Thursday, August 5, 2010

Beauty on the go: What to pack for your summer vacation

Hello everyone! I hope you've had a fun and productive week.
Summer is this beautiful time of the year, when we find it hard to be confined to the workplace and feel more drawn to the outdoors. Most of us dream of sunny beaches, or green mountain hills. Whatever the destination, you face the challenges of packing. Packing can be an overly emotional time for some ladies, with all the mess, the dilemmas, the suitcase that wouldn't close and your favorite heels that you just can't fit it. If all of this sounds a bit too familiar, you need to step back, take a deep breath and gain some perspective.

 Photograph: Jem Mitchell

I recently got back from a long vacation which involved a lot of trips to different places and this has made me a more organized and savvy traveler. Let me share with you some ideas that can help you turn packing into a less stressful experience.

First of all, have no illusions, you can not pack your whole wardrobe for the trip, so many pieces that you love will stay behind. The sooner you realize this, the better.

When you pack your luggage, it's important to be practical, not emotional. Think about the place that you are going, the climate, the terrain. Are you going to walk a lot, or primarily stay by a pool or on the beach? What are the chances of rain? What are the expected temperatures? Consider all of this before you even reach for your favorite heels or summer dress. Yes, you love them, but are you going to need them?

Traveling is really a time when less is more. You want to be traveling light, move easily and enjoy the change of scenery, not be a slave to familiar objects. If you're flying to your holiday destination, the airlines have set the luggage limit for you and it is usually around 50lb/23kg. Paying extra for an additional bag is not a great idea - the prices are insane and it is just one more piece that you have to carry around, or, worse, it can get lost or stolen. 

Many of us like to buy souvenirs and gifts while we're on vacation and that's another reason why it's better to have some extra room still available in your bags.

When you pick up the clothes to take for your vacation, it is better to have particular outfits in mind. In other words, don't just take a top because you like it so much, only to realize later that you don't have a bottom that goes well with that top. Always have a complete outfit in mind  and try to pick versatile pieces that give you plenty of options. It might help you to lay out all articles you want to pack before you actually do so.

Try to stay away from clothes you don't normally wear. The chances are that if you've had a piece for months, but you've never gone out in it, you're not going to put it on during your vacation either.

Here are a few things that I absolutely need and always take on my summer vacation:

passport ;)

Even if you don't burn easily, don't be fooled, you still need to apply sunscreen (preferably SPF 30+). The sunscreen's role is to absorb or reflect the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays and no matter how dark, or already tanned you are, you still need protection like anyone else.
hand sanitizer
I just can't live without one. These days there is a variety brands, shapes and scents. The Bath and Body Works Anti-Bacterial Foaming Sanitizer Cucumber and Melon is one of my favorite.

exfoliator / body scrub
Some people claim they don't need to exfoliate, but  for me it's a must. I'd take my exfoliator before any make up or accessories. It removes dead skin cells and leaves your skin renewed, refreshed and radiant - I can't go anywhere without one. One of my favorite body scrubs recently in the Bath and Body Works Mentha Body Smoothing Body Buffer. The peppermint oil has a cooling effect and it's just perfect for summer.
face/body moisturizer
This summer, I'm a big fan of Clean & Clear Finishes Pore Perfecting Moisturizer. it's very light, oil free and the bottle is great for traveling and can easily fit in your purse.

sunscreen lipbalm
I always put that under any lipstick or lip gloss, but in the hot months I often wear alone. I really like the True Blue Spa, Watch Your Mouth SPF 45 sunscreen lipbalm. 

 I love Prada and the pair in the picture is Prada PR 22MS (5).

 water bottle
It's important to stay hydrated, especially in the summer months, so it's good to have a water bottle that you can take anywhere with you. I like the fun Life is Good Water Bottles.

waterproof mascara
For the past months I've used and like the CoverGirl Professional all-in-one waterproof mascara.

nail polish
Pick your favorite hot summer shade, or a neutral nude color, if you don't like the brights.

nail polish remover pads
The Cutex nail polish remover pads will do an excellent job.

mani/pedi set
If you don't already have one, the Bath and Body Works Mani/Pedi set is a good option (12).


make-up bag & make-up assentials
Here is a lovely make-up bag from Juicy Couture that comes in three different colors and patterns Juicy couture Summer stripes large pouch (3, 16). Remember, take only absolute essentials.

make up remover
I really like the Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes (1). They really remove all traces of make up and impurities and have a delicate calming scent that's perfect for evenings.

light cotton dress
The best thing for your skin in the hot days is to wear natural fabrics, like cotton. Besides, a few things can be nicer than a light/white cotton summer dress like this VIX Swimwear Alice White cotton dress.

 favorite perfume

For summer vacation, I often find better use for a pair of cute and comfortable espadrilles than fierce heels. For example, Kenneth Cole Reaction Kiss or Dare (14) and Via Spiga Tustin (15)

flip flops
If you intend to go to the beack, you'll definitely need a pair. Pictured above are: Ocean Minded Image Meilani (6) and Havaianas Slim Peacock (17).

The whole idea of a vacation is get some distance and an opportunity to recharge your batteries. Let your usual worries and stressors behind and immerse your senses in this new and beautiful place. No matter what you've packed, or forgot to pack, try to stay away from regrets on your vacation and simply enjoy yourself.

I hope these beautiful photographs from Olivia Graham brighten up your mood and inspire you for a beautiful vacation, or at least a weekend away.

Love and best wishes,


  1. Nice stuff! Good job on the list :)

  2. This post comes right on time for me! Great suggestions! I'll try to follow the advice and will keep the list in mind. Thanks, Dima!

  3. why would you need nail polish? I don't think that's important.


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