How to pack beauty products for travel

It’s a fun exercise in discovering how little you actually need.

With my newfound dedication to packing light while traveling, I’ve had to pare down drastically the number of products I take on trips. It has been an interesting exercise in assessing what I truly need — and how many things I don’t.

No doubt, some commenters will point out that cosmetics are pointless in general, but as a pale natural redhead, I feel more comfortable with some dark definition around my eyes; otherwise, as has happened on numerous occasions, I am told I look tired or like I’ve been crying. All that is to say, I feel more myself when wearing a wee bit of mascara and eye liner.

Gotta love those blonde lashes 😂 Who has been asked this question too? 😂

A post shared by How to be a Redhead® (@howtobearedhead) on May 3, 2018 at 7:01am PDT

Looking one’s best, however, is often much simpler than you may think. Here are some of the tips I’ve learned while packing my travel makeup bag.

Less is best. Wear the absolute minimum of skincare products and makeup that you need to feel right. Take the minimum number of products required to achieve that, i.e. one applicator brush, a single neutral eye shadow color.

Choose multi-purpose items. A bar of soap is good for body, face, and shaving. A small tin of lotion can moisturize face, hands, and lips. I love Mythologie’s itty-bitty travel-sized face oils, which do triple duty as moisturizer, perfume, and something similar to a glowing bronzer. Coconut oil can moisturize, tame frizzy hair, and work as shaving cream.

Solid items are best for flying. With restrictions on liquid size, solid beauty items are the simplest way to go. Lush sells a number of fabulous lotion bars, shampoo/conditioner bars, and deodorants. I also have a cardboard tube of solid luminizer from Elate Cosmetics that’s conveniently lightweight.

Decant! Never take something in its original container if you won’t use it all. Transfer liquid concealer or foundation to an old contact lens case. Buy contact solution in a travel-sized bottle, then keep it and refill for every subsequent trip. I transfer tiny magnetic eye shadows (also from Elate Cosmetics) to a David’s Tea sample tin, which is just the right size. (It’s also a good size for carrying a few Advil.)

Go travel-sized for liquids. Some people recommend using hotel samples to avoid carrying any skin and hair products at all, but I don’t like chemical-laden formulas and don’t wash my hair often enough to use them up. Instead, I prefer to refill these adorable stainless steel containers by Plaine Products from a larger bottle of their heavenly-scented shampoo at home. (Seriously, try it if you haven’t, and their returnable-refillable metal bottle program makes it even more amazing.) Better yet, train your hair not to need frequent washing.

Pack based on climate. Think about the weather where you’re going. If it’s hot and humid, you won’t want to take any facial makeup, as it will just run off or cause breakouts. A sunny climate will require lots of sunscreen; a colder one will require more moisturizer. If you’re covering up the whole time or the trip is short, can you afford to leave your razor or hair styling products at home?

Get your hair done there. If I have a big event to attend several days into my stay in a foreign place, sometimes I’ll visit a local salon for a wash and blow dry. Not only does it spare me having to travel with shampoo, conditioner, styling product, and a straightener or curling iron, it can be a fun outing that connects me with locals and always results in great conversation.

Do something permanent. Rather than packing tools to do your brows each day, have you tried getting them tinted? (We redheads know a thing or two about this.) An eyebrow tint lasts me 6 weeks and eliminates the need to carry an additional pencil and brush. Note: Check the ingredient list on the product used to ensure it is safe and green.

What are your tricks for shrinking your makeup bag while travelling?

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Your morning beauty routine is bad for the air

Study found that emissions from hair and skin products in two cities are nearly equivalent to that of cars during rush hour.

Every morning, millions of people ready themselves for the day by applying hair spray, perfume, cologne, lotions, and deodorants to their bodies. The result is an unmistakable freshly showered and coiffed aroma that fills subway trains, public buses, school hallways, and offices in the mornings, but wears off as the day goes on. But have you ever wondered where those smells go?

This became the unexpected focus of a study conducted by researchers at the University of Colorado. Led by Matthew Coggan, scientists set out to measure urban air quality in two cities, Boulder and Toronto. As Coggan explained in an article for The Conversation, the lab in which the scientists worked had recently invested in new equipment, the goal of which was to measure wood stove emissions during winter months. But they found something unexpected.

“Surprisingly, we noticed a signal that stood out unexpectedly from all the other data. This compound, which we identified as decamethylcyclopentasiloxane (or D5 siloxane), contains silicon, which uniquely differs from the organic compounds we normally detect. By reviewing scientific literature, we learned that pure D5 siloxane is produced mainly as an additive for deodorants and hair care products. On average, people use products that contain a total of about 100-200 milligrams of D5 every day – roughly the weight of half an aspirin tablet.”

D5 is a silicone fluid used to give a soft, silky feel to hair products and add mild water repellency. It is a suspected endocrine disruptor and harmful to reproductive systems. When tested on animals, D5 has been found to produce “tumors, endocrine disruption, neurotoxicity (damage to the brain and peripheral nervous system), organ toxicity (non-reproductive) and skin irritation.” While some of it washes down the drain when we shower, and some can be found in soil, oceans, and tissues of fish and humans, the vast majority of D5 ends up in the atmosphere. It is most potent first thing in the morning after application, but evaporates over the course of the day.

This is why the scientists were able to track the rise and fall of D5 emissions over a typical day and compare it to benzene, a carcinogenic chemical that’s used as a marker for vehicle emissions. They found that D5 was highest between 6 and 7 a.m. and that during the morning rush hour D5 and benzene emissions were almost equal. As the day wore on, however, D5 decreased while benzene stayed high; in other words, people continue driving around the city after their personal care products have worn off.

“We estimate that, on average, the entire population of the city of Boulder emits 3 to 5 kilograms (6 to 11 pounds) of D5 per day, and that their cars emit about 15 kilograms of benzene in vehicle exhaust.”

This research aligns with that of another study conducted earlier this year in Los Angeles, which found that volatile organic compounds (VOCs) play a much greater role in polluting urban air than previously thought. VOCs are found in products such as hair spray, air freshener, perfumes, pesticides, glues, and conventional cleaning products.

It’s a disturbing revelation to think that the environmental impact of personal care products, which we associate with beauty and feeling good, is anywhere near that of internal combustion engines, commonly associated with dirty pollution. And yet, this is a connection we must make, not only for the sake of our personal health (many of the chemicals in conventional beauty products are known carcinogens and terrible for our bodies), but now also for the air we breathe.

Choose your beauty products carefully. Fortunately there are many great products available that are free from toxic chemicals and safe enough to be edible; you can find these by reading reviews on TreeHugger, shopping at local farmers’ markets for handmade products, or visiting EWG’s Skin Deep database to measure and compare specific items. You only get one body. Defend it fiercely.

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How drought has affected beauty routines in Cape Town

South African women have had to change the way they approach showering, hair care, and menstruation, due to the lack of water.

If you’ve ever gone camping, then you know how hard it is to maintain a beauty and skin care routine without running water. A foray into the wilderness is fun, but it always feels good to get back to modern plumbing. But imagine if that were your reality, if you had hardly any water to work with and were expected to function normally.

This is what residents of Cape Town, South Africa, are coping with. An interesting article in Glamour takes a look at how Capetonian women have had to adjust their beauty routines in response to the water crisis that’s affecting the entire city. Cape Town has been under strict water rationing since February, in an effort to stave off ‘Day Zero’, when there’s nothing left in the taps. That day was originally thought to be in April, but has now been pushed back to July 9, due in part to residents’ efforts to reduce water consumption.

The restrictions allow for 50 litres (13 gallons) of water per person each day. To put this into perspective, the average American uses 333 litres (88 gallons) of water daily. This has to cover all tasks, from flushing the toilet to cooking food to doing laundry and bathing. As a result, Glamour found that a number of key changes have happened in women’s routines (and probably many men’s, too, although this wasn’t the focus of the article).

Women are showering far less than they used to. One woman said she used to shower twice a day, but now only does it once, and for less than two minutes. (On average, a one-minute shower uses two gallons of water.) Another shares water with her one-year-old son. They put buckets on the floor of the shower to catch the water to use for other purposes, like washing hair, flushing toilets, and shaving legs, although they say this happens much less, too.

They are washing their hair less, experimenting with different hair styles, headscarves, and using dry shampoo to stretch the number of days between washes. Some have opted for shorter hairstyles to make it easier to manage. (They should read about our no-shampoo experiments!)

Many women are wearing less makeup. Without water to wash their faces at the end of the day, it makes sense to reduce the number of products on their skin. Glamour describes 27-year-old Jessica Da Silva:

“She used to apply a basic regimen of foundation, eyeliner, mascara, lipstick much more regularly. Now she goes without it so she doesn’t have to wash it off. If she does wear makeup, she often removes it using face wipes or toner.”

Some have switched to menstrual cups, instead of disposable sanitary products. The regulations state that toilets should be left to “mellow if it’s yellow,” but they do not provide guidance for women on their periods. This has been tricky for many, but menstrual cups are better at managing the flow and result in less mess.

While this time is challenging for Cape Town’s residents, many of the women Glamour interviewed admit they’ve learned a lot from the experience:

“Many of the women talk about how shedding their water consumption has shed light on how they’ve taken the resource for granted. It’s also alerted their attention to the ways that others in their community, especially those in Cape Town’s informal settlements, have lived their whole lives.”

Those of us who are fortunate to live in water-rich regions of the world could learn a lot from these practices, because even though we may not have to worry about our taps running dry anytime soon, water scarcity in a growing problem worldwide, and we should all be striving to use less.

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Runaway dreamism, the Olympics, beauty contests, and movies: Richard Sloan on National Bugle Radio

Runaway dreamism, the Olympics, beauty contests, and movies: Richard Sloan on National Bugle Radio

Patrick Slattery and Richard Sloan discuss how Hollywood and the Zio cultural elites have forced multiculturalism into every institution in America, including what’s left of the family.


National Bugle Radio with Patrick Slattery 3.26.18

Check out Dr. Slattery’s website,

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Grid Girls, Feminists & the Importance of Western Beauty — New Mark Collett Video

Grid Girls, Feminists & the Importance of Western Beauty — New Mark Collett Video

Feminists attack and picket beauty pageants and campaign against other women who uphold the ideals of beauty, femininity & traditional female roles. The latest victim in the feminists war against women are the grid girls. But this attack on beauty is also an attack on excellence – find out why those behind feminism wish to tear down excellence and why feminism and this attack on excellence are both part of the plot to destroy the West.

Statues, Heritage & Bad Role Models

My book, The Fall of Western Man is now available. It is available as a FREE eBook and also in hardback and paperback editions.

The Official Website:

FREE eBook download:…

Hardback Edition:…

Paperback Edition:

PLEASE NOTE: If you wish to debate with me in the comments about anything I have said, I welcome that. However please listen to the complete podcast and ensure you argue with the points I have made. Arguments that simply consist of nonsense such as “what gives you the right to judge” or “I’m a [insert religious affiliation] and you should be ashamed of yourself” or other such vacuous non-arguments will simply be ridiculed.


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7 beauty trends that have us excited for 2018

Could the mainstream beauty industry finally be embracing healthier, greener habits? It appears so.

After reading numerous articles on what the hot beauty trends of 2018 will be, according to the wise voices of Vogue, Stylecaster, Flare, and the good old Pinterest predictions list, I have to say I’m pleased to see how many fit into the TreeHugger ethos. Gone are the makeup-heavy, labor-intensive styles, and in is everything simple, clean, and natural. Here’s what you’ll be seeing in the coming months.

1. The natural skin look

Don’t waste your money on foundation or cover-up. Invest in good quality skin care and a great diet, because this year it’s going to be your real skin on display. Celebrity makeup artist Patrick Ta told Stylecaster:

“We will be seeing a lot less caked on foundation and more focus on embracing your natural features. I personally love seeing someone’s freckles shine through their makeup! To this effect, ​I think we’re going to be seeing the heavy highlight start to disappear.”

2. A simpler routine

People are busy and tired. Nobody really wants to spend that much time on a beauty routine, which is why there’s a mass move toward simplicity. This will take the form of multitasking products. As Vogue writes: “The new tide of technologically advanced beauty polymaths are rolling out the 3-in-1s in a way that has not been done before.” Hopefully this will mean fewer bottles on the bathroom counter, pleasing to my minimalist leanings.

3. Cleaner, safer products

This is very good news. There’s a definite trend toward caring more about what’s in the products we buy. Shoppers are examining ingredients labels more closely and observing certification logos. Larissa Jensen, a beauty industry analyst at NPD, told Vogue:

Products and brands ‘free of’ harmful ingredients are considered ‘clean’. That includes silicones, parabens and sulfates (especially SLS).

People are also looking for superfoods as ingredients in their cosmetics; think probiotics, moringa oil, chia seeds, seaweed, chlorophyll, and more. Whether these additives actually make a difference, who knows, but they’re probably a safer bet than lab-created synthetics.

4. The year of curly

Hair stylists say that long, straightened manes are out, replaced by shorter, wilder, curlier styles. This means that many women will be able to embrace their natural look, without turning to products and finicky hair-drying techniques to look stylish. (Not that we ever thought you had to…)

5. Beauty oils

Beauty oils are having their moment, and I believe it. They’re sold by every green beauty retailer I visit online. Whether it’s oil for hair care, facial cleansing, makeup removal, moisturizing, wrinkle and under-eye care, bathing or showering, there is a suitable oil for every beauty-related task these days.

6. Skin care that fights pollution

It sounds sci-fi-ish, but it’s a real thing. Many brands are working to develop products that fights environmental stressors, such as air conditioning, heating, captive bacteria (in enclosed spaces), and the blue light from our computer screens. (As important as it is to acknowledge the damage our surroundings can cause, one should still be wary of marketing and know that the best place always to start is with a great diet and plenty of sleep.)

7. The establishment of self-care

You’ve heard the term thrown around, but up until recently it’s been thought of as more of a fad than a permanent lifestyle movement. The consensus is that self-care is here to stay, and that’s a good thing. People will begin prioritizing what feels good and right for them. Stylecaster quotes Ayurvedic expert Shrankhla Holecek:

“People will start further exploring whether they like meditating at a studio, or to an app, or not meditating at all. From what foods uplift you vs. not, to what self-care means to you as an individual, [these] are questions that people will be asking (and answering) of themselves, which will undoubtedly lead to a lot of discovery, balance and joy ultimately.”

Here’s to a 2018 that makes you feel as great as you look.

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4 ways to start a green beauty routine

Want to go green but not sure where to start? Here’s our advice.

Have you made a New Year’s resolution to clean up your beauty routine? Perhaps you want to use more natural products and eliminate unnecessary packaging. Doing it all at once may seem daunting, not to mention expensive, so here are some suggestions for starting with small yet effective changes.

1. Get a new hair routine.

braided hairEsther Max/CC BY 2.0

Do you lather up daily? There’s no need! Breaking the hair-washing habit has countless benefits. You’ll save a ton of time spent washing and styling, reduce the amount of product you use and the number of plastic bottles it probably comes in, which also means saving money.

Start by washing every other day. Don’t repeat the shampooing step to save product and to conserve a little bit of oil in your hair. Learn to style hair that’s not freshly washed (it’s a lot easier, actually). Swap conventional brands for truly green, clean brands; these will cost more, but if you use less, it balances out.

It is possible to train your hair to go longer without washing. I’ve gone from washing every second day to waiting a full week, and my hair has never felt so healthy, shiny, and strong. Admittedly, it was a 41-day no-washing experiment that was the real turning point, showing me that slightly-greasy hair is far more manageable than I’d previously thought. Read: 9 steps to washing your hair less

You can try washing with baking soda and apple cider vinegar — a practice that I’ve found highly successful.

2. Go package-free.

Bar soapritual/Public Domain

Plastic pollution is one the greatest environmental problems we currently face, which means that we all have a responsibility to reduce the amount of plastic we use. Beauty products are a major source of individual plastic pollution, but fortunately many plastic-free options exist.

My favorite is bar soap, bought ‘naked’ at my local health store. Bar soap works just as effectively as liquid soap and body wash and generates no additional waste. It’s also far cheaper.

Some bulk stores offer shampoo and liquid soaps in bulk form, allowing you to refill reusable containers, so that’s another good option. Learn more: On creating a Zero Waste beauty routine

If you’re a menstruating woman, buy a menstrual cup right now if you don’t own one already. It will change your life and save you money within a couple months.

3. Use what you have.

makeup & skin products© K Martinko — My current collection of favorite makeup and skin care products

It would be fun to ‘green’ one’s routine by going on a shopping blitz and purchasing a whole new set of fabulous eco-friendly products, but that’s not practical. It would be costly and terribly wasteful. From an environmental perspective, the best thing to do is use up what you have for now (as long as it’s not too toxic). Do not replace products until you have none left. And then, maybe you’ll decide that you don’t even need them anymore.

Learn basic substitutions, such as coconut or almond oils for facial cleansing, removing makeup, and moisturizing; baking soda for exfoliating, softening, and washing air; apple cider vinegar for almost everything imaginable.

4. Shower less.

man in showerSilke Remmery/CC BY 2.0

I’m not advocating for smelly armpits and B.O. by saying this. I’m simply encouraging shorter, more efficient bathing methods for the sake of water conservation. Keep it quick. Use fewer products. Consider washing just your ‘pits ‘n bits’, which will make your skin microflora much happier than if you subject it to a full scrubbing. Check out Melissa’s list of 7 ways to skip a shower. (See, I’m not the only one!)

If you have kids, skip the nightly bath; make it two or three times a week instead, as per the American Academy of Pediatrics’ suggestion.

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Photo: Bird on a wire is an iridescent beauty

Our photo of the day comes from San Benito County, California.

While most of the magpies in the west are of the black-billed variety, this iridescent beauty photographed by Rick Derevan comes with a twist. Namely, a bright cheery beak. The yellow-billed magpie (Pica nuttalli) is endemic to parts of California and found nowhere else in the world. Proving once again that California has all the fun!

Would you like to see your nature photo featured as the TreeHugger photo of the day? Join TreeHugger’s Reader Photo Pool on flickr and add your pictures to the group.

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Photo: The wild beauty of California’s mustangs

Our photo of the day comes from Inyo County, California.

So maybe wild horses couldn’t drag Mick Jagger away, but photographer Don Quintana is a different story. Don writes of this stunning shot of wild mustangs:

My latest adventure into the Eastern Sierra was primarily to capture Fall color, work on landscape photography techniques, and discover the potential for a future tour here. If you know me, you know that I can be distracted from these things by a squirrel. Throw in a herd of wild horse, and I am gone completely. I could spend days just observing their behaviors. The dynamics and hierarchal structure of the herd was interesting to watch. I’m beginning to learn as much as I possibly can about these behaviors. Always know your subject.

The first group of wild horse we encountered were right next to the road. They let us approach slowly in our vehicle. As we photographed them, an R.V. came blasting down the road sending them into a stampede. As much as I cursed the driver of that R.V. there was something truly magical about watching a herd of wild horse run through the sage brush and meadow. Eventually they would return. The next herd we encountered numbered well over 100 horses. We kept a respectable distance from them using only long lenses to capture them. In return, they gave us some wonderful natural behavior to photograph.

Would you like to see your nature photo featured as the TreeHugger photo of the day? Join TreeHugger’s Reader Photo Pool on flickr and add your pictures to the group.

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