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New York Packing Travel

What I Packed for a Week in NYC

July 6, 2018

Away Bigger Carry-On Packing for a Week in NYC | The Beauty Look Book

Happy Friday! I have my packing post for what we packed for a week in NYC during the summer. Most of the time I’m a carry-on traveler and bring my suitcase onto the plane with me, but this round Andrew and I checked two of them! We had one more with us as well for a total of 3 suitcases in the Bigger Carry-on Size from Away (our shoes took up a lot of space). It would have been more ideal if we had larger sizes but we tend to pack last minute and by the time we realized what we needed it would have been to late to order a bigger suitcase.

Away Bigger Carry-On Packing for a Week in NYC | The Beauty Look Book

I’ll be doing a separate updated review on the Away Luggage soon so if you have questions leave me a comment below. For now here are some answers to some frequently asked questions from you. I’m so thrilled to see how Away has grown over the years and am always looking forward to seeing their new launches! I first wrote about them when they only had 1 product in their line which is the Regular Carry-On back in 2016. I truly believe this is the best luggage I’ve tried which is why I continue to use them. They’ve since expanded their line and continue to improve their products. Some FAQs I’ve received:

  • What makes them so good? So many reasons why, but my top three include the design (sturdy, streamlined, no frills, wheels are AMAZING), interior fits a lot, and price point. Mine were gifted but since I discovered them I’ve purchased close to a dozen on my own as gifts for family.
  • Which size do you recommend? I recommend the Bigger Carry-On if you’re flying in the US. European airlines often have different luggage restrictions so if you’re traveling through Europe I’d recommend the Regular Size.
  • What’s the size difference? They have all the dimensions on their website along with weights. The difference is slight but enough to be noticeable when you’re trying to fit more stuff inside!
  • Which size do you carry with you? I’ve carried both, but usually the Bigger option.
  • Does the exterior get scratched if you check it? Yes, it will get scuffed and ours have a few scratches. But they hold up remarkably well.
  • Can you clean the outside? Yes, if there are markings you can use a Magic Eraser + warm water or a little dish soap. Away often has more tips on their Instagram stories!
  • Where can I find the mini Away case and what does it look like inside? It’s not available right now, they launched them during the holidays so I’m hoping they will be back again later this year. What it looks like inside in this post here.
  • Quick notes about the charging battery – Some airlines have changed their policy about having charging batteries on the plane. We’ve flown Delta and they stopped my husband at the gate, asked him to take everything out to unscrew the battery because he had the older style that doesn’t have a pop-out battery. We’ve also flown Jetblue and they didn’t stop or check anything! Check with your airline to see their policy. If you have an older style Away suitcase they have a page with some information you might want to check out. They’ve also launched a battery switch program with a few options.
  • Where can I find previous reviews? You can click my Travel – Packing Tag. You can also see a few below:

Onto what I packed for a week in NYC. I’m usually pretty good at editing what I bring. This round I didn’t pack enough sweaters or warm clothes. Summers in NYC are pretty warm but this year has been a really odd year for weather all along the east coast. During our stay in New York, we had some really cold rainy days mixed in with super hot days. I thought about buying a proper jacket, but decided to make what we had work! Living in South Florida there are very few days where I actually have to wear a jacket. I have my packing split into two parts: clothes and beauty.

Packing for NYC Away Luggage | The Beauty Look Book

Clothes I packed for the entire trip below! Outfits are laid out in the collage below. I didn’t get actual outfit photos of everything in the city but we did snap most of them! I’m going to try and be better about getting more for you in the future as some of you have mentioned it’s helpful to see them. Some of the shoes I changed mid-day. The only things I didn’t wear were the dress and heels. We tend to travel casual style so I often don’t pack anything formal or dressy.

What I Packed for a Week in NYC during the Summer | The Beauty Look Book

My outfit packing list:

  1. Button Pink Camisole by Topshop
  2. Short-Sleeve Tie-Front Shirt from Madewell
  3. Embroidered Side-Tie Tank by Madewell
  4. Texture and Thread Wrap Tie Shirt from Madewell
  5. Blue stripe Tie Back Shirt from Treasure and Bond
  6. Distressed white shorts by STS Blue
  7. Denim skirt by Free People
  8. Le Skinny Jeans Frame
  9. White denim skirt by Free People
  10. White ankle jeans by Paige
  11. Wallet on Chain by YSL
  12. White sneakers Converse
  13. Chloe Ballet Flats in Nude
  14. Chloe Ballet Flats in Black
  15. Hermes Oran Sandals
  16. Boucle shell stripe from Banana Republic
  17. White ankle jeans by Paige (on repeat)
  18. Short sleeve button up from J.Crew
  19. Joie Dezra Jacket (old style)
  20. Stripe ruffle dress from Splendid
  21. Louis Vuitton Neverfull MM
  22. Black V-Neck Sweater from J.Crew
  23. Tory Burch Sienna Sandals
  24. Stuart Weiztman Nearlynude Block Heels
  25. Nike Free RN Running Shoes
  26. Bella Dahl Peplum Tank (not shown)

Also packed but not shown included a Goyard tote, Lululemon clothes for working out (which we didn’t get to), for sleeping this cute black lace camisole + shorts night set from Flora by Flora Nikrooz.

Four of my vacation outfits we snapped out and about, I’ll try to get more next time! Some of the days we just had too much fun eating, exploring and meeting with people to take photos.

Week Vacation Outfits | The Beauty Look Book

Beauty packing packed into my Daily Edited Large Cosmetic Case, Away Mini Travel Case, Anya Hindmarch Inflight Travel Case and clear Ouai Mini Pouch. FYI full review coming soon, but as mentioned in my previous post this case is a cheaper dupe of the Anya Hindmarch! It’s also available in Navy, Taupe and Pale Pink.

Travel Beauty Packing | The Beauty Look Book

Travel Beauty NYC | The Ludlow Hotel

All the things laid out. Yes, I overpacked on lipgloss. I almost always do. Full list below:

Travel Beauty Packing | The Beauty Look Book

Beauty breakdown (checked my bag!):

One last look (this was taken pre-trip, so a few of the things in this shot didn’t make the cut):

Away Bigger Carry-On Packing for a Week in NYC | The Beauty Look Book

What I would have done differently: I think I always have a warm weather state of mine, I often don’t pack enough warm clothes. Weather prediction is tough but for most trips I’ve always needed a warmer jacket. I would have packed one this trip. I also often forget to carry a tote with a zipper. I need to be better about doing this. I have been really lucky that I’ve never had anything stolen but Andrew is always reminding me to not carry my tote behind me as it’s easy for someone to slip their hand inside. Either a closed tote or cross body for city sightseeing or shopping will be safer.

Hope you enjoyed this packing post! Do you have any tips or tricks you want to share for packing on week-long getaways? Do you travel with carry-on’s or smaller suitcases or pack a lot? Now that I’ve done a few packing posts let me know what you find most helpful. Sometimes I list everything out, others it’s a more general list. Let me know which version you like the best!

Press samples featured include Away luggage, Pat McGrath Lust Gloss, L’Occitane Aqua Reotier, Laura Mercier Concealer, Sisley eyeliner, Hourglass brow gel.

 

New York Travel

Summer NYC Travel Diary

July 3, 2018

NYC Travel Diary Top of the Rock

June flew by so quickly I cannot believe it! It’s already been a month since we went to NYC for a quick trip and I can’t wait to go back. As promised I finally have a NYC travel diary post and will have a separate packing post soon. We spent about a week in New York City and had so much fun. There’s so much to do in the city – I mapped out nearly 50 places I wanted to see, eat and shop. Of course we did not get to everything (not even half!). Looking back on our photos I can see that I was clearly most excited about the food. I had my fill of really good coffee, espresso, pastries and avocado toast. We walked nearly everywhere and had the best time exploring. (Top photo, embroidered tank is from Madewell, wallet on chain purse is by YSL, denim is by Frame, jacket is from Joie – old style).

Where We Stayed

For this trip we decided to try The Ludlow Hotel located in the Lower East Side. I picked this hotel because of the beautiful views and dreamy bathrooms! I always check Hotels.com and Trip Advisor first for prices and reviews but in terms of reserving a room, I’ve found booking direct is sometimes the best for customer service. I’ve learned the hard way using travel booking sites that often times I cannot make changes easily after the fact. Hotels are often happy to price match and in this case they did! I initially booked a Loft King but changed at the last minute to the Loft Queen because it had a bathtub. You can check their website to see all room descriptions. We were lucky to get a room on the 19th floor with some amazing views! The room we booked was very small at under 300 sq feet. It came with a windowed bathroom, separate soaking tub and shower. We had to request a separate clothing rack because the closet would only fit Andrew’s clothes. We had a pleasant stay, everything was really cozy and clean and quiet. They had a nice gym and terrace on the roof. We were planning to work out each night but were too exhausted to get any dedicated exercise in. We’d definitely stay here again. We liked the location and the rooms were nice. We would probably book a larger room next time though.

Ludlow Hotel NYC | The Beauty Look Book

View from the roof:

Ludlow Hotel Roof Terrace View | The Beauty Look Book

Sunglasses are from J.Crew (old style called Irving), top is by Madewell.

Where We Ate

The food stops were the highlights of my trip. I almost felt like I missed my calling as a food blogger but then realized I’m really not the most adventurous when it comes to trying certain kinds of foods. NYC truly has some of the most amazing pastry shops and really amazing coffee and espresso. Based on my food wish list I think it would most likely take at least a month to try all the places I’ve bookmarked!

NYC Eats: ABCV, Sweet Chick, La Mercerie, Katz Deli

Above clockwise from left:

  • ABCV – We ate here because the lovely Gothamista booked us reservations for breakfast! I was so thrilled to be able to meet her in person, she is truly a beautiful person inside and out. We clicked instantly and if you don’t follow her on YouTube definitely give her videos a look! She’s a skincare expert and whatever she uses I need to add to my routine. Her skin is glowing! ABCV has really incredible food. I wish we snapped a photo but we ate it all too quickly. Everything was phenomenal. We’d absolutely go back. ABC Kitchen is next door – hope to try this next time!
  • Sweet Chick: Lower East Side – This was right next to our hotel. We could not resist chicken and waffles. I ordered one of their kale salads to try and balance out the chicken, waffles and mac and cheese. LOL. Everything was delicious. We stopped by when there was no wait or line. Service was great and quick for us.
  • Katz Delicatessen – This was also next to our hotel. Andrew picked up a Pastrami Hot Sandwich late one night and brought it back to the hotel room for us to share. It was every bit as amazing as we had imagined after seeing this on a few food channels.
  • La Mercerie – I had a meeting here for lunch and the food was delicious! I ordered the Salade Verte and it made for a perfect light fresh kind of meal.

So happy to meet Renee aka Gothamista!

Beauty Look Book and Gothamista

Yet more eats below:

Dominique Ansel Bakery, Ippudo Ramen, Eataly, Rubirosa Pizza | NYC Eats

Above clockwise from left:

  • Dominique Ansel Bakery – I made Andrew wake up extra early so we would arrive when they opened. The wait for us was only about 5-10 minutes – no long lines like I had read about. I finally tried a Cronut and it was amazing! We also ordered a Little Egg Sandwich and Coconut Chocolate Croissant. Everything was really filling so we ended up taking most of it to-go back to our hotel. We went back again on our last day to buy some pastries to take home. I highly recommend this! Also the line is usually only for Cronuts. You can also order things to pick up in advance but double check the turnaround time as it will take some planning.
  • Ippudo Ramen – One of the best ramen places I’ve tried. We had a 20 minute wait but this wasn’t too bad considering the first time we tried the wait was 2 hours and we decided to try it another day. Glad that we did!
  • Eataly Flatiron – We stopped by one of the pizza counters and it did not disappoint!
  • Rubirosa Pizza – This was the most recommended pizza spot, we had about a 45 minute wait but it was 100% worth it. We shared the mini rice balls and a small Rubirosa Supreme pizza. There was nothing mini or small about any of it but I had no complaints!

Other eats we enjoyed included multiple cookie stops at Momofuku Milk Bar, two stops at Prince Street Pizza, quick lunch at Shake Shack, coffee and avocado toast at Bluestone Lane Coffee, a meeting Blank Slate Tea and a couple meetings a few different Maison Kayser places around the city. Andrew also stopped by Levain Bakery without me while I was in a few meetings. He brought me back part of some kind of chocolate fluffy kind of cake. He said he went to two different locations because the first one he went to had a long line, but down the street there was another location that had no wait. Someday I will finally make it there in person.

Places We Stopped to See

NYC Sights: Flatiron Building, Top of the Rock, Grand Central

A few touristy things we did included a walk around the Flatiron Building – so many fun places to see around the area, not to mention Eataly is right next to it. We went to the Top of the Rock which I’ve always wanted to do! We definitely want to go back since we went during a busy time. I’d recommend going early if you can and also buy your tickets online. During our stop we bought tickets at the digital kiosks but found we had to select a viewing time and the closest option for us was 45 minutes out. We picked something a couple hours later so we could walk around Rockefeller Center and grab a snack then go back. Mornings or early times in general are probably best if you want to get photos without crowds. A stop at Grand Central is always fun although it’s often really busy. There are lots of boutiques inside including a Diptyque store which I adore!

We took a nice stroll through Central Park on Memorial Day and it was so packed! We did some fun people watching and enjoyed the view. We walked by the Loeb Boathouse and Bethesda Terrace and Fountain which has some nice places for photos.

Summer in Central Park | The BeautY Look Book

Top from Treasure and Bond (I’d recommend sizing down), denim by Paige, Louis Vuitton Neverfull is the MM size.

Summer in Central Park | The BeautY Look Book

Where We Shopped

NYC Shopping | Bleecker Street NARS, Diptyque, The Daily Edited

I never plan enough time for shopping during my trips. There is so much to see and everything is spread out. Most of the time it’s a quick stop to take a super quick peek and then off to a meeting! I did have some time to walk along Bleecker Street and made a couple stops.

Top photo from left, clockwise:

  • NARS 413 Bleecker – finally stopped by! It’s so cute inside the store!
  • Diptyque 377 Bleecker – such a beautiful interior
  • The Daily Edited – They have a pop up shop in NYC and the interior has given me major organization inspo!
  • Bond No 9 and Amore Pacific – I didn’t have time to stop inside but I’ve book marked it for my next trip.

The Daily Edited Store NYC

I did make a full dedicated stop at Sisley at 343 Bleecker Street and they treated me to a luxurious facial! If you ever have a chance to stop by their stores I highly recommend it. Beauty boutiques often have a more intimate feel to me with less sales pressure (at least in my experience). I wish I had more time to play with their foundations. I use their Tinted Sunscreen Cream and have been dying to try more of their foundations. Next time! This was the first time I experienced a lymphatic drainage massage and it was truly amazing at how much of my face swelling was reduced!

Sisley Boutique NYC | The Beauty Look Book

Everything in Soho opens up a bit later than most retail stores, often around 11ish. We walked through in the mornings when everything was still closed but it was fun to explore without any traffic!

NYC Summer Travels | The Beauty Look Book

I had two facials in one week which is something I’ve never done before. My second one was later in the week at the L’Occitane Flatiron Flagship store. They used their Divine Collection which I already adore and my skin was left glowing. This was a completely relaxing experience. It’s been over a year since I’ve had any facials. I need to look into trying more of these. Another lymphatic drainage massage technique was used – I think from the weather changes and travels my face was extra prone to swelling. The massage definitely helped!

L'Occitane Flatiron Store NYC | The Beauty Look Book

On my priority list was a stop at Diptyque Grand Central. They have a super cute small space and it’s literally decor goals! I have yet to try their diffusers but am going to pick one to order soon. If you’ve tried them let me know what you think of them compared to the candles!

Diptyque Grand Central NYC

Last but not least was a stop at the Saks Fifth Avenue new beauty floor. I was completely overwhelmed so I didn’t buy anything. They seemed to have almost everything from Sisley, Aesop, Creed, Chanel, Armani, Tom Ford, Penhaligon’s, L’Artisan, Decorte and so much more.

Saks Beauty Floor NYC

A few more snapshots:

NYC Travels Soho

NYC Chanel Soho

Above top by Madewell, skirt by Free People.

Summer in Central Park | The BeautY Look Book

Overall we packed a lot into five days but I don’t think we overdid it and we had a lot of fun. The weather was unpredictable from humid highs to pretty low colds while we were there. It rained on and off a couple of our days but we were expecting it so we had our umbrellas. With a busy meeting schedule and lots of walking I got sick by the end of the trip and it took me a couple of weeks to recover at home. There’s still so much on our list to see, I’m hoping to make another trip soon. Thank you to everyone who messaged me food recommendations! We loved everything we tried. Each trip I’m partially torn between going back to favorite spots and trying new places. There’s usually not enough time to do both! I know many of you were expecting a mega haul post. Aside from pastries I bought two things: a Diptyque New York City Candle and The Daily Edited Transparent Case which is a $70 dupe for my Anya Hindmarch Inflight Case that cost me over $200 (reviewed here)!

Two things I would have done differently. The first is that I would have packed a couple more sweaters and also made sure to bring a tote with a top zipper. I had left my Longchamp Le Pliage Small Tote at home but this would have been more ideal and safer for city travel. The second thing would have been to be a little more organized with my purse swapping. On one morning I was rushing out the hotel to get to a meeting and decided to bring a small bag instead of the larger tote I had been using. I grabbed some cash, my ID, phone and metro card. I left my credit and debit cards in the hotel as I did not realize some cafes in the city are cashless! I stopped by one and sat down for a quick bite in between meetings but luckily realized it was cashless before I ordered.

Hope you enjoyed this NYC travel diary! If you have any NYC favorites let me know in the comments. Also hotel recommendations would be immensely appreciated! We are planning to go back and I want to know from you where I should stay next!

 

Boutique New York Packing Travel

Three Days in New York – My Packing List, Beauty Shopping Map and Haul

May 9, 2017

Byredo Store Wooster St Soho NYC | The Beauty Look Book

I’m excited to share my packing list, shopping map and beauty haul for NYC! As mentioned in my previous post I was in NYC for 3 full days. 1 day was for a conference, I had 1 full day of exploring and meetings with my friend Cafe Makeup, and then the following day I had until around 12:30 before I had to head to the airport to catch my flight. On my third day I decided to go to Soho for a quick stop at Away in the morning but most stores did not open until 11:00 AM so my shopping/browsing time was a bit limited. Next time I go to New York I will be staying in Soho – the area is just so charming and I could walk around for hours!

First a look at what I packed. The weather was mild – by Florida standards it was cold, but in comparison to the winter in San Diego it was very similar. I packed three tops, two pairs of jeans, three jackets and then also had the clothes I wore to NY which included a tank, jeans and a cotton cardigan sweater. Being a high maintenance hair girl of course I packed my hair dryer and flat iron. Since I had just come from a quick trip to Dallas I used a lot of the same beauty products and skincare. In hindsight since I only had one day in between trips I could have flown straight to New York but I was getting homesick and really wanted to see the hubby and fur babies.

Luggage, totes and accessories packed included a Louis Vuitton Neverful MM, Away Bigger Carry On (c/o), Truffle Mini Clarity Clutches (navy one c/o) , Glossier Pouch, Anya Hindmarch Inflight Case, Tatcha Travel Bag (discontinued) and a Tumi Just In Case Tote. The Tumi actually folds up into a flat compact square – I stuffed it for the photo so you could see the size. I’ve had this for years (and a few older variations) – they’re great to bring with you just in case you need an extra bag to bring home. For this trip I did check my luggage and many of you have asked how the Away luggage holds up. Between Dallas and NYC I checked it 3 times and it held up really well. No deep scratches and only surface scuffs and dark marks. I asked the reps at the store how to remove them and they recommended warm water and a washcloth or a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. I did a little demo video on my Instagram stories which you should be able to see until around 6:00 PM EST. The magic eraser method really does work! Of course anything you check will get marks and eventually dents.

Travel NYC Packing List | The Beauty Look Book

What I packed here ended up being similar to my Dallas trip, but slightly more edited. I wanted to make room in my luggage to bring home some things and hauls. Most everything fit inside the Away Bigger Carry On.

Away Bigger Carry On Packed | The Beauty Look Book

Away Bigger Carry On Packing List via The Beauty Look Book

Clothing pack list:

  • Short Trench from J.Crew (old style, current classic version here)
  • Leather jacket by Joie (old style, similar here and here)
  • Black woven jacket from Banana Republic (from several years ago)
  • Black raw hem denim by Paige
  • Classic skinny jeans denim by Frame
  • Flats by Chloe
  • Chambray button down by Joie
  • Stripe tank from Rag and Bone
  • Cashmere sweater from Club Monaco (old style)

Clothing Pack List for NYC | The Beauty Look Book

Makeup packing list:

NYC Makeup Packing List for 3 Days | The Beauty Look Book

Skincare and haircare packing. I hoard my minis from GWPs as much as I can. Things here that you can buy individually:

NYC Skincare Packing List for 3 Days | The Beauty Look Book

Before I met up with Amy we discussed where we wanted to go shopping. I told her I was open to anything she wanted to see as she was taking the train up to see me for the day. I shared a map I had made last year (minus the tourist spots). I’ve done this for almost every trip I’ve gone on – I map out EVERYTHING from coffee shops, photo spots, restaurants, breakfast places, shops etc. This is an edited version with just beauty as my full maps get very cluttered. Thanks to Amy for asking me to publish this. She did an amazing one for Paris which I highly recommend. We didn’t get to everything on the map – in the course of one day we made it to around 6 places including lunch spots. We took our time, on our priority list was Creed and Bergdorfs and then we said we’d just take the day as it came. The map should be clickable/interactive – I’m not sure how it will look or work on mobile though.

This is what I ended up hauling, mainly beauty this trip. First a look inside Bergdorf Goodman:

Bergdorf Goodman Beauty Shopping | The Beauty Look Book

Next stop was Barneys New York – how cool is their Mask Bar?!

Barneys New York Mask Bar | The Beauty Look Book

From Barneys New York I bought two Sheet Masks from Starskin in the Diamond Mask and Close Up options, Cremorlab Silk Pearl, and the Peach and Lily Sheet Mask Set. From Bergdorf Goodman I bought a couple cushions from Sulwhasoo (I also ordered the third option from Nordstrom when I got home). Will be testing and report back soon!

Barneys and Bergdorfs Haul | The Beauty Look Book

At Creed I bought my husband the Original Vetiver Shaving Soap and Bowl – he’s been getting more into skincare and shaving and I thought this might be a nice unique gift for him even though it’s about 3x what he normally spends on a shaving soap. They wrapped everything beautifully and even made a couple fragrance samples for him!

Creed Original Vetiver Shaving Soap and Bowl | The Beauty Look Book

Some late night shopping at the Sephora in Times Square, they have Tom Ford, Natasha Denona and Pat McGrath. On Instastories a couple days ago I mentioned how many beauty insider points I had. I forgot that I had redeemed A LOT for Drybar and Supergoop goodies. I think I asked for all the sunscreen minis they had lol!

Sephora NYC Times Square Tom Ford | The Beauty Look Book

What I hauled from Sephora was more than I intended. I only was going to get the new Dior mascara but what was I thinking, I always leave the store with more than I had planned on buying:

Mega Sephora Haul | The Beauty Look Book

Last but not least a quick stop at Byredo. I had looked for the mint Hand Cream Duo at Barneys but they were sold out so I made a trip to the Byredo store on Wooster and it was very minimalist inside. If you’re looking for this you can find it online at Byredo and also online Neiman Marcus. It was beautiful but very sparse. Online and at counters the travel size perfumes come in pre-made sets. Usually you have to buy a set of 3 with the same scents although they occasionally release mixed discover ones. In the store you can make your own 3 piece or 6 piece set but they don’t have all the scents available. I made my own with 2 Mojave Ghost (I’ve had this on my wishlist for over 2 years, I don’t know why I didn’t just buy it earlier) and 1 Flowerhead. They recommend you only carry them inside the leather cases because the glass is fragile. I’m trying to be extra careful with mine as I have broken a couple.

Byredo Soho Wooster NYC | The Beauty Look Book

Byredo Haul | The Beauty Look Book

This is a shot of what I had with me on my way back home:

Travel NYC Packing List | The Beauty Look Book

Hope you enjoyed Part 2 of my three days in NYC posts! I already can’t wait to go back ๐Ÿ™‚ If you have any favorite spots whether it be shops, restaurants, coffee shops, hotels etc please let me know in the comments! I’ll bookmark them for my next trip!

Boutique New York Travel

Springtime Travels – Three Days in NYC

May 8, 2017

NYC Springtime Travels | The Beauty Look Book

Happy Monday lovelies! As promised I have a NYC post for you from my recent trip last month. I was in NYC for three days at the end of April. One day was for a conference and the other two days were for fun, exploration and a few meet-ups. Now that I’m on the East Coast, travel is a lot easier for me. It’s only a 2 hour flight from Tampa to NYC and I could not be happier! This was a short trip and I wish I could have had more time but I packed in as much as I could. This is Part 1 of 2. In this post I will share about where I stayed, what I saw and where I ate. In Part 2 I’ll share my full packing list and also what I hauled.

I flew into JFK and normally would have taken a taxi to the city, however my husband booked me a NY airport limousine service called Carmel Limousine. It was a bit pricier than a taxi but the fare covered tip and tolls and my husband wanted me to try it out. When it comes to travel and transportation I tend to be on the cheap side when traveling alone, my husband on the other hand always wants the best experience – he’s always really thoughtful when he helps me book my flights etc. When I flew in I was a bit worried about how I would find the car and driver. The way this works is you book your car and provide them your flight information and destination. The cars are usually waiting nearby or in the cell phone lot around the time of your arrival. There’s a number to call as soon as you land and they text you within seconds how soon the car will arrive and what model it is. In the window there will be a sign with your last name so you can tell which car is yours. My total wait time from the time I called was less than 5 minutes.

Cars were very clean, air conditioned and the drive was smooth. NYC taxis can be hit or miss with cleanliness and using this service was definitely a nice experience. If I were traveling with another person I think I would definitely use them again. On my way back my husband was going to book it again for me but since I didn’t know where I would be in the city I told him I’d just take a taxi back to the airport.

I couldn’t resist doing an Eva Chen-inspired shot (minus the fruit lol). Neverfull MM tote with a small Truffle Clarity Clutch mini (c/o) to hold all my travel essentials. Flats by Chloe. Jeans by Frame.

NYC Springtime Travels Carmel Limo Service | The Beauty Look Book

I traveled alone this trip so I decided try a smaller hotel. I had planned everything at the last minute and did not realize that the Tribeca Film Festival was happening the same week I was going to be in NY. In the course of a few days almost every hotel I had on my visit list was booked and almost double in price from their normal rates. Luckily I found one that was affordable with good reviews in Times Square in the theater district called RIU Plaza New York Times Square. I booked a King Size room and was thrilled to find that at check-in they gave me a room on the 26th floor (they have 28 floors). True to NYC style the room was very small, but it was clean, modern and functional. I had a pleasant stay – I would definitely stay here again, the location can’t be beat!

RIU Plaza New York Times Square Hotel Review | The Beauty Look Book

RIU Plaza New York Times Square Hotel Review | The Beauty Look Book

RIU Plaza New York Times Square Hotel Review | The Beauty Look Book

RIU Plaza New York Times Square Hotel Review | The Beauty Look Book

During my stay the weather was cloudy with some rain. I had checked the weather beforehand. Since moving to Florida I feel like I’ve been living in shorts and tanks and I knew the rest of the US was most likely not going to be in the high 80s. I packed an umbrella, several sets of layers, a few jackets and one pair of flats. The only thing I would have done differently for packing would have been to also pack some running shoes for easier walking. My flats were comfortable but there was a point where I wanted to walk through Central Park to find all of the cherry blossom trees (it was my first time seeing them in person!). I only made it about 1/2 a mile before I decided my feet and flats would not make the entire 2.5 mile walk in the rain.

Cherry Blossom Trees Spring NYC | The Beauty Look Book

One of the days I spend the entire day attending a conference in Soho. The conference was held by a company called Fohr Card and while I was dying to explore Soho, I was really happy to meet some other bloggers and make a few new friends. I ran into another blogger Kali from In Spades Blog and found out that we were both from San Diego, went to the same college and graduated the same year as me! Such a small world! We grabbed some dinner afterwards at Totto Ramen which I had been dying to try to catch up on life since graduating from business school. It was delicious! A quick snapshot of some other quick eats – on this trip I was on the go most of the day until late evening so relied on places open late. My brother made me promise to try this Indian street food place called Kati Roll and it was pretty close to my hotel so I did. It was also pretty good. One of the nights I grabbed some pizza by the slice near Times Square – I have really high expectations for pizza and even though it had really high ratings on Yelp I thought it was just ok. It hit the spot though – unfortunately I don’t remember the name of it.

NYC Eats - Totto Ramen, Pizza by the slice, Kati Roll

The following day was the highlight of my trip. I met up with long-time blogger friend Amy from Cafe Makeup. We’ve been pen pals for years and I’ve followed her blog for as long as I can remember. We spent the day exploring and shopping and had the best time! A look our stops below. We covered a lot of ground in one day: light breakfast at the Palm Court, a trip to B&H Photo (amazing!), a stop at the Creed Boutique, fun at Bergdorf Goodman, search for By Terry at Barneys New York, lunch and a meet up with Edward Bess, and then another trip back to Bergdorfs because we decided we needed more bronzer in our life.

Palm Court breakfast:

Palm Court NYC with Cafe Makeup

Perfume heaven at Creed:

Creed Boutique Madison Ave NYC

Shopping heaven at Bergdorf Goodman:

Bergdorf Goodman Shopping Heaven | The Beauty Look Book

Excited to see the entire line of Christian Louboutin Beauty in person!

Bergdorf Goodman Louboutin Beaute Counter | The beauty look book

Walking into the beauty level at Barneys New York, can you spot the By Terry counter?

Barneys New York beauty level makeup heaven | The beauty look book

Afternoon dessert with Edward Bess, I look so tan next to him! Thanks Cafe Makeup for the snap ๐Ÿ™‚

Edward Bess x The Beauty Look Book selfie time

Beauty playtime with Edward:

Lunch with Edward Bess | The Beauty Look Book

Quick snapshots of Soho, Laduree, Repetto, Byredo:

Soho Springtime NYC | The Beauty Look Book

Soho NYC Byredo | The Beauty Look Book

Had to make a stop at the new Away store in Soho. They will deliver anywhere in New York and often have same day delivery which is genius! For those who know they’ll need an extra bag to take home items with them but don’t want to fly into the city with extra luggage this is perfect! They’ll deliver to your hotel ๐Ÿ™‚

Away Travel Store in Soho NYC | The Beauty Look Book

Bryant Park at night:

Bryant Park at Night | The Beauty Look Book

Selfie at my happy place Sephora Times Square, short trench by J.Crew (old style, current Icon Style here), denim by Frame, iPhone case by Gray Malin.

Sephora Times Square NYC | The Beauty look Book

I hope you enjoyed this mini travel diary! I had so much fun in the short time I was there. Have you ever been to NYC for a short trip? What recommendations, tips or advice do you have for quick short trips? Give then amount of time I was there I was happy with what I booked in. I did waste some time by getting lost (I did a lot of walking) but sometimes getting lost takes you some fun unexpected places.

Part 2 to follow tomorrow with my packing list and haul!

Boutique Fragrance New York

Creed + High Camp Gardenias for Mother’s Day

May 1, 2017

Creed x High Camp Gardenias Spring Flower | The Beauty Look Book

For Mother’s Day this year Creed has partnered with High Camp Gardenias to create a special limited-edition gift set available exclusively online at CreedBoutique.com from May 1st to May 10th. High Camp Supply specializes in fresh gardenia vines and blooms which are cut to order in California and then shipped in a beautiful glossy white box. Together both companies have created a memorable gift with a few options depending on how many flowers and perfume you pick. For this collaboration they have the Vine and Bloom Gift Sets which come with a mix of loose gardenia blooms and gardenias on the vine.

  • Creed x High Camp Supply Vine and Bloom Gift Set (25 to 30 flowers) $479 to $549
  • Creed x High Camp Supply Deluxe Vine and Bloom Gift Set (45 to 50 flowers) $539 to $609
  • Available fragrances for purchase to choose from include Love in White, Royal Princess Oud, Spring Flower, Acqua Fiorentina or Fleurs de Gardenia

I was fortunate to be gifted Spring Flower and the Vine and Bloom Gift Set (bottle is the 2.5 fl oz) and as a lover of flowers and perfumes find this to be unique and simply exquisite. The price of the perfume ($350) and gardenias ($129) individually add up to the same price as the set so there’s no price break.

Creed x High Camp Gardenias Spring Flower | The Beauty Look Book

The gardenias arrive in a white glossy cardboard box that’s sturdy. There is a cold pack inside the box to keep everything temperature controlled and fresh while it’s being shipped. The perfume is wrapped with a plastic sleeve so the box is protected from any condensation that occurs while it’s in transit. There are care instructions for how to unbox and care for the flowers. They arrive closed but open up within a few hours with the most exquisite gardenia scent I’ve ever smelled. I love that there is a mix of blooms and vines.

When we moved we didn’t bring all of our dishes with us (we gifted away a lot of things we couldn’t fit in our moving truck). I only had a West Elm round lacquer tray with handles so I tried using it as a bowl by taping the holes. The lacquer won’t hold up water for an extended period of time around the base so we made a quick trip to Crate and Barrel to pick up a Serving Bowl which worked perfectly. For the vines I placed them in a large recycled ceramic Diptyque Candle jar.

Creed x High Camp Gardenias Spring Flower | The Beauty Look Book

After a few hours the blooms fully open up and the fragrance from these flowers literally filled our entire home. Care instructions that come with the box:

Creed x High Camp Gardenias Spring Flower | The Beauty Look Book

Blooms straight out of the box placed into a vase and bowl:

Creed x High Camp Gardenias Spring Flower | The Beauty Look Book

Creed x High Camp Gardenias Spring Flower | The Beauty Look Book

Fully opened blooms after a few hours:

Creed x High Camp Gardenias Spring Flower | The Beauty Look Book

Creed x High Camp Gardenias Spring Flower | The Beauty Look Book

Creed x High Camp Gardenias Spring Flower | The Beauty Look Book

Shown above: Lip color is Chanel Rouge Coco Gloss in 728 Rose Pulpe over Tom Ford Lip Color in Spanish Pink, top by Paige, nail color is Essie Topless and Barefoot

Creed x High Camp Gardenias Spring Flower | The Beauty Look Book

While in NYC last week I was able to meet up with a long-time blogger friend Cafe Makeup and we made a stop at the Creed Boutique on Madison Avenue. I had the best experience there. The staff there is very knowledgable and friendly. The boutique experience can be hit or miss in my experience and this visit was one of the best ones I’ve had. Even though I only own a few pieces from Creed, the brand has special meaning to me, in particular the scent Spring Flower. While I was in college I went on a study abroad program in Oxford for a summer. My room mate Laura (who became my bestie) and I arrived in the UK a week before classes started so we would have some time to explore London. She was on a mission to find Spring Flower and took me all over London looking for a store that carried Creed because at that time it was not available near us. At that time I was not into perfume at all and I completely credit her for sparking my interest in fragrance. Onto a quick peek at the boutique. I bought one gift for my husband which I’ll share in my NYC post later this week. I now have Aventus for Men on my wishlist to give to him as it’s probably the hottest male scent in a bottle I’ve ever smelled.

Creed Boutique Madison Avenue | The Beauty Look Book

Creed Boutique Madison Ave NYC | The Beauty Look Book

Creed Boutique Madison Avenue New York | The Beauty Look Book

Creed Boutique Madison Avenue in NYC | The Beauty Look Book

Hope you enjoyed this roundup and peek into my recent NYC trip. If you can visit the store while in NY I highly recommend it. I did a sneak peek on Instagram last week and was thrilled to find so many other Creed lovers! You gave me some amazing recommendations which I’ve noted and will be taking with me on my next counter visit (there’s a counter near me in Tampa!).

Quick recap on the Mother’s Day set. It will be available exclusively online at CreedBoutique.com from May 1st to May 10th, orders must be placed by 12 pm PST. Available scents with this set include Love in White, Royal Princess Oud, Spring Flower, Acqua Fiorentina and Fleurs de Gardenia. Prices vary depending on the scent you pick and which flower box you choose.

Do you have any Creed favorites? I’ve been spritzing Spring Flower since I got back home to Florida every day and am obsessed although I still really love Virgin Island Water.

Many thanks to Creed for gifting this beautiful set and for allowing me to photograph the inside of their NYC store.

New York Travel

Langham Place New York

July 5, 2016

It’s been over a week since I’ve returned home from New York and I’m still energized to the point of almost glowing from my trip because I had such an amazing time. Today I’m sharing something a bit different than I normally do on The Beauty Look Book because when I have an experience that is out of the ordinary I want everyone to know. During our week in New York my husband and I stayed at Langham Place New York located in Midtown Manhattan and it is the best hotel we have ever stayed at. Prior to our trip it took quite a while for me to research hotels – to date my husband and I plan our trips on our own and my go-to review source for hotels is TripAdvisor which helps me narrow down places by location, ratings, price point etc. I picked out Langham Place New York after much consideration and I am beyond thrilled that I did. The hotel exceeded our expectations in every way. I think it is rare that I can say that something was perfect in every way, but my experience staying here was. The service was top notch right from the time we booked our rooms all the way to the day we checked out. In a city that never sleeps, being able to stay at a place that feels like a relaxing home away from home was priceless.
Langham Place New York is located on 5th Avenue within walking distance from the Empire State Building. We found it to be the perfect location for us even though getting around the city is very easy, we found it central to all the places we wanted to visit. Aside from location, spacious modern rooms, luxurious feel, the best thing about this hotel is the service. Everyone was welcoming, friendly, professional, courteous and each person went out of their way to be helpful in any and every way possible.

The rooms have a residence feel with a very open and spacious feel. A repeated theme on hotel reviews for New York is that hotel rooms are small and expensive. If you read the reviews on Langham Place New York, one thing that will stand out is everyone comments on how spacious the rooms are and most have said the service is phenomenal. I wholeheartedly agree and upon entering our room, both my husband and I were blown away. He did not want to splurge for our trip on the hotel, but this experience changed his mind completely and by the end he agreed that this place is indeed worth the splurge. Our room had a mini kitchen and separate living area near the entrance. Also not shown included a Miele laundry machine + dryer. I did not do laundry on this trip but my husband did as he hates traveling with dirty socks even if he brings extra pairs with him.

A look inside the hotel, mainly our room. After staying here for four nights, I did not want to leave. If you look closely below you will see a Nespresso machine. Heart won! They also leave the most amazing cookies on the nightstands during turn down along with bottled water. Heart won yet again ๐Ÿ™‚

View from our room:

A very kind welcome note left by the Managing Director. I’ve never received a welcome note before so this touched my heart to the core!

Can I transport this bathroom to my own home please? 

TV monitor built into the mirror!

Husband’s half of the bathroom:

Travel minis that I brought with me:

Sunset view:

Travel beauty: 

Fully equipped fitness center:

In room breakfast with a view: 

During our stay we had room service for breakfast once which was simple yet refreshing. We wanted to try the restaurant Ai Fiori as it had amazing reviews but we were only in town for a short time and chose to explore the city instead. Everyone on the staff from the doormen to concierge and room service was very helpful – I cannot express in words how impressed I was. Literally everyone greets you in the most welcoming way (this happened throughout our entire stay).  The Langham Place New York hotel takes luxury to a new level and after having such a great experience and I will definitely have this place at the top of my list for the next time I visit New York.

I will have a post tomorrow on packing and how I fit everything into a carry on going to New York, but I wanted to make a quick note that by the end of my trip, I had more than I could carry in a suit case so I decided to ship a large box back home via FedEx. I packed what I wanted to ship in a large bag and was about to hail a cab to a FedEx shipping center when one of the doormen kindly told me the concierge would pack and ship everything for me from the hotel. I was still curious about how much it would cost (and how long it would take) to ship on my own for reference in case some readers are traveling to a hotel or destination that does not offer the same service. He kindly pointed me in the direction of a FedEx that was a lot closer than the one I was headed towards initially. It was within a 5 minute walk and actually inside the Empire State Building (just around the corner from the main entrance). As I was shipping my box I thought was pretty neat to be inside the side walls of the Empire State Building. The shipping process was quick and easy, they measured, boxed and packed everything for me and sat me down at one of the stations to enter my shipping and payment information. The whole process took maybe 5 minutes at most and there was no line when I arrived. It cost me only $40ish to ship a large box about 20 pounds second day which I thought was very reasonable.
Back to a few more thoughts on Langham Place New York. I think there’s nothing that can match a really good hotel experience and if you are able to stay here while in New York, I think you will enjoy it as well. In all the years and places I’ve traveled to there have been very few hotels I’ve stayed at that have made a strong enough impression to be memorable, Langham Place has made the list. You can see more about their rooms and amenities on their website gallery.
If you’re researching New York City hotels for trips I hope you found this review helpful! The number of options are almost overwhelming and it took me hours and days of making lists, checking availability and checking my list again to narrow down which one to stay at. I hands down recommend Langham Place New York. If you have any favorites I would love to hear about where your go-to spots are. It’s been a long time since I’ve last been to New York and after having visited I do think I need to try to go more often. I already cannot wait until my next trip back.
Boutique New York Travel

Birchbox Soho Flagship Store in NYC

July 1, 2016

While in New York I stopped by the Birchbox Flagship Store located at 433 West Broadway in Soho. Most of us know Birchbox for their monthly subscription boxes but if you were able to stop by one of their #Birchboxinmycity Road Trip Destinations last year you were able to catch a glimpse of what their store setup looks like road trip style (Los Angeles covered in this post here). If you’re in NYC I highly recommend giving this store a visit. For the ladies who travel with their husbands, boyfriends or brothers – it’s not just a store for women, there’s an entire floor dedicated to men’s grooming and lifestyle. You can bring your male travel companions with you, send him to men’s floor while you look at makeup, skincare and fragrance and don’t have to worry about him being bored or impatient while you shop ๐Ÿ™‚

This store is really a one-stop-shop for beauty and skincare essentials. As mentioned in my last post, between Birchbox and Space NK I found that they carried all the items I would need for a week’s worth of travel. One of the nice things about Birchbox is that they have curated Discovery Sets stocked with minis in addition to travel-sized beauty items you can buy so you don’t have to worry about buying large full size items that you can’t bring put inside a carry-on. I will say though during my trip I ended up picking up quite a few full-sized liquids over the security limit. I ended up shipping items in a large FedEx box home so I didn’t have to check it. (More on this in my packing post soon.)
Onto a look inside the beautiful store. Birchbox organizes their store by product category rather than having brand-dedicated sections. The staff at the store is very helpful and knowledgeable – if you need help picking out items someone is there to guide you and give recommendations. There are two levels, the ground level is for women and there’s a lower level for me.

Sun care, hair care, Oribe Travel Surf Set and Volume Set Trios (both reviewed here) alongside the limited-edition Sunny Side Boxes for summer:

Smith and Cult polishes:

More Hair Care to explore:

Makeup:

Skincare shown on the left, Discovery Sets on the right:

At the end of the store they have a Build Your Own Birchbox station where you can pick out 5 items to build your own box. You pick out 1 item from 5 categories covering skincare, body, fragrance, makeup and hair.

A look at the Men’s Shop with grooming, skincare, fragrance and body care and BYOB stations:

A few last shots of the women’s shop:

I built two Birchboxes in the store, one for husband (he did not go to the store with me) and one for myself. Inside my husband’s are minis of Baxter of California Grooming Lotion (his favorite hair grooming product), Baxter Facial Scrub, Eau Profonde Cologne, Junk Stuff (the name got me lol), Under Eye Patches, and a USB Cable – the men’s boxes have a lifestyle option.

For mine I picked out minis of Coola Sport Sunscreen in Fresh Mango SPF 50, Malin+Goetz Peppermint Shampoo, Avene Cleanance Cleansing Gel, Comptoir Sud Pacific Vanille Abricot and Mally Shadow Stick in Copper Rose.

 

So happy I was able to stop by the store and that the social team let me take photographs to my heart’s desire. I visited bright and early right when the store opened and had a lot of fun exploring. I think I could have spent an entire day inside – everything is very clean and organized which makes for a great shopping experience.

If you are in the area I highly recommend giving it a visit for a fun yet relaxing beauty shopping experience. Hope you enjoyed taking a peek inside the store! For those planning a visit, check out their Birchbox Soho page for location, hours and store events.
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