"No, I'm not! I'm not a tomboy! I love my makeup! That's not true! I'm not a tomboy!" -- Hilary Duff, Academy Award-winning actress

There's nothing worse than getting advice from older people, we know, we know, but the truth is some advice is worth taking and keeping, especially when it comes to fun beauty tips. We've been reading fashion magazines and testing beauty products for years. In this time, we've read 1000s of beauty tips, tried 1000s of products, but only a few are worth keeping around. So, here we share with you the 20 things we wish we knew when we were teenagers.

1. Skip the foundation If you have acne the first thing you want to do is slather on the thick foundation. Don't. Foundation is for women over 35. Not only will it cover up your natural beauty, but foundation on a teenager looks anything but natural. Instead, cover up blemishes with concealer, then follow with a powder or tinted mosturizer. Tinted moisturizers tend to be lighter than heavy foundations.

2. You pat concealer in, you never rub it in We know this from watching the Tyra Banks show. When applying concealer, put a bit on the pad of your middle finger and pat it in. Never rub. Got acne? Pat the concealer on top of it.

3. Play up your lips or your eyes, never both If you are wearing heavy eye makeup, go for nude lips with just a bit of gloss. Prefer the drama of dark lipstick? Keep face light (stay away from heavy blush) and wear only mascara on your eyes and a light eyeshadow. Don't heavily line your eyes. Play up both and you'll look like a clown.

And never, ever line lips in a darker color than your gloss or lipstick.

4. Less is more Ever notice how some of your friends look best with no makeup at all? No matter your age, too much makeup makes you look worse. If you wear foundation, powder, blush, liner, mascara, eyeshadow, lip liner and gloss on an everyday basis, then you're overdoing it. Tone it down: All you really need is a great mascara, concealer for blemishes and gloss. Add a pop of blush in winter.

5. Natural hair is always hot If you have super dark hair, lighten your look by going a shade darker or getting lighter highlights. Blonde? Try highlights, especially framing the face. We see too many teens lightening their hair several shades and the look can be super-tacky, not super-fabulous. The trick is to let people assume you were born with sun-kissed hair, not that you gave yourself a bad dye job from a bottle. More hair color tips here.

6. Vaseline is your best friend Vaseline is a great, cheap eye makeup remover. It's also great for fixing chapped, scaly lips. Slather on a bunch of Vaseline, then use a toothbrush to massage lips. Wipe the excess off on a tissue. Your lips will be smooth and soft.

7. You can never go wrong with layers Long layers are great for any hair type: Super curly, straight or wavy. It makes thin hair appear thicker, curly hair appear manageable and wavy hair appear just-got-back-from-the-beach sexy. Just make sure you don't get too many layers cut in. Too many short layers is dated.

8. Acne? Get thee to a dermatologist, stat Biggest mistake people with acne make? Not going to a dermatologist. Forget those $150 jeans you covet. Getting rid of those pimples will be the best investment you'll ever make. And the only guaranteed way to do it is with a dermatologist.

9. Spend money on key beauty products Not sure what to splurge on and what to save on? I give you the scoop in this article. See if you should splurge or save on cleansers, mascara, concealer and more.

10. Buying foundation or lipstick? Test it first There are some beauty products you simply must try out at a department store or Sephora before you buy. These include: Foundation, lipstick, blush and powder.

Buy these products in a grocery store and you'll be lucky if you picked the right color for your skin tone. What you can get away with without testing: Mascara, eye liner, most basic eye shadows and lip gloss.

11. When can you skip sunscreen ? Never Here's a trick we wish we knew: The first beauty product you should apply every day is sunscreen, even if it's cloudy or rainy outside. Why? Good habits start young and if you use sunscreen now, you'll have gorgeous skin when you're 50, 60, 70. Remember, the sun's UV rays can penetrate clouds and car windows.

12. Wrapping hair around the barrel creates waves There's nothing cooler than long, layered waves. To get them, wind hair AROUND the barrel of a large curling iron. Reverse direction for each 2-inch section (wind up for one, down for another).

13. Self-tanner will always stink Unfortunately, even the best ones smell. Your best bet is to apply self-tanner a good 24 hours before an important event and take a shower (don't loofah) to wash off any smell. For really big events like a dance or wedding, consider a professional spray tan. These are pricey and don't last long, so make sure to do it a day before the big event.

14. Don't let nails go Not into manicures and pedicures? No worries. Just make sure to keep nails clean and the same length. If you do want to paint them, don't keep the polish on until half of it's chipped away. Also, there's nothing worse than too-long toenails. Keep nails clipped between pedicures! People tend to judge others by the care they put into their hands and feet.

15. Don't line the inside of your eyes It will make your eyes appear smaller. Instead, line just at the lash line. Also, an obvious line doesn't look natural. Smudge the line just a bit.

16. Oily hair? Invest in a dry shampoo If you have blonde hair, sprinkling a bit of baby powder on your roots and at your crown will soak up excess oils. If you have brown hair, you might be better off with a dry shampoo for your hair color.

17. Shave legs at the end of the shower Cut down on nicks and cuts by making shaving the very last step in your shower or bathing ritual. Nine more shaving tips here

18. Know your best feature and play it up What feature do people comment on most? Play it up. If you're told you have Angelina Jolie lips, make sure to wear gloss and play with bold lipstick colors. If it's your eye color people love, find eyeshadow colors that complement them and make sure to wear mascara. Also, know what color shirts look best on you and go shopping.

19. Scrubs are great for dry skin If you have dry, itchy skin in winter, invest in a scrub and handmitts and scrub away in the bathtub. Make sure to slather on a thick moisturizer afterward. For dry, callousy feet, buy a pumice stone. They work better than any of the other wimpy options on the market.

20. Remember: Beauty is mostly internal Think about a girl you know who's overweight yet all the guys love her. Why? Because she's confident. If you aren't wearing makeup and your toes haven't been repainted in weeks, if you're happy and smiling you will still be 10 times prettier than the mopey cheerleader sitting next to you in class. Trust us (wink).


Nonetheless, when it did come in handy, it was a combination of the form factor and several apps available to me that proved to be valuable for long excursions. And while the iPad or iPhone are not full replacements for, say, a notebook on the road, I can attest to 10 must-have apps that every iOS device should have installed before hitting the road.

1. Some form of task management app

I’ve been using OmniFocus for a long time now, but there are other task management/productivity apps that can work; it all depends on how deep into the productivity space you want to go. I’ve got a lot on the go, so OmniFocus is where everything “lives”. When you’re traveling, having some form of “to-do” app is integral, as you’ll need to inevitably add follow-up items for when you get home and add other items of notes throughout your travels. For me, my go-to app was OmniFocus. For you, it might be Things, Flow, Wunderlist, Priorities or one of the other countless apps out there. The key is to pick one and use it — even when you’re on the road.

2. Camera+

I like the native Camera app, but if I’m traveling I like to have a more robust one that can do more with the photos I’m taking, such as zooming in on a subject. Camera+ gives me that and much more. I have barely scratched the surface on what it can do, but in terms of grabbing great shots on the go, I’ve yet to find a more complete camera app.

3. TripIt

TripIt has become my “go to” app for all of my travel itinerary needs. I can have all of my travel info automatically imported into the app (or can email them as well), from flight times to hotel bookings to less obvious items such as ticket information for concerts and such. I can also see alternate flights within the app if I decide to make a change and can discover the best seats to choose when checking in — very handy if you’d like to have as much as leg room as possible on longer flights.

In addition, you can keep track of all of your travel reward points with TripIt if you upgrade to the pro version of the app on its website. But the bare bones version allows for all of the stuff most travelers will really need…which is to figure where they need to be at what time. I’ve tried other apps that purport to do the same, but I keep coming back to TripIt. And now I’m a pro user as well.

4. Qik Video

Since I was leaving my family behind during the traveling I did last month, I wanted to be able to give them video in real time as to where I was. Enter Qik Video. At one time it was only available for jail broken iPhones, but now it’s an official app and it shouldn’t be underestimated as a valuable one when on the road. I simply sent my family a link to my Qik page and they could log in and see me live if they wanted, or could see archived videos of where’d I’d been during my day. It’s a great way to keep connected visually without having to schedule those moments.

5. Instacast

I still have no idea why Apple hasn’t incorporated what Instacast can do into the iPod functionality on iOS devices. Instacast allows users to grab the latest episodes of their favorite podcasts without having to sync to iTunes on their computers. Very handy if you’re on the road and want to keep up with a regular podcasting diet. I was able to listen to many of my favorite podcasts stream of the wireless network on my train trip from Vancouver to Portland, and every morning I’d run Instacast to see if anything new popped up. Then I’d give them a listen at my leisure, which is a luxury I wouldn’t have had otherwise, as I didn’t travel with my laptop. Traveling or not, this is a must-have app for podcast fans.

6. Simplenote

As a writer, I’ve tried a slew of writing apps, but for traveling I lean towards Simplenote if only because of its ubiquitous nature. I know that if I sync up to Simplenote with whatever I’m writing, then I can tweak it on any computer platform I end up having at my disposal. That’s one of the advantages of being a web-based service.

Plus, Simplenote just works. Sure, you can really dig deep into the app, but at its core it’s plain, simple text editing…and it lets me get down to writing and syncs with the service once I’m within range of 3G or wifi. That’s what I need when I’m on the road.

7. Skype

I hate paying roaming fees, and Canadian cellphone providers have a penchant for gouging their customers with them. Skype takes care of that for me. Sure, I do pay for calls to phone lines, but it pales in comparison to what I’d pay my cellphone provider. The reception can be wonky at times, depending on the connection speed, but Skype does the job in most cases. As a Canuck on the road, Skype is a must-have money-saver. (I just hope it stays as valuable under its new ownership.)

8. DropVox

It’s not free, like Voice Notes or similar apps, but what DropVox does that the others don’t do is sync up to my DropBox account. Some have even found a way to have their DropVox notes sync over to OmniFocus, which is incredibly convenient if that’s your task management app of choice. It also has unlimited record time as well (which would be limited only by the space you have on your DropBox account). All of these features make DropVox my preferred voice recording app.

9. Night Stand HD

I have a tough time waking up, whether at home or on the road. I’ve got WakeMate while at home, but I try to pack as light as I can when traveling. Sure, the wristband doesn’t take up much room…but Night Stand HD takes up even less.

It’s a fully-featured alarm clock app, giving me weather options for where I am at (with location services enabled, of course) and a variety of choices of clock type and alarm sounds. And it wakes me up, which is really the most important feature.

10. Agenda

I, like many others, am not a fan of the native iCal app. I’ve tried Calvetica and haven’t spent enough time in it (or Dialvetica, for that matter) to feel comfortable in it. But Agenda works like a charm for me. It has a great user interface and keeps me on schedule, which is crucial during conferences when you have to be at certain sessions on time. Of course, the push notifications help with this. Agenda lets me take in my surroundings during my down time without getting lost in them so that I can take in what I’m really in the area for: the conference.

And an honorable mention goes to FourSquare/Gowalla/Etc.

I rarely use location-based services such as Foursquare or Gowalla, but when I’m traveling, it’s a great way for you (and others) to keep track of your whereabouts. Sure, these apps are great for social gaming, but if something was to happen to you, there’d be a virtual starting point for people to track you down. Perhaps not the ideal use for such services, but a use for them nonetheless.

These must-have apps have alternatives (especially the task managers), but during last month’s traveling blitz I’d have been hard-pressed without the ones above. They’ve earned a home on their own page as a result of their effectiveness.


Planning an adventure-filled holiday? Lonely Planet suggests tools that every adventurer needs.

1. Motorhome
If your main concern when you're on the road is having the freedom to go wherever, whenever, whatever the weather, then consider hiring a motorhome for your next adventure. You can rent these fully self-contained bad boys from many capital cities worldwide. Choose your level of opulence by selecting from an astonishing array of extras such as satellite navigation systems, central heating, air con, bathrooms with showers and toilets, fridges and freezers, microwave, TV, video, DVD, stereo, radio, generators, awnings, automatic transmission and power steering. If a truck can get there, so can you in a motorhome.

2. Digital camera
Digital cameras are gold. You can review your snaps instantly and delete the ones where you look ugly. Extra memory cards mean you can keep virtually limitless numbers of images in which you look good. With digital you don't have to wait to get your snaps developed, but you have the option of getting them printed should you so choose. Most digital cameras also have a recording facility so you can literally capture poetry, or your friends, in motion. But perhaps the best thing is that you can send images via e-mail to instantly share your experiences with friends and family, wherever they may be.

3. MP3 player/iPod
Life is a journey but every now and then it can get a little tedious, like when your plane get delayed or you're stuck on a never-ending bus ride. MP3 players are perfect for whiling away otherwise dull hours by listening to your fave tunes or random podcasts, flicking through photos, or even watching a movie on the miniscreen. The first workable MP3 player was created in 1997 by Tomislav Uzelac when he was still a student at Croatia's University of Zagreb. In recent years it has been estimated that MP3 sales have rocketed with well over a million sold each year.

4. Swiss Memory USB
Geeks and tech-savvy citizens everywhere have been getting very excited about this one. Described as "the perfect marriage of technology, practicality, materials and quality design," this exceptional unit has everything you need to survive in both rural and urban settings. In addition to the standard Swiss Army Knife features (knife, scissors, screwdriver, key ring) that have made the brand famous, this postmodern must-have also has its own USB flash drive, LED light and ballpoint pen. You can choose how much memory you want (from 256MB up to 2GB), and the deluxe version comes with built-in FM radio and voice recorder.

5. Leatherman Core Multitool
Hard-core travellers demand hard-core accessories to ensure their adventurous lifestyle is hassle free, leaving them more time for more hard-core adventures. So for anyone planning a trek into the backcountry, this multitasking wonder is just the ticket. Featuring locking knife blades, three wire cutters, pliers and hollow-ground screwdrivers in standard sizes, with rounded handles to help every Action Man or Wonder Woman get a firm grip when putting it to use, the stainless steel Core will fix, open, mend and repair just about anything. If the A-Team had used one of these, they'd have been able to build a tank out of sand.
6. Emergency mobile-phone charger
You've been stranded out in the middle of nowhere with your erstwhile travelling buddy for weeks, stumbling around looking for signs of civilization. At last your mobile has coverage and, believing salvation is at hand, you call for assistance. Then the battery goes flat. It's at times like these you'll be feeling ever so smug and superior for remembering to pack an emergency charger. Some chargers are model-specific, while other suit a range of phones. They use standard AAA batteries and typically give you around 40 to 60 minutes of talk time and four to six hours of standby time. Sorted.

7. Universal plug adaptor
Plugs and sockets are the bane of international travellers' lives. There are at least nine different types of plugs in use around the world. Europe uses two prongs, the USA has three, the UK also has three but they're different to the US ones, and so on. The International Electrotechnical Commission actually wrote a world standard in the 1980s but governments are reluctant to give up their own standards. Luckily, universal plug adaptors can save the day. Ingenious as a Rubik's Cube, in one tiny box they fit all the prongs needed to produce a plug you can use wherever you wake up.

8. Headlamp
When you're travelling around with your world in your backpack you're always on the lookout for good things that come in tiny packages. That's why we really love the ultralight travel headlamp designed by the caving gurus over at Petzl Zipka. Weighing only 57 g with batteries included, this mini-illuminato fits into the smallest of pockets ensuring it's always close at hand during a blackout or on those long, dark nights when you're stuck by yourself at the back of a plane, train or automobile. Anyone wishing to see the light should invest in one of these, a genuine travel essential.

9. Quick-dry towel
Sometimes the best ideas are also the most simple. Anyone who's had to drag around a wet heavy towel in their backpack, unable to prevent it festering in its own dampness, or worse still, spreading mildew onto your spare set of clothes as you travel between places, will understand the straightforward brilliance of a lightweight towel that can dry super-fast -- up to eight times quicker than a beach towel. Made from a combination of synthetic microfibres, the best brands also come with their own carry bag and are treated to prevent the buildup of bacteria, fungi and stench.

10. GPS watch
For those who like exploring well off the beaten path, and others who just want to be James Bond, the Suunto X0 Global Positioning System (GPS) watch uses 27 satellites to calculate its wearer's exact location, give or take a few metres, almost anywhere on the planet. Very handy if you get lost looking for the South Pole or charging through an Ecuadorian rainforest. What's more, it features a barometer, altimeter and compass, and will measure your travelling speed, guide you to your destination and store coordinates so you can retrace your steps. Amazingly, it also tells the time.


What to bring

Less is more (as i'm certain you've heard before) and it's especially true for longer trips.

That backpack will get heavier the longer you travel, so choose each item carefully.

One Man's List

My apologies for being so short sighted but this is really a male travelers list. There are items here for women too but this is far from what a girl would travel with. Also, a complete list for women is damn near impossible as girls are so particular about certain things, and their styles are so diverse from one to another. I have yet to really research the topic of female travel essentials but for now girls, review my lists and take what you need from it.

The girl in the story below could have used the "Less is more" tip too.

Backpack Checklist

Travel Essentials:

  • Passport(s)
  • Bank/Credit Cards
  • Student Card
  • Foreign currency
  • Clothing:
  • Backpack with day bag
  • 1 hat
  • 3-4 shirts (cotton is fine)
  • 1 "quick-dry" shirt (for travel days while wearing backpack)
  • Lightweight boots with ankle support
  • 6-7 pairs of underwear
  • 2-3 pairs of wool or "quick-dry" socks (no-cotton)
  • Sandals/flipflops (for showers, bathroom)
  • 1 pair of "quick-dry" pants
  • 1 pair of jeans (optional)
  • 1 bathing suit
  • 1 pair of regular shorts
  • 1 belt
  • 1 lightweight sweater/jacket (No Cotton!)
  • Rain protection cover
  • Technology:
  • Compass
  • Multi-tool (pack with checked luggage, not carry on)
  • Digital camera w/large memory card
  • 1 extra camera battery
  • Camera battery charger
  • Camera cord for CPU
  • Pocket-sized tripod
  • Phone


Small Essentials:

  • Sewing kit
  • Toiletries bag for toothbrush, toothpaste, floss etc.
  • Watch/clock
  • Headlamp / Mini flashlight
  • Sunglasses
  • Passport holder
  • Small Laundry sack
  • Travelers cheques (good to have some backup)
  • 1 travel towel (never cotton!)
  • Earplugs
  • Travel Guide
  • Plug adaptor
  • Pens (Red, Green, Blue)
  • Notepad
  • Plastic cutlery set

* the term "quick-dry" refers to synthetic fibres such as Nylon and Polyester. Also refers to natural fibres like wool, bamboo and hemp. These fabrics are used to produce durable clothing that dries quickly and resists bacteria which cause odours.

7.3 - Toiletries Checklists

Cleaning yourself so fresh and so clean is one of the simplest ways to feel personally rejuvenated while traveling. Shaving your stubble, cleaning your ears and clipping your toenails may never be taken for granted again after a couple weeks of backpacking.

Personal Care:

  • Gravol
  • First aid kit (travel size)
  • Personal Medicine
  • Personal Daily Hygiene:
  • Soap
  • Soap container
  • Shampoo
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothbrush container
  • Toothpaste (under 100ml for flights)
  • Dental floss
  • Tissues/Toilet paper


Personal Comfort:

  • Shaving cream
  • Razors
  • Q-Tips
  • Toenail clippers
  • Tweezers
  • Hair gel
  • Comb/Brush
  • Deodorant
  • Matches / Lighter
  • Condoms
  • Ear plugs

  • Ziplock bags (to store liquids for flights)
  • Mirror

Daily Dose of Everything

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Daily Dose of Everything