The cutest Away Mini Travel Cases are back for a limited time! I’ve been writing about these since 2016 and am completely obsessed. The minis are typically launch only during the holiday season and sell out very quickly – if you missed out here’s another peek at them. They retail for $35 each just for the case itself and right now come in the core colors. These are hard zip cases with a mesh pouch in the interior and measure approximately 7″ x 5″ x 3″ – they’re nice to store things you don’t want to get smushed when traveling like small hair brushes, sunglasses, beauty essentials etc. You can find them right now online at AwayTravel.com (under their Gifts and Extras section).
The cases are versatile for a wide range of things. I don’t just use these for travel. I use them for weekend day trips, going to the beach, etc. They’re nice and compact and perfect for carrying inflight essentials. If I’m flying to be safe I put all my liquids I’m carrying on the plane into a quart size zip loc back before putting them into the hard case to make sure it will be within the quart size limit. Pulling one image from the archives below:
A peek at past trips when I brought my Away mini with me. Also shown on a shelfie and with other things for scale. They’re pretty sturdy and easy to clean on the outside – just use a Magic Eraser and warm water and it cleans up perfectly!
A number of you asked me how the Away Mini compares to the Truffle Jetset Clarity Case. They’re both excellent for travel – it just depends on your packing style and preference. The benefit of the Away Mini is that it has a hard shell so it will protect things better than a leather zip pouch. However the Truffle Jetset is a little bigger around and shorter in depth so you can fit longer things.
I’ve traveled with both on numerous occasions. Each one has their benefits for carrying on the plane or for travel. I do think the Away Mini is more budget friendly and they make really cute gifts. I’ve bought one for so many of my friends and family. It makes me so happy to hear and see how they use them for even just everyday things. My brother keeps his everyday essentials (like contact solution, etc.) in the Away case in his backpack. Some of you have told me you keep your essential travel documents like passport or other papers inside for easy access when you travel.
They just came back in stock for a limited time. If you have these on your wishlist I recommend buying soon! I just ordered a few more colors to stock up for gifts. For now they’re available just with the case alone. I’m hoping they’ll also bring them back during the holiday with sets like they have in the past!
The Away Mini is available only at Away Travel online and in their free-standing stores.
We had so much fun in Miami I almost didn’t want to come back home! Last weekend Andrew told me he wanted to go to Miami for a spontaneous getaway trip – spontaneous as in “let’s go tomorrow.” I’m normally one who prefers more advance notice but all he had to do was mention The Salty Donut and I did not hesitate to immediately start throwing things into a suitcase. I don’t think I’ve ever packed so fast in my life! If you haven’t tried The Salty Donut in Miami add it yo your list. They have the best donuts I’ve ever had and if I lived in Miami I think eating there would be a weekly habit.
Since moving to Florida so many of you have asked me about packing tips for your vacations. You want to know what to wear, how hot it gets, what sunscreen wears the best, etc. I’ve also received so many questions about the Away Luggage and other accessories like their packing cubes, everywhere bag and backpacks. I’ve put together a travel diary to share exactly what I packed, what I wore and thoughts about everything we’ve tried from Away.
This trip we stayed at the Loews Miami in South Beach. We’ve stayed in a few different areas in Miami before and we really love staying by the beach areas. Other neighborhoods also have their benefits but being in South Beach is so fun. You can literally just stay at a hotel in the area and have everything you need for a fun vacation without a car. We like to get around and since we live in Florida we drove 4 hours from Tampa to Miami. We had a pleasant stay at the Loews! Staff is really attentive, rooms were clean, pool and beach area were really nice. The food and coffee bar were spendy but that is expected in South Beach. We tried breakfast at their Preston’s Market which was pretty good – we ate outside on the covered patio which was really beautiful and relaxing.
This is our fourth trip to Miami and each time we plan a mini vacation. We leave feeling like we should have stayed longer! We’ve already found some favorite eats but force ourselves to try something new each time. That being said, my ride or die must-eats for every trip are The Salty Donut and Panther Coffee in Wynwood. We bought a box of four Salty Donuts and walked over to Panther Coffee down the street for a perfect snack. This round we tried the Guava and Cheese, Coconut Lychee, Chocolate Marshmallow and Traditional Glazed Donuts. They’re AMAZING!
For shopping we stopped by the Glossier Miami Pop Up which was a few blocks away, also in Wynwood until April 28th. Full recap plus haul in this post. If you’re in town definitely visit – it’s super cute!
Just around the corner, Wynwood Walls:
During our trip we did a tiny little bit of shopping. We did a quick stop in the Miami Design District to walk around, window shop and browse. I splurged on a pair of Celine Round Sunglasses which I’m really excited about! There’s also a tiny Aesop Store and Andrew bought a few skincare items to try including the Control Anti Blemish Gel and another bottle of Mouthwash. I had my eye on the Sao Paulo Kit for travel but decided to think about it.
There’s a really cute Taco Truck inside the Miami Design District called La Pollita which has cute snacks and drinks. We were stuffed from food earlier in the day otherwise would have tried the tacos, we took a few sneaky peeks at what other people were eating and it looked and smelled delicious.
Since we stayed in South Beach we spent the rest of our time near the beach areas. This time of year it’s warm but not too humid and the water temperature is so nice to swim in! We love the blue shallow water, it’s one of the nicest places to swim. We rented lounge chairs and an umbrella at the beach. You can also rent them even if you’re not a hotel guest. Policy might be different depending on hotel, but we’ve also found in Tampa a lot of the hotels will rent their beach chairs and cabanas to anyone.
A few more new eats we tried this time included Yardbirds on Leonox Ave and Havana 1957 on Espanola Way. We enjoyed both immensely! If you’re new to the Miami South Beach area, quick note that some restaurants automatically include tip in the bill labeled “Service Charge.” We didn’t realize this at one of the places we ate until after we left and looked at the bill and realized we ended up leaving a seriously hefty tip because we tipped on top of the tip. A few people had mentioned this to me before but I had forgotten about it! I feel like I still have yet to really explore Miami enough to find the best eats. I’d love to explore more of Wynwood though.
Since first discovering Away I’ve now tried their Carry-On, Bigger Carry-On, Medium Suitcase, Everywhere Bag, Packing Cubes and Backpack. Everything has exceeded our expectations in quality and function. I’m an Away Ambassador so the items I’ve featured were gifted but I stand by everything 100%. I have also bought many suitcases on my own to gift to family and it’s been well received, even among the most skeptical and picky ones. Everything has held up really well. My thoughts on each item:
Carry-On Suitcase is best if you’re a light packer or traveling on international flights with smaller suit case carry on restrictions
Bigger Carry-On is our favorite to fly with and travel with in general. Works on flights we’ve flown with Delta, United, American Airlines. It’s roomier than the Carry-On but still fits in the overhead compartments for the listed airlines.
Medium Suitcase makes more sense for us for longer distance trips. We brought this with us on our California trip over the holiday and think it’s much more convenient to have something larger vs. carry ons for our needs. I plan on buying a second one soon.
Everywhere Bag is the best travel bag I’ve ever tried. I normally use my totes and end up stuffing them full. These bags have well thought out storage zippers and pockets as well as a roomy interior. It fits perfectly under the airplane seat in front of you but is roomy enough to carry a laptop and other essentials you might need for on the plane. There is an exterior pocket to store documents for easy access before you get on the plane. It also has a pocket to attach onto your suitcase handle.
Packing Cubes have gone through a couple design changes, the current ones with mesh top are a lifesaver to organize your clothes, underwear, shoes etc and keep them in place. I bought a set for Andrew and he didn’t want to use them. I begged him to try and he’s now convinced it’s one of the best things invented. He can organize all his clothes by type and he loves how they truly keep things in place without shifting.
Backpack is the larger option of the two they carry, this one has three main compartments to store things that allow you to be truly hands free. We love that it’s cushioned and that the base is flat so it can actually stand up on it’s own if you set it down. There are a couple nicely hidden compartment zippered pockets for things like your passport etc. It fits a lot more than we anticipated!
A closer look at the Backpack which now has a personalization option! There are some more of their soft goods you can personalize with 3 letters which I think is so fun. I have my initials on the backpack. We brought it with us to the beach both back home in Tampa and in Miami. It has really well thought out pocket placement so there’s a place for everything. This one can fit a laptop inside as well.
My full pack list linked below, makeup and beauty to follow in a separate post! We each packed a Bigger Carry-On, an Everywhere Bag and shared the Backpack space. Our trip was open ended – we didn’t know how long we’d be away when we left Tampa.
What I packed (including a couple things I didn’t wear but brought just in case):
You always love reading my thoughts on what I brought and what I missed so I’m doing it again! For a very casual laid back last minute getaway I had everything I needed. I still need to find a good beach coverup and an updated beach tote (although our backpack works better than any beach tote I’ve used). I didn’t pack a nice dress for a just-in-case occasion. Some of the restaurants are dressier and require something other than shorts. This round we were ok with everything very casual. I packed a denim jacket and some long denim pants just in case but didn’t end up wearing them. The three pairs of sandals I brought worked perfectly! I probably could have gotten away with just 1 pair of sandals but I like having options for a few days.
If you’re going to be in Florida know the weather can be unpredictable. Bring a few extra sets of clothes packed with you just in case you need to change if you get rained on or sweat too much. When we’re going out to the beach even in Tampa Andrew always reminds me to bring an extra set of clothes to change into. I feel like it’s a bit of a hassle but I’m always really happy when I do have that extra dry clean set to change into. Aside from the obvious good sunscreen and sunglasses, a good hat is a MUST. I really am so impressed with the Eric Javits one I bought – it is large enough to cover the face and has the perfect amount of flop/stiffness with the brim. I’m going to buy one in black too.
Hope you enjoyed this packing post and mini travel diary! We’ve been in Florida for a little over two years now and there’s still so much more to explore. I still want to go to Palm Beach and perhaps Key West again. If you’ve been to Florida what are your favorite areas?
I’m thrilled to announce the Away Mini Suitcases are back! They are available for a limited run during the holiday season individually or in a few gift set options. This year the Mini is available in 9 core colors, 2 limited-edition winter colors Halo and Aurora, plus the Aluminum Edition. Last year I ordered lots of these to give as gifts. I think they’re perfect for anyone! Available online at Away Travel or in any one of their stores in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Austin or London.
You can order individually (empty), add a gift card, or pick one of their pre-filled sets. The options and pricing this year are as follows:
The Mini ($35 each)
The Mini Aluminum Edition ($55 each)
Three Gift Set Options:
The Essential Set ($45) or The Essential Set Aluminum Edition ($65)
The Beauty Set ($75) or The Beauty Set Aluminum Edition ($95)
The Grooming Set ($75) or The Grooming Set Set Aluminum Edition ($95)
Today I have a detailed review of two of the sets in The Grooming and The Beauty Set, plus a look at The Aluminum Edition and the new color Halo (which also comes in the suitcases as part of their Solstice Collection). I ordered quite a few of the colors over the years and have used them many times. They’ve held up really well! I love that they have a hard exterior case to protect things you don’t want to get squished like sunglasses or squeezable tubes etc.
Dimensions of all the minis are 7 inches tall, 5 inches wide and 3 inches deep. The regular colors have a zip around closure with two zippers. The Aluminum Edition has a clasp snap closure. Interior is the same in both, it’s an open compartment with one mesh pocket. You can mix and match any of the set contents with color of your choice. I love that they also have empty ones so you can fill them with your own travel favorites. Below is a look at Halo which is a glossy ice white, it’s really pretty!
The Grooming Set
The Grooming Set has Maapilim Lip Balm Grapefruit and Lavender (.5 fl oz), Haeckles Seaweed Geranium Hand Balm (1.7 fl oz), Grown Alchemist Gentle Facial Cleanser (1.69 fl oz), Baxter Exfoliating Soap Full-Size and a Kent’s Folding Comb. Shown above stuffed into one of the Away Everywhere Bags which I really like for travel. They’re the perfect size for carry ons and have a flap in the back you can slip onto the handle of the suitcases! I wish they would keep the leather as a permanent part of the collection, but the nylon ones are also really nice.
The Beauty Set
The Beauty Set has five cute beauty minis including a Tata Harper Skincare Serum (10 ml), Caudalie Beauty Elixir (30 ml/1 fl oz), Klorane Dry Shampoo (50 ml/1 oz), Nuori Copenhagen Lip Treat (15 ml/0.5 fl oz), and a Mount Lai Mini Jade Roller. I think the face roller is the cutest! I did a quick search online for individual items and found them all separately except for the Tata Harper. The Gift Set is priced at a better value than buying the items individually, but you can always fill them with your own picks 🙂
This one shown above is the Blush Mini inside the limited-edition Dawn Everywhere Bag. It’s a satin fabric material that’s an iridescent pink with leather trim. I have yet to use this as I just received it – first impressions are that it softens nicely as it moves. Since it’s a fabric material I do think it won’t be quite as sturdy/stain resistant as the nylon or leather but I can review it in a separate post if you’re interested.
A look at the regular Away Mini vs The Aluminum Edition Mini. Both are the same dimensions. Differences are the material, closures and the Aluminum one opens up wider. The two Solstice Colors Halo and Aurora this season have a glossy finish, but all the colors in the regular lineup (like Black, Sand, Blush, etc.) have a textured finish. If you go to their website you’ll see the texture better on the stock images.
Inside is an open compartment with a mesh flap:
Side closures differences, regular ones have a zipper while the Aluminum has a clasp:
I’ve used these on flights and on road trips. They’re nice to keep essentials handy for quick access. I also put sunglasses inside sometimes! Everytime I fly and snap one of these on Instagram I’m flooded with questions about liquids and TSA restrictions. I always put everything in a quart size bag at home to make sure it fits first, if it all fits I pack it into a mini case. I bring an extra empty zip lock bag with me just in case they ask me to take all the contents out at security, but so far the airlines I’ve flown have taken a look at the case (this one or the Anya Hindmarch one I use) and given it the ok based on an eyeball estimate. It really depends on the airline and country you’re traveling to but if you’re carrying a lot of liquids the best option is to just check it with your luggage. If you want to keep your liquids in the clear bag until you pass through security that’s also an option.
One example of some beauty items I fit inside. If you want to know what I travel with you can see any of my Packing Posts by clicking on the tag.
Overall LOVE! I’ve loved these for years now and am excited every time they are launched for the holiday. I think they make the perfect stocking stuffers for anyone. I ordered so many last year and everyone loved them. This is the first time they’ve offered the Aluminum Edition and I’ve eyed (actually drooled over) the beautiful silver suitcases every time I’ve been in an Away store. Based on my lifestyle and preference I think the regular versions of the suitcases and minis are my preference. The Aluminum ones are beautiful, I’d just be afraid about denting or scratching it! That being said with travel and checking bags one really does need to get over the scratches because they’re bound to happen!
Quick peek at some other colors from last year’s post in case you’re wondering what they look like for scale. They still have the Brick (reddish color) and Asphalt (grey) as part of their core lineup:
I’m in the process of putting together a dedicated suitcase luggage review for you on the different size options. I have reviewed and featured the Carry On and Bigger Carry On in multiple Travel Posts which you can refer back to for now. I really love the Bigger Carry On out of all the sizes I’ve tried. We did recently get a Medium Size which seems more practical for week long trips. On a few vacations we ended up taking 3 Bigger Carry-On Suitcases with us because Andrew’s shoes are so big and I like to bring things home from travel (we did check them).
I hope this review gives you all the details you need if you don’t have an Away store near you! I highly recommend them. I really love everything from Away and am so thrilled to be one of their Collective Ambassadors for the year. You can find The Minis online at Away Travel for a limited-time this holiday and at any one of their free-standing stores.
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:
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.
Away Bigger Carry On in Clay:
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!
A look at the room we booked, cute hallways on each floor!
Double Bed Room:
View from the 7th Floor, New Montgomery Street View:
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
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″
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 *)
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.
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.
One last look at the beautiful hotel:
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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:
Next stop was Barneys New York – how cool is their Mask Bar?!
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!
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!
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:
Marc Jacobs O!Mega Bronze in Perfect Tan was sold out everywhere online but I did spot in store so I grabbed it, if you’ve been searching and wanting it, I’d recommend trying your local Sephora or Neiman Marcus to see if they have it
Pat McGrath Labs Dark Star 006 in Ultrasuede Brown so I did not realize this was $130 and reviews are super mixed, but what I swatched in store didn’t seem as bad as people report, at the moment debating whether or not to keep
Beauty Insider perks I picked up included as many Supergoop sunscreens as I could get my hands on, Drybar Triple Sec minis, First Aid Beauty minis and the Tarte birthday set
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.
This is a shot of what I had with me on my way back home:
Hope you enjoyed Part 2 of my three days in NYC posts! I already can’t wait to go back 🙂 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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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:
Perfume heaven at Creed:
Shopping heaven at Bergdorf Goodman:
Excited to see the entire line of Christian Louboutin Beauty in person!
Walking into the beauty level at Barneys New York, can you spot the By Terry counter?
Afternoon dessert with Edward Bess, I look so tan next to him! Thanks Cafe Makeup for the snap 🙂
Beauty playtime with Edward:
Quick snapshots of Soho, Laduree, Repetto, Byredo:
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 🙂
Bryant Park at night:
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.
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!