Summer is in full swing and calendars are (hopefully) packed with long-weekend getaways, trips to the beach and overseas excursions. For advice on keeping beauty and wellness routines in check even away from home, we turned to the ladies behind “Mirror Mirror,” a Nashville-based weekly podcast founded by Jesse Harbison and Allison Duke Budslick about the beauty routines of remarkable women from all walks of life. Here they share advice on keeping your beauty and wellness routines in check even while you are away from home. 

Remember these trips before you head off to bluer waters!

Remember these trips before you head off to blue waters!

Before Your Trip

Book appointments.

Prep your nails and skin to look as if you are coming off a pre-vacay vacay before you even step foot off the plane. We always book the following appointments the week before our vacations. (Pro tip, stick to this order to avoid scrubbing or waxing off a fresh faux tan.)

  1. Sugar scrub.
  2. Sugaring hair removal. (Sugaring is an all-natural, bacteria-resistant alternative to waxing that is just as effective — and even less painful! Make an appointment for your underarms, legs and bikini area, and you won’t have to shave once during your trip. Hair should be ¼- to ½-inch long, which is usually 10-14 days of growth. Set a reminder on your calendar to stop shaving two weeks before the appointment so you don’t forget.)
  3. Gel manicure/pedicure.
  4. Spray tan.
  5. Lash lift & tint and brow tint. (A lash lift/tint and brow tint before vacation allows you to go makeup-free so you look flawless even after a dip in the ocean or on a morning after one too many margs.)

Be sure to clean up your nails before your vacay! Image: Poppy & Monroe

Load up on whole foods and water.

Let’s be real, vacation is all about letting your hair down and indulging a little (or a lot, no judgment.) Prep your body for the onslaught of deliciousness you’re about to stuff into it by staying extra hydrated and loading up on whole foods — dark leafy greens, fruits, whole grains, healthy fats, lean protein, fermented foods — before your trip.

Get in extra exercise.

We know, we know, not the most groundbreaking tip, but really, get in that exercise and it will help you feel more confident and energized on your trip. It will also help keep your digestion in top condition.

Pack a carry-on tote like a pro.

We never leave for vacation without the following beauty essentials. Click the links to buy online!



Water & snacks:

  • Empty water bottle. (If flying, fill it up after you get through airport security.)
  • Healthy snacks: sturdy fruits (wash and wrap each piece in a paper towel and store in a Ziploc bag), tea bags, natural gum, nuts, instant oatmeal packs, nut butter packs, protein bars (we love RXBAR and EPIC Bar).
  • Vitamins and probiotics
  • For more healthy travel tips, check out the travel section of Nashville-based blog Nutrition Stripped by McKel Hill (who is also featured on episode 4 of “Mirror Mirror!” Click here to listen.).


  • iPhone or iPad loaded up with “Mirror Mirror” podcast episodes. Click here to download.
  • Headphones
Print out this shopping list to use for all your travels!

Print out this shopping list to use for all your travels!

During Your Trip

Wash your face.

Never ever go to bed without washing your face. As soon as you arrive to your home away from home, set yourself up for success and put everything you need to do right before bed by the bed. Whatever these items may be – retainer, Retin-A, birth control – leave them on your nightstand so even walking five steps to the bathroom won’t prevent you from sticking with your routine (and from waking up with a massive breakout.)

Slather on the SPF – on your body, face and hair.

We all know we are supposed to wear sunscreen on our face and body, but your hair needs it too. Nothing zaps the shine out of hair like the sun, leaving your freshly pre-vacation colored locks dull and brassy. Keep them in tip-top shape by applying a hair product that offers UV/heat protection when in the sun. Rachel Lawhead, a stylist and Goldwell Master Colorist at Green Pea Salon in Nashville, recommends Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Heat/UV Protective Primer. According to Rachel, the primer is great to use as a sunscreen pre-sun exposure. It can also be used after being in a chlorinated pool or saltwater to soften, detangle and de-frizz hair.

Get in some exercise.

Trust us, there is nothing we’d rather leave behind on vacation than our workouts, but we never regret fitting them in. Exercise will help keep digestion humming and keep you feeling energized and confident. Brittany Farrar, director and co-owner of Shed Fitness Gulch and a past “Mirror Mirror” guest, recently shared her go-to, equipment-free workout with us that’s perfect for use on the road. Check it out here.

Work exercise into your vacation schedule! Image: Ashtin Paige

Chug water to keep skin hydrated and glowing.

Remember that empty water bottle you brought along? Keep it full and aim to drink 4-5 refills a day, depending on the size.

Step away from the Instagram.

Maintaining sound mental health is as important to your beauty routine as the skincare products you use. Did you know social media platforms are designed to be addictive and to give us a surge of cortisol (the fight-or-flight hormone) when we have an unchecked text, email or “like”? Watch this segment on “60 Minutes” if you don’t believe us! Take a break from your devices, and your sanity will thank you.

After Your Trip

Pre-book post-vacay appointments to help ease back into reality.


It can be hard to get back on track when you come home to an empty fridge and zero energy to go to the store. On your commute home, order some healthy groceries from an app like Instacart or Shipt or via a grocery pick-up option like Kroger’s Clicklist. (SB TIP: Add a few toothbrushes to your order so you can immediately toss the ones you jammed in your dirty luggage in the trash!)

Workout class or session with personal trainer

It’s easy to let a one-week break from working out turn into a one- or two-month hiatus. Help yourself get back on track by booking a session with a personal trainer or a class with your most reliable and accountable friend for the day or two after you return from vacation.

Infrared sauna session

Get rid of all of those vacay toxins by sweating it out in an infrared sauna. (If you aren’t familiar, you can read about it here.)

Sweat out the vacation toxins when you return! Image: Pure Sweat + Float Studio

And most importantly, be kind to yourself.

Vacation is all about letting loose and indulging, so cut yourself some slack and give yourself time to get back to your routine. Hopefully some of the tips above will help with that!

Get more insider beauty info from “Mirror Mirror” guests every Thursday, when new episodes are released featuring interviews with interesting women. Everyone from farmers and interior designers, to stylists, poets and natural beauty experts share their favorite desert island beauty products and beauty philosophies. “Mirror Mirror” can be found on Instagram, Facebook and iTunes.


Check out more beauty articles in our archives. CLICK HERE.