I have a constant internal struggle - while I’m a minimalist at heart, I’m also a chronic overpacker. And no matter how hard I try, it has been nearly impossible for me to make peace between the two. Add in the fact that I’m a total beauty junkie and you’ve got something of a recipe for disaster. In fact a few trips ago, when I accidentally got our seats on a train wrong and Nikko had to help me remove my suitcase from the overhead compartment and carry it down the aisle, he laid down the rule that from now on, I was only allowed to bring what I could carry myself. And let me emphasize how much I had with me by stating that I am abnormally strong for my size. So… yea. There was a lot in that suitcase… 

Luckily for him, I’ve since gotten my beauty packing under control thanks to some seriously hard-working products that are as convenient as they are luxurious. So I thought why not share some of the favorites from this last Italy trip with you, since they worked out so well for me? And with that, I give you 10 products that will change your travel life forever…

IN THE CARRYON (I never go without these on a travel day):

  1. OLIKA Birdie: First things first! Ever since I started reading about the disgustingness that covers virtually every surface of an airplane, not to mention public restrooms, door knobs, money, etc etc, I have become a hand sanitizer fanatic. And since I’m also a design nerd, of course I have to carry “The World’s Most Beautiful Hand Sanitizer” (as named by Fast Company) with me. Aside from the design, however, what really makes Birdie stand out to me is what’s in the actual formula. From aloe vera leaf juice to essential oils such as bergamot, lemon and spearmint, it doesn’t have that gross sanitizer smell whatsoever. Instead, it just smells delicious. Plus it has a little locking mechanism so you don’t accidentally end up sanitizing your entire purse (which I have done with other hand sanitizers in the past)…

 2. Super GOOP Hand Cream: How often do you put sunscreen on your hands? Considering this is one of the first places people start to show signs of aging, hand cream with sunscreen is an ultimate must - for everyday, but especially when traveling to sunny places.

 3. Pixi by Petra Nourishing Lip Polish: Another great double duty product. The tip of the applicator has a fantastic built-in exfoliator that keeps your lips super polished while the paraben-free apricot, grapefruit oil and shea butter formula nourishes, moisturizes, and leaves you with a pretty sheen.

4. IT Cosmetics Confidence in a Compact with SPF 50+: If I’m going to wear any makeup on a travel day, it’s this. Easy to carry and jam packed with the good stuff like hyaluronic acid, squalane, antioxidants and a super ceramide cream, this is the first ever solid serum foundation that provides the prettiest coverage while simultaneously moisturizing and providing some sun protection. A must.

 5. Musely Hydrogel Eye Mask: I love love love this for plane flights - it fights puffiness, dark circles, and wrinkles with ingredients like grape seed oil, prickly pear oil, cucumber fruit extract, and Vitamin K. Plus, I really feel like you get instant results. My on-the-plane ritual is to down a glass of water, pop these on, cover them up with an eye mask, and push that seat back for a little snooze.


6. Foreo Luna Play: The travel size version of the Foreo makes it so easy to keep up with my skincare regime and helps slough off all those extra environmental whatnots that come with traveling. (And if you haven’t tried the Foreo before, it’s a great, affordable way to see how you like it first without committing to the big one)

7.  Kate Somerville Exfoliating Face Wash: Does a great job of removing everything while providing gentle exfoliation. Not pictured here is my travel-sized Dr. Bronners, which I use every other day for face wash as well, not to mention as body wash, and shaving cream. Even for hair in a pinch. This is truly a miracle product.)

8. Kate Somerville Retinol Firming Eye Cream: A great way to keep up with your retinoids (still my favorite ingredient for basically anything from hyperpigmentation to wrinkles) while on the road.

 9. Luzern La Defense Face Mask: The perfect travel mask - it helps you recover from daily pollutants and releases toxins and improves elasticity at the same time. Luzern is a new beauty discovery of mine that I’ve really become obsessed with - plus, they make a lot of their products in travel size so they’re a go-to for any trip.

10. CosMedix Rescue Plus Intense Hydrating Balm and Mask: No matter what your skin type, this mask provides the most intensive hydration that will transform your skin - if it’s a long flight, I like to put this on immediately when I get on a flight and then just wipe off the excess before landing (it goes on clear and isn’t really shiny so you’re not terrifying looking on the plane either). It also feels super healing and is great for recovering or traumatized skin. Plus this might not actually be true, but I really like the idea of it providing a protective layer between my skin and the yuckiness floating around in the air on planes. It definitely feels like it’s doing that!

 How do you pack toiletries when you travel? Do you keep it pared down or bring it all?

PS - I've added most of these items to the shop so you can find them easily there as well!