May 17, 2009

All over Italy in 2 carry-ons Part 2: Makeup and Jewelry

When packing for a big vacation to somewhere fabulous, your first instinct will be to cram as much clothing, accessories and beauty products in you luggage as you can. I addressed overpacking clothes in my last post, but two other things women tend to overpack are makeup and accessories.

When you're in an exotic, foreign land, there are so many more wondrous things to think about than your eyelash curler. Granted, individual cosmetic items don't take up much room in and of themselves, but it's important to make the most of your makeup bag's space. Pack wisely and you can fit shampoo, deodorant, floss, and other handy things in there, leaving more room for souvenirs.

When packing beauty supplies, like clothing, it's important to bring multitaskers. Benetint doubles as blush and lip color, and Benefit 10 Bronzer has both bronzer and highlighter to use anywhere on your face. Now is not the time to try trendy makeup or to paint layers on your face. In my case, Italy will be very warm and I'll want to keep it simple and pretty, as well as lightweight.

The Ideal Travel Makeup Bag
  • Tinted moisturizer with SPF
  • Concealer
  • Night cream
  • Mattifying powder
  • 2 eyeliners
  • Mascara
  • 1 eyeshadow palette
  • Bronzer
  • 2 lip products (1 dark, 1 light)
I like to bring one black eyeliner for night, and one brown or violet for daytime. The right moisturizers are crucial, to avoid sun damage and keep your skin looking as good as usual. The eyeshadow palette is key for blending and flexibility in a small package. I like Clinique's Spicy Eyeshadow quad, with a gold, a pink, a medium brown and a chocolate brown.

Next: the jewelry. Few women love jewelry more than me. Costume jewelry, inherited silver, modern pieces from Boucheron... I love 'em all. But again, when traveling it is necessary to streamline and pick your most loved and versatile pieces. Keep in mind that one great statement necklace can easily dress up a tank and shorts, but how many do you really need to bring?

The Ideal Travel Jewelry Case
  • Pearl or diamond studs
  • Simple hoop earrings
  • Watch
  • Silver necklace or pendant
  • Coordinating bracelet
  • 2 pairs big earrings
  • 1 statement necklace
  • Handful of bangles
  • 1 cocktail ring
The statement necklace should be interesting, but not too memorable. Tortoiseshell, amber, neutral beads, seashells and thin long chains are great. When considering the statement necklace, hold it up to all your tops or dresses and see how the colors work to make sure it's a good choice. And like the statement necklace, big earrings or a cocktail ring go a long way as well. For the earrings, I'd take one silver-based pair and one really funky pair. Once you get to your destination, you won't even miss the other clutter in your jewelry box.

And finally... accessories. Scarves, purses, belts... I love 'em too, girls. But once again, streamline. Pare down. Stick to neutrals. I mentioned purses in my last post, but when it comes to other accessories, this is where our bags tend to runneth over. A scarf or belt adds a lot to a simple sundress or solid outfit. Just keep these to a minimum. One wide belt, one skinny. One warmer scarf (pashmina), and one gauzy one, in neutral colors or patterns.

And if you get nothing else from this advice, remember this:

The more you pack, the less room you have to take home fabulous jewelry, scarves, purses, shoes and souvenirs. And the fewer items in your closet for which you can say, "I got this in Rome."