I’m back from a mini vacation! We took a few days off to visit the other side of Florida and drove to Miami for some good food, more sunshine, more beaches and shopping. Several of my readers let me know about the Glossier Pop Up Store in Miami so we stopped by to check it out. It is one of the cutest pop up installations I’ve ever seen! It’s located in Wynwood on 222 NW 26th Street, open until April 28th. Hours are listed on the Glossier website. There are a lot of testers for you to play with, helpful staff and it’s basically an Instagram dream come true. Cute displays, mirrors for makeup application and selfies, postcards and the entire Glossier + Glossier Play line. Weekends can get pretty crowded and busy with a line but they move fairly quickly. We went to the pop up on two separate days because our first time there it was so crowded I didn’t want to wait to check out and purchase product.
Mini haul below including the Glossier Zit Stick, new Mango Balm Dot Com, Lash Slick, Glossier Play Niteshine in Pale Rose and Deep Copper, High Shine Lip Lacquers in Pony and Blow Up. I also tested their Milky Oil which seemed pretty impressive in taking off the eyeliners from the back of my hand. Unfortunately they were sold out so I ordered it online. I haven’t had a chance to test the makeup but the highlighters are tiny – they girls at the store explained they are dab and blend kind of highlighters and that does seem the best way to apply. A little goes a long way. I did try the new Mango Balm Dot Com and it has the most delicious sweet mango scent to it. I didn’t think I would like it because it’s really sweet, but I actually really love it.
Swatches of the makeup items I bought. I actually had a third highlighter on my list but they accidentally gave me two of the same shade. I’m giving away my extra (details in the widget at the end of the post).
We also saw the cute Mango Pop Up cart in the Miami Design District! You can check their Instagram to see where it’s going to show up next. On our second trip to the Pop Up we saw they had moved these to the actual store in the hallways but they might move again.
Definitely worth checking out! It’s super cute and fun to see all the items in person. If you’re not near a store you can always order online (that’s how I’ve always bought their products). If you want to use my referral link you can save 10% off your first order. I have some extras that I picked up so I’m giving away some goodies to 1 lucky reader. Open internationally but you must be 18 years or older to enter. Enter through the widget below. Giveaway entries are going to run through April 7th, 2019 11:59 PM EST. ONE winner will be selected within 72 hours after giveaway ends and emailed by me. Prizes ship within one week. Not sponsored or affiliated.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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)
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Everything was packed up in a few travel pouches including my Away Mini Travel Case 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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:
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.
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 🙂
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
I’m thrilled to announce the Away Mini Suitcases are back! They are available for a limited run during the holiday season individually or in a few gift set options. This year the Mini is available in 9 core colors, 2 limited-edition winter colors Halo and Aurora, plus the Aluminum Edition. Last year I ordered lots of these to give as gifts. I think they’re perfect for anyone! Available online at Away Travel or in any one of their stores in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Austin or London.
You can order individually (empty), add a gift card, or pick one of their pre-filled sets. The options and pricing this year are as follows:
The Mini ($35 each)
The Mini Aluminum Edition ($55 each)
Three Gift Set Options:
The Essential Set ($45) or The Essential Set Aluminum Edition ($65)
The Beauty Set ($75) or The Beauty Set Aluminum Edition ($95)
The Grooming Set ($75) or The Grooming Set Set Aluminum Edition ($95)
Today I have a detailed review of two of the sets in The Grooming and The Beauty Set, plus a look at The Aluminum Edition and the new color Halo (which also comes in the suitcases as part of their Solstice Collection). I ordered quite a few of the colors over the years and have used them many times. They’ve held up really well! I love that they have a hard exterior case to protect things you don’t want to get squished like sunglasses or squeezable tubes etc.
Dimensions of all the minis are 7 inches tall, 5 inches wide and 3 inches deep. The regular colors have a zip around closure with two zippers. The Aluminum Edition has a clasp snap closure. Interior is the same in both, it’s an open compartment with one mesh pocket. You can mix and match any of the set contents with color of your choice. I love that they also have empty ones so you can fill them with your own travel favorites. Below is a look at Halo which is a glossy ice white, it’s really pretty!
The Grooming Set
The Grooming Set has Maapilim Lip Balm Grapefruit and Lavender (.5 fl oz), Haeckles Seaweed Geranium Hand Balm (1.7 fl oz), Grown Alchemist Gentle Facial Cleanser (1.69 fl oz), Baxter Exfoliating Soap Full-Size and a Kent’s Folding Comb. Shown above stuffed into one of the Away Everywhere Bags which I really like for travel. They’re the perfect size for carry ons and have a flap in the back you can slip onto the handle of the suitcases! I wish they would keep the leather as a permanent part of the collection, but the nylon ones are also really nice.
The Beauty Set
The Beauty Set has five cute beauty minis including a Tata Harper Skincare Serum (10 ml), Caudalie Beauty Elixir (30 ml/1 fl oz), Klorane Dry Shampoo (50 ml/1 oz), Nuori Copenhagen Lip Treat (15 ml/0.5 fl oz), and a Mount Lai Mini Jade Roller. I think the face roller is the cutest! I did a quick search online for individual items and found them all separately except for the Tata Harper. The Gift Set is priced at a better value than buying the items individually, but you can always fill them with your own picks 🙂
This one shown above is the Blush Mini inside the limited-edition Dawn Everywhere Bag. It’s a satin fabric material that’s an iridescent pink with leather trim. I have yet to use this as I just received it – first impressions are that it softens nicely as it moves. Since it’s a fabric material I do think it won’t be quite as sturdy/stain resistant as the nylon or leather but I can review it in a separate post if you’re interested.
A look at the regular Away Mini vs The Aluminum Edition Mini. Both are the same dimensions. Differences are the material, closures and the Aluminum one opens up wider. The two Solstice Colors Halo and Aurora this season have a glossy finish, but all the colors in the regular lineup (like Black, Sand, Blush, etc.) have a textured finish. If you go to their website you’ll see the texture better on the stock images.
Inside is an open compartment with a mesh flap:
Side closures differences, regular ones have a zipper while the Aluminum has a clasp:
I’ve used these on flights and on road trips. They’re nice to keep essentials handy for quick access. I also put sunglasses inside sometimes! Everytime I fly and snap one of these on Instagram I’m flooded with questions about liquids and TSA restrictions. I always put everything in a quart size bag at home to make sure it fits first, if it all fits I pack it into a mini case. I bring an extra empty zip lock bag with me just in case they ask me to take all the contents out at security, but so far the airlines I’ve flown have taken a look at the case (this one or the Anya Hindmarch one I use) and given it the ok based on an eyeball estimate. It really depends on the airline and country you’re traveling to but if you’re carrying a lot of liquids the best option is to just check it with your luggage. If you want to keep your liquids in the clear bag until you pass through security that’s also an option.
One example of some beauty items I fit inside. If you want to know what I travel with you can see any of my Packing Posts by clicking on the tag.
Overall LOVE! I’ve loved these for years now and am excited every time they are launched for the holiday. I think they make the perfect stocking stuffers for anyone. I ordered so many last year and everyone loved them. This is the first time they’ve offered the Aluminum Edition and I’ve eyed (actually drooled over) the beautiful silver suitcases every time I’ve been in an Away store. Based on my lifestyle and preference I think the regular versions of the suitcases and minis are my preference. The Aluminum ones are beautiful, I’d just be afraid about denting or scratching it! That being said with travel and checking bags one really does need to get over the scratches because they’re bound to happen!
Quick peek at some other colors from last year’s post in case you’re wondering what they look like for scale. They still have the Brick (reddish color) and Asphalt (grey) as part of their core lineup:
I’m in the process of putting together a dedicated suitcase luggage review for you on the different size options. I have reviewed and featured the Carry On and Bigger Carry On in multiple Travel Posts which you can refer back to for now. I really love the Bigger Carry On out of all the sizes I’ve tried. We did recently get a Medium Size which seems more practical for week long trips. On a few vacations we ended up taking 3 Bigger Carry-On Suitcases with us because Andrew’s shoes are so big and I like to bring things home from travel (we did check them).
I hope this review gives you all the details you need if you don’t have an Away store near you! I highly recommend them. I really love everything from Away and am so thrilled to be one of their Collective Ambassadors for the year. You can find The Minis online at Away Travel for a limited-time this holiday and at any one of their free-standing stores.
Earlier this month we took a spontaneous trip to Miami. This was our third visit to Miami (first trip here during Art Basel and second trip snippets here for the Boat Show) and we decided to try all new things. Some might say staying in South Beach is one of the best ways to experience Miami. I think it’s definitely worth doing and we loved staying at the beach on previous trips. There’s actually a lot more to explore around the city too! This round we stayed in Brickell for three days and had a great time. We also spent time in Wynwood (where the food is amazing!). There’s still so much on my list that I want to see, I hope next time we can stay a little bit longer. Trip recap, food recommendations and highlights below.
Where We Stayed
We booked a room at EAST, Miami located in Brickell. It came highly recommended by a few friends and we decided to try it. It’s attached to the Brickell City Centre which has some really good shopping like Diptyque, Saks, Sephora etc. In addition it’s one of the stopping points for the Metromover which is a free transit system. They are mini metrorail cars which take you short distances from Brickell to Bayfront Park or Museum Park.
I found a good deal on Hotels.com for a Bay King Room. These are corner rooms that run around 410 sq feet with views of the city and bay plus a wrap-around balcony. Our room was on the 26th floor and the views were amazing! We had a really nice stay and both highly recommend it. Rooms were clean, beautifully designed, modern and the views were incredible with both sunshine and stormy skies. Summer weather in Florida can be a bit crazy but we are used to it living in Tampa now for a year and half (time flies!). As we drove into Miami we passed through a major thunder lightening storm. Rain was so heavy we could barely see the cars in front of us. By the time we arrived at Brickell the skies were clear but we did see storms throughout the week. Lightening shot through the entire sky in the evening which was both scary and fascinating at the same time from high up in the sky. Storms are usually scattered and often pass through quickly. However there are times multiple storms pass through!
Again a priority on our agenda was to find amazing food. We had a rather indulgent few days but it was 100% worth it. Our previous favorites include Bodega and Taquiza in South Beach and we were both dying to go back but forced ourselves to try new places. We had one miss, but the rest were hits! Places we tried:
All Day located at 1035 N Miami Avenue @alldaymia – We stopped here for breakfast, as we drove up we had second thoughts but decided to try it anyways because of the reviews. This was one of the best breakfasts I’ve ever had. Don’t let the exterior deter you! Inside is minimalist and cute. We ordered the Runny and Everything, Avocado Tartine and one regular croissant. For our caffeine fix I had the Double Shot + Milk and Andrew ordered the Pourover. Everything was excellent although a bit steep in price.
Coyo Taco (Brickell) located at 1111 SW 1st Ave @coyotaco – This was our only miss. Perhaps the other locations are better, but the food was just ok. Not worth the calories for either of us even though the menu looked really good!
Panther Coffee (Wynwood) located at 2390 NW 2nd Ave @panthercoffee – Dozens of you recommended this place to me months ago. I’m so glad we finally made it. This place has the strongest and most intense coffee and espresso I’ve ever tried.
The Salty Donut located at 50 NW 23rd St #112 @thesaltydonut – Life changing donuts. I think the flavors change but the Tres Leches was the best one. We bought extras to take home to Andrew’s parents and I wanted to eat them all the 4 hour drive back to Tampa. I will do anything for these donuts.
1-800-Lucky located at 143 NW 23rd St @1800lucky – This is a food court-style restaurant with different Asian food stations. We thoroughly enjoyed the buns and dumplings.
Taiyaki NYC in Miami, located inside 1-800-Lucky @taiyakinyc – I’m so impressed Andrew found this place! He told me earlier in the day that he found the perfect place for dessert but wouldn’t tell me where. They had a limited Pineapple Twist that comes inside a small pineapple. I ordered one of the rainbow sprinkle options in their fish-shaped ice cream cone which has red bean at the base. My hands were entirely covered with melting ice cream as I ate it all.
We took our time to explore and do a little shopping. We actually didn’t make it to South Beach this round because there was so much to do and see in Brickell and Wynwood! The weather this time of year is heavy with thunder and lightening storms. They are scattered similar to Tampa. One area will be experiencing a downpour while a few miles away will be clear and sunny.
Brickell City Centre – This is a cute mall and I stopped by at Saks Fifth Avenue since we don’t have one in Tampa. There are always so many cute clothes inside this one! I bought this Joie top and wore it right away (also on sale here). There’s a Diptyque store as well with the Miami candle but I had stopped by on previous trips so didn’t go back this round.
Museum Park – We stopped by to walk around the beautiful park area and visit the Perez Art Museum but the day we stopped by the Museum was closed. Hopefully next time! We got some really good pictures as the area is beautiful.
Wynwood Walls and the neighborhood – We had driven through Wynwood during Art Basel last December. If you’ve ever been to Miami during that time you know it’s pretty chaotic everywhere! We were happy to stop by this time when it was less crowded. We ate at a few places here, stopped by the Wynwood Walls and walked around the area.
I packed a bunch of shorts and tank tops. This light blue top from Bella Dahl has been one of my favorites for months now. It’s perfect for Florida weather. I also picked up a few things while in Miami. I had to change each day as we ended up leaving our umbrella in the car each time we were out and got caught in downpours. I was 100% drenched head to toe. Each time we thought the rain would pass within 15 minutes or so, but it did not. The good thing about Florida rain is that it’s hot warm rain. Once it stops you can dry off fairly quickly but even damp clothes are prone to sticking to you with the humidity. My note to self is to bring my own umbrella even if Andrew says “it’s probably not going to rain.”
What I packed in my Bigger Carry-On from Away. We brought two other suitcases with us, one for Andrew and one for workout clothes and sneakers. I didn’t end up wearing any of my sneakers during the trip. I’m forever in sandals!
Outfits I packed for a mini getaway, two of the tops I bought on the trip:
From left to right, top row first, then bottom row:
Shown above I packed one small crossbody (which held up in the rain really well, I wouldn’t recommend letting it get soaked though) and one tote. I also brought a couple hats but didn’t end up wearing them this round.
Makeup Picks: I was really impressed that my makeup held up in Miami heat. Even Andrew was! The only problem is with travel photographs the color doesn’t always show up in photos but in real life it looks good and stays put! If you want a full list of everything let me know and I’ll list it all. I found the Armani Neo Nude Powder and Becca Be a Light Palette in Light/Medium to be amazing for setting the face and staying put. I finally tried the Armani Face Fabric (my shade is #4) because so many of you were asking me to. I don’t like the ingredients but it truly performed well and looked like skin in a natural matte way. The key is to apply with fingers and rub it in a circular motion. No clogged pores or irritation with this one! The Chanel Les Beiges Multi Color Powder in Medium served me well all through the trip. My top skincare pick is the Kate Somerville Eradikate Cleanser because it really helps prevent breakouts. And as always my go-to sunscreen is anything from Supergoop!. Everything fit inside The Daily Edited Transparent Cosmetic Case and Large Cosmetic Case.
We had a really nice and relaxing time. Miami can get pretty hectic if a major event is happening so it was nice to explore the city when it was a bit calmer. In hindsight we should have booked one or two more days to enjoy the city more, but for a last minute spontaneous trip I think we’d call it a success! Hopefully we can go back to Miami soon. I’m dying for another Salty Donut. I was in a state of sugar bliss the entire day after we stopped by.
Thanks for following along! As always I truly appreciate your travel recommendations. If you have any more Miami recs let me know in the comments! I have some really exciting news I’ve shared on Instagram @beautylookbook today – thank you so much for all your love and support 🙂