I came back from a climbing trip in Krabi, Thailand—a rock climbing mecca in Asia. Climbers from all over the world travel to see this marriage of limestone rock and the beach. Girls climb in bikini tops and short shorts while guys go topless as they negotiate their way up easy and hard routes.
I pared down my beauty loot to 10 things that proved to be perfect for my climbing holiday. Here they are: L’Occitane Lavender Incense Sticks (P895, Rustan’s), which helped me relax after a long, tiring day. It was Mae Dichupa, Nike Philippines‘ country marketing manager, who influenced me to bring “a little bit of home” with me when I travel. A frequent traveler herself, Mae brings a scented candle with her whenever she goes abroad on business trips. Lighting up a candle in her hotel room keeps her rooted, and makes her forget that she’s living out of a suitcase for a few days. I like incense sticks because they’re light.
L’Occitane Cupuaçu After Sun Balm gave my sun-drenched skin the moisture replenishment it needed.
Goodie Ponytail Holders are perfect for holding my punytail (I borrowed this term from Preview’s beauty editor at large Agoo Bengzon). Even if my hair is short, these holders manage not to slide off. They also hold my pig(let) tails in place.
A few spritzes of L’Oréal Professionnel Solar Sublime Advanced Conditioning Spray protected my hair from the drying effects of the sun and salt water. It’s peach scent made my locks smell yummy (P900 at select salons—this was launched last year so only a few salons carry limited stocks!)
VMV Hypoallergenics Grandma Minnie’s Booboo Balm (P870, VMV Hypoallergenics) was a godsend for the cuts and bruises that I acquired from wrapping my legs around stalactites and tufas (rock formations that make interesting hand and footholds). I’d rub some of this coconut-derived ointment on my scratches and bumps, and the next day, I couldn’t tell I had any boo-boos! My partner-in-climb and trusty belayer boyfriend Simon got a nasty rope burn (ouch!), and I applied some of this stuff on it. Hours later, the nasty red mark was gone. I’d spray on a generous amount of Elizabeth Arden Green Tea Scent (P2,250 at leading department stores) at the start of the day to perk up my senses. At day’s end, I still smelled good.
Dermalogica Waterproof Sunspray (P2,250, Rustan’s) worked so well that even if I was out in the sun all day, my skin didn’t burn.
Climbing on rock can get your hands filthy, and sometimes, you don’t want to trudge to a sink and wash your hands (tsk, tsk). Thank goodness there’s Amu’in Natural Hand Sanitizer (P175), which cleaned my dirty digits instantly.
Now I know why Oprah Winfrey gave Hope in a Jar (P2,550, Beauty Bar) two thumbs up. I applied a pea-sized amount on my face and woke up with soft and blemish-free skin. Twelve days of rock climbing for six or seven hours a day on a humid island? One word: Rexona.
Of course there are other things I wished I brought, but that’s another story.