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Summer Miami Getaway

July 26, 2018

EAST Miami Hotel Review | The Beauty Look Book

Earlier this month we took a spontaneous trip to Miami. This was our third visit to Miami (first trip here during Art Basel and second trip snippets here for the Boat Show) and we decided to try all new things. Some might say staying in South Beach is one of the best ways to experience Miami. I think it’s definitely worth doing and we loved staying at the beach on previous trips. There’s actually a lot more to explore around the city too! This round we stayed in Brickell for three days and had a great time. We also spent time in Wynwood (where the food is amazing!). There’s still so much on my list that I want to see, I hope next time we can stay a little bit longer. Trip recap, food recommendations and highlights below.

Where We Stayed

We booked a room at EAST, Miami located in Brickell. It came highly recommended by a few friends and we decided to try it. It’s attached to the Brickell City Centre which has some really good shopping like Diptyque, Saks, Sephora etc. In addition it’s one of the stopping points for the Metromover which is a free transit system. They are mini metrorail cars which take you short distances from Brickell to Bayfront Park or Museum Park.

I found a good deal on Hotels.com for a Bay King Room. These are corner rooms that run around 410 sq feet with views of the city and bay plus a wrap-around balcony. Our room was on the 26th floor and the views were amazing! We had a really nice stay and both highly recommend it. Rooms were clean, beautifully designed, modern and the views were incredible with both sunshine and stormy skies. Summer weather in Florida can be a bit crazy but we are used to it living in Tampa now for a year and half (time flies!). As we drove into Miami we passed through a major thunder lightening storm. Rain was so heavy we could barely see the cars in front of us. By the time we arrived at Brickell the skies were clear but we did see storms throughout the week. Lightening shot through the entire sky in the evening which was both scary and fascinating at the same time from high up in the sky. Storms are usually scattered and often pass through quickly. However there are times multiple storms pass through!

East Miami Hotel Review Stay

Top Bella Dahl, Shorts STS Blue, Sunglasses Kate Spade

East Miami Hotel Views City

East Miami Hotel Review | The Beauty Look Book

Views during a storm and at night:

Miami Skyline Brickell

East Miami Hotel Pool

Where We Ate

Again a priority on our agenda was to find amazing food. We had a rather indulgent few days but it was 100% worth it. Our previous favorites include Bodega and Taquiza in South Beach and we were both dying to go back but forced ourselves to try new places. We had one miss, but the rest were hits! Places we tried:

  • All Day located at 1035 N Miami Avenue @alldaymia – We stopped here for breakfast, as we drove up we had second thoughts but decided to try it anyways because of the reviews. This was one of the best breakfasts I’ve ever had. Don’t let the exterior deter you! Inside is minimalist and cute. We ordered the Runny and Everything, Avocado Tartine and one regular croissant. For our caffeine fix I had the Double Shot + Milk and Andrew ordered the Pourover. Everything was excellent although a bit steep in price.
  • Coyo Taco (Brickell) located at 1111 SW 1st Ave @coyotaco – This was our only miss. Perhaps the other locations are better, but the food was just ok. Not worth the calories for either of us even though the menu looked really good!
  • Panther Coffee (Wynwood) located at 2390 NW 2nd Ave @panthercoffee – Dozens of you recommended this place to me months ago. I’m so glad we finally made it. This place has the strongest and most intense coffee and espresso I’ve ever tried.
  • The Salty Donut located at 50 NW 23rd St #112 @thesaltydonut – Life changing donuts. I think the flavors change but the Tres Leches was the best one. We bought extras to take home to Andrew’s parents and I wanted to eat them all the 4 hour drive back to Tampa. I will do anything for these donuts.
  • 1-800-Lucky located at 143 NW 23rd St @1800lucky – This is a food court-style restaurant with different Asian food stations. We thoroughly enjoyed the buns and dumplings.
  • Taiyaki NYC in Miami, located inside 1-800-Lucky @taiyakinyc – I’m so impressed Andrew found this place! He told me earlier in the day that he found the perfect place for dessert but wouldn’t tell me where. They had a limited Pineapple Twist that comes inside a small pineapple. I ordered one of the rainbow sprinkle options in their fish-shaped ice cream cone which has red bean at the base. My hands were entirely covered with melting ice cream as I ate it all.

Miami Eats: All Day, Coyo Taco, 1-800-LuckyMiami Sweet Eats Taiyaki, Panther Coffee and The Salty DonutThe Salty Donut Miami

Tee Madewell, Sunglasses Kate Spade, Nail Polish OPI Climb Every Castle

Other Visits

We took our time to explore and do a little shopping. We actually didn’t make it to South Beach this round because there was so much to do and see in Brickell and Wynwood! The weather this time of year is heavy with thunder and lightening storms. They are scattered similar to Tampa. One area will be experiencing a downpour while a few miles away will be clear and sunny.

  • Brickell City Centre – This is a cute mall and I stopped by at Saks Fifth Avenue since we don’t have one in Tampa. There are always so many cute clothes inside this one! I bought this Joie top and wore it right away (also on sale here). There’s a Diptyque store as well with the Miami candle but I had stopped by on previous trips so didn’t go back this round.
  • Museum Park – We stopped by to walk around the beautiful park area and visit the Perez Art Museum but the day we stopped by the Museum was closed. Hopefully next time! We got some really good pictures as the area is beautiful.
  • Wynwood Walls and the neighborhood – We had driven through Wynwood during Art Basel last December. If you’ve ever been to Miami during that time you know it’s pretty chaotic everywhere! We were happy to stop by this time when it was less crowded. We ate at a few places here, stopped by the Wynwood Walls and walked around the area.

Miami Travels

Museum Park Miami

Top by Joie, Shorts by BlankNYC (similar), Sandals Tory Burch, Bag Chloe, Sunglasses Kate Spade

 

Miami Wynwood

Miami Wynwood Walls

Miami Wynwood Le Labo Posters

Miami Vacation East Hotel Elevators

What I Packed + What I Wore

I packed a bunch of shorts and tank tops. This light blue top from Bella Dahl has been one of my favorites for months now. It’s perfect for Florida weather. I also picked up a few things while in Miami. I had to change each day as we ended up leaving our umbrella in the car each time we were out and got caught in downpours. I was 100% drenched head to toe. Each time we thought the rain would pass within 15 minutes or so, but it did not. The good thing about Florida rain is that it’s hot warm rain. Once it stops you can dry off fairly quickly but even damp clothes are prone to sticking to you with the humidity. My note to self is to bring my own umbrella even if Andrew says “it’s probably not going to rain.”

Summer Packing Away Bigger Carry On

What I packed in my Bigger Carry-On from Away. We brought two other suitcases with us, one for Andrew and one for workout clothes and sneakers. I didn’t end up wearing any of my sneakers during the trip. I’m forever in sandals!

Away Bigger Carry-On Luggage

Outfits I packed for a mini getaway, two of the tops I bought on the trip:

Summer Miami Outfits Packing Picks

From left to right, top row first, then bottom row:

Accessories and Shoes:

Summer Vacation Accessories Lack of Color, Chloe Mini Marcie, Tory Burch Marsden, The Daily Edited

Shown above I packed one small crossbody (which held up in the rain really well, I wouldn’t recommend letting it get soaked though) and one tote. I also brought a couple hats but didn’t end up wearing them this round.

Makeup Picks: I was really impressed that my makeup held up in Miami heat. Even Andrew was! The only problem is with travel photographs the color doesn’t always show up in photos but in real life it looks good and stays put! If you want a full list of everything let me know and I’ll list it all. I found the Armani Neo Nude Powder and Becca Be a Light Palette in Light/Medium to be amazing for setting the face and staying put. I finally tried the Armani Face Fabric (my shade is #4) because so many of you were asking me to. I don’t like the ingredients but it truly performed well and looked like skin in a natural matte way. The key is to apply with fingers and rub it in a circular motion. No clogged pores or irritation with this one! The Chanel Les Beiges Multi Color Powder in Medium served me well all through the trip. My top skincare pick is the Kate Somerville Eradikate Cleanser because it really helps prevent breakouts. And as always my go-to sunscreen is anything from Supergoop!. Everything fit inside The Daily Edited Transparent Cosmetic Case and Large Cosmetic Case.

Summer Travel Makeup Essentials

A few other snapshots:

Miami Brickell

Miami Wynwood Street Graffiti

Andrew’s sneakers are Cole Haan Grandpro Stitchlite from the Nordstrom sale (also just ordered him these), mine are the Tory Burch Sienna Sandals in white (I went up 1/2 a size from my normal Tory Burch sizing). My toe polish color is Chanel Resplendisant.

 

Miami Wynwood Travel Diary

Miami Travel Diary

We had a really nice and relaxing time. Miami can get pretty hectic if a major event is happening so it was nice to explore the city when it was a bit calmer. In hindsight we should have booked one or two more days to enjoy the city more, but for a last minute spontaneous trip I think we’d call it a success! Hopefully we can go back to Miami soon. I’m dying for another Salty Donut. I was in a state of sugar bliss the entire day after we stopped by.

Thanks for following along! As always I truly appreciate your travel recommendations. If you have any more Miami recs let me know in the comments! I have some really exciting news I’ve shared on Instagram @beautylookbook today – thank you so much for all your love and support 🙂

 

Packing Travel What's In My Bag

The Daily Edited Transparent Cosmetic Case vs. Anya Hindmarch Inflight Cosmetic Case

July 16, 2018

Best Clear Makeup Bags The Daily Edited vs Anya Hindmarch | The Beauty Look Book

I’ve owned and loved the Anya Hindmarch Inflight Cosmetic Case for several years now. It was quite the splurge for me and I’m thrilled at how well it has held up over many trips. It’s been a travel companion across the world. The Anya Hindmarch Inflight cases run from $275 to $425 depending on color and material. Due to the high price tag many of you have asked for a recommendation for a cheaper dupe. I’ve finally found one for $70 from The Daily Edited. I spotted and hauled a couple of their Transparent Cosmetic Cases in Black and Taupe during my summer New York Trip while visiting their beautiful store on Bleecker Street. I wanted to give it a proper test before reviewing it and I’m happy to report it’s every bit as good as the Anya Hindmarch one. As soon as I got home I ordered a few more online from The Daily Edited. I like to have some on hand for last minute gifts and have also decided to try and have an on-the-go bag packed with a few staples so I’m not frantically scrambling at the last minute for trips. By now a few of the colors have sold out and are on pre-order again. If you have your eye on these I highly recommend doing a pre-order if you can. They are perfect for travel and in my experience they are really efficient and timely. They have always shipped product by the pre-order date listed (from my personal ordering).

I’m going to give you a side by side comparison of the Anya Hindmarch Inflight Cosmetic Case and The Daily Edited Transparent Cosmetic Case. First a few details and specs:

  • Anya Hindmarch Inflight Cosmetic Case
    • Price range $275 to $425ish (I’ve been told some have spotted these in airports at duty-free for less)
    • Color options – mine is a Black Patent, color options are often seasonal, most on the Anya Hindmarch website
    • Materials – clear plastic and various leather finishes and colors
    • Dimensions – approximately 4.7″ H x 3.2″W x 8.7″D
    • Compartments – two, larger zippered top and smaller zippered bottom
    • Where to buy: Anya Hindmarch, Saks Fifth Avenue, Net-A-Porter, Bergdorf Goodman
  • The Daily Edited Transparent Cosmetic Case
    • Price – $70
    • Color options – Taupe, Pale Pink, Black, Ink Navy
    • Material – PVC and saffiano leather
    • Dimensions – approximately 4.5″ x 3″ x W 8.5″
    • Compartments – two, larger zippered top and smaller zippered bottom
    • Where to buy: The Daily Edited online, NYC Bleecker Street Store also available inside the Saks Fifth Avenue Store in NYC

Both brand options are really close in size. By now with regular use and wear the Anya Hindmarch Inflight case isn’t quite as rigid and has become a little squishy but still retains its shape pretty well. Both also have two zippered compartments with the smaller end having an elastic band to hold things in place (I rarely use this function). The logo and detailing are different with The Daily Edited only having their branding on the interior. The exterior portions on the top center are left blank so you can custom monogram them with initials or emojis! You can have the print be gold or blind. For lettering you can also customize font size and type options. I usually leave mine blank or opt for the blind initials.

Some side by sides:

The Daily Edited Transparent Cosmetic Case vs Anya Hindmarch Inflight Travel Case | The Beauty Look Book

Side detailing:

The Daily Edited Transparent Cosmetic Case vs Anya Hindmarch Inflight Travel Case

What they look like opened:

The Daily Edited Transparent Cosmetic Case vs Anya Hindmarch Inflight Travel Case

Black, Pale Pink and Taupe:

The Daily Edited Transparent Cosmetic Case review | The Beauty Look Book

Below is a look at what I was able to fit inside my Daily Edited Transparent cosmetic case. It takes some playing around to make items fit as efficiently as possible to waste as little space. I was able to fit all this without any bulging. Since the material is a clear plastic I try not to over stuff it as prolonged stretching could possibly stretch and ruin the material. I haven’t had any issues with the plastic shifting on either the Anya Hindmarch or The Daily Edited but do take care of my leather goods.

The Daily Edited Transparent Cosmetic Case Review via The Beauty Look Book

The Daily Edited Transparent Cosmetic Case Review via The Beauty Look Book

Everything I was able to fit inside with some stacking and maneuvering:

  • 3 Tom Ford Compacts
  • NARS Large blush in Orgasm
  • NARS Highlighting Powder
  • 4 Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Sticks
  • 2 Laura Mercier Velour Extreme
  • Tom Ford Skin Illuminator
  • Eyelash Curler
  • Armani Face Fabric
  • Diorskin Forever Undercover
  • Jo Malone small perfume
  • Tom Ford Soleil Blanc atomizer
  • NARS Orgasm Lip Balm
  • Glossier Lash Slick
  • Chanel Les Beiges Tint
  • 4 Chanel Rouge Coco Gloss
  • Dior Lipstick
  • Charlotte Tilbury Lipstick
  • Sisley Phyto-Lip Delight
  • Becca Be a Light Palette
  • Flat comb
  • A few skincare minis wedged in the nooks

A couple other mentions of similar alternatives. One is from Mecca which is an Australian company and they have launched a couple colors of their Jet Set Travel Bag. I really wanted to try this last holiday but the problem for me is that purchases from the website can only be delivered in Australia. Any international orders have to be done over the phone which was a hassle for me. The next is the Truffle Clarity Jetset Case ($85) which I own a few colors of. You can buy these on the Truffle website but this style is also now available at Nordstrom! This style has a clear top and base with leather but only has one compartment and is also smaller measuring 2″ H X 7 1/2” W X 5 1/4” D. If you need something smaller or more compact this is a great alternative. Truffle has been a long-time favorite for their flat clear pouches. I carry them constantly. I’ve bought every one of my close friends and family one and it always makes me happy when they send me pics of them using them!

Best Chic Clear Makeup Bags from The Daily Edited, Anya Hindmarch and Truffle | The Beauty Look Book

Quick peek at some packing things I did for Miami recently (plus one newly hauled item). I’ll have a full Miami recap soon as many of you have been asking me about food recommendations! We found some really great new places and I’m putting everything together in a roundup. Also shown is the Away Bigger Carry-On Suitcase, hat from Lack of Colour, Chloe Mini Marcie Bag (will also review this soon), Tom Ford Soleil Blanc Atomizer (back individually!), Kate Spade Sunglasses (on sale at Nordstrom), Tom Ford Firelust Skin Illuminator, Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Concealer, Armani Neo Nude Powder, Chanel Les Beiges Tint, Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette (just hauled, will also review soon), Tory Burch Sienna Sandals, Celine knot bracelet.

Packing Away Carry On via The Beauty Look Book

A look at some of other items from The Daily Edited that I own. I purchased all of these myself. I’ve reviewed the Large Cosmetic case a number of times before. You can see it in a few travel packing posts like this one here.

The Daily Edited Cosmetic Cases via The Beauty Look Book

Left to right: Transparent Cosmetic Case in Black, Taupe and Pale Pink, Travel Case in Taupe, Large Cosmetic Case in Black. One last look below of The Daily Edited Transparent Cosmetic Case vs. Anya Hindmarch Inflight Cosmetic Case and one tip on how to clean the plastic. As with any clear material it’s going to get finger prints if you have oils on your fingers whether it’s from makeup, skincare or dirty hands. I use the Novus Plastic Clean and Shine Spray or the Fine Scratch Remover to clean my plastics and acrylic containers. You can find it at places like on Amazon or The Container Store. It’s pretty versatile but before you use it on anything ALWAYS make sure you do a patch test first!

One thought on how to store these and keep their shape. The ones I ordered online came with foam cut stuffing shaped perfectly to the interior of The Daily Edited cases. This seemed to help keep their structure. The ones I bought in store did not but I could have probably asked if they had any on-hand to put inside. As with any soft material, it’s going to have a little bit of squishing if it’s not propped up with some kind of hard stuffing material. I’m going to keep the cases stuffed when not in use. As you can see with the Anya Hindmarch, it’s softened a little bit around the edges where the plastic sides are, but I’ve never stuffed it and it has still retained its shape nicely.

The Daily Edited Transparent Cosmetic Case vs Anya Hindmarch Inflight Travel Case | The Beauty Look Book

Overall I’m really loving The Daily Edited Transparent cosmetic cases. At $70 each I think they’re reasonably priced for the quality and design. I especially love that they have regular metal zippers rather than the tassels. The extra tassels can be fun but when you’re trying to pack and get everything to fit inside a suitcase they can get in the way because they’re a bit bulky. I’ve only used The Daily Edited Transparent cosmetic case on one trip so far so I can’t report on how long it will hold up compared to the Anya Hindmarch which I’ve had for around 3 years now. I have owned some of the other Daily Edited products for over a year, they’ve gone through some travel and lots of moving and have held up 100%.

Hope this review helps! Do you have any favorite clear makeup bags or clear travel case favorites? If you have any other questions let me know in the comments below.

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.

 

California Packing Travel

Weekend Los Angeles Travel Diary

December 10, 2017

Mr. C Beverly Hills Hotel Los Angeles Travel Diary | The Beauty Look Book

I have two travel diaries to share as we’ve spent a few weeks traveling this holiday from coast to coast! Two weekends ago Andrew and I flew to Los Angeles for my bestie’s wedding. We spent a few extra days in town to visit some of our favorite spots and meet up with some family as well. It’s been only 10 months since we left California and I can’t believe a lot has already changed in LA! Lots of new construction, new stores and massive mall renovations. We were in town for close to 3 days. This was a short trip and I wish we had been able to stay a full week but hopefully we will be able to travel back to the West Coast in the new year. Trip highlights and photo diary below!

Where we stayed: Mr. C Beverly Hills

For this trip Andrew and I stayed at Mr. C Beverly Hills and had an amazing stay. This was our second time staying at this hotel and it couldn’t be more perfect. I’ve stayed at a number of hotels in Los Angeles before and this one has been my favorite. The hotel has beautiful rooms, excellent service, amazing views and it’s also located in a great spot in Beverly Hills. It’s clean, modern, romantic and just lovely.

Mr. C Beverly Hills Hotel Los Angeles Travel Diary | The Beauty Look Book

Mr. C Beverly Hills Hotel Los Angeles Travel Diary | The Beauty Look Book

His and hers Away Suitcases, these are the regular Carry-On Size (reviewed here)

Mr. C Beverly Hills Hotel Los Angeles Travel Diary | The Beauty Look Book

Mr. C Beverly Hills Hotel Los Angeles Travel Diary | The Beauty Look Book

Mr. C Beverly Hills Hotel Los Angeles Travel Diary | The Beauty Look Book

Mr. C Beverly Hills Hotel Los Angeles Travel Diary | The Beauty Look Book

Travel beauty shelfie: let me know if you want the full beauty pack list and I’ll try to do a separate travel beauty post. In the meantime you can see my Travel Beauty Cases post here. What I packed on previous trips in my Dallas Travel Diary and San Francisco Pack List. I tend to repeat a lot of items. I traveled with the Dyson Supersonic Dryer for the first time and found it was absolutely essential for me. It will definitely be going on future trips! If you buy one make sure you find a good storage case for it. The one I have came with a pouch. I think the hard case version will probably be more ideal to protect it.

Travel Beauty Shelfie

Mr C Beverly Hills Hotel

Sightseeing spots:

We’ve both been to Los Angeles a number of times so we picked a few sightseeing spots to visit. One of our favorite things to do is to look for night-time viewpoints. Since my brother is based in LA he has been able to show us some amazing view points! Places we stopped by:

Santa Monica Pier Sunsets | The Beauty Look Book

Santa Monica for the sunset and beach

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Beverly Hills Nighttime Lights

Night City Views from our Hotel

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Griffith Observatory Night View December 2017

Griffith Observatory Night View December 2017

Griffith Observatory

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Hollywood Sign Viewpoint Beachwood Drive

View of the Hollywood Sign from Beachwood Drive. If you’re driving along this street make sure you don’t keep going straight up into the hills! Turn off before you reach the hill otherwise you’ll get stuck like we did. The streets are narrow and windy and it took us forever to find our way back down!

Where we shopped:

Westfield Century City is a newly renovated mall and it’s amazing! There are still a lot of stores under construction with “coming soon” signs but there is a lot to find there. It’s especially great if you want a central location to shop with a lot to offer. The Nordstrom there has the most amazing beauty department I’ve seen in the US – they have Tom Ford, a Space NK wall, Atelier Cologne, Frederic Mall, a Natural Beauty section and so much more.

Nordstrom Century City Mall | The Beauty Look Book

Nordstrom Century City Mall | The Beauty Look Book

We also stopped by a few boutiques including Penhaligon’s and Aesop. The Aesop store is just so beautiful – all of them are! The staff is genuinely friendly, helpful, non-pushy and knowledgeable.

Aesop Century City Store Los Angeles | The Beauty Look Book

We made a quick stop inside Barneys New York on Rodeo Drive, I love this store 🙂

Barneys New York Beverly Hills Store | The Beauty Look Book

One evening we had dinner in Venice Beach on Abbott Kinney. I made a quick stop inside Hourglass store to see what was new. Anxiously waiting for spring launches!

Hourglass Store Abbot Kinney Venice

Also on Abbot Kinney is an amazing Smashbox store! They have a lipstick bar and lipstick wall, it’s incredible. I highly recommend stopping by.

Smashbox Store Venice Los Angeles | The Beauty Look Book

Where we ate:

Unfortunately I didn’t get many good food pics as the times we ate we were in dark restaurants or in a rush and didn’t get a photo! As a junk food junkie I’ve been dreaming about In-n-Out for months. I had been dieting for weeks beforehand to be able to eat junk food on our two recent trips. We ate at In-n-Out twice, had Mr. C room service a few times which was AMAZING (best burger I’ve ever had), dinner spots included Gjelina and Marino. Gjelina is one of my favorite restaurants of all time. In the event you aren’t able to get reservations and don’t want to wait for a table (dinner can get busy) there’s a take out Gjelina right next door.

Mr. C Beverly Hills Room Service

What I packed and what I wore:

I packed an Away Carry-On with a few outfits, makeup, skincare and my Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer. I definitely over packed but didn’t quite pack the right clothing for the weather so I’ll share what I actually wore. I’ve also come to the realization that I need a wardrobe makeover for travel. Living in South Florida I’ve been living in super lightweight clothes, sandals, shorts, dresses because it is HOT here! For the rest of the country it’s really not warm enough to wear what I have right now. Funny how quick we can be to forget what real seasonal weather can be like. Although I do have to say I’ve always lived where it is sunny year round.

Weekend Packing for Beverly Hills

What I wore:

  • Tan leather jacket by Joie (older style, similar here, here and here)
  • Cotton floral sundress by Zara (old style)
  • Louis Vuitton Neverfull Tote MM size
  • Strapless navy floral dress by Majorelle
  • Black denim jeans from Paige (my favorite brand of jeans ever!)
  • Long sleeve sweater/tee by Rag and Bone/JEAN
  • Cotton button down shirt by Joie (old style, similar here, here and here)
  • Denim cut-off shorts from Blank NYC
  • Nude leather wallet on chain clutch by YSL
  • Black block-heeled sandals by Stuart Weitzman
  • Patent leather sandals by Tory Burch
  • Foldable sunglasses by Tory Burch

Weekend Getaway Pack List | The Beauty Look Book

One snapshot I have from Laura’s wedding, thanks to Jessica Alexander for the photo! Laura wearing a chic white dress from ALC, I’m wearing Majorelle.

A few more photos:

Mr. C Beverly Hills Hotel Los Angeles Travel Diary | The Beauty Look Book

Mr. C Beverly Hills Hotel Los Angeles Travel Diary | The Beauty Look Book

Prosecco and chocolate strawberries courtesy of Mr. C Beverly Hills! We’ve never been treated with such a surprise before!

Mr. C Beverly Hills Prosecco and Strawberries

Santa Monica Pier

Beverly Hills

Additional thoughts:

We had a lovely stay and it was great to be back on the West Coast. There were a few things we would have done differently if we could have a do-over on the trip.

  • If you plan visiting LA from out of town and are going to stay mainly in the Beverly Hills area I’d recommend you Uber instead of renting a car. Any hotel in the Beverly Hills area is going to have pretty high overnight parking fees and the traffic in LA is pretty stressful no matter where or when you’re driving. Not to mention finding street parking adds more stress. I’ve driven to LA from San Diego for events and weekend trips a number of times and my brother has recommended I take the train instead and Uber around the city to save time and stress from parking. That being said a lot of things are spread out in Southern California sometimes having a car is essential.
  • We probably would have booked 2 more days to be able to take our time, see more places and visit more with friends/family. I think if we had 4-5 full days it would have been plenty of time.
  • Shopping-wise I would have planned out my stops a little better. Abbot Kinney on Venice Beach has grown so much since I’ve last been there. I would have definitely allocated more time to walk the streets and browse. There are a lot of beauty boutiques there like Aesop, Caudalie, Hourglass, Smashbox and lot of clothing stores there. I think the Century City mall is quite amazing though.
  • We would have probably skipped visiting Santa Monica. I think it’s great to see once, but we’ve both been there so many times seeing it again was a bit redundant and it was pretty far from everything else we wanted to see.
  • Take some time to just sit back and do absolutely nothing! This is something we both need to work on. When we travel we tend to travel for adventure and I pack in a lot of things. Sometimes I need to remind myself to slow down and take a break.

Hope you enjoyed this travel diary! I’m working on my Miami trip post but probably won’t have it up until the end of the week or early next week. Stay tuned for more beauty posts soon!

Do you have any favorite LA spots?

Media rate was provided by Mr. C Beverly Hills for feature.

 

Holiday Gift Guide Packing Travel

Holiday Gift Guide: Best Travel Beauty Cases

November 22, 2017

Best Travel Makeup Bags | The Beauty Look Book

I have my first holiday gift guide of the year! Today I’m rounding up some of the best travel beauty cases and makeup bags I love. If you’re in need of ideas for a fun unique gift, I think any of these would be great gift for the beauty lover or frequent traveler. When it comes to travel prep I’m always looking for good storage and packing solutions to organize and carry my things, especially beauty items. I’ve tried a lot of different options over the years. Many times I’ll use the freebies from gift with purchase events, but sometimes it’s nice to have something a little better quality that’s sturdier. If you’ve followed my packing travel posts you’ll probably recognize several of these bags. I’ve put each one to the test on different kinds of trips. I’m primarily a carry-on traveler so in general I’d say these bags work best for shorter trips. Quick note that all the cases come empty with the exception of the Away Mini Suitcases, but I’ve filled all of them with some of my favorite things to help show what you can fit inside. I hope this helps decide which option is best for your needs!

Mini Beauty Trunk Case

Bobbi Brown Beauty Case ($160, measures 6.406″ L x 3.844″ W x 8.609″ H) is something that has special meaning to me as Andrew gifted me a black leather case many years ago when we were in college. This was in our early dating days before he knew I was a beauty junkie! He found it at the airport in London before he flew back home one summer. It was the perfect gift and I used it for many years (I still have it!). Each year Bobbi Brown has released a new version. This year’s is a beautiful deep red. You can see everything that I fit inside the 2016 version which is nearly identical to this year’s inside.

I have actually fit this inside a carry-on suitcase in previous years, but as you can imagine it does take up a lot of room. For weekend trips it’s perfect. There have been times I just packed a weekender bag and this case. My black leather one has held up remarkably well. It can get dirty inside, especially if you store dirty brushes or have powders that spill. Mine has been relatively easy to clean with a damp cloth and canned air. Canned air works wonders to remove debris from almost anything!

This one has two levels, a top tier that can hold brushes or skinny perfumes and then a sectioned portion to hold compacts, liquids or lipsticks. The base is bigger/deeper so you can stack more inside. There is a nice gap on the top of the bottom (if that makes sense) so there’s a lot more room than you might think.

Bobbi Brown Beauty Case Review | The Beauty Look Book

Bobbi Brown Beauty Case 2017 Holiday

Clear Double-Sided Zip Pouch

Anya Hindmarch In-Flight Travel Case ($275, measures 8.7″D x 3.2″W x 4.7″H) is one of my most expensive makeup bag splurges. I can’t remember the exact date that I bought this but I know I’ve had it for over two years. It’s clear and has two zippered sides, one for Take-Off and one for Touch-Down. You can really put anything you want in it, but for flying it’s nice to have two sides to separate items so you don’t have to dig around your makeup bag to search for things. This bag has gone through a lot of travel and still has held up really well. It’s been through quite a bit of squishing, packing and use. Many of you have asked if I think this purchase was worth it. In this case I don’t know that I can say it’s worth the price tag because it’s soooo expensive, but it has held up a lot better than I anticipated, especially since it’s made of clear plastic and patent leather. So that being said I’m still 100% happy with this splurge because the quality has proved to be excellent.

Anya Hindmarch In-flight Travel Case

A closer look at both sides, on the Take-Off side I can stack 3 compacts flat to fit inside. The Touch-Down side is skinny in the opening but can still hold long tubes like Chanel glosses, cream shadow sticks, etc.

Anya Hindmarch Inflight Travel Case | The Beauty Look Book

Clear Flat Snap-Closure Pouch

Ouai Clear Envelope Pouch ($25) is currently sold out on their website which is the only place I could find to buy it. Right now you can buy it in their Under the Mistletoe Set. I’m hoping they restock eventually because it’s a great large flat pouch! Do note that since there is only one button clasp smaller things can be prone to falling out if you stuff it (versus a zip bag that won’t let anything spill). But for medium to larger size bottles it’s great! What I’ve fit inside below: Ouai Wave Spray, Ouai Hair Oil, Ouai Smooth Spray, Sunglasses, Byredo Hair Perfume in Mojave Ghost, Oribe Gold Lust Dry Shampoo Mini, Oribe Swept Up Powder Spray, Fresh Sugar Lip, Atelier Cologne Minis, mini L’Occitane Divine Cream. I think the world needs more clear pouch options – they’re so handy for everything!

Ouai Clear Envelope Clutch | The Beauty Look Book

Large Leather Monogram Makeup Bags

The Daily Edited is a brand I discovered earlier this year. Their entire line is designed so you can have it customized and monogrammed! I ordered three items: one Black Large Cosmetic Case, one Taupe Large Cosmetic Case ($100 each, measures H 5.3″ x W 8.9″ x D 4.3″) and one of the Travel Cases ($120, measures H 5.9″ x W 9.4″ x D 3.5″). I have by initials in the blind embossed style SS. These are made of Saffiano Leather and are decent in quality, but the lining is not the best on the market. For something in the $100 range these are very good and I feel the large cosmetic cases are the best ones I’ve tried in terms of size, proportions and function. They are sturdy but the leather isn’t as thick or stiff as some other luxury brands so it’s bendable and prone to slight stretching in areas. Based on the occasions that I’ve used mine I just don’t think it’s something that will last as long as say something from Louis Vuitton. That being said, I do understand if you throw something in a suitcase packed with other items it’s bound to get smashed or worn so this isn’t a deal breaker for me. I brought one of the large bags with me on my trip to San Francisco and felt it was perfect in shape/size. It gets the job done and even though I think it could be better quality these are among my favorites for the style.

I’ve also used the Large Travel Case and it has an upper portion with compartments and leather straps with holes. This seems to be perfect for someone who wears a lot of jewelry or travels with different pieces. You can store earrings and also keep items separated. I’m a minimalist when it comes to jewelry, especially with travel as I’m always worried I’m going to lose something so this part didn’t really appeal to me. There’s a bottom portion that’s larger where you can store beauty products, compacts or other accessories. For an all around travel case it’s beautiful. For beauty I’ve found other options better suited to what I pack but it is a beautiful case and I can see many people using it for accessories, jewelry, etc.

The Daily Edited Large Cosmetic Case and Travel Case

A look inside and side view of the Large Cosmetic Case:

The Daily Edited Large Cosmetic Case Black

A look at the Large Travel Case, both tiers:

The Daily Edited Large Travel Case

Mini Travel Cases

Away Mini Suitcases are back this year! If you remember last year they had the Grey/Asphalt color as gift card cases which were super cute. They measure 7″ x 5″ x 3″ and this is the first year they’ve offered them to the public in 10 different colors, including their winter colors Frost and Pool. Each mini is available as a stand-alone for $35 or free with the purchase of a gift card. There are also some curated sets ranging from $45 to $95 packed with some of their TSA-sized essentials. Shown below are White, Asphalt and Brick Mini Suitcases next to the Away Carry-On (the black one been well-loved by my husband, this is the original one they launched back in 2015). You can buy all of these directly from their website Away Travel or one of their stores (New York, San Francisco, LA and Austin so far).

Away Mini Suitcases Holiday Sets

Each one has the same interior which has a grey mesh pocket and open inside, much like the Away suitcases. Below I have a closer look at the interior and some of the fun curated options they have. You can mix and match the colors in any of the sets. Right now they are sold out of the Beauty Set and Essentials Set but I’ve been told they are going to restock soon. The pink one is going to be restocked (they hope next week!). All others are limited-edition while supplies last. I love that these come wrapped in a drawstring cloth sack – it’s an extra special touch that makes these so cute. I was gifted 3 and promptly ordered a bunch more to give as gifts this year. Cameras shown below include the Leica Sofort Instant Print Camera and Sony NEX-6 (discontinued, current model is Sony A6000 Camera). You can also see my Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer review here (and yes I still think it’s my favorite).

Away Carry On Suitcase with Holiday Mini Suitcases

So many of you have asked for a look at the inside of these cases so are more photos. They plan on restocking the sold-out sets around next week so keep an eye out for them! For now you can still buy the Individual Mini Suitcase in all the colors for $35 each (some have sold out, but pink is going to be restocked).

  • The Beauty Set $75 comes with mini Malin + Goetz Shampoo and Conditioner, RMS Beauty Lip Shine in Bloom, IGK Jet Lag Invisible Dry Shampoo, Herbivore Deluxe Rose Mist, Wallpaper’s City Guide to Paris
  • The Essential Set $45 comes with Malin + Goetz Mini Face Moisturizer, Mini Face Wash, Marvis Toothbrush, Marvis Toothpaste, Deep Sleep This Works mini pillow spray, Wallpaper City Guide for London
  • The Field Set $75 comes with a mini Harry’s face lotion, Malin + Goetz deoderant, Public Supply Notebook and Wallpaper City Guide for  for Austin
  • Interior color is the same for all cases, one mesh pocket and an open interior

Away Holiday Gift Sets Mini Suitcases

Clear + Leather Pouches

Truffle Clarity Jetset Cases ($85 each, measures 7 1/2” L X 5 1/4” H X 2″ W). They launched non-flat pouches this year and I was thrilled! I ordered two of the three colors for myself and really like how they are constructed. They are on the expensive side for the size but I think they’re great for throwing in your carry-on tote. I find the quality pretty good and there’s enough structure to it that it will retain its shape well. I didn’t want to love these at the price but now that I’ve purchased two I’m really glad that I did. I’ve been a fan of the flat pouches for such a long time it’s nice to see something with more depth!

Truffle Clarity Jetset Cases and Mini Clarity Pouch | The Beauty Look Book

Large Open Clear Zip Bags

MAC Clearly MAC Large Rectangle ($30, measures 8.5″ x 5.38″ x 5″) is one of the more affordable clear bags that I own and think it’s sturdy and well made for the price. They’ve had several variations over the year and this is the current one. They also have the Clearly MAC Rectangle ($26, measures 9.25″ x 3.5″ x 3.38″) which I’ve had on my wishlist for brushes. I’ve tried a number of brush rolls in the past and while they’re great – sometimes I just want something more basic, simple and open. View of the front, back and side – it’s pretty roomy!

MAC Clearly MAC Large Rectangle Makeup Bag

On My Radar

Net-A-Porter Holiday Beauty Kit ($115) is one that I do not own but spotted it online for one of their holiday kits and it looks like a steal! If you’re budget is around the $100 mark and want to gift a little bit of everything this kit has just that. The clear case looks promising for travel as well.

Net-A-Porter Holiday Beauty Kit

That wraps up my gift guide on favorite travel beauty cases for carry-on travelers. If you have any friends or family that already have all the beauty products and you’re stumped on what to get them, I think a makeup bag or travel case is a great alternative.

This week’s giveaway is going to be a Bobbi Brown Beauty Case + Away Mini Suitcase in Brick! I bought a Bobbi Brown case but was also sent one as a press sample, so I’m giving away my extra. I also ordered a ton of the minis to give away as gifts and I’m adding one to this giveaway. As a bonus I’ll be filling both with some makeup goodies but the picks will be customized based on the winner’s skintone, skintype and preferences. This giveaway is open internationally but you must be 18 years or older to qualify. Simply follow any of the tasks provided in the widget below.

  • Runs through 11/29/2017 11:45 PM EST
  • I’ll pick 1 winner via the Rafflecopter widget below and e-mail them within 72 hours after giveaway ends
  • Winner must respond to e-mail within 72 hours or another person will be picked in their place
  • I usually ship prizes within 1 week
  • Open internationally
  • Not sponsored or affiliated

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Do you have any favorite travel makeup bags? Are you a carry-on traveler or do you check your suitcases? Stay tuned for more gift guides, Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sales Roundup and more!

Press samples include the Away Mini Suitcases and MAC Clearly MAC Rectangle Bag. Other pouches and bags purchased by me.

California Packing Travel

The Palace Hotel + Travel Packing List for San Francisco

August 31, 2017

Palace Hotel San Francisco | The Beauty Look Book

Today’s post is Part 2 of my San Francisco Travel Diary with a review of the Palace Hotel and my pack list with the Bigger Carry-On from Away’s new Stockholm Collection. In past years my husband and I usually stay at the Westin St. Francis on our San Francisco trips because we fell in love with the cute romantic vibe in their Landmark Building. This visit was a girls trip so I decided to try something new decided to give the Palace Hotel a try. The beautiful Garden Court is what sold me – it just looks magical! The reviews looked promising for cleanliness and comfort so I booked a room with 2 double beds. When we checked in they gave us one on the 7th floor with the New Montgomery Street View and it was just perfect. We didn’t hear any street noise and it came with one of the Toto Washlet and with heated seats. The rooms are on the small size which was expected for the city but the room was pristine with comfortable beds, amazingly soft linens, extra towels and really cute turn down service. Upon check-in I was given a small bag of Ghirardelli Chocolates as they have a store right outside the hotel. For me it was a win right from the start!

A look a the entrance:

Palace Hotel San Francisco

We wanted to try the Garden Court for tea but didn’t make it this round, the lighting is just so pretty. If you look up you can see there’s another floor with a room which we assumed was reserved for special events or weddings. We tried to find the door to it but could not.

Palace Hotel San Francisco

Palace Hotel San Francisco

Palace Hotel San Francisco

Away Bigger Carry On in Clay:

Away Bigger Carry On

There is a pool and a nice gym on the 4th floor which we took a peek at – we didn’t get to use it though as each day we did quite a bit of walking. Enough to wear us out completely!

Palace Hotel Pool San Francisco

A look at the room we booked, cute hallways on each floor!

San Francisco Palace Hotel

Double Bed Room:

San Francisco Palace Hotel Room

View from the 7th Floor, New Montgomery Street View:

San Francisco Palace Hotel Room and View

Bathroom and a quick selfie, sweater top from Club Monaco, jeans from Hudson, jacket old style from Joie (similar here and here), flats by Chloe:

San Francisco Palace Hotel Bathroom

What I packed below. As mentioned in Part 1 – both Laura and I under packed for the weather. She flew in from Los Angeles and I flew in from Tampa where the weather is in the high 90s. Our clothes simply were not warm enough for what we’re used to but we made it work by layering. Since 75% of our outfits were too cold we re-wore a lot of our sweaters and pants. I brought the Away Bigger Carry-On in Clay which is the perfect warm clay pink color. It’s part of the Rashida Jones Stockholm collection with 3 limited-edition colors, Packing Cubes and a Stockholm tote (new current packing cubes here). My husband is the organized one who knows all the packing tips and tricks to make life easier so he bought me packing cubes for our Europe trip a few years ago. They do indeed help organize things but they’re not really the most aesthetically pleasing. It’s a minor detail but these Away cubes are the prettiest ones I’ve seen. I’ve already ordered a few more packs.

I didn’t have time to photograph all the outfits I packed and since I didn’t wear everything I’ll list what I fit inside the Bigger Carry-On Size. You can also see this post from spring here and here of what goes inside this size. My pack list, I’ve linked the items I packed as well in case you are curious:

  • 2 pairs of jeans (I usually wear the Paige Verdugo Ankles because they’re good for my height) and 1 pair that I wore on the plane
  • 2 shirts, one long sleeve button down from AG, one off-shoulder top from Rag and Bone
  • 1 brown leather jacket from Joie (old style, similar here and here) and 1 short trench I wore on the plane (from Jcrew, old style, long classic version here)
  • 1 pair of running shoes from Nike
  • 1 pair of flats from Chloe
  • 1 shift dress (old)
  • 2 pairs of yoga pants to sleep/lounge in
  • 4 tank tops to sleep in or layer (I love these from Madewell)
  • 2 sweaters from Club Monaco
  • 1 belt
  • socks and underwear
  • Leica Instant print camera (but I forgot to pack the film!)
  • tech stuff like laptop charger, phone cords etc.
  • makeup and skincare will be listed below

Pack List with Away Bigger Carry On

Before I go into my beauty pack list, here’s a look at the Bigger Carry-On next to the Stockholm Tote. The tote is made of “water-resistant nylon with vegan leather details and featuring a zip top, an exterior pocket, interior laptop sleeve, two interior snap pockets, and a removable zippered pouch that fits the really big iPhone.” I didn’t take it with me on this trip but I wish I had. One of the biggest issues I have with my larger totes is they don’t have good pockets or compartments inside (I should probably invest in an insert at some point!). The Stockholm tote is simple, streamlined and functional with enough pockets to store essentials for easy access. The depth is quite roomy so you don’t have to feel like magazines and your laptop are stuffed inside.

The Bigger Carry On measures 22.7” x 14.7” x 9.6” Weight 7.3 lbs Capacity 46L
The Tote measures 13.5” x 12” x 4.5” and can fit an 11” MacBook, cross body strap drop is 18″

Pack List with Away Bigger Carry On and Stockholm Tote

A look at my suitcase opened with the tote laid on top for size reference. I received the Cactus Packing Cubes from Away and for this trip I only used 3 of the 4 in the set. There are different sizes so you can organize literally everything. Shown below on the left is the Daily Edited Large Cosmetic Case in black (largest one one of the best travel makeup cases I’ve bought!), Leica Sofort, Sony NEX-6 (discontinued, old model), Marc Jacobs Rimless Aviators (current style here). On the right is a Glossier Pouch (you usually get them with your orders), Truffle Mini Clarity Clutch, mophie Powerstation Mini (2,500mAh) – White, Here Magazine and a Sugarfina Cube of Pineapple Candy.

Pack List with Away Bigger Carry On

A few notes if you’re shopping for luggage and missed my previous reviews on Away. I discovered them in 2015 when they only had 1 size (the Carry-On) and have used their suitcases exclusively for the past few years because of the streamlined design, sturdy exterior, charging component in carry-on and for their really good wheels. I’ve literally bought all my loved-ones suitcases as gifts and converted them all to using them as well! I’ve tried both the regular Carry-On which is best for international flights and the Bigger Carry-On which works on most US Domestic Flights. You can see a size comparison with dimensions on their website here which is really helpful – they’ve done the research to help you decide! As a carry-on traveler this really can fit a lot inside because the handles, battery and wheels don’t consume a lot of space on the inside while a lot of other brands do.

I have checked these on occasion even though I usually do carry-ons. My husband has checked his a lot too. They are prone to scuffs and scratches, but really anything you check is bound to get scratched. With mine I used it on 3 back to back flights and it didn’t get any deep scratches. For surface scuffs the team at Away recommends you use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and warm water to remove them and for me it works like a charm.

The makeup I brought with me (items that were press samples will be marked with a *)

Travel Beauty

My skincare lineup shown below. Believe it or not all of my liquids did indeed fit inside a single quart size bag. I had to play around with the arrangement like Tetris a few times to make everything fit as I’m a carry-on traveler. If you’ve been following this blog for years, you may remember that I actually made it through a month-long trip in Europe with a carry-on backpack.

Travel Beauty

I missed having my hair dryer, but San Francisco water is so much better than Tampa water – my hair was naturally shiny and smooth during my trip with air drying! I also packed an assortment of tools like makeup brushes, lash curler and hair brush but didn’t photograph them before unpacking. As usual I packed too much – I did use everything I brought in skincare, but makeup was a bit overdone.

Packing for San Francisco

One last look at the beautiful hotel:

Palace Hotel San Francisco

I hope you enjoyed this review of the hotel and what I packed! We had a lovely stay at The Palace Hotel – I’d definitely consider staying here again on my next visit. If you travel to San Francisco occasionally where do you usually stay? Open to any and all recommendations!

P.S. My posting schedule has been a bit off lately as I’m living the nomadic life right now. I’ll be heading to New York, California (again) and back to Florida in September. Florida life recap post is still coming – I know many of you are curious where/why we are moving and I’ll explain more in a future post. Long story short we now get to explore different areas of Florida and it’s been quite an adventure but an unexpectedly great experience. I still cannot believe how BIG Florida is and since moving here and most of my West Coast friends don’t know how spread out everything is. I have to show them maps to explain how long it takes to drive from area to area. Beauty posts to resume soon. I’ve still been putting a lot to the test to review here!

Beauty and skincare press samples indicated with a *. Away Stockholm Collection provided for review. We paid for our room, however a media rate was extended to us by The Palace Hotel for this review. As always all opinions my own.

 

California Packing Travel

Travel Beauty + Packing For San Francisco

August 26, 2017

Travel Beauty Away Luggage Carry On | The Beauty Look Book

I’ve been a bit MIA as I’m currently in San Francisco for a quick girls trip! It has been quite a few years since I’ve visited San Francisco and I’m beyond thrilled to be back. I’ll have a full packing post, SF travel diary and a little shopping feature coming up soon. In the meantime I’ve rounded up some of my favorite travel beauty sets you can buy right now. I always try to hoard my minis and samples but sometimes they’re just too good to save for trips. I love it when brands have travel sizes or sets available for purchase because then I don’t have to decant anything into mini jars or bottles. I really like original packaging anyways.

First I wanted to mention that Away launched a new collection in collaboration with Rashida Jones with three new colors and these are the best colors yet! The launch is called The Stockholm Edition as it was inspired by Scandinavian designs and colors. There are new colors three available in Clay (shown here), Cactus and Violet. Also launched with the Stockholm Collection is a new Stockholm Tote made of black water-resistant nylon and vegan leather. It has a sleeve in the back to slide over the handles of the suitcase for easy carrying. They’ve also launched coordinating colors in packing cubes. Full review to follow soon but the packing cubes are the best looking packing cubes I’ve ever seen while still being super functional.

For those who love Away they’ve also launched a new magazine called Here.

Away Luggage x Rashida Jones Clay and Tote | The Beauty Look Book

Up first is haircare. I love travel-sized haircare! Often times it’s what I’ll buy first before buying the full sizes. I think they’re such a great way to try things and I love testing all kinds of shampoos and conditioners. My obsession can get a bit out of hand with all the bottles and jars that accumulate in the shower, but I love minis. The Ouai Morning After Kit at Nordstrom has the perfect size travel items with the Rose Hair and Body Oil, Finishing Creme and Dry Shampoo Foam (also available at Net-A-Porter). For brushes I usually bring a few with me, my favorite travel-sized one is the Sephora Collection Luxe Combo Travel Brush. There’s also a Christophe Robin exclusive to Net-A-Porter called the Essentials Kit with minis of the Moisturizing Hair Cream, Regenerating Mask, Cleansing Mask and Cleansing Purifiying Scrub with Sea Salt. I’ve tried and love all of these but I know some of you may have been hesitant to buy the full size as the price points are on the expensive side. This is a great way to sample them. You can also find some of the mini sizes at Sephora with a mini Cleansing Purifying Scrub, Detox Ritual Hair Kit and Regenerating Hair Ritual Travel Kit.

 

Ouai Morning After Set and Christophe Robin Minis Net-A-Porter | The Beauty Look Book

In skincare, Tatcha has the best travel sizes. The packaging is well designed and they have good sizes for several days worth. I’ve already bought and featured the Starter Ritual for Normal to Oily Skin (currently sold out). Below is the Starter Ritual Set for Normal to Dry Skin with travel sizes of the One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil, Classic Rice Enzyme Powder, Essence and Silk Cream. I think these are really phenomenal sets perfect for travel.

The Sisley-Paris Subscription Program is one of the best ways to try Sisley skincare at an affordable price. Many of you commented you had already subscribed and kept the minis for travel which I think is genius. I’ve discovered quite a few amazing items from this program. You can see a 6 month review here.

Another set I tried recently was the Belif Best Sellers Travel Set. I bought it at Sephora curious about the items in the line as I really liked the Aqua Bomb. I haven’t been able to test everything yet but found it priced reasonably to give the other items a go. Let me know if you want a review!

Travel Skincare Sisley Subscription, Tatcha Starter Ritual Set, Belief Best-Sellers | The Beauty Look Book

Two sets I’ve been loving include the NARSissist Velvet Lip Glide Set exclusive to Ulta (5 of the 6 colors shown below, all reviewed here). For perfume I wish more brands had travel-sized or purse sized minis. The Jo Malone Cologne Set is one of my favorites. They change seasonally. Mine is from Nordstrom but I suspect new ones will launch come holiday.

NARS Velvet Lip Glide Set and Jo Malone Cologne Set

Charlotte Tilbury skincare can get pretty spendy and her Gift of Red Carpet Skin Travel Kit is a nice way to try a lot of deluxe sized minis at a lower price. This one is TSA friendly with 15 ml tubes of her Goddess Skin Clay Mask, Multi Miracle Glow, Magic Cream, Wonderglow, Supermodel Body and Take it all off. I’ve loved and used up an entire jar of her Magic Cream and tube of the Wonderglow (full size) and they lasted me a very long time. These minis are perfect for travel – I think you can get quite a bit of use out of them too. There’s enough product to get a really good feel for how the product will perform on your skin.

One last travel favorite is the Aesop Boston Kit. I’m such a huge fan of Aesop and the kits are a nice way to try multiple things. You can see the full review of this one here.

Aesop Boston Travel Skincare Set | The Beauty Look Book

Travel Beauty Packing San Francisco | The Beauty Look Book

For those curious the other accessories shown above:

Do you also hoard your minis and samples for travel or do you buy sets like me? I’m a carry-on traveler so I have to abide by the quart-size bag limit. I know many of you check luggage so this isn’t an issue, but as one who prefers to travel light I love it when I can find travel sizes that I can buy for trips.

Stay tuned for the SF roundup! I didn’t bring all of these travel sets with me although I did mix and match for 4 days worth of travel.

Press samples featured include the Away Stockholm Collection, Tatcha Starter Ritual Set and Charlotte Tilbury Skincare Set.

 

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