what’s in my travel beauty bag


I absolutely despise packing for trips. Every time I go on vacation I wait until the very last second and usually end up staying up all night {of course underestimating how long it will take me}. Very ideal when I have an early morning flight, ugh.

Surprisingly, the reason I hate it isn’t because I take time picking out multiple outfits to bring {which you may have expected}. It’s actually quite the opposite – I am a very light packer. It stresses me out having too many options while on vacation and if I can’t make a decision at home, then I likely won’t be able to make one there. So I try to limit myself at home so it requires no thought when I’m on vacation. But one thing that I never have a problem with is packing toiletries – I’ve become a pro at what I need, what I’ll want, and it really doesn’t vary based on where I’m going. Here’s a peak inside of my travel “beauty” bag.


Murad Suncreen: Most of my vacations include a lot of walking around and sunshine if it’s up to me :) However, whether it’s sunny or not, I always apply this sunscreen during the day. It’s the ONLY sunscreen I’ve tried that doesn’t break my {randomly sensitive} skin out. It’s a bit pricey, but I use the smallest amount {a little less than dime size all over my face and neck} and it lasts me for.ev.er. Not in love with its citrus-y scent, but it doesn’t stick around.

Cerave PM: My new found favorite face lotion thanks to a recommendation from my friend Melanie {check out her guru feature here!} She has flawless skin so of course I took her advice. I’m starting to learn sometimes less is more when it comes to skincare. I’m always searching for a miracle product in higher-end brands when this has been next door at Walgreen’s the whole time…and my wallet says thank you! I use this on days where I’m not outside much or at night. Sidetone: it is a thinner consistency for a night cream, so if you are particular about that then be aware if you like a really thick and hydrating night cream.

Acure Organics Argan Oil: This is my multi-use product for vacations. If my skin is feeling extra dry due to the climate I’m traveling to, I mix it with my face moisturizer. If my hair is looking a little frizzy or dry then I dab a little on the ends for an easy fix. I have chronically dry cuticles, especially in the winter, so it comes in handy for them as well! The possibilities are endless.

Oscar Blandi Dry Shampoo: I really don’t need to say anything more about my obsession with dry shampoo {I said it all here and here}. I tend to wash my hair everyday when I’m on vacations {ouch} but still need it with me just in case I don’t or if I need some extra volume.

Mac Fix Plus: I normally have a travel size of this product, but just ran out so excuse the larger one for the sake of the photo! This stuff comes in handy after flights when you need a little spritz of hydration on your face. It is also great for holding your makeup in place if you’ll be out all day or to spray on your makeup after hours of wear to give it a fresh, just applied look.

Scrunchy: Need this with me. To put my hair up when I sleep;my hair’s too long to leave down while sleeping and a thinner hair-tie can leave your hair tangled and cause breakage.

Headband: One of my odd pet peeves is getting my hair around my face wet when I’m washing my face. This thing comes with me everywhere I go – it’s the best!

Purity Facewash: The best face wash for traveling. It comes in a cute little travel size bottle and it doubles as a makeup remover {even for eye makeup} so you only have to pack one item for your makeup removal/cleansing routine.

Clarisonic: I charge this before I go and bring it with me. Although my cosmetic bag doesn’t appear that large in the picture, it’s the one that came with my Clarisonic and it easily fits all of my necessary items! I could do without if that wasn’t the case, but I do love cleansing with it if I have the choice. Clarisonic+Purity=perfection.

Eye Mask: If I’m traveling to a new place or hotel, I never know what the curtains/natural lighting situation will be like. I wake up at the crack of dawn when a stream of light comes in the room, so it never hurts to be prepared to get beauty sleep. After all, I don’t want to be exhausted due to lack of sleep when I am trying to enjoy my vacation!

Hope my tips help – I’d love to hear what necessities you can’t live without while traveling!


top volumizers // my favorites

My hair routine is simple and I don’t really deviate – wash my hair everyday {I know it’s bad and Sydney strongly disapproves}, add this heat protectant and a volumizer, blow it out {also a problem}, and go! I know it sounds crazy, but it’s only a 20 minute endeavor – I’ve mastered the timing.  But without a volumizer my blowout starts to lose its body by lunchtime and I didn’t put in all that hard work for nothing. Ergo, my hunt for the perfect volumizer is never ending.

1. More than a volumizer // Kerastase – resistance mousse volumactive

Kerastase - volumactive mousse

Although it’s on the pricey side, I’ve always been a fan of the Kerastase products and treatments I’ve tried and this volumizer is no different.  I use a golf ball sized amount and apply the product to my damp roots after towel-drying my hair – it leaves my hair feeling bouncy and healthy without any stickiness or residue. I think of this product as more than a volumizer – it also adds shine, smells amazing, and conditions all in one.

volume: 5 (good volume but not over the top Texas hair)

residue: 10 (no residue or stickiness and doesn’t weigh down my hair)

2. Over the top volume // Oribe – grandiose mousse

Grandiose is my special occasion volumizer when I’m looking for some serious volume that I don’t necessarily want on my typical day in the office.  A palmful of grandiose mousse and a blow out leaves my hair looking and smelling amazing – although it does feel like there is product in my hair.

volume:9 (almost too much volume, in a good way)

residue: 6 (that larger than life volume comes with slight residue; not a great option if you want your blow out to last multiple days)

3. The perfect balance // Catwalk – Root Boost

Root boost is my current every day volumizer – it’s $13 and gives great volume.  The product is a really light mousse that I apply to damp hair in small spurts along my roots – I’m careful not to over apply in any area {over application leaves unnecessary residue and will weigh down your hair}. Root boost is the perfect balance – giving great lift and fuller hair like the Grandiose mousse, while looking and feeling natural like the Kerastase volumactive.

volume: 7 (great volume, applied only to the roots!)

residue: 4 (leaves minor residue, but doesn’t ruin next-day hair)

4. THE TESTER // amika – bombshell blowout spray

A friend had rave reviews about this one after receiving it in her birchbox and I’m a sucker for testing new things!

volume: ??

residue: ??

Stay tuned for my thoughts!


top 5 hair products // my favorites

When it comes to hair products, I’ve always been a ‘less is more’ person which is surprising because I can’t say no to the newest makeup item on the shelves; when I walk into Sephora I lose all self-control. I think since I have fine hair {just a lot of it} I tend to think that the more products I use, the more it will weigh my hair down so I tend to stick to my favorite few products and use them as needed. I don’t really experiment with too many hair products and when I find something I love, I stay with it. Each of my favorite products has a different purpose and if any of them got discontinued…I wouldn’t know what to do.

1. Kerastase Elixir Ultime The Imperial

Kerastase Elixir

This is my newest favorite and not only have I gotten compliments on how my hair smells {literally amazing} but I also love how girly I feel when I use this product since it comes in pretty packaging and is pink {I’m fully aware that is a silly reason but hey, at least I admit it}. I used this before a blow out and noticed it made my hair shiny and silky smooth. If you have frizzy hair or flyaways after you blow dry this could be great. It is amazing if you want a lightweight oil and it works on wet or dry hair for finishing touches.

2. L’Oreal Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold Unscented Hairspray

loreal hairspray

rarely use hairspray. Mainly because I don’t need it when I flat iron or blow out my hair, and I personally think certain hairsprays ruins curls {they also don’t look as good the next day}. My only use for hairspray usually comes if I have fly aways near my part. However, it would work amazing for all your hairspray needs.

This hairspray is different from any I’ve ever tried because the spray comes out very “airy” and it doesn’t spray too much in one certain place on your hair {which we have all experienced before}. It leaves your hair soft after application and it is easy to brush out without leaving your hair stiff, although it will still feel like there is additional product in your hair. I get the scentless version and it lasts me forever since I barely use it! If I don’t want to apply a lot I’ll hold it a good distance away and spray it on my hand and then style with my fingers.

3. Moroccan Oil

moroccan oil

This product has a cult following so I am sure you have heard of it or seen it at your hair salon. I’ve tried a couple of other Argan Oils {Acure Organics & Josie Maran for example} and found this is the best one for hair. My favorite way to use this is when I curl ironed my hair {on the second day} after I brush my curls out. I rub one pump together in my hands and brush it through with my fingers from my ears down. This is the best way to achieve the soft/silky/beachy waves that are my favorite :)

4. Lulu Organics Hair Powder {Dry Shampoo}

lulu organics dry shampoo

You may remember this product from when I raved about it here. This is my favorite dry shampoo for so many reasons and definitely a product I use all the time. Whether it is on clean hair for extra volume or second {or even sometimes third} day hair :) it always makes my hair look like it was freshly washed! And when I curl my hair, I think it looks better the longer I leave my hair between washes thanks to this stuff! I order it on amazon here and I just ordered the travel size for some upcoming trips.

5. Alterna Bamboo Smooth Anti-Breakage Thermal Protectant Spray

alterna bamboo

This is my holy grail hair product. I’ve been using it for a couple years now and have turned multiple friends onto it as well. I was looking for a good hair protectant for when I heat style it and I tried and hated the Tresemme one {with the red sprayer} that I see many beauty bloggers using. I don’t think it did anything and the more I used the more disgusting my hair started to feel. I gave the Alterna Bamboo a shot on a whim during one of my Sephora sprees and I’m SO glad I did. It’s a creamy consistency and a little goes a long way. Although it’s a spray bottle don’t spray it directly on your hair! Since it’s a lotion-type texture it will just stay in the exact area where you spray it. If you have similar length of hair to mine, take about 4 sprays in your hands and rub them together and then from your ears and down. If you have shorter hair, adjust accordingly. If I’m blow drying my hair, I’ll do this when it is damp beforehand. And if I let my hair air dry, I wait until it’s dry and then apply the same way on dry hair and proceed with a flat iron or curling iron. Not only does this protect your hair from the heat but it also makes your hair so silky, shiny and feel amazing. This wins as my favorite hair product by far!

Have you guys tried any of these products? I’d love to know your thoughts and any favorites you may have!

xx // s




review // Perricone MD Hypoallergenic Firming Eye Cream

Perricone MD


Sometimes it’s exhausting shopping for the right eye cream, moisturizer, serum, exfoliator, and every other beauty product we subject ourselves to. I’m the type of person that even if I find a beauty product I like, I am always searching for the next best thing and love trying new products {see our other current favorites here}. However, if you are going to invest your hard earned money in expensive beauty products, it can be frustrating when you don’t know if they really work or if the ingredients can actually be doing more harm to your skin than good.

I had heard positive things about Perricone MD and since I was in the market to purchase a new eye cream, I thought I’d give the Hypoallergenic Firming Eye Cream a chance.

Scoring an impressive 2 on Environmental Working Group’s website {here}, I was immediately sold by its harmless and all-natural ingredients. I’ve become more conscious of what my beauty products contain because long term exposure to toxic ingredients on the skin can cause you to age more than if you used nothing at all!

I didn’t realize how much came in the pot so when I ordered it I was hilariously shocked at how small the jar was {except it wasn’t that funny when I remembered how much I shelled out for this stuff!} However, I started using it in the beginning of October and I just ran out so I’d say I got my money’s worth for sure.

Here’s the low down:

moisture// A+

If you have dry skin or a dehydrated eye area then this is the cream for you. I’d say this is the #1 strength of this eye cream and since I get super dry in the winter it has been great these past few months. It goes on a white cream and as you dab it in, it turns slightly greasy {not in a bad way} and then shortly after sinks into the skin. When you wake up in the morning you won’t want to wash your face because your under eyes will feel so hydrated!

hypoallergenic// A

No need to worry if you have sensitive skin when using this product – it is fragrance free and contains natural ingredients. Keep it around your eyes only.

price// C+

For the tiny amount you get per jar, it can be pretty pricey if you are on a budget but it will last you a while if you only use a small amount.

packaging// B

I don’t typically like jar packaging for creams since it isn’t very hygienic and sometimes the ingredients can’t sustain their properties in jar form. But compared to other jars, I like how it is glass and sturdy; it definitely doesn’t feel cheap.

ingredients// A+

When it comes to high end skincare, you rarely find anything close to all-natural, so if you are one who is particular about ingredients in products, this one scores a high rating in my book.

anti-aging// B+

Although this product has anti-aging properties, I think it shines more in the moisture department. If you are looking for more anti-aging benefits in an eye cream, there are better suited options for that issue.

What do you guys think of this eye cream if you have tried it? Are there any other eye creams you recommend I try?

Hope you guys are having a nice week and to those back at work, hopefully it wasn’t too brutal coming back from time off!

xx // s