Showing posts with label Travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Travel. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Tatcha Travel Kit

It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of Tatcha skincare. It all started with the discovery of their Camellia Nourishing Lip Balm earlier this year and since then I've been hooked. I've ordered many items from Tatcha over the past few months and have been incredibly impressed with their service. If you've ordered from Tatcha's website you know first hand how much they value their customers. They pay extra attention to all the little details which makes opening your package a truly beautiful experience. All Tatcha products are packaged in exquisite boxes and the packages that come in the mail themselves are packed with extra care along with beautiful personalized hand-written notes. If you're new to Tatcha and unsure of where to start their Travel Kit ($125) is a perfect introduction to the line. In addition they have a number of individual Travel/Trial Sized items for purchase which are budget-friendly but have enough product to give their skincare a serious test-drive before committing to any of the full-sized versions.

The Travel Kit comes in a TSA friendly zip pouch with a clear front. It's big enough to hold travel essentials (the pouch itself measures about 8.7 x 9.4 in). Inside the kit:

  • LUMINOUS Deep Hydration Lifting Mask – 20ml | 0.68oz (mini review)
  • LUMINOUS Dewy Skin Mist – 40ml | 1.35oz
  • LUMINOUS Deep Hydration Revitalizing Eye Mask – 5ml | .16 fl. oz.
  • INDIGO Soothing Silk Hand Cream Travel Size – 10ml | .34 fl. oz. (review, also here)
  • PETAL FRESH Original Aburatorigami – 30 sheets (review)
  • GOLD Camellia Nourishing Lip Balm – 8ml | .28 fl. oz. (review)

I've tested all the items in the kit before although I haven't reviewed the Dewy Skin Mist or Deep Hydration Eye Mask. Both are very good for dry skin or if your face needs an extra boost of moisture. With the past month of hot and humid weather, I've skipped both from my weekly routine and opted for using just the Deep Hydration Lifting Mask once a week for my facial moisture boost needs. I have used the Deep Hydration Eye Mask during dry/cooler weather, it really helps to soothe the eye area when I get irritation and puffiness from weather changes.

A peek at my travel bag contents from a few weeks ago:
Highlighter: Edward Bess Sunlight
Tumi Villa Tote (old style/color, similar white version here)

All the items are available for purchase individually, but the set does give you a slight price break. Purchasing all the items individually would cost around $151 (not including the pouch). I love that the pouch helps keep everything flat and compact. There is enough room to add a few more items in addition to what comes in the kit which is nice. Definitely a huge thumbs up from me. You can find the Travel Kit for $125 on (all items available for individual purchase as well).

Do you have any favorites from Tatcha?

Many thanks to Tatcha for sending the Travel Kit for review consideration.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Travel Makeup | Summer Edition

As requested, here are the items I brought with me on my recent trip. All the items were carried in my well-loved Bobbi Brown Train Case (from 12+ years ago and no longer available for sale, Old Hollywood Version still available). I tend to overpack for makeup so the case limits what I bring. If it can't fit, it doesn't travel with me. I've split the items into three categories: Lips, Face/Cheeks and Eyes.

To those who asked to see what I brought with me, I hope this helps! I always have a makeup overpacking problem so my fellow beauty lovers - if you have any tips I'd love to hear what you bring with you on trips/travel whether it's a weekend getaway, a week trip or extended vacation.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Travel / Trial Sized Beauty - Skincare for Face and Body

Since my last trip in April I've been on the hunt for more mini-sized beauty items for travel and testing. One area I always neglect in packing is skincare for face and body. I almost never check in luggage so I'm limited to one carry-on and therefore subject to the one quart-size bag rule for liquids. Squeezing in all the items into one bag is a challenge for me but I've learned that skipping out on good skincare usually results in ruined skin that takes weeks to recover (at least for me). This time I took extra care to plan in advance and did quite a bit of research in the weeks leading up to the trip looking for good travel-sized minis. This is what I brought with me, all of which fit perfectly into one quart sized bag. I love minis for skincare anyways as a way to test out new items without having to splurge on the full size.

  • SK-II Facial Treatment Cleanser ($70 for full size) was part of a mini gift with purchase from Saks, I frequently check the Special Offers page before stocking up on the full size, this is one of my favorite face cleansers, when I don't have minis of my regular face cleansers, I squeeze some into a little disposable container
  • Caudalie Cleansing Water (50 ml/1.69 fl oz) the mini size is part of The Favorites Set ($32) which I've been a huge fan of, this is a gentle makeup remover that makes the skin feel clean and moisturized (FYI there is a Caudalie GWP online for a Deluxe Size Divine Oil with $50+ purchases using code DIVINE through July 2nd)
  • MAC Cleanse Off Oil / Tranquil ($10 for 30 ml/1.0 fl oz) is one of the mini to-go sizes for MAC skincare, I bought this to test out since I've been a huge fan of the regular Cleanse Off Oil, I find the Tranquil version to be more gentle with a moisturizing feel, I prefer the Regular version to remove makeup before cleansing (with long-wear makeup, I've found I need a few extra steps to remove every trace of primer, concealer, foundation, powder and blush)
  • Chanel Gentle Biphase Eye Makeup Remover ($34 for the full size) is a mini I stock up on with gift with purchases during Chanel events, it's the best I've tried (I favor it over Lancome) that removes waterproof mascara and long-wear eyeliners without stinging the eyes
  • Giorgio Armani Regenessence 3.R Pre-Regenerative and Retexturizing Lotion ($53 for the full size) is my current toner of choice, it makes the skin feel really and soft and helps to smooth out the surface before serums or moisturizers, I got the mini size with a Neiman Marcus gift with purchase event and saved the bottle, I refill it with the full size when I go on trips or weekend getaways

  • Caudalie Divine Oil ($9 for 15 ml/.05 fl oz) is a must-have for me, I use it almost daily for the legs and arms, I love how this one smells refreshing and especially how it absorbs into the skin quickly, it's often available in value sets like this Sephora Summer Crushes set and I've seen it in seasonal duos, I bought my first Divine Oil because my friend said, "at $9 you won't be crushed if you don't like it, but you will, you need to try it, it's amazing" - she was right, I'm rarely without this one (it's often in my purse)
  • Caudalie Divine Legs (25 ml/0.84 fl oz) in the mini size is usually part of yet more value deal sets, there's one for $32 that comes with a 50 ml Divine Oil + 25 ml Divine Legs, I have super sensitive skin that often reacts to tanning and bronzing products, although this one from Caudalie doesn't tan, it does give a nice bronzed leg effect that I found very natural, since there were mixed reviews on Sephora, I thought getting the set with the mini was good to try, I tested the Divine Legs this past weekend rubbing quickly into the legs after moisturizing with a light layer of the Divine Oil, it dried quickly but I was able to work it in quickly before it set, I wore a black dress and skirt over the past few days so I didn't notice any transfer to clothing, I'll have to test this one out a few more times but I liked it and didn't experience any irritation
  • Caudalie Hand and Nail Cream (30 ml/1 fl oz) is another lovely item from The Favorites Set, I have a number of tried and true favorite hand creams, I picked this one because of the refreshing lightweight scent and compact size
  • Tatcha Indigo Soothing Silk Body Butter (30 ml) is a new addition to Tatcha's Travel Sized beauty, if you're on their mailing list you might recognize this as one of the past gift with purchases they offered (they have special promo codes), this one will this one will be available for purchase mid to late July, you can read my full review here, some might wonder if I brought a body oil with me, did I really need to bring a body lotion as well? I could have gotten away with bringing just one, but I like the Tatcha for it's soothing qualities, sometimes my skin acts up and gets itchy from being dry, the Tatcha Indigo line works wonders for hydration and soothing

  • Chanel Sublimage La Creme Texture Fine ($390 for the full size 1.7 oz) is one of the most amazing face moisturizers I've tried and also one of my biggest splurges, it hydrates the skin and keeps it looking smooth and clear, there are often minis available with gift with purchases, sometimes counters have samples to give out (they are more friendly with samples if you make a decent sized purchase) 
  • Ole Henriksen Truth Serum ($15 for 0.5 fl oz/15 ml) is one of my favorite serums, I love the small travel/trial size which is available at a good price, it's often part of deal sets as well such as The Works, the best part is the mini packaging comes with a super convenient pump dispenser making it easy to use
  • Tatcha Camellia Beauty Oil ($33 for 10 ml) is the cutest mini-sized beauty oil, it's the perfect size to test out in case you're hesitant about oils in general (I am), when I travel, my skin tends to dry out a bit, I used this at night before bed to smooth the skin and give it an extra boost of hydration over night, on regular days, I use the oil for day 1-2x per week alternating with my regular serum/moisturizer routine, it gives the skin a super hydrated refreshed feel without feeling heavy (more thoughts on this one here)
  • Tatcha Ageless Revitalizing Eye Cream ($29 for 3 ml) came with a Barneys gift bag event offer, I love testing out mini eye creams and this one is super tiny which was good to fit into the corners of my quart sized bag, I found this one to be a bit heavy for my needs, it's a rich creamy eye treatment I found good for overnight hydration (applied in small doses) but for everyday it will probably be too heavy for my skin type, this is the beauty of minis, you can test items to see how they work for you before committing to the full size

  • Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray ($14 for 30 ml/1.0 fl oz) has had so many raves on Sephora so I made a quick stop to one of the stores during my trip and picked one up. It's described as a weightless spray that keeps your makeup looking fresh for up to 16 hours. I attended a wedding over the weekend in semi-humid weather and thought this would be the perfect time to test something like this. Most of the wedding was indoors and it didn't last 16 hours so I couldn't really test this to see if it lived up to its claims. I did like the lightweight feeling, it spritzes a super fine layer of mist over the face evenly (huge plus for me) and it kept my makeup looking fresh and melt-free for around 7 hours.
  • Clinique Color Correcting Superprimer ($27 for 1 fl oz, review here) was my primer of choice for the weekend for its smoothing properties, you can see the difference in the texture of the skin once applied, it works well under liquid foundations as well
  • Origins Clear Improvement Mask Pods ($8 for 4 one-time use pods) is another item I picked up during my trip, I loved the concept of the one-time use pods and am usually skeptical about pore-cleansing masks since most usually are either too strong and sting the skin or so gentle it feels like nothing (my favorite from MAC was discontinued). I used one pod during my trip and was really impressed with how well this cleansed and tightened the skin, after one use pores were visibly smaller, there is a slight tingly feeling but it did not irritate or sting the skin, based on the reviews I've read and my experience with one pod, this one shows a lot of promise
All the liquid/gel items in my zip-loc quart size bag - yes, they all fit including a mini perfume and bottle of Chanel foundation :)

Overall this trip I felt like I packed all the essentials (and then some) for skin care face and body. I did skip bringing shampoo, conditioner and shower gels and relied on what was at the hotel (I was really happy that they had Neutrogena). I ended up using everything I brought with me along with the two items I purchased on the trip at Sephora. I don't travel often so it's taken a few tries for me to get the right mix of products while I'm away from home. I think this time I've finally found my perfect mix of items for skincare. (If you want to know what makeup I brought with me let me know in the comments below, otherwise you can see what I carried with me on previous trips by clicking on the Travel tag.)

Do you have any favorite travel sized beauty items? What items did you end up loving from mini-testing that made you buy the full size? Any new discoveries lately? Also if you ended up hating something from testing out a mini, I'd love to hear about your experiences.

Some items in this post were provided for review consideration and some minis were acquired from various gift with purchase events. Most items were purchased by me. For more information please refer to my Disclosures.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

An Introduction to Lumira | Soy Luxury Candles in Persian Rose and Tahitian Coconut

image via Lumira

I'm very excited to introduce Lumira today. My readers know I am an avid fan of luxury home candles. A well designed and crafted candle can add that perfect little accent to your home or office decor as well as make your entire room smell amazing. I've been following several Australian candle designers on Instagram loving the beautiful decorative imagery and inspiration from their Australian followers. I was ecstatic when Lumira reached out to provide an introduction.

For those new to this line, Lumira is a luxury lifestyle brand based in Sydney, Australia that specializes in hand-made soy candles. The line made it's debut this year by founder Almira Armstrong. The first products in the line include a range of eight scents including Oriental Jasmine, Tuscan Fig, Persian Rose, Tropical Gardenia, Tahitian Coconut, Sicilian Citrus, Cuban Tobacco and Balinese Ylang Ylang.

The Signature Candles currently come in two sizes:
  • A large elegant, ebony hand-filled glass with beautifully scented creamy soy wax, $55 AUD for 450g/15.8oz, approximately60 hour burn time
  • A compact travel tin with a twist-off lid, perfect for travel, on your desk or on-the-go, $19.95 AUD for 100g/3.5oz, approximately 15 hour burn time

image via Lumira

The line is currently available in Australia and select international locations. You can purchase items online at Atelier Lumira (they ship internationally). According to Lumira they plan to expand their line into the US at more locations later this fall (stockists listed here).

Lumira kindly sent the Persian Rose Signature Candle and Tahitian Coconut Travel Candle for review. Readers know I am extremely particular and very selective with scents (my husband calls it "super picky"). I am pleased to report Lumira Candles are extremely well made. Both scents are high quality with an amazing blend of luxurious oils. I've been burning these for over a week now and everything is quite exquisite.

Persian Rose comes in a heavy black glass container. It's the largest candle I own at 450g/15.8g. Persian Rose has a mix of rose absolute, blended with subtle notes of Jasmine, Soft Musk and Bois de Rose. This one is designed for turning any home into a relaxing sanctuary. It's a relaxing soothing rose that isn't too floral and far exceeds my other rose candles in composition and blend. Yes, this is my new favorite rose. It has a really clean burn that fills up the entire room.

Top: Sparkling Mandarin, Bergamot Zest & Sweet Orange
Mid: Budding Persian Rose & Geranium Essence
Base: Soft Musk, Patchouli & Dark Amber

Tahitian Coconut was sent in a travel size. I've been smitten with the Henri Bendel Travel Candles for their convenience, compact size and portability. Often times these candles are strong enough that you don't have to burn them to enjoy the scent (I often just leave one opened). I like the concept of the travel candles with lids by Lumira. Tahitian Coconut is similar in concept to Henri Bendel's Beach in the sense that it takes you away to a tropical getaway vacation. Tahitian Coconut is a blend of Coconut, Frangipani and Mandarin. It's described as a scent that gives the feel of a mini-escape to be enjoyed all year round. It truly does. I find Lumira Tahitian Coconut to have a more rounded creamy feel, while Henri Bendel Beach is a bit sweeter and sharper.

Top: Mandarin
Middle: Magnolia, Jasmine, Coconut, Orange Flower
Base: White Musk, Vanilla

The Lumira collection is available online at Atelier Lumira and within a handpicked selection of retailers across Australia and Internationally. Lumira candles can be enjoyed as a full-size Ebony Glass Jar candle or in a convenient Travel Tin perfect for the office, when traveling, or in smaller spaces.

Have you tried Lumira? A shout out to my Australian readers! I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences :) I can't wait for the line to be available at more US locations. I'm already panicking about what I will do once they are finished burning.

You can find out more about Lumira on their website. Also follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (to see beautiful home decor ideas) for the latest news and to find out where they are launching.

Samples were provided by Lumira for review. All opinions are my own. Photos of Persian Rose and Tahitian Coconut all taken by me.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Travel Beauty | April in Dallas

I was so excited to be invited to the rewardStyle conference this year in Dallas, Texas. They hosted an incredible event and I felt so lucky to meet so many talented individuals. Personal highlights (and fan-girl moments for me) included meeting the lovely ladies from Beauty Professor, Liana Beauty, Essie Button, Fleur de Force - all of whom I've followed and admired for years. I didn't get as many pictures as I had hoped during all the excitement but if you search for #rsthecon on Instagram you can see snapshots of the past weekend's events from those who attended.

Many have asked for me to share what I brought with me on my trip. For me packing is somewhat of an ordeal and I'm in awe of those who travel frequently. I usually bring what will fit into my Bobbi Brown travel case which helps me limit what I bring and keeps everything organized. This case was one of the first gifts my husband gave to me when were dating in our early 20's. (Black version is not currently available, but there is a gold Bobbi Brown Old Hollywood Train case version available.) All liquids are usually stored in a clear quart sized bag. If you have any travel beauty tips I would love to hear what they are. It always pains me that I can't bring what I love for hair and skincare. My skin often turns into a nightmare-ish wreck by the end of my trip (no matter how short).

For this 4 day trip I was totally unorganized with my beauty. I packed in a rush, didn't plan in advance and ended up with duplicate brushes, tools, way too many eyeliners and highlighting products. How this fit in one case is a mystery to me, but it did. Be warned this is a lot. I'll be sure to tell you which items I actually used.


  1. Giorgio Armani Regenessence Lotion - I keep a mini sized container from one of the many gift with purchase events, I use it to refill with the full-sized version of toner when I travel
  2. Caudalie Lip Conditioner - easy to apply without having to use fingers (review here)
  3. Caudalie Cleansing Water - part of the favorites set (review here)
  4. Moroccan Oil - a must-have for me, although it didn't quite help with the Texas humidity (review here)
  5. Chanel Makeup Remover decanted into a mini size container
  6. Ole Henriksen Truth Serum - part of The Works Set, I've been testing this for several months now and have added it to my daily skincare routine, I apply under moisturizer and found the serum helps extend the wear of my foundation and keeps moisture in better
  7. Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation - also part of The Works Set, love these travel/trial sized sets (review on the full set to come soon, more value deal and trial sized beauty options here)
  8. Caudalie Divine Oil - mini version (review here)
  9. Lancome Visionnaire Blur (press sample tube) - helped blend out my skin freak outs from travel a bit smoother (see review here)
  10. SK-II Facial Treatment Cleanser squeezed into a small container
  11. Chanel minis of Le Weekend and Sublimage Texture Fine

  1. Edward Bess Bronzer in Daydream (original version)
  2. MAC Skinfinish in Fairly Precious - the perfect pink glowy highlighter, so surprised that it is still online at Nordstrom! (review here
  3. Tom Ford Flush Blush - bright but natural coral peach with a hint of shimmer
  4. Chanel Les Beiges 20 - review here
  5. Edward Bess Mousse Foundation in Light scooped into a small recycled container (now available at Neiman Marcus)
  6. Dolce and Gabbana Powder Foundation in Warm 100 - my holy grail of all powder foundations (review here)
  7. By Terry Cellularose Blush Glace in Frozen Petal 3 - the perfect natural glowy peachy color in a gel blush formula with long wear (these sell out on a weekly basis both online and in store, it took me several months to track down all three shades)
  8. Cle de Peau Concealer in Beige - the only concealer I've ever repurchased
  9. Tom Ford Foundation Stick in Bisque 04 - check out my review and swatches here
  10. Chanel Perfection Lumiere Foundation in 30 - detailed swatches and review here
  11. NARS Matte Multiple in Vientiane - swatches on contouring discoveries here
  12. Edward Bess Afterglow Illuminator Compact - my all time favorite glow product, I've hit pan multiple times with this one
  13. NARS 413Blkr Illuminator in a mini Chanel sample container 
  14. Tom Ford Fire Lust in a mini Chanel sample container (another one I didn't use, but review from last year's version here)

  1. NARS Narsissist Eye Palette - the only eyeshadow I brought with me, this palette did it all for me, I didn't use all the colors, only 7 of the shades were used during this trip, but I found it served me well as a one palette to do-it-all kind of thing, many have asked if I found issues with pigment or application, I found them to be very good in quality, the matte shades were a bit difficult to get a large brush in but I swished it around (let me know if you want a full detailed review in the comments)
  2. NARS Larger Than Life Eyeliner in Via Appia - part of my eye essentials post here
  3. Chanel Le Stylo Yeux in Ambre Dore (new for spring, review soon)
  4. Chanel Le Stylo Yeux in Santal - swatched here
  5. Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Mascara Stretch - part of my eye essentials post here
  6. Edward Bess Illuminating Eye Base in Suede - reviews here and here
  7. RMS Cream Shadow in Solar - review here and here
  8. Chanel Illusion d'Ombre in New Moon - new for summer, review soon
  9. Chanel Illusion d'Ombre in Initiation - review here (note it's being discontinued)
  10. Chanel Tutti Frutti Le Vernis for Summer - review soon

  1. YSL Rouge Volupte Shine in Pink in Confidence - swatches here
  2. Tom Ford Pink Lust Lip Lacquer - limited from last year, swatches here
  3. Dior Addict Fluid Stick in Frisson - recent review/swatches here
  4. Dior Addict Fluid Stick in Tiny Pink - recent review/swatches here
  5. Dior Addict Gloss Bed of Roses - recent swatches here
A few more snapshots of my makeup mess scattered throughout the week, let me know if you want the breakdown of the tools I brought, I kinda just threw a bunch of random clean tools into my makeup box before I left.

Recap of what I used: Aside from the staples (mascara, foundation, powder, skincare) I found I got plenty of use of the NARS Eye Palette, Chanel Illusion d'Ombres, MAC Fairly Precious, Edward Bess Daydream and Tom Ford Flush blush.

What I could have skipped: I could have skipped all but one eyeliner, most of my tools were redundant, I probably only needed 5 brushes at most. I had highlighter overload as well and grabbed a bunch of minis that I had made over the past few weeks.

What I wish I brought: More skincare, more hair care products. Next time I need to do better planning with finding or collecting small sample containers that I can use for travel. Also I rarely use mattifying products - the warm humid weather wasn't something I was used to in Dallas and definitely needed something to help keep the face more matte.

Do you travel a lot for work or fun? What are your beauty travel packing tips? Do you have a checklist to help plan or a travel pouch that helps organize and limit what you bring with you? Or are you the kind of person that checks bags so contents/limits don't matter?

I'm all ears for your tips, tricks and experiences. I haven't had to travel frequently in the past but it's on my list to do this year (for fun of course). If you want to see what I brought on past trips, click on the TRAVEL tag below the post.

Quick update for those who asked about my Bobbi Brown train case, there is a luxury Gold Old Hollywood version available now (quite pricey), the one I have is from over 10 years ago, keep an eye out for similar versions around holiday or seasonal releases. For now a few other suggestions below.


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