I just returned from a weekend away (in the Hamptons which is driving distance from NYC) and my friends made fun of me for my massive amount of toiletries. I tried to explain that there are certain items I simply cannot leave home without and those take up room. Period.
A) A blow dryer. I use it to blow out my bangs (especially in humid weather - it's a must).
B) A curling iron (I didn't use it, but I like to have the option, for a night out on the town).
C) My makeup bag (this is always packed and ready to go for those last minute travel moments. It's filled to the brim with shadows, blushes, tinted moisturizers, foundation, highlighters, etc. I like choices. - I have doubles of everything). The only product not in my makeup bag are my lippies - I keep an array of colors and textures (matte, gloss, stick, stain, etc.) in my purse.
D) Then there's my hair serum and Bumble and Bumble Curl Conscious Spray which I just posted about (click here for the recap) - my summer haircare must-haves. I can't live without them and I haven't found them in travel size so I have to bring the full size. It's just the way it goes.
As for the rest of my beauty regimen, I do think you can make due with less. At the very least, less amounts of the goods...
Here are my 5 tips to traveling light (in light of the heavy packing):
1) Pick up travel size of your favorite full size products whenever possible. For example, buy a full size cream, ask for a a travel size too. Every major brand makes sample sizes! They are great for travel.
2) Minis are marvelous. Sephora has an entire section of your favorite products in mini versions. When you're standing in line, waiting to buy your goods, everything in the little acrylic buckets around you are minis. They have mini dry shampoo, mini lotions, mini face washes... etc.
3) Any drugstore in America carries travel-size of the necessities - from shampoo and conditioner to toothpaste and even lotion. So, it may not be high-quality, but you can find some decent ones like Johnson & Johnson Baby Lotion (which I happen to love) and Living Proof makes a sulfate-free Shampoo...
4) My all-time favorite travel companion: Dickinson's Cleansing Astringent Towelettes. They come in a box of 20 and are individually wrapped. You can take as many or as few as you want and throw them into your travel kit. They are fabulous as a toner or to freshen up between washes, especially during the humid summer months. And they are so affordable at $4.99!
5) Keep your travel bag of travel products packed at all times! This is such a great trick of the trade. This way, you can throw additional items into it, but you'll always have the essentials ready to go at a moment's notice. After all, you never know when that special someone is going to call and whisk you away on a romantic rendevous.
EXTRA! ALWAYS KEEP A TOOTHBRUSH AND TOOTHPASTE IN YOUR TRAVEL BAG! Don't expect the place you're going to have these essentials. And fresh breathe is, quite possibly, THE MOST important part of travel.