Travel Beauty Products: 12 Essentials Every Traveler Needs

There are some things I refuse to sacrifice in the name of travel and beauty products are one. In the spirt of buying fewer & better, here are my essentials


Skin care and beauty have always been important to me and not always from a vain point of view. I love the feeling of a freshly clean face, soft great smelling hair and that refreshed feeling you get after a spa day, or a specialized treatment. I’ll admit that before we sold everything and left on our journey I was a product hoarder. I had cabinets, drawers and bags full of different kinds of balms, potions and elixirs all promising me a heavenly outcome. Some worked, some didn't and some remained completely unused and forgotten in far corner of that bottom drawer. So when we set off, I got rid of 99.6 percent of all my products and kept only my absolute favorites.

Over the past two years of travel, I have gone through different brands, discovered unique beauty treatments (snail secretion anyone?)  and yet I always purchase with the idea of “Less is more” and attempt to “buy fewer, better things.” Sometimes I buy that extra something special (I don't really have to carry 2 kinds of perfume) but for the most part, I keep my beauty bag simple, uncluttered and only buy things that I will actually use.

Traveling around the world has given me access to some amazing products, so when I can’t find the usual, I look to the locals to help me find what works.

Here are my favorite beauty products that are great for travel.


Guerlain Terracotta Bronzer

I am obsessed with this terracotta bronzer from Guerlain. It goes on light and natural - so you don't get that orange, over bronzed look. It has a light shimmer to that looks great in the sun without being overpowering or looking like you’re going to a club. I use a lighter color for the winter and a darker one for the summer as I start to tan. In warm/tropical climates this is the only face makeup I wear!


Clarisonic Mia Fit

Back in SF, I had a regular clarisonic and was really sad when I had to part with it. The weight and size made it awkward to pack and was just too big to bring. So when I learned that they came out with a “traveler size” I had to check it out!

Clarisonic's new Mia Fit, is compact, light weight and the body is much smaller than the original, yet the head is still the same size. I can charge it via USB cable and buy new heads all over the world... thank you Sephora for your international presence!


SACHAJUAN Hair Products

Maybe it’s just me, but I have found it really difficult to purchase hair products other than Loreal and Kerastase when in Europe and Asia. Although those are great brands, I prefer finding more boutique brands that really focus on taming my mane!

So when I discovered Sachajuan from Sweden, I was hooked. Not only do their products smell fantastic, they are great at getting rid of frizz, and the packaging is pretty sleek, making it easy to pack and travel with. Chris has even become a converter and loves their hair paste. Currently I am using their shampoo and conditioner, dry shampoo and hair oil. I used to be a Moroccan oil girl, but their oil is a game changer!


Korres Cleansing Emulsion

My skin tends to get really dry all year round, but especially so in extreme climates. So after a few attempted product failures I turned to a beauty blogger in Berlin, who introduced me to this milk cleansing lotion by Korres, which is so moisturizing, you’ll have to use a towel or cotton to get off the residue….but when I pair it with my Mia Fit, it get’s off all the dead skin and leaves my skin extremely hydrated and not greasy.  It’s not a product I use everyday, so  it’s one of those little luxuries I make room for.  


Caudalie Moisturizing Sorbet

I used to use Caudalie's sorbet (which is face lotion) back when I was in the US, but I stopped because it was becoming a bit expensive for such a small amount of product. So when I stepped into a French pharmacy and noticed that the products are at least 50% the cost of what they sell in the US, I got back on the Caudalie wagon. This sorbet goes on silky (like actual sorbet) and is great for under makeup or to wear to bed.

Kiehl's Skin Rescuer

My skin has become a bit sensitive over the past few years and when you pair sensitive skin with different climates, constant travel and long flights, it can become a bit stressed out. So on a long layover, I popped into a Kiehl's store and discovered their skin rescuer lotion for stressed out skin. After a few days I saw a dramatic change and it has now become one of my essentials! 

Tom Ford Perfume

I love the smell of perfumes and if I had my way, half my bag would be full of different lovely smelly things...but that’s not practical, so instead I carry my two favorites and live for rollerball sizes when I find them. My favorite scents are from Tom Ford (for summer I like Mandarino di Amalfi and for winter it’s Champaca Absolute) and surprisingly they are cheaper to purchase in Europe and one spray goes a long way. The packaging is not practical...but hey it’s all about compromise.

Dr. Perricone Ester C Serum

Using serums and elixirs (as Chris calls them) is new to me. But as I age and lines pop up around my eyes, I soon realized it was time for some preventive and combative measures. Dr. Perricone’s Ester C Serum promises to brighten my skin, improve clarity and reduce the look of wrinkles and so far it’s going to work. My skin is not only looking brighter but it’s feeling fresh and it feels like I’m getting a bit of a boost! Word of caution - this stuff is strong, so I keep use to a minimum and am careful with what I pair it with. 


Guerlain, Super Aqua Eye Patches

I tend to show fatigue and tiredness mostly in my eyes. My eyelids get droopy, I get dark circles under my eyes and they just look bad. These little eye masks patches from Guerlain make me feel bright eyed and awake. I use them after long flights and when I just feel like I need a little refresh. They are a bit expensive, but they're cheaper than day at the spa :)

Weleda Skin Food

Hands down, Weleda Skin Food is one of the best heavy duty creams I’ve come across. I get really dry feet and hands and this cream just works magic. It goes on a little greasy, but after a few minutes my skin drinks it all up and I’m left with incredibly soft skin. I always make sure to carry this in my purse, so that I have it for flights and long days sightseeing. I also dab a little under my eyes before I go to bed.

La Roche Posay Tinted SPF Fluid

Another great French find! La Roche Posay is a fabulous beauty brand in general, offering an array of products to target pretty much anything and when in Europe it’s incredibly affordable! I was initially looking for sunscreen for the beach and accidentally purchased this thinking it was face cream. My SPF Fluid is now one of my go-to staples in my daily routine. I mix a little bit with face cream and voila I have tinted moisturizer with SPF that doesn't smell like sunscreen!

Jessica Russell Flint Oversized bag

From packing cubes to ziploc baggies, we use bags for everything! They help keep us organized and make for easy packing and unpacking - which is imperative if you’re constantly on the go. When in London I came across this fantastic artist, Jessica Russell Flint, who was designing incredible graphics and then putting them on tons of useful accessories like bags! The large waxed canvas bag is lined with waterproof lining making it easy to clean in case something spills and the fun imagery just makes me happy to pack.