I never, ever, ever check my luggage—not even on long trips across oceans to multiple climates. I'm far from a minimalist; it's more about the anxiety I feel to get where I'm going. Also, I'm a fearful flyer and want to get out of airports as soon as possible after we touch down. So I don't do it, and you know what? My wardrobe might suffer, but my beauty regimen will not. Here's how to cram the most beauty junk into your quart-sized clear plastic bag.
Always Ask for Samples
When someone says, "Would you like a sample of...," don't even let them finish. Just say, "Yes, please! Thank you!" Then throw it in your tote without even looking at it. Here is my sample drawer in my bathroom, which includes packets of Crème de la Mer, Benefit High Beam and Earthly Body Miracle Oil (you can use this for everything, but I just use it as a moisturizer).
Some samples are from online orders at Sephora and Ulta, where they give you freebies upon checkout. Others are from the dermatologist's office. And still others are from smaller beauty shops that hide them behind the counter, but now you know they are there (C.O. Bigelow, you have been outed!). Okay, and, yes, some are from hotels. Samples are perfect because they don't take up much room in your Ziploc bag. Plus, vacations are the ideal time to try new things, such as free hair gels or face masks. No one at your destination knows you, so feel free to possibly look like a weirdo.
Find Non-Liquid Replacements for Liquids and Gels
Replace shampoo with dry shampoo, face wash with facial cleansing cloths, sunless tanning lotion with towelettes, sunscreen with powdered sunscreen. Sort through your liquids and think, "Does this come in a dry form?" There may even be dry toothpaste, right? My favorites are the Jane Iredale PowderMe SPF Dry Sunscreen, Burt's Bees Facial Cleansing Towelettes, Bumble & Bumble Brown Hair Powder and L'Oréal Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Towelettes. The Sublime Bronze towelettes are especially awesome because they don't stain bed sheets.
The night before, set aside all the liquids you plan to bring and sleep on it. I recently went to Canada and here's my "before" pile.
I usually wake up with the clarity that I've either selected far too many or not enough things, without having to stand there staring at everything and agonizing (and then being so distracted by "to bring the face cream or to not bring the face cream" that I forget my passport). Just walk away from it for a bit. Remember that stuff up above? Turns out it only filled half the bag! I made sure to include Jouer's Mini Luminizing Moisture Tint Set, along with the best lipstick for all occasions, Lancôme's Color Design Sensational Effects Lipcolor in Corset.
So I got to go NUTS and bring liquid face wash.
Sometimes it's nice to take a vacation from your daily routine. Have you ever wondered if you could skip foundation for a few days without dying? Try it in Cancun, but don't forget the (powdered) sunscreen.
Photos: Thinkstock (suitcase); courtesy of Jane Marie