Remember me, Brenda Kinsel, expert packer for her clients, writer of travel tips, teacher to other image consultants about how to pack clients for travel? Yup, me. Busted. I’m here to report that I have egg all over my travel expert face. Read all about it!
It takes a lot to get out of the house when you travel. Like for me in June when we were going to Santa Fe it meant being sure the cat sitter got called, the laundry got done, lists reviewed and items crossed off, the clock getting set for 4:30 a.m., and the praying before going to bed that traffic wouldn’t be awful getting to the Oakland airport.
This seemed like a pretty easy trip to pack for. I could pack for it in my sleep. I did something I do not believe in, discourage everyone else from doing, yes, you know what it is: I waited until the last minute to pack.
But I’m an expert at this stuff! I do it all the time for clients! If I break that rule just once how bad can it be, really?
To my credit, the clothes I packed were perfect. The problem was with my essential skin care travel items, the ones that never made it to Santa Fe.
Travel tip #15: Restock your skin care and grooming products after each trip
Some wise person with the initials BK said:
When you get back from one trip, stock your skin care and grooming items so they’re ready to go for the next trip. Refill those little bottles that are nearly empty. Spend time now so you don’t have to spend time on this when you’re getting ready for your next trip. You’ll be glad you did.
I’d been back to visit my family in Minnesota two months before this Santa Fe trip. With utter confidence that I’d taken my own advice and restocked when I got home to Sonoma, I popped the two bags of hair, body, and skin care stuff into the suitcase at 9 p.m. the night before the Santa Fe flight and that was that. Easy peasy, I’m so smart.
A couple of hours after arriving in Santa Fe I wanted to get refreshed before heading out to dinner. That’s when I discovered what was missing.
Who moved the cleanser?
I went to wash my face and my plastic pour bottle that held my favorite cleanser was empty. Right, I’d used it up in Minnesota and hadn’t refilled it like that expert says to do. Luckily I had something else in the bag, a cleansing product by Clarin’s. Boy, was I smart to have a backup, I thought. Turns out, I was not smart at all. This cleanser was an exfoliator and those sandy, grainy particles meant to go great things felt extra sharp on my skin. No amount of watering it down kept it from hurting my face. I wanted the facial cleanser I left behind!
I told my face I was sorry and then I went to put on serum. I got about one drop out of the Algenist serum I had in my skin care pack. I guess that needed refilling too! And my moisturizer which lives inside one of those round plastic travel containers was empty as well. I had a backup, a little sample size of a Chanel moisturizer but that was truly a one shot deal. And I had five more days to go! Oy vey! Or if you’re Norwegian like I am, Uff da!
And now, it gets worse.
Missing in action: 15X portable magnifying mirror
My 15X portable suction mirror wasn’t in the bag where it always lives. Where was it? Oh yeah! After ten years of service and losing one of the important suction cups, it had fallen on the floor of the upstairs bathroom at the lake house in Minnesota, hit the floor and shattered. I had made a mental note to purchase another one but gee, it must have slipped my mind.
The condo we rented didn’t have a magnifying mirror. I needed to apply my makeup but when I looked in the regular mirror on the wall, everything was blurry. My eyebrows, those important features that frame my face, were nearly impossible to make out. I’ve been filling them in every day for fifteen years, maybe more. I figured my fingers would have a sense memory of how to hold the pencil and apply the color.
I slipped my reading glasses down to the tip of my nose and peered up into the mirror at my brows to see how well I’d done. I’d missed by a long shot.
Without my portable magnifying crutch, I struggled with everything: the eyeliner pencils, the shading powders, even the blush. And I learned something else: you can’t blend what you can’t see. The result? I looked like the character of Norma Desmond, the aging desperate actress played by Gloria Swanson in the 1950 noir classic movie, Sunset Boulevard. What a lovely way to start a trip!
Next stop: A Walgreen’s or CVS drugstore
So a shopping list began: a cleanser, maybe a serum (I wasn’t hopeful), a moisturizer, and a 15X portable mirror. I had to find a drugstore before the night was over. Luckily, Walgreen’s is everywhere! I walked in, found the right aisles to look through under glaring fluorescent lights and began my search. Do you have any idea how many products they have on those shelves? I bet it’s a thousand! This was so not what I wanted to be spending time on!
I was picking up bottles and tubes and reading what they were supposed to be good for. I was on overload! After 15 minutes, I finally spotted something familiar: Dr. Hauschka products! I used to buy these at the health food store years ago. I’ve seen it in Whole Foods but I never dreamt it would be at Walgreen’s! The Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream is a favorite moisturizer. I love the smell and the texture. I decided to stop looking for a serum but already my face was happier! I located the portable mirror. I settled on a packet of Burt’s Bees cleansing towelettes.
(Memory flash!!! Have you ever watched the documentary about the founder of Burt’s Bees? You must! It’s called Burt’s Buzz.)
Once this crises had been handled, it was easy to enjoy the rest of the trip. I wasn’t too hard on myself about this travel faux pas but I knew I wanted to confess the error of my ways to you!
I’m leaving for Minnesota again to see the family and I’m not packing last minute. I’m playing by my rules this time. I’ve printed out my Travel Wardrobe Checklist from my website and I’m checking everything to be sure I have what I need.
I’m getting it right this time!
Do you have some travel tribulations you can share with us? Or favorite travel tips? We’re all listening!