Travel Beauty: The Must Pack Travel Essentials for the Modern Woman

Something I've learned the hard way is that when you're traveling you don't want to bring everything with you. I used to pack heavy for short trips because 'I didn't know what to expect' or 'didn't want to take a risk'. LOL WHAT RISK? The truth is, at the end of the day my excess baggage only caused headaches, backaches, limited mobility and missed opportunities (#FOMO).


Saying goodbye to the things that didn't truly serve me was a hard-headed process. Learning how to pack was self-taught through a series of experiences or 'lessons'. I repeatedly found myself grappling with resentment and regret, feeling stupid for choosing to bring meaningless material things when it was clear that those were the very things that were holding me down the most, all when I wanted to be free

After making traveling a habit, I noticed that what I was carrying was dead weight. Unnecessary JUNK. N'importe quoi! Complete self-sabotage. Imagine how ridiculous I looked having to run after an Uber while simultaneously doing bicep curls with a bag full of clothes I ended up never even wearing? OR how messy I looked when my delayed flight didn't allow time for me to drop-off my hoard of belongings at the hotel so I was forced to show up to a very important meeting with all my shit in tow! YIKES.

That one time Joli shamelessly had two lovely men help carry her bags to an Uber around the corner in New Delhi, India. Those roads were NOT made for wheeled luggage. 

That one time Joli shamelessly had two lovely men help carry her bags to an Uber around the corner in New Delhi, India. Those roads were NOT made for wheeled luggage. 

HEY. You're allowed to have luxuries in life- yet the idea is to pack light and to be agile rather than have things tethered to you. Reducing to the bare minimum will give you the feeling of being ready, focused, clear-minded, articulate, organized and mature. You're not traveling for vacation to hang out all day at a cozy resort all day- you're spending a few days, maybe a few hours in a place so it's important to travel as lightly as possible. You definitely aren't going to bring your entire make-up kit unless it's part of your job. You will need to dramatically simplify your self-care routine. That means ONE lipstick, multi-purpose oils (We love NUXE or plain old jojoba oil) and a couple of multi-taskers (like Moisturizer with SPF).

SOLUTION: Limit to the minimalist essentials. My minimalist essentials are my absolute favorite things that make me feel the most confident and the most empowered. These are my tried-and-true.  Make-up may not exactly be 'necessary' but when you're traveling for business, it's important to put on the best version of yourself that you feel comfortable presenting to others. What you pick will become your 'emergency' self care tool-kit, your go-to secret weapon when you want to feel and look your best in any situation.

I like to make the best of what I have while being real about it. You don't need to be a makeup artist to feel good about yourself, you don't need to have so many products to feel good about yourself, you don't need to spend so much time to feel good about yourself.  Just have an image of who you are, be that person and be confident about it. Everything else is a luxury.




$30 for pack of 4. $8 for a Single Sheet. Available at Nordstrom, Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue. Online at Ulta.

This is the perfect hack to fresh-faced glowing, radiant skin in 5 minutes. With essential ingredients Licorice and Grapefruit Seed Extracts to gently brighten your skin, the serum in this mask delivers fast penetrating results to reverse a dull, de-vitalized , lackluster complexion. Apply the face mask to clean, dry skin. Wait at least 5 minutes. No need to rinse! The serum will absorb into the skin to reveal brighter more even, vibrant skin tone. Joli and I noticed the results right away. This mask is awesome.

( Follow with your normal skin care regimen. )




Marvis Toothpaste - 7 Days of Flavor Set

$36 for 7 x 1.3 oz/ 38.4 mL travel sized tubes. Available at Sephora.

Regular brushing protects your teeth, freshens your breath, and helps prevent tooth decay, build up of tartar and plaque. We love this toothpaste because they have so many unique flavors (including a Ginger Mint flavor and a Jasmine Mint flavor that we love). This set of Marvis Toothpastes comes in Classic Strong Mint, Whitening Mint, Licorice Mint, Jasmin Mint, Ginger Mint, Cinnamon Mint, Aquatic Mint. You just need a dime size amount on your toothbrush. The packaging is really aesthetic and with it's smooth and creamy texture, a little goes a long way.


less but better

owning fewer things but of a quality that is consistent and authentic to us, is our way to appreciate ourselves and guarantee our self-confidence.




Nuxe Huile ProdigIeuse

We love this oil, but I haven't purchased this anywhere in the US. A similar oil is this one by Nars. We like to bring this Nuxe oil with us everywhere because it's perfect for so many things including Abyangha self massage, to apply after a shower on dry spots like knees, elbows, feet, chest, shoulders and other delicate areas like around your cuticles. We spray this into our hands and tap it onto the high points of our face for a natural highlight and of course this is the perfect hair moisturizer for post shower, styling or just to revive dry ends.

I talk more about my love of this oil in my Cult Favorites post here.



$7 for 4.0 oz. Available at Ulta, Nordstrom, and Urban Outfitters.

This is a staple for so many girls, I know. Mario Badescu Rose Water is our go-to toner for a simple, gentle skin-care routine. It works great for any skin type and we like to use it because we know it won't over dry our skin or cause any allergic reactions or irritations for us. It's super refreshing, hydrating and lightweight, you can use it any time but it's perfect as a hydrating base before applying any moisturizer or to set makeup. You can wear this alone for a dewy finish and natural glow  or mist it onto your face, neck and hair to instantly refresh yourself on the go.

3. protect: have an spf, ALWAYS.


SachaJuan Hair in The Sun

$32 for 4.2 OZ. Available at Sephora, Nordstrom, Net-a-porter, Barneys.

Joli introduced this to me and now I love it. It's a sulfate-free cream formulated with a UV-filter that allows you to naturally style your hair and keep it in place without any added weight or nasty residue. It hydrates dry strands while protecting your hair and color from sun and heat damage. It can be used on wet or dry hair by massaging a small amount throughout the strands of your hair from ends up to the roots. Leave in to protect your hair from the sun.
According to the manufacturer, "The full coverage UVQ protectant is a topical sun protectant that protects hair from ultraviolet rays. UVQ versus a UVA (which is used in your everyday sunscreens) does not permeate skin the way sunscreen does. UVQ lies on the surface of areas applied which will stay on the hair through rinsing or swimming. Great for protecting your color investment, simply shampoo to completely rid the UVQ from your hair."

ANDALOU NATURALS Argan Stem Cell BB Benefit Balm Un-Tinted SPF 30

Usually, I use French skincare line La Roche Posay for my SPF (The one I use is linked here.) and Embryoliss for my primer/moisturizer. Joli uses Coola or SuperGoop! as "go-to's" for SPF (I've also linked her favs. in case you're courious). We are testing this one by Andalou Naturals. This BB Benefit Balm is a multi-benefit balm with sheer, broad spectrum sun protection (prevents premature aging caused by sun exposure). This BB Balm has an untinted matte appearance. It reduces excess oil to prevent shine and diminishes the appearance of pores for a more clear and balanced complexion so it's ideal before applying face make-up.

I like this one because it has jojoba oil, vitamin C (in the form of magnesium ascorbyl phosphate) and tea extracts, along with anti-irritants such as saw palmetto and willow bark as well as cooling cucumber extract. It's non GMO and uses certified organic fair trade ingredients.



4. moisturize: GO GETTER TO GLOW GETTER.

Laura Mercier Broad Spectrum SPF 20 Tinted Moisturizer

$45 for 1.7 oz. Available at Sephora.

Moisturizing is key. Joli and I rarely use foundation because it tends to breaks us out but we love tinted moisturizer for sheer glowing coverage. Our favorites are by Nars and Laura Mercier. Laura Mercier's fragrance-free tinted moisturizer has a soft, sheer, dewy finish that blurs minor imperfections for a more even complexion while having a natural no make-up look. It blends really well into your skin and the coverage is so sheer that the same shade works well for all seasons, winter through summer. The formula is dermatologist tested and noncomedogenic. I think this works well for all skin types because of it's satin finish but they also have an oil-free version. You can pick this up at Sephora or Nordstrom. They carry the travel-sized tube at Nordstrom Rack.




$10 for 1 oz/ 50 mL. Available at Sephora.

This is my all time favorite dry shampoo. I've tried a handful and none of them seem to work quite as well as this one. Batiste is my second favorite but really lacks in comparison to Klorane, which works almost invisibly so. Joli and I love using dry shampoo to push a wash day out another day or two. This dry shampoo by Klorane eliminates oil at the scalp while adding volume and texture to our hair. It has an amazing fresh scent and covers any odor from your hair, including cigarette smoke, food stench or other environmental smells that hair so easily absorbs. This dry shampoo truly extends the life of your hair (especially if you did a blow-out). It's our go-to to gently cleanse hair between washes. The powder, made with botanical ingredients like oat milk, corn and rice starches is super fine and not at all noticeable in our dark brown hair. Sure baby powder works, but leaves a super gray, chalky film coating that makes your hair look dirtier than before. Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk is vegan, hypoallergenic and free of sodium chloride, sulfates and parabens.


NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer

$29 / 0.22 fl. oz. Available at Sephora, ulta, nordstrom.

Ready to look calm, well-rested and attentive? Even if I haven't slept the night before, I can fake it with my favorite concealer by NARS. The NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer is the only concealer that doesn't cake or crease or dry up on my face. I love YSL Touche Eclat but it's a little pricer and a little more sheer than this one by NARS and I've heard good things about Tarte's Shape Tape but I haven't used it yet (If you have, tell us your thoughts in the comments!). This concealer is easy to apply, lasts long and does a good job of covering up discoloration as well as adding brightness under my eyes and on my high points. It's sheer but not nearly as sheer as the YSL concealer and is also extremely buildable. The color we both use is Custard (yellow undertone). In winter sometimes I use Honey (more of a pink undertone).



Nars Bronzing POWDER - LAGUNA

$40 for 0.28 oz/ 8 g. Available at Sephora and Ulta.

Don't let a lack of vitamin D keep you from achieving a healthy radiant glow. I'm not much of a contour queen but I do use this natural looking bronzer by NARS (clearly, NARS is one of my favorite make-up brands). I've only ever used the color Laguna because it creates a really subtle "shadow" with a little bit of shimmer. Even with the shimmer, I find it works well to add some definition under my cheeks and to the outside of my face. This bronzer is super buildable and easily blendable which is why it's been a staple in my make-up kit for ten years now. It doesn't cake up my face or settle into any lines but it does give me an overall much needed warmth that looks completely natural.


Nars Lipstick - Dolce Vita

$28 for 0.12 oz/ 3.4 g. Available at Sephora, Ulta, Nordstrom.

Yet another steal from Joli's make-up stash! This lipstick in 'Dolce Vita' is the perfect sheer dusty rose color. It matches our lips perfectly. I used to use MAC cosmetics lipsticks because of the price point and pigmentation (I do love their colors) but they leave my lips super dry and cracked. Matte lipsticks just do not work for me because of the same reason. This lipstick by NARS is amazing- it feels as good as a lip balm (it's enriched with vitamin E, too).  The creamy formula makes my lips look plump, more full, moisturized and well taken care of. Really, this lipstick is like your own lips, but better. If I'm ever wearing lipstick, it's most likely this one.


Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush - Exposed

$29 for 0.2 oz/ 5.6 g. Available at Sephora and Ulta.

For some reason, applying a sweep of blush makes us appear more positive, more warm and more friendly and approachable. Again, Joli introduced me to this blush- actually she was wearing it and I loved it on her so I just hopped on the bandwagon. The color I use is 'Exposed' which is a pink-nude color. Super natural looking. I love how it is so pigmented and looks fresh all day without much fading. The texture is soft and silky and doesn't look powdery when applied to the apples of your cheeks. It's easy to blend and build up but because of its high mineral pigment, one swipe across your cheeks is all you need! It's non drying and made without parabens, sulfates or phthalates. It's a natural looking blush that makes you appear to be glowing from within.


Originally published 10/30/17