what to pack


Beauty essentials to pack

travel suitcase

My biggest enemy when traveling is the weight limit of my carry-on luggage (sometimes even my check-in). Call me superficial or silly, but I say traveling is most enjoyable when you have some of your comfort essentials with you. Here are my beauty tools I always have, no matter where I’m going:

1. Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water

The best make-up remover of them all – feels like water, doesn’t irritate your skin or eyeballs and removes ALL residue. My favorite and most affordable micellar water is from Garnier.

2. Harry Josh Tools 2 inch round brush

We all know hair is your crown of beauty – and when I have to tame my long, stubborn hair, this brush does the trick! It’s a mix of boar bristles and Nylon, so it leaves my hair very shiny and bouncy. Harry Josh, the creator of these seafoam-colored products, is a celeb hairstylist that helped make Gisele’s mane as famous as the supermodel herself.

3. Alpha H Liquid Gold with Glycolic Acid

This was recently incorporated in my skin routine, and I’m obsessed! You can read more about the benefits of glycolic acid, especially if anti-aging and acne scarring are your skin’s trouble areas. I use it every 2-3 nights on its own or with a light moisturizer on top. They don’t call it Liquid Gold for nothing.

4. Bumble and bumble Prêt-à-powder

THIS! Dry shampoo is quite possibly the best invention in recent years, and this one does not dry out your scalp like many others. Also, it does not have a strong scent or leave a white residue. Get’s the job done, extends your blowout and adds volume.


5.  Freshmade Coconut Mask by Skinfood

If you love K-beauty, then you will really appreciate this plumping, moisturizing, self-absorbing face mask. It smells like you’re on a beach drinking a coconut, and your skin will have a youthful, fresh glow. It’s has food-based ingredients, which I probably why I love it (food is life, am I right?). Skinfood makes many other masks, but I like that this one you leave on and it melts into your skin without leaving any sticky residue.

6. Ouai Hair Oil

Apply it on wet and dry hair – Ouai’s hair oil is not heavy or greasy, it absorbs quickly and styles hair beautifully. They sell travel size oils in Sephora, but the main size is less than 100 ml, so it’s check-in luggage approved! Did I mention it smells heavenly and created by hair guru to the stars Jen Atkins?

7. Chantecaille Faux Cils Longest Lash Mascara

This magical mascara is quite expensive, but I won’t put anything else on my lashes. It has actual peptides that help your lashes stay strong and grow, not to mention it adds volume and length from the coating. I always get asked if my lashes are real – happy to say that they are, and this is my secret!

8. Trish McEvoy Beauty Booster Eye Serum

Trish knows her stuff – her make-up and skincare products are all made safe for sensitive, allergy-prone skin with the help of her husband, a renowned dermatologist in New York. This eye serum is like an immediate skin tightener, dark circle reliever and de-puffer, which is especially essential for red-eye flights and jet lag. And it has my FAVORITE ingredient, hyaluronic acid!


I am always on the lookout for new products, mainly because my skin changes with time and in different environments. So if you’ve tried other great products that you can’t travel without, please share them below!


Medical packing list for globetrotters

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Traveling is a liberating and nourishing experience, especially if you’re in great physical and mental health. But what about the times when you’ll inevitably get food poisoning from munching on street food, seasickness on your diving voyage, or a headache and nausea from high altitude? I’ve learned the hard way as I’ve traveled the importance of being prepared and having basic medicines and first aid within easy reach. Obviously, everyone has different solutions and beliefs on treating aches and pains, but I say better safe than sorry. Here are the medical essentials I ALWAYS have in my carry-on, ready to administer to keep me as healthy as possible on a trip.

  1. Dramamine

    Combats: seasickness, nausea, vomiting and motion sickness.
    I wish I could say I’m a perfect traveler, flyer and ship passenger, but I’m not. I sometimes get motion sickness, especially on long, winding mountain roads. Dramamine comes in handy. Sometimes I take half of a Dramamine tablet to decrease its half-life. I also love taking Dramamine All-Day Less Drowsy on long haul flights, as it helps me sleep and stay relaxed (I’m an anxious flyer, and this is a great alternative to taking tranquilizers). Expect to sleep extra deep after you land, so if you are going to explore right off the flight, you’ll be sleep and cranky (maybe that last one is just me…). I find it helps with adjusting to a new time zone from its sleep-inducing effect.
  2. Benadryl Allergy Plus

    Combats: allergic reactions, seasonal allergies, sinus pressure, itchy bites/sunburn
    I really love this for multiple reasons: you can combat any seasonal allergies you get from the new place you’re at, AND you can treat a sudden allergic reaction you get from something you consumed or made contact with. Of course, if you’re breaking out in hives, seek medical attention at a clinic! Also, Benadryl, like many anti-histamines, can make you drowsy, so taking it before bedtime can have an added bonus on helping you sleep better.
  3. Ibuprofen (also known as Advil, Motrin, etc.)

    Combats: headaches, sore muscles, toothaches, menstrual cramps
    You never know when a headache may strike (ever hiked in 17,000 feet? Altitude changes can trigger some nasty headaches) or you get a fever (not necessarily from the flu) or you feel really sore after a hike or tumble. Having a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicine (read: non-narcotic) like Ibuprofen handy can help with all of that. Just be sure to read the label to understand the dosage and make sure you can take this; otherwise there are boat loads of pain relievers out there that will do the trick and work with your body.
  4. Pepto-Bismol
    Combats: indigestion, nausea, heartburn, upset stomach
    Good old Pepto, it really has your bases covered for most digestive problems in one pill (well, you’ll probably take more than one pill, but you catch my drift). When those leftovers you finished off begin to disagree with your stomach, or you’re feeling gassy from the last carb fest you had, or your esophagus feels like you swallowed a Carolina Reaper (read: hottest chili pepper in the world), then Pepto is a quick and easy go-to for almost immediate relief. The only thing is you might have to take multiple doses every couple of hours (reminder to read the label for dosing) for continued relief. Hopefully this puts the brakes on your stomach problems.
  5. Imodium

    Combats: diarrhea, gas, bloating, cramps
    No need to get embarrassed – you wouldn’t be human if you didn’t experience the runs at least once in your life. Honestly, nothing sucks more than getting diarrhea on vacation. You’re down for the count for at least a day usually, and you wonder if you’ll ever eat something normal again. I remember chuckling at the term “Delhi-Belly” before going to India, but in reality it was a sobering reminder of the realities of trying new foods or getting unlucky with a bad microbe that contaminates your meal. This can also be a literal lifesaver if you’re traveling alone and feel that urge to marry your bottom to the toilet seat…  Fret not, for Imodium is highly effective at putting a stop to diarrhea quickly. The key is to take it when you first get a symptom, so you don’t get dehydrated. However, if you do, fret not, because…
  6. Nuun Hydration Tablets
    Combats: dehydration
    So technically this isn’t a medicine, but I found it so useful. Let’s say you’re recovering from diarrhea, or you’re hiking long distances – this is your new best friend. It is chockfull of minerals, vitamins and electrolytes, and it doesn’t have sugar. I love the ones that R-E-I sells; I tried some when hiking in Myanmar and really liked the Strawberry Lemonade flavor (and there are 5 flavors to choose from, in case this isn’t something you like). It isn’t sweet, but it is zesty and refreshing, and most importantly, replenishing. Just pop one in a 16 oz. water bottle and let it dissolve before drinking.
  7. Tylenol Cold + Flu Day/Night Pack
    Combats: cold and flu symptoms, cough, fever, aches, congestion
    If you’r unlucky enough to catch a cold or flu on your trip (freezing AC in hot climate, anyone?? Or is it just me…), then taking something from home that you know helps alleviate your symptoms until it runs its course is really important. Not to mention, it will keep a fever or cough down that may lead to something more serious, requiring antibiotics or hospitalization. So I recommend bringing a medicine like this Tylenol pack that treats all sorts of symptoms, with both drowsy and non-drowsy versions to help you take it day and night. While I hope you stay healthy during your trip, keep this handy just in case.
  8. Compeed blister cushions

    Combats: blisters and small cuts
    Compeed is one of the best bandages on the market – it attaches to your skin and creates a nearly impenetrable barrier to allow your blister or cut to heal over several days.  I always have some in my purse handy to help my feet break in new shoes, recover from exploring a city all day or hiking, or cover up a boo-boo from one of my clumsy trips or tumbles. It happens. But you can barely feel pain coming from the problem area, because of how well-cushioned this bandage is. Great way to continue your trip without sacrificing cute new shoes or limping all the time. By the way, they come in several sizes and shapes to fit hard-to-reach spots.

So while it’s easy to remember to pack the essentials clothes, passport and money, don’t forget basic medicines and first aid too. You don’t think you’ll need it until you do. Not all pharmacies and hospitals speak English, depending where you are, so if you’re feeling ill and have to explain what you have to someone who doesn’t understand, you’ll be in a tough spot. Pack a small container of meds and enjoy your trip! What are some medicines you always bring with you?