Sure she’s the face of cosmetics giant Estee Lauder, and has posed extensively for the top magazines and designers throughout the world, but Carolyn Murphy is also someone who has crisscrossed the globe more times than we can count, so we kind of think of her as a travel ‘expert’. Here, she talks to us about how she keeps fit on the road, the foreign beauty products she loves, and the trusted carry-on bag she’s had for 15 years!
Describe your overall beauty routine when you’re traveling?
When I’m traveling, I like to focus on hydration for my overall beauty routine. I don’t drink alcohol or caffeine while traveling on planes. I drink almost a gallon of water the day of travel and I eat super light and fresh. I also like to pamper myself with things like silk eye masks, ear plugs and a cashmere shawl, since travel can be exhausting!
What are the beauty essentials you travel with?
I have so many beauty essentials when I travel–I’m probably more focused on these things than clothes! For skincare I bring By Terry Rose Cream Cleanser, Advanced Night Repair Serum by Estée Lauder, La Mer Moisturizing Cream, Klorane cornflower eye masks (which I stick in the fridge) and Weleda Skin Food cream for hands and face on the flight. In my makeup bag I always have AERIN Rose Lip Balm, RMS #22 Concealer, Sumptuous Mascara by Estée Lauder, AERIN Pink Blusher, Clinique Black Honey lip color, Pure Color Eyeliner by Estée Lauder and Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy lipstick in Impassioned. For my hair I pack a Mason Pearson Detangler Brush, Leonor Greyl shampoo and hair mask and Spectrum Coconut Oil (I cook with this too, so I grab spoonfuls and put it into a glass jar). For my nails I bring a Jin Soon Nail Oil Pen, Tweezerman buffer and Tweezerman pumice callus remover. For body I take Weleda Calendula Body Wash and Body Lotion. Vitamins are also important and I pack Mega Food Multi, Omega 3/6/9, Jarrow Probiotic, Omega Vitamin D, Blue Bonnet Biotin, Vitamin C and B12 Complex, and Natural Calm Magnesium Packets.
For travel, do you do a regular mani/pedi or gels?
I do get regular manis and pedis because I find it to be great bonding time with my daughter and super relaxing. My favorite place is Jin Soon in NY. I don’t like polish because I get so much done to my nails with work that I like my nails to breathe. I usually just buff. If I go for color, I use Estée Lauder Pure Color in Ballerina on my hands and a shade of red on my toes, like Pure Color in Envious.
How do you stay fit while you’re traveling?
For fitness while on the road, I always pack my travel yoga mat by Manduka, Nike Trainers and LuLu Lemon tights. I’m more partial to outdoor activities than gyms, and yoga in my own space as opposed to classes. So I tend to do about 15-20 minutes of yoga in my hotel room, then another 15 minutes of targeted areas I learned from Ballet Beautiful–like squats, leg lifts and “swan arm” stretches. If I’m in a safe and clean city, I’ll go for a run outside.
How do you manage your health & eating routine when you’re away from home?
It takes some effort to manage a health and eating routine while on the road. Over the years I’ve packed up vitamins in vitamin boxes, green powders in Tupperware and bags of nuts and Lara Bars. I’m less diligent now, choosing to go with the flow more. I love the Food Tripping app because I can look up local farmers markets, health food restaurants and stores, but I also like to dive in to local fare and have that experience. When I order room service, for dinner I usually get a salad, steamed vegetables and salmon; boiled eggs and berries for breakfast.
How do you deal with jet-lag?
Jet lag can be such a bummer, especially if you work straight off the plane, which is often the case more than not. I try to always fly a day ahead to allow myself time to adjust. I avoid red eye flights, caffeine and alcohol on the flight, drink a massive amount of water, and once I land I arrange my schedule to that time zone. I don’t give in to naps and I exercise if possible, and indulge in spa treatments to relax. I also just accept that my body will be restless and I use the time to catch up on reading or get creative, rather than have anxiety about it. I don’t take synthetic pills–I use Melatonin and natural relaxants, and drink a lot of green tea instead of coffee.
Have you ever discovered a ‘foreign’ beauty brand or product while you were traveling that you fell in love with?
It’s so much fun to explore foreign beauty products and pharmacies. We all know the French pharmacies are the best–they have so many concoctions for pimples and supplements for hair & nails. One of my best beauty finds was while in Japan I discovered a rice cleanser that made my skin feel like a baby’s butt. I wish I knew the brand! I used to buy Embryolisse in bulk back in the 90’s but now you can get it online or at Ricky’s in NYC.
If your luggage was lost, what are the 5 items you would buy at the local drug store?
A natural hair shampoo and conditioner, like honey-based or coconut. A comb. Hair ties. A cream cleanser. A face and body oil–like coconut oil. But I’d actually need 7 items because I’d have to get toothpaste and a toothbrush too!
What brand of luggage do you use?
What brand of carry-on do you use?
My carry-on is an army green A.P.C. duffel I’ve had since 1999.
Carolyn Murphy photographed in Tulum