From the Trailhead to a Night on the Town in 15 Minutes

Are you ready for a confession?

The thought of putting on foundation makes me break into a cold sweat. I’ve never mastered the art of applying eye-liner, lipstick seems annoying and most of the time I’m either wearing hiking pants or yoga pants.

Jenn hikesBut, I have this friend named Jenn. We like to hike together. She’s also an amazing hair stylist.

Even when we’re dragging our children up a mountain she still looks beautiful but she also keeps it real—I like that.

It seems weird that a dirtbag like me would be friends with a classy lady like Jenn.

A few weeks ago she was cutting my hair and we were reminiscing about how we’re too young for gray hair when I got an idea.

What if Jenn were to come over to my house after an outdoor adventure and try to transform me from my typical trail look to more of an urban look in just a few minutes?

Could she teach me how to morph from my typical hiker trash style with a few small accessories, a tiny bit of make-up and a quick new hair-do?

But better yet, would she have some good advice for you, my fellow hikers about how to glam up while still remaining true to our low-maintenance, outdoorsy roots?


When Jenn showed up at my house I was decked out in my traditional attire. Hiking pants, hiking socks, hiking boots, a dry blend t-shirt topped with with a zip-neck polypro top, a hat, no make-up an my hair pulled back in a tight braid.

from the trailhead

We agreed that she had 15 minutes using just what she could find around my house to transform me from hiker mess to hiker chic.


The first thing she did was go through my tub of shoes selecting a black pair of Mary Janes, they are the fanciest shoes I own.

Then she sorted through my pile of scarves and plastic tub of cheap jewelry. She picked out a scarf that matched my hiking pants. Then a simple bracelet that I never wear because I’m not a jewelry person and it’s tarnished.

She told me that tarnish is cool.

Next she took out my braid and using just her fingers scrunched up my hair, gave it a little bit of poof and volume.

“Messy hair is in,” she reassured me.

The last thing Jenn did was go through my make-up, which really isn’t much.

I expected her to pick out lipstick and a bunch of eye make up but she kept it simple. Just some powder, blush, mascara and clear lip gloss.make up is scary

I’m still scared of powder and blush but I got over it.

to townHere’s what I learned after a few minutes with Jenn:

  • Beauty isn’t in how you look, it’s how you feel. I don’t ever feel beautiful when I’m plastered in sweat and kid snot sitting at home watching TV. But I do feel beautiful if I’m plastered in sweat and kid snot surrounded by a beautiful panoramic vista. Weird huh? I feel pretty when I’m surrounded by pretty things, like mountains. But, adding a scarf and some mascara to the mix did help me feel beautiful (not that I’d wear the pretty scarf and mascara on a hike—or maybe I would—why not?)
  • You don’t need much to turn a simple outfit into something really cute. All Jenn did was let down my hair, add some make up, a scarf, a bracelet and change my shoes. She also told me to roll up my pants and sleeves to make the outfit appear “softer”  and “more feminine” and it really worked. I you’re on a tight budget, like I am, then it’s possible to be thrifty and “glam” up a bit.
  • I can wear hiking clothes on a hot date with my husband now and get away with it (of course next time, I think I might shower first and maybe put on clean hiking clothes.)

I spent my 20’s in the Army where every day I wore the same uniform. I juggled the fine line between being tough but not too tough and feminine but not too feminine. Now I’m immersed in the outdoor community and I’m still trying to walk that tough/feminine line.

I still like my hair pulled back in a nice tight braid, but, spending time with Jenn was awesome (it always is). She taught me that I can have that balance without a lot of effort, expense but most important still be ME.IMG_6023

I think that’s a good lesson for any outdoor girl to learn.

From the Trailhead to a Night on the Town in 15 Minutes

Thank you Jenn for a wonderful afternoon!

Be sure to follow her website, instagram, twitter, pinterest, Facebook page or social media outlet of your choice if you’re looking for budget-friendly beauty tips.

And check out her all natural DIY Face Mask, it’s next on my list of things to try.

2 comments on “From the Trailhead to a Night on the Town in 15 Minutes

  1. Looking good in both examples, but I have to agree with the shower. My poor husband comes home to the non showered post hike me a little *too* often:)

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