Recipe for Inspiration: Get Packing

I took my first airplane trip when I was six years old. At the time, my mom and I were living in the Bay Area, and my dad lived in Seattle. After a couple years of my dad traipsing up and down the West Coast to pick me up for our summers together, it was decided that I’d start flying, solo, to Seattle for visits. Even at six, I felt a slight sense of exhiliration as I walked onto the plane alone (well, not alone, guided by a kindly flight attendant), and I felt like a grown up as I buckled myself into my seat.

Since then, I’ve taken countless trips alone–in fact, most of the trips I take involve me flying solo. And because I travel alone, I make special preparations in how and what I pack–I don’t like carrying a lot of extra bags because more often than not, I take public transportation to and from airports. I’m also unable to rely on someone else to help out in case I forget something, and so I have become a lean, mean packing machine with a mini personal pharmacy in tow. I’m always fascinated by sites like What’s In Your Bag, so I decided to chronicle a few of the things I’m packing for my upcoming trip to London. Click through for photos and descriptions. And let me know how you pack in the comments!

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Sweetness: Euro Beauty Haul

I used to have really good skin. Like, pretty much perfect (aside from the freckles). People constantly complimented me on it and I always felt a sort of guilt–I didn’t do anything to deserve it, besides inherit my mom’s genetics. If I noticed my skin getting dry, I’d drink more water. If that didn’t work, I’d apply lotion. Any kind of lotion. I frequently fell asleep without washing makeup off my face, and my entire skin care routine involved Dove Body Wash and a wash cloth.

But now, as my 20s draw to an end, those carefree days are a thing of the past. No sunscreen? Serious sunburn. Forget to wash my face at the end of the day? A field of tiny, braille-like bumps will crop up across my face. Happy Hour that’s too happy? That’ll be two rolling suitcases the color of granite underneath my eyes. The final straw came in December when I got my first real zit (yep). It was an angry red and resistant to any of the home remedies that I found on the Internet. I tried to cover it with concealer, but nothing worked. So for a week or so, I walked around with 28 years worth of lazy skincare karma beaming from my chin. I invested in Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer, and my skin began a gradual recovery. I mean, it was by no means perfect, but I didn’t have any Mount Vesuvius clones popping up on my face.

As I prepped for my trip, I remembered that during previous Transatlantic flights, my skin grew grey and pallid, and I knew that if that had occurred when my skin was good, something shocking might occur in my old age. I began scouring YouTube for in-flight beauty routines, and stumbled across the treasure trove of magic that is Lisa Eldridge’s in-flight beauty routine. But the real gem I uncovered was her French Pharmacy video. I decided that one of my main goals in Europe would be to acquire these holy grail products she spoke so highly of. And when I walked into CityPharma in Paris 6th arrondissement, I seriously doubted whether any skin cream could be worth throwing elbows with the City of Light’s bright young things.

Turns out, it absolutely was.

During my 20 minute stint in beauty wonderland, I picked up a wide array of magical beauty products that I am now wishing I’d purchased more of.

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