PACKING VACATION BEAUTY PRODUCTS LIKE A PRO!

Who loves to travel? I DO! I just came back from the lovely island of Grenada with the bestie and some girlfriends. To say I had a blast is an understatement. Before I left for all of the fun in the sun, I had a plan for my loads of beauty products. Skincare is my passion so what I brought along had to be clear and precise. The goal was: Pack LIGHTLY and EFFICIENTLY. And remember, I’m using travel sized goodies (because I’m working on my issues with over-packing lol). Guess what! Scaling down worked and my skin didn’t have to suffer because of it.

The first thing that came to mind when I started packing my goodies was my number one. Do I even need to mention it? SUNSCREEN. Listen guys, skin cancer does not discriminate. Stop thinking the sun’s rays won’t harm you. It will in the long run. Since I normally don’t go a day without my Bobbi Brown Tinted moisturizing balm, I packed that first. But my goal was to scale it down even from that gorgeous tint. I also brought my Clinique Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Face Cream and for full body, Olay Fresh Effects Soak Up the Sun Protection Lightweight Moisturizing Sunscreen. It’s SPF 15 so I applied it every 2 hours while I was in the sun.


NEXT! A sister is tired. Working my full time job by day and blogging round the clock can take a toll. Let’s not forget getting in as much physical activity when I can so that my body parts don’t have a love affair with gravity. It can be written all over my face. So eye cream is ESSENTIAL. And you know, I have to use the BEST. I’m 35, I work hard and I deserve it! The Eye Concentrate from La Mer is my absolute favorite product and no trip can go by without it! Grenada certainly didn’t. It went in the bag!

A good lightweight cleanser comes in handy. I didn’t want to bring anything too harsh since I was spending a lot of time in the sun. For Grenada I brought the Fresh Soy Face Cleanser. Travel size, of course. It’s perfect for a vacation nighttime routine.

Minimal makeup is how I do vacation. I really don’t do much for the eyes when I go away. I love the healthy glow without all the fuss. For this trip I packed my Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer, My Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector® Poured Crème Highlighter, and my Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella (MY FAVORITE RED LIP). I like to keep a green eyeliner on hand for the lower lid when I want my face to pop. I packed the MAC Chromagraphic Pencil in Landscape Green. I wanted to glow, and I did. DAS IT!

Face wipes are not only great to have as a first step to cleansing but also they’re good to keep in your carry-on bag for the plane. Sometimes when you’re in the air you need a good wipe to freshen up your skin. Keep a pack with you at all times.


Lotions and Creams tend to feel too heavy when I’m spending my time in warm climates but I still like to have something on hand just in case. I was lucky enough to get gifted with Diptyque travel set that covers all my moisturizing needs and then some. The set included a Luxurious Hand Balm (perfect for the plane), Precious oils for bath and body, a Revitalizing Shower Gel and a Rich Butter for the body. You can find a similar set here. This set is not only the perfect size but looks quite chic. What else would you expect from Diptyque?

Those were my most important products but there were some other goodies that made the cut too: nail polish for touch-ups, nail polish remover pads, tweezers, shampoo & conditioner, hand sanitizer, sheet masks, and facial mist. You don’t have to pack exactly what I did, this is just a guide. But I’d love to hear what your favorite vacation beauty products are too! Drop me a line.

Next time you travel, don’t forget to pack your very best skin!

xo IKA

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IN THIS BLOGGERS HANDBAG

You wanna know don’t you? Sure you do. Here we go!

I live an organized life. It’s in my nature. My handbag, unless I’m going to an event that requires a little clutch or mini crossbody bag will always include my planner! I plan all day and all night. I love to write and I use one of two writing tools: The TUL Gel Retractable 0.5mm Fine Black Pen or the Muji Gel Ink Ballpoint Pen in .5mm. If I don’t have one of the two, I’d rather not write. LOL

I go from wallet to wallet simply because I get bored. But currently I’m loving my Quitterie C’est Mon Tresor Delfonice small pouch. So easy and so chic. Also, SO AFFORDABLE. I have every size because I just have to! What do you want from me!?!?!? Currently in black but soon to order the white as well. They come in handy.

A lip is always present. A nude and a red. Currently I’m obsessed with MAC Liptensity Lipstick in the color DOE. Although I love a matte lip, I find that in nude colors, some mattes make me look like I woke up from the dead. Not cute. So in this case the Liptensity Lisptick has the slightest sheen to it. It’s perfect! I’ve mentioned my go-to red 8 billion times already. Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella. It’s MY perfect red so having it in my bag makes sense for whenever I want to pop! I want to quickly throw in my Aquaphor Lip Repair, but I KNOW you KNOW I keep one everywhere!

Sunnies run with me 365 days a year. In addition to loving the look that says, “I’m Fabulous!” I happen to have dry eye. The doctor orders me to wear my sunnies every day, no matter the weather. It helps with environmental factors that cause dry eye. I’m good with that! Currently, my Celine Sunnies are my absolute favs. Since purchasing them I haven’t switched. That says a lot!

Tell my what’s in your bag! What do you need every single day without question? I find that I don’t need much, but all that I’ve listed are my necessities.

xo IKA

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BEAUTY BY THE BEDSIDE

My nightstand is a favorite little beauty spot for me. If you’re like me, you don’t want to get up for anything once you’re in the bed. As soon as I hit those sheets, I’m done till the sun comes up. So I make sure my nightstand is stashed with my essentials.


1. Aquaphor Lip Treatment as you know is a total go-to all year round. I listed it here as one of my obsessions cause I can’t live without it. In addition to my makeup bag and drawer at work, I keep one on the nightstand. Works as that nighttime lip treatment that we all need, especially in the Winter.

2. Face Wipes. This can be one of many. Currently I’m using OleHenriksen which I LOVE!

3. CAUDALIE Vinoperfect Radiance Serum. LOVE LOVE LOVE! I got a little travel size bottle of this serum and it’s too good! A girl is ready for full size!

4. Foot Cream. My go to at the moment is the AHAVA Deadsea Water Mineral Foot Cream. Given to me as a gift and now a staple.

5. Last but not least, for a calm sleep I like to spray my pillows with the Mystic Antidotes Calming Pillow Spray in Lavender Sage. Aroma therapy works! This was a cheap find from T.J. Maxx. Instant love affair!

Those are just a few of my bedside staples. Simple and easy. Perfect for those long days when I spend less time in the bathroom working on a nighttime routine. Do you have bedside beauty products that you love? Share with me! I’d love to hear.

xo IKA

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CHOOSING TO USE MORE NATURAL BEAUTY PRODUCTS

Let’s admit. Beauty is fun. Everyday brings on so many opportunities to maintain, enhance and improve the look of our skin. On average most women wear makeup everyday to some extent. Think about all the ingredients that touch your skin on a daily basis. A dab of foundation, spray of deodorant, shampoo, mascara; it all adds up. I can’t say that people are being harmed by his or her favorite body wash. But what if we looked a little deeper into what we’re putting on our bodies? We don’t want to only read labels; we want to become familiar with which ingredients are the best for us. Knowledge is power, we have choices and your skin is worth it!

When walking down the drugstore aisle in need of a full body cream, it’s easy to go for the popular most talked about kind. But if your goal is to go for a more natural approach to what’s getting absorbed in your body, look for simple recognizable ingredients. Natural products have been trending quite a bit and helping us become more aware of what touches our bodies. A super long ingredient list can usually mean there is a small amount of each item included on that list and that might not be so beneficial. Look for products with a shorter but clear list that defines what that product is best used for.

Let’s start with a full body moisturizer for example. Recognizable ingredients like the ones in the Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Body Lotion is a great start. The first three ingredients are Shea Butter, Water and Palm Kernel. Can’t get more earthy than that. It’s a lot different than having to google the names or waste time trying to pronounce it correctly! With Shea Butter being the key ingredient, you’re getting a load of fatty acids and vitamins A and E, all of which moisturize the skin a ton. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and helps heal scars. An all around win. Other moisturizers you may consider are: Burt’s Bees Mango and Orange Body Butter, The Body Shop Wild Argan Oil Body Butter and C.O. Bigelow Lemon Body Cream to name a few.

Body Washes may be another product we can look into since most people take one to two showers a day. A favorite body wash of mine is Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile liquid soap. I keep the following fragrances on rotation with this product; peppermint, lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus and almond. Dr Bronner’s not only serves as an amazing natural body wash but has multiple purposes; washing your face, hands, body and hair, shaving, washing dishes and mopping floors. This castile soap is USDA certified organic and ensures that not only are we getting a quality product but we’re contributing to environmental responsibility with each use. It’s a feel good product. Other products similar to Dr. Bronners are Jason Natural Satin Shower Body Wash and Nurture My Body’s Wild Eucalyptus Body Wash.

Those can be your first two steps to overall skincare improvement. We don’t have to be perfect, no one is. As women though, knowing more is doing more and our bodies deserve it. Take one or two extra minutes when purchasing your next beauty product. Think about what those ingredients mean for your body and make a choice for yourself. Whatever the choice is, the important thing is that it was yours.

Tell me what ingredients are important to you when choosing your favorite products.

xo IKA

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