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Whenever I travel I make it a point to pack as light as possible. On average, I take about ten trips a year and so I’ve perfected the art of packing everything I need in a carry-on bag even for trips as long as two weeks!
Most of the space is taken up by clothes, shoes and jewelry, but thanks to the tight rules around the amount of liquids and gels you can bring on a plane, packing your make-up and skincare essentials can be a challenge too.
How do I cram everything I need into a tiny ziploc bag so I can travel with a carry-on only? I pick and choose what to take and what to leave behind. Here’s a look at the items I carry with me when I’m adventuring half way around the world, and what I choose to buy when I get there.
Don’t even think about packing these
I generally skip packing products like toothpaste, mouthwash and sunscreen because they are easy to pick up at the destinations. Most hotels will provide you with toothpaste, and sometimes even mouth wash. And a bottle of sunscreen for the body from popular brands is readily available in drug stores (and resort shops) across the world. Unless you are traveling to a particularly exotic destination, picking up either of these products should be easy and still cost you less than the fee you would have to pay to check your bag that’s full of larger containers of liquids and gels.
Ditch your shampoo, but bring your trusty skincare
You can get by for a few days on those tiny bottles of shampoo, conditioner and body lotion that your hotel provides. Honestly, they’re not that bad because a lot of hotels these days are putting care into providing quality in-suite bathroom products. But what you shouldn’t travel without is your trusty facial care products. No pack-light strategy is worth the potential of a reaction or a breakout on your face right in the middle of your vacation when you’ll most definitely be snapping a lot of photos.
There are so many great skincare brands on the market right now. I’m a huge fan of the cleansers and exfoliators from Clinique and moisturizers and sunscreens from Clarins (both brands make great products for men too). Branded skincare isn’t always available in travel sizes so it’s worth picking up some travel sized containers to carry your products in.
I also always have on hand my all time favorite lip balm from Aveeno Active Naturals – the essential moisture lip conditioner with SPF 15. It works perfectly overnight, during the day and especially on the plane when my lips tend to get super dry.
Go for effortless makeup
When I’m traveling, I stick to an easy fuss-free makeup routine that covers a few simple products.
You should pick a long-wearing foundation that has some sunscreen in it (and if you’re planning on spending time in the water, make sure it’s waterproof too). Laura Mercier’s mineral pressed powder is great for warm climates and oily skins (and looks great in photos!), and Oxygenetix breathable foundation is great for every skin type and especially for those with sensitive or breakout prone skin.
For my eyes, I carry the Aveda Petal Essence™ Eye Definer in black orchid, the perfect kohl-like eyeliner that can be used to line the inside and the lid of the eyes. I pair the eyeliner with the Clinique High Impact Curling Mascara, which is 24-hour smudge resistant but easily comes off with warm water and a facial cleanser (which means you don’t have to carry an actual makeup remover).
For the lips, go for a lip gloss or lipstick that goes with every outfit – like the Art Deco Hydra Lip booster in translucent pink lolly or the Chanel Rouge Coco Shine hydrating sheer lipstick in Bonheur.
As for that beachy tan…
I would never, ever recommend baking in the sun to get a tan. You should definitely protect your skin by using sunscreen at all times, but no one wants to return from vacation looking as pasty as they did when they left. The solution? A high quality self-tanner. Okay, don’t stop reading just yet. All self-tanners are not created equal and thus not every product will leave you with an awful orange looking face.
I love the Radiance Plus Golden Glow Booster from Clarins because it is the most natural looking gradual tanner I have ever come across. And since it’s made by Clarins you can be sure it’s free of any scary chemicals that may damage your skin – 99.8% of the ingredients in the formula are from natural origin! Using the Radiance Plus Golden Glow Booster is easy. At night, simply add three drops of the product to your moisturizer and apply to the nose, cheeks forehead, chin and neck. When you wake up in the morning you’ll have a perfect, subtle glow! You can build your tan over several days by using the product nightly.
With just a little bit of planning you can easily scale back the amount of items you pack with you for a much lighter bag without sacrificing comfort and style.