Being over 50 has some new guidelines for what is necessary to take on a long weekend for beauty & Rx medicine categories. Here is a bullet wardrobe reminder of what I “need” to be comfortable on a long weekend–that still comfortably fits into my one small suitcase. I rely on travel sized items, beauty samples, and premiums–those nice little extras that come with a cosmetic purchase. I also rely on my favorite brands and their special travel-sized, age/skin-type related items–I usually purchase some as I see the kits available, as well as ask for some as a gift idea every year! My go to is Clinique–the comfort of knowing how it smells (or doesn’t smell) as well as how my skin feels when I use it makes it part of my travel routine. You will see that I use many other brands for other “must-have” items, but I always come back to Clinique for the foundation of my skin care routine.
Here’s the bullet wardrobe reminder list:
Eye makeup remover
Serum (only the small format bottle, the larger serum stays at home)
Moisturizer with Sunscreen for daytime
Sunscreen, sensitive skin
Eye primer (Urban Decay)
Eye shadow set (usually just one, but sometimes two–I will use any brand with the right combination)
Eyebrow pencil (found a great version for salt and pepper haircolor–Bobby Brown!)
Urban Decay 24 hour makeup setting spray (only brand I use and it is a lifesaver, since I use layers of moisturizer around my eyes)
Blush, cream stick in perfect neutral for me
Zambeezi lip Balm (favorite brand)
Lip color, gloss, stick in my wear everywear neutral (find your perfect neutral–don’t use someone else’s–because then it’s not perfect on You!)
Brushes, cotton balls, cotton swabs (Q-tips, because I wouldn’t know what a cotton swab was)
Extra washcloth or two (I can’t tell you how many times I wanted an extra washcloth and couldn’t seem to get one from housekeeping at midnight, or in a pensione sometimes they are really rough)
Hairspray (I only like Dove right now)
Small travel size shampoo & conditioner (just in case they provide a pump of all-in-one gel in the shower)
Spare bobby pins, hair comb (just in case need to put hair up and look a little more “evening”)
Aloe Vera gel, with lidocaine (good for more than the occasional sunburn!)
Disposable wipes for whatever needs wiping (door knobs, toilet seats, hands) or many times, if I don’t need the antiseptic element, I use wet paper towels in a zip lock bag–better for the environment, your health, etc.
Black Electrical Tape– This is my best secret essential! For people with light sensitivity–inevitably, I am kept awake by the blinking smoke detector light positioned right over “my side” of the bed, or other LED lights that unfortunately, cause migraines
It all fits nice and neat in the usual bags. This is not for carry on bags! We have been traveling by train and car to our destinations, and I have had to check my bag when I fly, due to the small size of the airplanes. So there has been little to no need to do the extra work of a carry-on plan here in Europe. I will do a break down and show a carry-on Beauty & Rx in a later blog post.
Traveling to Berlin for a weekend had me solving the weather problem: rainy, humid, hot, sunny, and chilly, and windy– all in the course of three days. On top of that, it was my 16th anniversary, so I knew that at least one nice dinner was on the itinerary. Other than a nice dinner, we planned to go to museums, see a memorial to fallen Russian soldiers, see the Berlin Tiergarten Siegessaeule, a monument honoring victories in the “unification” wars. We also planned on seeing Charlottenburg Palace, and hopping a bus over to Potsdam to wander around Sans Souci, built by Friedrich the Great inspired by Versailles. In addition, we couldn’t see Berlin without going to the Helmut Newton museum. So, comfortable shoes were a must — there was so much walking on cobblestones, dirt paths, steps, and streets.
Here’s my bullet wardrobe reminder. I followed prevailing fashion advice, neutrals–white, gray, black–with one predominant accent color–petal pink. After all, it was my anniversary and I certainly wanted to look light and feminine, summery and happy! Additionally, I wore some beautiful Alexis Bittar jewelry that my hubby had purchased for me a few years ago.
Rain windbreaker: packable, white
Trenchcoat: short, pink, not super waterproof
Dress: pewter, lightweight, comfortable, nice enough for most restaurants
Jeans: black motorcycle
T-shirt: floral, Balmain
Tank: floral, charcoal
Sneakers: white converse
Walking cross trainers: black and white
Scarves: microfiber pastel print, pink mesh, linen white print
Vintage accessory: charm bracelets
A few Berlin highlights: There is a street called Strasse Juni 17th — so if that is your Anniversary date–it’s perfect to celebrate on that street, on that date.
Strasse Juni 17th looking at the Seugessaeule, or Victory Memorial. There was a bicycle race that day, Juni 17th!
The Reichstag — the German capitol building with the flag flying in the wind!
When I go to Paris (or Prague) and I only want to take one suitcase, I look at the weather, decide on a “look” and then write down what I will take. Here’s a reminder of a Bullet Wardrobe that has worked for prior trips taken in spring and summer to these wonderful cities. You’ll notice the simplicity of color choice: black, which 1) rates high on the style index, especially when spending time in art museums and cathedrals, and 2) transitions into a decent dinner look with a little extra eyeliner and jewelry. Accent with white, if you have salt and pepper hair, and forget an accent color. Yes, minimalism is all the rage. Let the scarves do all of the work.
Here’s the Bullet wardrobe list:
Jeans: skinny, black
Jeans: moto, black
Jacket: Lightweight Black leather biker
Jacket: Satin Bomber–Black, Olive, Burgundy
Sweater: Black hoodie
Shirt: L/S Button up Silk, Black (dress up or down based on shoes/jewelry/scarf)
T-shirt: S/S Vintage Chanel Logo Black
T-shirt: Sleeveless, lightweight & drapey, zebra-striped print, vintage Saint Laurent
Walking shoes: Black and white power walking shoes with inserts (a must for cobblestones and hills!)
Walking shoes: Black Converse are lightweight, stylin’ and still okay for walking
Pumps: vintage or just old? Zebra-striped pony pumps for when you want to go out at night!
Two scarves (because you’ll buy at least one on the trip): silk red and purple floral, lightweight animal print
Umbrella (which you could lose and so you will purchase another one)
Now that I’m comfortable with my 50’s appearance, it only took 5 years, I am helping myself remember which packing plans have worked best for me here in Europe. This post covers our trip to see the WWI history in Verdun. The weather forecast was rainy; the itinerary included light hiking in the woods, staying at a pensione in the country, and going to a community flea market.
Bullet wardrobe for a long weekend in Verdun, Lorraine, France over the July 4 holiday.
Jeans: stretchy, straight leg
Knit shirts: L/S french stripes
Shirt: Crisp, white button down
Cardigan: White, light weight
Rain shell: white, packable
Rain coat: mustard yellow tin cloth
Down vest or wool pullover (wished for on trip)
3 scarves: linen, vintage silk, microfiber
Hiking boots: should have been waterproof, legwarmers were a plus
Focusing on wearing white makes selfies seem lighter and somewhat more flattering. Using the old wardrobe rule 2 neutrals+1 accent color keeps it simple. Remember that in these wet, cloudy, and breezy climates, layering allows accommodation for temperature fluctuations. The folks in Verdun were kind and in the country, were just like all country folks-hospitable and pragmatic.