6.27.2011

The Art of the Toiletries Case

Before this week's post begins, be sure to check out my latest video: Le No Makeup Look- Defined Eye. In the video I show you a variation on my usual le no makeup look where I add subtle drama to my eyes. To see the video click here, look in the sidebar of this blog or visit my channel: www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur.

And now for this week's post...



This post comes by request from Sandy who asks advice for the upcoming travel season on how to pack toiletries and makeup bags for travel.

This is not only a timely question (as travel season is upon us) but one that has been on my mind lately. I recently visited (twice!) the Paris Life & Luxury exhibit at the Getty Center (which I will do a separate post on in the near future) and spotted in the exhibit the most exquisite travel toiletries service in silver dating back to 1738-39. In the service was a box, a candle snuffer, a basin, table mirror, a set of brushes and small pots for cream. The set was so ornate and decadent. It made my plastic, see through Victoria’s Secret carrying case seem a bit inadequate… but oh was it fascinating to see how the Parisians perfected the art of travel back in the age of opulence. Sadly they would not let me take pictures or I would have loved to share it with you here. One can imagine though…

We are a family that travels a lot so I will share my tips for efficient traveling with toiletries and what I keep in my own cases (however inadequate they may be).

I always have my toiletries bag packed and ready to go at a moments notice. There is nothing more tiresome (or ‘tarsome’ as E.F. Benson’s Georgie would say) than packing at the last minute, stuffing toiletries into a travel bag only to realize you’ve gotten to your destination and forgotten deodorant or your specific shade of foundation.

I keep both my makeup and toiletries bag stocked at all times with everything I could possibly need. I know that all I need to do is pack the bags into my suitcase and I have nothing to worry about. If I run out of something I replace it instantly so I never have to double check to make sure everything is there.

My travel toiletries bag is the clear travel case from Victoria’s Secret pictured above. I got it on sale a few years ago and have been very pleased with it. I like being able to see what is packed in my bag.

These are the essential items I always have on hand in my toiletries case:

Shampoo, conditioner, body wash and hair styling products decanted into travel sized bottles and labeled accordingly (the body wash is crucial in case the soap where you are staying is not up to par)

Tooth brush and travel sized tooth paste

Deodorant- I love Kiehl’s superbly efficient antipersperant and deodorant cream and am quite lost without it!)

Nail polish remover pads- These are critical as well. You may start out the trip with a lovely manicure but your nail polish could chip and you might not be able to touch it up- much better to simply remove it.

Q tips and cotton squares

Body cream (either travel size or decanted into a bottle)

Sun block- for face and body

Travel sized facial cleanser and moisturizer

Eye makeup remover

Eye cream

Nail file

Clear nail polish and color nail polish- I always bring a clear polish. When I take my color off (if it has chipped for example) it is nice to go over my nails with a clear base coat. It feels more polished than bare nails- especially if you are going out to dinner or to something more formal. I tend to always use a neutral color on my nails (such as Essie's Mademoiselle or Diego Dalla Palma's French Pink) so I keep one of these shades in my case to do touch ups.



In the video How I Store My Makeup I briefly showed you my travel makeup bag (pictured above). Many of you were surprised to see that I have such a capsule makeup collection! I suppose I would have more but makeup can be quite expensive so I employ restraint and only get what I absolutely need. Because I usually wear le no makeup look anyway I never need too many items. This holds true for my travel makeup bag as well.

Because my travel makeup bag is small, I always keep it with me in my carry-on luggage. You never know when your bags could get lost … All those makeup and brushes are expensive and could be hard to replace depending on how remote your destination is.

The following are the indispensable items always on hand.

Tinted moisturizer or mineral foundation (this varies but I usually have either one or the other)

Bronzer- I always have this because when traveling its nice to feel, well… bronzed.

Blush – I either pack a crème blush or a gel blush like Posietint. They are easy to apply when on a plane or in a taxi…

An eyeshadow quad- I love Chanel and usually pick up a new one at duty free whenever I fly internationally

Clear lip gloss- Kiehls is my favorite

One or two lip colors- usually a light pink or neutral shade and a darker plum shade for night…

Mascara

Eyebrow powder

Translucent powder

And don’t forget your brushes! I do not have separate brushes for travel so I pack my small set of brushes in their travel case and include it in my carry-on.

Voila! Those are my travel bag secrets. Even if you do not travel a lot it is a good idea to keep a stocked toiletries bag at all times… you never know when you will be whisked away!

Thank you, Sandy, for your request...

I would love to know… what do you keep in your toiletries bag?

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18 comments:

The Closet Therapist said...

I love having a peek into someone else's makeup drawer. Thanks for sharing! I just recently disassembled all my makeup bags for gym, etc. and put it all together so that I could take stock and use up my things in a more timely manner.

I think what I love about posts like this, is that you seem to have found what works for you and isn't that what everyone wants?? At least, I do!

Marguerite said...

Jennifer, your travel necessities are wonderful. I have one more small bag always packed in my carry on bag. It contains a few days worth of antibiotic, antidiarrheal
and an antihistamine my doctor prescribed for emergency use. Most comforting to have in reserve when traveling internationally. She told me medicines in pill form will last indefinitely. Expiration dates are for pharmacy stock rotation on pills. Liquid medications are different. I also have a small first aid supply of band aids and ointment.

Karena said...

Much the same...as well as plenty of moisturizer w sunscreen!! Thanks so much for sharing with us.

xoxo
Karena
Art by Karena

I have a New, very fashionable Giveaway on my site! Come and enter!

LR said...

Great post, I usually pack the same stuff you do. I usually add my travel set of hot rollers for my hair and Prevens wipes for removing makeup, deodorant wipes, etc.

Mademoiselle Poirot said...

Salut Jennifer, thanks for your lovely comment on my blog, I really appreciate it.

Your posts are great fun (I've looked through a few) and really informative. I have to admit that I don't have my wash bag ready packed - I generally pack it when needed. However, a nail file and some hair bands are always part of it. Just in case...

Love from London xo

louise said...

Thanks for the lovely video and your smiling face!! What brands of eyeshadow brushes do you have and what do you clean them with? Thanks.

Pearl said...

I also always carry Aleve, Bandaids, and blister balm that I picked up in Boots in the UK, for feet. Like you, I keep my toiletries packed and ready, so I don't have to think about it... although finding new products in airports or destinations is always a fun experience.

PANNA said...

I feel like I could have written this post! The contents of our bags are so similar, except for the bronzer which I don't typically use. :-) And you are very right about carrying on brushes and makeup! I refuse to check those because I don't want to risk losing any of them.

Like you I always have a stocked toiletry bag ready for the next trip. I find that if I clean up and replenish my bag after each trip, I am less likely to forget anything crucial next time we travel. I do the same for each of my kids (10 and 1.5 years old) since both use products specific to their needs.

Regardless of the time of year I always bring a large tube of sunscreen, which I share with my hubby and kids. I also always have makeup remover wipes which are useful as my first step for cleansing at night, since I usually pack only one cleanser instead of the three I have on rotation at home.

Not exactly about toiletry bags, but when my son became old enough to pick out his own outfits, I typed out a list of items that needed to go into his suitcase/bag. Now, each time we travel, I print out a fresh copy, indicate the number of items he'll need and give him the responsibility of making sure he has what he needs. I still give it a once-over before we leave but it frees me up a little! :-)

LunaStitches said...

Thanks for sharing your travel tips. Also enjoyed your makeup video. I keep my toiletries packed and ready to go, too. I have two small "see through" bags, one mostly "AM" and one mostly "PM" so that I can just reach for my "PM" bag when I get to my destination.

I also keep a travel checklist on my smartphone - a habit that has helped me simplify my packing and avoid forgetting things.

The Daily Connoisseur said...

The Closet Therapist- I love to know what is in other people's bags as well... something so fascinating about what people constitute as their essentials... Glad you enjoyed it!

Marguerite- very sensible to take such things with you- I should probably add those to my bag too! I usually carry a tylenol pm for when I travel internationally to help me with jetlag but that is about it!

Karena- Thank you! I will check out your wonderful blog tonight :)

LR- Hot rollers for your hair- do you have a compact travel set? Or a regular set? Would be interested to know...

Mademoiselle Poirot- Thanks for visiting my blog! Hair bands and nail file are both essential... I include those too (though I forgot to mention them on this post).

Louise- The three brushes I use in the video for eyeshadow are:

Raw Color All Over Eyeshadow brush for applying the light color

MAC Crease brush for applying color in the crease (although I couldn't tell you the number as it has washed off)

MAC Rounded Crease #13 I use as a blending brush. To wash the brushes I use I.D. by bare minerals. I wash my brushes every one to two weeks... thanks for watching the video!

Pearl- I love to shop for beauty products in other countries- so many fun things to discover! And of course there is always duty free :)

Panna- Love the idea of printing a list for the children- as it gives them a sense of responsibility. I must do that with my daughter when she is old enough to pack! Thanks for sharing your customs with the toiletries bag xo

Luna Stitches- An Am and Pm bag what a great idea! I might have to try that...

Jeanne said...

Hi Jennifer!

Loved your post - we share many travel beauty faves. As a frequent traveller too, a most useful recent discovery is Pond's Face Wipes (original - it's got blue text here in Canada), especially for travel overseas, as it can be packed separately from liquids. Saves space and leaves skin refreshed and smooth! My beloved palm oil Savon de Marseilles triples as body wash, shaving cream, and in a pinch, face wash. For makeup I bring smaller versions of my regular 5-minute face products, i.e. cute little round pots of Bourjois blush and shadow and highlighter instead of the larger Chanel eyeshadow and blush compacts ("large compacts" = oxymoron?).
My fiance is quite impressed with my packing skills - ironically, though he packs fewer products, they take up a lot of room!

A bientot,
Jeanne

Josephine Tale Peddler said...

Hello Jennifer, This is a timely post for me as I shall be doing a short trip next week. I really enjoy having a peek into your very super-organised world and I love the videos as you know. The only things I can add that I always take along with me are Clarins Beauty Flash Balm and some lavender oil and Rosehip oil. I can't do without those three things. xx

LMK said...

Hi, Jennifer! As always, love your videos and music AND your reference to Georgie! Have gotten thru Queen Lucia, and it's much different than first pictured. Not nodern enough for my bookclub, but I've really enjoyed it and can't wait to get through the others. And have finished (sadly, I want more) DVDs. The episodes simply made me laugh to crying. So hilarious at times!

And what's in my bag? Well, guess I'm pretty minimalistic, and some of your readers will cringe, but I use Ivory liquid soap for my hair (it really works, isn't harsh and leaves low footprint on the earth), face & body, grapeseed oil for my face and body, J. Frieda's shine release and moisturizing hair conditioner and, TofW's toothpaste,a comb & like you, Keihl's cream deoderant, My hair is on the curly side, so straightening, hot rolling or blowing only dry it out, so I've learned air-drying is best...especially in the Indiana summer humidity.

Thanks for giving the "french" girls in us all a place to share & learn about other's experiences from different parts of the world. Always look forward to your next installment! Bonne journée -

LR said...

@Daily Connoisseur - my travel hot rollers are by Vidal Sassoon, it's a set of 10 (5 medium, 5 large), and it works pretty well. It's in a purple case and is not as bulky as a usual hot roller set would be!

Erica said...

Thanks for sharing your travel tips. I also enjoyed your makeup video.

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Anna said...

I love seeing what others pack!
I'm wondering is your toiletries case small enough to carry on? I always struggle with deciding what to fit into just a quart sized bag.

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Jeanne- Bonjour! Your essentials are fabulous- I must check them out. And so good that you have the art of packing lightly down...

Josephine- I love your essentials too- I wouldn't call myself super- organized. I try to be organized where I can but now that I have a little one that is getting harder and harder... as you know!

LMK- Yay! I'm glad you appreciated my Georgie reference :) Do keep reading the books as they get better and better. I am in the middle of Lucia's Progress right now. When she moves to Tilling (in Miss Mapp and Lucia) it just gets too exciting :) Loved hearing your essentials and thank you for your kind comments xo

LR- Thanks for letting me know which rollers you use!

Erica- Thank you!

Anna- my toiletries case is small enough to carry on- I do try to keep my toiletries all under 2.5 fl oz (or whatever the minimum is to fly) just in case I do not check my luggage...

Jessica @ Barefoot by the Sea said...

This is great - I love to see what people use and suggest. You have some specific, great and helpful tips! Thanks for this!!!

 
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