Packing For the U.S.: Skincare, Makeup, and In-Flight Essentials

If you’re seeing this post right after it goes up, I’m probably sitting in an airplane as you read it. I’ll be in the U.S. for the next three weeks to attend a wedding and also to sightsee and visit relatives. I will try to post while I’m there, but if I can’t then I have a few scheduled posts going up. You can follow me on Instagram (@ianabantug) and Snapchat (ianabantug) if you want to see what I’m up to while I’m there! :)

Packing for longer trips is crazy stressful and although I try to “pack smart” and have some sort of a system, I never actually take the same things or employ the same approach twice. For this trip, I tried to take more mini/travel-sized items when possible and also take stuff that I can leave once they are used up (thereby freeing up space to take more things home!).

I’m not going to list every single item because there’s a lot of stuff in this post, but I’ll point out the things I think warrant a bit of an explanation.

Main Toiletries Bag

P1190145This is a Rustan’s brand toiletries bag. I’ve used it for a number of trips now and I really like the size and shape of it. The rectangular shape makes it really easy to pack alongside my packing cubes (for clothes) and the handles up top allow me to hang it up on a hook when I settle into a hotel or at a relative’s place. 

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Quick Trip To Macau — What I Packed

This post was supposed to go up when we flew out on Wednesday, but things came up the day before we had to leave so I didn’t have time to actually write the post. Anyway, it all works out because now I can tell you if I actually ended up using the stuff I brought. I find that no matter how long or short a trip is, packing makeup and skincare is always such a tricky job. BrushesLet’s start with the successful part of my packing: brushes! I love using the travel case that comes with the Real Techniques sets (Starter, Core, and Travel). You’ll notice that I don’t have a single RT brush in there. Sometimes I do end up bringing a couple, but mostly I take whatever brushes I want to. The best thing about it is that it folds into a stand that you can set out anywhere.P1180526To house my makeup I used the pretty Revlon bag that came with the Ultra HD Lipsticks I received last week. It’s a thin bag so I was forced to pack as little as possible. Not a major problem because we were only out for 3 days. Inside it I had:

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What I Packed: USA 2014

USA bag 1This was meant to be a “what I will be taking to the US” post, but I failed at getting it ready in time. It works out well enough though because now I can tell you guys what I regret taking with me and what I wish I had brought. Packing beauty items for travel has never been easy for me, unless I’m going to the beach (see my beach beauty post from a few months back). I always want to have options but I know I have to pack as light as possible because of weight and liquid limitations… plus I knew I was going to be buying new stuff there too, hehe!

After taking these photos I moved all of my makeup to a different makeup bag because (as you can see) my striped MUJI one was just too full. The black case to the right is the Real Techniques brush holder that comes with their sets. 

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Holiday Splurge: Laura Mercier Deluxe Travel Brush Collection

Buying travel and/or holiday sets is one way to get a good deal when it comes to cosmetics or cosmetic tools. They are usually pretty pricey, but after calculating how much each individual item in a set comes out to, it’s very rarely a waste of money. So when I saw this brush set from Laura Mercier last December, I could hardly contain myself and I almost flew out of the store with it. The quality of the brushes was fantastic and the design of the case was absolultely gorgeous. LM2It took a lot of will power, but I did not fly out the store with this right away last  December. The price tag read 3,950.00 Php (roughly 90USD), so the sensible part of me took control and I decided to think about it and do some research first. About a month later, as you can probably already tell, I decided it was 100% worth it and brought my new baby home. ♥
LM3The Laura Mercier Deluxe Travel Brush Collection includes five brushes (four double-ended ones and one regular one), a little detachable mesh pouch, and a hard case that zips closed. The colour scheme of the set is a deep chocolate brown which might not appeal to everyone but I think it’s very classy and it’s obviously in line with the rest of Laura Mercier’s packaging, too. 

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Subic Tree Top Adventure

Before the break ended, Greg and I made it a point to head out of town together for a day trip. After going through our options (which were really just Tagaytay and Subic), we decided that a departure from the usual food-centered date would be a good idea–and so the destination was set for Tree Top Adventure in Subic! Since both Greg and I are afraid of heights, it promised to be extra interesting, as the place offers activities like zip lining and rapelling from tree to tree. We went on a Monday so the drive was pretty quick and really pleasant. :)

I have to say: we were really caught off guard by the toll prices. I could have borrowed my tita’s pass thing, but I totally forgot about toll gates. We must have spent around 500 pesos on toll fare alone! Insane, haha. But again, the drive was really nice and it was a beautiful day.

Tree Top Adventure briefing area! There are six individual activities offered, as well as packages that combine the activities for a more sulit price.

We picked package C which includes a hike, a canopy ride, and “superman.” The hike came along with a short survival demo and some informational tidbits about the local flora. The canopy ride is a chill, seated ride that takes you from tree to tree (at one point we were 100 ft. off the ground–or maybe it seemed that way), and the superman ride is sort of like a zip line where you’re harnessed in so that you “fly” horizontally.

(Continue to see more pictures)

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Singapore: RW Sentosa

Just got back from a four day trip to Singapore with my family. There were 32 of us all together: four generations from my lola down to the great grand children. The trip was a sort of prize for putting on a good program for my lolo’s 100th birth anniversary late last year. It was only my second time to be in Singapore, and the heat always takes my by surprise. I keep forgetting that it’s closer to the equator than the Philippines! Haha. Since we had little kids with us, we stayed at Festive hotel at Resorts World, Sentosa. Last year my parents and I stayed at the Mariott and then the Sands, which are closer to Orchard Road (though nothing is far from anything in Singapore) and I must say that I like non-Sentosa Singapore much better, but this was fun in its own way too. We mostly ate and walked around. Picture-heavy post, here we go!

Festive Hotel lobby @ Resorts World Sentosa

Pretty aqua chandeliers! Beyond the arc is the invite-only club. Went in the casino–for the first time in my life! No pictures of course but it’s crazy huge in there. Kind of dark and depressing too, haha.

The shops at Festive. Small but all high priced–for the gamblers of course.

Huge covered outdoor area leaving up to Universal Studios (which we didn’t go to)

Night time picture. That’s my lola in the wheelchair, hehe.

Water cranes show. Very nice and entertaining especially since it was a free show. Hehe! :)

SOUP DUMPLINGS. The best. Aside from Hainanese Chicken, this is one thing you have to try.

Very random German lunch at Vivo City. Good beer, sausages, and salad!

Yum yum yum. That mozzarella salad had SO many mozzarella balls! Love it when restos are generous like that!

Cheers to good beers!

There’s no other city that knows how to be a modern city quite like Singapore does. With so little space to spare, they really do develop every square foot with amazing practicality and they manage to make it beautiful too. This is, of course, speaking as cities go. If you aren’t a city person I can imagine it might be hard to find the charm in Singapore. From what I hear though, Malaysia is a very common escape for Singaporeans. They most definitely have more greenery over there. I personally like Singapore because it’s a huge inspiration when it comes to discipline –from being the city of thieves, they completely turned themselves around. Of course a ton of social conditioning went into it, and man that isn’t easy to employ. They (the people) can be a bit brash at times because they’re so aggressive, but it’s nothing terrible. The biggest down side to Singapore is the expensive shopping. Huhu. Which leaves one with only one good activity left: eating. And I suppose I’m not complaining. :) Cheers to Singapore!



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