Tag Archives: SW Basics

Travel Skincare Diaries


I love skincare minis for travel. Sometimes I’ll even order full-size from certain places just so I can get those minis (Spirit Beauty Lounge, you complete me). Anyone else hoarding minis in a bin under the sink? I find travel can be a great way to test products. Here’s the discoveries I made this past weekend in DC.

I started testing the S.W. Basics Cleanser last week and couldn’t bear to leave it at home for four days. I knew that it would save my skin from any travel breakouts. It’s actually sold in a 1 oz. version so you can bring it with you. The formula is so simple and effective, just three ingredients: organic rosewater, glycerin and tea tree oil. Shake it up, dab it on a cotton pad, spread it over your face and then rinse with warm water. It’s incredibly gentle and is really making me rethink how I cleanse my face.

I had a mini sample of Kahina Giving Beauty Eye Serum that I’d been saving for just the right trip. Two days would have been too short and I would have ended up throwing part of it away. There is surprisingly a lot of product in those tear away samples! Kahina’s Eye Serum is beyond — I need to upgrade to a full-size stat. It is lightweight, which is great for day and night, but seriously powerful. We’re talking peptides to restore collagen, argan oil and sodium hyaluronate to plump skin, alfalfa to soothe and a botanical complex to depuff and lighten up dark circles. It has a cooling effect on skin, too, which feels so good in the morning.

I just can’t with hotel body wash. I need that touch of home in the shower, so prefer to bring my own. I’m hooked on Molton Brown and the Patchouli & Saffron Body Wash smells insanely good. Intoxicatingly good. There’s a leather note in there that is so sexy. Plus, my husband could use it, too.  The mini was cute, but how adorable is the full-size bottle?

I am a body oil convert, but they can be tricky to pack. Plus, I was excited to try the CV Skinlabs Body Repair lotion. I literally squeezed every last drop from the sample I packed. If you have any type of skin irritation—eczema, dry skin, etc. – this is for you. Every ingredient serves a healing purpose. The founder created this line when her dad was fighting cancer to help him with the side effects on his hair, skin and nails. It’s completely non-toxic and feels wonderful on skin. Dry hotel air did not get the best of me.

Up next? A long weekend in Minneapolis.

Low to Luxe: Eye Makeup Remover


My sister tasked me with this latest low to luxe: eye makeup remover! Oh, and I have such strong opinions on the topic. I find it to be a very important step in my nighttime cleansing ritual. It’s my step one, always. But why is it that so many are filled with synthetic fragrance, dyes and other irritants? The last place I want to be rubbing something like that is near my eyeballs. I’m sure you all have experienced the painful eye stinging that usually follows. It’s the worst! But fear not, there are some great formulas out there that are gentle enough for your peepers.

You cannot deny the convenience of a wipe, and the Simple Eye Makeup Remover Pads are your best bet. Super convenient for travel and one pad remove even the heaviest of eye makeup, with ease – I’d add, on both eyes.

Brooklyn-based SW Basics uses just a few ingredients in all of their products, and they all serve a very important purpose. The Makeup Remover uses a blend of organic oils – olive, jojoba and sweet almond – and the tiniest bit removes everything. It’s very concentrated, so you don’t want to use it like you would a traditional liquid. I dip a Q-tip in the bottle and then drag it across my lashes. Then flip it to the other end to clean up and then repeat on the other eye. I used to use a cotton pad, but found it was too absorbent. The Q-tip method will ensure your sustainable glass bottle lasts months!

A legacy staple, I’ve been using Clinique Take the Day Off since I was a teenager. It’s one of those early discoveries that has stuck around! I like the oily texture because it removes everything easily.  If you have to tug or rub too hard, you’re just asking for stretched out skin and premature wrinkles. A bottle lasts forever, and I find that minis always come in the Clinique gift-with-purchases. Which, of course, was how I first tried this product as a teen!

I recently discovered MAKE Dual-Phase Eye Makeup Remover after getting a sample in my Birchbox, and am majorly impressed.  It’s equal parts oil and cucumber- and chamomile-infused water, without any fragrance or parabens. Shake it up and it quickly removes even this eyeliner, which may be the most stubborn (in a good way) I’ve used!