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Travel Beauty

No matter what type of trip I’m going on, the hardest part of packing for me is toiletries. You have your basic hygiene items like toothpaste, deodorant, and soap. No big deal. Once you get into skincare, hair products, and cosmetics, it can be tricky figuring out your beauty regime “on the road.”

In general, I’ve tried to minimize my regime and the number (and size) of products I pack, but it can still be a challenge, especially if the destination may present fussy weather — looking at you arid climate and dry patches of skin. In preparation for my own travel plans, I’m outlining some tips and tricks for the beauty routine: Travel Edition.

First, clean out your toiletry bag. For years I’ve been using a hanging bag that came with my suitcase. I’ve pre-packed it with travel-size shampoo, conditioner, a travel toothbrush, etc. Well, as a way to procrastinate actually packing, I decided to empty it all out and see what may be hiding in the various pockets and sleeves. I found a tiny tub of lanolin. Lanolin is a product used by new mothers to prevent and treat sore nipples during breastfeeding. My youngest child is about to turn four, so yeah, it was time for a clean-out.

Once cleared out, consider if your current toiletry bag is the right one for you.

The clip-in bag that comes with the suitcase may have suited you in the past; however, depending on the length and nature of your trip, you may need to upgrade. Or downgrade in terms of size if you’re looking to save space/decrease weight. I’m looking at some personal organizer toiletry bags from L.L. Bean and The Container Store to fit not only bottles, soap, and tubes but also my cosmetics instead of packing a separate makeup pouch.

Speaking of makeup, it’s always a tough call on how much or how little to bring. For me, a full face of makeup consists of foundation, concealer, bronzer, blush, eyeliner, eyebrow pencil, eyebrow gel, shadow, lip liner, lipstick, finishing powder, and mascara — not necessarily all of that in that order. And that’s just the cosmetics. Moisturizer, primer, toner, brushes, etc., would also be packed. Does anyone really need all of that? Probably not, but one does like to look nice, especially in vacation photos and if you are visiting friends and family. Like I said, it’s a tough call. Depending on the type of trip you are taking and your mode of transit, you may be able to bring your entire makeup case — compacts, sponges, brushes, and all. If you’re looking to minimize, consider palette-based or stacked makeup that takes up less space and will be less likely to break and/or spill as liquid foundation. Plus, a compact will have various shades, and you can utilize the same palette for concealer, blushes, bronzing, and shadow. Whether your go for a full-face or no-makeup makeup, pick a beauty look best suited for the entire trip and stick to it. Yes, it’s nice to have variety, but it’s unnecessary. One shade of lipstick and one eyeliner will suffice on most trips.

If you are eschewing makeup altogether, you’ll still need basics. Besides the aforementioned soap, deodorant, and toothpaste, I’d also add to that list SPF, moisturizer, and a luxury item of your choice. How can a “luxury item” be a basic, you may ask? Well, it’s always nice to have a bit of pampering on vacation.

It need not be luxurious within itself but a product that gives you a sense of indulgence. That could be perfume, a sheet mask, an essential oil, or a sample size of an expensive hand cream. Or it could be a comfort item like a terry towel in your favorite color.

Beyond the basics, other items to write down on your packing list are:
– Tweezers.
– Small scissors.
– A thread and needle.
– A round hairbrush for styling.
– A straight comb for detangling.
– A face wash.
– Q-tips.
– Flushable cleaning wipes.
– Obviously, if you wear glasses or contacts, cases and solution would also be included.

Lastly, but certainly not least, are medications. Whether prescription or over the counter, packing your pills is essential.

Traveling with small children, some go-tos that I pack are Pepto Bismol, melatonin, and Children’s Tylenol; plus, we always have an epi-pen for our eldest’s nut allergy. If motion sickness is of concern, there’s Dramamine and, of course, daily vitamins. For myself, I always have Zicam, Excedrin, Midol, probiotics, and Ashwagandha tablets because your girl gets stressed, especially on airplanes.

Speaking of stress, I always worry I’ll forget something when packing or that I had the chance to pack a product but decided against it and now regret it.

In the end, besides prescribed medications, most toiletries can be purchased either on the road or at your final destination. Does Rite Aid carry the Glossier perfecting skin tint I use, or Dr. Brandt’s Skincare Do Not Age Time Defying Cream? No, but they have Dr. Scholl’s wart remover and Maybelline, so while you may not be able to find the exact lotions, potions, and cosmetics you normally use, you can find something that’ll work for you for the trip. If you are in dire straits, use the Clarendon filter on your phone for posting those vacay selfies.