Oct 21, 2014

Travel Tips 102: Beauty On the Go

To say I'm a makeup product collector would be an understatement these days. I'd much prefer a gatherer of beautiful things. I love having tons of products at my fingertips to mix things up on a regular basis, but there just isn't enough room in one suitcase for all those beauty products. So, I force myself to pair down. The conversation usually goes something like this in my head, "you didn't unpack three pairs of shoes just so you could add three eyeshadow palettes, two bronzers and three mascaras. At this rate you'll need two makeup bags".

Packing makeup for travel comes down to the absolute necessities. Do I need my absolute best concealer to hide the fact that I'm only getting two hours of sleep before my flight? Uh, yeah! Do I need to pack a warm nude eyeshadow palette and a cool nudes eyeshadow palette? Uh, no.

Here's what I've got with me this week for our mountain getaway.

Be sure to follow me on Instagram @ erika_bennettblog for a peek into my mountain getaway!

Oct 17, 2014

Travel Tips 101: Packing the Suitcase

VACATION! Seriously, I am so excited I can hardly stand myself. I've been on major vacation brain all week, and by the time you're reading this, I'll be on the tarmac at the Asheville airport for a week long stay in the mountains. I have been looking forward to boots and flannel shirts for months now and I'll finally have a chance to wear them—and not sweat while doing so.

You'd think this trip was all fun and good-times, which it absolutely is, well after the packing at least. You see, the airline that has a direct flight into Asheville also has a max weight limit of 40lbs. for checked bags. Do you know how hard it is to pack jackets, boots, scarves, makeup, a blowdryer and curling iron all into one suitcase and keep it under 40lbs? Let me shoot straight here, it's physically impossible as a female to keep it under the max weight, and this girl isn't paying the $50 overage fee. The struggle is real, people! So, I've gotten smarter as the years have gone on; I check one bag, I carry on a Vera Bradley duffel and a canvas tote.

We'll start with the smallest bag first; in the canvas tote, I keep:
  • My actual purse I'll carry around on vacation
  • iPad and charger
  • Earbuds
  • A magazine (because no electronic devices till the stewardess says)
  • Chapstick
  • Hand sanitizer
  • iPhone and charger
  • My camera and its charger
  • The jewelry I'm taking with me
  • Drink, snack and some chewing gum
  • Notepad and pen
  • Hair tie and bobby pins
The Vera Bradley duffel totes all the heavy stuff that would put my checked suitcase wayyy over the limit. So, that includes:
  • 3 pairs of boots
  • Heavier jacket
  • Rainjacket
  • Sneakers
  • 1 pair of flats
  • Camera tripod
  • Blowdryer
  • Curling Iron

Lastly, the only items left to actually pack in my checked luggage is clothes and liquid products because there's no way I can squeeze all my liquid products into one quart-size, clear bag. I've also got this packing thing down to a fine science. Here's my tips for packing a checked bag:
  • I start off by checking the weather forecast for the entire time I'm going to be somewhere.
  • Based on the forecast, I start to plan outfits including shoes.
  • My rule of thumb is one outfit per day, plus two extra tops.
  • If you know you'll be changing at some point during the day into a second outfit, pack utility players that are versatile enough to go with anything you pack.
  • If you are only going to wear a particular item once, re-think whether you really want to take it or not. No sense taking up prime real estate.
  • An 8 day vacation=3 pairs of jeans max, 8 complete outfits, 1 heavy jacket, I lighter jacket and 3 pair of pajamas.
  • Roll, roll, roll. If you roll all your clothes, you gain a lot more space, your clothes are less likely to wrinkle, and they slide around less when being jostled around by TSA.
My outfit "to-do" list

What packing/travel tips have you picked up along the way?

Oct 14, 2014

Overnight Treat: Night Shift Sleeping Mask

Face masks are "my jam". There is a mask to treat just about any skin issue or correct anything you don't like about your skin. It's why I don't discriminate; sometimes, I need a thick, moisturizing mask and other times I need an acne killer cream all over my face. Either way, I think face masks are the unsung heroes of the skincare realm.

Knowing my affinity for face masks, as soon as I opened my Julep Maven box this month and saw an overnight mask, I knew it needed to get on my face! I will be completely honest, I tend to dislike overnight masks that you sleep in. The main reason, is (don't think I'm crazy) I get claustrophobic, and having thick, goopy cream that I can feel sitting on my skin is way too much for me to handle. I feel trapped, and I end up having to wash it off.

That's not the case, however, with Julep's Night Shift Sleeping Mask. I've only used it once, so this post will be more of a first impression, and then once I've got a few more usages under my belt, I'll give a more in-depth review if one is necessary. As for my first impression, the mask seems thick coming out of the tube, but once you start to blend it on your face, it pretty much disappears. It reminds me more of a deep moisturizer than a face mask. I could tell I had a moisturizer on my face, but it wasn't thick enough to give me the "heebie jeebies" and I made it through the whole night with it on my face.

The mask instantly made my skin feel like butter (in a good way). My skin felt like silk, and I could see it was working to moisturize my face. Like I said above, I made it through the whole night with it on my face. It didn't leave any greasy residue or stickiness on my pillow, and I didn't wake up feeling like cake face; it just felt like my skin sucked up a lot of moisture over night.

Once I washed my face the next morning, a lot of the silkiness was gone, but that's probably due in large part to the face wash I use. I could tell my skin had a bit more of a glow or brightness to it; much to the affect of what a good night's sleep would do for your complexion.

The most interesting revelation was this morning (morning two after mask). I was in a rush this morning, so I didn't apply a primer, but I noticed my foundation still went on smoother than normal. I'd be curious to see if that was just a fluke or comes with the territory after using the overnight mask.

Overall, my first impression of the Night Shift Sleeping Mask by Julep is pretty great.

Oct 7, 2014


I was sitting in bed last night, exhausted yet again from a busy day at work, and the all too busy social life I've been having lately, and I was thinking about my lack of posts recently. I'm not quite sure how I lost hours in the day for the past month, but I'm glad to know I'm gaining much needed spare time back now.

Expect things to be back in full swing around here next week!

Sep 22, 2014

Autumn Soles


I don't think there's anything I love more than fall/winter shopping, which definitely includes boot shopping. There are so many choices: color, riding, ankle, embellished, leather, suede, the list just keeps going. This year, I'm on the hunt for a few new pairs.

I'm waiting to snatch up those Minnetonka moccasins while vacationing in North Carolina later next month. Why would I not buy moccasins  while on Indian tribal land in Cherokee, NC?

I've been desperate for a pair of black riding boots, but have never found a pair I really love. I'm thinking that might change this year. Those Wasee riding boots by Nine West are screaming my name.

Combat boots have made a big return to the scene in the past year, and I think they toughen up any fall look perfectly.

Little black booties are great for dressier occasions, and work with pants, skirts and dresses. They are so versatile it's almost a sin to not own a pair.

Aren't L.L. Bean boots on everyone's wish list? Just me? Okay.

What boots are on your wishlist this season?