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How to Pack Your Carry-On Bag Like a Champ

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I travel a lot, which means I fly a decent amount. One of the worst parts of flying is figuring out how to pack  your carry-on bag perfectly so you’re not bored during the flight, but you also don’t have a lot of stuff you don’t actually need to carry around the airport.

I’m definitely an overpacker, so lately I’ve been working on honing my carry-on list down to the absolute essentials. Here’s everything that I bring on an airplane, and you should too.

The bag

Right now my carry-on backpack is one that I’ve had since college. It’s still a nice backpack, and has held up great, but it really is more for school than for travel. After 8 years, the stitching is starting to fray as well, so I’m worried a strap will break while I’m running for a flight one day.

I’ve had my eye on this Matein backpack as a replacement. It’s got so many pockets that are perfect for organizing your things while you travel, and even though it looks small, it’s big enough to fit a 15 inch laptop.

That black feature on the side between the two big pockets is a charging port. You plug your power bank into the inside and your phone into the outside, and then you can charge as you’re walking.

The back has a luggage strap, so you can hook the backpack over your suitcase handle and not have to carry it once you’ve picked up your luggage at your destination.

The Entertainment

I always have my phone and ipad when I travel, so I always have games to play or books on my kindle app. I also like to bring a physical book on a plane even though it takes up space in my bag.

My favorite book is American Gods by Neil Gaiman. It’s got the fantasy element that I love and it’s also set in the midwest, so I love when the characters go to places that I know. It’s kind of long, so it’s great for a long plane ride and since I love to read it over and over, I don’t need to bring any other books.

The Accessories

One thing I hate that always ends up happening is my headphones getting tangled. I have to spend so much time untangling them and getting them tangled up means they’re more likely to break. Luckily, I found this headphone wrap from Hide & Drink. I love how easy it is to wrap your headphones to keep them from tangling and it comes in somanycutecolors. The key ring means you can stick this anywhere and it will stay there so you never have to dig through your backpack for your headphones again.

These iPhone chargers are the best ones I’ve ever gotten. I usually manage to break charger cables within a few months, but I’ve had these for over a year and they’re going strong. It’s super handy that there are four cables in three lengths, but for a flight you only need a 3ft cable.

If you have a short flight on a cheap airline, there’s no place to charge your phone or iPad on the plane. I use my phone and iPad for everything, especially for keeping myself occupied on a flight, so after a few hours my batteries are pretty dead on both. Having a power bank in my backpack is an absolute must, and this one from Poweradd is not only super pretty, but it also can charge your phone several times before needing to be recharged itself.

Finding a place to charge all your things before you take off is a great way to save on how much you’re using your power bank. The worst thing about airports is having a long layover and not being able to find a place to plug in all your electronics. This cute power strip makes it easy to charge everything as long as you can find one open outlet. I usually have my iPad and my phone and sometimes my computer as well when I’m traveling, so I love that I can charge everything at once with this little guy.

You need a reusable water bottle for the plane. Just make sure it’s empty when you go through security and fill it at a water fountain once you’re through. This Under Armour bottle is my favorite for airports. At 18oz, it’s a smaller than a CamelBak water bottle, which comes between 20oz and 32oz, but it’s a lot better for air travel. When the plane is taking off and landing, pressure changes force water up the straw in the CamelBak bottle and it dribbles all over everything. The Under Armour bottle doesn’t have a straw for water to be forced up and it has a locking cap to keep your water inside instead of all over your stuff.

The Clothes

You should always have an extra outfit in your carry-on in case your suitcases get lost by the airline. I like to bring three extra pairs of socks and underwear, a tshirt, and a pair of jeans. Layers are great, but I hate bringing sweatshirts in my carry-on because they’re bulky and take up so much space if you’re not wearing them.

A jacket is a great layer to bring instead of a sweatshirt. I love utility jackets like this ViiViiKay anorak because they have so many pockets for when you’re arriving at the airport or going through customs and need your ID and boarding pass easily accessible a lot.

The Toiletries

You’re going to need the basics, like your toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash, hairbrush, and comb. Every Walgreens, Wal-Mart, Target, or similar store has a travel section, so these are easy to find. What’s more important is finding the right containers for everything else.

Having the right toiletries is super important to me. The wrong products will ruin my skin and hair and hotels don’t even have conditioner half the time, let alone one that will work for me. This travel set is adorable and also made of silicone, so it won’t break easily like plastic travel-size bottles do.

Keeping my (non-liquid) makeup organized is an important part of traveling too. Nothing is worse than getting somewhere and not being able to find my eyeliner or the right brush. I love this makeup bag because it’s not too bulky and it has pockets for everything I need. The big pocket is great for my actual makeup products, while the smaller pocket has a mirror, a pouch for things like wipes, cotton balls, and qtips, and slots to keep my brushes organized.

The Snacks

Besides books and entertainment, snacks are the most important thing in my backpack.

I love KIND bars. I’m pretty sure no granola bar is actually healthy, but I like that they’ve got all the gluten free and super grains information on the packaging so I can pretend these bars are healthy. They’re probably a lot more healthy than any other granola bar. I don’t think it helps that I like the peanut butter and dark chocolate ones, but at least I’m getting antioxidants from the chocolate.

I also love fruit leather and Stretch Island is my jam. These strips are really small, but individually they’re around $.59 each, so they’re not expensive. I think they’re actually healthy since they’re made from 100% juice. This variety pack has apple, apricot, cherry, grape, raspberry, and strawberry flavors. I’ll probably have eaten all of them before takeoff.

Did I miss anything that’s a must-bring on your packing list? Let me know in the comments what your favorite products for flying are.


Learning to Apply False Eyelashes

I was given a discount on some false eyelashes from Boss Beauty Babes to try. I’ve never worn false eyelashes before, so I had no idea where to begin with these. There are so many options for the eyelashes and I didn’t know what any of it meant, so I just picked some and hoped for the best.


Since the eyelashes are so beautiful, I got some cheap ELF eyelashes to practice with before trying the Boss Beauty Babes lashes. It did not go well, mostly due to the very bad ELF lash glue. I looked online to find recommendations for a better lash glue and most people raved about Revlon’s Lash Glue.


The higher-quality lash glue made things go much more smoothly, but it was still difficult to get the lashes on in the right position. You’re supposed to get them as close to your lash line as possible, which I found super difficult.

I did eventually manage to get them on, and I looked fabulous if you don’t look too closely and notice they’re not quite on properly.


I’m going to practice more with applying false eyelashes and hopefully someday I’ll be good enough at it that I can wear these in public. I think they’re super fun.

Check out my video on the application process!

Do you like wearing false eyelashes? Have advice for me on how to apply them? Leave me a comment!

#MakeupMonday – Sephora Play! Review June 2017


I’ve been getting Sephora Play! for a few months now. I personally like it, but I’ve heard from others who are better at makeup than I am that it isn’t worth the money.


Play costs $10/month and comes with five hair and beauty samples, plus one perfume sample. A lot of the samples I’ve gotten are products that I’ve heard a lot about, but have never tried because they’re so expensive. Sephora and Ulta allow returns if you don’t like a product, but I would rather try a sample of something and know I like it than buy a full size and have to spend the time and hassle of returning it if I don’t like it. That being said, I think a lot of people don’t like Play because a lot of the products are so well-known. Most people who use makeup beyond the drug store brands regularly have tried a lot of these products and already know if they like them. Part of the fun of a subscription box is trying something new, so if you’ve already tried a lot of the samples, it’s not much fun.

If you are a beginner like me, Play sends a Play! Book explaining what each product is and how to use it. They also put up tutorials and videos on their website, but not until almost the end of the month, always well after I’ve gotten my box and have already started trying the products.

A final benefit to Play is if you collect Sephora Beauty Insider points. You of course get the 10 points a month for buying the box, and you also get sent a Play! Pass worth 50 points. I don’t have a picture of mine because I already used it this month. To use it, you have to make a purchase at Sephora, but you do have until the end of the next month to use it, so the June Pass expired on July 31st. This means you can end up with multiple passes if you don’t use them right away. The last time I went to Sephora, I had my Pass from May and from June. The associate said I could only use one per purchase, but luckily I had my sister with me and she doesn’t have a Sephora account. She used my second Pass on her purchase, so I got the 50 points (and the points from her purchase!).

Here’s what I got this month:

The Bag

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Sephora Play nearly always comes in a little sack thing like this. It is cute, but I don’t think it’s functional as a makeup bag. I keep these to use as gift bags when I have to give a gift. My mom loved the one I put her Mother’s Day present in.

Rich Kid Coconut Oil Gel

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I was confused about what exactly this product was at first. It’s a sort of hair gel, but it’s not a styling gel. It’s creamy rather than sticky and it’s supposed to make your hair piecey and give it a just-rolled-out-of-bed look, but in a good way. I didn’t like it at first because of the smell. I don’t really have a good description for it other than it smells like a boy. However, once my hair dried, the smell dissipated. The product is pretty weightless and is perfect as a hydrator and conditioner for my hair. I’ve never had such frizz-free hair. I’ve been loving Verb’s Ghost Oil for the last few months, but I might have to replace it with IGK’s Rich Kid Gel. The Ghost Oil is $14 for a 2oz bottle, whereas Rich Kid Gel is $27 for a 5oz bottle, so Rich Kid Gel is slightly cheaper per ounce than Ghost Oil. It’s also vegan and cruelty-free, which I’m a fan of, gluten-free, which I’m indifferent to, and contains no parabens, sulfates, or phthalates, which I don’t know what those are.

Rose Hair & Body Oil

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I thought this oil was decently moisturizing, but I think there are better moisturizing products out there. It’s $32 for a 3oz bottle, which is super expensive, but it contains a lot of essential oils, including rosa moschata (rosehip) seed oil, so it’s expensive because it contains expensive ingredients.

First Aid Beauty
Hello FAB Coconut Skin Smoothie Priming Moisturizer

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I really liked this moisturizer. First Aid Beauty’s Ultra Repair Face Moisturizer is my usual one that I use, but I might start to switch off with this one sometimes. Like the Ultra Repair Moisturizer, the Coconut Skin Smoothie one is super lightweight, but still feels immediately moisturizing without feeling greasy. I know that primer is supposed to minimize pores and make your foundation stay better, but I don’t really know how to judge how well it’s worked, so I guess this one worked pretty well? It does say that it’s good for all skin types, including sensitive. It also says that it does not contain parabens, sulfates, and lots of other things I’ve never heard of, so that’s probably good. It’s $28 for a 1.7oz bottle, which is kind of expensive, but First Aid Beauty products are definitely worth the price.

Benefit Cosmetics
The POREfessional Face Primer

Again, I have no idea how to tell if a primer is good or bad. My sister said she likes this, so I’m going to say it works great. I did like that this was weightless and didn’t feel greasy at all. It’s an oil-free formula that has Vitamin E, which protects skin from free radicals. I don’t know what a free radical is. It’s $31 for a 0.75oz bottle, which is super expensive.

Kat Von D
Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in K-Dub

I’ve heard so much about this lipstick, so I was super excited when I got it in my Play box. I wasn’t sure about the color when I saw it in the bottle, but once I put it on, I was sold. It’s so pretty. However, the lipstick definitely is not long wearing. I was eating a sandwich about half an hour after putting on the lipstick and my sandwich turned pink because all the lipstick came off on it. After about two hours, it had worn off completely. In comparison, my usual liquid lipstick is Maybelline SuperStay 24, which lasts most of the day (not all day) and costs $10.49 as compared to $20 for Kat Von D Everlasting Lipstick. I’m sticking with Maybelline on this one.

Yves Saint Laurent
Black Opium

I’m not usually a perfume kind of person, but I love trying out the scent samples I get in Play boxes. Black Opium is one of my favorites so far and definitely one I would go back to if I wore perfume more often. A 1oz bottle is $69, which obviously is super expensive, but I also expect perfumes to be expensive, especially a scent from such a high-end brand.

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If you want to watch me trying all of the makeup out, check out the video here.

#MakeupMonday – Ipsy Review June 2017

I’ve been getting Ipsy for a few months now and I love it.

I’ve always been scared to try new makeup because it can be expensive and I’m not very good at makeup, so if I don’t like it or can’t figure out how to use it, I’ve just wasted money if I can’t return it or time if I can because that’s another trip to the store I didn’t need.

Ipsy is $10/month, so it’s a cheap way to discover new products and find out what you do and don’t like. If you’re like me and only know the makeup basics, I definitely recommend signing up for Ipsy. The product page for each item includes tutorials on how to use it in addition to basic product information and reviews from other Ipsy customers.

Here’s what I got this month:

The Bag

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The makeup always comes in an adorable makeup bag. This month is this fun lip bag. I always check spoilers, so I knew what the bag was going to look like before I got it and I wasn’t excited, but I like it a lot better in person than I did when I saw the picture.

Ultra-Clear Daily Skin Hydrator with SPF 50

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If you subscribe to my YouTube channel, you know that I spend most of my time outdoors, so I love a moisturizer with SPF 50 protection. This lotion does contain octinoxate, which can be harmful to coral reefs, so be aware that it’s not environmentally friendly, especially if you’re near an ocean. The full price for a 1.7oz bottle is $39.95, so this 0.42fl oz sample is about $9.99 (I think). I think that’s pretty pricey and I’m already against it for being a reef killer, so this one gets a solid no from me.

As far as being a moisturizer, I think it works fine, but it does feel slightly heavy on my skin. I use First Aid Beauty’s Ultra Repair Face Moisturizer, which is really light and easy to forget about as soon as you have it on because you can’t feel it sitting on top of your skin. It’s $24 for a 1.7fl oz bottle, which is almost half of what the SPF Rx hydrator costs.

NYX Professional Makeup
Whipped Lip & Cheek Soufflé

This lip and cheek color costs $6 and comes in eight different shades. If you got it in your Ipsy glambag, the color options were Cocoa Bean, Pink Cloud, or Plush. I got it in Plush, which is a nude pink shade.

It smells like cake, which is fun. I love the color, but it does wear off lips really quickly, so it doesn’t really work out as a lip color. It’s a great cheek color, though.

theBalm Cosmetics
Balm Springs Blush

This little sample weighs 0.8g and it looks like a full size blush is 5.61g and $21, so this little guy is worth about $2.99 (I think). The packaging is magnetic to keep the door closed and protect the blush, which I love. It’s so easy to ruin samples when you open them and have no way to close them again.

This shade is darker than the Nyx Whipped Soufflé. I do like the color, but not with the Nyx color on my lips.

Luna By Luna Cosmetics
Eyeshadow in Jace

I adore this color! I don’t like pinks in my clothing, but I can’t get enough of them on my face. This shadow costs $15 and comes in three colors. I definitely think this one is the prettiest and I’m so glad I got it in my glambag.

Beauty For Real
I-LINE 24-7 Eyeliner

I’ve gotten an eyeliner in my glambag every single month and I’m okay with that. This one comes in six colors and costs $14. Ipsy sent out two colors, 24 Karat and Chocolate Fix. I got 24 Karat, which is quite the departure from my usual blacks and browns. I have no idea where I would wear gold eyeliner to, but it’s super fun.

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If you want to see my trying to follow Ipsy’s tutorials to put on all this makeup, check out the video here.

Want to sign up for Ipsy? Follow this link.

Makeup that impresses the wildlife

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We all know that the fish and the deer care how you look. Whenever I go out on an adventure, my goal is to impress the wildlife.

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To achieve this look, I start with a Maybelline concealer stick. It says it’s waterproof, but I haven’t tested that out yet. I’ll let you know if that’s true the next time I get caught in a rainstorm or head out on a lake or river.

The shade I use is Light Beige, which is probably too light for me, but I’m not really sure how to judge that. I don’t think it looks awful at the end, so it’s probably fine. I got this concealer because I don’t sleep, so I always have dark circles under my eyes. I think it helps.

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I do it in this triangle pattern because I watched a video once, I think it was Christen Dominique, where she said to do it like this so it blends out more naturally and you don’t just go from having super dark undereye circles to super light ones.

Next I do Maybelline’s Fit Me Foundation. The shade I use is Ivory. It’s an SPF 18 sunscreen and it does have octinoxate in it, so be aware of that because it’s one of the ingredients in sunscreen that’s harmful to corals, so always be on the lookout for octinoxate, oxybenzone, butylparaben and 4-methylbenzylidine camphor. Not good for ocean life.

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I put it on with this little spongy guy that I got off Amazon. The brand is called Lux Beauty.

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Smudge it all out!

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Then I do Maybelline’s shine free loose powder in Light. It soaks up all the oils on your skin and I think it locks down the makeup so it’s harder to mess up. I just know my skin feels silky after I put it on and not oily, so I like it because of that.

It comes with a little puff thing, but I use this Essential Beauty powder brush to put it on.

Then I put on Maybelline’s SuperStay 24 Lip Color. This is my favorite product ever. It comes in so many shades and it really does stay on forever. This shade is called Berry Persistent. I bite my lips a lot, so normal lipsticks always look awful and get all over my teeth after a few hours, but this one doesn’t do that. It takes a minute to dry, so I just put it on and leave it to dry while I’m doing my blush and eyeliner.

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For blush, I just do an e.l.f. blush. This one is Peachy Keen and it looks like they might have discontinued this particular shade because I couldn’t find it on their website.

I use this Bare Escentuals brush to put it on, and I don’t really know where to start with blush, so I put it near the tops of my cheeks.

If it looks too pigmented, I use my fingers to wipe it off until it looks right to me.

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My favorite eyeliner right now is Make Up Forever’s Aqua XL Pencil. I got this sample in Black from a Sephora Play box and I didn’t like it at first because it’s such a strong color. Gunmetal and other more understated colors are more my style. I ended up loving this eyeliner, though, because it lasts all day and it’s waterproof.

I read that if you do liner all the way around on the top and bottom lids, it makes your eyes look smaller, so I only do the top or if I’m using a less dramatic shade, I’ll start at the outer corner and go in, stopping about a quarter way or halfway in.

My mascara is Cover Girl’s Clump Crusher Water Resistant mascara. This is the only mascara I’ve found that I’ve really liked. Everything else I’ve tried has made my eyelashes clump together and look gross. I don’t know if it’s the formula they use for the Clump Crusher mascara, or the wand, but I love this mascara wand so much.

Now that I’ve done all that, my lip color is dry, so all I need is to throw on a balm. I use the Hey Honey Besame Mucho balm that I got in an Ipsy glambag a few months ago.

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And that’s it. Eight products on my face and I’m ready to get outside and impress the wildlife!


You can also watch me struggle through this look on YouTube.