Hi everyone! I’m playing around with some photo editing things like title cards, so bear with. Let me know if you like this one! In the meantime…
It’s the rainy half of the monsoon in Vietnam at the moment but when the sun is out, it’s intense. I’ll die at 21 degrees in Bham but in VN? If our air con is set that low my grandmothers would freeze. We would also freeze. Even with the air con at 26 degrees, my cousins are in jackets that they’ve dug out from their drawers because in Vietnam they just never need them! With lows of 28 and highs of 33 (up to 38 in the North of Vietnam during the summer, and into the 40s during the hot-monsoon in the South!) one must come prepared.
I should note that my travel experiences are probably very different to the average tourist so it would be wise to check out the views of others before deciding what to bring.
Anyway, sunscreen is obviously a must. I had my trusty Kose Suncut Ultra UV Aqualy Protect Gel SPF50, to be liberally applied and reapplied. I also had a Biore Perfect Milk if I want to be a little more matte. My brother has trialled Sunplay’s Aqua UV SPF81(!!) and liked that. Most of my sunscreens didn’t last longer than an hour in the blistering heat of North VN, even the matte, longwearing ones so one that can be reapplied often without issues is essential.
By the way, I’ve found Biore sunscreens at larger malls here for about a fiver, which is cheaper than I would buy them for online.
For body sunscreen I like the spray formulation of Nivea’s Protect and Refresh Sunscreen. It doesn’t make me itch like the cream formula and the spray makes it incredibly light and quick to use. The pump, however, did fail on us after a few weeks leading to an incident where I got watery sunscreen poured over my legs. If I could have, I would have decanted the sunscreen but I’m not sure what decanting does to a sun-protective formula – does it need a dark container?
You can try covering up, but if you’re not used to thirty degrees on the daily, just stick to your sunscreen and be sure to stay in the shade during the noon hours. You’re going to rely on shorts and loose tees a lot. Bring your hats and your high UV shades – the sun here is really bright when it’s not raining!
Essential. Apparently, to repel mosquitoes one needs a good repellent and a fan or air conditioner blowing on you at all times. We used the Jungle brand’s most repelling spray and it worked – a good idea to get a repellent with DEET. I got 10 bites the one night I felt too lazy to put it on.
Soothing cream/bite zapper
To help when the above fails you.
My prescription spot treatment
I caved in and asked my GP for some acne treatment. I know. Skincare blogging going out of the window. I just want to look good on the holiday snaps and my acne just wasn’t going fast enough, especially the hormonal breakouts, which can go screw themselves. Anyway, I am still supplementing it with my routine and now I’m phasing it back out again but seriously I haven’t done a full routine in a long time. When my skin feels dry I use only a light moisturiser or a sheet mask in the evening, and it usually only feels dry due to the excessive use of air conditioning.
When my skin feels dry I use only a light moisturiser or a sheet mask in the evening, and it usually only feels dry due to the excessive use of air conditioning.
I won’t be bringing foundation. If the heatwave-worthy weather in Birmingham is anything to go by, there’s utterly no point as I will just sweat off whatever is on my face. I sure as hell tried a bit of my regular concealers but even that sweats off in a hurry. There’s no relying on makeup here, guys. Definitely a good idea to amp up the skincare before flying out.
I couldn’t live without all my lipsticks for a month. Light and long wearing options are a good idea, or ones that are easily reapplied. I may have gone overboard in stuffing my makeup bag, though – mostly because I wanted to try a variety and see what would work.
Here are a few that I have worn:
- Revlon Balm Stain in Crush – Moisturising, staining.
- Bourjois Beau Brun – A muted red, long wearing but very comfortable.
- NYX Soft Spoken – A mid-dark nude.
- MAC Nouveau Vogue – muted pink.
- NARS Dragon Girl – This one made a lot of heads turn, it’s so bright and pink! NARS Cruella is also a good choice and one that many of us might have a mini of!
- Rimmel Apocalips in Aurora – A relatively not-too-bright or too-muted pink.
- Clinique Cherry Pop – this was also a big head-turner, it’s a very pinky red.
What I’ve found is that bright reds on the orange or pink sides are very popular. I recently gifted a Lady Danger by MAC to a cousin here and my mom scoured Superdrug before we left the UK on the search for red shades to gift to family and friends. On top of these, NARS Dragon Girl attracted a lot of looks on the one day I wore it out!
Shades in this colour range are SO, SO flattering on Vietnamese skintones. Nudes aren’t really seen if at all here, so mine barely got any use. I think being here for a month invigorated my love of reds.
For eyeshadows, I brought my Etude House eye primer, and two Maybelline Eye Tattoos in On and On Bronze and Metallic Pomegranate. Anything else is probably too much effort, in all honesty. I did bring my eyebrow pencils and eyeliners but even with an eye primer they just wipe off so easily despite being waterproof formulas! Despite that, CLIO Kill Black Brush Pen Liner has held up well in the Vietnamese heat.
Long story short, bring your longest wearing sunscreens, bold lipsticks and heavy duty mosquito repellent! Dress light and perhaps bring a waterproof!
Actually, bring a light jacket. Most days in Vietnam, you won’t need to use it, but if you are travelling home to a colder land like the UK, you’ll want to take it on the plane with you. The sharp weather change gave my whole family colds as soon as we got back! (Right now, I’ve only just recovered from a cold from the sudden change to Autumn weather here! I didn’t realise it affected me so much, I don’t usually get these kinds of co
How would you change up your makeup in the humid climate?
Until next time,