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5 Beauty Secrets I Learned Living Abroad (Contacts Included)

Updated: Mar 23, 2022

The global beauty industry is worth $511 billion, but that doesn’t mean you have to go broke trying to look good or spend hundreds of dollars for good quality services.

I was convinced that the US was the best place in the world to get top notch beauty service and quality, but boy was I wrong!

If you’re preparing to travel to any of these countries, it might be best to wait until you’re there rather than blow a bag in the United States. Here are some beauty secrets that I’ve learned while living abroad with contacts!

Before a vacation I would fill my schedule up with appointments to make sure that I was all dolled up before entering another country, ultimately spending $500+ before vacation even began! I may be able to save you a few hundred dollars and introduce you to some unique experiences and bomb quality in the beauty world abroad!

5. Kenya & Tanzania Beauty Secrets

The worst mistake you could ever make is getting braids in the United States before a trip to Kenya, Tanzania, or probably anywhere else in Africa. While cost of braids will range anywhere depending on size and length, you can bet that you aren’t going to get the quality, speed, and price combo for braids anywhere else in the world. In some places you can even get box braids at medium or long length for about KSh800 or $8 USD.

And did I mention the quality?!

But I can’t only mention African countries when speaking about braids. Prepare to be shocked!

If you’re ever going to Bali, Indonesia, you may want to pay Charllotta Salon a visit for African protective styles. They may be Indonesian, but they have studied African braid techniques and are hands down one of my favorite places to get braids in the world!

Check out my Youtube video on one of my many visits to Charlotta Salon.

4. Indonesia Beauty Secrets

Speaking of Indonesia, not only can you get your braids slayed on the island, but you can also get a full set of nail extensions with any design you can imagine, mink eyelash extensions, and a gel pedicure for less that $100 USD. And when I say this, I’m not kidding, the service is better than any nail salon that I’ve ever experienced in the United States. Here’s a start, they actually give you a full manicure before applying nail extensions. That’s unheard of in the United States unless you ask for it and expect to pay an additional fee for the service.

Here are 5 times that Nailed Nails has slayed my nails for under $50 USD and can’t forget my mink eyelash extensions for $18 USD!

3. Sri Lanka Beauty Secrets

You can’t talk about Ayurveda without mentioning Sri Lanka. Outside of India, Sri Lanka is one of the countries listed as the best places to receive Ayurvedic treatments in the world and a host to hundreds of Ayurvedic retreats and shops. While in Sri Lanka I visited an Ayurvedic farm after experiencing tendon inflamation for almost 5 months and having visited a western doctor who prescribed me over the counter prescription. Which remedy worked the best? A mix of red oil and natural balm massaged into the inflamed area every day for a few weeks and the pain slowly began to disappear. Quit frankly I wouldn’t have been able to type this blog post without it.

While my wrist is in much better condition, one of my favorite snags from the Ayurvedic farm in Sri Lanka was the natural hair remover!

With ingrown hair prone skin after every bikini wax or shave I have been desperate for a hair removal method that didn’t leave my skin in poor condition, but a mix of wild garlic, kunkuma, jojoba, saffron, aloe vera, white candle wood, lemon, and turmeric really changed the bikini game for me!

Please note: I am not licensed or authorized to professionally advise on any health or medicine decisions. I am not dismissing Western medicine choices and I respect each person’s beliefs, rights, and decisions to manage their own health. This blog shares my own experiences.

2. Cuba Beauty Secrets

I thought a 28” wig was appropriate for the heat in Cuba but I was wrong yet again! I quickly found myself at a local Cuban hair parlor asking for a blow out on my real hair. With a very “small” language barrier on what “straight hair” meant, a lot of tears from chemicals burning my eyes, and many looks of confusion as my request for a blowout had step by step turned into a full Keratin treatment my hair had never grew longer and healthier before my Keratin treatment in Cuba. I had always had fairly short hair growing up and I always searched for remedies to grow my own hair long, strong, and shiny. After Cuba I’d gotten several other Keratin treatments but none could ever amount to the cost and the results of the country that mistakingly introduced me to my first Keratin treatment in Little Havana!

5. Ukraine Beauty Secrets

In 2019 Ukrainians were voted the sexiest people in the world! Listen, we aren’t haters over here and after living in Ukraine for three months I can see why! Ukraine has some of the best cosmetology services that I have ever experienced in the world! From dentist, eyelash specialist, nail technicians, you name it, they’ve got it and at a price almost 5xs cheaper than in the United States! That isn’t the best part though, the quality has been the best that I have ever had when it comes to nails and eyelashes.

It’s true! Once I got my nails done in someone’s kitchen in Ukraine and it was easily the best nail set that I’d ever had in my life, lasting almost 2 months without one broken nail! You can’t go wrong when trusting a Ukrainian to provide you beauty services.

Here is a cost break down of these services in America vs Ukraine

Mink Eyelash Extensions:

Cost in the United States: ~$60-$150

Cost in Ukraine: ~$28 USD

Nail Extensions

Cost in the United States: ~$50-$250+

Cost in Ukraine: ~$37.00 is probably the most you can ever expect to pay for even the most extravagant designs

Over the years my desire to add enhancements fluctuates. Sometimes I prefer to go bare, having no cosmetic enhancements for months at a time and sometimes I feel like doing the absolute most. Whatever your vibe is, knowing that the beauty industry has its secrets hidden all throughout the world may help you save money and time in the long run.

Remember, to tip your local beauty experts even if the cost is low, the service that I have experienced abroad has been top tier and these ladies and gents deserve it!



Zanzibar, Tanzania

Aviana Salon

Stylist: Sporah

WhatsApp: +255717605924

Bali, Indonesia

Charlotta Salon

DM directly on Instagram

Kiev, Ukraine

Color & Cut: Svetlana

WhatsApp: +380506217179

Colombo, Sri Lanka

Color & Cut: Nalaka

DM directly on Instagram


Bali, Indonesia

WhatsApp: +6281703271318

Kiev, Ukraine

WhatsApp: +420775666237

*She is not the direct contact for nails, however she put me in contact with an amazing nail technician in Kiev

Eyelash Extensions

Kiev, Ukraine or Prague

WhatsApp: +420775666237

Bali, Indonesia

WhatsApp: +6281703271318

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