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Category : Travelogue

Toiletry Packing Tips For Summer Travel

toiletry packing tips for summer travel

The Travel Beauty team hopes you have some exciting summer travel plans in the works. Cross country road trip…destination wedding…Minorca…Don’t let your summer escape infringe upon your summer aesthetics! Take the products you know you need and nothing less. Here are our tried and true product packing tips.

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When you travel with as many expensive toiletries as we do, you learn – rather quickly – which packing strategies work and which leave you with a toiletry travel kit coated in night cream. Here are our trial and error tested methods for arriving at your destination with your products – and your beauty regimen – fully in tact.

It’s What’s Outside That Counts

First and foremost, choose your toiletry bag wisely. We designed our Travel Beauty Travel Bag to be slightly padded, zipper enclosed and plastic-lined. The padding protects products from breakage, but if the unfortunate happens, the plastic lining and zipper stops it from getting unfortunate all over your vacation wardrobe! Many of our favorite brands, like Cosmetics 27, Emma Hardie and Phylia de M. have all made their own complete travel sets that come in chic little dopp kits as well.

Dust Off Your Dust Bags

More and more beauty products come in eco-friendlier glass bottles every day. And though they be beautiful on our vanity, they are but perilous in our carry-on. Enter all those small dust bags you’ve likely amassed. You know, the ones that come with large jewelry pieces (hello, Alexis Bittar bangle) and small leather goods. These are your beauty products’ best friends. Put each glass product in its own bag (the thicker the bag, the better) to protect them from banging and then breaking in transit.

Know Your Products’ M.O.

What spills easily and what doesn’t? For example, there’s an oil we love, but it seeps out of its bottle very easily. We learned (the hard way) that this has to stay home. (We are not fans of transferring containers, especially oils. Too much gets lost!) Also, pump bottles – the types you have to press down to lock – are all-around bad travel buddies. The pump almost always opens and then the darn thing is pumping product out the entire trip, unbeknownst to you! As much as possible, go with tubes that have tightly-closing flip tops. We also love non-liquid formulas for travel, like Juvena Pure Lifting Peeling Powder, and Heaven Skincare Ella Jane Celebrity Skin Wipes. The less liquids to worry about, the better.

Pack Products That Pack A Triple Punch (Or More)

Most of the products we really love do many different things…and do them all well. A quality multi-purpose oil, like Cosmetics 27 Huile 27 can be used from scalp to soles, and works fabulously wherever you apply it. When thinking of which products multi-task, don’t forget about those that are unisex! Ursa Major Essential Face Wipes are traditionally a men’s product. But these wipes are so cleansing and refreshing we love them just as much as our husbands do. Emma Hardie’s Moringa Cleansing Balm is face cleanser and mask that doubles as a deep conditioning treatment for hair. Pack a moisturizer with SPF. Institut Esthederm Bronz Repair Age Control Face Cream SPF 20 is an ideal anti-aging moisturizer that offers strong protection against the sun and can be used as a day cream. Then there’s Vine Minus Ion Care Water, which is so high tech and multi-talented it could probably fly the plane if need be. It is a great refresher/primer for hair and face, moisturizes and has antibacterial properties. You can even brush your teeth with it! And we do…

Always Pack A Dream Cream

Bring one product you can keep right with you (in your purse) and that can go anywhere on you. Heaven Skincare Black Label Vanilla Pod Hand & Nail Cream is made with such high quality organic ingredients you can use it not only on your hands and nails (and arms and legs and feet) but also on your face. Plus, the luscious scent has the aromatherapeutic benefits of being calming, comforting and stress reducing! ‘Cause, you know, travel can be a bit stressful sometimes…

Bon Voyage!

By: Claire McCormack, Twitter & Instagram: @clairemcmack

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Travel Beauty Travel Diaries: India

travel beauty travel diaries india

My latest trip to India was to show a dear friend the India I love. The palaces and forts of Rajasthan are Romantic India. Once kingdoms, these forts are now surrounded by towns that time seems to have forgotten. They are changing, but there is an ancient feel; the stone construction is built to last. The local stone in some cities has a unique color that gives the cities their names: Jaipur, The Pink City, Udaipur, The White City, Jaisalmer, The Golden City. Jodhpur is The Blue City, but it gets it’s name from the indigo blue that is added to the paint of the Brahman, the homes belonging to the priest class. From the fort looking down on the city it appears to be endless shades of blue.

9 Cities In 21 Days

I arrived in New Delhi and went to the travel agent I always use. He arranged for car, driver, trains, planes, hotels and planned the best route to see 9 cities in 21 days. The first 15 days where with a car & driver. It’s important to interview drivers – they make the trip. Ours was great; he did much more than drive us. He knew the cities very well and brought us to important sights. A tip: there is a commission system in India, so any store someone takes you to gives him/her a commission on what you buy. It’s hard to work out great prices because of this. When you really want to shop, go out on your own.

Jaipur: The Pink City

Jaipur was our first stop – The Pink City. The old section is painted in a terra cotta color with details drawn on the walls in a lavender color.  Jaipur is known for jewels and handicrafts. It has several large forts, a lake palace and a city palace. You can get to the Amber Fort, the largest of the forts, either by car or by elephant. It’s a grand palace with gardens and water elements. The meeting places are tiled with mirror in very intricate patterns.

Jodhpur: The Blue City

Jodhpur is The Blue City. The stone there is brown and is carved into a lacework that covers the windows. This was done to allow the women to see what is going on without being seen. It sits on top of a big hill and from there you can look down on the city that is painted shades of indigo blue. Jodhpur is known for shoes and antiques. There are antiques, but most of what you see are reproductions or reworked wooden pieces into what the current market would be interested, like TV cabinets. The festival of color, Holi, kept us in our hotel; people throw colored powders on each other.

Jaisalmer: The Golden City

Jaisalmer is The Gold City. Gold stone glistening in the sun, the city fort sits on top of a big hill. It’s far out in the desert and you pass many camel farms along the way. It was a trade route, so there are lavish havelis (merchants homes) with intricate carvings on every surface. About 5000 people still live within the fort. It gets extremely hot, so go at cooler times of the year.

Udaipur: The White City

Udaipur, my favorite city in Rajasthan, is The White City. It has a large, wonderful city palace, forts in the hills for hunting and is known for it’s lake palace. There are several lakes, so it doesn’t have the same desert feeling. The current king here is very active and has made hotels within the palaces. You arrive via barge, and can easily walk this city. It has great shopping, especially gold.

Pushkar: The Holy City

Pushkar is a holy city. There is a tank and a small pond where priests dole out blessings. It’s completely vegetarian. It’s sort of a hippy town with lots of Israeli tourists who go there to party. There isn’t a fort or palace and the shopping is limited. I’ve been there 3 times and have never really related to it. It does have some nice hotels with gardens, though, so it can be a break.

The Taj Mahal

Travel-Beauty-at-Baby-Taj-IndiaAgra – the city of the Taj Mahal. The city itself is a mess but the Taj Mahal and Red Fort are like nowhere else. The Taj is a mausoleum for the King’s favorite wife. It’s covered in white marble with details inlaid with precious and semiprecious stones. It’s been taken over by the World Heritage so the gardens are well maintained. We missed our train to the next city so we spent the next day visiting less well known places in Agra. The best is The Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah better known to locals as The Baby Taj. It was built prior to the construction of the Taj Mahal and was the precusor for the inlay work found at the world famous monument. Wow! What a gem! Missing the train turned out to be one of our best days in India. When we arrived in Agra it was raining and we weren’t feeling our best. I’d met a taxi guy while trying to find a hotel for the night. He came early the next morning to take me to purchase train tickets and offered to take us around. We’d passed Fatehpur Sikri without enough time to see it so here was our opportunity to go.

Fatehpur Sikri

Fatehpur Sikri was built and later abandoned due to lack of water. It is spectacular! The king had 3 wives: a Hindu, Christian and Muslim. Each had her own pavilion and kitchen to prepare the different food styles. There are so many interesting architectural elements here. It’s built of red sand stone.

Midnight Sleeper Train to Khjuraho

We made our midnight sleeper train to Khajuraho. I’d never traveled by sleeper train before and the experience is what I imagine prison might be like. Small compartments with fold down beds, 3 on each side and 2 beds along the walkway. The beds are so close together that you can’t sit up. You slide in headfirst and arrange your belongings so you can keep an eye on them. The conductor throws you a pillow and sheets and everyone goes to sleep.

Khajuraho

Khajuraho isn’t a usual destination. It’s a very small city that is famous for its 1000 year old Hindu temples. Like many other temple or cave cities the temples were carved by priests. Daily life, the gods and kama sutra are the subject of the carvings that completely cover the structures, inside and out. There is no other reason to go here, but it’s worth seeing.  The temples are spread out around the city but the best is a large group right in the city.

Varanasi

We took another night train and arrived in the holiest city, Varanasi. The kings built palaces along the Ganges River so that if they died there they would go straight to heaven. At sunrise you can take a boat out on the river. As the city wakes, you see everything possible along the steps that line the river: people bathing, washing clothes, pilgrims praying, the burning of the dead – all next to each other. It’s very clean compared to 20 years ago. Cows are holy and some of the most beautiful cows are well cared for here. An essential oil producer had gorgeous cows living in the rooms of the first floor of his home right in the oldest part of the city. The alley ways are very narrow so you have to navigate around the cows. There is also a large Muslim community here that is famous for their silk weaving.

New Delhi

Back to New Delhi. As India is being globalized Delhi is impacted the most. It was not built for the amount of cars that there are now. People are leaving the countryside to work in the foreign communication businesses. Entire modern cities outside Delhi have been built to accommodate this industry. It’s taking its toll on India…the country is losing its culture. The young are all dressed in western style clothing. The color that made India famous is disappearing. The crafts that were done for generations have stopped being made as the young look for work in the cities. Delhi has all the western brands in Connaught Place, a circular series of buildings that remind you of the Raj era, when the British were in power.

India is still my favorite place to go, even though it’s changing so fast that parts are barely recognizable. For anyone interested in seeing India, I’d say go there fast. There is still some of the ancient India remaining, but another generation or two and it will be gone.

By: Fred Pirkey of Salon Ishi

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My History With India

my history with india

Fred Pirkey of Salon Ishi recently travelled to India, a destination he has frequented over the years. Here he shares his observations, experiences and personal connection to a land that has changed immensely over the years.

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Because I’ve gone to India so many times over the course of many years,  I have come to think of it as “Old India” and “New India”. Old India was a dream. It was nothing that I’d ever experienced elsewhere. All that I had ever been taught had to be thrown out the window because India was operating in the opposite way. It was an eye opener…and I couldn’t get enough of it. There was so much beauty…the people, the colors, the primitive life, the forts with their palaces, the pleasure pavilions, the land. Then, in what seemed like a very short time span, everything changed, the traditional garb, language and even the very landscape. Poverty was everywhere. But the poverty cannot be judged by our standards; there was always joy. The poor didn’t know what they were missing, so they found joy in what they had. The simplest things kept them smiling.

Old India

Over the years the gradual changes to the Indian style of life brought nomads into the cities where they lived in cardboard shacks along the roads. Through the doorways you’d usually see a TV powered by a direct wire to an electrical pole. The cities were smoke filled from the cow dung-fueled cooking fires. The walls of houses had a pattern of cow dung that the women had formed into patties and slapped on the walls for drying. Almost all of this has vanished.

New India

New India still has some remains of what I loved, but is fast losing itself to the western style of life. The streets of the cities are still unpleasant. Trash is dumped onto the streets where it’s left, driven oven, eaten by wild dogs and roaming cows and picked through by people who make their living selling recyclable paper. Highrise apartments now dot the landscape in fields that once grew crops where women in bright colored and metallic shawls would periodically break to stretch, their clothes glistening in the sunlight.  Men in dhoti, kurta and large turbans plowed fields with their water buffalo or teams of bulls. Now, the women still work the fields but in less color and the animals have mostly been replaced with tractors. Some of the older men wear their traditional dress but most are in western shirts and pants. In Rajasthan, mostly in the desert, the men – even though more western dressed – still wear their earrings and many rings. They wear their birthstones on their pointer finger as their astrologer has directed them to.

Poverty is Waning

Less women with their dirty children are begging at car windows at each intersection where you’ve had a stop light. Or waiting outside your hotel in hopes you’ll acknowledge them and give them 10 rupees. The biggest mistake you could make in old India was giving into your guilt and giving them something. They’d get the word out and there would be many more waiting for you. Even before cell phones, India had a communication system unlike any other. Still today, if you let someone know you are coming, other people that person doesn’t even know, already know when you get there.

my-india-through-historyThe New Guard

The young are moving into the cities to find work. The generational traditions of work are being lost. Entire modern cities have formed as offices for American telephone and call centers spring up. All the old arts and handicrafts are disappearing. The gemstones are now cut by machine. The embroidery work is no longer done. Weaving and block printing are being done by machine. Highways are under construction everywhere making access to tourist destinations more accessible. But this is at the cost of small villages where the roads have no provision for the locals to cross from one side to the other. People and animals are killed just trying to cross the street. In many places there are flyovers that form walls of cement tiles.

Preserving The Old While Making Way For The New

One great thing going on now is the recycling of items. Silk saris are being stitched together to make new saris, stoles and shawls. The embroidered, mirrored and beaded skirts and tops are being made into patchwork for wall hangings, table runners and handbags. It’s time to collect this work because it will not be done again. Even the saris industry is in the decline as women dress in western styles.

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Travel Beauty Travel Diaries: Tel Aviv

travel beauty diaries tel aviv

One of my favorite international cities of all time is Tel Aviv. It ties for first place with Paris. I try to get there at least twice a year. If you have not been there in three years or more……you won’t recognize it. If you’ve never been there, you won’t recognize your vision of what you imagined it would be like.

Located on the Mediterranean coast, Tel Aviv is a bustling global metropolitan city packed with some of the best restaurants, chic, luxurious hotels, museums, performing arts centers, shopping and the largest Bauhaus architectural district on the planet! It has the second largest economy in the Middle East, following only Dubai and is the 18th most expensive city to live in. So forget about notions of “the holy land”. Though this ancient seaport is drenched in tales of ancient history – my Tel Aviv is anything but a city out of the bible.

What To Do

  • Old Jaffa Port: Head to the promenade and make your way down to the Old (now new) Jaffa Port in southern Tel Aviv. This ancient fisherman’s port has been turned into a modern promenade featuring beautiful shops, art galleries and cafes tucked into charming ancient stone buildings. From there you can also walk northeast into the Old City of Jaffa. You will find a winding labyrinth of alleyways dotted with shops and cafes.
  • Go for a walk in Neve Tzedek, Tel Aviv’s Bauhaus district by the sea. Art galleries, shops and cafes abound.
  • Tel Aviv Museum of ArtSince 1932 The Tel Aviv Museum of Art has been one of Israel’s leading artistic institutions of modern and contemporary art, and home to one of the world’s largest collections of Israeli art. Collections include painting, sculpture, prints and drawings, photography, video, installations and architecture and design. 27 Shaul Hamelech Blvd.

Where To Eat and Drink

  • Herbert Samuel, located in the Gaon House on Tel Aviv’s promenade is the best restaurant I have been to in a long time, including those that I have patronized in New York City. The food, wine, service and ambiance were all world-class. The executive chef, Jonathan Roshfeld trained in Cannes and worked his way through Michelin star restaurants in France. The menu has a mix of French and Mediterranean influences. Make sure to be daring and try some of the specials. Also the pasta dishes are a must – all pasta is homemade. 6 Koifman Street.
  • Montefiore, located on the ground floor of the ultra chic Hotel Montefiore, serves what it calls brasserie cuisine under a Vietnamese spell. The bottom line is the food is superb and décor is warm and inviting. At once I felt as though I were magically transported to a Parisian bistro. Every detail — from the leather banquettes and oversized mirrors to the elongated wooden bar and French/Hebrew menu — is utterly sophisticated. 36 Montefiore Street.
  • The Old Man and the Sea (Ha Zaken Vi Ha Yam). One of the oldest restaurants in Jaffa, this hyper local institution serves up some of the freshest fish and seafood around. Upon arrival you will find yourself bombarded with 90 different traditional salads. Make sure to order a whole fish or seafood special, all locally caught. Great for lunch. 85 Kedem Street.
  • And for die hard Shwarma fans, you must stop at Shwarma Shemesh (Sun Shwarma) It’s so divvy we actually ate in the car but the seasoning is sensational and they pack french fries into the pita sandwich. Nothing not to like there. 85 Jabotinsky Street.

Where To Shop

There are tons of pockets of great shopping in Tel Aviv including weekly outdoor crafts markets but I am going to focus on some of the standouts. My favorite place to shop is Neve Tzedek in southwestern Tel Aviv. Established in 1887, it can be likened to the meatpacking district in New York City. The area’s architecture was strongly influenced by the Bauhaus Movement. Start out on Shlom Shabazi Street and you can’t go wrong. In addition to some of the most beautiful Bauhaus architecture lined quaint narrow streets, you will find some marvelous shopping. Some of my favorite shops in this area include:

  • Numéro13 Concept Store: Chic casual French fashions, accessories, baby clothes and home decor. 13 Shlom Shebazi.
  • IvshinMy favorite fine jewelry boutique in Tel Aviv. Owner Orit Ivshin makes the most beautiful designs – her workshop is actually in the store. You can find her online. She ships all over the world and will craft custom creations just for you. 54 Shlom Shabazi.
  • Mik An Mor: Handcrafted leather handbags, belts, accessories, jackets and jewelry. Fantastic one-of-a-kind pieces. 56 Shabazi Street.
  • Hafatzim: Beautiful home décor, rugs, lighting, kitchenware, linens and accessories all characterized by simple, clean lines, natural fibers and materials. 27 Shlush Street.

One More Magical Stop in Central Tel Aviv

  • The PhotoHouse: Such a special spot – you will feel the magic as soon as you walk through the door. Opened in 1936, the world renowned PhotoHouse is Israel’s oldest photography shop. The collection of over a million negatives, all taken by photographer and founder, Rudi Weissenstein has won numerous awards and been featured in exhibits throughout Europe and the US. This is a not to be missed experience. A documentary film, Life in Stills, was just released on the life and work of the founder. 5 Tchernichovski Street.

I could go on and on but don’t want you to go home broke – so I’ll stop here.

Where To Stay

  • The Norman Tel Aviv, a brand new chic, elegant boutique hotel in one of the poshest neighborhood’s in central Tel Aviv. In close proximity to major art galleries, museums, Israel’s National Theater as well as to Shenkin Street and Rothschild boulevard – home to designer shops and fantastic restaurants. Also, just a 10 minute walk to the beach. The hotel is truly enchanting, a fusion of 1920’s grandeur and contemporary elegance. Do have a drink at the library bar before dinner and dine at The Norman Restaurant. The French and Italian influenced cuisine will not disappoint. 23 & 25 Nachmani Street.
  •  Hotel Montefiore is located near the Norman Hotel in the center of Tel Aviv opposite Rabin Square. The warm French décor made me feel as though I were whisked away to Paris. The rooms are elegant, modern and beautifully appointed. Each room features the artwork of an emerging Israeli artist. 36 Montefiore Street.

By: Alyssa Barrie Weiss, Twitter: @AlyssaBarrie

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How to Pack Your Beauty Products For An Overnight Trip

how to pack beauty products overnight trip

Packing beauty products for an overnight trip is not as simple as it seems (or as simple as my husband would like it to be). There’s a nighttime routine, a morning routine and various and sundry beauty incidentals to take into consideration. I pack so many products because I don’t want to wake up with, say, a monstrous pimple and have nothing with which to treat it. Like a true Beauty Scout, I am always prepared.

Face

  • I have been loving this Binchotan Charcoal Facial Cleansing Mask lately. It can be used as a cleanser, makeup remover and/or mask. Don’t let the dark color or thick texture fool you, it is totally gentle enough to use on eyes. Every time I use it I get a compliment on my skin, and I notice a difference in my overall skin quality as well. I like to have this purifying product on hand in case my skin is acting up/breaking out.
  • I am still in search of the very best drugstore face wipe as I blow through them so quickly. These Yes To Carrots Facial Wipes are ok, though I need at least 2 to feel truly clean. This would be understandable if I wore a lot of makeup, but I wear little to no makeup, so I feel like one wipe should be sufficient!
  • Love packing my many mini products from Heaven Skincare: Bee Venom Mask, Formula Bee Eyes and New Edition Cleansing Cream. They are all fantastic – truly anti-aging. I usually don’t like cream cleansers because many don’t leave my skin feeling as clean as I’d like it to feel (which is to say, squeaky). This one does, and like the Binchotan Charcoal Face Mask, it is gentle enough to use on eyes.
  • These two B. Kamins products are classics in my book: Renewal Serum, is a serum in cream form, which I really like as its easy to apply and easy to layer with other products. I see a real difference in cell turnover and overall quality of skin when I use this serum. It works really well to get rid of the red spots that linger too long after a pimple goes away. I like to put it on and then apply the Bee Venom Mask on top of it. Sometimes I’ll apply an oil, too, before anything else. Kypris Beauty and Emma Hardie (coming soon to Travel Beauty) make really nice face oils. B. Kamins BB Cream evens out my skin tone and gives my skin the slightest luminescence. It’s one of the only BBs I’ve found that isn’t too orange for me…that is to say, too orange for someone as pale as I am!

Body – My Favorite!

  • I’d LOVE to pack my Sasawashi Body Scrub Towel so I can use it every day, but I do allow myself some practicality-based packing transgressions. A nice, nubby washcloth is just fine to use for one shower, and then I don’t have to worry about transporting a damp Body Scrub Towel (mild-ewww). Besides, my very favorite body wash contains glycolic acid, and is therefore itself exfoliating. Glytone Body Wash is probably the most un-green beauty product I use, but it is so good that I just won’t give it up. It not only smoothes and softens my skin (even my heels!) but it also helps prevent body breakouts like nothing else – a must if the gym/sweating gives you pimples.
  • Now for body moisture products! Acure Organics and/or Mio Skincare & Lavido for body. I mix these with a Heaven Skincare Cellulite & Firming Oil  and apply everywhere. The Lavido lotion is awesome to apply to hands and arms throughout the day, and especially right before bed – the lavender scent is very soothing.
  • Everyone needs a tongue scraper; once you start doing it, you’ll never stop. I wrote a whole blog – complete with professional opinion – about the practice of tongue scraping. Every time I get my teeth cleaned, my dentist says how clean my teeth are, and I know it’s because I scrape religiously.

And Off to Sleep

  • Last but not least, here is one of my newer treats: My Binchotan Charcoal Eye Mask! The layer of charcoal in this eye mask helps increase circulation, soothe eye area and relieve optical nerve fatigue. It’s like black out shades for my eyes, and helps me fall asleep so much faster than usual…which is HUGE for an insomniac like me!

Hair

  • Pack right tip: packing large bottles of shampoo and conditioner can be a headache. If you absolutely must pack a shampoo and conditioner Philip Kingsley makes convenient ready to go Jet Sets for every hair type.
  • That said - I never leave home without Phylia de M. Connect and/or ReConnect hair & scalp treatment. Phylia de M. is my favorite beauty brand to launch in the past ~2 years, I wrote not one, but two blogs about why I love this brand so…the products are just phenomenal.
  • Styling-wise: Arrojo Volume Foam. It’s usually the only thing I put in my hair. I never blow dry my hair (blog post all about that on the way). I just let it air dry a bit and then lightly scrunch this in. Maybe I’ll work a little May Lindstrom The Good Stuff into the ends and bangs if I want a more polished look with some piece-y texture, but it comes in a heavy glass bottle, so it’s not something I want to travel with. Instead, I use whatever leftover body cream/oil I have on my hands and work that into my ends, much to the same effect.

Think this is too much to pack for an overnight trip? Let us know what beauty products you won’t sleep out without!

 

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