My Travel Packing Guide

I love to travel, but when it comes to packing, I dread every inch of it. Trying to pack and organize my entire life into small bags is definitely a challenge for me. However, over time, I figured out the best ways to bring your must haves in an organized and “light” way.

~Toiletries and Makeup~

Let’s start with toiletries! They are the oh-so dreaded part of packing for me. I have so many lotions and potions that I can’t live without. For me, I try to pack very few products in my checked bag in case the airline loses my suitcase along the way. For starters, I always write down a list of what I use. I categorize it into my morning routine, shower, night routine, and products that I will use on the plane. After, I go through my products and decide what I need and what I can live without. I even check to see if they are sold in smaller sizes. If they aren’t, I’ll pick up travel size containers to fill. For any beginners, liquids, gels, creams, and aerosols that will be brought on the plane need to be under 3.4 ounces and carried in a one quart-sized bag. This may sound intimidating, but trust me, you can do it. Coming from someone who has SO MANY products, it is possible. I always over stuff and that is totally acceptable. However, one way to reduce the amount of liquids is by switching up products. For example, I always use the Batiste dry shampoo in the aerosol can. Instead, I checked my local Ulta and found that they sell a small container of dry shampoo powder. This takes away one less item to put in that baggy and ensures you will have it with you at all times.

With my makeup, I also try to cut down on the liquid foundations and bb creams. Changing to a powder foundation or stick product makes it easy to slip into a separate makeup bag and not have to shove it into the little plastic baggy. Also, consider using 2-in-1 products, like a cheek stick that doubles as a lipstick or eye product. There are always ways to get around the rules and switching formulas is an easy and efficient way to do so!

Airplane skincare is super important. The air when flying is extremely dry and harsh on the skin. Depending on how long the flight is will depend on what you will use and need. I recommend packing a few sheet masks to use while flying and a micellar water to cleanse. Any other moisturizers and/or serums should already be packed in your bag and good to go!

~Clothing and Accessories~

Now that we conquered all the beauty products and essentials, now it is time for packing clothing. The best way to save space and organize your suitcase is by using suitcase organizers. They are either cloth packs that come in different sizes or plastic seal tight bags. They keep clothing separate and clean.

Always pack your shoes at the bottom. If you are bringing a sun hat, pack it upside down and stuff it with underwear, socks, or swimsuits to optimize space. If it helps, keep polaroids of outfits in the suitcase for instant and easy ideas. Bring a separate bag for dirty laundry, so they do not touch clean clothes. If you forget, check your hotel room for a plastic laundry bag to use instead.

Keep in mind the kind of jewelry you will be bringing. I always recommend bringing inexpensive pieces in a compact jewelry case. I recently purchased one in Target and it has perfect compartments for earrings, necklaces, etc.

~Carry-On~

Now that we have the main two packing tips out of the way, let’s talk about your carry-on items. You are allowed one carry-on that will fit in the overhead compartment and a personal item, which will slide under the seat in front of you. I always bring a small duffle and a purse. In the carry-on, it is important to pack a few items. In case your checked bag is lost, your carry-on should have underwear, socks, pj’s, a bathing suit, and an outfit or two. It’s more of a safety precaution, but can also include a change of clothes depending on how long your flight is. If your carry-on is your only suitcase, then it will contain all your clothing.  In my purse, I’ll have a few entertainment items, my phone, headphones, a phone charger, books, snacks, water, my baggy of liquids that I’m bringing on the plane, and pills. It is extremely important that you always carry-on your medication, whether it’s Advil or allergy medicine.

~Entertainment~

This is the fun part! I obviously always bring my phone and have music on it, but lately I have been reading some great books and downloading a few podcasts. They make the time fly by!

~~~Books~~~

In a Dark, Dark Wood By: Ruth Ware
The Woman In Cabin 10 By: Ruth Ware

Here We Lie By: Paula Treick DeBoard

~~~Podcasts~~~

A Killing on the Cape

Up and Vanished

Unconcluded

In The Dark

Serial

I clearly love true crime podcasts and books in the thriller/mystery genre. If it is not your cup of tea, I recommend checking out iTunes for all the top podcasts and Amazon for the latest book releases and best sellers.

~Relax~

I understand that all of these tips and things to remember can be stressful. At the end of the day, it is important to remember to relax. I love to travel, but I hate the process of packing and actually being on the airplane. I can never get comfortable or sleep and always feel so antsy. For me, bringing skincare items and face masks are ways for me to create a “routine” (which I find comfort in) and do something that I love and that is relaxing to me. I also purchase ear plugs to block out the noise and adjust my ears to the pressure in the air. Anxiety is never fun when traveling, but is completely normal. The key is to find things that will relax you and help you get to your destination. These tips above are aimed to get you feeling organized and to take one less stress away. But reflect and think about what will make you most comfortable if you get travel anxiety. Whether it is writing, drawing, coloring, or watching your favorite movie, the little things is what will make you feel comfortable and have the trip running smoothly. Always engage in self-care and listen to yourself and what will make you feel best.

Happy Summer Travels

-XO Courtney

 

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Flawless Skin Routine

This spring, my skin has been up and down. Some days it will be super dry, while other times it is great! With the fluctuating weather, it can be hard to maintain clear, flawless skin. But I have finally found the perfect skincare routine, makeup and all, so you can feel and look flawless.

As soon as I wake up in the am, I will rinse off any product or cream from the night before and let my skin breath. I feel like it just needs a minute to sit before applying any other lotions. In that time, I’ll usually eat breakfast or relax. Once I am ready to get ready, I’ll do my regular cleanse and exfoliate routine then move on to the important part: hydration. I never realized how important moisturizer was until a few years ago. It does take some trial and error to figure out the best one for your skin, but once you do, it is amazing. I’ve been using the Philosophy Purity Made Simple Ultra-Light Moisturizer, and it is amazing. After, I’ll spray a bit of Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir all over my face and fan dry.

For primer, I LOVE Origin’s Original Skin Pore Perfecting Cooling Primer. At first, the foam tripped me up, but once I began to use it everyday, I noticed such a difference. It’s light and makes your skin feel so fresh. After that, I go into my regular face makeup routine! Products listed below!

**Note: I use a Real Techniques Beauty Sponge for all of my liquid products, along with setting my undereyes!

L’Oreal Pro Matte Foundation

Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer

Kat Von D Lock-It Translucent Powder

Benefit Hoola Bronzer

Nars Blush in Dolce Vita

Becca Cosmetics Champagne Pop

-XOXO Courtney

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Holiday Gift Guide for Her

It’s finally here! The most wonderful time of the year! Cue Christmas music and all the holiday decor! I love putting my holiday gift guides together because it gives me a chance to compile the top items for you to choose from for that special someone! Here is my holiday gift guide for her! All links are below! Stay tuned for several others coming up this week on the blog!

  1. Chloe Medium Marcie Leather Satchel 
  2. Sugarfina Champagne Bears Large Candy Cube 
  3. BaubleBar Piñata Tassel Earrings
  4. Lulu DK Love Letters Spinning Initial Necklace 
  5. Make + Model Snow Day Graphic Pajamas 
  6. Drunk Elephant Come C About Me Set
  7. Topshop Wide Sleeve Sweater
  8. Kate Spade New York Grosgrain Bow Knit Beanie 
  9. Nike Juvenate Sneaker (Women) 
  10. Beats Solo 3 Wireless Headphone
  11. S’ip by S’well 15oz Stainless Steel Insulated Water Bottle
  12. Ugg Fleece Lined Socks
  13. Maple Holistics Argan Oil Shampoo

-XOXO Courtney

 

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Holiday Makeup Tutorial

The holidays are fast approaching! If you are in need of makeup inspiration for any holiday celebration, make sure to click and watch my latest video below! All products are also linked below it! More holiday inspired posts coming soon! Stay tuned!

Face-
Urban Decay Optical Illusion Primer
Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation
Tarte Creaseless Concealer
Maybelline Loose Powder in Fair
Makeup Forever HD Powder
Benefit Hoola Bronzer
Too Faced Sweetheart Blush
Becca Champagne Pop Highlighter

Eyes-
Too Faced Peaches Palette
Anastasia of Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette
Tartelette Palette
L’Oreal Voluminous Superstar Mascara
Ardell Lash Trio
L’Oreal Telescopic Mascara

Lips-
MAC Whirl Lipliner
Marc Jacobs Lip Gloss Sugar Sugar

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Transition Fall To Winter In Your Wardrobe

While it is still technically fall in New England, this past weekend felt like winter! I had to pull out my winter jacket and quickly transition my wardrobe for the cold weather. I found the perfect combination of pieces in my closet that could easily be made into a winter outfit.

Photo Credit: Courtney MacDougall (Link to photography page is below!)


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Hat: Primark (Similar)      Shirt: Gap          Vest: London boutique (Similar here or here)

Jeans: Joe’s Jeans             Shoes: Adidas

Cranberry is a color that I love in the fall, but have realized looks beautiful in the winter months too. I paired this light, long-sleeve sweater under a fuzzy, black faux-fur vest. I wore a simple pair of stretch, crop denim with my Adidas. I also added this cranberry pom-pom hat for warmth and to match my shirt. In my opinion, I think this color is gorgeous and should be a staple in everyone’s closet and can be paired together for a monochromatic look too. My absolute favorite part of this look happened to be my furry vest. Vests are also a a huge portion of my closet and perfect for the transition from fall to winter. I love taking a simple shirt, like the cranberry one above, and throwing on a fuzzy vest to make the look more complete. I find that it can be perfect for a night out or a casual look for everyday. They are also easy to pair under a winter or wool coat.

A special thanks to Courtney MacDougall for being my amazing photographer! Check out her photography page With My Soul Photography on Facebook and Instagram!

-XOXO Courtney

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My Current Favorites

Lately, I have been obsessing over some amazing products! Plenty of skincare and a little bit of hair too, these products have improved the look, feel, and overall appearance within the last few weeks!

Tea Tree Oil Shampoo

Maple Holistics was kind enough to send me their Tea Tree Oil Shampoo to try out, and I have been in love ever since. The scent is subtle, and I have found that it improves the hair, scalp, and hair growth. It’s also all natural, which is something I have been wanting to explore in the cosmetic industry!

If you’re interested in trying out their Tea Tree Oil Shampoo or any of their other products, they are offering a free samples program that I think you’ll love!

Gourmand EDP Fragrance The Matcha

 

This is by far my favorite perfume of the moment. The scent is fresh, sweet, and perfect for every season! The bottle is clean and classic and looks great on a vanity too! And it won’t break the budget.

Hot Vegan Probiotic & Spice Rehab Mask

This is by far the BEST mask I have ever used. It clears up blemishes and the skin, relieving stress and leaving a natural glow. I have already gone through one bottle and need to repurchase ASAP! It’s gentle enough to use daily for the best results! 10/10 recommend!

Fresh Vitamin Nectar Moisture Glow Face Cream

This face cream smells like citrus and feels like silk. I have never used a moisturizer more nourishing. It blends into the skin perfectly and actually gives that after facial glow.

Philosophy Microdelivery Exfoliating Face Wash

I was in need of a good daily exfoliator, and once I found this one from Philosophy, my life has changed. I use it everyday without causing irritation, and it has smoothed out my skin tremendously, leaving it with zero dry patches or dullness.

These items are so good! I recommend trying them out if you are looking for something new!

-XOXO Courtney

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My Weekend in the Cape

This past weekend, I spent some time in Cape Cod with my family. Even though the weather didn’t cooperate as we would have liked, it was still so fun and great time spent away!

We stayed at a quaint Airbnb in Eastham near a beach. There was a beautiful roof view from our cottage of the ocean. I was able to get some sun in between the clouds, but the best day was on Sunday, when we visited Provincetown. I fell in love with the shops, the food, and of course the drinks! I definitely recommend visiting the area. The best food we had was from Arnold’s! The crab cakes are to die for! I could go for them all the time!

I also wanted to announce that my sister is raising money a second year in a row for Plummer Youth Promise. Since last summer, she paddles to raise money for the organization! Click here to support and donate. Every little amount helps!

For more adventures this summer, stay tuned!

-XOXO Courtney

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Summer Peach Makeup

Summer is around the corner, and it is time to get glam with peach shades and a glowing highlight!

Below are a few of my favorite peach toned makeup products perfect for summer (and featured in the tutorial)!

Too Faced Peaches Palette

Becca Highlighter- Champagne Pop

Anastasia Of Beverly Hills Gloss- Sunset Strip

Mac Peaches Blush

-XOXO Courtney

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(Last Minute) Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Mother’s Day is fast approaching and with little time left, it is time to get your mama a gift! Below are a few last minute ideas for your mom.

1. La Mer The Moisture Intensive Collection

2. Fitbit Alta HR Wireless Heart Rate and Fitness Tracker

3. Love, Bite Lip Set- Bite Beauty

4. Tory Burch Thin Flip Flop

5. Lush Cross Front Blouse

6. 7-in-1 Facial Massager and Cleanser- Grace and Stella (Coupon Code Here)

7. Kendra Scott ‘Elle’ Drop Earrings

8. In The Buff Bundle- Fresh

Happy Shopping!

-XOXO Courtney

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Cleanse Your Skin With Grace and Stella Co.

When it comes to cleansing and exfoliating my face, I am always looking for the newest face wash or brush to wash away dirt and impurities. Removing makeup, dirt, and dry patches is crucial to clean and healthy skin! Using Grace and Stella Co.’s 7-in-1 Facial Massager and Cleanser, I can do all of that with one easy device!

Grace and Stella Co.’s 7-in-1 Facial Massager and Cleanser comes with 7 different heads to fit your cleaning needs. It exfoliates and massages your skin to reveal smooth and supple skin and is water resistant. The device massages and stimulates blood flow to your face, as well as exfoliates the feet and body with the change of the brush head. Simply click in your choice of head, wet your face, apply a dime sized amount of your favorite cleanser onto the brush head, and click the button to choose your speed.

The device is small enough for travel and fits comfortably in the palm of your hand. Not to mention, the brush is only $18.95! I have noticed a huge difference in the look and feel of my skin. My dry patches are completely exfoliated and gone, and my skin looks much brighter and has better circulation. My favorite brush is the massager head, which helps puffiness under the eyes and face.

This makes an excellent gift for yourself and even your mom for mother’s day! Share the gift of clean and fresh skin, and click the link here to receive a discount on your facial massager and cleanser order!

For a more in depth review, check out the video I posted on the product too!

-XOXO Courtney

 

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