Thursday, March 8, 2012

Packing for Paris: 10 Beauty Essentials

Talk about luxury. How about traveling in style with a Smythson vanity case? 

My friends have covered the "what will I wear; what will I pack (?)" conundrum in great style. I thought instead of adding more clothes and accessories to your suitcases, I would instead tell you what I  put into my vanity case when I travel.

Don't you just love the concept? Vanity case.

It seems like a 1950s glamorous or 2012 private plane, no waiting in line, direct delivery onto the tarmac by your driver sort of accessory. Never mind, most of us live in the real world where practical and efficient are our luxuries. With that in mind, I've chosen my top 10 can't leave home without them beauty products.

Every one except my day and night creams -- which I could transfer into smaller containers -- can be found in travel sizes and all would be arranged in a large-ish transparent plastic toilette case with smaller ones stowed inside. I have enough problems trying to find things in my tote; I do not wish to rummage around in my "vanity case."

These are the products (Yes, I know, you're familiar with them, but they work and I have no intention of changing my allegiances. And remember every one of them is dermatologist recommended, even the cotton squares.):

1.) BioDerma ABC Derm H20 micellaire cleanser for babies to be used on my Lotus cotton squares. Use both sides. (Micellaire means it does not require rinsing, but I always do a psychological spritz with the product below.)

2.) Avène eau thermale in a cute little spray can.

3.) Avène exfoliating scrub.

4.) Avène hydrating masque.

5.) Eucerin Day Cream.

6.) Eucerin Night Cream.

7.) Avène lip balm -- it's the only lip balm I have found that does what it's supposed to do.

8.) Retin-A. (My petite miracle.)

9.) Avène cold cream body lotion. (I think this will have to be transferred into a smaller bottle.)

10.) La Roche-Posay Anthelios sun screen SPF 50.

Clarisonic, the Mia for travel, the large one stays home.

Now, since these two items do not come under the official heading of "beauty product" I didn't count them, but I consider them necessary: my Clarisonic and the extra large Lotis cotton squares, again for bébé. I send these squares to friends in the States who love them. They also double as excellent packing material for anything fragile you might be toting.

One large sac like this and smaller ones inside, perhaps for makeup products or anything that might leak.
Above is an example of the type of clear plastic toilette case I use when traveling. However, before you start to judge me, I think of them as "shells" which hold my products. They are to be slipped into something more refined. I'll leave that definition to you. If status is your thing, you will most certainly be attracted to the Chanel. The PS1 by Proenza Schouler is rather sweet and it holds no secrets as you can see.

Proenza Schouler and Chanel vanity cases.
Let me tell you how clever (ahem) I am: the lip balm is great for grooming eyebrows, the exfoliating scrub can be used not only on the face for which it was created, but also on hands, legs and feet. The masque works wonders for tired, scaly feet: first exfoliate, next generously apply the masque, add socks, go to bed. You can carry the water in your bag or tote for a quick, refreshing spritz throughout the day and on the plane of course.

When you pass security remember to buy a bottle of water. A steward once explained to me -- without going into details -- that the good stuff runs out quickly on the plane and it's best to be packing your own bottled water. I've never forgotten his advice nor my water.

Remember: hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.


Pam @ over50feeling40 said...

I am so excited to try the masque idea on my feet! Summer in Texas is brutal on the feet...and this sounds heavenly. I also love the vanity case idea...think I will get one next time I travel.

projectforty said...

Am very jealous re trip to Paris. I dream of going there again on almost a monthly basis. I am off to Berlin in a couple of weeks though but only with handluggage. I have just realised that this means I will have to take all my products in a little see through bag. Crikey. Not good.

Judy said...

Hi Tish I have a question about the Retin use 0.1%, but is that not too harsh on your skin? I want to buy some Retin-A, but have been told that I should only use 0.05%.

Anyone else have any info on this?

Thanks <3

Tish Jett said...


My Retin-A is 0.05, for some reason I couldn't find a picture of it. I've been using it for more than 20 years and truly, it's brilliant.

Some women can't tolerate it even at lower doses, but I've never had a problem with my 0.05. I use it every night.

Good luck. I think you'll be very pleased. I assume the dosage you'll be using will be the one recommended by a dermatologist.

caryl said...


You are killing me with these posts with products
I can't get in the US and want so much. The lip
balm especially (with its added value for eyebrows)!!
I am headed to the desert for a silent retreat
followed by horseback riding and hiking. Your
recommendation to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
was a helpful reminder.

Thanks, as always,

Mary Timmers said...

Great post, Tish. Every woman likes to snoop in the vanity case of other women! It's good to be our age and know what products work and therefore get to make the trip. Thanks for sharing--especially about the water!

Karena said...

Tish I am still trying to find the Eucerin Filler here in the states. The local drugstores seem to carry Everything Else Eucerin!

Art by Karena

hostess of the humble bungalow said...

I love my Avene products and have not tried the lip balm...will check to see if it is available here.

Retinol and my rosacea do not mix but I see the results on the youthful complexions of my friends who can and do use it.

Vanity cases must be making a comeback...the Chanel one is quite lovely!

Anonymous said...

It's murder to try and get Retin A here in UK without a prescription. Some cosmetics (ROC for eg) are touting they contain Retinol but too little to do much good. Eucerin is a nice pm cream but no SPF in the day cream?Sue UK

Frugal Scholar said...

We bring an empty water bottle and fill after security! Yeah, we're frugal.

Jen said...

"The good stuff runs out quickly on the plane and it's best to be packing your own bottled water." Eek! I don't want to know the difference between the god stuff and the other water, but that's very good to know. Thanks for the tip!

BigLittleWolf said...

I must say, it's all I can do to manage one tiny cosmetic bag and a few mini-packages of products. (I tend to prefer more room for chaussures...)

I do what Frugal Scholar does... and yes, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

christine said...

Great post and thanks for the tip about mineral water in planes !

Jill Ann said...

Ah, the vanity case! My mother always used to have one; unfortunately her budget didn't run to a Chanel or Vuitton, so she had a Samsonite, with the lift-out tray. Recently I decided I had to have one. I looked around for a new one but found very few options, none I could afford. So I turned to Ebay, and got a dark green croco-patterned leather one for $25! Tres chic IMO. Wish I could take it on the plane, though....will have to save it for car trips.

knitpurl said...

A few months before I travel again, but nice review of what to pack with all the posts this week. Appreciate reminder to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

(And D.P., your clothes recommendations were awesome, need printout [lol] so I can match what I own to what you pictured.)xoxo

Anonymous said...

Hi Tish - thanks for this wonderful beauty product information which is always insightful.

Question/s: has the Eucerin night cream now replaced the Filgora sleep and peel cream you've mentioned in past posts and what do you use on your neck?

Thank you,


Lost in Provence said...

I have a lovely vanity case with a special compartment in the bottom with a mirror. Alas, it sits at home on a shelf!

I love all of these products Tish--will switch over to the Eucerin(s) after my supply of Bobbi Brown runs out. And I still haven't splurged on the Clairisonic. I know...

Happy Writing!

Lost in Provence said...

I have a lovely vanity case with a special compartment in the bottom with a mirror. Alas, it sits at home on a shelf!

I love all of these products Tish--will switch over to the Eucerin(s) after my supply of Bobbi Brown runs out. And I still haven't splurged on the Clairisonic. I know...

Happy Writing!

Beadboard UpCountry said...

Ok, thank you..... Now will you please just go to wherever you get these marvelous things and get 1 each for me pack them in the Proenza bag, (I don't need the Chanel)And just mail them to me. Or just start your own online business and peddle them to people in the states!!!!!!!!!!xo Maryanne
Thank you! I'll start chacking my mailbox HAHA!

Chanterelle said...

Let me second the query about the Filorga night cream. I'm dragging my feet on replenishing my supply, and it there's something just as good for half the cost, obviously I'd go for that...

Anonymous said...

As always interesting. Ah, Retin-A. My dermatologist will only give me Renova .02%.. I have been feeling that my skin could use a stronger formulation. Very helpful to read that others have similar issues.

Tish Jett said...

How I wish I could send every one of these items to all of you. Except for the Clarisonic of course. I don't think they're available here, but if and when they are they will be more expensive.

Regarding the Filorga "Sleep and Peel" cream: I bought a jar because my dermatologist said she thought it was an excellent product and her ab-so-lute-ly gorgeous assistant who is in her late 40s uses it every day. However, my dermatologist, when asked, for the perfect creams, always mentions Eucerin in first place.

I am more than happy with the Eucerin; it's considerably less expensive. I don't plan to re-buy the Filorga. The Eucerin with my Retin-A is the magic formula.

déjà pseu said...

So many of my favorites here, thanks to Tish!

For those looking for the Eucerin Hyaluron Filler in the US, you can order through

Linda Kerr said...

I love hearing about these products, some of which were unfamiliar. It seems like an awful lot of stuff. I'd take some mufti-taskers. I WOULD stock up on some great French product while over there, including Serge Lutens perfume and LaRoche Posay skin care. And French lined Clairfontaine notebooks and big chunks of Marseille soap found for very little $$ in a Casino or other grocery store....

Leigh said...

I have purchased the Eucerin from the site deja mentioned and I was very pleased with them and the product. You can buy avene here

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