Beautiful Travel with Leigh van den Berg

The Beautiful Travel interview series features some of the best South African beauty bloggers and celebrities sharing their Top Travel Beauty Essentials.

Leigh van den Berg is the editor of Lipgloss is my Life, one of the most widely read and respected beauty blogs in South Africa. Based in Cape Town, Leigh also does freelance writing work for ads, mags and TV.

Leigh says: “When I’m not working like a dog I like to eat out, drink frozen Magaritas, run, snorkel, watch shows about true crime and stalk potential rich husbands.

As an ex-beauty editor and widely travelled girl-about-town, Leigh surely knows her beauty stuff so we asked her a few questions about her tips on how to travel in style.

How frequently do you travel?

As much as I can. Last year I spent a solid eight month streak exploring South East Asia. Yay for visa hopping! It’s taken me a while, but I’m finally in a place where all my jobs are fully remote, so I can work from anywhere. I try to spend winter outside of Cape Town as I’m a summer baby who doesn’t like being cold.

What is your favourite travel destination?

Chiang Mai in Thailand! It’s a magical-feeling digital nomad mecca full of temples, monks, man buns, great coffee and killer cuisine. Everything’s half the price of Bangkok and, while you’re definitely in a big city, there’s a very hike-able jungle right on your doorstep. Everyone’s on a hipster-y health kick so it’s a vegan yogi’s paradise, but if you’re a carnivorous hedonist like me you’ll love that the foodie scene is super cosmopolitan. I also loved that crime is almost non-existent so I could walk everywhere on my own, even at night, and not get mugged for my MacBook.

What is your in-flight beauty routine?

It’s very simple. I take off my make-up using a facial wipe, apply a hydrating moisturiser and slather my lips with a balm. I also avoid alcohol and salt and try to drink more water as my legs and hands tend to puff up to super gross, Marshmallow Man proportions. The first thing I do when I land is to go for a massage to help me deflate.

What are your most essential in-flight beauty products?

Take off:
Johnson’s Extra Sensitive baby wipes
Dermalogica Ultracalming barrier defense booster
Blistex DCT

Catrice Camouflage Cream concealer
A super cheap ‘mood lipstick’ that changes colour on my skin, staining it pink. I use this on my lips and cheeks so I don’t look dead on arrival.
A spooly brush for my brows

Tell us your essential beauty products and why you pack them first.

I don’t go anywhere without a Tangle Teezer. If my baby fine hair gets wet, no other brush can detangle it.

I don’t like to tan but always have one thanks to The Tan Lab self-tan in Dark.

When my ‘tan’ starts to get patchy, I strip it off using Environ Derm-Lac, an exfoliating AHA lotion.

I’m usually in hot, sweaty countries so the less make-up the better. I dye my own brows and lashes on the road using Refectocil products that I buy at Clicks.

If I’m away for long periods of time and can’t get to a hairdresser to touch up my highlights I use John Frieda Sheer Blonde Controlled lightening spray. It works!

What is your favourite travel fragrance?

Clarins Eau Dynamisante. It’s alcohol-free so you can wear it on the beach.

What beauty essentials do you pick up in duty free or at your destination?

I like buying beauty products in the east because they cost less than what I’d pay back home. I like to stock up on Korean sheet masks, Crest Whitestrips (tooth whitening strips), Yoko Spa milk salt scrub (the best exfoliator ever and it’s cheap as chips!) and this random rosy pink blush from a drugstore brand called In2It. It’s a nice dupe for a sadly discontinued The Body Shop blush I used to be obsessed with. I currently have eleven of them sitting in my storage unit!

Where will you be travelling this year?

I’ve got my eye on Malaysia, the Philippines and Dubai.