Tag:  travel Archives - Beauty Banter

5 Tips To Traveling Light

By | how to | 3 Comments

I just returned from a weekend away (in the Hamptons which is driving distance from NYC) and my friends made fun of me for my massive amount of toiletries. I tried to explain that there are certain items I simply cannot leave home without and those take up room. Period.

A) A blow dryer. I use it to blow out my bangs (especially in humid weather – it’s a must).

B) A curling iron (I didn’t use it, but I like to have the option, for a night out on the town).

C) My makeup bag (this is always packed and ready to go for those last minute travel moments. It’s filled to the brim with shadows, blushes, tinted moisturizers, foundation, highlighters, etc. I like choices. – I have doubles of everything). The only product not in my makeup bag are my lippies – I keep an array of colors and textures (matte, gloss, stick, stain, etc.) in my purse.

D) Then there’s my hair serum and Bumble and Bumble Curl Conscious Spray which I just posted about (click here for the recap) – my summer haircare must-haves. I can’t live without them and I haven’t found them in travel size so I have to bring the full size. It’s just the way it goes.

As for the rest of my beauty regimen, I do think you can make due with less. At the very least, less amounts of the goods…

Here are my 5 tips to traveling light (in light of the heavy packing):

1) Pick up travel size of your favorite full size products whenever possible. For example, buy a full size cream, ask for a a travel size too. Every major brand makes sample sizes! They are great for travel.

2) Minis are marvelous. Sephora has an entire section of your favorite products in mini versions. When you’re standing in line, waiting to buy your goods, everything in the little acrylic buckets around you are minis. They have mini dry shampoo, mini lotions, mini face washes… etc.

3) Any drugstore in America carries travel-size of the necessities – from shampoo and conditioner to toothpaste and even lotion. So, it may not be high-quality, but you can find some decent ones like Johnson & Johnson Baby Lotion (which I happen to love) and Living Proof makes a sulfate-free Shampoo…

4) My all-time favorite travel companion: . They come in a box of 20 and are individually wrapped. You can take as many or as few as you want and throw them into your travel kit. They are fabulous as a toner or to freshen up between washes, especially during the humid summer months. And they are so affordable at $4.99!

5) Keep your travel bag of travel products packed at all times! This is such a great trick of the trade. This way, you can throw additional items into it, but you’ll always have the essentials ready to go at a moment’s notice. After all, you never know when that special someone is going to call and whisk you away on a romantic rendevous.

EXTRA! ALWAYS KEEP A TOOTHBRUSH AND TOOTHPASTE IN YOUR TRAVEL BAG! Don’t expect the place you’re going to have these essentials. And fresh breathe is, quite possibly, THE MOST important part of travel.

A Tulum Beauty Treat: Mayan Clay

By | body | 5 Comments

I’m back from my vacation. I was in Tulum, Mexico where the beaches are white and the ocean is turquoise. Truly picturesque. They have this clay in Tulum, indigenous of the region, that is mean to heal, purify, rejuvenate and detoxify. It’s the most amazing experience.

Mayan Clay, as it’s called, was, by far, my favorite part of the trip. I used it several times over my 5 day stay and it helped with a variety of concerns from sun exposure to eye bags to a hair conditioning mask to aging and expression lines to acne. All in one vat of clay!

Depending on what your specific skin care concern is, depends on how you actually use the clay. For example, if you are treating a sun burn, you wouldn’t actually let the clay dry completely on your body, but rather slather the clay on your skin and allow it to purify and heal.

For acne and as an overall body mask, you’d apply the clay all over and allow it to dry for 10 min for acne, 45 min for the body. This will absorb the skin’s toxins and acids and balance the electromagnetic field.

For eye bags, you’d apply a thick layer around the eye area, mix with chamomile tea for 20 minutes adn do this 2 times a week.

For a hair conditioning treatment, you can apply a layer to your hair mixed with honey and leave on for 20 minutes. Again, this can be done 2 times a week.

For aging and expression lines, you can use the clay as a CLEANSER! The woman who founded the Mayan Clay company told me to mix it with water, apply wet and rub with fingers for 1 -2 minutes. Never let it dry, always keep it wet. Then rinse off. Do this for 6 weeks and you will notice glowing skin with a vast improvement in expression lines.

I covered my body from head to toe (including my hair) in the clay and let it bake in the sun. Then I ran into the beautiful luke warm ocean water to rinse off. It was a truly spiritual experience!

I brought home a small jar to use in my bathroom for weekly cleansings. Definitely won’t be the same as running into the ocean, but it’ll be a slice of Tulum in my bathroom.

While the website seems to be under construction, if you’d like more information on Mayan Clay, contact this email address for questions: mayanclay@gmail.com

I highly recommend the experience!

eco-style sanitizers from jamar labs

By | Uncategorized | One Comment

I’m not a fan of hand sanitizers or antibacterial products because most of them contain some pretty toxic chemicals (studies have actually shown that washing your hands with plain old soap does the same job). I normally steer clear of germ-fighting products but it seems like everyone is getting sick (me included) and I suddenly found myself wondering if hand sanitizer wasn’t such a bad idea after all. I was close to buying something whenl I received a fabulous alternative from Jamar Labs.

Made in Israel of 100% natural cotton, Jamar Labs has created a line of paraben and phalate-free cleansing wipes that work from head to toe. Believing that “Life is too short to worry about your flip flop feet,” they’ve harnessed the powers of botanicals to sanitize and soothe. wipe your feet wipes are made with eucalyptus, plant-based Vitamin B and menthol to moisturize, deodorize and soothe. I loved the idea. Los Angeles has barely caught on to the fact it’s autumn and I’m still in sandals.

wipe your face cloths are perfect when you’re too tired to take off makeup or whenever you want to hydrate and refresh your face. They’re made with soothing aloe, coconut-derived cleanser, almond oils and chamomile for its antibacterial properties. Most refreshing part (no pun intended) is that they lack synthetic fragrances and parabens I find in most face wipes. Perfect to keep in a bedside drawer or on hand to fix a makeup mishap.

I have wipe your hands in my bag now. They’re made with Vitamin E, lavender, coconut-derived cleanser and chamomile. So you can wipe away germs without the skin stripping effect of so many sanitizers. Wipe away bacteria but hold onto moisturize. It’s brilliant. They’re great for all ages and perfect to throw in diaper bags and gym bags, too.

While I’m not hyper-vigilant about germs, this flu season seems to have already hit and anything I can do to keep away from it, the better. Added bonus to the convenience factor is fantastic eco-responsible. When I’m done I can flush them or toss them knowing they’re 100% biodegradable. The 30-pack sets ($7.95) are perfect for work and home, and the convenient 5-pack sets ($1.95) are great to throw in your purse or glove compartment, too.

Shop online at www.jamarlabs.com to purchase the wipes in both sizes as well as combo packs. xo alex.


By | Uncategorized | 21 Comments

It’s ironic that when we talk about green it refers to both ecology and the economy. And since we’re all more aware of where we spend our money these days, greening your beauty routine might seem an expensive proposition. I can’t even begin (or want) to add up the amount of money I’ve spent on beauty products I didn’t like over the years. Fortunately, a few of my favorite eco-brands offer travel sized kits and value sets that make it easy to try something without any financial burden. Here’s to going green while saving some green.

Dr. Hauschka offers Daily Face Care kits for and skin that are filled with a number of samples to suit your skin including cleansing cream, toners, Normalizing Day Oil (my desert island pick) and their famous Rose and Quince moisturizers. They also offer a Body Care Kit that includes several body washes, lavender bath oil, and both Quince and Rose body creams. The kits are all packaged in reusable tin boxes for about $25.00 (you can pick these up at Whole Foods, too).

The fabulous Greek company Korres has created a boxed set of their best selling products, the Best of Korres, in miniature sizes, including Guava body butter, Basil Lemon and Vanilla Cinnamon shower gels, Evening Primrose eye cream and Wild Rose moisturizer. If eco-makeup is what you’re curious about, Korres Color line has a number of “Value Sets,” like the Color Discovery combo which includes mascara, eye shadow, lip gloss and two eye pencils in a reusable makeup bag (an $82 value for $35). I’ve yet to try their bronzers and think their Bronze and Protect set is the perfect way. You get the SPF 30 tinted moisturizer, bronzing powder and their 99% Natural Primer, $66 of product for just $28. For skincare, try the Regimen Kits for normal or oily complexions. They run about $40 each but include over $75 worth of products.

I have long been addicted to the German brand cream for dry skin. I always keep a tiny metal tube of it in my purse (it looks just like the original in Shrinky Dink size). Travel tubes of Skin Food, Almond Cleansing Lotion and other Weleda staples are available for about $2-3 apiece online and in stores like Whole Foods and Target. The Wild Rose skin care range including cleanser, lotion, night cream and toner, can be found in a wonderful trial sized pack for just $15 online. And full sized Wild Rose products are available at the stores above.

Several years ago I decided to try the Dr. Hauschka skin line by purchasing a Daily Face Care Kit. I’d known of Dr. H. because my sister was a devotee of the famous Rose Day Cream. But I wasn’t sure if I would be as thrilled with their other products (even organic products can disagree with some skin). After a week of using the cute little bottles and jars, I went back and bought the products I fell in love with in their full sizes. And now when I travel, I just throw a kit in my bag and go. xo a.

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Beauty Banter was launched in July of 2006 as a comprehensive beauty blog covering trends, tips and tricks, insider secrets, and weekly must-haves. Beauty Banter has a reputation of being on the cutting edge of emerging trends and product launches so our readers are always the first to know what’s hot and what’s just not.