Postcard Series: Annie Tomlin saids it isn't a vacation until...

Beauty Director at SELF

Travel- hate it, love it? Love, love, love. Seeing new places and experiencing different cultures is one of my favorite things. Even when I don’t necessarily fall in love with a place, I learn from the experience. I used to want to see the entire world, but lately, I want to return to my favorite places in hopes of developing a deeper understanding of them. 


It’s not a vacation unless…I turn off my email. I can be thousands of miles from home, but if I’m still checking in on the usual to-do list, I don’t really feel “away."

Planes, trains or automobiles? I usually fly, but I love trains—there’s something wonderfully old-fashioned and civilized about the experience, and the high-speed trains in Japan and Europe are truly impressive. 


Checked bags or carry on? Carry-on! Less to haul around, less to keep track of.

Travel beauty - bare or elaborate? It’s somewhere in between. I like the no-makeup look, but obviously it takes makeup to look like you didn’t just step off a red-eye flight! If I’m going somewhere tropical, I usually skip makeup—strangely, humidity always makes me look my best. Go figure.

In general my beauty routine is….Always evolving! As SELF’s beauty director, I’m constantly interviewing dermatologists and trying new products to see what will produce real results. 

I must pack __________ when traveling? Books! I love actual paper books, but when I travel, I load up a bunch of books on my Kindle to save space.  

Best travel tip? Pack light and leave empty spots in your schedule. You never know when you’ll want to linger at one place for a little longer than you’d expected.

Upon arrival at my destination….I usually seek out a good coffee spot. It gives me a chance to unwind and ask the barista for recommendations on things to do.

Favorite travel spot? This changes all the time, though Iceland is typically on the short list! But I keep telling people to go to Detroit—the city proper, not the suburbs. It’s not necessarily the most romantic place to visit, but it’s certainly one of the most fascinating. Go not just to look at what it once was, but to see what’s happening now: urban gardens, multi-use spaces, pop-up dinners, public art, music… as in Berlin and New Orleans, there’s a sense that creative things are happening. You can feel it. 


What are your 3 must see/do things in this city? Okay, if you only had one day, I’d start with Eastern Market. It’s a huge food and farmers’ market, and if you go in the summer, prepare to be blown away by how good the cherries and peaches are. For lunch, get the burger at Detroit Vegan Soul; my (omnivorous) husband prefers it to regular hamburgers! Then pop over to Astro Coffee in Corktown for a solid dose of caffeine. It’s across the street from the enormous, abandoned Michigan Central Station, so you can take your coffee and ponder the city’s past/present/future. I’d also recommend visiting the Detroit Institute of Arts Museum (the Rivera murals are impressive!). Next time I visit, I’m going to check out the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit—haven’t been there yet, but I hope to change that this summer!

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