Because packing is so darn stressful. 
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Makeup Bag LEAD
Credit: Laura Simola

So I have something so say, and it will shock absolutely no one. It's true: I have some difficulty when it comes to packing for a trip. I always want to be prepared for any situation, say I have to go on a date with a dashing leading man or something? You just never know. And in those instances, it always feels like options are always best. Better safe than sorry?

However, those notions can only go so far in practice. I'm one petite human, and lugging three bags through the sweltering NYC heat to catch my jitney to the Hamptons just so I can have every single palette I want with me is a wee bit ridiculous.

For my most recent mini-break, I had to be realistic about what I was actually going to use. I was spending two nights away from home. The days were to be spent at the beach, and I was likely going to socialize only once. Why lug all of those extra eyeshadows with me, ya know?

It was high time I took the big girl step and did the big girl thing: make actual decisions.

Prior to packing, I forced myself to make a list of things that I would actually need options for. The only thing that really fell in that category was sunscreen. It's good to have options based on the weather and condition of your skin. Other than that, I couldn't really rationalize taking more than one of every other product.


So here's what I settled upon. Yes, I brought five different sunscreens with me, but hear me out. Only one was for my body, Zelens Body Defense ($78;, which is bananas by the way, and the rest were options for my face and covered the spectrum from SPF 30, SPF 40, SPF 50, and SPF 60. One of them had a shimmer tint. And of course, I had to bring a tiny can of aloe with me, just in case. This way I knew I had all of my bases covered and literally no excuse to get burnt.


As for my makeup, I would likely only being going out once the entire trip, so I should only bring what was necessary for one face. Since the event I was planning to attend was somewhat of a big to-do, I knew that I wanted to go with makeup that had never failed me before for formal events. I also knew that my skin was looking pretty good, so a tinted moisturizer and concealer would do just fine. I simply grabbed my trusty standby's from Laura Mercier.

I also knew that the event was outdoors, and it was 90 degrees outside, so I needed to prep my skin accordingly. That meant an oil-controlling moisturizer, Eve Lom Rescue Oil Free Moisturiser ($75;, and an oil-controlling primer, One Heck of a Blot by Soap and Glory ($14;

For blush, I chose my very favorite natural flush of all time, Charlotte Tilbury Cheek to Chic in First Love ($40; For bronzer/highlighter, I also chose CT's widely lauded Filmstar Bronze & Glow ($68;, because if you have a fancy event, your face should feel fancy, too. I'm also lucky enough to have gotten my hands on a super dreamy eye palette coming our way from Charlotte Tilbury this fall, and it really is dreamy.

For my liner, I kept it simple with Marc Jacobs Beauty Fineliner in Truffled ($24; and the ultra glam Lancôme Grandiose Mascara ($32; for the thickest, lashy-lashes you could imagine.

And of course, I couldn't set foot at the biggest event of the summer this far without lipstick, so I grabbed for something I knew I could swipe on blindly and have it look fab. That would be Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips in Secret Salma ($32; It's a sexy, pouty, plumy-pink. Bonus: I got loads of compliments.

Overall, this was way more pleasant than feeling stressed and indecisive pre-event. I'll be employing this method for my future travels for sure.