Okay so I may not be the lightest packer when it comes to makeup, hair products and toiletries – I know this and I accept it. This is definitely where I struggled the most in deciding what I wanted to bring with me. Especially since this was for a trip where we didn’t have a set length of time. So I essentially decided to just bring the stuff I wear at home – with a few exceptions and some travel sized additions. I lay it all out for you below.
Disclaimer: When I turned 25 I decided to ditch the drug store products and splurge on some big-girl items that were higher quality. I can honestly say that I noticed a difference and will continue to use better quality stuff on my skin and hair from now on. So while these are definitely not budget finds, I promise it is worth the difference in how they look and feel!
1. Vera Bradley Cosmetics Bag – I love this makeup bag! I typically use it at home and when I’m traveling for shorter periods of time. It fits all of my makeup plus more and has a plastic lining on the inside for easy cleaning. I decided not to bring this on our 6 month trip however, and I honestly wish I had. I’ll be using this for all future trips from now on!
2. L.L. Bean Toiletries Bag – I have a love/hate relationship with this bag. I’ll start with the pros. It fits A LOT of stuff in it. There are a million little compartments and zippered sections. You can hang this for easy access to everything which is great for getting ready in hotel rooms/hostels. However, it is so bulky. It weighed a ton and I think I would have preferred having several different smaller bags as opposed to one stuffed to the brim. Also the little attached mirror broke about 1 month into my trip so that was a bummer.
1. Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion – I love this face moisturizer and the tube lasts forever. I think I’ve had this one for a year now and I’ve still probably got about a month’s worth left!
2. Laura Geller Spackle Primer – The best primer I have ever used. It’s not greasy, makes your skin feel so smooth, and sets your makeup perfectly! I’m loyal to Laura Geller and can’t imagine using another primer so I stock up on this before a trip.
3. Smashbox Camera Ready Full Coverage Concealer – Another cosmetic brand I’m partial to is Smashbox. Specifically this concealer stick and their mascara. I don’t use this every day, but when I need to cover up some pesky acne or hungover eyes (I’m looking at you, Slivovice) it makes a huge difference.
4. Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation – I splurged on this foundation a couple weeks before my trip. I love how smoothly it applies to my face and it really does seem to stay on for the advertised 15 hours. One bottle lasted for about 5 months before I had to purchase a new one in Prague (which ended up being $15 more than what it sells for in the US. Ouch!!)
5. Pur Minerals Chisel Brush – This brush was part of a promotional deal at Ulta when I bought the accompanying pressed powder. It reminds me of those horse hair brushes you use for fancy furniture wax (does anyone know what I’m talking about?).
6. Pur Minerals 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Makeup – Got this at Ulta on a whim and actually really dig it. It’s light and it doesn’t even feel like you have make up on at all, which I love. I’ll either brush a small bit on after my foundation, or skip the foundation and just wear this when I’m wanting a more natural look.
7. Laura Geller Baked Blush (in Sun Swept) – This Blush rocks. I am fair skinned and just recently learned that bronzer is not something my complexion works with. After pouting for a bit, I picked up this blush and instantly fell in love with it.
8. EcoTools Travel Makeup Brush– This is a great set of travel makeup brushes and comes in a cute little canvas style pouch. Will be bringing these on every trip from now on – so useful and compact!
1. Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion – There’s just something about Urban Decay eye makeup that I can’t resist. I use this primer right before putting on eyeshadow and it keeps it crease-free for a solid 12 hours.
2. Urban Decay Naked Basics – I love this travel friendly eyeshadow palette! It’s got 6 neutral colors which are diverse enough to be used for an everyday natural look and a glammed up smokey eye. The only downside is that it doesn’t come with an eyeshadow brush inside, like the full sized Naked palettes have.
3. Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara – I’ve gone through a LOT of mascaras in my life and I’ve found that this one is my favorite. I’m a firm believer in finding the mascara that works best for your lashes. I have friends who full heartedly agree with my love for this mascara and those who passionately hate it. For me though this mascara makes my lashes more voluminous, and there’s never any clumping or flaking.
4. Smashbox Full Exposure Waterpoof Mascara – Exact same mascara as above, but in a waterproof version. I typically use this as a top coat after my regular mascara to prevent smearing. It hasn’t let me down yet.
5. Urban Decay Eyeliner – I don’t think they make this specific product anymore because I can’t locate it anywhere. I honestly wear eyeliner maybe twice a month and this one works just fine for me. I can say that I definitely prefer the gel type eyeliners to pencil and liquid.
6. Urban Decay Naked 2 – This is the eyeshadow that I use on a daily basis and for longer trips. I love it and I will never use anything else. The palette has a great range of shimmery and matte shadows perfect for neutral or dramatic looks. And it comes with an incredibly soft 2 sided brush that applies the shadow flawlessly.
1. Maybelline Lipstick in Fuscia Fever – Fun bright pink lipstick for the days I’m feeling a little extra feisty
2. Ulta Lipstick in Red Carpet – Just your classic red lipstick. I’m not particular when it comes to brands here.
3. Badger Cocoa Butter Sweet Orange Chapstick – You guys. This was the best impulse buy I’ve ever made. It caught my eye at Whole Foods in the check out line one day and I’ve been obsessed with it ever since. It’s SO soft and smells absolutely incredible. Just check your pockets before doing laundry because I’ve definitely ruined 2 of these already and it was heartbreaking.
1. Lush Ultrabland Face Cleanser – I jumped on the Lush train about 3 months before my first adventure. This cleanser is great for taking off makeup and leaves your face feeling fresh and soft. You put it on like a cream and then use a warm wet towel to remove the cleanser, makeup, and dirt build up. I like it so far however I have to carry around a small wash cloth and constantly keep it clean it so that got to be annoying on the road. I’m on the lookout for a new face wash because of that. I’d love to hear opinions on any good ones! Head over to the contact page and shoot me an email if you have any suggestions. 🙂
P.S. The great thing about Lush is that they can be found all over the world. I picked up a new cleanser in Prague, hence the Czech writing on the tub.
2. Lush Vanishing Cream Moisturizer – I used this after washing my face with the above cleanser and before bed. It smells awesome and you only need a tiny amount. So far so good.
3. Sun Bum Pro Sunscreen – I’m not very good about using sunscreen except for days where I know I’ll be outside a ton. I mainly used this in British Columbia while working on the horse ranch and I felt it worked great. I never got burned and it seems to last a good amount of time. I haven’t used it at the beach yet so I’ll keep you posted on the waterproof factor.
4. Sun Bum Face Stick – This smells AMAZING. Like you’re rubbing your face with coconut butter. Again, I used this mostly in British Columbia on the horse ranch, but I honestly looked forward to putting it on because of the smell. It didn’t leave my face feeling greasy at all either which I was worried about. Definitely taking this with me everywhere I go.
5. Lush Dream Cream – I’m so bad about using lotion and moisturizing my skin. I try to get body washes and scrubs that have extra moisturizing properties so I can avoid lotion. But when I do feel like I need an extra bit for dry skin, this stuff worked wonderfully. It smells good and lasts all day.
1. Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Touchable Hairspray – When I lived in Dallas I had an amazing hairdresser (whom I miss terribly) and she turned me onto the Healthy Sexy Hair brand. This hairspray holds like a charm and it doesn’t leave your hair feeling like sticky cardboard. Just like in the name, my hair really is touchable and soft even after spraying for several seconds. I like to stock up on these when they’re on sale at Ulta, and they have travel size versions which are great for short trips!
2. Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Tri-Wheat Leave In Conditioner – Another product I love from this brand. I spray this on my ends right after showering to keep them looking healthy and soft. They also have travel size versions of this which I try to keep handy (or refill my travel bottle from my full sized one).
3. Healthy Sexy Hair Argon Oil – This comes in a travel friendly bottle and it lasts forever. I use about a dime size portion and rub it through my ends and anywhere that needs a little extra moisture and shine. I’m not sure how it works, but it cuts your drying time down quite a bit too.
4. Loreal Paris Advanced Hairstyle Sleek It Strand Smoother…… – I can’t get over how long the name of this stuff is. Seriously that’s not even the whole title. Anyways, I bought this bottle in Prague to help with frizz and it was meh. It worked alright but I didn’t end up using it all that often. Probably could do without this one.
5. Oscar Blondi Dry Shampoo Powder Spray – I only used this a few times as I love showers too much to avoid taking them daily. But when our water heater went out in Prague this dry shampoo came in handy. It worked great on my thin hair and the dark color blended perfectly.
6. Lush R&B Hair Moisturizer – Got this little sample sized tub with my most recent Lush purchases and I’m digging it so far. I put a small amount on the ends of my hair to smooth and moisturize and it makes it nice and soft. I’ll probably get a regular sized version of this when the sample runs out.
Not Pictured: Shampoo & Conditioner – I usually pack my own initially and when I run out I’ll pick something new up along the way. My brand of choice is… yep, you guessed it – Healthy Sexy Hair. This isn’t easy to find outside the US though so I otherwise go with whatever I can find that’s sulfate free to protect my colored hair.
1. Buff Headware – I used this solely while working on the horse ranch in Canada. Worked great to keep the hair out of my face and sweat at bay.
2. Under Armour Mini Headbands – I usually use this thin band when I’m exercising. I’ve used these for years and probably have every single color.
3. Fashion Headbands – I love a good hippie band. These are from H&M and Urban Outfitters.
4. Babyliss Pro Travel Hair Dryer – This little guy was the perfect companion on my recent 6 month trip. It has dual voltage options which means you don’t need a converter when using this abroad! It’s surprisingly powerful for it’s small size (like, 3 times as powerful as one of those hotel hair dryers) and I bring this on every single trip I go on.
5. Hair Clip – Just your average hair clip. I usually only use this while getting ready.
6. Wide Tooth Comb – I’ve had this comb for years and it’s usually all I ever use to brush my hair. Lately I’ve been digging a good round brush though so I may add that to my daily routine soon.
7. Headband – You can’t have too many headbands, right? Another H&M Purchase.
8. Bobby Pins – Definitely worth the extra 50 cents for the super convenient travel case.
9. Bun Donut – Picked this up on the road to join the bun craze. I have yet to be able to make a Pinterest worthy bun, but this thing does help.
1. Tide Laundry Detergent Travel Pack – Brought a few of these little travel packets and they definitely came in handy.
2. Curaprox Ultrasoft Tootbrush – My dentist would be proud of how passionate I am about this toothbrush. I was introduced to it on my first visit to Prague in 2012 by a friend who was living there at the time. It’s made by a swiss brand called Curaprox and they come in a ton of fun colors. The type of bristles are made of something called Curen and they are so soft! I picked up at least 5 of these on my way out of Europe.
3. Dove Deodorant – Yes, I use men’s deodorant. I love this stuff and I find it works better and is typically cheaper than the women’s style!
4. Lucus Paw Paw Ointment – I’ve heard a ton of great things about this ointment. It’s one of those magic cure-all products that helps heal a never-ending list of ailments. While I’ve only used it on bug bites it seemed to work well enough to me!
5. Nail Polish and Polish Remover – I packed the light pink and clear coat nail polish and picked up the red color and remover along the way. This nail polish remover smells exactly like Slivovice (Czech Moonshine) so use caution when opening while hungover.
6. Jewelry – I’m not a huge jewelry person as I have a nickel allergy which prevents me from wearing a lot of the cheap fashionable pieces. However after discovering Stella and Dot and Kendra Scott I’ve been slowly building up a little collection. I brought 4 necklaces, 3 rings, and 4 pairs of earrings on this last trip.
7. Diva Cup – I’ll spare you the details of this feminine product, but you should definitely read what people are saying about it. It’s a revolution! I would recommend it although it does take some getting used to.
8. Disposable Venus Razor – I brought along a few disposable razors, however I think on my next trip I’ll bring a regular razor with several extra heads instead to take up less room.
9. Tweezerman Mini Tweezers – I love Tweezerman tweezers. These little mini tweezers are awesome and they are all I use now. The little plastic tube they come in is a great convenience too.
10. Sunglasses and Case – I brought along two different styles of sunglasses which both conveniently fit in one soft case.
Tweezerman Mini Manicure Set – This comes with a nail file, clippers and cuticle tool and came in handy often.
Flat Iron – Purchased this at a local drug store once we settled in Prague. It was just a cheap one that did the job while abroad and I ended up leaving it in Europe.
Well, that’s everything. I realize it’s a pretty extensive list and I could probably do without some things. I’m constantly trying to dwindle down my packing list but it rarely seems to stick. I’d love to hear from you about any suggestions, opinions, concerns, or whatever regarding this list! We should have a comments section up and running here soon but until then head over to the contact page and let me know your thoughts 🙂
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