Alana Peden

Beauty Editor at Ok and Star Magazine


Travel- hate it, love it? This sounds trite, but travel is transformative for me. Going off the grid resets my spirit in a way that makes me more relaxed and joyful for months afterwards. It has healed so many negative emotions, from heartbreak to ennui to the need to control. At this juncture in my life, travel is my most essential ritual.


It’s not a vacation unless...I’m feeding stray animals. No joke, regardless of where I go, animals flock to me and I love helping them in any way I can. I actually used social media to get a kitten adopted in the Dominican Republic!


Planes, trains or automobiles? Planes and boats. One of my favorite memories from my trip to Bali is the boat ride from mainland to the isle of Gili Trawangan. I had the aisle seat in the first row of the boat, it was ovenly hot and ocean water constantly sprayed me in the face. But thanks to the boat deejays, I discovered the Danish song “I Love Lady Gaga.”


Checked bags or carry on? My backpack, Lebron James, is my only baggage on trips. I was too lazy to order an actual backpacker’s pack, so I went to Modell’s on 86th and bought this Adidas eyesore  that expands to be much wider than I am.


Travel beauty- bare or elaborate? Traveling has a way of stripping you down. Before I left for Bali, I got a blowout and a spray tan. Being there was so liberating (think no shoes or toilet paper!) that by the last night, I went out braless in my pajamas with saltwater and sweat-soaked hair. About three quarters of my spray tan was gone, the remaining quarter appeared in random dots on my body. That night, I met a hilarious Aussie boy and our chemistry was so real and raw, my disheveled appearance was rendered irrelevant. He took a photo of my best friend and I that is now my favorite picture of us ever.


My advice: Trust your trip will make you feel beautiful in ways you never imagined.


In general my beauty routine is….non-negotiable on skincare, minimal on makeup. I alternate a retinol product with a brightening serum every other day. Everyday, I wear SPF 50 CC Cream and concealer for my undereye bags (which is why I’m rapt over the new dual ended Wander concealer!). I get highlights every few months, but recently my colorist Stephanie Brown took me to a pastel pink. I consider it a perma pink pussyhat. For my lashes, I either wear extensions or several coats of Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara.


With that said, I love experimenting at work with new launches, and anyone who has seen my desk will attest to this. Beauty is endlessly fascinating and fun. 


I must pack __________ when traveling? Cutoff Levi’s jorts, tie-dye dress and Melatonin.  


Best travel tip? I’ve had amazing experiences when I’ve met up with people who are traveling the world. Finding a fun hostel on is a good start. There’s this whole flashpack culture, people who are taking gap years or ghosting their lives or figuring out their next moves. They tend to know everything from the best 3-decker bar/buffet to which overnight bus plays Tomb Raider and provides blankets. I don’t read travel books, I rely on the words of strangers who have been there.


Upon arrival at my destination…to maximize my vacay, I like to lose all sense of time/responsibility as soon as I arrive. I’m also that insufferable person who insists on going around and retrieving a personal “mantra” or “theme” for the trip from each attendee. 


Favorite travel spot? Anywhere my best friend meanders. She left her job as a digital executive in NYC last June to travel. My only request is to meet up in non-landlocked locales. Also, I went on a Celebrity Cruise to the Amalfi Coast, and Sorrento was so idyllic my eyes hurt.


What are your 3 must see/do things in this city?

 In Sorrento: Walk all around the centro, up stairs and down busy streets, until your limbs ache. Pay too many euros to swim in one of the private beaches. Buy Limoncello liquor in high heels, penises and other odd shapes for everyone back home .

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