In the glitzy world of celebrity hairstylists, Mara Roszak takes it to a whole other level. She started her career when she was only 16-years-old (a hair prodigy!) and now masters the manes of Hollywood’s best: Emma Stone, Jessica Biel, Olivia Wilde, Kate Mara, Diane Kruger and Lily Collins (oh please, that’s just the tip of the iceberg, we could go on and on and on!). Here, the globetrotting hair-guru talks to us about foreign beauty brands, the surprising thing she always packs, and the room service item she can find in almost every country she visits.
How often do you travel?
It varies, but at least once or twice a month.
Favorite destinations to travel to?
Tokyo and Paris.
Aisle or window?
Window. I think I like to feel tucked away. Somehow I feel less exposed.
Preferred in-flight beverage?
Sparkling water with a slice of lime. Or ginger ale.
Favorite way to entertain yourself at 35,000 feet?
I love watching movies or TV. The ‘classics’ section is my new favorite. Getting to watch the classics I’ve never seen before, that I maybe never would have time for at home is great. I also can’t resist a ‘New Girl’ episode on a plane, but they’re typically out of sequence which can be confusing.
What are your 3 must-have items for travel?
My cashmere travel blanket, socks, and lip balm.
What brand of luggage do you use?
What’s your carry-on bag?
A black Rimowa. Or a vintage Louis Vuitton duffle.
Describe your overall beauty routine when you’re traveling?
My beauty routine overall is relatively “low maintenance,” especially when traveling. But considering that for the last few years I’ve been on-the-go more than at home, I’ve got the routine down pat. I always wash my face, no matter how tired I am. I was turned onto a skin care brand called iS Clinical by the facial genius Shani Darden. I’ve spent years trying to find products that don’t irritate my skin and so far I’ve loved every single one of theirs I’ve tried. The cleanser I’m using is iS Clinical Cleansing Complex, it’s gentle and feels clean, but not over drying. I then apply iS Clinical Active Serum underneath my favorite SPF/moisturizer, Elta MD Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46. If I’m feeling like I need more moisture I’ll add Control Corrective Oil Free Healing Lotion on top. For under my eyes I absolutely love Dr. Hauschka Eye Balm—it’s a thicker eye cream but I’m never afraid of a little shine.
Once that’s out of the way I’ll quickly throw some makeup on. My makeup artist friends would probably not be happy to hear this, but on a typical day my makeup is applied in the car, minutes before walking into a shoot. This usually entails the amazingly, wonderful concealer that is Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla…I cannot run out of this—it’s truly a necessity! My mascara is L’Oreal Voluminous Butterfly, and as I said before, I am not afraid of a little shine so I use RMS Beauty Living Luminizer as a highlight. I also like Chanel Le Blush Cream in #69 Intonation for a bright pop of color. For my lips I usually go for a subtle, natural shade like L’Oreal Glossy Balm in Vintage Rose or a bright red like Chanel Rouge Allure in #97 Incandescente.
What about your hair routine?
My hair is the least maintenance. There is a lot of it and I don’t want to think about it. Immediately after landing and arriving at the hotel I have to shampoo my hair. After shampooing and conditioning I brush it out with my Sheila Stotts hairbrush (seriously everyone needs this brush!) and towel dry it. I apply a few drops of serum and put it in a loose braid or bun, let it dry for an hour or so, then let it out, and that’s all. If it gets frizzy I’ll blow dry it just around my face and add a drop more serum or a lightweight cream.
What are the beauty products you never leave town without?
I have a little Clare Vivier bag that holds all my beauty essentials for the plane. My entire skin routine comes everywhere with me. If I wasn’t able to wash my face before getting on the flight, then I have to have something to clean my skin with on the plane. I usually pack a travel size bottle with Bioderma solution for sensitive skin and use a tissue to wipe it off. Then apply my eye balm and moisturizer. I’m newly addicted to Lucas’ Papaw Ointment for my lips, which get extra dry on the plane. My friend recently turned me on to Brad anti-fatigue mist which is lovely to use during the flight or right when landing for a fresh wake-up. I also always pack a hair mask, like L’Oreal Paris OleoTherapy Deep Recovery Mask. Rodin body oil is also something that I never travel without.
What about your nails?
I will either leave my nails natural before a longer trip, knowing they’ll chip and I’ll want to remove it immediately, or I will get a gel manicure. I try to get pedicures before I leave town or, if there’s time, I’ll happily do it while I’m away. When I’m traveling my favorite colors are Debora Lippmann ‘Naked’ or Opi ‘Big Apple Red’.
Have you ever discovered a ‘foreign’ beauty brand or product while you were traveling that you fell in love with?
Absolutely! The French pharmacy is a dream come true for someone who loves products, like myself. It’s typically my first stop when landing in Paris. Homeoplasmine is a must-have always, as is Bioderma makeup remover. I absolutely love these little incense papers you burn at home by Papier d’Armenie—I buy packs to give to friends as gifts. I also recently found small individual glass bottles of pure palm oil for the hair at a Paris pharmacy, which is one of the most restorative moisturizing treatments you can use on the hair.
My husband and I have taken many trips to Tulum and stayed at the adorable, boutique hotel, Coqui Coqui. They make their own perfumes and room scents. One of my favorites is the Orange Blossom spray which is especially great for travel when your clothes smell like airplane.
Odile Gilbert makes these wonderful hair pins that make it so simple to throw your hair up in a bun. They’re only sold at Colette in Paris and I love to get them when I’m there.
If your luggage was lost, what are the 5 items you would buy at the local drug store?
Toothbrush, toothpaste, mascara, face wash, and a razor.
Do you exercise while you’re away from home?
I’m not great about it. I try to get out and at least walk for 10 minutes before the start of any day, no matter where I am. I also always bring my Pop Physique DVD’s and try to get that in at least a couple of times.
Are you an over-packer or an under-packer?
One would think I would have the packing thing down by now. I totally don’t. Depending on my mood I’ll either over-pack and bring outfits I wish I wanted to wear, but that I never do, or bring 5 practical things. Haha! Completely inconsistent.
One surprising thing you always pack?
What’s the first thing you do when you get into your hotel room?
Open the windows to check out the view. Then look at the room service menu.
Favorite item from the hotel mini-bar?
Probably Peanut M&Ms.
Favorite items to order from room service?
On a recent world press tour it became a joke because at least one of us in the group ordered a club sandwich in every country we visited. I don’t think I’ve been to a hotel that doesn’t have a club sandwich option on their menu! There’s something comforting about it—but you’d be surprised because it is still possible to mess up a simple club!
Have you ever had a travel disaster?
I recently left the house with just my kit, leaving my suitcase packed with my clothes and toiletries at home and didn’t even realize until I got to the airport. Luckily my husband was able to drive it to me and I made it to the plane just in time.
What places are still on your bucket-list to visit?
A safari in South Africa, Morocco, and India!
Mara Roszak photographed in Red Square in Moscow, Russia