This Saturday I’ll be leaving for a weeklong vacation on Hawaii’s Big Island. Be still, my heart.
We’ll be traveling there with my husband’s family–the trip, in large part, is to celebrate my sister-in-law’s 40th birthday. We’ve rented a house via VRBO and my full intention is to spend the majority of the time we’re there relaxing by the pool, soaking in the sun and warmth, umbrella drink in hand. But when I’m not doing that, I plan on touristing my way around the island, hitting the major parks, visiting a coffee farm or two, and hiking in to see beautiful beaches and maybe even lava.
I will, of course, feature the trip and various outfits I’ll be wearing in a travel diary post and several outfit posts when I get back. But for now, probably because I’m so excited, I thought it would be fun to share a little preview of whats going in my bag.
|evening outfit||–||white crop top, tropical maxi|
|hiking outfit||–||leggings, tank top, sandals, aviators|
|tropical poolside outfit||–||pink bikini (top, bottom), green and white sarong, blue aloha print sarong, sarong tie|
|classy poolside outfit||–||coverup (similar), navy bikini (top, bottom)|
In addition to these clothing items I’ll also be packing some heavy-duty sunscreen. The importance of this should not be overlooked. I’ve seen other bloggers as well as friends head to tropical destinations without adequate sunscreen or with new/fancy/organic/weird sunscreen that they hadn’t previously tested on their skin. The results can be trip-ruining. The tropical sun can wreak havoc on almost anyone’s skin.
My solution? Neutrogena’s heavy-duty sunscreen. I opt for 70 SPF or above on my face and any part of me that gets a lot of sun exposure–like the tops of my shoulders. The rest of me gets a thick, regular slather of 30 SPF. I always go for sunscreen brands I’ve heard of before (think Banana Boat, Coppertone, or Hawaiian Tropic). I almost never check a bag when I travel, so I usually bring a smaller bottle of Neutrogena’s face sunscreen with me and purchase a big bottle of the 30 SPF on arrival.
Let’s talk about hair removal. For legs and underarms, a razor and a daily shave will do just fine. The bikini area, however, requires a bit more consideration. When I first began taking winter getaways to the Caribbean I simply used a razor. It was an okay solution. The problem with just shaving the bikini line is that it just isn’t quite thorough enough. A 5 o’clock armpit shadow, while undesirable, isn’t the end of the world. But seeing any hair on any level in the bikini line area is unacceptable.
Waxing seems like the obvious choice, but I’m just not a huge fan of it. I’ve gotten bikini waxes in the past, and the truth is the most painful part comes when it’s time to pay. Why on earth are bikini waxes so expensive? I can’t find a single decent wax at a reputable place in Chicago for less than $60. Spending $60 on a treatment that lasts only a few short weeks just feels a bit extravagant for my blood. And to make it worse, every bikini wax I’ve ever received left little straggling hairs that needed to be cleaned up with a razor, or, for the not-so-faint-of-heart, tweezers.
Luckily, I’ve found the answer: epilators. A good epilator is a god-send. Don’t feel bad if you’ve never heard of them before–I hadn’t until a couple of years ago. An epilator is esssentially an electric razor that has a number of spinning wheels that spin together to pluck hair out at the root. I purchased my first epilator from Emoji last year and it worked wonderfully, so when they asked me to review their latest model, the eRase e60, I was happy to do so. The e60 promises the power of 60 tweezers working all at once. Unlike my last model, the discs are oriented in such a way that you can run the tool over your skin in any direction. I’m happy to say that it works much quicker and smoother than the previous model. Plus I like how compact it is, given that I’m working in a small area on my body.
Epilating sounds like it’s going to be more painful than it really is. While it isn’t a pain-free process, it’s really nothing to worry about. But, if you’re worried, it comes with a sensitive skin attachment to use on particularly sensitive skin and areas like the upper lip. I haven’t used this part of it yet, but I am intrigued and I think it’s a nice addition to have. It retails for about $60 – $70 around the web, so for the same price as one bikini wax you can buy a tool that will give you the equivalent of endless waxes. It seems like a no-brainer to me.
Pro-tip: make sure you epilate at least a few days before your trip. Since you’re pulling your hair out at the root a single epilation session should leave you hair free for about four weeks. But it also will give you some skin redness in your bikini area as well as a few red bumps. These go away in a few days.
Have you tried epilation? Let me know in the comments!