Everything You Need To Stay Fresh On Even The Grodiest Summer Road Trip

The 5 products and 1 DIY mixture I pack any time I get the urge to crisscross the continent.
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Amil
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The 5 products and 1 DIY mixture I pack any time I get the urge to crisscross the continent.

You know those period commercials where everyone’s wearing white and dancing around like they don’t have hormone brain and you’re just like uuuuugh? That’s how I feel every time I watch a road-trip movie where a dewy starlet and her gal pals manage to stay matte, gorgeous and put-together while banking a couple hundo miles in their convertible.

Uh, where are all the greasy Egg McMuffin wrappers? Who’s hiding that bag of Trader Joe’s beef jerky? Where did you guys find a blow dryer?! Get real, yo. Even Crossroads-era Britney could not have looked so fresh and so clean without some serious help.

I’ve spent a lot of time riding in cars with girls: first as a kid with my mom and sisters, exploring the west coast every summer in our used Volvo; and now as a grown-ass woman, crisscrossing the continent with friends in tow. And while these trips are guaranteed amazing fun-wise, they haven’t always been my most attractive moments.

Unlike this, which is a pretty cute moment if I do say so myself.

Unlike this, which is a pretty cute moment if I do say so myself.

I’ve learned my lessons the hard way, and I want to spare you the potential embarrassment, so here are my top road-trip beauty buys.

MOISTURIZER & SUNSCREEN

Do you know how dry it gets in a car? You’re blasting the AC, too busy screaming the words to that new Katy Perry song to remember to drink water, and the sun’s been scorching you since you got on the freeway in Sacramento.

You need to be vigilant about your creams. I love Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation because it’s super-light but loaded with all kinds of vitamins and botanicals and other things with fancy names that make my skin feel amazing.

The brand also makes a great moisturizer with sunscreen but I find it a bit thick for long hauls, so I use the Sheer Transformation with Green Beaver’s organic sunscreen. And that sunscreen needs to go everywhere.

Most people sort of forget that you can burn just sitting in the car. Seriously, once I got such a bad thigh burn sitting in L.A. traffic that I had to wear pants for the rest of that trip. Extremely not cool.

CLEANSING CLOTHS

Cleansing cloths are a road-trip miracle because, hey, guess what: you’re probably not going to be taking a shower for a while. Hope you know whoever you’re traveling with pretty well because you guys are about to get real intimate.

Pull these suckers out whenever you’re feeling a little not-so-fresh and wipe away the shame of that drive-thru burger you had an hour ago so you can welcome the one you’re going to have in an hour with a clean body.

There are literally a million varieties to choose from at the drugstore, so really just let your heart decide which lucky one gets to live in your dashboard for a week. I like Be.Better ones because they’re paraben-free, all-natural and biodegradable. If you use them as much as me, it starts to feel important that they’re at least aiming for sustainability.

But for real, there are so many cloths to choose from--go nuts.

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DRY SHAMPOO

Of course, dry shampoo. I mean, of course.

Somehow your hair manages to be dry and greasy at the same time after a few hours of staring at street signs. It’s like a road trip anti-miracle. That’s why I prefer a volumizing dry shampoo--something that at least gives your limp hair some life before the next rest stop.

The Oscar Blandi one I keep in my bag also smells insane and doesn’t leave my dark brown hair a chalky mess.

FACE MIST

Huh? What are you talking about Amil? That seems too decadent.

No, you guys, listen to me for just one second. When your butt starts to resemble the bucket seats in your '95 Hyundai, you are going to be begging for a hint of luxury in your gypsy life, and this mist is going to change your reality.

I know there are a lot of way-over-priced mists out there claiming to be made of glacial water and angel wings, but I’m gonna to teach you how to make your own toning and moisturizing rosewater spray so just chill.

You can get rosewater at most natural food stores or ethnic grocery stores, and it’s cheap--like $1.99 cheap if you go the right place. Same with witch hazel.

Probably not a good idea to bring houseplants on the road. That's why they're called houseplants, not carplants.

Probably not a good idea to bring houseplants on the road. That's why they're called houseplants, not carplants.

Pick up a travel-size spray bottle from the drugstore along with some distilled water. Mix equal parts of rosewater, witch hazel and water and BOOM! Spa-level aromatherapy mist that you can take anywhere. Mind blown.

JUMBO LIP PENCIL

Personally, I don’t like to wear a lot of makeup on long trips because I’m constantly rubbing my eyes (night driving, yo) or trying to grab a nap with my face smushed in a seat. But when you do finally stop for a land-based adventure, nothing takes me from car to bar faster than a red lip.

These NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencils are easy enough to put on in a moving vehicle. They’re even speed-bump-resistant!

I am PARKED. Needless to say, do not apply makeup while you're driving.

I am PARKED. Needless to say, do not apply makeup while you're driving.

I use mine for a little cheek colour to fight that “I’ve been in a car for six hours” zombie vibe.

Obviously the only other must is a killer soundtrack. I’ll be listening to that new Miguel/Mariah Carey song until I turn into a butterfly (I hope).

So those are my basic basics. Like, don’t leave the city without ‘em style essentials. What can’t you travel without? How do you survive a road trip while staying fresh to death? What are you 2013 summer jamz?