Holiday Travel: Carry On Bag Necessities

Welcome to December. Is it really the most wonderful time of the year if you have to go to the airport? In any other situation, a complete stranger yelling at you to take off your clothes and shoes is considered a violation. But, there is one way to try and tame travel stress (other than a valium and a glass of wine), which is to be equipped with a large carry on bag that has everything I need to make my flight more comfortable. 

The Bag

I always travel with my MRKT Martin Travel bag. It has enough room for everything I need and more. I also use it on weekend trips. Made entirely of vegan felt and microsuede, it's stylish and durable enough to be squeezed under the seat.

Snacks Snacks Snacks

I always travel with tons of snacks because Terminal 3 at LAX, which is the only terminal I fly out of, literally has zero healthy food options. (Zero! If don’t believe me, read the Yelp reviews.)

I’m really into Perfect Bars right now. High in protein, they’re packed with superfood, non-gmo, gluten-free ingredients. They’re also filling, so I don’t end up eating junk food on the plane. My favorite flavors are Almond Butter and Maple Almond butter, which taste like spooning actual almond butter out of a jar, but in bar form. The Blueberry Cashew flavor is also pretty delicious. I usually bring extras so I can eat them for breakfast on the go.

I also love Heath Warrior Chia Bars. Between 100 and 110 calories each, these small, but mighty snacks have 1000mg of Omega-3, 4 grams of fiber and 3 grams of plant-based protein. There are several flavor choices, but my favorites are coconut and dark chocolate. They’re light, but filling, so they're good for before or after working out (which is something I try to do when I travel) or for those times when you know you're going to eat dinner in an hour, but you're starving. 

Purely Elizabeth's Ancient Grain Minis are practically made for travel. Gluten-free, non-gmo and vegan, every bag has 2oz of ancient grain granola. You can mix into yogurt (which is readily available at most airports, even LAX) or pour milk right into the bag. It won’t leak, I promise. 

Cashmere Wrap

When I’m on a plane, I either sweat like I’m taking a spin class or shiver like I’m in a cyrotherapy session. So, I wear a light top and carry a cashmere wrap. It’s a blanket and fashion accessory all rolled into one. The one I'm wearing in the picture is from Vince and I’ve had it so long, it's practically vintage. 

Talbots currently has a beautiful cashmere wrap. While that store isn’t exactly one of my go-tos, there aren't many affordable cashmere wraps available this season. Cashmere doesn’t come cheap, but friends don’t let friends buy wool blends. Treat yourself. Traveling is hard enough. 

Neck Pillow

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I always try and catch a few zzzs on the flight, so a neck pillow is a must. Skip the ones they sell at the airport because they’re overpriced and generally mediocre. Instead prepare early and buy The World’s Best Neck Pillow. It’s comfortable, machine washable, cheap and apparently the world's best.

Decléor Aurabsolu Mist

Nothing makes your face feel gross quite the way re-circulated airplane air can. Decléor Aurabsolu Mist is travel friendly and smells like herbal heaven. You can also spray some on a cotton ball in place of your regular toner.

Thank you to Chin-Chin Hao for the beautiful photos. 

How To Travel With Every Beauty Product You Need And Not Have It Be A Complete S-Show

The following story has everything to do with travel products, so actually read it.

Three years ago I met the most amazing guy. He was cute, funny and everything I ever wanted in a partner. There was just one problem, he was geographically undesirable. He lived in New York and I lived in Los Angeles. But I had the sense he was totally worth my time. Because his job wasn’t flexible, I had to be the one to schlep from coast to coast most of the time. It was completely annoying, but totally worth it because he eventually became my husband.

So, WTF am I getting at here? Being in a long distance relationship teaches you a lot of things, including how to pack every single beauty product you need so you don’t run out or have an incident involving a bottle of eye makeup remover and a dry clean-only sweater. If you’re traveling for the holidays, especially for a period of a week or longer, you're going to need a lot of stuff. Just follow my guidelines and you will be able to take it all with you. 

Go Big When You're Not At Home

Aren't those travel size bottles from Ulta and Sephora just darling? Nope, they're often overpriced, not-so-great for the environment, and never have quite enough product for me. The same logic applies to those TSA-friendly refillable bottle kits. In my unscientific opinion, they don’t keep products as fresh as the original packaging does. Then there is always the tiny drop at the bottom that never comes out, which is annoying and wasteful. My strategy is to bring full sized products which are already a part of my regular routine, that just happen to be packaged in a way that is conducive to travel. 

Buy The Biggest Travel Toiletry Case You Can Find

We all have 1000 little toiletry cases, most of which are useless. If you’ve ever had all of your products strewn about a hotel room, wondered if someone broke in, stealing your expensive moisturizer and your search became something you later referred to as an “incident”, a big toiletry case is a necessity. It allows you to keep all of your products together in one place.

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This cute bag from Target is perfect because it has lots of pockets and easily fits full-size bottles. 

Do Not Bring Anything That Can Leak Or Break! (Yes, That Exclamation Point Is Intentional) 

If you learn just one thing from this post, it’s do not bring anything that can leak, break or is made from glass. It will be more trouble than it is worth. 

But If You Must...

Tape down the caps and double Ziploc. Don’t forget to bring extra tape with you. 

Bring One Product In Each Category, Bonus Points For Multi-Taskers

I have separate AM and PM skincare routines, but many of my products can be used any time. So, I only take those when I travel. Here are some of my favorites.

Spa @Home by MasqueBAR Melting Cleanser

 
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When I’m home, I use a cleansing oil to remove makeup, but the thought of travelling with a oil that can leak is enough to make me need a valium before takeoff. That’s why I always travel with Spa @Home by MasqueBAR Melting Cleanser. This K Beauty Product is a genius multi-tasker that removes both makeup and dirt. No double-cleansing necessary.

Clinique Take The Day Off Eye Makeup Remover Stick

Clinique Take The Day Off Eye Makeup Remover Stick is the same size as a lipstick, but has no risk of leaking, so it's ideal for traveling. A solid eye makeup remover balm, it’s perfect for on the go touchups and getting off the last bit of your mascara so you don’t become known as that guest who ruins pillowcases.

Regenica Rejuvenating Dual Serum

Regenica’s Rujuvenating Dual Serum is a really unique product that just happens to be perfect for travel because it’s formulated for both day and night use. The plastic bottle houses two chambers of ingredients you mix together in your hand (that’s why it’s called “dual serum”). Made with a 95% concentration of patented MRCx™ formula as well as advanced copper peptides, amino acids, anti-oxidants, and plant-based extracts, it helps prevent and reverse the signs of aging. The serum has a very creamy texture, so if you have combination skin like I do, you can easily skip moisturizer. 

Regencia Revitalizing Eye Crème

Made with many of the same patented ingredients as the Dual Serum, Regencia Revitalizing Eye Crème takes care of all possible under eye problems, which are just inevitable when you travel, including puffiness, wrinkles, dark circles and fine lines. It can be used both day and night.

 Bioré Baking Soda Cleansing Scrub

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You know how your face feels dirty when you’ve been traveling all day? If you are dying for a squeaky clean visage again, all you need to do is use Bioré's Baking Soda Cleansing Scrub. It exfoliates deeply, but gently, getting the gunk out of your pores and balancing your skin. Because this scrub is a powder and not a liquid, you don’t have to worry about spilling. You could even put a little bit in a Ziploc bag, but I’d avoid doing that if you are taking a plane. 

Plus Ultra Toothbrush

If a toothbrush could be a super model, the Plus Ultra Toothbrush would be it. Made from 100% organically grown Moso bamboo, it’s way more sleek and stylish than a typical plastic brush. It’s also biodegradable, sustainable, anti-microbial and comes with bonus karma points. If that isn’t reason enough to brush with a Plus Ultra, the brand was started by #GirlBoss Christina Ramirez. I met her personally at an event I'm going to post about on Monday and her brilliance just wowed me. 

 

Say "Oui" To Dessange Paris & A Bonus Giveaway

Some people are blessed with naturally beautiful hair that looks like a shampoo commercial straight out of the shower. I am not one of those people. A bottle blonde with high maintenance hair, I am what Dessange Paris kindly calls a “California Blonde.”

Dessange Paris is the namesake line of legendary French hairstylist, Jacques Dessange. Monsieur Dessange is known for working with Brigitte Bardot and pioneering the balayage technique that so many us blondes rely on for subtle but striking highlights. Luckily, you don’t need to fly Air France (Première Classe, s'il vous plaît ) to get your hands on his luxurious products, you just have to visit your local Target (say it like the French, Tar-jay). Très accessible! 

How To Be A California Girl In France

There are four products in the California Blonde line including Shampoo, Conditioner, Illuminating Elixir and CC Cream. Using all of them in conjunction with each other will lead to shiny, natural looking blonde hair. You will also have the envy of everyone around you whether you are at brunch in Beverly Hills or toasting in St. Tropez. 

CC Cream

The CC Cream is a bright purple toner that tells brassiness to take a hike off your tresses. The angled tip of the tube makes it easy to get the product in your hair and not all over your bathroom. 

I’ve tried many purple treatments because my hair has a tendency to get really brassy in the California sun. Seriously, I haven’t found another product that works quite as well as Dessange does, especially for the price. I even saved money when I had my hair colored because my stylist didn’t have to use toner on me. That says a lot about the quality of the product. It is truly the hero of the California Blonde line. 

Illuminating Elixir

Illuminating Elixir makes my blonde pop, but doesn’t feel heavy, or make my hair greasy. I use it before blow-drying to prevent damage and fading. My hair ends up baby soft. A great multi-tasker, it also helps to de-frizz and style the next day. 

Shampoo & Conditioner

One of the first things I noticed about the shampoo and conditioner was their fragrance. If you could bottle sophisticated sunshine and add a touch of luxury, it would smell like Dessange. The scent is very subtle, essentially the opposite of most typical American hair products.

In addition to smelling good, the shampoo and conditioner truly exceeded my expectations. To be honest, the first time I tried them was just after I went swimming in the pool. Chlorine usually leaves my hair with a green tint that takes a few washes to get rid of. The Shampoo made my hair squeaky clean without drying it out and the conditioner left my hair super silky. It was like having an express ticket to Buttery Blondeville. 

Are You Ready to Say Oui To Dessange Paris?

Even if you aren’t blonde, Dessange has several lines to meet your hair care needs including Oleo (dry/damged), Color Restore (dyed), Solar Blonde (naturally blonde), and Purifying Clay (balancing). There are shampoos, conditioners and some very innovative products including Purifying Clay Pre-Shampoo Mask, Lightening Treatment and Sun Spray.            

Are you excited about Dessange Paris? Enter the giveaway below to get your hands on the entire line. Yes, that is every single product pictured here!