Makeup Bag: Ayla Beauty Founder Dara Kennedy
“I grew up in a family of educators: My parents, both teachers, viewed each moment as an opportunity to learn something. During the summers, that often meant whisking us off to another country (or two, or three) where we’d spend every day visiting monuments and museums, taking breaks to enjoy local cuisine. My parents really invested in education, and a major part of that was introducing me to our larger world.
I didn’t appreciate all of that nearly enough as a child (shocking, I know), but I do now. I adore travel, whether I’m visiting an entirely new place or re-visiting a favorite one. It opens my mind to new things and new points of view, while at the same time reminding me of who I am. And I do think we can learn so much — so much — from people who see things differently from the way that we do.
Now that I have two kids, travel is different: Trips by myself, or with my husband, are warp-speed fast because we hate being away from the kids. And trips with the kids, who are still very young, involve toting insane amounts of luggage and looking for lodging with tons of space so that we have room to stretch out and a whisper of a shot at getting a good night’s sleep. But I generally find that packing for myself is a total breeze, especially during the summer, because my clothes are pretty simple and I have toiletry-packing down to a science.
These are some of my top end-of-summer picks that are great for travel, too.
M Picaut Hydra Miracle Serum ($105) – This is a weightless, line-plumping serum with two types of hyaluronic acid and a number of other ingredients (like tamarind fruit extract) that really help improve moisture content and boost elasticity in the skin, with no greasiness or weight. It’s a great product to use underneath a moisturizer while flying, or to “cut” an oil or lotion that is a little too heavy. I’ve been using it myself for the past month and love it.
BioRecept Hydra’Fluide ($42)- This is one of BioRecept’s best sellers at CityPharma — partly because it’s a great value, but mainly because it’s such a great product for combination skin, which so many people have. It sinks in for perfectly moisturized, soft skin with no shininess. In France, they describe it as “peau de pêche”: skin like a fresh peach.
BANXBlock Stick SPF 30 ($10) – BANXBlock is the official sunscreen of USA Water Polo, the LA County Lifeguards, and a bunch of professional paddleboarders and surfers. They love it because it’s zinc-based, non-greasy, and very water resistant: unlike a lot of other sticks, this one doesn’t melt and run into your eyes. It’s kind of a miracle. I keep one in my handbag wherever I go and use it on myself as well as my kids throughout the day (they love it, too). If you’re going to the beach, there’s nothing better to protect your face.
Suntegrity Lip CPR SPF 30 in Sunburst Pink ($28) – I was so excited when this lipstick came out: Many of us desperately need sunscreen on our lips, since that delicate skin is particularly susceptible to sun damage. But it’s always been hard to find a good lip SPF with physical sunscreen (one that uses minerals like zinc oxide rather than chemical sunscreens like oxybenzone, which has been linked to hormone-like activity in the body and can cause serious damage to coral reefs if you wear it in the ocean). This lipstick protects with super-safe zinc oxide AND has a beautifully deep, modern, mauve-y pink, so it’s a win-win.
Boucleme Hydrating Hair Cleanser ($25) – This shampoo was featured in Vogue for its ability to foster soft, bohemian waves. What’s nice about it as opposed to many other non-foaming curl cleansers is that it produces a mild lather to cleanse in a satisfying way without stripping. It also features Dead Sea salt to boost volume and scalp circulation, as well as a suite of oils to keep hair hydrated.
Les Fleurs de Bach Jet Lag Elixir ($37) – I swear by this product while traveling: I used it to help me avoid jet lag on a 3-day trip to Paris, and the time change between San Francisco and Paris didn’t bother me at all. (I forgot to take it on a similarly short trip to Florence a few months later, and I was a jet-lagged disaster.) Everyone who’s tested it for us has had great results, too. It’s amazing. And it’s safe for kids!
Les Fleurs de Bach SOS Cream ($26) – I can’t say enough good things about this little Parisian company! I love their SOS Cream, too. It’s great at calming random skin irritations, which tend to increase in the summertime — I just used it on my son’s face, which was covered with huge welts from some sort of bug attack, and he actually liked using it! I love its scent and texture so much that I use it as a hand cream. It’s just lovely.”
— Ayla Beauty Founder Dara Kennedy