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The Great Outdoors

By Amalah

I might be camping this summer and I am already stressing about being make up free for a few days. I don’t normally pile it on, but I’m pretty dreary looking without anything. Are there any products out there that could do double duty – like a sunscreen / moisturizer / light foundation or lip balm / blush? It has to be easy and quick to apply (without a mirror) so It won’t look like I’m putting on “make up” lest I be ridiculed by my outdoorsy, naturally perfect friends. HELP!!!

Oh, I cannot even tell you how much this question amuses me. Because while I KNOW the proper advice is to tell poor Mary to just ease up on her vanity for a few days and just enjoy the outdoors and she’ll live and no one will judge and blah blah blaaaah…I am TOTALLY that girl who is incapable of going completely makeup-free around other people. I have snuck cosmetics to campsites and worn eyeliner to a bonfire. So I cannot judge Mary, nor can I abandon her to her outdoorsy, naturally perfect friends who she will standing next to for photos and honestly, these digital cameras these days. They are…not forgiving.
Here’s what I’d pack for camping, if I were to go camping. Please note: I am not going camping, and my friends Mike and Jen can just SHUT UP ALREADY about us going camping. Because I am not going camping.
Wait. Where was I? Oh, right. The packing list:
For your face, bring a good tinted moisturizer with SPF. Sephora’s website has a great search function to help you find the best one for you, since you can sort by skin type or coverage or formulation. Here are the results for SPF. If you can get to a Sephora and try them out, even better, although if I had to pick semi-blindly I’d go with one by Laura Mercier or the Benefit. smashbox spf.jpg
You didn’t mention any specific skin issues, but since I am a raging egomaniac who assumes everybody is just like me, let’s say your skin is vaguely uneven in tone, prone to shine — and just for the hell of it, let’s say you’ve got some fine lines too. All of these issues mean a tinted moisturizer will not provide enough coverage. So you want to pack some foundation primer. Specifically, the Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer SPF 15 With Dermaxyl Complex. This stuff will ensure a flawless, smooth complexion, but because it’s CLEARLY MARKED as an SPF product, you can use the excuse that you are just adding an extra coat of sun protection on your face. Oh, and you don’t need a mirror to apply it. (I’d highly recommend checking your face after the tinted moisturizer though, even covertly while you pee if you have to. That stuff can and will leave streaks if you don’t smooth it out properly.)
As for other products that pull double-duty, there are a slew of combination lip and cheek stain products. I love cheek stain — you apply it with your fingers and since it’s so sheer it’s pretty hard to screw up. Check out Benefit’s Benetint, Stila’s Convertible Color or Sephora’s Cheek Stain. And while I don’t know of any good drugstore versions off the top of my head, I would bet dollars to donuts that you could find one at Ulta or Target. pixi.jpg
And while I’ve never personally tried it, this Pixi Hydrotint Duo looks pretty fab: a tinted SPF moisturizer AND a lip/cheek stain all in one little tube. I bet it would also pitch your tent if you asked it nicely. The best part is that it could easily pass for a simple tube of medicated Blistex. Because we are Sneaky.
Also, for extra neurotic sneakiness, consider packing your makeup in some inoffensive plastic travel bottles. Like these.

About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch


Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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