I'm Traveling for the First Time in Years—21 Beauty Staples I Can't Be Without

For fall, I decided to book a trip to the East Coast, specifically Boston and other parts of Massachusetts. The idea was to enjoy some actual fall weather (which we absolutely do not have in L.A.) and get my spooky witchiness on by visiting Salem and various Massachusetts haunts. Now, a trip like this might not seem like that big of a deal to some people, but it was my first time going on a plane since pre-pandemic days! Traveling has always been a little stressful and nerve-racking for me, but this was on another level. 

I knew I had to be totally prepared and make sure I had all of my comforts with me on the plane and on my trip. I, a Libra, tried my best to go into the brain space of a Virgo and meticulously planned both itinerary and packing list. Said list included an array of beauty products that would comfort me and protect my skin from this change in weather as well as travel accessories that would help make the trip as seamless as possible. 

For the first part of my spooky trip, I started off in Boston, staying at The Liberty Hotel, which was recommended to me by various people in the beauty scene—not because it’s a beauty destination, per se, but because it used to be a jail! In its past life, The Liberty was the Charles Street Jail, which was built in 1851 and shut down in 1990. (You can still see a lot of the bullet holes in the original brick walls.) Aside from the interesting and slightly creepy history, I was happy that my room had a bathtub and excellent bathroom lighting, both of which are important to me whenever I stay at a hotel—especially as someone who packs just as many products as I do clothes. 

Keep scrolling to see the 21 beauty (and travel) products I brought along with me on my trip. Light packers, look away!

I always like the idea of bringing a face device with me whenever I travel, but so many of them can be bulky. The NuFace Mini+ is perfect to pack since it’s the size of a small beauty product. I can get my microcurrent on whenever and wherever I want! (Though, I won’t pull it out on a flight.) If my face looks puffy from flying or too many martinis, this is a lifesaver. 

Unfortunately, I was struck with a little skin issue right before my trip—actually, two if you count the massive papules that decided to show up on my cheek and jaw. I destroyed those rude little zit monsters with a benzoyl peroxide treatment, but I went a little overboard and ended up drying out my entire jawline. Quelle horreur! Thank goddess The Outset’s Vegan Collagen Serum brought my skin back from dehydrated hell in literally three days. I wasn’t about to leave her at home.

A thing I always pack? A few sheet masks. My skin needs all the help it can get when it travels through different time zones. I’m a longtime fan of Dr. Jart+’s Cicapair line for its redness-reducing powers, and this mask does that while providing my skin with a much-needed boost of hydration.

One of my best hacks for boob support and ample cleavage when the outfit calls for it is Nue boob tape. I wear this tape a lot more than I wear regular bras because it always makes my boobs look fantastic. This pack is great for travel, as it comes in precut strips. It also takes up far less space in my suitcase than my bulky bras.  

Is more than one eye shadow palette for a weeklong trip too much? Oh well! I couldn’t help bringing along my current favorite eye shadow quad, Gold Lust from Róen. It has a fantastic mix of neutrals and shimmers to use whenever I want to do a glam-yet-simple eye. 

Another thing I always like to pack is a bath bomb just in case the hotel I stay at has a tub, and I can put my headphones on and soak like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. (Yes, I have a bathtub at home, but there’s something special about using one at a hotel.) This Scream-inspired, cherry-licious bath bomb from Lush couldn’t be better to toss into my tub at the Liberty for a self-care night. 

Never would I think I’d have a favorite hand sanitizer, but hello, COVID.  My trip was all about celebrating autumn in all its glory, so it’s only natural that I brought these delicious-smelling hand sanitizers from Bath & Body Works. Look at these fall-themed scents: Marshmallow Pumpkin Latte, Rainbow Cereal, Pumpkin Apple—too good!

In case I got any more breakouts, I made sure to bring along my favorite CosRx pimple patches. They don’t take up any space in my beauty case and can help bring my zits to a head more quickly. 

Travel-size bottles for products can be limited and annoying since they come in different sizes. These Cadence containers are a dream. They surprisingly fit a good amount of my liquid and water-based beauty products. (Though, the hotel had both Byredo and Molton Brown products in the bathroom.) Plus, they look so neat and uniform and stick together via magnets.

Since I was going to Salem, it was only natural that I bring something from ColourPop’s new Hocus Pocus collection! It has the perfect combination of oranges and greens, stunning shades that look amazing with my all-black wardrobe. I’m a fall goth, baby!

I had to have my trusty Megababe for all that walking in Salem. I didn’t want to worry about any thigh chafing when I visited the Hocus Pocus sites, and this mini size is super convenient. 

This little pack has everything you’ll need while traveling: a salve for the aches and pains I got from being on a plane, a first aid salve, a skin-repair one, and another for dry skin. 

Even though hotels usually have an in-room hair dryer, I (and my processed blonde hair) can't go anywhere without my T3. This travel version is lightweight and foldable, so I'm able to still dry and style my hair comfortably on my trip without sacrificing precious real estate in my suitcase.

This gorgeous vegan-leather case houses my makeup and little Cadence capsules. Even better, it’s lined with a special material that keeps the products at a safe temperature, so you don’t have to worry about them getting hot and gross. I didn’t I have to worry about that on this trip, but it’ll be helpful whenever I go to Palm Springs or Vegas. 

In order to house all of the beauty products and various outfits I was taking on my trip, I needed a suitcase with ample space. However, I couldn’t go with a standard black suitcase. Who do you think I am? This State collaboration with LoveShackFancy has the cutest, most romantic floral-print luggage and was clearly right up my alley. I was able to spot this baby right away when it came out of baggage claim.  

Again, I don’t go for basic black. The more flamboyant the pattern the better, so this pink leopard-print Juicy Couture bag is beyond ideal. I love having a carry-on that can alternate between a bag and rollaway luggage. Plus, it goes with my choice of airport outfit, a Juicy Couture velour tracksuit a la 2000s-era Paris Hilton.

We all know that planes can be… kind of gross. It’s not like they’re going in with a tiny vacuum cleaner in between flights, deep cleaning the seat-back pockets. This tray organizer seriously saved me. I was able to keep my gum, Tylenol, phone, and hand sanitizer within arm’s reach. (Yes, I got it in pink.)

If you get annoyed when you put your carry-on bag or backpack on top of your suitcase and it falls off, you need this travel belt. It’s extremely helpful when you’re rushing through the airport to get to your gate.

I’m a huge proponent of claw clips, but this one is very impressive. Why? Because it’s bendable and has withstood three separate “attacks” from my dog. From that alone, I knew this was the hair accessory to bring on my travels.

Falling asleep on my husband’s shoulder on a flight is the worst. No offense to my dude, but my neck gets stiff and sore. This pillow saved me from that. It helps with posture and also kind of makes me feel cozy and safe, which I always need on a flight.

I’m still wearing Fenty Beauty’s Fenty Eau de Parfum nonstop and wanted to bring it with me on my trip, so I picked up this neat refillable perfume spray. It’s so much easier than buying a travel-size fragrance if you don’t want to.