Thursday, October 25, 2007

Travelling and the Beauty Junkie.

I recently made a 15 hour trans-Pacific journey to the United States by plane, and as you all know, long-haul flights to this part of the world can be hellish for a beauty junkie. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regulations stipulate that anything remotely liquid or gel-like, such as lip gloss and moisturizer, may not carried on board in containers exceeding 3 oz or 90ml, and all of these have to be placed in a single quart-sized ziploc bag. I chafed against these rules when they were first announced, but I have come to appreciate them as my carry-on bag has since become significantly lighter. I used to pack full-sized toiletries and a whole makeup bag into my carry-on in addition to two paperbacks, an ipod, cellphone, water bottle, pashmina, travel wallet, purse, pencil case, several notebooks... no wonder I regularly ended a journey with a sore back!

While makeup essentials such as blush and lipstick that prevent one from looking like death warmed over after a long flight are no longer an issue, cleansing and moisturizing treatments are. Fortunately, travel-sized items and miniature gift-with-purchase (GWP) novelties abound, and they are especially easy to obtain in Asian air transportation hubs in Singapore, Hong Kong, Taipei, Seoul and Japan. While I've yet to experience the last two, cosmetics-shopping in Hong Kong and Taipei is great fun as the shops carry brands like Jurlique, Shu Uemura and La Prairie. I never mind layovers in these airports as I'm able to pick up a couple of hard-to-get items at much lower prices. This time round in Taipei, I purchased my favourite Shiseido Anessa SPF50 sunscreen and the Chanel Sublimage eye cream that was US$40 cheaper than those sold in department stores. Unfortunately, due to the no-liquids rule, my purchases were sealed in a plastic bag with a warning not to open it until I had reached my final destination in the U.S. I also spotted (but sigh, passed up) an adorable pink-themed Shu Uemura set containing a beauty oil cleanser and rose-scented depsea water spritz in travel-friendly sizes as well as 2 full-sized eye shadows in pink and black. While they would have been perfect, I was determined to use what I had packed into my ziploc baggie, which included:
  • Single-use, sample-sized sachets of Aesop's Primrose Facial Cleansing Masque, Oil-Free Facial Hydrating Serum and Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Eye Serum. Yes, I used a mask instead of a facial cleanser in an airport bathroom (to great effect, might I add) because I procrastinated and forgot to stock up on Cetaphil and facial cleansing wipes before my trip.
  • Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 Gel
  • SK II Signs Eye Mask
  • Travel-sized L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream
  • Shu Uemura eyebrow pencil
  • Chanel Inimitable mascara in black
  • C.O. Bigelow Mentha Lip Tint in red
  • Laura Mercier Secret Concealer in #2
  • Travel-sized apple mint toothpaste
  • Tiger Balm
Now, even if TSA decides that travel-sized toiletries were too huge a risk and bans them completely, we could possibly live with it as long as we could keep ourselves hydrated during the flight by drinking several litres of water, right? Unfortunately, what applies to your facial cleanser applies to your water bottle as well - no bigger than 3 oz and placed in a quart-sized ziploc bag. Granted, the air hostess will come around periodically with her tray of drinks, but this is hardly an effective way to keep our skin cells plump and hydrated during an hours-long flight. Also, come ON - 90ml of water? A mug or glass of water usually contains around 250ml! What I do to get around this limitation is to actually bring an empty 500ml or 1 litre bottle on board, and get it filled as soon as I can once I'm on the plane. Now that I've written this down, I'm afraid I have doomed empty water bottles to a senseless banning.

Well, until then, happy travelling, beauty junkies!

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