Sunday, July 7, 2013

Travel Tips and Must-Haves

Courtesy of Vintage California Girl
Remember when flying was fun and exciting?  I do.  Sadly, those days are gone, never to return. 

Today, instead of being treated as a valued customer, the passenger is now treated as an annoyance at best and a potential criminal at worst. 

If I can possibly get to my destination without flying, I will; but, there are times when there’s just no other way to get where I want to go. 

The New Yorker
And, so, every summer, I, like millions of Americans, suffer the indignities of airport security, put up with surly staff and doze fitfully in filthy lounges waiting for delayed flights.  And that’s just on a good day!  

Packing for the trip can be a real challenge for us gals, too.  Choosing the right outfits to pack used to be our biggest problem.  When in doubt, we just threw it in.  Today, travelling light is a necessity, not an option, and when it comes to those non-solid, personal care items (such as our potentially-lethal moisturizers), we have to decide whether or not to put them in that tiny zip-lock baggie that goes through security or whether to risk packing them in a checked bag that may not show up ‘til we’re ready to head home. 

Answering the following 3 questions should help you make the decision. 

1)      Will I need it during the flight? 

2)      If my checked bag gets lost, can I live without it for a few days?   

3)      If I can’t live without it, can I replace it easily?   

a.       Is it something I can find at a local drugstore? 

b.      Is it something that comes from a specialty store (i.e., Sephora, bluemercury, etc.) that I may not have access to when I arrive? 

Take my 1.5 oz. tube of Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturizer, for example.  It goes into the plastic bag that goes through airport security, because I use it every day, and it’s not as easy to replace as a tube of lipstick from the local drugstore. 


Remember when people dressed up to fly?  I do.  Sadly, those days are gone, too, never to return. 

However, contrary to popular belief, you can be stylish AND comfortable when you travel.  They are NOT --- I REPEAT!!!! --- They are NOT mutually exclusive.  (HELLO, OUT THERE.  IS ANYBODY LISTENING?) 

The trick to pulling this off is to choose natural fabrics.  My favorite travel fabric is jersey.  It’s lightweight, drapes beautifully and does not wrinkle.  You can sit in it, even sleep in it, and it always looks great. 

Should you brush against or (yuck!) sit in something nasty at the airport or spill something on yourself on the plane, you’ll be glad you opted for a dark-colored travel outfit; but, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to stick to basic black. 

The whole flying experience is depressing enough without dressing as if you’re going to a funeral.  I just love wearing navy blue when I travel.  There’s something wonderfully crisp and nautical about navy blue that lifts my spirits.  Navy blue is a wonderful color that comes in warm and cool tones to suit everyone’s color palette. 

Airport Quick Tips:   

1)      Wear brightly colored shoes, so when they come through the security scan in those dreary little, grey plastic bins, you can spot them instantly.     

2)      Don’t forget to bring a lightweight pashmina for the plane.  Temperatures can often be chilly, and airlines rarely supply blankets these days.   

3)      And, if you have some room in your tote bag, a travel pillow is so comfy to have. 

Now, let’s pull all this together in a great travel outfit. 

Airport Chic

When it comes to my favorite travel Must-Haves, here are three new favorites and one oldie, but goodie I think you’ll enjoy. 

Maybelline’s Illuminating Concealer pen.  It’s inexpensive, comes in 6 shades (I wear Ivory.) and it does wonders to brighten tired eyes.  Just dab a little in the inner corner, or wherever else you need a bit of brightening, and you’ll look as bright as a new penny when you reach your destination. 

And Maybelline’s Dream Bouncy blush (again, inexpensive) will put the bloom back in your travel-worn cheeks in an instant.  (I wear Candy Coral.)  A cross between a powder and a cream, it has the glow of a cream and the staying power of a powder.   Simply press with your finger and apply directly to your cheeks.  The more you apply, the more intense the color. 


DevaCurl Mist-er Right is a heavenly, lavender-and-mint-scented spray (not a dry shampoo) that can be used in between shampoos to revitalize your curls and give them a fresh, clean smell and feel.  The travel size slips perfectly into that silly, little zip-lock security baggie.  I never travel without it.  Developed for curly hair, some of my straight-haired clients tell me they love it, too. 

And here’s my favorite oldie, but goodie. 

Yes, Ladies, good old Vaseline Petroleum Jelly.  Surprised?  Don’t be.  Marilyn Monroe slathered on a layer of Vaseline before putting on her make-up.  You may not want to do the same, but, trust me, it has the potential to be the hardest working beauty product in your medicine cabinet, and I never travel without it. 

At night, I use it as an eye cream – under my eyes, in the outer corners, on my eyelashes and eyebrows.  It keeps my lashes lubricated and helps prevents breakage.  It can also be used to gently remove eye makeup. 

After brushing my teeth and exfoliating my lips with my toothbrush, I dab on some Vaseline to keep my lips soft. 

It also smooths rough spots on hands and feet overnight. 

My Mother would take a small, stiff lipstick brush and run a bead of Vaseline around her cuticles before putting on her nail polish.  That way, any stray polish lines could easily be dabbed away with a Q-tip. 

Want to make your perfume last longer?   Just rub on a bit of Vaseline first and then spray on your perfume.   The scent will linger longer. 

Got lipstick on your clothes?  Pre-treat with a dab of Vaseline and then wash. 

Need a quick shoe shine?  Rub on a little Vaseline and buff. 

Get the idea?  You’ll never look at a humble jar of Vaseline Petroleum Jelly again in quite the same way.   
All packed?  O.K. -- deep breath, shoulders back, head high.  The “not-so-friendly skies” await. 


  1. I too remember when flying was an elegant exciting experience. Now we have to put up with the dreaded Ryanair (budget airline). My daughter was even made to drink the baby's milk!!! on one occasion. Great outfit I love those colours. I am also a great fan of vaseline but had not thought of the cuticle tip though. Will try it.

    1. I take it Ryanair is to be avoided, if possible? I'll make a note of it. Your poor daughter. I have never been a fan of milk, even as a baby.

      You would look super in that outfit. Great color for you.

      Do you have some Vaseline tips to pass along? We'd all love them.

  2. Dearest Marie-Thérèse,
    This is all so true; sadly so.
    Your Vaseline tips are great and your Madame Mère was for her age and time very knowledgeable about beauty tricks.
    We both dread flying but as you said, certain distances can't be bridged otherwise.
    Hugs to you and hope you can enjoy some nice summer weather. We're still having our daily heavy thunderstorms; it never stops it looks like...

    1. My Mother was great at beauty tricks, learned from her Mother, who spent her early years in the theater.

      Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could just drive to Paris? When are they going to build that transatlantic bridge?

      We are, also, suffering with daily heavy thunderstorms and sticky, humid temperatures. More of the same this week, as well.

      Big bisous, M-T

  3. I so agree that some travelers should take it up a notch in terms of how they dress. What is with all the yoga pants and flip flops everywhere? I also fly in nice jeans or pants and a top and always with a sweater because of the chill air. I pack one change of undies and socks and shirt in my carry-on just in case the luggage is lost and I need to have them.

    Great tips - I only wish I was flying somewhere this summer so I could put them to use.

    1. Grace, it's the flip-flops that absolutely disgust me, particularly when worn by men with hairy toes. Yuck!!

      Love your packing tips, too. Consider yourself lucky that you are NOT flying anywhere this summer. Have a great, relaxing airport-free summer.

      Hugs, M-T

  4. I absolutely agree with you... one most definitely can be both stylish and comfortable when traveling! I for one am actually much More comfortable traveling knowing I am traveling with style! Well said!

    I found your blog from your lovely hat photo on Judith's Hat Attack.

    1. You are clearly a woman after my own heart.....and what a fabulous profile photo. Hats off to you.


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