I love skincare. And makeup. Sephora considers me their highest level of customer. Ulta is a new haunt. One of the hardest things about not having a home base is not having a place to create my vanity, stocked with samples, steals and staples, organized to be part of my daily routine. And part of what makes us successful on the road is creating routines, especially when the landscape keeps changing. My skincare routine is no different.
For this three-month journey, I have the requisite one quart clear bag, and a three-compartment hanging toiletry kit with everything I could possibly need, including a couple of liquid medications I probably shouldn't forgo. To cover my needs, keep my skin healthy while traveling and not have to scramble in case of a fashion emergency, here's how I've organized my pack:
I love the Dermalogica travel kits, this time I'm toting the Age Smart version. It's super handy with everything I need for cleansing, exfoliating and moisture, and perfectly sized for travel. The star of this kit is the MultiVitamin Power Recovery Masque. The dermatologist who did my pre-wedding facial introduced me to this incredibly creamy, soothing and moisturizing mask and I fell hard - it can seriously erase a full travel day in just 15 minutes, and it smells heavenly.
Another travel must is a pack of Ole Henriksen The Clean Truth Cleansing Cloths. They smell like creamsicle and banish greasy-feeling skin. These wipes are more fabulous than words can describe - it's even tough to keep the man from stealing them from my pack!
I'm not entirely sold on the brand - it's good, but not great for my hair - but I love traveling with a dry shampoo, and so far Batiste's travel size Blush is the winner. As soon as my can is out, I've got my eyes on the Lush version - more to come there.
And for the days I run out of something, I keep a small stock of samples in my bag for products from Fresh, Ole Henriksen, Origins and Jurlique. These are life-savers if we're somewhere on Sundays and Mondays when many apothecaries are closed, and in markets where there are no Sephoras.
I tried to keep this list as gloriously brief as my skincare, but on a trip like this, makeup is a far more portable accesory than jewelry or shoes.
I am not typically a cream foundation girl; my standard fave is Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer in Finland for it's beautiful color and super-lightweight creamy texture. I wanted to cut back on liquids, though, and Cover FX Total Cover Cream Foundation in G20 is the solution. It touts buildable coverage, all day wear, anti-aging properties and - most importantly for me - SPF 30 (this means I can ditch another product from my travel bag).
Also a new addition to my bag is any powder, though I'd be selling this uber-silky stuff short referring to it as just any powder. Make Up For Ever's HD Powder in travel size form is completley transparent, kills any visual pores and keeps my foundation in place even as we put on 10 miles of walking up a good sweat.
I have long been a blush fanatic, amassing an impressive color selection, so choosing just three to tote is a pretty big deal. My Stila Custom Color Blush in Pink has been the favorite for the past year, earning a place in last trip's bag, too. It really does give the perfect pink flush for your skin tone, and it's easy to tone up or down for day or night. MAC Melba is a long-time staple - it's my go-to conservative blush, a great neutral for lighter skin tones. And Nars blushes are top of my favorite products list for their colors, wearability and packaging. On this trip, Nars Cream Blush in Enchanted is along for the ride - a super-soft peach shimmer that looks super healthy, especially with a strong lip.
For my lips, I've fallen for Hourglass Opague Rouge Liquid Lipstick in Muse. It's super portable in a small and flat package, the color is brilliant, it's matte without drying and it stays put for hours. I'm also toting an Urban Decay Super Saturated High Gloss Lip Color in Punch Drunk. This was an amazing gift from a wonderful friend, and I love her all the more for making me try it. It's a poppy-like, red-orange shade that is super stand-out with a touch of barely-there sparkle built in. I rarely leave home without throwing my Nars Pure Sheer SPF Lip Treatment in Angelique in my bag. The color is sheer nude and it makes my lips feel great all day. My go-to gloss is the Smashbox O-Gloss Intuitive Lip Gloss - a pale pink that adapts to your perfect pout.
Every good makeup bag needs a great mascara, and for travel I haven't found one that beats Blinc Mascara Amplified. This crazy formula creates this coat of mascara around your lashes - what the brand refers to as "tubes" - and it doesn't go anywhere till you readily remove it. Instead of wiping, smearing or flaking, it actually pulls off each lash at the end of the day. Mascaras smudge something awful on my eyes and I'm not into what it takes to remove a waterproof formula, so this is the perfect solution. I also like to refresh my eyes if we change before dinner, and with Blinc I gently tug on the ends of my lashes, pull the mascara off and redo it - like I said before, crazy.
For complete brow management in one tiny package, I love Sephora's Eyebrow Editor Complete Brow Kit. It includes two shades of brow shadow, brow wax, a teeny mirror, an angled brow brush, the sweetest little (mildly ineffective) tweezers and a little comb. My only beef with this product is in the packaging - I'm on my second kit where the hinge snapped, leaving mine wrapped in a rubber band, though it's still a great, all-in-one kit for the road.
I get it. The list is longer than it really needs to be. For me, if I'm going to rock the same few pieces of clothing over the course of 90 + days, I want to have some variety in how I pull it together. Plus, when the reality of long term travel sets in and my nails are dry and imperfectly kept, my brows are growing out, shaving becomes a once weekly chore, I'm overdue for a haircut, my last wax is a distant memory and my feet are begging for a pedicure, this bag of tricks keeps me feeling like a girl. And now that I've discovered the wonder of French pharmacies (check out the Nuxe label if you have the chance), I will be adding to my fat little kit of goodies along the way.