How to travel with foundation

I travel regularly for work, and I’ve realized that about 1/3 of my luggage is makeup and beauty products. I have a lot of bottles and tubes, and I realized that foundation takes up a lot of space.


The Make Up For Ever Mat Velvet+ foundation is probably the smallest bottle of foundation I currently own. It is much smaller than the palm of my hand… but still, who needs to bring a full bottle of foundation? I’m not going to use it up even if I go away for a month or so.  Isn’t there a better way to travel with foundation?


I considered squeeze tubes and jars which are sold in the travel section.  But I still thought they were too big!

As I was browsing the 100 yen store, I saw these small tubes. They are used to store soy sauce to put into bentos. They are tiny, cheap (I bought 8 for $1), and they don’t leak.  Score!


This is how I have been traveling with foundations. Each tube lasts me well over 2 weeks!


Do you have any tips when you travel? Please let me know!

xoxo, K

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My hangover recovery routine

Many expats who move to Japan are surprised at how much Japanese people drink. Public intoxication is not against the law here, and actually, it is expected in many companies that you will get roaring drunk in order to bond with your colleagues.


I’ve had my fair share of drinks, and I’ve found that I get more hangovers as I get older.  Here are my tips and tricks to recover from them!


(I found this picture online. Who wakes up with a hangover and still has perfect lipstick and mascara????)


Water, water, water


Prevention is definitely the key. I try to alternate between alcoholic drinks and non-alcoholic drinks (my favorite is club soda), but I often forget.

Once I get home, I force myself to drink a bottle of water before I go to sleep.  My body is so dehydrated from drinking that it needs all the water it can get.  This bottle of water is a huge help to me in the morning!

I also keep a bottle by my bedside in case I wake up in the middle of the night.



Bowl with yoghurt

In general, I find that eating when I am hungover helps me feel better.  I try to eat light food, like yogurt, a smoothie, or some toast.



Go outside


I know, I know… I want to sleep off my hangover too.  But I have found that taking a walk outside makes me feel much better, and it is easier to get back into my normal routine.  On the other hand, when I try to sleep it off, I feel hungover until the late afternoon.


In the end, there are no magical cures for hangovers.  I drink water, eat, and try to metabolize the remaining toxins in my body!


How do you recover from a hangover?


xoxo, K

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Skin care and makeup must-haves for a summer resort

My trip to Hawaii was fantastic!  Since Japan is pretty cold right now, I had to make a huge adjustment to my skin care and makeup when I got to Hawaii.  This is a round up of some products which are essential to me when I travel to a summer resort.
I did a summer must-haves post a few years ago. My summer resort must-haves are a little different, since it assumes that I don’t need to look “work appropriate”.  These are not the only products I brought with me on vacation. These are the products that I brought specifically because of the weather.
BB cream or tinted moisturizer
I like a little coverage even when I’m on vacation, and I also like to look effortless. A BB cream or tinted moisturizer is the right product for me.  Right now, I like the Martha Tilaar Caring Colours BB cream, a local Indonesian product I picked up while I lived in Jakarta.
Eyeshadow that I can swipe on with my finger
I picked the L’Oreal Infallible eyeshadows in Forever Pink and Sahara Treasure, and the Maybelline 24 hour Color Tattoo in Barely Branded. I don’t need a brush to apply these, and they look great just by themselves.
Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter in Creme Brulee
These were super popular in the beauty blogger world a while ago, and I picked one up in Hawaii. This is another easy product which gives a little bit of color to my lips. I’m looking for a pink-peach one to pick up next – any suggestions?

Skin Care

Broad spectrum spray sunscreen
This time, I bought Neutrogena Wet Skin SPF 85+ because I wanted a sunscreen that I could apply even if I was sweating or wet from the ocean.  It is a little bit hard for me to find spray sunscreens in Japan!
As I mentioned several times before, I apply sunscreen quite rigorously because I don’t want to tan, but unfortunately I did while I was in Hawaii.
A light eye cream
I like to bring a light eye cream to help recover from sun damage.  This is the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair eye cream. It is a light gel which absorbs easily into my skin.
Hair products
Dry shampoo
This is the L’Oreal EverStyle Energizing dry shampoo. I like to use dry shampoo to give my hair some volume at the roots. Dry shampoos are hard to find in Japan.
Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray
When I’m in a summer resort, I like to go for a beachy wavy look. I apply dry shampoo to my roots and this surf spray to the ends of my hair.  This gives me the summer-y look that I want.
I really had a great time in Hawaii, and I am preparing blog posts sharing some of the places I went.  I hope that I can go back to Hawaii soon!
What do you bring when you go to a summer resort?
xoxo, K
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Why 95% of my blog posts are scheduled posts

This blog post is heavily inspired by this article by Beautyholics Anonymous.

You may have noticed that I have a regular schedule when it comes to blog posts. Typically, I post 3 times a week – a non-review post (sometime unrelated to beauty) on Monday, a review on Wednesday, and a Weekly Reads on Friday or Saturday. Most of these are scheduled posts, which I rely on heavily.



Why do I always schedule my blog posts?  I have 3 major reasons.

1. I’m a perfectionist and cannot publish a blog post without proofreading it

I typically write a blog post, save it as a draft, and proofread it again before publishing. This helps me catch a lot of typos and awkward phrases. I am a native English speaker, but I have not lived in the US for over 15 years, and I sometimes make strange mistakes. This helps me to catch them before I publish a blog post.

There are also some times when I edit and I realize that I forgot to mention something in the blog post. By proofreading at a later time, I can catch these mistakes before publishing the blog post.

2. Scheduling helps me to provide content on a regular schedule

Every blogger has probably gone through times when they are brimming with inspiration, when they can write blog post after blog post of interesting content. On the other hand, we have all probably had writer’s block as well. As every “how to write a good blog” article mentions, it is important to provide regular posts. By writing articles when I am inspired, I have blog post drafts that I can then edit and space out as scheduled posts.

3. The weekends are my only “private time”

Many of you know that I typically work 12 hours a day, or somewhere near that. I wake up at 5 AM, and try to go to bed by 10 PM.  Everything that I do related to my blog tends to happen on weekends, including taking pictures and editing them, writing blog posts, and commenting on other blogs. If I want to post any more frequently than once per week, scheduled posts help me to do so.

If you are a blogger, do you do scheduled posts? Or, do you post as you write?

xoxo, K

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How to pack skin care and makeup for traveling

As you may know, I used to travel extensively for work. I’ve had a few trips when I was home for only 2 days before going on another business trip!  There are a few things I learned during this time which has helped me a lot when it comes to packing skin care and makeup.

How can you pack without forgetting things? How can you know how much skin care products you should bring? How can you bring just enough makeup – not too much and not too little?
Read on to learn my tips and tricks!

1. I have a packing list
This is a list of everything I pack when I go away. This list has everything from my passport, to my cellphone charger (which I tend to forget), to clothes.  EVERYTHING.

I’m pretty good about clothes. As long as I have “clothes”, “underwear”, “socks”, “bras” on the list, I won’t forget anything. I usually make a separate packing list for the actual clothes I’m going to bring, to ensure that I don’t bring too much or too little.

This list is tailored to my own needs, so it has a lot of things that you probably won’t need. For example, steel-toed shoes are on the list since I need them for work.  This list is something I’ve written down in a small notepad I bring everywhere with me. As my needs change, I have changed things on this list.

2. I have a list of things not yet in my suitcase
I always pack on the weekend prior to my departure date.  This gives me enough time to buy something if I need it before the trip.

However, if I pack that much in advance, there are a lot of things that I can’t yet put into my suitcase.  For example, I’ll use my toothbrush until the morning that I leave.  I need a way to remember what I haven’t packed yet.

See the yellow post-it on the picture above?  That is everything which I have not yet put into my suitcase. I write down everything that I haven’t packed yet so that I remember to pack them on the morning of the flight, such as my laptop and glasses.  I cross things off as I put them into by bag.

I’m usually in a rush in the morning before my flight. This post-it note has helped me so many times!

3. I know how much shampoo/shower gel/makeup remover I need to bring

This is an excerpt from the notebook I mentioned above. It shows how much cleanser, toner, shampoo, etc that I need to bring with me.
For example, if I’m going on a 5-day trip, I know I need to bring 4ml * 5days = 20ml of shampoo with me. On the other hand, if I’m going on a month long trip, I need to bring 150ml of shampoo.
This helps me not overpack and still not run out of things that I need.

You might think I’m OCD to make a list like this.  I’ve been on month-long business trips to developing nations.  Things like having nice shampoo or cleanser to use really made a difference in relieving the stress I got, both from working in a new place and not being able to do things for fun.

If you are going somewhere where you know you can buy things that you need, you wouldn’t need a list like this. However, there are many times where you don’t know which brands you should buy, or even where you should buy it!

You might want to know how I figured out how much of each thing I need. I filled several travel-sized bottles with these things, and kept track of how many days it took to use them up.  I was careful to use the “normal” amount, and not skimp on anything. You can see from the notes above – I used a 125 ml bottle of contact lens solution in 35 days = 3.3 ml/day.

All of my skin care stuff goes into this bag from Muji.  The hook on top is very convenient to hang from towel hangers and the like.

4. I know I have just enough makeup
This bag, also from Muji, has all the makeup I need.  If you’ve seen my “rotating makeup” post, you’ll know that I am very good at selecting enough products that I can make different looks and not be bored for 2-3 weeks.

Before I go on my trip, I will pack this bag, and try using ONLY the products from this bag for 2-3 days. This helps me in 2 ways.

First, I’ll notice if there is anything that I need which I have forgotten.  I’ve forgotten to pack things like foundation, and also things like tweezers and scissors which I only use every few days, but that I need to bring on a longer trip.

Second, I’ll notice if there are products which I haven’t touched.  When I do my makeup, I typically dump everything out of this bag onto a table, and put things back into the bag as I use them.  Anything that is remaining on the table when I finish my makeup hasn’t been used.  I notice when the same things remain on the table.  This way, I’ll know if 5 lipsticks is too many for me (yes, it is), or if 8 eyeshadows is too many for me (no, it’s not).  For example, I noticed before my last trip that my highlighter was always left on the table. I realized that the blush I was bringing was so shimmery that I didn’t need a highlighter, and I decided not to bring it on my trip.

That’s about it for makeup and skin care.  Some typical travel tips just don’t work for me, such as bringing things that are dual purpose (I would rather bring two small things).

Remember what you learned from each trip, and try to find what works best for you!

xoxo, K

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