I feel like the constant mood I’ve been in for the past few years each time I check in is “what a strange time, right?!” If there is a weird timeline, we’re definitely in it. With the end of summer, the close of the 2nd Elizabethan era (I’m not a Royal watcher per se, but how strange to not have that constant of Queen Elizabeth II anymore), and the general ‘ending’ of things including both Serena Williams and Roger Federer’s tennis careers, I’ve been on a nostalgic, contemplatory phase.
Last weekend, my partner and I went to his friend’s wedding in South Carolina. And in between binging through The Crown, and balancing it out with Partner Track, I also indulged a bit, which for me means following through with a nice skincare regimen that I haven’t been consistently doing at home. I realize part of packing my travel skincare is the plan of actually following through with a regimen, and looking forward to using products in a more attentive way.
Firstly, what’s not pictured with the rest— my Glossier Cleanser Concentrate because it was at the bottom of the kit since it’s so large. When I first saw this when it was announced, I just loved the way it looked. From the glass bottle to the apothecary-like gel inside, it just feels decidedly more luxurious with less of the “appealing to the young kids” aesthetic than the rest of the line. It almost feels like a more serious product that belongs to some sort of upscale Glossier diffusion. The cleanser concentrate is a classic type cleanser, an emulsifying gel that isn’t really scented except what I can only describe as a vague and faint “syrup” scent. It does lather a bit stronger than I’d like, which I imagine might feel a bit aggressive to some. But it’s a performance cleanser, which is why I brought it up my trip to humid South Carolina where I’ll be wearing makeup for longer than usual, and really need that cleansing action to keep my pores clear. For that purpose, Cleanser Concentrate does the trick. Overall one of the better, higher-quality Glossier products I have tried.
Now, because I’m using a strong cleanser, I do a sandwich of hydration immediately after. Instead of mist, I first go over with my YÜLI Ambrosia Beauty Nectar which is like a kiss of hydration and replenishment since it mimics amniotic sac fluid (don’t worry, the formula is vegan). This gives that immersive quench that mists can’t really give. And because it has a whooping 18+ forms of hyaluronic acid, I then mist Tatcha’s Dewy Skin Mist, to feed that hydration and make sure it’s all captured. Tatcha’s Dewy Skin Mist is a bit cloudier of a fluid than typical mists, because it’s actually an emulsion of oils and extracts in water with ingredients like squalene, tsubaki oil, and rice germ oil so it’s almost like a mist plus light oil in one. Next, I complete the sandwich with a final layer of YÜLI Ambrosia Beauty Nectar to maximize more of the anti-aging actives like growth factors, and pharmaceutical-grade antioxidants that work more on my skin.
I like to then go over with the African Botanics Terre Noire Elixir Supreme oil. I have been carrying this with me to the gym daily as my oil for face AND body because the ingredients are that top-notch, you really can’t go wrong using it for face and body. Since I can use it for both, that’s exactly why I brought this as my one-and-only oil on my trip, efficiency! Let me just say, Terre Noire Elixir Supreme might just be one of the most loaded, in terms of actives, oils that I’ve seen and experienced. Beyond gorgeous oils like marula, moringa and baobab, as carriers, and jasmine, frankincense, and cypress, there’s also CoQ10, Vitamin C, Caffeine, and even Salicylic Acid! It’s like a jolt, or what African Botanics describes as a recharge and rejuvenation that you can almost immediately feel. Plus the dark gold oil is so luxurious, and lightweight that it won’t ever feel greasy. Every time I use Terre Noire Elixir Supreme, which is almost daily, my skin especially my arms and legs just feel soooooo soft which I credit to the quality and performance of the formula.
While I let the mist and serums get settled, I do generous swipes of Paula’s Choice Anti-Aging Eye Gel, which is immediately cooling, depuffing, and comforting. It’s light and refreshing, but also packed with good ingredients like three types of peptides, niacinamide, licorice extract (brighten’s dark under eye circles), and green tea, which may give that immediate skin comforting feeling. The metallic applicator also helps give that cooling, refreshing sensation. I just think the Paula’s Choice Anti-Aging Eye Gel a neat, impactful eye gel that pulls its weight and performs reliably.
At night, I finish with a nice slather of Nature of Thing’s Overnight Mask, which is just such a luxurious experience that feels like the most expensive, ladies-who-lunch lotion that has ever graced your skin. I recently purchased it over Labor Day, and used this trip as my initial introduction. I’m so pleased to find it fulfilled all my expectations. And the fact that the formula is clean and green, I give huge props to Nature of Things for delivering such an elegant cream. An Overnight Mask can also be thought of as a richer lotion/cream that contains a bit more actives than traditional moisturizers, which is why I always like to opt for those as they typically pack more good ingredients and pull their weight when it comes to moisturization. While they can normally leave a film on the skin that sticks to pillowcases, I was pleasantly surprised that Nature of Thing’s Overnight Mask absorbs cleanly and quickly, yet feels rich and comforting. All the qualities one could want in an overnight cream. Coupled with everything, my skin looks and feels so well-rested in the morning, and noticeably brighter, and healthier in that all encompassing way.
I then spray Ren’s & Now To Sleep pillow spray which is a nice bit of self-care and aromatherapy to help me wind down. I find that traveling itself can be stressful and it can be challenging to come down from that heightened state, while hotels have their own scents that can feel foreign. So this spray, with its all-natural mix of ylang ylang, lavender, hops, and frankincense just create that perfect atmosphere.
During the day, I finish with sunscreen. Vacation Classic Lotion SPF 30 for my body, and Biossance Squalane + Zinc SPF 30 for my face. Vacation’s Classic Lotion SPF 30 is a quick-absorbing, chemical filter sunscreen that doesn’t leave a white cast, and doesn’t sit on the skin, which is what I need in a body sunscreen, otherwise I just feel not clean. It feels sheer and nude, you wouldn’t know it’s there if it weren’t for a nice fragrance, made by co-founder, perfumer Carlos Huber, of Arquiste. The Biossance SPF 30 is a zinc mineral sunscreen which I wear because I find mineral sunscreens work better under makeup for me. While mineral sunscreens may leave a white cast, it gives a more even canvas for foundation. And since my foundation (a mini of Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturizer Natural Skin Perfector SPF30) has SPF already, but I don’t apply enough that would give adequate sun protection, having this mineral sunscreen as a base is perfect.
Last touches are self-care, after I do all of this in the morning, I do 1-2 sprays of The Nue Co’s Mind Energy, a zesty, vibrant functional perfume with citrus dominant notes anchored by clove, clary sage, and geranium. Mind Energy’s fragrance profile is fresh, clean, and bright which is great for meeting new people. It’s also uplifting, and energizing and gives me a brighter outlook as I start my day.
Finally, I’ve really stuck to drinking a morning tonic to get myself good and balanced internally, after all, that is the root of everything. MIJA’s Superstar is made from organic superfoods, giving you greens, adaptogens, nootropics, anti-inflammatories, gut-healthy microflora, plant proteins, and clinical, bioavailable vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals that fill the gaps we all commonly have. It’s really a one-shot and done product that is high quality (the base of this luxurious ingestible is organic, ceremonial-grade matcha and moringa leaf), and made by Sarah Koszyk, a Silicon Valley based dietitian and nutritionist. The refillable pouch that is pictured provides about a week-full of servings which makes it perfect for travel, and once I’m out, I can just refill from my jar at home. Also, they’re currently having a promo where if you purchase the full sized jar of Superstar, they’ll include a refillable pouch (that comes with a week of powder) for free but only until the end of the month.
Overall, so many great products that I’ve tried for the first time on this trip, alongside reliable favorites. How do you like to pack for getaways? Are you like me: a bit of newness with some reliability tossed in?