Like most people in my industry, I travel for work. My “office” can be on one coast this week and the other next week. With the amount of packing I do I really should add professional packer to my LinkedIn profile. Last month was particularly hectic, especially when it came to packing. I had three very different consecutive trips— studio shoot, vacation, and location shoot, all with a variety of weather conditions.
Many who travel often know that one way to survive a hectic travel schedule is to pack smart—including a couple of essentials and remembering some items can do double duty in a beauty emergency. I quizzed my crew on a recent photo shoot about what they feel are true travel essentials. Since you may be planning some last minute summer getaways, I’d like to share some tips that could save you some packing time.
Don’t skip the work out
Packing light doesn’t mean leaving gym clothes behind. Whether you’re on the road for work or pleasure, consistent exercise helps keep everyone sane. My model friend Cecile told me on short trips she skips the running shoes and does laps in the hotel pool wearing boy shorts (or running shorts) and sports bra. This multi-functional combo can be used as a swimsuit, for running and/or yoga (if you’re modest, add a tank top or tee shirt).
Tie one on
Why is it that when it’s warm outside, most places have the air conditioner cranked? I am often cold even in the middle of summer. Recently I was in Maine when the weather turned chilly in the evening. Fortunately, another friend, Kara (a model and frequent flyer) lent me her grey cashmere scarf. Kara recommends always throwing a scarf in your suitcase. A scarf is a small item that can be used in so many ways; as a blanket on an airplane, a wrap in a restaurant, a sarong, not to mention a great compliment to an outfit!
The Little Black Dress of shoes
My essential (don’t tell my husband) is that I always pack a pair of nude flats in the event I do a little shopping while I am away. These wardrobe staples coordinate with any new purchases and come in very handy for a shoe change on long shoot days.
Want to save room in your beauty bag? Easy. Pack botanical oil. I am a proponent of using oils on the skin for many reasons. ( See my previous post on face oils ).
Botanical oils tend to be high in antioxidants. Some may even decrease inflammation. Botanical oils also penetrate quickly (unlike synthetic oils which can sit on the skin and clog pores), which makes them wonderful moisturizers. The added perk is you can use the same oil to cleanse the skin as well as moisturize.
Try my easy spa like method for cleansing. You will need oil, warm water, and a washcloth:
1. Pour a small amount of oil into you hands, rub hands together to warm the oil and gently massage oil onto the face to dissolve makeup and other impurities.
2. Put washcloth in warm water and wring out excess moisture. Cover face with a warm washcloth and gently wipe oil away, repeat.
My current favorite is Fresh’s Seaberry Moisturizing Face Oil. It has the added benefit of a lovely aroma.
Treat bags with bags
Wake up with puffy eyes, no problem! Most hotels have tea and coffee in your room.
My art director, Ann, recommends using black or green tea bags to combat puffiness. Steep tea bags in hot water for two minutes, drain, cool (in a refrigerator if possible) and place on closed eyes. The caffeine will help constrict blood vessels which helps reduce swelling. Rest for a few minutes and open your eyes to a refreshed version of you, ready to take on the world (or the sales force as the case maybe).
Toothpaste as a zit zapper
In a blemish emergency, a tiny dab of toothpaste can help. Toothpaste (not gel) contains certain ingredients such as baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, menthol, essential oils, triclosan that can have a drying effect on pimples. Apply a small amount before bed and what ever you do, don’t pick!
Hair conditioner does double duty
My male model, Peter, confessed he had used hair conditioner as a styling product.
And why not? The basic function of ingredients in conditioners is to bind to the individual strands of hair to make them smoother and shinier. Sounds to me like the perfect solution to flyaways as well. So don’t despair the next time you find yourself in a hotel room needing a little more taming for your tresses use a tiny amount of conditioner in the palm of your hands, rub them lightly together to spread out product and smooth over flyaways.
Enjoy your next getaway and pack light!