Vacation Beauty Prep: How I Pamper Myself Before a Trip

Besides tying up loose ends at work and packing my bags for my planned vacation, I like to pamper myself during the week before the trip. If I’m going somewhere tropical, I make sure to do a few beauty treatments so that I feel my absolute best in a swimsuit and sandals. While some of these treatments might not be applicable to you and your beauty routine, these are all totally worth the time and money for me. Keep reading to see how I pamper myself for vacation mode! P.S. all of these treatments are listed in the correct order so that you don’t ruin anything, like your spray tan during your pedicure!

 A Facial or Massage

This is monthly routine for me as I have a subscription at my local Massage Envy, but I recommend it about a week before your vacation. A facial results in clearer, glowier skin, which means you can go out with less makeup on! When I’m on vacation, especially somewhere tropical, I want to wear the least amount of makeup possible. Enhance that vacation glow by pampering your skin. If you choose to get a massage, you can have all that built-up tension worked out and find your inner zen. If you choose to get a monthly membership, it’s only about $60 a month for a massage or facial. What a deal. I go to the Massage Envy in Green Hills, which is right next to my work. Leaving work and going to my appointment once a month helps me unwind and relax. If you don’t like facials, try using an at-home mask. The Trader Joe’s Face Masks are under $10 and leave my skin softer and glowy.

Pro Tip: Don’t wear any face makeup (foundation, blush, bronzer, concealer) for the entire rest of the day to keep your pores clean and open.  You can do your brows, lips, and lashes, but your facial skin needs to breathe!

A Bikini Wax

I wrote about my first waxing visit here and I highly advocate for a pre-vacation wax. If you are going to be in a swimsuit on your trip, it is such a treat to have smooth, bump-free skin. While I got a bikini wax (think: just the “sideburns”)on my first visit to my local European Wax Center, I got a full wax (as much as you want to take off) since I have some high-waisted swimsuits that I want to wear, like this little white number on my upcoming Bahamas cruise. Since my waxing salon is right next door to Massage Envy, it works perfectly for my schedule. The only things you need to do are make sure that your hair is at least the length of a grain of rice and make sure that you are not a week out from your period (this will make your skin super sensitive).  If you are in Nashville, I recommend Shayla at European Wax Center in Green Hills. She will take great care of you!

Pro tips: Make sure you get a wax at least 3 days before a spray tan so that that skin has time to heal! Also, don’t exercise for 48 hours after your wax to avoid irritation and bumps.

A Pedicure

While I like to do my own fingernail polish, I enjoy paying for a Deluxe Spa Pedicure at Sapa Nails Spa in Cool Springs. While they offer pedicures that start at $25-30, I like to splurge and get the $50 Deluxe pedicure that includes a Hot Stone massage and a glass of wine. The atmosphere is calming and the employees are super nice! This is a hidden gem in my opinion. I visit every few months with a friend and leave happy and healthy with my fresh pedicure. This beauty treatment gives me a pep in my step and confidence when I wear my sandals on vacation. I call ahead to make sure that I won’t have to wait and recommend going during the week after work.

Pro tip: Get a summery color that will enhance your (hopefully fake) tan, like these nail polish shades.

A Spray Tan

While I’ve fake-baked several times in my life at home (I recommend the classic Jergens or cult-favorite St. Tropez with a hand mitt) and love the results, I decided to treat myself to my very first Spray Tan at Anastacia Skin Studio in Nashville for my tropical trip. Of all the beauty treatments that you can get, this absolutely must be your last. You don’t want to ruin it by soaking your feet during a pedicure or by having your skin steamed during a facial! A Spray Tan can be a bit pricey depending on where you go and how you tan (via a person at a skin salon vs. spray machine at Sun Tan City), and you want it to be fresh so it can last for your entire trip. Since I had heard great reviews and remarks from friends who went to Anastacia Skin Studio, I made an appointment online for a $40 spray tan given by a person. The spray booths are another option, but I didn’t want to risk any problems from a machine (which is also cheaper at $15-$25). I am very happy with my spray tan, but my only advice is to be very careful when you do daily activities after the spray tan. You can’t get wet at all for the first 8 hours, so be very aware of any water or liquid when you go to the bathroom (pee very carefully so you don’t ruin your leg tan) and wash your hands carefully afterwards. These are tips that I wish I has known beforehand! Do you spray tan? Have you mastered the cheaper spray tan from a machine? Let me know!

Pro tips: Use a body polish or scrub (with no mineral oil in it) all over your body and shave the day BEFORE your spray tan. After you exfoliate and shave, apply a light moisturizer all over your body so that it is clean and hydrated for the spray tan. This helps you get an even tone and no streaks. After you shower 8 hours after your spray tan, avoid using any AHA/BHA, exfoliating cleansers, toners, or oil-based cleansers while you have a spray tan. These products can fade/eliminate your tan much quicker!

While all of these treatments add up quickly, remember that you are worth it and that self-care is important. While eating well and getting plenty of sleep are no-brainer tips, these treatments make me feel relaxed and confident in a swimsuit. Do you do any of these treatments before a trip, too? Let me know in the comments!






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