I've been itching to get away from New York City for awhile now and I'm fortunate enough to have the days between Christmas Day and New Years Day off. Right now I'm in the nation's capital with my parents and boyfriend for the weekend. I've been collecting a lot of beauty samples, especially in the skincare arena, and can't wait to give them a test run. This may seem like overkill for a relatively short trip but packing is one of my favorite ways to get excited about traveling and these samples have to get used up somehow. Those of you who have been reading for awhile might recognize my beloved Muji travel wash bag. I use my Muji travel cases all the time and they look brand new.
For cleansing I'm keeping it relatively simple. I almost always have a sample bottle of Lancome's Bi-Facil Eye Makeup Remover which always removes my eye makeup effectively. I'm bringing a sample of the Tatcha Camellia Cleansing Oil which I've used a few times and liked. It's probably not a cleansing oil I would repurchase as it's on the thicker end of the consistency spectrum and it's quite pricey but this sample has lasted me a surprising number of uses. To make sure my skin is thoroughly cleansed, I'll follow up with the Ole Henriksen African Red Tea Foaming Cleanser. I've read many positive reviews about this cleanser and it's gentle enough for morning and night time use. I purchased this sample along with the Ole Henriksen The Clean Truth Cleansing Cloths for $10 during Sephora's Black Friday offer. I'm usually not a fan of cleansing towelettes because I don't think they remove makeup effectively enough but many Youtubers swear by these. I've used them twice so far to take off makeup and they seem decent enough. The wipes are not soaked in liquid but the formula is hydrating and feels almost like a light serum.
Since we're only away for three nights I really narrowed it down to the basics. I bought a travel sized bottle of the Kiehl's Ultra Facial Toner during Black Friday because they had a great sample offer. This toner is alcohol free and quite nice for balancing the skin and retaining moisture. I would contemplate getting the full size once I run out of all the other toners in my back up stash. Since the weather is dry, I packed the Dr. Jart Ceramidin Cream. This fuss-free moisturizer is rich without feeling heavy or oily. It is great for morning and night and layers well under makeup. For sunscreen, I'm testing out a mini of the Shiseido Urban Environment Sun Protection Cream SPF 40. I really like the regular Ultimate Sun Protection Cream by Shiseido so I have high hopes for this as well. Since the Sunday Riley eye cream I use normally is quite bulky, I brought a deluxe sample of the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Eye Cream. I still have a few sample sachets from Korea so I randomly popped in a serum sample from The Face Shop in case I feel the need for extra moisture. For lipbalm, I have an itty bitty Dr. Lipp Nipple Balm for Lips. The name is a bit strange but I know a lot of Birchboxers love this stuff. After using it for the first time a few days ago, I can definitely see the hype!
We're staying at the Mandarin Oriental so I knew there was going to be a lovely bathroom and soaking tub. Thus, I brought a little vial of Kneipp Lavendar Herbal Bath Oil. The hotel provides Soames and Gilchrist amenities which I don't find too special so I brought my own samples of R+Co Moon Shine Shampoo and Conditioner and Oribe Shampoo and Conditioner for Brilliance and Shine. I just tried the Oribe duo tonight and my hair feels really clean yet not dry at all. In case my bangs are very unruly or I feel like attempting a bun, I brought a tiny Bumble and Bumble Thickening Hairspray. A super mini Living Proof Satin Hair Serum also made it's way into my travel bag because it's so small and I like putting something in my hair after washing it and before blow drying or air drying. The Living Proof serum sample has a locking pump which I found incredibly cute for some reason.
Finally we have some essentials which aren't too exciting but I guess should be mentioned to make this post a little more authentic. I have The Body Shop Cotton Pads tucked into a separate pouch to keep them clean. For body lotion I brought a sample of the Antica Farmacista Prosecco Body Lotion which honestly isn't moisturizing enough for this season but the scent is quite nice. To keep my hair out of my face I have a Asian velcro hair clip thingy. They might not look very smart but they do a great job at holding up my bangs without messing up my hair. I have small hair clips and hair ties in my makeup bag. Lastly I have contact solution, contacts in a contact case and extra contacts in case I rip or lose my contacts. I always try to bring extra contacts when I travel, even if it's a short trip, in the event something happens to the single pair I'm currently using. Given my awful vision, I can never be too sure.
I was a lot more excited to pack skincare and essentials for this trip rather than makeup because I tend to bring the same few makeup items whenever I travel. Do you look forward to packing for travel or do you dread the thought of picking only a handful of products? Stay tuned for an upcoming D.C. travel post!