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How to Pack a Toiletry Bag

March 20, 2014


Not the most romantic of titles…. but what are you gonna do?!


My husband and I like to travel… a lot. And one of the biggest pains of traveling? Packing.  I have tried to alleviate some of the pain by putting together a toiletry bag (or two) that can be grabbed at a moments notice.


Step 1. Make a list of everything you use in your daily routine. 

For me that includes:

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Leave in Conditioner
  • Face Wash
  • Skin Care Products
  • Eye Make-up Remover
  • Night Mask
  • Deodorant
  • Hairspray
  • Hair Brush
  • Razor
  • Toothbrush/paste

Now I’m sure I am missing a few things… but for the most part I NEED each of these every day.


Step 2. Go buy travel sized versions (or duplicates) of those MUST HAVE items above or transfer small portions into travel sized containers (can be bought here and here).

I know, I know, it may seem pricey, but it is well worth it. Trust me.  I like smaller versions of the products I love (ie. It’s a 10) because I know exactly what product I’m using (don’t have to worry about labels falling off, etc.), and then I just refill it with the original sized product once it runs out.

Also, I HAVE to use a deep conditioner when I travel (the hard water is not my friend), so I always pack that, although I don’t use it on a daily basis.  I also have a little thing of shampoo in case the hotel doesn’t have great products (not worth not bringing and then having bad vacation hair – right?).

I also LOVE Sephora for this reason.  Their samples have pretty much made up the majority of my travel kit over the years – face creams, tiny sunscreens, little perfumes – it’s awesome!

Step 3. Keep a list of products you can’t buy duplicates of and need to add to your kit before traveling.

My skincare regimen is rather… pricey.  So the idea of shelling out for duplicates, only to use once or twice a month, is not a good use of funds, so I make sure to add them before I leave.

Products that can “dry” out if not used regularly or in a smaller amount of time – ie my eyelash extension gel, also get put “on the list.”


Step 4. Add anything else that you know you are going to need, that you may not use on a regular basis.

For me that includes:

  • Bobby pins/hairbands
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Lip balm
  • Sunscreen

The key here is not to let this “list” get out of control with hypotheticals.  You easily could end up with 20 types of band-aids, aloe vera after-sun gel, antihistamines, etc., but I HIGHLY recommend you keep it to a travel sized pouch of Advil (2 tablets), 1 band-aid, and buy any cremes or large format items at your destination should you need them (unless you are a mom, then I guess you probably should be prepared for anything… but for those of you only looking out for yourself/carrying on your luggage, this is my recommendation).


Step 5. While you are at it, put together an extra make-up kit.

Now this is ONLY for those of you that are not going to Vegas.  I have traveled with many a girlfriend who has pulled out half a MAC store when it comes to getting ready for a night out on the town… this advice is not for you.

I realized that I was always forgetting something make-up wise when I traveled, so I eventually caved in and bought new stuff.

By “buy new stuff” I pretty much only bought more BareMinerals powder, but I basically moved my half used ones into my travel kit and upgraded my Kabuki brush.  I originally was using travel sized brushes to do my make-up (why I have no idea), so I moved those into the kit and upgraded to REAL make-up brushes.

The Sephora samples also play a huge role here – I have a travel sized liquid eyeliner, mascara and lipstick that I travel with. It’s amazing how far those samples will take you!


Now that you are all set with your travel kits, store them in a cool place (I recommend under a sink/in a cabinet), because if you store them in your luggage (which you may store in the attic or another hot place), it could ruin all of your products, and then you are back at square one.

Good luck packing!


How to Style a Ballet Bun

September 10, 2013

Ballerinas image via Martha Stewart Weddings

With the temperatures at an all time high this week, my long hair is not conducive to staying cool… the answer – the bun!  I’ve been asked for tips on how I do my bun, so I wanted to share my tips with you all… here we go!

Before you begin… hop in the shower and run a deep conditioner through your hair (you don’t even fully have to rinse it out).  I spray a detangler or leave-in conditioner and run a restoring product through my ends (I use hair days like this to give my hair a break and help bring it back to life!!). Once you’ve done that… we’re ready to go!

Hair Products

1. Brush out your hair.

Brush Hair

2. Flip hair upside down and brush your hair out until smooth.

Hair Brush

3. Use a fine toothed comb to brush out any lumps.  Make sure to go through the base of the pony so you don’t have a lot of bumps on your crown.

Comb Hair

4. Secure ponytail with a rubber band (or two in my case).  You want it to be tight but not not so much that you have a headache all day 🙂

Rubber Band

5. Twist pony tail and start wrapping it around the base of your ponytail.

Make a Bun

6. Continue to wrap your ponytail around your existing hair.

Twist Bun

7. Once your ponytail is fully wrapped around you have a couple options – 1. You can pin your hair at this point or 2. Continue on with the rest of my tutorial.

How to Bun

8. Lift the thicker/top portion of your bun upward.

Finish Bun

9. Pull that section forward and tuck the thinner strand underneath the thicker portion.

How to Make a Bun

10. Secure bun with bobby pins.  I try to lay them parallel to my scalp so they are concealed and secure.

Bobby Pins

11. Enjoy your simple, easy do for the day! Finish with hairspray!

Finished Bun