How To Pack Your Makeup When You Travel

Going somewhere fun this summer?

Travel season is upon us again, and as always I have

tons of inquiries from clients and readers

about how to pack their makeup and skincare products

for vacation travel, business travel

or for their honeymoon.

beautiful Sorrento in Italy

So this season I am running a series of posts all about what to pack

and how to pack it.

I travel all the time, both internationally and domestically,

 for work and for play, so I have this down to a science, and

my travel bags are always packed and ready to go.

Cabo San Lucas

Before you even begin, you need to decide what you are packing your products into.

Rather than squashing your products into bags that don’t support them, or that crush when weight is put on top of them, it is crucial that you use travel bags that hold your skincare and makeup products securely, help separate them from each other,

and have you arrive to your destination with all your goodies in their original condition.

A few years ago I was introduced to a line of travel cosmetic and toiletry bags that have become an absolute celebrity favorite. 

They combine a compartmentalized design that lends itself to a heightened sense of order, with a strong, well built structure, and an undeniably chic sense of style.

 They are from Stephanie Johnson (

I have written about Stephanie Johnson cosmetic and toiletry bags before, as I have used them on all my travels for years.

They are so beautiful that magazines everywhere feature them. 

Home Accents Today Magazine

Brides magazine

Jezebel Magazine

I have a few different Stephanie Johnson sets – they are so beautiful they are worth collecting! 

This year I am traveling with the  

Stephanie Johnson Jenny Train Case 

from the Cyprus Collection.

This case combines a sturdy rectangular shape that allows me to stack and organize all skin care and makeup products.

It has a removable clear pouch that goes on-board my flight with me, carrying the essentials that I need with me when I fly.

The pouch itself is not only well constructed and strong, thus protecting my products, but
also is perfect for airport security screening. 

matching hand mirror secures inside with a snap fastener.

When I arrive at my destination the pouch snaps back into the main case, keeping all my makeup organized and in one place.

The Jenny train case also has straps to secure makeup brushes, pencils etc and a handle to carry it with.

And on top of everything else, it looks incredibly chic!

Wander in style…

Pictured below, 

model Ashley Black (rep Ford RBA

photographed by Kelly Cappelli  

on location at the Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale.

Styled by Leah Michelle 

in vintage pieces from Vintage By Misty.

Tosseled, bedroom hair by Katie Hardison 

 makeup by Corinna Cooke

image by Kelli Cappelli

 Pictured Stephanie Johnson Jenny train case, Aptiva single use face masks

Johnny Vagabond Goes To Antigua

I love reading travel blogs.
They prepare me for the next adventure, or give me ideas for a new one.
I knew that a blog named Johnny Vagabond just had to be fascinating.
And it is.
I’m hooked.

Check out what he got up to in Antigua:

Photos: Antigua’s Alfombras, the Beautiful Sacred Carpets of Semana Santa

April 20, 2012 · 14 comments

Photos: Antigua's Alfombras, the Sacred Carpets of Semana Santa

No one celebrates Easter quite like they do in Antigua. For
the month of Lent, processions march through the streets each Sunday,
carrying massive platform with statues of Christ and the Virgin Mary.
But the real fun begins the Sunday before Easter, when local families
and business begin creating alfombras, intricate carpets made out of dyed sawdust, grass, flowers and vegetables. It’s an incredible (and fleeting) sight.

Photos: Antigua's Alfombras, the Sacred Carpets of Semana Santa
For days and days, people are busy dyeing sawdust — first it’s run
through a screen to weed out the rough bits. Then small bags of dye are
added and it’s stirred by hand. The color is adjusted as needed and this
takes some skill — a seemingly green dye was added to a fresh batch and
the mixer explained that the final product would be purple. I was
doubtful but he proved right in the end.

Photos: Antigua's Alfombras, the Sacred Carpets of Semana Santa

The majority of alfombras are created with the use of
intricately-carved plywood stencils. I asked the manager of my hotel,
Yellow House, whether these were traditional patterns passed down
through the family or if each alfombra was different. She explained that
they save the stencils each year but that each carpet is unique, mixing
and matching designs from the past or being created entirely from

I do have to give a hearty recommendation for Yellow House in Antigua
— I stayed there two weeks over two visits and found it to be the
friendliest, cleanest place I stayed in all of Guatemala. The free
breakfast was great, showers hot (without being deadly)
and the patio had a view of all the volcanos. [Full disclosure — they
did trade me three nights stay for a mention, but I wouldn’t have stayed
there 2 weeks if I didn’t think it was a good value.] I can’t wait to
go back.

Photos: Antigua's Alfombras, the Sacred Carpets of Semana Santa

The amount of detail that people managed to coax from sawdust and
sand was stunning. I especially like the one with tiny penitents
carrying an anda (wooden platform) and about to walk across an alfrombra of their own.

And that’s their fate — these beautiful, amazingly-detailed carpets
have life spans of just a few hours. After being finished, cared for and
admired by the crowds, they will soon be trod upon by a procession of
thousands of worshipers.

Photos: Antigua's Alfombras, the Sacred Carpets of Semana Santa

Photos: Antigua's Alfombras, the Sacred Carpets of Semana Santa

Sawdust wasn’t the only material of choice, however. Many alfrombas
were created from large blankets of grass, covered in flowers, fruits
and other natural goodies. Some of the most popular carpets, judging
from the huge crowds that hovered nearby, where made entirely of fruits
and vegetables. The one you see here was at least 50 feet long and 10
feet wide — 500 square feet of fresh produce, stacked high and awaiting

Photos: Antigua's Alfombras, the Sacred Carpets of Semana Santa

Photos: Antigua's Alfombras, the Sacred Carpets of Semana Santa

This goes on for days and most groups will build several alfrombas
over the course of the week. But the big night is the Thursday before
Good Friday, when everyone stays up most of the night to assemble the
most intricate, flamboyant carpets you can imagine. They race through
the night to finish their creations before the procession rolls through
in the early morning and destroys it all. Thankfully, the hotel provided
snacks, coffee and rum to keep us going through the night.

Photos: Antigua's Alfombras, the Sacred Carpets of Semana Santa

Photos: Antigua's Alfombras, the Sacred Carpets of Semana Santa

Photos: Antigua's Alfombras, the Sacred Carpets of Semana Santa

And when the procession rolls through, you’d best step away.
Thousands of hooded penitents roam the street with 80 of them carrying a
5,000 pound anda, moving lock-step through the cobblestone
streets. A band follows close behind and more thousands of pilgrims,
penitents, families and tourists follow in their wake. It’s a wave of

Photos: Antigua's Alfombras, the Sacred Carpets of Semana Santa

And after they’ve all passed by, a small crew of men scrape up the
remains and shovel them into a small bulldozer that follows the
procession. Within moments, the street is clean with only a few splashes
of colorful dye showing that anything happened here at all.

Follow the Johnny Vagabond blog at
Find him on twitter @JohnnyVagabond
Make sure that when you go to his website you read his completely fantastic Crazy Stories section
And join him on Facebook at Facebook/Johnny Vagabond

Hotel-Belle Goes To Jordan

I love scrolling around travel blogs,

getting great ideas of places to go, things to do, people to see.

One that I really love is Hotel Belle.


Annie Fitzsimmons is a travel writer with a passion for hotels.

Her blog takes you inside all kinds of interesting places to stay,

and I love it for for it’s personal tone – it feels like Annie

is chatting to you about her experiences rather than

giving you some completely un-animated review.

When you cruise her blog make sure you read her About Me section.

She is nothing if not fascinating.

Today’s Saturday blog re-post is about Annie’s trip to Jordan.

I have tons of friends from Jordan

so it is high on my list of places to go.


Intercontinental Aqaba at the Red Sea

This photo above gives you the best look at where the Intercontinental Aqaba at the Red Sea
in Jordan sits, right on the bright blue waters of the Red Sea and
nestled in between two hotels under construction and the Kempinski Red

Aqaba & the Red Sea is where Jordanians go to vacation, akin to
the beach towns of Florida or California-the royal family has a home
here and as beautiful Queen Rania says, “If you want to cool down, you can take a dip in the Red Sea, diving coral reefs and old wrecks.”

 I liked visiting the Red Sea, though it’s definitely a place where you
come to kick back and get your tan on.  There’s not a great downtown or
restaurant scene, so your hotel choice is very important.  The
Intercontinental has beautiful public spaces, a fun pool area, nice if
slightly chaotic restaurants and you can easily access the water.  I
took a boat tour and dove in to swim-very salty but if you come here,
you have to leave saying you swam in the Red Sea!

The rooms are nice though not unique, and I’d recommend booking one
with a full water view. My room had a partial water view and seeing the
massive, empty hotel being constructed next door was a little odd.  I
definitely didn’t lounge on the balcony to catch the warm nighttime
breeze with that eery view!


Lovely flowers in the lobby

My room

View of construction from my balcony

Great View of Eilat, Israel

Love seeing the Jordanian Flag