Try as I might it’s always so difficult to pack for a weekend trip to the Hamptons or Palm Beach without over-packing. I pack a few extra outfits since you never know where you might go and it’s always best to be prepared. But when it comes to beauty products, that’s where I add the extra weight, even in a carry-on I could easily go over the 50-lbs most airlines allow before you get hit with extra charges. You don’t need to be a bleary traveler, check out our Editor’s tips and travel smarter.
Over the years I’ve learned to be a better traveler by using smaller make-up cases and toiletries kits. You can find bag sets all over, even discount and drug stores carry clear bag sets. Look for a small bag or coin purse for hair accessories like elastics and bobby pins, sure you could use a zip top plastic sandwich bag but something from C. Wonder or Gigi New York is chic and fun. Go a little larger for makeup, something the size of an evening clutch, and only pack what you need – really edit what you know you’ll use and leave the rest at home. Finally, pick up a bag the size of an e-reader for shower and hair care items keeping in mind that most hotels and resorts provide shower gel, shampoo, and lotion. Remember, the bigger the bag the more you’ll stuff into it, go as small as you can while packing everything you absolutely need. I always pick up sunscreen when I get out of the airport at a local drugstore, the bottles are never TSA approved.
Makeup pallets from Too Faced and Benefit are my favorite for traveling light. In most cases you can find a kit the size of a tin of Altoids with a few seasonal shades of eye shadow, blush and/or bronzer, and sometimes a tiny mascara or lip gloss. I look for a kit with a brown eye shadow so I can use that to fill in my brows. Pack a darker lip color so you can swipe on a hint of color topped with gloss for day and then go bold for night.
Skincare is one place where you can’t just pick up and use whatever the hotel provides, beyond the typically drying facial soap bar they usually don’t offer much. Bioelements and Elemental Herbology have each created flight friendly kits with everything you need to keep the breakouts at bay. I mix and match these two lines that pack a lot in tiny bottles. For day, start with Elemental Herbology’s Cool & Clear Foaming Facial Cleanser and Moisture Milk Ultra-Light Moisturizer. At night, use the cleanser again then follow with Equalizer (toner) and Oil Control Sleepwear (night cream) from Bioelements. Sometimes you need to dig deep, Ahava’s Purifying Mud Mask comes in a travel size worth packing.
Look for moisturizing shampoo and conditioner in 3-ounce sizes if you don’t trust what the hotel offers. Between the differences in the water and the low-watt hair dryer sometimes you just need to bring your own to keep your fab-from-home look. Keratin Complex has a complete travel kit with styling spray, shampoo, conditioner, and even dry shampoo to keep you frizz-free. Add the Bamboo Smooth Kendi dry oil mist from Alterna, a favorite of Katie Holmes, to bring out the shine and control fly-aways. When flying be sure to take a peek at the mot up to date TSA rules for what you can and can’t bring. For example, a large can of aerosol hair spray is a no-no but a small 2-ounce pump that you could fit in your purse is probably fine.
Sometimes, alright most times, traveling can be a challenge between cranky passengers, stuffy airplanes, and unpredictable weather. I always pack a small de-stress kit so I can wash away the transportation woes and create my own mini-spa right after I check-in. Even if I only have an hour it makes all the difference. After I toss my bag on the bed I fill up a tub or get the shower running, nice and hot, and add a few drops of Dr. Hauschka‘s Spruce Warming Bath Essence. The forest scent is strong but calming at the same time. After a few minutes I bubble up with Kneipp‘s Almond Blossom soft skin body wash (I rarely find that I like the hotel offerings, they are too drying, so I pack body wash). Before I blow dry my hair I swipe on a little of Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Eye De-Puffer and touch my temples with Quiet Mind Temple Balm from Elemis. By the time I’m ready for a last touch of lip gloss before running out I feel like a new woman and I don’t look like a weary traveler.