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Travel

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

May 9, 2017

Byredo Store Wooster St Soho NYC | The Beauty Look Book

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

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

Luggage, totes and accessories packed included a Louis Vuitton Neverful MM, Away Bigger Carry On (c/o – click this referral link save $20 on your first order), Truffle Mini Clarity Clutches (navy one c/o) , Glossier Pouch, Anya Hindmarch Inflight Case, Tatcha Travel Bag (discontinued) and a Tumi Just In Case Tote. The Tumi actually folds up into a flat compact square – I stuffed it for the photo so you could see the size. I’ve had this for years (and a few older variations) – they’re great to bring with you just in case you need an extra bag to bring home. For this trip I did check my luggage and many of you have asked how the Away luggage holds up. Between Dallas and NYC I checked it 3 times and it held up really well. No deep scratches and only surface scuffs and dark marks. I asked the reps at the store how to remove them and they recommended warm water and a washcloth or a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. I did a little demo video on my Instagram stories which you should be able to see until around 6:00 PM EST. The magic eraser method really does work! Of course anything you check will get marks and eventually dents.

Travel NYC Packing List | The Beauty Look Book

What I packed here ended up being similar to my Dallas trip, but slightly more edited. I wanted to make room in my luggage to bring home some things and hauls. Most everything fit inside the Away Bigger Carry On (you can use this referral link to save $20 off your first order).

Away Bigger Carry On Packed | The Beauty Look Book

Away Bigger Carry On Packing List via The Beauty Look Book

Clothing pack list:

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

Clothing Pack List for NYC | The Beauty Look Book

Makeup packing list:

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

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

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

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

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

Bergdorf Goodman Beauty Shopping | The Beauty Look Book

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

Barneys New York Mask Bar | The Beauty Look Book

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

Barneys and Bergdorfs Haul | The Beauty Look Book

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

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

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

Sephora NYC Times Square Tom Ford | The Beauty Look Book

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

Mega Sephora Haul | The Beauty Look Book

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

Byredo Soho Wooster NYC | The Beauty Look Book

Byredo Haul | The Beauty Look Book

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

Travel NYC Packing List | The Beauty Look Book

Hope you enjoyed Part 2 of my three days in NYC posts! I already can’t wait to go back πŸ™‚ 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!

Travel

Springtime Travels – Three Days in NYC

May 8, 2017

NYC Springtime Travels | The Beauty Look Book

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

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

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

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

NYC Springtime Travels Carmel Limo Service | The Beauty Look Book

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cherry Blossom Trees Spring NYC | The Beauty Look Book

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

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

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

Palm Court breakfast:

Palm Court NYC with Cafe Makeup

Perfume heaven at Creed:

Creed Boutique Madison Ave NYC

Shopping heaven at Bergdorf Goodman:

Bergdorf Goodman Shopping Heaven | The Beauty Look Book

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

Bergdorf Goodman Louboutin Beaute Counter | The beauty look book

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

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

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

Edward Bess x The Beauty Look Book selfie time

Beauty playtime with Edward:

Lunch with Edward Bess | The Beauty Look Book

Quick snapshots of Soho, Laduree, Repetto, Byredo:

Soho Springtime NYC | The Beauty Look Book

Soho NYC Byredo | The Beauty Look Book

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

Away Travel Store in Soho NYC | The Beauty Look Book

Bryant Park at night:

Bryant Park at Night | The Beauty Look Book

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

Sephora Times Square NYC | The Beauty look Book

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

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

Boutique Fragrance

Creed + High Camp Gardenias for Mother’s Day

May 1, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fully opened blooms after a few hours:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Creed Boutique Madison Avenue | The Beauty Look Book

Creed Boutique Madison Ave NYC | The Beauty Look Book

Creed Boutique Madison Avenue New York | The Beauty Look Book

Creed Boutique Madison Avenue in NYC | The Beauty Look Book

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

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

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

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

Travel

Packing for a Summer Getaway with Carry-Ons

July 6, 2016

 

This is the post many of you have been waiting for and I want to thank everyone for their kind words of support and also your patience while I try to get myself back together. It doesn’t matter how long or short a trip I take – it takes me a long time to unpack and organize things. This summer my husband and I planned a 2 week getaway with one week in New York and another week for Florida. The second half ended up being postponed for a later date due to work conflicts combined with my anxiety about leaving our two energetic Jack Russell Terriers and a very temperamental Ragdoll cat. This was the first trip we boarded them and while we knew we were leaving them in very good hands, I still think of them as my babies and leaving them for any period of time is hard for me especially since our fur kids are very high maintenance. But I digress – we packed for a two week getaway with carry-ons only as both my husband and I like to travel light. Many of you liked my Three Weeks in Europe with Carry Ons post last summer. This year we were lucky to try something new with carry on luggage from Away Travel.
Those following me on social have seen a few sneak peeks featuring Away – they are a relatively new company that carries affordable travel luggage. At the time of our trip they stocked one size of luggage the Carry-On ($225) which measures 21.7” x 13.7” x 9”. While in New York I stopped by their pop up Concept Store on in Noho at 325 Lafayette Street and discovered they just launched two additional sizes The Medium ($275) and The Large ($295). At this time you can order them direct from their website or purchase in store. If you click this referral link you can save $20 off your first order.
A quick look inside the concept store and then a review of the carry on followed by what I packed for the trip. The store currently stocks a few items you can only find in the store. There are two themes for the store, one is Tokyo inspired and the other has a Swedish theme. Both are based on what the founders are passionate about. While in the store I bought a travel blanket/scarf they call a Blarf ($125). I hope they carry this online soon or have it in more colors. It’s the perfect size, thickness and density for the airplane. So many recommend carrying a large scarf or small blanket and I think it’s hard to find something the right size and thickness for the plane.

 

Β above image, courtesy of Away

 

Β above image, courtesy of Away

 

Below are some images I took of the store. The staff was very kind and allowed be to browse. They have stations inside where you can see the product in person. They also have a kiosk stocked with folded shirts and tees like a demo station as a way help you figure out what size luggage will work best for your travel packing needs.

 

 

 

Bottom left – try out station with clothing so you can see which size best fits your needs based on what you plan to pack. Bottom right an Away x Capsule Beauty Box Collaboration set.

 

 

A closer look at the luggage. Away sent both my husband and I carry ons to test out for our trip. I wasn’t able to get a picture of the box – but they are shipped in a perfectly fitted box and they also come with their own dust bags for storage. Upon opening it I was really surprised how lightweight it was. The exterior is made of a Bayer Makrolon polycarbonate. It has some give to it if you touch it – it’s not 100% solid like metal or glass but still very thick and surprisingly sturdy. When we both unboxed ours I have to admit we were both concerned about the sturdiness since it’s so lightweight. After putting it to the test though I can report that it’s very sturdy. We did take these on the plane with us as carry-ons so I am not sure how the exterior will hold up if you check it.

 

For something so compact and streamlined, it has a lot of features I found practical but genius. The space is very well designed inside and out. There’s minimal wasted space inside for maximum packing – most luggage has a lot of unusable space inside because of the handles or pockets. It comes with a built in USB charger which I found very handy. The interior comes with a compression system which helps hold all your clothes in place so there’s minimal shifting even if it’s not completely full. There is also a removable laundry bag packed at the base – it rolls up into a compact zip pouch so once again, valuable packing space is not taken up. It comes with four wheels that have a 360 degree spin so rolling it around flat or angled is easy and seamless. Handles expand up to 20.3 inches.

 

There are four lights that indicate how much charge is left in the battery. Each case comes with a TSA approved lock as well:

 

 

 

 

Many of you saw my preliminary packing list in this post here. This is what I ended up packing inside, I also had the clothes I was wearing to and from our destinations. In addition to our carry ons, I had a Louis Vuitton Neverful Tote in the MM size and my husband had a laptop case. Not shown below is what I packed inside my tote which included my liquids, wallet, small truffle pouch with cosmetics, makeup brushes in a MustaeV bloom pouch, laptop and one pair of flats.

 

All packed up:

 

 

A quick look at the interior, more shots and details on their website:

 

 

 

What I fit inside the left side with the zipped portion. Each is the same in size. This is the first suitcase I’ve tried where both sides are the same – most have either a deep base with a cover. The Anya Hindmarch case fit inside with everything shown below (hat not packed but rather carried by hand). In the left side I packed 2 pairs of jeans, 2 blouses, 4 tees/tanks, makeup case, 2 sweater shells, three dresses.

 

 

On the right side is a compression case. It has a zip pouch where I stored socks and underwear. Packed inside were 3 boxes of Laduree tea (for on the way home), 3 sweaters, 1 pair of jeans (yes a 3rd pair, lol), 1 summer dress, 1 black tank, 1 pencil skirt, a pair of heels in dust bags, 1 tank, yoga pants and my camera case. My clothes are small and were lightweight so it was easy to roll or fold things in a way to fit without overstuffing.

 

 

Beautywise, everything fit inside 1 Anya Hindmarch Inflight Case to keep everything compact, 1 MustaeV Bloom Pouch for brushes and pencils, and 1 quart sized ziploc bag for liquids. Some of you may be wondering what happened to my clear pouch that I bought last year for liquids. Even though the description says it’s quart sized and reviews indicate many airports take it, there have been a few instances where security took one look and I had issues getting through. I was still able to get through in the end but since it looks like it carries a lot many suspect that it’s over the quart size limit. I decided to skip it this round.

 

 

The beauty pack list:

Cases:

Eye makeup:

Face Makeup:

Cheek and Highlighters:

Lips:

Misc:

 

Liquids and skincare:

 

 

For those wondering how well the luggage will hold up to scratches, I did not check the bag and so it was not exposed to serious contact damage with other bags. I did find one mark light scratch on the surface that happened from another bag sliding in the overhead compartment against mine. It was easy to remove but it was not a deep scratch and there was no indentation in the surface. I used a warm wash cloth and a tiny bit of hand soap to wipe the surface and the mark was almost 100% gone with a couple swipes.

 

 

 

A few final thoughts about packing for a week in New York City for the summer. I could have skipped the hat and my heels. Even for dressier occasions or meetings, my black flats worked just fine. In the streets I saw women mainly wore sandals, flats or short heeled wedges. I saw very few heels although I suspect some may just simply carry them in their totes to change for work or going out – if any New Yorkers want to chime in let me know!
  • I could have skipped the hat. I didn’t want it to get squished so I carried it on the plane. I did not end up wearing it at all as I felt it would have just gotten in the way.
  • I walked most of New York City in either my Chloe flats or Tory Burch Millers. Yes, sandals were not the best idea, but being a California girl I just have to. My feet did ok – no blisters and they did not get too dirty. Both pairs of shoes survived without any damage from extensive walking.
  • I packed more than I needed for a week – but we did intend to be away for 2 weeks instead of 1.
  • Next trip to NYC I’m packing super light on the beauty side. All I need can be found at Birchbox Soho or Space NK, not to mention all the Sephora stores around the city.
  • I really missed my hair dryer but I survived with the one in the hotel.
  • My husband only packed jeans and even after a trip to Banana Republic in the city for some last minute things, he only picked up shorts and polos. Next time I will be packing a nice pair of slacks or khakis for him. There were a few restaurants I wanted to go to that we could not because he only had jeans as he was on “vacay” mode.
  • I did bring a pair of my Pumas that I had from last year as my sneaker/walking shoes. My husband informed me I need to invest in a pair of better looking shoes. He gave them that “these should be burned” look when he saw me wearing them. If you have any recommendations please let me know.
  • By the end of my trip I had several full sized liquids and other items I bought while in NYC that would not fit inside my carry on or tote. I shipped them back home via FedEx. Quick note on pricing – make sure you double check price quotes online. I shipped everything home for a little over $40, box weight was about 20 pounds. A little over a week later I received an invoice from FedEx stating I owed an additional $120. I called them to ask about it and was informed that prices are just estimates in the store and additional charges may occur for residential deliveries, weekday deliveries, declared value and size etc. They said the best way to get an accurate quote is to use the calculator online or to call them directly. They were very nice and professional on the phone, this obviously was my first time shipping something this large from FedEx and I told them I was just a bit surprised there was such a huge difference from the estimate to the actual cost. They waived the extra $100 without me complaining or asking, which I thought was really nice of them and something they did not have to do at all. If you are a newbie shipper like me – just be aware of the shipping estimates if you ship large boxes or items home. If in doubt just ask about any potential added charges that may be incurred.
I hope you enjoyed this packing post and review of the Away Carry Ons. Right now the only place to buy is direct from their website and you can save $20 off your first order by using this referral link. Both my husband and I were really impressed with it. It’s practical, priced right, works just the way you want a carry on to work and sturdy. The little touches and features make a huge difference. I was impressed with how much I was able to fit. I am planning to buy one for my brother and brother in law soon as they are both in need of good travel gear.

 

Do you have any tips or things you do for packing in carry-ons? Or are you the type that always checks luggage?

 

Press samples featured courtesy for review include the Away Carry Ons, MustaeV Bloom Pouch, NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint, Edward Bess All Over Seduction. Some minis were from gift with purchases I’ve collected over time.

 

Travel

Langham Place New York

July 5, 2016

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

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

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

View from our room:

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

Can I transport this bathroom to my own home please? 

TV monitor built into the mirror!

Husband’s half of the bathroom:

Travel minis that I brought with me:

Sunset view:

Travel beauty: 

Fully equipped fitness center:

In room breakfast with a view: 

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

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

Birchbox Soho Flagship Store in NYC

July 1, 2016

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

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

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

Smith and Cult polishes:

More Hair Care to explore:

Makeup:

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

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

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

A few last shots of the women’s shop:

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

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

 

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

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

Space NK Boutique – 31 Prince Street in Nolita

June 30, 2016

Last week I stopped by a few of my favorite beauty shops in NYC. Living in Southern California I am lucky to have access to most brands but often times don’t have a free standing boutique near me for some stores to get the full experience. I was beyond thrilled to stop by Space NK’s newest New York Boutique on 31 Prince Street in Nolita. This was my first time inside a free standing store and it is a beauty lover’s dream come true. Between Space NK and Birchbox Soho – you literally have all your beauty and grooming (for men) needs covered. Both stock a wide variety of mid to high end beauty brands and from the looks of it, they have everything one could need and in travel sizes too. As I was oohing and aaahing at all the shelves in Space NK, by I thought to myself I should have skipped the stress of trying to hoard minis and pack all my liquids into a quart size bag (since I travel carry-on style) and made this store my first stop in once I arrived in the city.
The store is located on the corner of Prince and Mott – it’s one of the most charming beauty spaces I’ve been inside. There’s a lot stocked in the store covering skincare, hair care, cosmetics and more – at the same time it’s very spacious with a wide open feeling that gives it a luxurious feel. Walking inside is pretty amazing – I could not help but wish that I had a space like this in my home. Displays are organized by brand and product type. Skincare is split into different walls for the natural brands, more techy brands etc. I had just missed a Dr. Lancer appearance and book signing which happened at the store a few days prior. There are decicated areas for Lancer Skincare.

Wall of skincare featuring By Terry, Chantecaille, Sunday Riley, Eve Lom, Tata Harper:

So much love for By Terry, can I have one of everything please?

The Hourglass display complete with Ambient Lighting Powders, Foundations, Brushes and more:

Eve Lom foundations and powders to the left, Smith & Cult to the right:

More beauty from Kevyn Aucoin and Lord and Berry:



Wall of heaven stocked with Oribe minis, Ouai, Sachajuan, Gloss Moderne and more: 

Brow kiosk and Lipstick Queen:

Close up of Oribe heaven, full size wall and then stocked travel size minis:

Overall a must-stop if you visit New York City. There are quite a few Space NK stores located through the city, I was glad I stopped by this one as it’s in a cute neighborhood and Diptyque is just around the corner. It has a similar vibe and feel to the dedicated Space NK sections you may see inside a Bloomingdale’s (which I also love) but being able to visit a separate store is really a must if you can.
Many thanks to Space NK for allowing me to take photos inside their beautiful store. Next time I’m in New York I won’t be packing a lot of items, I know now that I can simply stop by here and purchase what I need as they carry my favorite brands.

Have you been inside a Space NK store before? I know they are all over the US but this is my first time visiting a dedicated store. Hope you enjoyed this peek into their space! Snippets on their social too @spacenkusa – something I live vicariously through since I don’t have a store near me. It’s nice to see snapshots of their stores around the country and new launch sneak peeks.

P.S. There’s a summer sale going on right now, some items are marked up to 50% off πŸ™‚