For many students, the idea of studying abroad sounds so dreamy. Sipping a cappuccino in a Parisian cafe, taking a stroll along the Thames, lying on the beach in Barcelona -- the list goes on.
On the other hand, actually living abroad can be kind of a nightmare...for our beauty routine, that is.
Don't get us wrong, we'd never suggest passing up the incredible opportunity of studying abroad. Chances are you'll be too busy stuffing your face and staring at hot Europeans or South Americans to even notice these things. But they do exist. And they stink. Here are the worst of 'em.
1. Smaller Showers
Showers are like portions: They're much smaller outside of the U.S. Shaving your legs is exponentially more difficult in a baby shower. If you don't have the same flexibility as, say, a yogi, plan to shave outside of the shower.
2. "Hard" v. "Soft" Water
Thinking about getting an edgy new haircut before the move across the pond? Think again. Water varies depending on where in the world you are, which can have a crippling effect on your hair. We toss off sentences like, "The water is softer in New York" like it's our job, but it is. It just is. Just because your new bob looks totally chic at home doesn't mean it will anywhere else. That sleek new 'do could morph into an unmanageable ball of puff depending on the kind of water you end up with. If all else fails, you could always just buy this hard water specialty shampoo.
3. Broken Appliances
Think you're safe just because you bought a travel adapter? You might not be. Your beloved blow dryers and straighteners are no match to the wrath of foreign electricity. You're better off just buying a new one when you get there, or suck it up and go au naturel.
One of the best ways to explore a new city is by hitting the pavement and walking through it. Sadly, it's also the best way to develop those evil, painful feet bumps from hell known to most as blisters. The only thing worse than walking in heels on those pesky cobblestone streets is not being able to walk at all.
5. Under-Eye Bags
"I'm not jet-lagged!" is just one lie we tell ourselves to make the most of our time abroad. We're all about staying up late and being carefree abroad -- after all, your time there is limited to a few short months and you can sleep when you're back stateside. Just be sure to bring some serious concealer.
You're ready to run off the plane and get to the important aspects of studying in a foreign country like shopping and eating when you notice something: Your shoes, pants and even rings feel just a teeny bit tighter than they did B.F. (Before Flight). It feels as if between your two destinations, someone has blown up a balloon out of your ligaments, and that is not a good feeling.
7. Running Out Of Your Usual Products
Out of the only moisturizer you trust on your face? Sorry, girlfriend. You're not running to CVS to get it. Arguably, there are tons of major beauty scores all over the world, but sometimes you just get into a routine, you know?
Will you be living in a country where water-on-the-table isn't a given and house wine is actually cheaper than the healthy clear stuff? Then you should know just how easy it is to forget about the most important beauty product of all: water. There is no denying the benefits of H2O on your appearance, but as soon as we hear that there is cheap, delicious wine available, all common sense gets thrown to the wind. We'd never tell you to cut the wine out, simply that you should remember to order that water, too.
9. Weight Gain
This one is kind of irrelevant, if you ask us. Studying abroad is about living in the moment and immersing yourself in another culture (which is code for eating really delicious food all the time). There is a certain kind of horror, however, when you come home and realize you've gotten a little... rounder.
10. Limited Wardrobe
Long gone are the days of free checked baggage. The modern traveler knows she can no longer be careless about what comes in the suitcase for the semester. Your outfits need to be strategically planned, leaving little room for variety. Plus, it's a total bummer when the stuff you did bring looks completely different on than you thought it would.
Of course, these problems are minor compared to the incredible time you will have studying abroad. There is no reason you can't be the glam student abroad of your dreams. Just prepare for some of these beauty bumps along the way.
Celebs make it look so easy...