Next week, I’m making my first-ever (and long-overdue) trip to Italy. (Squee!) My boyfriend and I are starting in Lake Como and then working our way through Cinque Terre, Tuscany, and Rome. I’ll be honest: I’m most excited about the food. That’s not to say I don’t want to wander the piazzas, explore the Tuscan hill towns, and wonder at the Sistine Chapel—I’m just planning to bracket all those delightful things with many quartinos of Montepulciano and cones of gelato. Here are some of the essentials I’m bringing with me:
Madewell Transport Tote: This roomy leather bag is tailor-made for travel. It easily fits my laptop, copious amounts of beauty products, magazines, and (of course) many, many plane snacks.
Rodial Dragon’s Blood Hyaluronic Mask: In Tuscany, we’re staying at La Bandita, an absolutely dreamy inn that is owned by my former Condé Nast Traveler colleague Ondine Cohane and her husband John. Ondine only had one request from New York: Rodial’s famed skin-plumping mask.
Number 4 Haircare Styling Foam: I’m a full-on mousse evangelist. I find that it’s the best/easiest/quickest way to give hair a bit of texture and wave. Number 4’s version smells incredible and dries without any tackiness. I scrunch it in and go—no need to blow-dry.
Atelier Cologne Vetiver: Spoiler alert: We’ve got an awesome gift-with-purchase deal coming up with Atelier Cologne’s travel-size spritzes. Keep an eye out! Me, I’m taking this unisex one on the road.
Inika Mineral Foundation: I recently got a sample of this and liked it so much that I begged our brand team for a second (backup) sample to take with me. The formula is extremely light, dries to a velvet-matte finish, and blends gorgeously.
Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector: While I don’t plan on wearing much makeup, that doesn’t mean I can’t use a wee bit of highlighter over my blush—you know, to prettily reflect all those golden Tuscan rays. Right?
Karuna Hydrating Treatment Mask: Blame it on Birchbox, but over the years the list of things I consider travel “musts” has changed dramatically. After realizing how tough planes and travel are on my skin, I now consider a great exfoliator and a hydrating mask to be core trip essentials. I love sheet masks because they’re single-use—how great to return with less than when you started!
Davines Love Smoothing Conditioner: Can’t leave home without it. That’s all.
And Sons, David Gilbert: I bought the hardcover of this novel after my friend (and consummate reader) Eimear raved about it. I’m looking forward to unplugging and doing some nondigital reading while I’m away.
Whew! Can’t wait to see you guys in a week!
See what all the buzz is about! #BBBuzz, that is—in our October Teaser video.
5 Beach-Day Secret Weapons
Summer might be quickly coming to an end (sob)—but that doesn’t mean we’re giving up our weekends at the seashore just yet.
We’re rounded up a collection of pocket-sized, sand-friendly supplies—compact enough to stow in your shoe while you’re swimming—to keep you tidy, sun-protected, and even a bit tipsy at the beach.
From a totally no-mess SPF to Steve McQueen-worthy shades, here are the must-haves you need in your bag to finish out summer with a bang.
For Manhattanites, summers are all about heading to Central Park and staking out a spot on the Great Lawn. (When you don’t have a beach, a grassy patch of ground is an excellent stand-in). While we love taking full advantage of sunny days, impromptu picnics pose a major challenge when we need to get to our next fete without looking like a hot mess.
To tackle this challenge head on, we’re relying on these purse companions to to get us from point A (picnic bliss) to point B (cocktail hour) looking fresh:
What’s in Your Carry-On?
Your hotel’s booked and you’ve checked in for your flight. Now there’s only one thing separating you from a much-needed mojito on the beach—packing. While we always have enough pieces to fill an extra large suitcase, the real challenge comes with picking TSA-approved products for your carry-on.
To help ease the preparation for your escape, we asked three Birchbox staffers to open their travel bags and share the items that they can’t leave home without.
Whether you’re jetting or driving, these summer travel essentials will have you at your destination looking effortlessly put-together.
Need more help with packing? Check out the June 2013 issue of the Birchbox Magazine.
Don’t Leave Home Without These 5 Unexpected Travel Essentials
Everyone knows to pack a tube of SPF and your favorite sneakers when you’re getting ready for a vacay. But after polling our globe-trotting editorial team, we realized that we bring a selection of oft-overlooked trip enhancers to rectify even the worst travel disasters.
From the two-in-one power player that immediately freshens up a hotel room to the stain-fighting product you should always keep with you, here are our five travel items that you have to bring with you on your next trip.
Looking for more travel tricks? Check out Birchbox’s June 2013 Magazine for even more ideas.
Today, I’m hopping on a plane and heading to Ecuador’s hermoso capital city Quito for a dear friend’s wedding. In addition to comfy walking shoes (I plan to do a lot of solo exploring) and my trusty passport, here are some of the travel must-haves I’ll be stashing in my carry-on:
1. Oscar de la Renta Something Blue
According to our friends at The Knot, it’s a faux pas to attend a wedding empty handed. With that in mind, I’m packing this timeless scent to hand over to the bride-to-be on the big day. Inspired by the iconic designer’s silk and lace wedding gowns, the refined blend has sparkling notes of mandarin, linden blossom, and bourbon vanilla.
This week’s guest blogger, Rodan Luo, is a lawyer by day and stylish blogger by night. We can’t get enough of her blog, full of eloquent musings and excellent advice. Since she’s also one of our jetsetter role models (the frequent traveler was most recently in Sayulita, Mexico), she’ll be blogging all week about ways to make travel even more awesome.
Packing before a big trip can be a stressful process, especially if you are like me and want to be prepared for all weather and event scenarios. Through my experiences traveling, I’ve created a set of three simple rules when packing for longer get-aways.
Rule #1. Bring reading materials. One thing I’ve discovered is that you never know when you are going to be stuck somewhere with no phone reception and no internet access. Recently on a trip to Asia, I had to get from Gili, a remote island off of Bali, Indonesia to Hong Kong. That day, I traveled by donkey, boat, plane, and train, and I was more than thankful that I had a good ‘ol book in hand to keep me company during my 14 hour commute. I suggest picking up Social Animal by David Brooks or Imagine by Jonah Lehrer for some reading to take your mind off how queasy or bored you might be.
We fell hard for Natalie Alcala last fall, when the LA-based writer and blogger spent a week guest blogging for us. In fact, we loved her posts so much that we asked her to be a contributing editor. In addition to blogging for us once a week, she’ll also be writing for the Birchbox Magazine and keeping us up to speed on all things fashion, beauty, and fun.
Greetings from Curaçao! I’m here covering the island’s first-ever fashion week, which features the innovative work of over 20 designers from 13 countries. All shows start around 7pm every night, so I’ve been using my daytime freedom to explore this Caribbean gem’s ridiculously stunning beaches and towns. And since the country is located in the tropics, just 12° north of the Equator, it’s humid all year round (a clever local explained that Curaçao’s seasons are “hot” and “inferno”). This means that makeup should be kept to a minimum since you’ll want to spontaneously jump in the water to cool off. Save for some water-resistant mascara at night, I’ve decided to go makeup-free on this trip and focus on keeping my skin hydrated and protected from the sun.
Here’s a roundup of winning products that are keeping me looking fresh-faced and stress-free: