I like to think that I’m pretty well-versed in beauty, but even I have a thing or two (or ten) to learn. As they say, knowledge is power. So, while on a recent girls’ trip to Mexico for Kourtney Kardashian’s birthday, I did what any other beauty enthusiast would do—I took in all of the beauty tips and tricks being offered by the gorgeous girls on the vacation, including two amazing makeup artists and one killer hairstylist.
Here are eight tips, tricks, and factoids I learned from the beautiful women on Kourt’s trip.
1. Jen Atkin spends her vacation time braiding hair. It’s true: She says it calms her, so she opted out of the tanning sessions and spent her day braiding anyone’s hair who wanted it—FREE OF CHARGE! It was like our own Mexico braid bar. She also set up shop with travel-size Ouai Dry Shampoo and Wave Spray for the taking. (I took one of each!) Jen’s favorite gel is a drugstore find: Gorilla Snot (it’s actually meant for kids!). She uses it to tame flyaways, help slick back a pony or bun, and gather hair for a braid. Did I mention that it’s yellow, kinda like snot!?
2. Joyce Bonelli is a true artist when it comes to bronzer and brushes. The key to perfectly bronzed vacay skin? Using a variety of brushes in different shapes and sizes. Joyce showed how to create a glowing, beachy complexion by lightly feathering the bronzer around the face, using a different brush for is used for each section (cheeks, forehead, nose and even eyelids). Her favorite bronzer? Well, that depends on if you want a matte or shimmer finish, but for matte, she’s all about Serge Lutens Blusher.
3. Hrush taught me how to properly apply foundation—finally! She also showed me what each brush in my brush arsenal is really meant for. My takeaways: For foundation, use a bristled brush to achieve the most flawless application (aka less streaky), not a sponge. Once the foundation settles, tap with the sponge to set and blend any remaining streaks. For dark spots, spot-apply concealer before foundation, then after foundation, and once again, after powder. Layering is key, and true coverage means using concealer after each step. Hrush’s favorite brushes are Morphe, and they’re really affordable! I bought them all because, yes, you do need a different brush for bronzer, powder, highlighter, and blush.
4. Kourtney’s hair air-dries like a professional blow-out. Seriously. She gets out of the shower, brushes her hair and then goes on with her night—and her strands dry perfectly straight and shiny! She literally has the most low-maintenance hair of any of my friends. Oh, and she doesn’t color it, which could potentially be the reason behind her healthy strands.
5. Like any true girlfriends, getting-ready time is perfect opportunity for catching up. So, every night I would go into Kourt’s room and chitchat while she applied her makeup. But here’s the thing: It only takes her 3 minutes to get that vacay look. It’s super simple and achievable, even for a beauty novice, so naturally I took notes. Her beachy face includes: foundation (her favorite is Armani), concealer (she uses Make Up For Ever under her eyes and Lorac on her face), bronzer (Charlotte Tilbury, applied to eyelids as well, with extra attention paid to the cheeks to give a bit of glowing definition), and mascara (Lancôme). To create her dewy finish, Kourt mists a few spritz of Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist all over her face as her final step. That’s it!
6. Kim is really good at doing her own makeup. Seriously. She can contour, line and define like a pro. She also has an amazingly specific multi-step process for applying under-eye concealer, but more on that another time.
7. Malika is über-talented at braiding (watch out, Jen!). She says she learned to braid on Khloe’s hair. She actually did Larsa’s beach-chic side braid/cornrow hybrid, which, by the way, is a great solution for taming long hair when it’s humid out. Just lock a section down with a braid, and let the rest flow naturally. Or, do as Jen Atkin did, and clip fresh flowers to the side of your hair, behind the ear, with bobby pins. It effectively does the same thing as the behind-the-ear cornrow: holds down that one section/side of hair, while allowing the other section/side to flow au naturel.
8. Speaking of hair and humidity, here’s what I learned: When on vacay, don’t even bother with hot tools. Embrace your natural texture, be it pencil-straight, wavy or kinky-curly. With 16 girls, you can bet we had our share of varying textures. And when you just can’t take it any longer, do what the pros (i.e., Jen and Hrush) do: add some braids, or, if you’re like me and braiding is not in your hair repertoire, pull your locks back into a bun and you’re good to go. It works on all textures and is surprisingly easy and beachy! I was even able to get my humidity-stricken thick mane into a bun.