While traveling is one of my favorite parts of life, packing for travel is not. I've always found it particularly stressful as there's so much to think about: the weather, destination, activities I'll be doing, type of hotel bathroom mirror situation I'll be working with… Do I need a blow dryer? The list of questions that go through my head goes on and on.
One thing that has made it significantly less stressful for me (and given me the ability to actually travel with just a carry-on) is that I've recently stocked up on many of my favorite beauty products in travel-size. This has revolutionized my packing experience—I no longer have to figure out which products are TSA-approved as they're already under the liquid size limit, plus I keep most of them together in my travel cosmetics case, so they're ready to go whenever I am.
Below I've outlined my can't-leave-home-without products for skin, hair, and body that purchasing in travel-size has changed my life for the better.
I'm not one to use the term "ride or die," but if I were, I would describe this texturizing spray as such. It's the perfect ratio of grit and hold, plus I always get compliments on Oribe's mesmerizing signature scent. I truly wouldn't go on a trip without it.
Anti-humidity hair spray is a good call in every climate—if there's moisture in the air, it helps keep frizz at bay. If it's on the dry side, this product simply acts as a normal hairspray to keep things in place.
I don't even have to explain why packing dry shampoo is a must. This one smells great and doesn't leave any white residue like so many do.
I spend a lot of time (and money, TBH) dyeing my hair, so I need to ensure I'm protecting the color even when I'm traveling, and not just any shampoo will do so. That's why I don't go anywhere without this color-protecting shampoo from Oribe—which is my favorite haircare brand if you haven't figured that out already.
Obviously can't overlook the conditioner either.
Another Oribe product I can't live without is the Restyle Spray because, let's face it, on vacation you're bound to be doing your hair over and over again without washing (okay, I do that in my normal life as well, but you get the point). This magical spray makes my hair feel hydrated and nourished, while also activating yesterday's products and providing heat protection.
This is my holy-grail makeup remover—it melts away even stubborn waterproof eyeliner and mascara in one easy swipe. Plus, it's clean so if you're attempting to move towards a non-toxic beauty routine like I am, this is a great addition.
I started double-cleansing per advice from my esthetician a few years ago, and it dramatically changed my skin. Bioderma's Sensibio is my go-to cleansing water for after I wash my face to ensure every speck of dirt and makeup are gone. I simply add a splash to a cotton ball and run it over my face (and am always shocked and horrified to see how much gunk is on there even after my face feels clean). I forgo washing with a cleanser and water in the morning and simply use my Sensibio again before getting ready for the day. This cute travel mini version is a staple in my travel cosmetics bag.
I use this serum every morning before heading out for the day to protect my skin from airborne pollutants while also helping soothe and heal my perpetually irritated skin. Bonus: The full-size bottle is only one ounce, so you can travel with it no problem.
If you haven't tried Caudalie's Radiance Serum, I can't recommend it enough. I find it to be much more effective than any vitamin C serum I've tried as far as skin brightening goes, without any irritation to my sensitive skin. I use this underneath my makeup and even wear it sans makeup when possible because it makes my skin look that glowy—seriously. Sadly it only comes in one size, but thankfully that size is under 3.4 ounces.
This two-in-one moisturizer contains hyaluronic acid, vitamin B5, and vitamin E to hydrate the skin, plus SPF 30 so I can skip packing a facial sunscreen and simply rely on this to protect my skin, too.
These are my bronzing secret weapon—I add a few drops to my moisturizer or sunscreen, and they give you an instant boost of natural-looking bronze glow.
Dr. Sturm's new facial mist is the ultimate multi-tasker—it has hyaluronic acid to give your skin a big boost of moisture whenever you need it. I spray it whenever my skin needs a refresher throughout the day. I also use it as the final step in my makeup routine so you can skip packing your typical setting spray.
As someone with ultra-sensitive skin and rosacea, I've never been able to use a retinol, despite its magical anti-aging properties. That is until I discovered Shani Darden's texture reform that features a gentle retinol that works to reduce the appearance of sunspots and redness while softening fine lines and wrinkles. I've been using this product twice per week, and it doesn't irritate my skin in the slightest. Luckily you don't need a travel-size version as the full-size is only one fluid ounce—meaning it's already TSA-approved.
Another multi-tasking product I'm obsessed with are M-61's Powerglow Peel pads. Containing both glycolic and salicylic acid, vitamin K, antioxidants, chamomile and lavender, these pads help exfoliate and resurface the skin to give you a glow like no other. I use them once a week at night and wake up with clear, radiant skin. My pores are also noticeably smaller and any lines I'm starting to notice are less visible. So instead of packing eight different products to achieve these results, I simply throw one of these pads in my bag and my work here is done.
This illuminating balm can be used on your face, décolletage, legs, or arms to give skin a dewy glow. This is another one that works double duty as a full-size and travel-size, and I actually throw it in my bag when I go out now for touch-ups.
If I were to choose one thing to be stranded on a desert island with, it would be Fresh Beauty's Sugar Lip Balm. It's ultra-hydrating and gives just a subtle hint of sheen. I even got my boyfriend hooked on it, despite the sheen factor, because it's that good.
I received this kit as a gift and have never been more grateful. The travel-size body wash and lotion have been on heavy rotation recently as they work well and the scent is heavenly.
Le Labo's fragrances need no introduction (and are very self-explanatory on why I would want to travel with them). Blame it on too many traumatic TSA incidents, but carrying around my full-size bottle gives me anxiety, so I prefer to take this 15ml version with me instead.
I use this bag to carry all of my travel essentials—no mess to worry about.
Okay, so this isn't technically a beauty product, but it does help me get my beauty sleep when I travel, so I thought I'd include it (apologies for the dad joke). I truly never leave home without it.