A few months back I shared a few tricks for packing efficiently but after a generous Christmas (a generous stocking one too) I felt the need to write “Strategic Packing Part II: Toiletries”. If both you and me share the same-sex (assuming you’re female) you know the crap I have to go through before leaving town. If it’s by car, the trunk can only fit so much, it’s by bus, who wants to lift heavy luggage, if it’s by plane, damn TSA throwing away all my this-actually-cost-money stuff, and if it’s by ship, I have no idea, my first cruise is long overdue. I guess what I’m trying to say is: packing toiletries is undeniably difficult because you always need a lot but have little space. To minimize that problem, here are a few key items I hope will breeze you in (they definitely do the trick for me).
I can downgrade all I want on beauty supplies but if the blow dryer takes up as much space as my bazooka (just kidding I don’t usually travel with my bazooka), I’m not doing myself any favors. Solution? When I bought my Babyliss Pro flat-iron kit it came with a mini blow dryer and a mini flat-iron both the size of my hand (and I have tiny hands). All for just an additional 10 dollars at folica.com. Bingo!
Next, hair and skin. I encourage everyone to take as many hotel samples home with you as possible. Think about it, you already paid for these guys when the hotel bill hit your account and if you don’t care for the contents just refill with your favorite products. They make awesome travel containers for shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer and so on.
Remember samples? Those you got with the beach tote after purchasing just about anything over $100 at Neiman Marcus? Or those your hair stylist stacks you up with after each visit? No? I’d ask for some next time. Hair spray, perfume, and facial care samples are all items that usually come is big containers but if you pack samples instead, you may be saving yourself of a meltdown after security mistakes your 10 oz hairspray can with an illicit substance.
I know I said perfume samples are great. And they are, just not as great as this atomizer from Sephora (top left). It comes with a small funnel for pouring my favorite scent. I also got an itty bitty, adorable Miss Dior but the top came off and poured perfume all over my zip lock bag. Safe to say Dior is staying home next time.
The make up part is tough. I’ve made a compromise: I’ll have to survive with this travel Mac duo-shadow set and report back. The reason why I love Sephora so much? They sell a mini brush set and mini Tweezerman (makes best tweezers ever) brow-set. And you’re thinking: say no more!
The no-nail-file-in-the-carry-on rule is lame and drives me insane but when I got this extremely small nail file matchbox, with multiple nail files I felt like screaming (equivalent to doing jumping-jacks in Lulu reaction) and before I could open my mouth, several Nail Polish Remover pads came to my acknowledgement and I was speechless. One is just enough to remove polish from both hands.
Now I’ll get a little personal and show the little things I absolutely can’t live without when I travel but aren’t necessarily everyone’s priority. A small lint roller (duh), at least one moist cleaning cloth from Solstice (handy for cleaning sunglass shades and iPad screens), one Colgate mini-brush to freshen up on the go and lastly, a mini sucralose sweetener imported from Brazil. I like my drinks sweet and aspartame free wherever I go.