On Vasudha Rai’s Travel Beauty Itinerary

Long (beauty) haul

My beauty routine on a long-haul flight is basically lots of moisture. So I will apply an essence, then I will apply a hyaluronic acid serum, then I’ll apply a hydrating mask. I love the Laneige sleeping mask or just a thick layer of Creme De La Mer—it’s wonderful for long-haul flights. Biologique Recherche Masque Biofixine is another favourite.

I carry a two-litre bottle of water on flights because they [flights] can leave you really dehydrated. I also don’t drink on flights—I’m not much of a drinker anyway. If there’s going to be a lot of sun, I carry sunscreen, but more than anything it’s just lots of hydration, inside and out.

On Vasudha Rai’s Travel Beauty Itinerary

Your holiday beauty kit: minimal or maximal?

I like to keep my holiday beauty kit minimal, but it just ends up being maximal. Being the skincare and beauty junkie that I am, I carry more cosmetics than clothes. There will always be a curling or defrizzing cream because I don't want to style my hair on a holiday. I need something that I can just get my hair in shape with.

Next is a deep conditioner. One little trick that I have is that I use it to create a really slick sheen, so it's a double duty product for me. I don't like to use gels because I find them too drying for my hair. Shampoo, I just use whatever it is there in the hotel room, I really don't care.

As far as skin is concerned, I’ll definitely take something for acne, most likely a Lacto Calamine or something like that.

One product I have discovered recently is the Centella Extract by One Thing; it's extremely calming for the skin. I'm prone to rosacea, so I always carry that with me. I just like applying layers and layers and layers of that essence. You know the Korean seven skin method, where you put seven layers of an essence on your face? I use that method with the Centella Extract. Especially if I'm going to be out in the evening and I want to look super glowing and hydrated, and I don't want the heaviness of a moisturizer.

Other than that, definitely one standout red [lipstick], one tinted lip balm, one nude bronzer, and of course body care products like body mist, deodorant.

On Vasudha Rai’s Travel Beauty Itinerary

Favourite duty-free

It would have to be the Parisian one, because everything is on a discount you get such great brands. I really like classic fragrances and Paris duty-free is the best place to get them, because it's inexpensive and you get such a wide variety. Actually, I'm torn between Paris, and either Osaka or Tokyo, because oh-my-god all those Japanese brands! Shu Uemura and SK-II at throwaway prices! It's just amazing.

On Vasudha Rai’s Travel Beauty Itinerary

Beauty itinerary

I always plan my travels around beauty, to be honest. Right from where I'm going to take a thermal bath, what is the best onsen to go to, which is the best place to buy a certain niche beauty product from that country, what is the best place to get a haircut… I forget the name now, but we had gone to Rome a few years back and through my research, I discovered this amazing place, super vintage. And this guy gave me a dry haircut with both of us standing up, in literally what, five to seven minutes? It was probably one of the best haircuts I've ever had.

I live and breathe the whole beauty and wellness lifestyle, so I really like to research. I discovered thermal baths in Baden Baden when I went to Germany like this. I discovered the spa town of Arima, which is like I think 12 minutes from Kobe in Japan. So yeah, I always research and then go in, and discover some really amazing gems.

On Vasudha Rai’s Travel Beauty Itinerary

The one place you'd love to go back to

Everybody thinks of Berlin as this party place, which it is, but Berlin also has a really nice, clean beauty, vegan, wellness culture. They have amazing yoga classes. They have amazing places to shop for clean beauty. One of my favourite places in Berlin is called Breathe in Mitte, and it has the most beautifully curated bunch of clean beauty products. The owner is super knowledgeable and will not let you buy anything you don't need. You can go with all your money like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman and want to buy the whole shop, but that doesn't mean you'll be able to, because he’ll be like, “No, you don't need it. I'm not selling it to you.” That's rare.

There's this chain of stores called Vitalia, usually near the metro stations, and you get the best raw chocolate bars and seed bars, wellness stuff and essential oils and base oils; it's just wonderful.