In this feature, InStyle.com's Senior Fashion News Editor Kim Peiffer documents what she packed and what she wore for her trip to Spain.
I’m from a small town in Wisconsin (where it is cold, cold, cold!), so my vacations usually involve one of two things I lacked growing up: a city or a beach.
I’ve lived abroad and traveled many places in Europe, but I had yet to visit Spain, so I planned a girls' trip to Madrid and the island of Mallorca (the perfect combination of both city and beach). The goal? To spend the first half exploring Madrid, dining at tapas restaurants, and perusing the city’s best boutiques, and spend the second half relaxing, laying in the sun, and dining by candlelight on the Mediterranean (tough job, I know).
I love to travel light (I rarely check a bag, even if I’m going somewhere for two weeks), so I always bring pieces that can be worn multiple ways. Because this particular trip involved both time in a city and a stay on an island, packing was quite the challenge. I kept it streamlined with a few evening outfits, a pair of versatile stilettos, my favorite bikini, and the ultimate accessory—a pair of cat-eye sunglasses.
When it comes to beauty essentials, I rely on the same products no matter where I am in the world: an illuminating tinted moisturizer and a shimmery blush to give my skin a summer glow year-round, a super hydrating eye cream and a light facewash, a bottle of dry shampoo, and a tinted glossing treatment to keep my hair from turning brassy in the sun.
And yes, I somehow managed to fit it all in a carry-on!
—Coordinated by InStyle’s Senior Market Editor/Digital Correspondent Dana Avidan-Cohn
1. Patterned Open-Back Maxidress
"This backless halter dress is ideal for travel. It’s wrinkle-free, packs effortlessly into a suitcase, and transitions seamlessly from day to night."Tibi dress, $675; tibi.com
2. Sexy Nude Heels
"Heels are often the first part of an outfit that I choose. These strappy stilettos were one of three pairs of shoes that came with me on my trip."
Aquazzura cutout sandal, $595; shopbop.com
4. Flower-Adorned Statement Skirt
"I wanted something fun and flirty for nights out on the town in Madrid. This vibrant skirt did the trick!"Matthew Williamson skirt, $1,619; matthewwilliamson.com
5. Wear-with-Everything Sandals
"I love a good pair of heels at night, but for exploring the city streets of Madrid and sleepy beach towns during the daytime, these flats were the perfect choice."Michael Kors leather sandal, $165; scoopnyc.com
6. Versatile Tank
"Since I pack so lightly, I love a piece that I can wear on multiple occasions throughout my trip. This crop top works with pants, a skirt, or even a pair of shorts."Tibi crop top, $298; tibi.com
7. Day-to-Night Midi Skirt
"This full, bouncy skirt is perfect for a dinner under the stars (and for dancing the night away)."Tibi skirt, $525; tibi.com
8. Beauty Must-Haves
"I often feel like I bring more beauty products on my vacations than clothes, and this trip was no exception! From products to fight tired eyes to foundation that helps achieve a sun-free glow, I brought quite a selection with me to the beach."Peter Thomas Roth eye cream, $100; peterthomasroth.com; Bumble and Bumble pret a powder, $26; bumbleandbumble.com; Philosophy purity facial cleanser, $23; sephora.com; Peter Thomas Roth eye correcting concealer, $42; sephora.com; Shu Eumura color lustre, $41; fruugo.us; Bobbi Brown shimmer brick, $43; bobbibrowncosmetics.com; Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer, $43; sephora.com; and Kate Somerville exfoliating treatment, $22; katesomerville.com
9. Gentle Dirt Dissolver
"Traveling can wreak havoc on your skin, so a pure, basic cleanser can make a world of a difference."Philosophy purity facial cleanser, $23; sephora.com
10. Wrinkle Diminisher
"This super thick eye cream is great for jet lag (and fantastic for applying while you’re 10,000 feet up!)."Peter Thomas Roth eye cream, $100; peterthomasroth.com
11. A Refreshed Complexion
"Sun-soaked skin is renewed with a little tender loving care in the form of this gentle exfoliator."Kate Somerville exfoliating treatment, $22; katesomerville.com
12. A Hint of Shimmering Color
"I rarely use foundation, but I don’t leave home without this dewy tinted moisturizer. It’s perfect for warm summer nights and humid climates."Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer, $43; sephora.com
13. All-in-One Eye Treatment
"Hiding dark circles is a must when dealing with different time zones. I powered through with this tough-as–nails concealer. Bonus for the double-ended stick, the other half of which contains an eye-brightening highlighter!"Peter Thomas Roth eye correcting concealer, $42; sephora.com
14. A Natural Glow
"I don’t wear a lot of makeup, and I love that this shimmer brick triples as a bronzer, a blush, and even an eyeshadow. A quick swipe of this palette with a blush brush gives me an instant glow."Bobbi Brown shimmer brick, $43; bobbibrowncosmetics.com
15. Blowdry Extender
"Whether I’m on an island or at the office, a good dry shampoo is always by my side."Bumble and Bumble Pret a Powder, $26; bumbleandbumble.com
16. Hair Color Nourisher
"My blond highlights tend to turn brassy pretty easily, so I toss this glossifying conditioner in my bag to ensure that my color stays fresh, even if it's in the sun!"Shu Eumura color lustre, $41; fruugo.us