Travel starts in earnest this time of year. If you are checking luggage, the unhappy news is that the airlines are starting to weigh suitcases for passengers who fly coach. Too much weight and bam! An extra charge. Not so fair when you figure so many travelers are shlepping gifts for family and friends.
Not to worry, Stylish Reader, Style Matters has found a way to get around this new travel wrinkle: buy cosmetics and personal hygiene items in small sizes. They weigh less, but still do the job. Some of them have multiple functions, making them even more useful. And as for the airlines… You can take your extra charges and put them where those stale snack packs are stored. Here are some real finds.
Instead of packing a complete nail kit — polish, remover, filing board, etc… try Duality Cosmetic Nail Pak. ($15 at Polishgalore.com). The portable Nail•Pak is a complete nail care system in one convenient patented package. The top half contains nail polish, the bottom half houses 40 pre-soaked polish removers and a mini removable nail file. Duh! Why didn’t I think of that?
These take up a ton of weight. The key is to find the lightest one that will still dry your hair in a reasonable amount of time and has a skinny nozzle. Those who know blow dryers, know a narrow nozzle does the best job. My favorites are pricey but worth it. The T3 Featherweight Journey Dryer ($130 at folica.com) folds up, has a small nozzle and weighs less than a pound. Another great lightweight travel dryer is the Velecta Paramount TGR 3600, which bills itself as the smallest and most professional dryer in the world! It could be true. I dished out a lot of cash for this dryer ($121, zooscape.com) and have never been disappointed.
After spending several hours on a plane, you are bound to deplane with oily skin. Here is a product that does triple duty: NYX Blemish Control Blotting Paper eliminates excess oil, minimizes pores and prevents breakouts without disturbing makeup. Carry these little babies in your carry-on for quick touch-ups. ($5.99, ulta.com)
Lorac Sweet Temptations Tantalizer Collection:
We all want to return from a tropical vacation with some color. This little kit is packed full of bronzing products: A body bronzing gradual self-tanner, a long-wearing golden bronze shimmer and a body bronzing luminizer. Sounds yummy and all for $25 at sephora.com
Violight Slim Sonic Toothbrush:
Now you don’t have to travel without an electric toothbrush. Check out this product, truly a match of fashion meets function. Slim Sonic is a portable sonic toothbrush with a mascara style cap. Press the button to turn on 22,000 brush strokes per minute. The toothbrush comes in a variety of colors and patterns. I went with the zebra stripes. ($14.99, bedbathbeyond.com)
Jumbo Color Wand:
This six-piece set of lip glosses in a pencil size wand will fit almost anywhere. Each shade comes with its own applicator for easy use. How cool is this? ($11, sephora.com)
These are just a few of the travel-size cosmetics on the market today. Pack them in a toiletry bag or put them in your handbag or carry-on. Most are too small to set off any TSA buzzers. Here are some final tips for easy travel.
Style Matters Tip #1:
Once you have collected all your cosmetic goodies, put them in a toiletry bag and forget about them. When you are ready for your trip, just throw the bag into the suitcase and move on to packing clothes.
Style Matters Tip #2:
During your travels, as you run low on cosmetics, make a note. When you return home, refill the bag with what needs to be replaced and then follow tip #1.
Style Matter Tip #3:
Always carry a small roll of duct tape. It might seem silly now, but wait until you really need it. For example:
• Place some tape on your suitcase for easy identification.
• Use it to tape shut broken zippers
• Tape closed containers with lost caps.
• Reattach broken shoe or handbag straps
• Tape the mouth shut of the obnoxious person sitting next to you on the plane.
Judie Schwartz, AKA Style Matters, is the co-author of two best-selling books on the best places to shop in Colorado. Called “A Fashion-Lover’s Guide to the Best Shopping in Denver and Beyond,” the books are available at stylematters.us. Schwartz presents image seminars to corporations on the importance of a business casual wardrobe and entertains conventioneers with talks on how to look great on a budget. She is also a wardrobe consultant. Schwartz has one husband, three children, no pets and small closets. She can be reached at:
• Facebook: StyleMatters1
• Twitter: StyleMatters123