What’s in My Luggage: Beauty Edition

I’m traveling to Seattle today, for what feels like the millionth time. I’ve made this trip many times, traveling from Orlando to Seattle and exploring at least one new transfer airport along the way. This time, I’m flying via Frontier, with a transfer in Denver, and the best part is, I’m checking a bag! Normally I’m a carry-on only kind of girl. Who needs those extra checked bag fees, the worrying about whether or not your bag will arrive at the correct destination, and the extra waiting around for your luggage to finally (hopefully) make it onto the baggage carousel?

So why am I checking a bag now? I like to save money on travel whenever possible, and in Frontier’s case, it actually costs more to bring a carry on bag than it does to just check a bag and be done with it. It’s annoying, but I went the cheap route and opted to check a bag anyway. I can still bring the necessities in a small personal item, but the bulk of my items are packed away in the belly of the plane.

The good news, of course, is that I don’t have to worry about fitting all my toiletries into a quart size plastic bag! I can pack whatever I want, regardless of size, and for a beauty addict like me, that’s life-changing. It means I can bring bottles big and small, and even bring ten different eyeliners, should I choose to do so. Luckily, I’m not that dramatic. I tend to favor a more natural makeup look, so traveling carry-on only has never been a big issue for me.

In a departure from my normal travel-and-adventure-centered posts, I want to focus on another subject dear to my heart: beauty and personal care items, and what exactly I’m bringing with me on my latest adventure. My first personal website, believe it or not, is centered around subscription boxes and beauty products. It’s still running to this day, though I’m pretty sure my mom is the only one who reads it. So to celebrate this trip to Seattle, I’m sharing which beauty and personal care items made the cut. This is not a “necessities-only” or “minimal packing” post in any way, just a fun little peek inside my bag.

On the plane

Frontier allows one small personal item on the plane, so along with necessities like my laptop and Kindle, I’m packing the standard quart size carry-on bag of liquids. Consider them my necessities in the sky. The theme here is moisture, since we all know it’s dry up there!

Skincare Necessities for a Long Flight.jpg

Overnight mask: I’m not flying overnight on this particular trip, but I’m bringing along an overnight mask to keep my skin soft, moisturized and glowy on the plane. I’ve only ever used this one before bed, as it never dries down completely, so I’m curious to see whether or not it does soak in all the way by the time the plane hits the ground.

Sheet Mask: I’m not using this one on the plane, although I do think it would be amusing to put a sheet mask on and scare everyone from my aisle seat. I’m packing a sheet mask to use when I arrive at my destination, and I’m bringing it with me in case something happens to my checked luggage along the way. I love sheet masks for restoring moisture, and if I don’t need it immediately after landing in SeaTac, I’m sure I’ll use it within a few days. It’s much less humid in Seattle, so my skin will need the extra moisture eventually. I haven’t tried this “snail essence” mask yet, but wanted to do so on this trip so I can pick up more varieties at Uwajimaya if I like them!

Micellar Water: I’m packing a small, travel-friendly micellar water to wipe off all the excess moisture and plane cooties when I arrive in Seattle. I hate when my face feels tacky or sticky, and a good cleansing water will leave me feeling fresh-faced and clean in seconds.

Facial mist: I used to think face mists were overkill. Until I got one, that is. This one is great for immediately relieving dry, tight skin, and the scent on this one is instantly refreshing. To be honest, I could nix the overnight mask, sheet mask, and micellar water, and be good with this one. If you only want to bring one facial product on the plane, make it a face mist.

Lip Balm: This is a necessity in everyday life, and I’m bringing a heavy-duty balm on the plane to make sure my lips stay soft and healthy. This one from Fresh is to die for, but its prohibitive price tag means I prefer to save it for moments when my lips could use a little extra love.

Hand Cream: I love a good hand cream, and keep one in my purse at all times. Of course, keeping hands soft and happy is extra important on a long flight, so I picked this one based off of how moisturizing it is, rather than the fragrance.

I also added hand sanitizer at the last minute. Hope my seatmates enjoy the smell of Christmas pine in April! On a more glamorous trip, I might also bring concealer, mascara, lipstick, and a toothbrush, so I can touch up in the air and hit the ground fresh-faced. None of that really matters when I’m flying home to see family, so I opted to leave those things in my checked bag. I crapped on my mom’s face when I was a baby, and she still loves me. I think they’ll accept me whether I’m made up or not.

In my checked bag:

This is the fun part. I can pack whatever toiletries and beauty items I like, without worrying about their size or quantity. All I need to concern myself with is whether or not I have room to bring home new clothes, souvenirs and more!

Haircare Essentials for Domestic Travel

Haircare: I’m going fully travel-size in this category, simply because full-size hair products add a lot of weight and bulk to checked luggage. I prefer to bring my own shampoo and conditioner, and when this little duo runs out, I’ll use whatever is in the guest bathroom. I’m also bringing a leave-in conditioner, and a hair serum that can be used on wet or dry hair. I’m not packing any styling tools, since I have plenty of sisters I can mooch off of while I’m home.

Basic Body Products for a Spring Seattle Trip.jpg

Body Care: My Burt’s Bees hand cream should last the entire trip, but I’m bringing a small tube of Harvey Prince lotion in case I do run out. I can’t stand having dry hands. I’m currently using (and loving) the moringa body wash from The Body Shop, so I poured some of the jumbo bottle out into a smaller container for this trip. Finally, I’m bringing my favorite clear gel deodorant from Secret and putting it to the test along the hiking trails.

Skincare for a Spring Seattle Trip.jpg

Facial Products: I’m bringing a small bottle of philosophy’s Purity Made Simple, an all-in-one product that I rave about on the beauty blog. This stuff is divine. It gently but thoroughly removes any trace of makeup, while cleansing and toning the skin. If I could only travel with one facial cleanser, this would be it. I like to exfoliate every other day, and I’m substituting a teeny-tiny enzyme scrub from Juara for my everyday exfoliant for this trip. Moisture-wise, I’m packing a gel-cream moisturizer from Clinique, and a brightening undereye cream from Balance Me. Not pictured is a small tube of the Supergoop City Sunscreen Serum, which I tried this morning and immediately added to the roundup. I’m a skincare aficionado, but I’m leaving my army of toners, scrubs, masks and treatments behind and sticking to the basics for this adventure-oriented trip.

Travel-friendly makeup for my trip to Seattle.jpg

Makeup: At home, my makeup bag is stuffed with all kinds of products. I use a lot of sample sizes thanks to my Birchbox obsession, so it’s easy to fit three blushes, two mascaras, and a rainbow of eyeliners alongside the products that I reach for every day. I’m paring things down for this trip, and bringing just one item in each category. I’m bringing an illuminating primer to keep my skin fresh and glowy, and Maybelline’s Dream Matte Mousse to even out and mattify my skin while providing medium coverage. Despite the fact that I could bring a massive blush pan or even an entire makeup palette, I’m packing the smallest blush I own, a sample of theBalm’s Frat Boy blush. It’s a universally-flattering pinky-coral color, making it the most versatile and most-reached-for item in my blush collection. For the eyes, I’m bringing a small concealer/primer duo from Benefit Cosmetics, the always-reliable Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara, Benefit’s Gimme Brow gel, a bronze liner from Julep, my black liquid liner pen from Stila, and my lash curler. I’m also bringing a small eyeshadow palette from Lorac. I don’t wear eyeshadow often, but I like this one for its warm, skin-flattering shades and light-reflecting shimmers. I’m also packing a tiny but adorable highlighting cream from Dinoplatz (a Birchbox discovery), a color-adjusting lip balm from Birchbox’s own Arrow brand, and a red-tinted lip conditioner for Ilia when I’m craving some extra color.

Odds and Ends in my Travel Bag

Odds & Ends: Of all the weird things to accompany me to Washington, I’m bringing my new favorite nail base coat. I love to paint my nails while on vacation, and I usually stick to whatever polish colors my sisters have around the house. But this base coat is seriously magical. My polish always chips after a few days, and some days, the entire sheet of polish just peels right off in one piece! This Nail Kale base coat is the only thing that keeps my polish adhered to the nail for a week or more. I usually use whatever toothpaste is at my parent’s house, but I’m stashing a travel-sized toothpaste for a weekend trip to British Columbia. Finally, I’m bringing a couple of very conveniently packaged razor blades to fit my Dollar Shave Club handle.


All of these products, while travel-sized, do add up quickly. They certainly would not all fit in that pesky quart-size plastic bag, but in my checked luggage, they take up half of a zippered pocket and add very little to the overall weight of my bag. I can bring all the beauty items I want to Washington, not to mention all the wine I can bring home with me! I can’t believe I’m saying it, but for once I’m Team Checked Bag!

What's in my Bag, Spring Travel in Seattle.jpg
Try fitting all of this into one zip-top bag

This post is not in any way sponsored by Birchbox, but I wanted to give them a shout out for introducing me to so many great new brands and sending cute little sample size products in my monthly Birchbox subscription. Thanks for keeping me travel-ready!

Interested in subscribing to Birchbox? Click here and use coupon code SUBSCRIBENOW50 to get 50 points ($5) in shop credit when you sign up for a monthly subscription. Not sure what to expect? Check out my “other” blog, Les Beaux Cadeaux, to learn more and see what the monthly boxes look like.

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