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Changing Your Beauty Routine For a Trip to South Asia

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Avid fans of the show “Friends” witnessed the disaster which was Monica’s hair during a trip to Barbados. Frizzy, big, unruly hair, a less dramatic version happens to our tresses when traveling abroad to South Asia. So even though we might dream of running through the hills of Kashmir looking like Rani Mukherjee, our foreign locks sometimes makes us look more like the Bride of Frankenstein.

Veteran Make Up Artist, Saleha Abbasi shares, “When traveling to hot and humid climates I always change up my routine for hair and makeup…” She, along with a few of our columnists and readers, share some of their favorite tips.


“My hair is my biggest worry in the heat,” confides Abbasi, “so I keep it wavy which is my natural texture. I only blow dry my bangs with a round brush and add an anti-frizz (Herbal Essence Anti-Frizz Cream) to the rest of my hair, and leave it naturally wavy.”

Long time traveler, Cindy Mathews agrees, “Use [the trip] as an opportunity to learn how to style your hair without tools,” she notes, “even if you bring them with you, there’s always the chance of the power going out!. I’m a fan of bumble and bumble styling creme.

For those who want to attempt straight Bollywood locks, pack the following tools: Moroccan oil, internationally compliant hair straightener, blow dryer, flat iron protection spray, and a good anti-humidity cream (Kerastase Aqua Seal).

For those who need total relief from the heat, experimenting with new updos, braids, and hair accessories could be a fun way to be functional and fashionable.

Face and Lips

Opt for a lighter foundation routine. Abbasi uses her regular high coverage concealer (Cover Fx) for problem areas, such as under the eyes, then applies tinted moisturizer(Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer) all over. To lock in the foundation, she adds translucent powder (HD Microfinish Powder). To keep your complexion looking healthy and bright, Abbasi applies a little pinky/peachy blush (Nars Orgasm) to cheeks. For an easy daily color, Abbasi recommends Nars Orgasm as a gloss also.

When not wearing make up, “using a facemask at least once or twice a week to ensure that you are drawing out the impurities from your skin caused by the pollution in the air,” shares SAPNA reader, Fozia Khan. She personally love Origins Clear Improvements clay mask.


The beauty of eye make up in South Asia is that its relatively simple: dramatic eyeliner and lashes. To pull off the look, use water-resistant or waterproof eyeliner and mascara. Abbasi recommends the MAC Powerpoint eye pencil in Engraved and CoverGirl’s Super Thick Mascara in waterproof, and eminds us not to forget to apply a good base to the eyes first (Urban Decays Primer Potion)

Seal the Deal

A good sealant can work its magic to keep everything in place, and also control sweat and oil. Abbasi suggests, Urban Decay Finishing Spray or Make Up Forever Mist and Fix. With intense humidity, even the best finishing spray will be tested, SAPNA columnist, Kanwal Ullah, always keeps face blotting paper handy.

Last but not least, sunscreen is essential for skin and hair, SAPNA Fashion Columnist Sanaa Ansari Khan, does not step out without it. For a wonderful Matte sunscreen which will combat oiliness, try the Anthelios product line from New La Roche-Posay. For additional protection for your locks, try UV protection for your hair as well (Frederic Fekkai Summer Hair After Sun).

With proper attention to hair, skin, and tools that beat the elements, your international beauty routine will keep you looking cool no matter what the temperature is outside.


Saleha Abbasi is one of SAPNA’s resident make up experts, and Founder of Goddess Makeup.

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