Back in July when we were getting ready to leave on this adventure I was so overwhelmed with everything we needed to do that I never got around to writing about the process. Before we knew it we were on our way with just three bags each to our name!
But of course it wasn't really that easy. We spent a lot of time and energy figuring out what to put in those bags, cutting, cutting, cutting items when we were over airline weight limits, and fitting it all in like puzzle pieces to get to the final configuration.
One of the hardest parts for me was deciding on toiletries. I don't feel like I use a lot of products, and I don't wear a lot of makeup, but when it came time to put all those items into one toiletry bag it sure seemed like I had a lot! When I initially had it packed up with everything I could possibly dream of using Joel insisted on weighing it - turns out it was 14 pounds! (Keep in mind I only get 70 pounds total).
The first things Joel insisted on leaving behind were shampoo and conditioner. The bottles are heavy, they could possibly leak, and guess what - they sell shampoo and conditioner everywhere around the world! I'm not super picky about what I use, usually buying whatever is on sale, so I acquiesced. We bought decent stuff in Cyprus (though my hair in general hates hot weather so it was up most of the time) and here in Germany we've been using what our hosts have in the shower (with their permission of course).
If we had set off on this adventure a year and a half ago, my bag would have already been lighter because back then I didn't use face wash or moisturizer (gasp!). After I turned 30, however, I realized I needed to start taking care of my skin in ways I never needed to when I was younger. My friend Mara, a rep for the brand Perfectly Posh, introduced me to a face wash I love (never thought I'd say that) and once I started using a moisturizer (at her insistence) I could really tell the difference if I skipped it for a day or two. So those two products take up space in the bag when they wouldn't have before. Mara was also a complete gem and put together a packet of samples for me! The conditioner samples saved me when our hotel in Vienna only had shampoo available.
My makeup collection is mostly drugstore items, though I splurged on the 3D fiber lash mascara from Younique. I have wimpy eyelashes so cheap mascara usually does almost nothing for them. I brought about half of my make up collection - the stuff I use most often - and gave the more special occasion items to a friend. Also, I used this opportunity to ditch all previous lipsticks and only have my Lipsense - which is so precious it takes up my liquids bag in my carry on. (I get some weird looks going through security with a bag full of 20 lip colors and nothing else!).
In addition to all these items I packed a razor, some sunbreeze (an essential oil product I can't live without - it cures everything from headaches to stuffy noses), nail polish remover, Perfectly Posh hand lotion, a Perfectly Posh bar of soap I had just purchased with rewards points (it was free!) and four of my favorite Perfectly Posh items - skin sticks!
The Healer clears up dry skin spots and other blemishes really well. The Immunator helps fight cold and flu season and I feel like it really helped last winter. Flower Child I use on my face to help smooth out eye wrinkles (ack I'm getting old!). The Sleepy Sleep stick is probably my favorite - it's full of lavender and I put it on at night to help me fall asleep.
It was tough to make choices about what I should bring at the time, but honestly since being abroad I haven't missed anything. But I do regret a few items I brought along. In hindsight, I should have left the nail polish remover at home. It leaked inside its ziploc bag so while it didn't ruin anything else, it also was no longer usable. Plus it's so cheap to buy new. The cheap Target makeup remover I packed did the same, and I ended up leaving the half empty bottle in Cyprus.
The biggest surprise, however, was the state I found my makeup in when we unpacked for the first time. Y'all, this is what I found:
It must have gotten HOT somewhere along the journey because a good third of my makeup stash was MELTED TOGETHER. Mascara, done for; cover-up, fused to the mascara; container with false eyelashes I could never figure out how to wear anyway, useless. Plus the bag that carried it all - the one that came with my toiletries bag so theoretically is designed for travel - was almost impossible to open because it melted. MELTED!
Perhaps even more surprising was what didn't melt - all of my Perfectly Posh products were perfectly fine! (pun intended) The skin sticks, lotion, bar of soap, face wash, all samples - looked as perfect as the day I got them. I was so impressed. Mara has told me the products are designed to hold up during shipping in any kind of weather and boy is that true!
So all in all, I made a few mistakes with items that I packed, and a few didn't survive the journey, but I'm doing just fine. I'm most impressed with my Perfectly Posh items and I plan to restock those whenever I run out. They are high quality, good for you, made with sustainably sourced ingredients, and most importantly for me right now - they travel well!
If you've read this far, guess what - now I get to GIVE YOU something! I've teamed up with Mara to offer you all a special promotion on Perfectly Posh. (P.S. Not a sponsored post, I just love the products!)
When you sign up for an account with Perfectly Posh you start earning "perks" or rewards every time you order. The company gives you 500 perks just for signing up, and then Mara is offering you all DOUBLE perks on your first order with her AND if you order 3 or more items she'll send you a coupon for half off your next purchase! Plus Perfectly Posh always offers the deal of buy 5 items get 1 free!
Here's how to sign up for rewards!
Click here for Mara's website so you will be shopping with her as your consultant. At the top click on "Perks" and then click on "Join Perks Now". From there just enter your information as prompted and you'll be all set to go!
Remember I earned FREE items just from earning perks from my own purchases - what's not to love?! And I have loved every single product I have tried from PP. If you want to learn more about items and get in on other special deals from time to time, you can join Mara's Facebook group here.
I hope you give it a try and find some new products you LOVE!