I’ve been working on a three-part series focusing on travel and packing. I’ll be sharing what I packed for a three week trip through Europe – all of which I fit into a travel backpack and a medium-sized nylon tote. I would say about 1/4 to 1/3 of my luggage contents consisted of beauty products (primarily skincare and sunscreen). Part one is going to cover skincare, bodycare and fragrance. Part two will focus on makeup. Part three will cover a full list of all the items I fit inside my bags and thoughts on surviving three weeks in Europe with a carry-on.
Up first is skincare, body care and fragrance in a his and hers overview. For me packing skincare is a challenge with the liquid restrictions for carry-on bags. I almost always do a carry-on because I find it easier and less stressful compared to lugging large suitcases or waiting for items at the baggage claim. Most US airlines allow for slightly larger carry-on suitcases compared to the airlines in Europe. I tried to keep my list of beauty products as edited as possible. Thankfully my husband didn’t have a lot he had to pack in terms of liquids so I borrowed some of his space.
First some quick thoughts and options on how to pack your liquids. I’ve done several travel features in the past. Most of my trips have been around 1 week long so I usually just pack liquids in a traditional ziploc bag. You can see how I fit everything in this post here and also this one here. Ziplocs vary in durability depending on what kind you have. I’ve had several break on me so I usually try to bring a backup although some airports have disposable ones at the security gate. This round I knew that a ziploc wouldn’t last 3 weeks so I looked for some more durable options that are flight approved. I found a good option on Amazon from Flight001 and also a few from Muji.
Muji has two flight-approved options called the TPU Clear Case which measures W11 x D18.5 x H4 cm. Another options is a flat zip pouch called the TPU Clear Case S which measures 19.5 x 16 cm. For other items like passports, cards, currency etc. we really liked the EVA Zip Pouches from Muji. They have ones that are a bit frosted but clear and then others that are completely clear. The one at the Top/Middle is the EVA Zip Case B4 which my husband and I really liked for currency and passports. We used some of the others for tour or bus tickets. Having things separated in a few pouches for day trips makes it easy to find things quickly.
I also ordered a bunch of the travel-sized containers from Muji – there are a lot of different options and sizes. I filled mine with moisturizer, foundation and other creams (I threw a few away on the trip as the products were used up).
The bottom right case is the Flight001 Clear Carry-On Quart Bag which says “carry-on approved.” It does seem to fit a lot more than a flat ziploc because of the depth (it measures 2 x 5 x 7.1 inches; 2.1 ounces). It’s very sturdy and durable. For flying within the US you should be completely ok using this. In Europe your mileage may vary depending on security. I had one upset agent at the airport security when flying from Paris to Rome. One agent didn’t want to let it through. There was a mini discussion between three agents about the liquids, two of them inspected the labels on all the bottles to make sure they were under the 100ml limit and let me through although the first one was still visibly upset about it.
Different bags side by side for size comparison. We used the Muji case in the middle and Flight001 at the bottom for our liquids. The others were used for non-liquid travel items. Ziploc included below for size reference only.
Note, the bottom left zip Muji pouch is sold empty, the above featured pouch was filled with cotton and q-tips from my own collection for size reference
Onto the travel products we brought with us. I brought three sheet masks with me including one Tatcha Deep Hydration Mask and two SK-II Facial Treatment Masks. I used all three. Since it was very hot and warm in Paris, Rome and all through Greece, I could have skipped these as my skin did not need any additional moisture. They were still nice to have but for summer I would say they aren’t must-haves. For body/fragrance, I brought along the Lavanila Pure Vanilla Deoderant which lasts all day long and doesn’t leave any white or sticky residue. (There is a mini travel-size option available too in one scent.)
For body sunscreen, I fell in love with the Korres Suncreen Spray with SPF 50 that we found in a pharmacy in Athens. It is easy to apply and helped tremendously – we didn’t get any sunburns when we used this although we did still get quite a bit darker (some areas it was impossible to avoid the sun). I wish Korres would bring back their full line to the US – I always loved their body lotions and shower gels which were really good for my super sensitive skin. You can find the SPF 30 version at Asos, otherwise it seems pretty impossible to find in the US.
Another sunscreen I tried on our trip was the Supergoop! Sun-Defying Sunscreen Oil Broad Spectrum SPF 50 in the mini size from Sephora. I am extremely sensitive to body sunscreens – I get an allergic reaction to most and end up with red bumps all over my arms and legs with most. This one from Supergoop! proved to be gentle enough for me for the body (I can’t say how it works on the face). It’s lightweight and absorbs quickly into the skin. You don’t feel greasy or oily after applying it. The scent is very light unlike other sunscreens. I like that they have a small travel size option – even though it worked for me, I recommend you patch test first before applying all over.
For other body and fragrance items, I packed my By Terry Baume de Rose Crystal Gloss for my daily lip balm treatment. In Paris I picked up a cute Hand and Lip Duo from Nuxe (also available online, on sale in July). I had a mini Huile Prodigieuse from an online order that I brought with me although one of the hotels in Paris that we stayed at had these as toiletries. I brought the Tatcha Indigo Hand Cream mini with me as it’s one of my top picks for hand creams – it’s a must if you get dry skin from flights. For perfume I picked up a roll-on L’Artisan La Chasse Aux Papillons Rollerball in Paris although it looks like they just started carrying it in the US too. I brought one mini L’Artisan Mûre et Musc Extrême with me for the trip – so after the end of the first week, I had two perfumes to alternate.
For my husband’s skincare and fragrance, he brought a few staples. He packed his L’Occitane Cade Plisson Razor and Shaving Cream Duo. The L’Occitane Shaving Cream is one of the few he can use. Most other creams won’t prevent razor burn. Chanel Bleu de Chanel is his go-to cologne, he loves the travel size versions because you can refill them. (Refills are available at Chanel.com, travel options also come in the Allure Homme Sport Eau Extreme and Allure Homme Sport scents). We shared sunscreens throughout the trip to see which one was sweat proof and water proof. We found it too hot for anything to be truly sweat proof although he really liked the Korres Sunscreen because of the dry down. Most others felt oily to him.
Also in his packed bag included the L’Occitane Cedrat Stick Deodorant (c/o). He rarely tries new ones because they often make his skin peel, this one from L’Occitane is non-sticky and free of alcohol or aluminum salts and dried quickly. It lasted all day on him even in the hot summer heat. Other staples he brought in his bag included a tube of the small travel-sized Jack Black Turbo Wash, Dream Team Duo which has a small Face Moisturizer with SPF 20 and Deep Dive Glycolic Face Cleanser. At our local Target he picked up a travel tube of Banana Boat Sport Sunscreen (I can’t use this because it make my skin blow up, his skin is tougher though and it works just fine for him).
Last but not least, he brought his pot of the Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Heavy Lifting Eye Repair eye cream. He’s almost finished with this one (it’s his second pot) and likes it enough to repurchase a third time. Although if you have any good eye cream recommendations for men, he says he would really appreciate any recs.
Items we skipped and bought and threw out along the way included shampoo, body soap, toothpaste, mouthwash and other things you can find in hotels. So how did it all last for us during our three week trip? I ran out of my face cleanser and makeup remover by Day 8 (when we were in Rome). Luckily I had a few extra minis from Paris that sales associates threw in from the Chanel counter so I could take off eye makeup. For face cleanser, after I ran out, I used my husband’s Jack Black Deep Dive. I found out that he somehow managed to pack two, one in the clear bag, one buried somewhere in his clothing. I could have limited myself to one foundation product – the CC cream offered good coverage with high SPF but it felt a bit thick in super hot weather. During the trip we were exposed to a lot of sun – there was no avoiding it. I wore long sleeved lightweight tees to protect my arms but most of the time it was too hot for anything but tank tops or short sleeved tees.
What I missed: I missed a lot of my face masks, especially the purifying ones. I had a few minis I thought about bringing with me but decided against it because of the limited packing space. I also missed my nail polishes. I did buy one polish on my trip (Dior Sundown) and had a manicure refresh half way through our trip. I also missed all of the shower gels I alternate between at home. I am more of a shower gel person versus bar soap, but most of the hotels had nice ones to try out. One last thing I missed included hair products. I skipped bringing all gels, creams and pomades.
Do you have any packing tips for liquid skincare/bodycare and fragrance products? Any other tips or advice you want to share for carry-on travelers?
The L’Occitane Cedrat Deodorant was provided for review consideration. Post also includes mini gift with purchase items from various events or retail point programs including the Chanel minis, First Aid Beauty cleanser and Nuxe mini oil. All other items purchased by me.
Finding the best storage solutions to fit one’s room is always a challenge for makeup. Many have asked for advice on how I store everything. This is something I am always working on as my stash grows. If you click on the storage tag below you will see a few previous posts with ideas. For an update, click to see more. To recap:
I mainly store my items in the tall Ikea Alex Units. I have two of these side by side. These have shorter drawers and a few taller drawers ideal for storing things for easy viewing. I love these and can’t rave enough (even if it is a pain to put together). I’ve found a number of photos on Flickr featuring the Alex Units in put together rooms. Check out these links for ideas on how others use this unit: Ikea Alex Gallery 1, Gallery 2, Gallery 3, Gallery 4, Gallery 5, Google Images: Ikea Alex
For brushes and pencils, I use Stila Paint Cans (which can be hard to find), MUJI Acrylic Cylinders and Crate & Barrel Containers
To store lipglosses, MUJI has great acrylic solutions, high quality drawers with excellent craftsmanship. These are super sturdy and aesthetically pleasing (for acrylic). The price shown above reflects the price from 2009, I don’t know if the price is still current.
Today, I still utilize both Ikea Alex units and I have not added any more units, although ideally one more would be nice. You can see below the shallow shorter drawers are nice for storing things in short stacks for easy viewing. They are great for storing MAC Blushes, Bronzers and Mineralized Skinfinishes for easy access. Over the past year I’ve started using gift boxes as storage separators. I’m the type who will hold onto a pretty gift box for a while before tossing it. Jo Malone, Chanel and Dior make beautiful branded gift boxes. I’ve found some are the perfect height for lipsticks, multiples, glosses and such.
White box is from Dior, black box is the cap from a Chanel box – perfect size for lipsticks:
In the back is a MUJI cylinder, on the left a cute Paul & Joe tin, cream colored boxes on the right are the bottoms of Jo Malone candle boxes:
Another Jo Malone box (the base) to hold NARS Multiples and other skinny cream-liquid products:
Stacked MAC MSFs and Beauty Powders:
I’m still working on Nail Polish storage, but so far this is how they are stored in this post. The nail racks I’ve found are cheap and ugly, but they do the trick of storing them in an organized easy-to-see fashion. I don’t like storing them in boxes or drawers because those methods make it difficult to sort through the colors since all you see are the caps. If anyone has ideas on nail polish storage that you love, please share.
Ever since I discovered the store in London, I’ve become a huge fan of Muji’s Acrylic products which are extremely sturdy with a simple and clean design. I can be a bit picky with acrylic products because the quality can be sub par, but Muji does not disappoint so I feel the price is worth it! I recently purchased a couple Acrylic Drawer units from the Muji US Online store and they work perfectly for my lipgloss storage!
Single 5-Drawer Unit with Le Metier, Cle de Peau, Laura Mercier, Chantecaille, Dior and MAC Lipglosses:
Two units side by side:
Close ups with drawers open:
This purchase was inspired by Voce Magazine & Rouge Deluxe’s Blog. Check out her blog to see other storage options for these units with MAC and Paul & Joe goodies galore!
For other Storage Solutions, check out these links:
For my storage options, I opted for the Ikea Alex Unit with 9 Drawers. The nice thing about the Alex Unit is that it has 2 different heights for drawers, smaller ones at the top, and taller ones at the bottom. This makes it so you can store other non-makeup items such as laundry accessories, small towels, small papers or cards etc.
Close up of a few drawers (the shorter ones):
Stila Cans to store long brushes & Hello Kitty Brush Cup:
Crate & Barrel Storage Containers to store the shorter items (but works for long pencils too):
MUJI Acrylic Round Pots without lids to store long pencils and other brushes:
Coming next – more storage options from girls in the beauty industry!
One downside to accumulating and collecting makeup is the challenge of finding ways to store your products, trying to squeeze in all your blushes, eyeshadows, lipsticks and brushes keeping them organized in a way that that allows you to access your items easily.
There are number of beautiful different vanities and drawer options available, but when it comes to storing makeup, the options don’t always fit what I’m looking for. The ideal storage unit for me is something with lots of drawers that aren’t too tall, deep or wide and compact enough to put in a corner of a room or store somewhere discrete. And of course – not too expensive!
I find that Pottery Barn and Ikea are great for their room ideas online. For those who don’t have a large built-in vanity or bathroom counter to store things, here are some nice storage options for small spaces:
1. Pottery Barn Bathroom Bureau $599 – a classic looking hardwood framed unit with moisture-resistant finish, also includes their Smart Technology strip for a plug in point for hair irons or curlers, and an adjustable mirror. It has a beautiful finish and look!
2. Ikea Alex Unit with 9 Drawers $119 – a cheaper alternative to the Pottery Barn Bureau, slightly smaller and narrower in dimension, made of particle board instead of hardwood, but with more drawers. Ikea has four different units in the Alex series, giving you options for different widths and heights.
To store longer items such as brushes, mascara tubes, eye liner and lipliner pencils, I’ve found that Stila Paint Cans work extremely well. The downside is that most are not for sale and I’ve been lucky enough to get some through friends. Some alternative storage units I’ve found include:
4. MUJI Acrylic Round Pen Pot – I originally found these in London when I went several years ago. They have an entire Acrylic Storage series with some great storage options. I love these for their high quality and sturdiness. Unfortunately, they are based in the UK with locations around the world outside of the US. At this time, it appears they are available in the US only in New York. Click here for locations. I do believe some of their sites ship to the US. I’ve been lucky enough to get these through friends who travel overseas and also through a few custom purchases!
5. MUJI Acrylic Case with 5 Rows $23.95 – MUJI does have a US online store, but the selection is limited and doesn’t have all the same products as what they do have overseas. This is a cute 5-drawer acrylic storage unit – there are more variations and options with 2-drawers, small, large, and a unit with a flip-top lid as well. However most of the other options are on the UK website.
5. Crate & Barrel Storage Containers with Lids $4.95 and $5.95 – These are the closest items I could find in the US to those Muji Acrylic Pots. I found these are great for shorter brushes and pencils. The smaller ones are 3.5″ in diameter by 3.75″ high, while the larger ones run 4″ in diameter by 5″ high. Just remove the lids and they turn into the perfect storage container for your shorter items!