Monday, March 24, 2014

A Madame's Toolbox: Travel, Wellness and Moisturization Edition

It takes a lot of product and expertise to keep me barely functioning being fabulous.  Since I hit 30ish it seems to require MOAR product and MOAR expertise.  But this Fall and Sprinter I've been making sure to take some extra care of myself especially since I've been traveling a fair amount.

So let's take a look at some of the things that have become essential to my health and well-being at home and while traveling.  Sorry, I'm a Virgo -  I just looove telling you what to do when it comes to mucusy things and/or organization.

First off, I've been a neti pot convert for a while and kinda rely on it for, you know, breathing.  But then I heard that if you don't use filtered/boiled water worms will infect your brain and you'll die.  Now, I'm pretty sure that in thousands of years not many people got brain worms (or maybe they did?) so I wasn't toooo worried about it but we can all agree that neti pots aren't the most sexy or convenient things.  

But you know what IS sexy?

Buy a set of six here for $18. Don't worry, you'll use them.
I said goodbye to my forced nose pee and said hello to snorting saltwater.  Spray in the morning, spray in the evening, spray all fucking day - it's just saline so it's Jeezus and Gaia approved.  

You know how you always have a slight but consistent nose leak the entire winter?  Well since I'm a doctor of medikal scienze for the duration of this blog post and I can tell you it's because your nose is dry and irritated and your membranes are probably over compensating with mucus... I don't know, sounds legit, right?  Anyway, this soothes and moisturizes and cleanses your face holes and gets rid of nasal leakage, pinkie swear.  Remember this come pollen season (which is tomorrow), Southerners.

Also, I used it every twenty minutes while flying and no more stuffy nose.  My seat neighbors probably thought I was disgusting but I was breathing like a dream.  

Speaking of travel and moisturization, I can no longer rely on my body to properly maintain hydration levels anymore and once I get 30 ft above sea level my cells just shrivel up like pale raisins.  I've started drinking bottles - BOTTLES - of water while flying and for the first time ever I felt chipper getting off that last overseas flight I took.  I don't think I've ever been chipper at any point in my life but even the flight attendant applauded my water intake and evangelized the gospel of liquid salvation to me for a bit as she refilled my double-fisted bottles. 

[MS Sidebar: Ahem... Now is probably the time to review the Five Stages of Urinary Grief...]

However, my face skin needed a little more help than Dasani can provide so I brought a sample size of this awesomesauce:
Hydrating Treatment $36
It's a gel but 100 times more moisturizing than you think a gel would be.  There are lots of guides about beauty while flying but I can't pack 13 bottles of goo onto a carry-on bag and this did me alright.  And yes, I took my makeup off when I got on the plane.  I'm ALL about having a clean face for an overnight flight and then getting your ass up to brush your teeth and put more makeup on in the "morning."  It's so worth it to me.

A product I WISH that I did smuggle on the plane?

$8 at Amazon but I think it's cheaper in a store.
I've become addicted to rosewater this year like Olivia Pope is addicted to ivory and melodrama.  It's light, refreshing and NOT a Bath and Body Works perfumed poison splash.  I keep a bottle at home, in the car and at my desk at work.  I spray it whenever I need some fairy inspiration, a person walks by I don't like or I just need to feel like a flower sneezed on my face.  This brand has "magnetized and vortexed" water so that must be some good shit... *makes jacking off hand motion*

But three bottles wasn't enough for me so I have the Mario Badescu aloe version for $7 that I spray onto my face immediately after I cleanse/shower to keep moisture on my face while I lotion up my bod-ay until I can moisturize my face.

I swear it helps.  


But it feels like a facial and smells divine so that's good enough for me.  Mario Badescu life partner.

I can't wait to mist my face the next time I'm on a plane.  Seat neighbor will be shooting daggers with her eyes I can already feel it.

Next time I travel I'm also bringing some old-fashioned epsom salts with me.  My favorite way to learn a new city is on foot so after nine hours of convention center then a full night of exploring the city during my recent trip to Germany, my feet and ankles looked practically elephantine.  On my next to last day I finally stopped at a drugstore and bought these tiny packets of epsom salts for a good soak:

Only in Germany, friends.
So amazing.  I should have done this every night.  

These were so amazing that I dumped about 4 into the hotel bathtub for a full body soak.  But then I wondered what fake balsam scent and green dye would do the pH levels of my traveling vagina and got out pretty fast.  My suitcase is prepared for dry skin emergencies but not for lady infections.

I couldn't find these balsam-scented ones here in the States but these are pretty similar and are $6 for six packets. Or get one of those 5lb cardboard milk cartons of it at Walgreens (if you don't already) and put that shit in a ziploc baggie if you're a walker like me.  Be a grandma.  It's cool.  It's Normcore.

Now, I'll never be the girl who can skip washing her hair but I do harness the power of a particular dry shampoo just for styling purposes.  BECAUSE IT HAS GLITTER IN IT!

That's straight up blonde glitter in the bottom there.
Changing continents, altitudes, time zones or just cardinal directions confuses my hair.  It gets very sad and forlorn and overnight air travel is like the kiss of greasy death.  I give it some glittery dry shampoo courtesy of Keratin Complex for blondes ($35 - yeah, little pricey) to wake it back up again until we have a few showers to acclimate.  Let's try to look as perky as possible standing in that passport line.

If you're not traveling and just normally have fine, limp, easily confused hair it also works great if you get home from work and you're going out again and don't want people to think you're a homeless person but also don't want to wash your hair again because you'd rather just start drinking early.  Head glitter makes everything right with the world again.

If you're a dude and hate dry shampoo and moisturizer, wake up!  You can pay attention again.  

For any gender I would highly recommend getting some packing cubes like these:
Ebags packing cubes set of 3 for $27
These little nylon bags look like no big deal but will absolutely SAVE your sanity while traveling.  Keep your panties and manties and socks and shirts and toiletries and sex toys all separate from each other.  It saves space and time and prevents your luggage from looking like it has an exploding panty problem.

Because it's ALWAYS the panties that escape in the most embarrassing situations...

Yes, YOUR bag can look this good too.
Just look at this suitcase porn.  This blog uses the TravelWise 5-piece set ($30 on Amazon) and it looks like a great deal.  Packing cubes are packing cubes.  I've had the OG Eagle Creek set for almost a decade and it's absolutely worth $30.

One of my favorite finds this last trip was an app (Android and iPhone) called Field Trip.  

Atlas Obscura is my favorite travel site because it has nothing but weird shit that you know is my favorite stuff to see.  I found that they didn't have their own app but are a part of this app along with dozens of other brands like Arch Daily, Architizer, Dezeen, Cool Hunting, Curbed, Zagat, Eater, National Historic Registry and tons of other stuff.  

Do you want to know where abandoned buildings, ghost stories, coffee shops, a bush that's shaped like Gorbachev and awesome museums are?  Well this app will tell you where they are and actually send you push notifications when you're wandering around and get near something else! 

Unfortunately, traveling in a foreign country means my internet service is shit unless I'm physically dry-humping the wifi so I had to roughly plan my route at the hotel beforehand.  However, I found several amazing things I wouldn't have found otherwise.

Even if you're not traveling, play with it in your own city.  You'll be amazed at what places pop up.  Southerners, I now know every Civil War event and market for a 75 mile radius.  After the third day I had to turn off the notifications....

So I'll end this post with something that's not necessarily travel related but it IS related to health and wellness and moisturization: ye olde humidifier.  This is both a positive and negative review.

Crane drop shape humidifier on Amazon
I was a rather sickly kid and among other incredibly nerdy, embarrassing things I did I also regularly used a humidifier.  Well, it was embarrassing back then but now I desperately crave its vapor gifts.

I've had my eye on the award-winning Crane version for the past year or so and just could never make myself spend the money (Um, it's $40...).  But when I saw one for $15 at a bargain store recently I snatched it up.  Thanks, Universe.

I know many people use them all over their houses, I pretty much point it directly on my face at night.  I want an eight hour humidity jizz fest on my face while I sleep.  I'm really glad I bought it because it does help my skin and sinuses.  I'm Team Humidifier despite the fact that you have to clean that shit all the gawddamn time so you don't get BACTERIAL eight hour humidity jizz fest on your face while you sleep.  

However, in the interest of full disclosure - I'm not in love with this humidifier.  Maybe I just haven't used a humidifier in a long time but this "whisper quiet" machine is loud as hell.  I sleep like the walking dead ate a brain full of Nyquil and this thing keeps me up.  It's like a gurgling fountain next to your ear all night long.  

It's so loud I emailed the company to make sure it wasn't defective and they were like "Yep, totes normal.  Have you tried turning it down?"  Um no shit, Cumberbatch.  At no level does it not sound like an animal is drowning deep underwater [slight exaggeration possibly] and turning it up or down doesn't seem to affect the quality of the humidity jizz stream either.  

It doesn't majestically shoot up into the air to be absorbed but instead just sadly billows out and falls down and moistens my nightstand.  My 1980's humidifier had a jet stream so powerful I could set it on a table three feet away and I'd literally wake up in glistening dew on a damp pillow like a woodland nymph.

A kinda nerdy, pretty sickly woodland nymph with dew-kissed skin nevertheless.  

If you have a humidifier that you love - or any product you're loving lately - please share!

I could tell you about products FOREVER but I'll stop there.  

Go forth, my dear friends, and have gorgeous skin, healthy sinuses and many traveling adventures!

It probably doesn't need to be said but I receive no compensation of any kind for any of these recommendations.  Just things I think are cool!


  1. Oh yeah, Badescu is a major investment around here. The day they stopped producing that avocado healing cream was the day I almost punched the make-up-lady-dragon at Nordstrom's. I will look into this gel goop stuff because I have a 15 hour flight with a toddler coming up and I want my crazed, sleep deprived face to look hydrated, dammit.

    If you find anything that can fix constantly tired parent eyes, let me know. I love my daughter but she owes me some spa days for the recent bout of "It's 5am! I want to play! And go to school! Let's do shit!" She doesn't even have the decency to slowly wake up any more. Now she's either asleep or on speed. Get a third gear, child!

    1. I could write an entire post on MB! Yeah, they took away their control cream last year and I had a very tense chat with one of their online people...

      I liked the gel goop stuff and you can always get a sample size set to try them out first! And definitely look at the link I buried in that paragraph - great stuff for trips. 15 hours?! Damn, you are a saint.

      I'm still on the hunt for eye stuffs. That's one area that I don't feel secure in - I do use a couple of MB eye creams though like the hyaluronic eye cream but not sure if it actually does anything. Sometimes I use a bit of coconut oil under my eyes and when I wake up my undereyes are plump and refreshed so try that?

      I don't even have kids and I still have bags... little people are so rude!

      PS Probably gonna do a dedicated post to makeup and skin care next week so stay tuned!