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Packing Travel What's In My Bag

Travel Makeup for a Week in California

January 9, 2019

Travel Makeup Favorites | The Beauty Look Book

Today I’m sharing what makeup I packed for a week of travel in December to California! I’ve also included a closer look at three of my favorite makeup bags that I’ve used numerous times for travel. When it comes to travel and makeup I bring more than I need because I’m always testing products even when I’m on vacation! I don’t always manage to blog or post reviews while I’m on-the-go but behind the scenes I’m always testing and trying out product. For those who want to know sweater worn above is the Everlane Cashmere Crew in Light Oatmeal, size I ordered is XS and it’s a perfect fit! The customer reviews online helped me decide what size to pick based on height and weight.

My recent travel skincare favorites are in this post here. Today’s roundup is all about makeup! I fit most of my makeup into 3 key makeup bags that I have used on many trips including:

  1. The Daily Edited Transparent Travel Case $90 (original version, current one has a wider leather strip on one side)
  2. The Daily Edited Large Cosmetic Case $120
  3. Truffle Clarity Jetset Case $88

All three pouches are ones I bought myself and since I ordered them the prices have gone up. If you see different prices on older posts it’s because they have changed! I do think they were all worth the price because all three have held up really well. If you click on the Travel Packing category you can see what I’ve packed on previous trips. I also usually bring a few of the cute Glossier Pouches that come with online orders because they’re nice to have to protect compacts or fragile items.

Beauty spill of items I packed. I brought my Dyson Supersonic Dryer with me because we were going to be staying with family for a large portion of the trip. Both of them were our brothers who have short hair and don’t use dryers because they don’t need to! For brushes I brought the T3 Vented Brush with me.

Travel Makeup Picks via The Beauty Look Book

Truffle Jetset Clarity Case

An overwhelming number of you asked me about the photo I posted on Instagram above, in particular you wanted to know what brand of makeup bag held all the brushes and if they were full size or travel size tools. I always tag items in Instagram photos so all you have to do is tap the photo once to see brand tags. This one is the Truffle Jetset Clarity Case. It measures 7.5 x 5.25 x 2 inches and has one open compartment inside. The top and base has a clear plastic window so you can see what’s inside. I’m able to fit a lot inside, I have a bag spill of everything I was able to put in it.

All the brushes I brought are the full size options. Lately I’ve been really loving the Laura Mercier Makeup Brushes*. She redesigned them sometime last year and they’re what I’ve been reaching for the most. They’re synthetic and pick up powders really well for smooth application. I still also really love Wayne Goss Makeup Brushes* because they’re ultra soft and well made. Mine have held up over a few years and many washes. I’ve reviewed them here and here.

Other makeup products I fit inside include the:

  • Pat McGrath Perma Precision Liquid Liner
  • L’Oreal Lash Paradise Mascara Waterproof
  • Tom Ford Waterproof Extreme Mascara
  • Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Stick in Rosegold
  • Sisley Waterproof Eyeliners x2*
  • Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk
  • Anastasia Brow Wiz in Caramel
  • Anastasia Tweezers
  • MAC Eyelash Curler

 

Truffle Clarity Jetset Case and Makeup Brushes | The Beauty Look Book

The Daily Edited Transparent Travel Case

I also really love The Daily Edited Transparent Cases which are a great dupe for the Anya Hindmarch Inflight cases, both compared and reviewed here.

Travel Beauty - The Daily Edited Transparent Cosmetic Case, The Beauty Look Book

It has two zippered compartments, one is deeper than the other. In the top I’m able to stack 2 Hourglass palettes, shadows and several foundations. If you’re packing liquids you’ll most likely have to put this into checked luggage. The bottom fit some Armani eyeshadow singles and the Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Glam Palette perfectly.

Travel Makeup Favorites in The Daily Edited Transparent Case

Things packed inside include:

  • 2 Hourglass 6-pan Palettes (holiday 2018 editions reviewed here and here)
  • Armani Luminous Silk Foundation in 6.5
  • Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Foundation* in Buff
  • Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter (review here)
  • NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Ginger
  • Armani Eyes to Kill Stellar Eyeshadows x4
  • Hourglass Scattered Light Eyeshadows x5 (review here)
  • Anastasia Soft Glam Eyeshadow Palette
  • NARS Velvet Lip Glide in Roseland (review here)
  • Fenty Beauty Gloss Bombs in Fenty Glow and Fussy (beauty looks here)
  • Hourglass Arch Brow Tinted Brow Gel in Soft Brunette*
  • Tom Ford Boys and Girls Lipstick in River (review here)
  • Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution in Pillow Talk

 

Best Travel Makeup Picks via The Beauty Look Book

The Daily Edited Large Cosmetic Case

I’ve owned The Daily Edited Large Cosmetic Case one for a long time now and after using it on many trips and several moves I still find it’s one of my favorites. You can monogram these and I’ve picked the smaller size font sometimes with the blind embossing instead of the gold. A number of you have asked for a review on the Cuyana Makeup bags which I still plan on doing, but for this trip I wanted to bring ones I knew would work for me. This one is roomy and sturdy for all a number of things I want to bring. I sometimes pack a couple to separate and organize products.

Inside this one:

  • Atelier Travel Size Colognes, I love their Vanilla Insensee and Bois Blond for this time of year
  • Urban Decay All Nighter Spray (mine was from a GWP), but they do have the travel size option with 1 oz/30 ml available individually
  • IGK Jet Lag Dry Shampoo (mine is the mini)
  • Kopari Coconut Deodorant Mini (full size reviewed here)
  • Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Glow Powder*
  • Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb in Diamond Milk (on the lips here)
  • Moroccanoil Treatment mini size
  • Tom Ford Eyeshadow Quad in Honeymoon
  • Clinique Take the Day Off (also from a GWP)
  • La Mer Pressed Powder
  • Chanel La Creme Main Hand Cream
  • Tatcha Mini Lipstick

Travel Makeup, Haircare + Deodorant Minis

 

One last look:

Travel Makeup, Sabrina's Favorites | The Beauty Look Book

Overall I think I packed everything I could have possibly needed for this trip. We tend to travel and dress casually otherwise I would have brought some bolder lip colors. I could have packed a lot more lip gloss or lipstick but I felt like I kept reaching for the light and glossy gloss bombs from Fenty Beauty. The IGK Jet Lag Dry Shampoo was a life saver for me. I’m one who prefers to wash my hair daily but there were a couple days we were so tired by the end of the day all I could do was wash my face before passing out and falling into a deep sleep. The dry shampoo was great for 2nd and 3rd day hair in the mild California climate.

Hope you liked this post! Do you have any go-to travel makeup bags? When I traveled with a couple girl friends I was really surprised to see they use these large canvas zip organizers that unfold and hang to fit all their beauty needs. It literally fits EVERYTHING inside. I like to keep my things separated in little pouches but perhaps I need to investigate the larger beauty organizers for travel.

Press samples have a * next to them. All other items purchased on my own.

 

Packing Skincare Travel

Travel Skincare Favorites

January 7, 2019

Travel Skincare Favorites, Foreo UFO, Tatcha Dewy Skin Mist, Glow Recipe Watermelon Juice | The Beauty Look Book

I have a roundup of some of my favorite travel skincare items that I brought with me on our trip that I used. I tend to over pack on some beauty items, especially makeup, but for skin care I feel like I can keep my travel picks edited. We were in California for a full week and out of the items I packed these are the things I used! Most of my trips have been shorter ones so I pack minis with me when I can.

Travel Skincare Essentials Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask, Foreo UFO, Kate Somerville Eradikate Cleanser

I usually pack a few face masks on trips but this round I brought my Foreo UFO and it was perfect! I reviewed in detail here, you can see a quick video demo here. I brought 10 packets of the different sheet formulas and used it every single day of our trip. I also packed it into my carry on bag to use on the plane. My skin tends to be dry at higher altitudes so this was the perfect tool to help replenish moisture quickly in 90 seconds. The weather in San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco is also noticeably colder compared to Florida. Climate is also a lot more dry. Having this with me was perfect to hydrate and rebalance my skin. It was super convenient and compact to pack into my travel case.

Travel Skincare Foreo UFO Smartmask

For cleansers and scrubs, I packed minis of the Kate Somerville Eradikate Cleanser, Fresh Beauty Sugar Face Scrub (for me), Kate Somerville Exfolikate Scrub (for Andrew), Drunk Elephant Baby Facial and a mini toner that was from a GWP. I didn’t end up using the Baby Facial, I felt the sugar scrub was sufficient to exfoliate throughout the week. There was a possibility we were going to another destination after San Francisco, so I packed a few extra things just in case.

Travel Skincare Kate Somerville Cleansers, Fresh Beauty Scrub, Drunk Elephant

For moisturizers I used two throughout the week. On most days I felt the Glow Recipe Watermelon Juice Moisturizer mini was sufficient for a lightweight moisturizer. The rest of my skin care routine was enough to balance my skin for something like this one. On a few days and night when I needed more I used the Tatcha Travel Silk Cream.

Travel Moisturizers Glow Recipe and Tatcha

For lips I packed two items, the Tatcha Kissu Lip Mask (it was limited-edition and currently not available but I hope they bring it back!) and Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask in Champagne. I used the Tatcha Kissu at night and kept the Bite Beauty Lip Mask with me in my purse for on-the-go application. Both are excellent options for dry lips.

Best Lip Masks Tatcha Kissu Lip Mask and Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask

Two face mists I ended up bringing were the Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist and Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Face Mist. I did not need two but we booked our tickets last minute and I ended up with duplicates with my rush packing job. I ended up using both throughout our travels but found myself reaching more for the Tatcha one. I love that both are travel friendly in size!

Travel Face Mists Tatcha and Omorovicza

Everything was packed up in a few travel pouches including my Away Mini Travel Case (sold out, but hopefully will be back!) and the Truffle Jetset Clarity Case. Both versatile and nice for traveling. I kept a few things to carry on the plane with me but for the most part checked the rest of the liquids in one of our medium suitcases.

Travel Skincare Favorites | The Beauty Look Book

Travel Skincare Favorites | The Beauty Look Book

There will be a few more packing posts to follow on my travel makeup and more but for now I hope you enjoyed reading about my skincare picks! I think I packed well. I could have skipped was the Baby Facial and packed 1 face mist instead of 2. We were only gone for a week but this was an open ended trip and there was a possibility we were going to be traveling for a while longer. I did feel like I was missing two key things. One was a good eye cream, but I felt my moisturizer did the job for the week. I also did not pack any acne spot treatments, but thankfully I had no breakouts this trip to worry about! I feel the best things I packed for skincare included the Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask and Foreo UFO Smartmask. I now consider those travel essentials and definitely plan on bringing those with me on future trips!

Do you have any favorite travel skincare essentials? Do you tend to pack for shorter trips (1 week or shorter) or longer vacations? Would love to hear about your favorites!

Post sponsored by Foreo. Press samples featured include the Foreo UFO, Tatcha Dewy Skin Mist, Away Travel Case. Other items purchased by me. As always all opinions are my own.

 

California Travel

California Travel Diary

January 6, 2019

California Travel Diary - Coronado, San Diego

We planned a spur of the moment trip to California the last week of 2018 and had such a great time. Andrew had some meetings on the West Coast so I decided to tag along to keep him company and to also visit family and friends. We decided to hit up three cities in one week including San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco. I was beyond thrilled to go back. We didn’t have any concrete plans beyond our flight dates. It was all about catching up with loved ones and packing in as much eating and shopping as we could! A number of you messaged me asking how I manage to stay fit while having an “amazing appetite” and it made me laugh so hard I started to cry. After months of sticking to mostly clean eating I decided to live life to the fullest and not care about the calories for the last week of the year. It was 100% worth it. Also with all the walking we did neither of us gained any weight during the trip.

San Diego

Tampa to San Diego Trip, December 2018

Above Left: Flying out of Tampa International Airport overlooking St. Pete Beach, Right: Landed in San Diego with the Away Luggage in Bigger Carry On and two Everywhere Bags (c/o), rest of our luggage was at baggage claim, wearing Madewell Sweater, Joie Jacket (older style), jeans worn are Frame Denim, sneakers are Converse Shoes

We took a red eye from Tampa to San Diego and packed our Away Luggage with 1 Medium Suitcase, 2 Bigger Carry-Ons and 2 Everywhere Bags. Full review + packing posts to follow in separate features as this one is pretty lengthy with 3 cities. I will say that the Medium Luggage was perfect for us and that we are both incredibly impressed with the Everywhere Bags. In San Diego Andrew booked us a room at Hotel Republic near downtown. It was around 12 minutes walking distance from Little Italy and in a relatively safe area. We enjoyed our stay! The rooms were clean, modern and very comfortable. We would definitely consider staying here again.

San Diego Travel Diary, Hotel Republic

Hotel Republic San Diego, California

Hotel Republic San Diego, California

We stopped by some of our favorite food places and tried one new spot. The first morning Andrew had to rush to meetings so we had breakfast in the hotel which was decent but there are better options in town. Our favorites:

  • Mission Cafe in North Park / Hillcrest – There are several locations around the city and this one is our favorite. They have the best rosemary potatoes and coffee in town. If you are going on the weekends go early, the wait can sometimes be longer 45 minutes!
  • In-N-Out Burger – I used to eat this weekly. There are no other burgers like this. If you like to eat healthy then I’d say avoid this, but I love it. My brother has offered so freeze and ship them to me from California.
  • Indigo Grill – One of our favorite dinner spots in Little Italy. We met up with a good friend here for dinner. If you try it I highly recommend you try out the brie appetizer. Their ribs are also pretty good.
  • Pho on 5th – This is a little hole in the wall Vietnamese restaurant, we’ve tried a lot in town and there are so many good ones. This one is our favorite.

Other food places I’d recommend by area:

  • Little Italy – Crack Shack, Ballast Point, Pappalecco (for coffee and desserts), Ironside, PrepKitchen
  • Hillcrest / Balboa Park – Cucina Urbana
  • La Jolla – PrepKitchen, Coffee Cup La Jolla, Whisknladle, Herringbone, Piatti

Favorite Eats, San Diego, California

Little Italy, San Diego

We stopped by Coronado a couple times to visit family and walk around the beach. Compared to Tampa, the beaches in Coronado seemed freezing this time of year! We still love it here.

Coronado, Hotel Del, San Diego

Above wearing Everlane Cashmere Crew, Kate Spade Sunglasses (older color style, current version here), Rag and Bone Ankle Skinny

I also made a point to stop by one of my favorite coffee shops in town. Communal Coffee has really interesting floral lattes (and regular ones too). Their light bites are very good as well. They have a cute flower shop inside which is a little spendy to build your own bouquet but they always have the prettiest fresh cut flowers. The shop is not just Instagram friendly. They actually have very good coffee and food.

Communal Coffee San Diego, Hillcrest

Los Angeles

Our next stop was LA! On the way up we stopped in between San Diego and Los Angeles to see Rachel of Beauty Professor! I posted a photo of us with her beautiful baby on Instagram in case you missed it! We drove up that evening to LA and we stayed with my brother while we were in town. View from my brother’s house:

Los Angeles Views

We did one touristy thing while in town which was to visit the street where you can see the Hollywood Sign on Windsor Boulevard between 4th and 5th Street. Also shown in this post here.

Hollywood Sign, Los Angeles

We managed to pack in a lot of shopping at The Grove, Beverly Center, Americana at Brand and Westfield Century City. I would say the best spot to shop is Century City. The Grove is always fun, but with the recent changes and upgrades, you will find a lot more options at Century City or Americana At Brand. Melrose is also a super cute area for the smaller boutiques and restaurants. Quick thank you to the sweet readers who stopped me to say hello while we were out and about! It really made my day that you took the time to stop and say hi 🙂

Christmas Americana At Brand

Highlights Below:

  • Westfield Century City has Eataly is super cute inside! I think the one in New York is better, but the one in Los Angeles isn’t bad. We bought some bite-sized pastries and espresso to refuel and re-energize in between all of our walking and running around.
  • Sugarfina stores aren’t anywhere in Tampa (yet), they have a small selection here and there at a few stores, but no free standing location. I stocked up on their holiday santa cookies and gummies!
  • Compartes Chocolates has some of the cutest chocolate bars, I usually go to the one on Melrose but we didn’t make it there this time. Luckily there was a cute store in Century City!
  • Gjusta is my brother’s favorite place to eat so we met up with him there. This was my second time here and it is always amazing! We also really love Gjelina in Venice (restaurant and take out) but for dinner they often require reservations which we didn’t plan in advance for. We were in town Christmas week and knowing how busy they are we didn’t even try to go.

LA Eats Century City and Gjusta

Other eats and tries:

  • Butcher, Baker, Cappuccino Maker was a spot we tried for the first time in West Hollywood, Andrew’s breakfast sandwich was amazing but my avocado toast was just ok. The coffee was delicious though!
  • Egg Slut – We met up with my bestie here for the first time and loved it. Andrew was convinced we were going to Shake Shack next door and still hasn’t forgiven me that we didn’t stop by this trip.
  • Dominique Ansel at The Grove – We had a few pastries here and the cronuts. The one in NYC is better but the Los Angeles location is still very good.
  • Din Tai Fung (not shown) – We were so excited about this we forgot to take any photos! My family is from Taiwan and when I was in college, I spent a summer there. I ate at Din Tai Fung in Taipei every week. I don’t think any of the locations in the US are quite like the original ones, but it’s still very very good! It was Andrew’s first time trying it and he was very impressed.

LA Eats Butcher, Baker Cappucino Maker, Egg Slut, Dominique Ansel Bakery

My bestie Laura, so happy to see her! Below wearing the top is the Free People Nikala Tee (still available here), jeans are the 7 For All Mankind High Waist Skinny, Chloe Mini Marcie, Cole Haan Grandpro Stitchlite

Beauty Look Book Besties

Below outside my happy place, I had to stop by multiple Sephora stores. This one at Century City is the best one we saw!

My Happy Place Sephora

Last Stop San Francisco

San Francisco Exploring

Cropped Sweater from & Other Stories, Frame Le Skinny Denim jeans on repeat, Converse Shoes, Chloe bag

Our last stop was San Francisco. We arrived in town Christmas Eve and stayed a few more days at my brother-in-law’s house. One of our good friends gave us a tour of the new Facebook facility in San Francisco. He’s based in campus in Menlo Park but was still able to give us a tour of the new building. The views from the top floors were amazing!

View from 34th Floor Facebook San Francisco

Leather jacket from Vince (old style, current version here)

San Francisco Views from the 34th Floor

San Francisco Views

My must-sees for San Francisco were Tartine Bakery and Tartine Manufactory. I would eat at both places on a daily basis if I could. The bread and pastries are the best I’ve ever had! I live for the Tartine Morning Buns.

San Francisco Tartine Manufactory and Tartine Bakery

We also tried a few other cute places which I didn’t get pictures of. Most of the restaurants were closed for Christmas Eve and Christmas but we managed to find some open restaurants. On Christmas Eve we stopped by a ramen place called Iza Ramen which was really cute! On Christmas evening we decided not to cook at home and instead went out for Chinese dumplings. Three of us put in our names at both Kingdom of Dumpling and Dumpling Kitchen (they’re both on the same street) and waited nearly 45 minutes for a table. Kingdom of Dumpling opened up first. It’s a very tiny restaurant inside with maybe only 8 tables. Even though the wait was long and space was a little cramped, we had the most entertaining memorable Christmas there. We would 100% go back.

A few more snapshots of our trip. I have the worst fear of heights and it’s an ordeal for me to walk down steep hills. I would almost rather stop drop and roll down any steep hill, it’s that bad. Andrew held my hand the entire time. We walked through Nob Hill, Russian Hill, Lombard Street and it was so packed for the holidays! We eventually made our way down to Boudin’s at Fisherman’s Wharf to grab some coffee and just took our time to enjoy the city.

San Francisco Nob Hill

San Francisco Travel Diary

On our last day before we flew back to Tampa, we stopped by a hole in the wall Banh Mi shop called Dinosaurs in the Castro. It was excellent! It’s tiny but the food was delicious.

San Francisco Travel Diary

I hope you enjoyed our California Travel Diary! We are not good at planning but we always manage to have a good time even on spur of the moment adventures. I hope in 2019 we’ll be better and plan our trips more in advance. I’m currently researching places to visit in the upcoming months. We have so much on our travel bucket list it’s hard to pick a destination!

Do you have any favorite spots in California? Or any travel plans for the upcoming year? I’d love to hear about them! Packing posts are what most of you have been asking me for. I’m breaking it down into a 3 part series so stay tuned! I’ll let you know what I brought with me, what I could have skipped and also the list of things I felt like I missed.

 

California Travel

Hello from California!

December 26, 2018

Christmas 2018 in LA, Americana At Brand Mall | The Beauty Look Book

I’m a day late but hope you all had a very Merry Christmas! I’m writing from San Francisco, California right now. We decided to spend our last week of the year on the West Coast for Christmas to visit family and friends! I was so thrilled to be able to hit up three cities, San Diego (our hometown), Los Angeles and San Francisco. I’ll have a more detailed travel diary up soon but you can follow along on what we are doing on @beautylookbook Instagram Stories. It’s been two years since we left San Diego and my first time back since then. My heart has been filled with so much joy as we’ve been reunited with friends and family. I’ve been trying to live as much as I can in the moment so I haven’t been posting as much but I have some beauty reviews coming up very soon that I’ve been working on so stay tuned!

City guide, packing post, travel beauty picks and more to follow soon. So many of you have asked about our favorite food spots in San Diego and I’ll compile a list of our favorites. We were in town only for a couple days but made it back to Mission Cafe (best one is in Hillcrest), Indigo Grill, Pho on 5th and of course In-n-Out Burger. After being on a very strict healthy diet back home for the past 6 months (mostly chicken, brown rice, sweet potatoes or some kind of vegetable) we decided to indulge in a full cheat week with all the amazing food on the West Coast. I’ve been busy getting my fill of bread, dumplings and pastries.

A quick peek at some places we hit up in San Diego – Coronado, Los Angeles and San Francisco. I was also so thrilled to be able to visit my good friend Rachel of @beautyprofessor and finally meet her adorable baby Johanna. This is such a precious age and I’m happy I was able to see her!

California Christmas San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco | The Beauty Look Book

All the things I packed to follow in a more detailed post, but above wearing the Everlane Cashmere Crew, 7 For All Mankind b(air) Skinny Jeans, Make and Model Cozy Up Cropped Hoodie in Grey, Loft Cable Knit Sweater, Vince Moto Jacket (old style, similar here), Converse Chuck Low Sneakers. Also been living off the IGK Jet Lag Dry Shampoo for the nights I’ve been too tired to wash my hair. We also put our Away Everywhere Bags to the test for the first time and I can say hands down it’s the best travel bag I have ever used. Andrew was also impressed after testing it!

Hope you all had a great holiday! Sending you lots of love from California right now.

 

Holiday Gift Guide Packing Travel

Away Mini Suitcases + Holiday Gift Sets

November 13, 2018

Away Mini Suitcase Review Holiday 2018 | The Beauty Look Book

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.

Away Mini Suitcase Millenial Pink Review | The Beauty Look Book

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!

Away Mini Suitcase Dimensions | The Beauty Look Book

The Grooming Set

Away Mini Grooming Set Holiday 2018

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

Away Mini Suitcase Beauty Set Holiday 2018 Review

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.

Away Mini Suitcase Review | The Beauty Look Book

Inside is an open compartment with a mesh flap:

Best Travel Amenities Case from Away Travel

Side closures differences, regular ones have a zipper while the Aluminum has a clasp:

Best Mini Travel Cases from Away Travel | The Beauty Look Book

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.

Away Travel Mini Toiletries Case | The Beauty Look Book

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:

Away Carry On Suitcase with Holiday Mini Suitcases

Away Mini Suitcase Review Travel Gift Guide | The Beauty Look Book

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.

Away minis + bags provided for review.

 

Florida Travel

Six Months in Florida

October 6, 2017

Clearwater Beach, Florida

This year has has been one of the most interesting and challenging years of my life with our move from California to Florida back in February. This month marks the seven month time period of us living on the East Coast, but with evacuating for a few days, travel, and work trips here and there we’ve really been in Tampa Bay for six. So many have asked for a Tampa Bay travel guide plus thoughts on moving from coast to coast. I know most of you come to this blog for beauty-related reviews and insights so it makes me happy to find a lot of you are interested in other parts of my life as well.

We moved from San Diego to Tampa Bay in February of this year. Both Andrew and I had lived in San Diego most of our lives and were ready for a change. We didn’t know exactly where we wanted to live, but we knew it would be somewhere sunny. The timing happened to coincide with the fact that Andrew’s parents found their dream house in Apollo Beach, Florida and decided to buy it for retirement in a year or two. They asked us if we’d consider moving and renting from them so they wouldn’t have to find strangers to rent it and we agreed. We packed up everything we owned from the modern loft we rented into a 16-foot Penske moving truck with our three fur kids and drove across country to Florida in 5 days.

Our plan was to rent their home for a year while we explored Florida to decide where to settle down. We explored things all over the place fell in love with pretty much everything. Each area has it’s own unique charm! Unfortunately things don’t always go according to plan. Long story very short, Andrew’s parents told us they were going to move/retire earlier than they expected. They changed their move date twice and by mid-July we learned they would be in Apollo Beach by August. We had to find a new place in a matter of a couple weeks. To say I had a freak out about the thought of not having a place to live would be an understatement. With pets finding a place to rent or buy isn’t an easy process and for sure isn’t something you can do quickly. Andrew, being the glass half full kind of person that he is, calmed me down and said we should look on the bright side, take advantage of not being tied down, travel month-to-month in a few vacation rentals and do some real exploring to get a sense of the different areas in Florida.

In less than 5 days we packed, found a storage unit, moved most of our belongings there and found a vacation rental that would take 3 pets. We signed up with a parcel delivery service for our mail and packages. We each packed a suitcase and a few bankers moving boxes to bring essentials with us. Finding a monthly vacation rental was easy, but finding one that would take 3 pets with a fenced yard was a bit of a challenge. We looked at Airbnb, HomeAway and VRBO and it took hours of searching. As this post is being published, we are now on Month 3 of living the nomadic life in three different areas of Tampa Bay and it’s been quite an adventure. Stressful for sure, but still we’ve managed to have a lot of fun, explore like tourists and also live like locals. We’ve learned a lot.

Fort De Soto Park

Now that I’ve shared my story, here are some thoughts on each place we’ve lived, a list of my top places to see and where to eat in Tampa Bay. We still have a long list of places we want to visit! Florida is such a huge place we’ve barely scratched the surface.

Sunshine Skyway Bridge Tampa Bay

Where we’ve lived:

When people ask me what it’s like to live in Florida, my answer is that it really depends on where you are. Florida is a really big state, we’ve only really explored Tampa Bay which is enormous. The only thing consistent across Tampa Bay is that the weather is warm, it can be hot and humid and it rains frequently. We loved that the weather is so warm you can swim in the ocean without freezing! In the three cities we’ve lived we’ve found so much wildlife – each area has different kinds of animals that gravitate towards those areas. Some that scare me to death like snakes, geckos and lizards and some that are cute like pelicans, cranes, squirrels and dolphins.

Apollo Beach is a city south and east of Tampa. Much of the area was developed to be a waterfront community so there are a lot of man-made canals which is unlike anything I had ever seen before. My in-law’s house is located in one of the gated communities along the water where every house has a boat dock in their backyard. Manatees, dolphins, fish, birds and all kinds of wildlife surface which is really amazing. Andrew and I loved everything about our neighborhood and the house had a lot of charm: two stories, four bedrooms, huge backyard and a pool. The only downside was it was far from everything we were interested in seeing, doing or eating – most places are at least 35 minutes away to an hour drive.

Apollo Beach Florida

St. Pete Beach is one of the best beach towns I’ve visited. If you’re looking for a great vacation spot this is such a cute area with lots of fun coffee shops, restaurants, cute hotels, beaches with cabana rentals and more. We rented a cute beach house in August, also with a pool and fenced back yard. It was the first time we had used VRBO and we had a great experience. It’s easy to navigate, search, filter (a key for us pet owners) and book. We were a bit worried it would also be too far from Tampa and it is, however there is so much to explore in the area. Treasure Island is a lot fun (they have an amazing salt water taffy store there and I don’t even like taffy, but the ones there are amazing!), Pass-A-Grille has beautiful beaches to relax, and St. Petersburg is only 30 minutes away.

St Pete Beach Florida

Saint Petersburg was our third Florida destination to live. This area was my favorite for food. In the month we lived in St. Pete Beach we found ourselves constantly driving the 20-30 minutes to Saint Petersburg for coffee, lunch and dinner so we decided to live there for a month. This was our second experience VRBO where we rented a charming cottage.

Beach Cottage Vacation Florida

Places to visit:

We’re still exploring Florida and I’ll most likely create a separate page that I’ll update as we see more. In Florida I think the most frequently suggested place to visit is Orlando because of Disney World and all the other theme parks. I had been to Disneyland in California many times growing up and actually liked that one better. Our favorite places that we visited:

  • Clearwater Beach has the best soft white sand out of all the beaches I’ve visited. It’s a great place to stop by for a day visit. Sunsets are just so beautiful! Where we stayed in Clearwater in this post here.
  • St. Pete Beach is one of the most fun areas to live and explore. We stayed at the Kimpton Hotel Zamora in December which we would definitely go to again. After we moved the first time we spent a day renting beach chairs and umbrellas at The DonCesar Hotel and had an amazing time. It’s on our list to stay at for stay-cations, the property is beautiful!
  • Fort de Soto Park is a unique park and beach area that’s quite spread out so it’s not as dense with people as some other beaches. There is a lot to explore, you can bike, walk, or swim. There is a historic fort there as well.
  • Pass-A-Grille is part of St. Pete Beach past The Don Cesar hotel – it’s lined with beaches all the way to the Gulf. It’s really beautiful here. We took several day trips here when we lived at the beach to just sit and relax. You definitely need to bring some beach chairs and umbrellas with you.

Clearwater Beach, Pass-a-Grille, St Pete Beach, Fort de Soto | The Beauty Look Book

  • Weeki Wachee Springs State Park is a little over an hour north. It has two main parts, one is Buccaneer Bay which has a mini theme park feel with water slides, mermaid show, restaurants (it closes starting October, check site for when they reopen) and the other part is the kayaking along the Weeki Wachee River which is open 365 days a year (they will shut down if there are thunder/lightening storms). It took us 4 hours to kayak 5 miles and it was the best thing we’ve done in Florida.
  • Anna Maria is south close to Sarasota, visiting these beaches on a clear day makes you feel like you’ve found paradise. The water is clear and the brightest blue I’ve ever seen. Something definitely worth seeing.
  • Hyde Park Village in Tampa is a cute shopping and restaurant area. They have Sprinkles, Sur la Table, Bartaco, Anthropologie and a cute Blue Mercury store!
  • Bayshore Boulevard is a long continuous sidewalk along Tampa Bay, it was unique and interesting for us because the view of the water and houses in the area is just amazing! The entire sidewalk is 4.5 miles long. We watched the fourth of July fireworks from here.

Weeki Wachee Kayaking, Anna Maria, Bayshore Boulevard, Hyde Park Village Florida

Top places to eat:

Through a process of trial and error we’ve found some really amazing food in Tampa.

  • Bodega – best most unique Cuban sandwiches I’ve tried, since eating here I’ve put at least a dozen other places to the test and NOTHING compares.
  • Bartaco – love this place for the ambiance, food, service, they have several locations in a few states like Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia – definitely check it out!
  • Edison Food Lab – wins for most unique menu, their menu changes every once in a while which makes it interesting.
  • Casita Taqueria – in Florida there really isn’t quite anything as good as the Mexican food I’ve grown accustomed to in San Diego, this place is pretty darn good though. I live for their queso!
  • Ted Peter’s Famous Smokehouse – they have amazing fresh fish and I’m not really a fish eating person (the only sushi I do is California Roll and I know that’s not real sushi), it’s definitely a unique spot with a very relaxed atmosphere, note that they take cash only.
  • Fresh Kitchen – this is a Tampa/Southern version of Chipotle, they have bowls you can mix and match to create your own combination. One of the healthier food options in town.
  • Better Byrd – if you like chicken sandwiches or donuts (I love both), this is a way better version of Chick-Fil-A.
  • Datz – another place filled with amazing food options, warning though if you are a healthy eater and don’t eat here, everything on the menu is pretty hefty, but it’s unique and I think worth trying at least once.
  • 4Rivers Smokehouse – amazing BBQ!

Best coffee and desserts:

  • The Hyppo is probably the best dessert place I’ve tried. They have gourmet ice pops that come in the most unique flavors, aren’t overly sweet, and have amazing fruit blends. I think I could live off these alone. They have several locations – this place is a must visit.
  • Sweet Brewnette is a cute coffee shop in St Pete Beach (Madiera Beach to be exact) they have really good coffee.
  • Kahwa Coffee has multiple locations in Tampa and Saint Petersburg, in my top 5 coffee places of all time.
  • La Casa del Pane is a cute Italian Bakery with good patries, foccacia, bread, coffee and desserts.
  • Oxford Exchange is a cute restaurant, coffee bar, tea bar and gift shop kind of place. It stocks Aesop and Cire Trudon as well!

Favorite Eats Tampa

I’ve mapped out everything here in case you want to use it as a reference!

Tampa Bay Favorites

I hope you enjoyed this roundup! If you’ve moved cross country before I’d love to hear about it. It’s taken some time for me to adjust but we love the water, beaches, warm weather, food, people. It’s been a wonderful place to explore and my first time living in the South. The only stressful thing has been the constant moving and right now we aren’t sure how much longer we will be doing this. Part of us is ready to pick a place and settle down, other parts of us really love the exploring! We had hoped to be in New York or Miami the month of October but the pet situation has made things a bit tricky. If you travel frequently any tips or tricks on how to get used to it? We’ve moved four times this year and we get better and more efficient each time. I tried to keep this as high level as possible – there’s so much I could write about our experiences! If you have any questions about anything on VRBOs/Airbnb, traveling with pets or want to see more or anything else let me know in the comments!

California Packing Travel

The Palace Hotel + Travel Packing List for San Francisco

August 31, 2017

Palace Hotel San Francisco | The Beauty Look Book

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

A look a the entrance:

Palace Hotel San Francisco

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

Palace Hotel San Francisco

Palace Hotel San Francisco

Palace Hotel San Francisco

Away Bigger Carry On in Clay:

Away Bigger Carry On

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

Palace Hotel Pool San Francisco

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

San Francisco Palace Hotel

Double Bed Room:

San Francisco Palace Hotel Room

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

San Francisco Palace Hotel Room and View

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

San Francisco Palace Hotel Bathroom

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

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

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

Pack List with Away Bigger Carry On

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

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

Pack List with Away Bigger Carry On and Stockholm Tote

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

Pack List with Away Bigger Carry On

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

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

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

Travel Beauty

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

Travel Beauty

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

Packing for San Francisco

One last look at the beautiful hotel:

Palace Hotel San Francisco

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

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

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

 

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