Nighttime Skincare Routine

 

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I start out by removing all my makeup and depending on what I have on my face that day I may use my Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm for a more fuller face along with micellar water or just the Milky Jelly Cleanser from Glossier to remove and cleanse. I have a couple other cleansers I use and alternate during the week depending on what I feel my face needs. Twice a week I like to exfoliate my face with either Mario Badescu Glyolic Foaming Cleanser or just plain old baking soda which was recommended to my friend and me from a woman in Ulta with heart shaped glasses. ♥

I then spritz my face with Mario Badescu’s Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs, and Rosewater which I have been using religiously for the past year. Rosewater seems to work really with my skin and I feel like I’m pampering myself when I spray this all over my face and chest. Side-note, I also keep a tiny travel size one at my desk at work for a little midday refresh.

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Currently, for nighttime, I am using this thicker eye cream that I received in an Amazon beauty box by SKIN&CO Roma Truffle Therapy Eye Concentrate,. I really like this for nighttime and even though it’s thicker it absorbs nicely. Any excess I like to run around my lips since the skin is very similar and I heard this helps minimize smile lines.

I like to treat my skin with 2 products, first I use The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2% and let that absorb into my skin for a few minutes. Then I use my Kiehls Midnight Recovery Concentrate, which my skin just loves and eats up. When I am really in the pampering mood I use my jade roller which I got off Amazon.com to work in the Midnight Recovery Concentrate.

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Once that is all said and done I like to moisturize with coconut oil, my skin is glowing when I wake up in the morning. In fact, I use coconut oil all over my body, kinda putting myself into a coconut oil cocoon.

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Alison’s Articles // Switching to Natural Deodorant

So who wants to talk about natural deodorant? Sounds like a great topic to start your week out right? RIGHT! I’m going to be completely honest I did not think switching to natural deodorant was going to be such a process. I mean did you know there was a detox period??? I didn’t, but I didn’t really do a lot of research before switching.

I have been thinking about switching to natural deodorant for about a year before I actually made the commitment to switch, trying once but giving up quickly. The first time I tried to make the switch I just picked up Tom’s from Target and was like this will be easy. I will just switch to this and be done… wrong! The first day or 2 I noticed I was sweating more and just not overall liking the deodorant I chose, so I just switched back to my normal chemical packed one from Secret. I got the notion in my head that I sweated too much to switch to natural.

Back in the end of March, I believe while I was in Sephora with Eileen I saw in their travel section the Lavanila natural deodorant and just thought man I really want to try again to make the switch maybe it was just because I tried a drugstore brand, so I bought the travel size to try. The first week was a little rough… there was an increase of wetness and smelliness and I noticed I started to get a bit of red irritation, which worried me a little bit. Since the redness didn’t go away I started to research a bit and found out that this redness is most likely caused because my armpits were detoxing. Basically detoxing is the aluminum that is present in typical drugstore deodorant clogs your underarm sweat glands which interrupt your body’s natural ability to remove materials that would normally be removed through your body’s natural process of sweating. So now that I have stopped putting pore clogging aluminum under my arms my body was overproducing sweat until it can start to regulate.

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By the second week, although my sweating and smelliness started to normalize, the red irritation was not and now I was having my lymph nodes so swollen I could see them. My under arms at this point felt as if I was on crutches for the past 2 weeks with no padding. After doing some more research which included swollen lymph nodes I read something that was interesting to me that since natural deodorant uses a lot of baking soda in it that it sometimes tends to cause irritation and to look for a baking soda free option. I instantly remembered that one of my favorite YouTubers, Ingrid Nilsen (which you should totally check out her videos), mention that she was sensitive to baking soda and uses a baking soda free option. I went back through some of her videos and found the brand Meow Meow Tweet.

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At the time when I purchased this on Amazon they only had the jar option (they came out 2 weeks ago with a paper push up option, here). I was little nervous trying a jar, would it messy? would it be hard to apply? No and no! I can’t even explain the consistency this product turns into once you begin applying to your underarms but it almost becomes a powder and leaves your finger clean and dry. After the first day, I noticed my irritation starting to go down along with my lymph nodes. This option was a little bit more expensive ($18) but a lot of natural deodorants are so I am not going to complain about the price point and I have had it since March and barely used half of it. Now, I don’t know if I will always be sensitive to baking soda based deodorants or it was just a shock to my system with switching to a natural option, but I really like this brand and deodorant. Can it last from the time I wake up at 5:30 all the way to 10 at night? no, but it gets me through the work day or longer depending on what my day consists of. I also use Pacifica under arm wipes as a refresh when needing to reapply, it neutralizes any existing odor and cleanses my skin of older product. Those wipes are a must in my opinion when going natural.

I am going to leave you with a little advice if you are thinking about making the switch:

  1. You don’t smell as bad as you think and you are probably the only one that notices
  2. You probably don’t sweat naturally as much as you think either – give your body some time to regulate again
  3. Underarm wipes are you best friend
  4. Maybe start out the switch with a baking soda free option

Alright folks, this is my opinion and personal experience with switching to natural deodorant. I also wanted to end by saying that I am in no way a health professional, these are just things that I have noticed and did during my own personal experience with making the switch.

 

 

What I Bought on Amazon this Month // March ’17

Happy Monday to all! I am starting out the week with a confession… I love Amazon Prime.

I get such joy seeing one of the random things I ordered 2 days before when I was half sleeping (or after a glass of wine) waiting at the door for me. It makes me feel like a kid again and that Santa or the Fed Ex guy came while I was a work and dropped off my hodgepodge of goodies.

I order a lot of things from Amazon on a monthly basis, some things I need, some things I don’t, but either way I paid my $99 for my membership so you best believe I am going to utilize the shit of it.

*pardon my French, but I am just passionate about Prime*

One day I thought to myself while I was skimming those BuzzFeed articles where they tell what everyone is buying on Amazon at the moment is why don’t I make a post about what I bought that month?

So here I go!

#1 Birthday Gifts

Including a cookbook, hedgehog succulent pot, wooden bowl, marble phone case. It was my friend Courtney’s birthday this past month and if there were 4 items on Amazon that make up this girl those are it. I would post the links for those but since they were a birthday present I am going to keep then secret.

#2 A Bra

A Calvin Klein wire-free bra to be exact. I read this article where it basically is telling you it is bad for your health to wear a bra all the time and you should go bra-less as much as possible. BUT if you are not comfortable with doing that all the time and must wear a bra then a good choice would be a wire-free one. BUT to be honest, after wearing this bra for about 2 weeks I sadly did not like it. The band was itchy and there was not enough stretch to account for motion. Long story short, I learned my lesson about buying a bra online…

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Calvin Klein Wire-Free Bra

#3 A Notebook

A Rhodia grid lined wire-bound pad. Is it only me that gets weirdly overwhelmed with joy when writing on grid lined paper??? The idea of grid paper takes me back to school and there is some nostalgia in that. I love this notebook, it was bigger than I expected (because apparently, I don’t look at dimensions) but I love the extra room for my brain dumps.

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Rhodia Notebook

#4 A Jade Facial Roller

I think I am a sucker for beauty articles that shows easy ways to up your skincare game (see Buzzfeed article). I read that using a jade facial massage roller either every day or a few times a week can have a great impact on the appearance of your skin. I don’t know if it has had much of an “impact” on my facial appearance, but it is a nice little treat to roll this cooling massage roller all over your face.

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Jade Facial Roller

#5 A Phone Case 

Banana Leaf Printed case. I was in the market for a new phone case since I’ve had mine for over a year (although I love my wood craved Cleveland case, I was ready for a change). I didn’t want to spend more than $10 on one so to Amazon I went! This phone case is nicer and more stylish than I hoped for and a perfect print for the summer months!

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Banana Leaf iPhone 6 Case

#6 Bedding for my childhood twin bed

Twin alternative down comforter & a white duvet for my comforter. Okay, this is a weird purchase since I don’t live at home and I have my own queen bed to worry about. But when I am home I get the luxury of sleeping in my childhood twin bed which is made from a bed in a bag. I don’t blame my mom for not wanting to spend money on a bed that I don’t sleep in often, but when I am home I hate it. I get tangled because nothing stays in place and the comforter is so stiff there is no way to cuddle up and fall asleep. So I found some great inexpensive options with stellar reviews on Amazon. And let me say I was impressed yet again and am completely happy I can now rest my head on my twin bed in comfort.

All White Duvet Cover and Down Alternative Comforter

#7 Nail Polish

Essie nail polish in the color mademoiselle, a classic color in the Essie collection. I’ve been really liking the natural or barely there look and I think I saw this color pop up on a blog as a must have color and as we know now that I am a sucker for those things so without too much thought, I got it.

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Essie Nail Polish

#8 MIA Elsa Mules 

I talked about these in last week’s post, here, before I even received them, that’s how excited I was to get them! But, now I have them and I am not disappointed. I even did a little clog dance to celebrate.

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MIA Elsa Mules

#9 Half Socks

Because apparently, I need to wear something with my mule/clogs. Perfectly placed under my mules was the ‘frequently bought together’ tag, and hello? I can’t go sockless with these bad boys.

Half Socks

#10 Leather and Brass Keychain

This has been in my cart for months… for like 5 months. I finally bit the bullet because it dropped to the lowest price I’ve seen yet and I was getting a new car so in my mind that means a new keychain right? But oh the irony because now my car is keyless and my keychain is barely seen. Although I know it’s there in my purse and that makes me happy.

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Leather and Brass Keychain

#11 Allergy Medication 

Because I have horrible spring allergies and I would like to visit my family cat without red eyes? If you are buying allergy medicine at the drugstore, stop. 365-day count for $15! FIFTEEN DOLLARS! I don’t think there is much more to be said about this.

Kirkland Allergy Medicine

#12 Makeup Bag

I was looking so a black sleek smaller makeup bag for grab and go. I cleaned out all my old grungy ones and was left with 2, a medium and large. So this was a small one to fill in the missing hole. I really like the minimalistic look of the classic black and gold hardware and it was much better quality then I thought it was going to be and it was also packaged very nice, which is surprising for Amazon these days.

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Makeup Bag

#13 Baking Soda Free Deodorant Cream

So a couple weeks ago I have started my journey on transitioning to natural deodorant and it hasn’t been easy… I found out that my armpit does not like baking soda. So I decided to try the Baking Soda Free Grapefruit Deodorant Cream by Meow Meow Tweet. It has a lot of great reviews and I have seen YouTubers rave about it. I want to do a future post about this transition because I didn’t do enough research and then became fascinated with learning about transition process to a natural deodorant.

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Deodorant Cream by Meow Meow Tweet


March 2017 Favorites

Happy Monday to all! Is it me or did March fly by? I can’t believe it is already April and we already have showers, at least in Cleveland. Below are my favorites things from 5 different categories for the month of March, I hope you find something below to try for the month of April!

Books, Movies, & TV

Book: Not That Kinda Girl by Lena Dunham

First off let me start by saying that I am a huge fan of Lena’s work and what she stands for, so I was really excited to start this book. Second, I listened to this book on Audible (literally one of the best things invited today) and loved that she personally narrated her book. What I loved about this book is that you can see where she drew her inspiration for in Girls and Tiny Furniture and made me feel like I had a better understanding of her work and who she is as a person. She talks about uncomfortable topics that a lot of people still shy away from today and tackles them head on. It is a fantastic read/listen and I recommend you picking it up this April if you haven’t already.

Movie: Beauty and the Beast

GOOSEBUMPS! I had goosebumps and was on the edge of my seat for this movie. I felt like a little kid again and was filled with nostalgia. I hear people disappointed that it wasn’t EXACTLY like the cartoon original and I hear some people say it wasn’t different enough, but if you take it for what it is as its own independent movie you will thoroughly enjoy it. Also, the soundtrack is killer so I recommend giving that a listen too.

TV: Netflix’s Original Love season 2

This comedy stems from the minds of Judd Apatow, Lesley Arfin, and Paul Rust. Season 1 hooked me where two polar opposite people meet by chance and it shows a good look at dating in today’s modern age. If you a single person in today’s world you will definitely get a good laugh out of this and shake your head in agreeance as you possibly relate to it.

Activities 

Wineries –

Wineries seemed to be a big part of March. My cousin had her bridal shower at one outside of Erie and my friend Courtney had a winery crawl in Geneva. I’ve never been to Geneva wineries (I know, right?) so I was really excited to celebrate Courtney’s birthday there. We started at Laurentia which was beautiful, we enjoyed two bottles of white wine in the cellar. Then we moved to South River which is in an old church, they were having an ice wine festival so it was a bit packed but we lucked out snagging a table and switched it up to their Trinty red wine. Last but not least we ended at Hundley Cellars for some more white wine, some snacks, and live music!

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Car Shopping – 

This past week I went car shopping since my lease was up and I am pretty pumped about my new car. After having a VW Jetta for 4 years I wanted to upgrade to a small SVU, a VW Tiguan to be exact. Although nobody wants to spend their entire day at a car dealership I am really happy so far with my new car.

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Beauty (Skincare & Makeup)

Glosser Cloud Paint –

As we all know I LOVE GLOSSIER so I had a feeling I was going to like their new Cloudpaint Blushes. First of all, Glossier killed it with the packaging, yet again, they look like acrylic paints which bring me back to my art class days. A little product goes a long way which means this tube of blush will last you awhile. It comes it four shades, Dusk (nudey), Puff (pink), Beam (coral), and Haze (berry) which were inspired by the NYC sunsets. Glossier was and still is offering a 2 for $30 deal with the code 2BLUSH, I got Dusk and Haze. Haze is the perfect flush which looks like maybe I just went to the gym maybe not? (definitely not, though). And Dusk which is a nudey colors which I have been using as a natural looking bronzer and an eyeshadow. These formulas blend effortlessly together and on my skin. Get 20% off your first purchase with my code http://bff.glossier.com/eNLsb

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L’Oreal Paris Skin Care Pure Clay Mask Detox and Brighten –

This was an impulse purchase at Walgreens between coupons and sales it was “basically” free. Out of the 3 clay masks that L’Oreal has out at the moment, I decided on the detox and brightening mask since it was more geared towards a normal skin type. What I love about this mask besides its actually easy to apply and remove compared to other clay masks, you can actually see the impurities being drawn out. I love when I can see products working.

Hair

Umberto Dry Texture Spray –

I love texturizing spray, it is my favorite thing to use when I curl my hair. I needed a new one and was at target one day and wasn’t in the mood to spend more than $10 and this guy was $9.99. I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did, and although I never heard or used the brand before, I have seen it in Target for quite some time. If you want a good texturizing spray at a good price point give this one a try!

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Batiste Dry Shampoo Clean & Light Bare –

I hate washing my hair and if I can drag out my hair style for a couple days I will and a good way of doing that is a dry shampoo. And surprise, you don’t need to spend a lot on a decent dry shampoo. My favorite drugstore dry shampoo has been Dove for quite some time, but my friend Gina swears by Bastiste! I decided to give it a try and I am not disappointed. I decided to get the Bare scent, which is a clean and light scent that is not overwhelming. Move over Dove I think I have a new drugstore dry shampoo favorite!

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Fashion 

MIA Elsa Mules –

Ever since I received these last week I cannot stop wearing them! I talked about them in my Shoes for Spring post from last week (you can read it here). I love the effortless vintage look it has been adding to my outfits and it is such a great transitional show moving from winter to spring.

What did you love in the month of March? And let me know if you have tried anything I mentioned!

5 Shoes for Spring // March 26, 2017

HELLLOOO & happy Monday beautiful people! I was thinking about what to write last week for this today’s blog and sinceI have been talking about a lot of skincare and makeup favorites I decided to switch it up and do another obsession of mine… shoes. OH MY GOD SHOES (sorry not sorry I had to, please tell me you all remember that YouTube shoes video?)

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Jeffrey Campbell Cors’ Suede Peep Toe Bootie

Last summer I swear every YouTuber I watched raved about the JC Cors’ booties and I can see why they looked good on everyone! I myself never owned a pair of Jeffrey Campbell shoes but my friends that did only had good things to say about the quality of them. I had a wedding coming up in the beginning of fall and it was a perfect excuse to take the plunge and snag a pair. Eventually, I would like to get a black pair because I just love the style it adds to anything you wear. I didn’t get a lot of wear out of them last year since I got them towards the end of fall so I am really excited to break these out! If you ask me these are a perfect transition bootie to wear in the fall and spring.

Buy them here: Jeffrey Campbell Cors’

Adidas Stan Smith Sneakers

Now I have mentioned these as a favorite thing in a past post (Click here to read). I talked about how I started wearing them more this past winter but I think I am going to just continue wearing them through the spring, I can’t get enough of the style they bring to any outfit! Everyone needs a go-to sneaker for spring right?

Buy them here: Adidas Stan Smith

MIA Elsa Mule

This is actually a recent online purchase that I haven’t received yet, but I cannot wait to wear these for spring. At a recent event out for the Cleveland Flea, I met a girl who was rocking some clogs and I was instantly inspired to buy a pair of my own. I loved the way she effortlessly styled them and made them appear like a natural staple in someone’s spring wardrobe. She also has a killer vintage clothing business, Ode Vintage, that I recommend you checking out if you love vintage and love supporting Cleveland small businesses.

Buy them here: MIA Mule

Sam Edelman Felicia Flats

To me, these are a no-brainer classic flat to have in everybody’s closet. Now I actually wear these all year round but in the winter I will just change into them while at work, but in the spring I will wear them more outside of work since flats go with pretty much anything. Flats are just a great shoe to just slip on and you don’t have to worry about them not going with anything because a pair of black flats literally goes with EVERYTHING. What I love about these shoes is that the leather is so soft and comfortable I can wear these all day.

Buy them here: Sam Edelman Flats

Hunter Adjustable Calf Rain Boot

Why is it whenever I wear my Hunters I just want to jump in every rain puddle I see? I used to wear these all the time a few years ago and I am disappointed that I didn’t utilize them much last spring, but this season I plan on slipping these bad boys on for Ohio rainy days.

Buy them here: Hunter Rain Boots

What are your must-have shoes for this spring? 

5 Things // March 13, 2017

Hello wonderful humans and happy Monday! I decided to do this week’s post on a Monday to switch things up a bit or I just forgot to post on Friday because life got in the way last week and adulting is hard, haha let’s just say the first one. So without further ado here are my 5 favorite things from this past week!

Obey Lafayette Mac Jacket

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OBEY Jacket from 6pm.com

When I think of my dream raincoat I think about one of two things, a childhood bright yellow raincoat or a black raincoat that someone that lives in London would own. As much as I want a bright yellow adult sized raincoat I, however, found a black raincoat a London native would be proud to own… I hope. This jacket is weather resistant with a removable hood (if hoods aren’t your thing) and if also lined with jersey. I got this jacket off Amazon and I am really happy with it and feel that is a classic staple that I added to my closet for spring.

Milk Makeup Blur Stick

 

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Milk Makeup at Sephora

 

Do you ever just wish you can blur the imperfections on your face to give the illusion of an airbrushed appearance, I know there are times of the month I have. Don’t get too excited because this product doesn’t go to that extreme but some days that is what is feels like. This sticks smooths and evens out skin tones to give a great base to additional makeup or just to wear on its own. Another thing I love about this is that this is a vegan beauty product, in fact, the whole brand is vegan. It is free of silicone (which is known to clog pores), parabens, sulfates, and phthalates. I would totally recommend you checking out their Instagram account they post some pretty cool things (insert sunglasses emoji).

Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum

 

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Caudalie Radiance Serum

 

For my birthday Sephora “gift” I chose the Caudalie 2 piece set that came with their radiance serum and sorbet moisturizer. All I can say is that my bank account is going to hate me because I now must buy the full size of this. I am barely through half of my trial size and wow can I see a difference in my skin. This serum does everything it said it would, it evens out skin tone and enhances skin’s radiance. This is meant to target dark spots and to prevent them from appearing. I think that if you have more mature skin this would work wonders because I saw a noticeable difference and I currently to not have a lot of problems with dark spots beside some scarring from past breakouts (those are probably more noticeable to me than others).

Oil Diffuser and Oils

 

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Starter kit from Amazon

 

For birthday last month my friend, Katie got my an oil diffuser along with lavender essential oil since I have been deciding whether or not to get one for myself for awhile. Needless to say, I am hook and bought a starter essential oils kit from Amazon. There is nothing more relaxing than falling asleep to the scent of lavender and the soft trickling of water (which I thought was going to keep me up). Besides the much less risk of burning your house down by using a diffuser instead of a candle, there are a surprising amount of benefits to using one of these bad boys. Promoting relaxation and sleep or improving moods, help ward off illnesses, improving breathing, and pain relief is just a handful of benefits by using different types of oils. You can get a diffuser and oils for very affordable price points on Amazon, I recommend you giving them a try.

Cross Stitching

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NEW HOBBY ALERT!!! After a recent purchase (pictured above) from the Etsy shop Sarcastitch of one of my favorite podcast My Favorite Murder mottos to live by “stay sexy and don’t get murdered” I have been inspired to attempt to pick up the hobby! I am currently working on my first cross stitch project that is currently top secret because if all goes well it will make a pretty sweet gift for someone.

Five Things // February 10th, 2017

Happy Friday wonderful people! If you are reading this right when it posted then I have already landed in Germany, hallo Deutschland! Yes, that is right I was lucky enough to get to go for 6 days on business! While getting ready for this trip I thought I would do a post on what things are important to me when I travel and what items I use. So why don’t we just dive right in!

So why don’t we just dive right in!

One // Comfort

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Whether I am on a short or long flight it is still important to me to try to be as comfortable as possible and that can mean different things for flights. For the that I am taking, I know that it is going to be a long overnight one so my comfort items I am bringing will cater to that. Probably my number one item is an eyemask (Amazon), I sleep better in complete darkness and I have an easier time falling asleep. Also aiding in the sleeping process are earplugs (Amazon), these are just as important! Especially if there are young children on the flight or chatty people around you, it’s good to have something to block out all the noise. A neck pillow (Amazon) adds much needed to support since I am so susceptible to stiff necks… they are the worse and I hate them. To round out this group I added a scarf (Abercrombie & Fitch, no longer available) which can have multiple uses. It can serve as a blanket for extra warmth or even as a makeshift neck pillow in case you forgot one or it is a short enough flight and you don’t want the extra items to haul around.

Two // Entertainment

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Entertaining yourself on a plane can be hard, especially for long flights. Sometimes your not in the mood to read what you brought or you’ve exhausted your Spotify playlists. That’s why I think it’s important to have a few options to entertain yourself. I have 2 books, one has short stories and one is a longer novel depending on my mood. I also have my Amazon Fire tablet with me where I have access to my audiobooks and some Netflix downloads (I downloaded the Crown and I am very excited to check it out). On my iPhone I downloaded a playlist of some of my favorite songs and a few episodes of my favorite podcast, My Favorite Murder (great dark comedy podcast, two thumbs way up). And we can’t forget the noise canceling Beats headphones my friend Gina lent to me for my travels; thanks Gina you’re the BEST!

Three // Skincare & Hygiene

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I want a few items to be easier to get to such as lotion, face wipes, lip balm, and my toothbrush & paste. Airplanes can be very drying as most of you know so having hand cream (Kiehl’s), face lotion (Nourish Organics) and lip balm (Glossier) is very helpful so my skin doesn’t feel dried out. Face wipes (Simple) are also great for longer flights to help you refresh a little after you’ve taken a long nap. And I don’t think I have to explain the toothbrush and paste (Marvis) too much. If you’ve slept for a couple hours this will help with any kind of dragon breath you might be facing, but also if it’s a short flight or you don’t feel like brushing your teeth on the plane a pack or gum will be sufficient enough until you get to your hotel room.

Four // Snacks

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Packing snacks are very important because first you may not get food on your flight (not even peanuts, sad face) or you do get a meal and it may, unfortunately, be something you don’t like. If you don’t feel like bring your own you can always get something while at the airport. I think to bring simple snacks are a great option because you don’t want to anything to upset your something and you also want to courteous to people around you and some smells might upset people.

Five // Staying Healthy

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I don’t know about you, but usually after I’ve been on a plane 9 times out of 10 I get some kind of bug. To help combat germs that circulate through that recycled air it is a good idea to bring some sort of antibacterial for your hands. Another great thing to have on hand are tissues! If it’s a cold plane ride and your nose is running you will be happy you have them or if you are in need of a napkin they will come in handy!

What is important to you when traveling?