How To Travel Light When You Are A Cosmetics-Obsessed Hoarder

Wednesday June 10, 2015 | Beauty Lifestyle

First of all… why are we still having to play this game of squeezing our liquids in tiny bottles and jamming them in litter sized ziplock bags?

Come on. Why did this ever have to be a thing? And even after this recent bust on the TSA, why should we continue to carry on with this farce?!

Anyway, before getting too worked up about this, let’s just try to look at the positive side of things.

I think there is one upshot to this restriction on the way that we travel. It forces us to travel light.

Before leaving for a 2-week trip to Japan, I made a conscious decision to bring only what I could carry on the plane with me.

My daily beauty regimen can get quite heavy when you add it up by weight.

There was a time when I got used to traveling with everything. More than half of the weight of my oversized bags was made up of personal care products. Which was of course ridiculous.

So the challenge of making this…

Traveling with all these liquids? I think not!

…look like this…

TSA friendly liquid containers

…was a nod to my minimalist sensibilities.

And BAM. We managed to get to Japan without checking in any bags! Hellz yeah!

I’m not saying I’m a pro at this. But here are some of my own tips when it comes to traveling light with liquid personal care products.

Travel ready

1) Do The Research – Read up on travel regulations because they could vary depending on where you’re traveling. As of now if you are traveling to and from the U.S., the TSA limits each traveler to 100ml (3.4 oz) containers which must be placed inside a 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, ziploc bag. But that could change. And let’s hope it does.

2) Gather Your Small Containers – I purchased little salad dressing containers at Target, then later found a cheaper and more diverse array of options at Daiso and Ichi Ban Kan in Japantown.

3) Divide And Conquer – If you are traveling with another person, divvy out the goods between you and your travel partner because you can share the shampoo and toothpaste and other such toiletries vs having to carry everything yourself.

4) Appropriate Container Types – Some products break down when exposed to sunlight. This is true for sunscreens, which have to be kept in opaque containers. Other products that I can think of which must be kept inside a dark container are Argan oil and Vitamin C. So just keep that in mind.

5) Don’t Leave Your Goods – This is what happened to me. I forgot my Juice Beauty moisturizer with SPF. And then had to buy a generic SPF when I got to Japan. Fail.

6) Pack Enough – Make sure you pack enough so you don’t run out. Trickier done than said.

7) When All Else Fails – Check in your bags. Because remember. You can do that!

* * * *

Featured Products

Skin hydrators

Moisturizers and Hydration:

1. Andalou 1000 Roses Absolute Serum for Sensitive Skin
2. Aroma Zone Pure Hydrolat Rose De Damas
3. Melvita Aloe Vera Soft Moisturizing Balm
4. Juice Beauty SPF 30 Oil-Free Moisturizer
5. Mad Hippie Eye Cream
6. Weleda Iris Hydrating Night Cream

Cleansers

Cleansers:

1. Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant
2. Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel
3. Bioderma Créaline Solution Micellaire

Hair and body care

Hair and Body:

1. Alaffia Everyday Coconut Conditioner Coconut Lime
2. John Masters Haircare Lavender & Avocado Intensive Conditioner
3. 365 Everyday Value Shampoo Herbal Mint For Normal + Dry Hair
4. Andalou 1000 Roses Body Lotion

Leona DIY All Natural Body Butter Kit

Monday March 2, 2015 | Beauty DIY

For the holidays, I received this fun package of ready to make all natural body butter!

Leona Make Homemade All Natural Body Butter - 1

This is the first I’ve come across something like this.

Leona is a brand that specializes in Hand Craft Kits of all-natural personal care products.

Their ingredients are simple, high quality, natural and organic. All very good things!

Leona Make Homemade All Natural Body Butter - 2

The kit comes with shea butter, coconut oil, jojoba oil and lavender essential oil, as well as a step-by-step guide on how to whip up the body butter.

All ingredients are organic and fair trade.

Leona Make Homemade All Natural Body Butter - 3

Contents shown above, from left to right:

Empty container for finished product
Shea Butter 2.0 oz
Coconut Oil 1.0 oz
Jojoba Oil 1.0 oz
Lavender Essential Oil .03 oz

Leona Make Homemade All Natural Body Butter - 5

Step 1

Boil water on low heat in a  double boiler or a small pot with a heat-safe mixing jar (pyrex or mason jar).

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A metal mixing bowl placed inside a regular sauce pan works just as well!

Step 2

Place shea butter, coconut oil and jojoba oil in double boiler/mixing jar. Mix every few minutes.

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Step 3

Heat until mixture turns to pure liquid form. Liquid should be translucent yellow color.

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Step 4

Remove from heat and add lavender essential oil to the mixture.

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Step 5

Place mixing jar in refrigerator to cool for 1+ hour. Leave in fridge until top layer is solid and bottom layer is solidifying.

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Out of the way, old chinese food!

Step 6

Remove body butter from refrigerator. Use a large spoon or whisk to whip body butter for 10 minutes.

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If you have a small hand mixer, even better!

Step 7 and 8

Place mixture back in the fridge for ten minutes. Then take out from fridge and whip for another 5 minutes.

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Step 9

Once body butter has consistency of fluffy cream, add body butter to provided container.

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And voilà! You have made yourself a very buttery body butter.

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Mmm… just like making cake batter!

I couldn’t resist the yummy scent of the shea butter, I had to taste it! The best part is that I know exactly every ingredient that went into this.

Closing thoughts

The process itself was a lot of fun and reminded me that I’m terrible at following directions! Especially at keeping track of time. So instead of leaving it in the fridge for an hour, I left it for 2 hours. But all’s well that ends well :-)

At $40 for the kit, it’s admittedly a lot pricier than what it would cost if you were to just buy these ingredients individually at a health food store. But you’re paying for the convenience and the quality of the ingredients.

The finished ready to use body butter is available on the Leona website for $25.

Leona also offers two other DIY kits, “Make Your Own Lip Balm” and “Make Your Own Hard Lotion.”

Go check it out at www.leonamade.com!

What beauty products have you made at home? 

Current Skincare Favorites

Thursday February 5, 2015 | Beauty Skin Care

My skin has been looking much better these days.

I think it’s majorly to do with giving up a certain vice that I’ve previously hinted at…

But it also helps that I have an amazing collection of skincare products at my disposal!

My Skin Type

I have a complicated skin type: Combination Normal/Dry Skin, Sensitive and Blemish-Prone.

Which is why I tend to go for products that are suited for combination skin and are gentle and made with clean, safe ingredients.

Let me show you some of my top favorites!

1

Makeup Remover: Bioderma Crealine Micellar Water

I’ve gone on and on about the magic of micellar waters and how Bioderma trumps all micellar waters in the cleansing game. So it’s no surprise that Bioderma become a staple in my beauty cabinet.

It cleanses gently and effectively without disturbing my skin’s natural balance.

This is also my cheat product for nights when I don’t feel like washing my face. Which, you know, doesn’t happen that often.

2

Cleanser: Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel

This was recommended to me by an esthetician for my acne-prone combination type skin.

I’ve been using this cleanser for over a year now and as a result, have had less breakouts in the problem areas of my face.

Dermalogica products are formulated to be non-irritating, which is a boon for my sensitive and reactive skin.

3

Toner: Sanoflore Lavender Floral Water

Floral waters are a great alternative to alcohol-based toners. Lavender naturally has anti-septic and anti-inflammatory properties. Which means it cleanses while calming the skin.

The droplets of moisture preps your skin to better absorb moisturizer. Meaning it’s the perfect step between cleansing and moisturizing.

I usually switch back and forth between rose floral water (my true love) and lavender floral water.

For night time, the soothing scent of lavender is simply divine.

Take a few spritzes to your pillow too! Why not?

4

Moisturizer (night-time): Weleda Iris Hydrating Night Cream

There’s really no need to use a different cream for daytime and night-time.

But at night, I like to keep my room really cold (it helps me sleep better.) So I need something that will help my skin to retain moisture (cold air dries out skin).

This cream does just that. But it’s also light enough to let my skin breathe. I love the texture, formulation, and scent of this.

And my skin wakes up feeling soft, balanced, and happy!

7

Exfoliation: Dermae Exfoliating Mask With Fruit Enzymes and Dead Sea Salt

This is a clay mask that helps to purify skin while gently sloughing off dead skin cells.

I use this once a week and continue to marvel at how my skin looks so fresh and radiant afterwards.

This one’s gone under the radar amidst all the hyped and over priced exfoliating products out there.

5

Serum: Ren Keep Young And Beautiful Serum

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve re-purchased this serum. Holy crap it’s pricey! But my skin loves it.

It’s gentle and powerful all at the same time. The spotlight ingredients are hexapeptides, more peptides, hyaluronic acid and vitamin c.

I use this sparingly, usually after I’ve exfoliated so my skin is prepped to absorb it.

I love the light tea scent and how it’s gentle enough to use around my eyes.

6

Moisturizer (day-time): Juice Beauty SPF 30 Oil-Free Moisturizer

Some people would probably call this a BB-cream because of its multi-tasking properties. It moisturizes, protects against the sun and works to heal the skin from blemishes.

I’ve noticed that my blemishes have been healing at a much faster rate since I’ve started using this.

Big thumbs up for its clean and safe natural ingredients!

***

While it may look like I use a complicated array of different skincare products, I maintain simplicity because I keep things consistent.

I’ve been using many of the same products for over a year now and I’ve been following the same routine.

And here I will end by re-affirming that simplicity and consistency is an important aspect of skincare!