is more, so for the first few weeks you need to just ride it out and use hairbands or a hat for those extra bad hair days. After exercising control over the 2 in 1 shampoo bottle, I was quickly able to go to a week at a time without washing it. It's saves you time and money. Always plan ahead too - there's no point wasting shampoo by just heading down the beach for the day! In the beginning dry shampoo was a saviour worth noting so you might want to sacrifice space for a couple of bottles but don't become reliant on it as it's not available any foreign destination I've been to yet. Trust me, I've looked.
5. Good As New
In hot and humid climates it's common for your nail varnish to go all gloopy and sticky. This is easily resolved by putting a few drops of nail varnish remover into the bottle and giving it a good shake to thin it back out again.
6. Ditch the Makeup
I'm not going to lie and say I don't have any with me but what I do have is minimal. And from someone who didn't have the best skin and so wore it everyday it took a while to wean myself off it completely. But as you do I promise you will start to see your skin glow and blemishes reduce anyway. Now I invariably just wear lipstick if I want to 'dress it up'. If you can go without it will save you both space and expense. One hilarious thing I failed to take into account when I left the UK for South America was that my skin tone would change rendering any foundation/concealer I brought with me unusable anyway!
7. Choose Wisely
Be sure to pack a rich, versatile moisturiser. Changing climates, air conditioning and sun is harsh on your skin and it's going to need this. I use 'Palmer's original solid cocoa butter' because it's super light, super cheap and lasts ages! A 270g tub lasted me 4 months in South America. It's quite greasy but all I do is just lather it on overnight then wake up smooth as a babie’s bum!
8. Take A Tupperware
This is may sound a little odd but it's so useful. When you start getting all your travel stuff together you will invariably have some bits, bobs and stuff you don't want lose or squash. For me it was spare razors, lip balms, bobbles, eczema cream, jewellery etc. So for stuff you don't need access to everyday like this pack them in a small Tupperware box in the bottom of your backpack and forget about it until you need it.
9. Travel Do's
Use YouTube to practice a few different go-to 'travelling' hairstyles. I rarely wear my hair down even if I have just washed it due to the heat and having a few quick, simple styles means you don't get so bored of not being able to afford to go to the hairdressers!
10. Grooming Days
I'm a huge advocate of these. As many showers in the budget hostels we stay in leave a lot to be desired and I generally don't want to take my flip flops off let alone crack out my exfoliating gloves so I wait until we are in a 'nice' hostel and have myself a good old groom from head to toe. I'm talking exfoliation, eyebrow plucking, nail varnish changing, the lot! As much as I'm comfortable with pushing hygiene boundaries it can be all too easy to let things slide too far after a while but if you’re travelling with a partner or on the pull schedule it in!
So there you have it my top 10 budget beauty hacks for all you first time female travellers. I really didn't have a clue when I set off so hopefully you will find this handy. Let me know how you get on and if there is anything you think I missed?!