By Kelley Granger

For so many of us, our vacation pictures are the most cherished souvenirs of travels-gone-by. But who wants to be reminded how pallid our complexion looked in the Dominican Republic, how bloodshot our eyes were after that red-eye flight to Prague, or how Houston’s humidity made our foundation look like sweaty sludge? Here to help you avert such disaster is Kimara Ahnert, the makeup artist and owner of Kimara Ahnert Cosmetics and Makeup Studio on Madison Avenue.

In spite of the taxing toll travel can take, “I travel every chance I can,” Ahnert says. “I enjoy travel for the adventure, new experiences, relaxation and escape.” It must be true, because she certainly logged frequent flier miles during this past year’s trips to Wyoming, the Bahamas, Brazil, France, and Capri, Italy. Having been entrusted to the faces of mega-celebs like Catherine Zeta-Jones, and with a line of products that have been featured in magazines like Allure, here is Ahnert’s expert advice to the beat beauty botches of the nomadic lifestyle.

Kimara Ahnert, makeup artist and owner of Kimara Ahnert Cosmetics

Cosmetic Bag Essentials
There’s the basics – toss in your concealer, mascara, bronzer powder, blush, eyeliner, and lip product.
“Reduce your product load by just taking makeup for one look,” she says. “Most women have more assortment on them like three to four different lip colors and eyeshadows they don’t even use, more than one powder whether it’s powder and/or bronzer. Just take what you need for one look!” Ahnert also recommends bringing along Aveeno’s Anti-Itch Cream to safeguard against any skin reactions you may have while you’re away.

Beat Common Beauty Busters

Dry Skin
Carry a skincare mist with you that adds extra hydration to skin and can be sprayed before and even after makeup application.

Puffy Eyes
Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water and relax with Chamomile tea bags on eye area.

Dark Circles
Use a concealer that is one shade lighter than foundation to conceal and brighten the area.

Lackluster Skin
Pack and apply a masque for 10 to 15 minutes, and see how skin comes quickly back to life.

Red Eyes
Use a white eyeliner on the inside lower rim of the eye to make eyes appear brighter.

Choose a sheer formulation for cosmetics, which is less likely to look thick and greasy on the skin. Try tinted moisturizers, creme blush, waterproof mascara, and waterproof creme eyeshadow.

Sudden Breakouts
Dab hydrogen peroxide on the area, it will take the redness out of the inflamed blemish, dry it out, and help it heal quickly.

Ahnert’s makeup studio on Madison Avenue

Ahnert’s Toughest Travel Issue
When she’s on the go, Ahnert says one of her biggest problems is product breaking and foundation or other liquids leaking when airborne. “I put any liquid makeup products in small zip lock bags in my makeup case. In case it leaks, it doesn’t get all over,” she says. “I wrap an old hand towel around my makeup bag and then pack it. It gives it more cushion in my bag.”

For more information on Ahnert, her cosmetics line, or to schedule an appointment at her studio, visit

Originally published June 2009
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