My Travel Toiletries (Winter 2013 Update)

I’ve receieved many requests lately to give an updated look at my toiletry cases and their contents.  I posted a video on OLJ showing all of these things (you can find the video at the bottom of this post if you missed it), but I thought I would give a look at just the cases and a few other toiletry organization tools I use when packing.  Each photo is linked to the website where you can find what is pictured in case you’d like to pick up some of these for yourself.

Eagle Creek® Pack-It® Quicktrip from The Container Store (photo source)

Eagle Creek® Pack-It® Quicktrip from The Container Store (photo source)

I pack not only my own toiletries, but my husband’s as well.  I like using this Eagle Creek Pack-It® Quicktrip case for him.  It is made of the same high quality, lightweight nylon material as the other items in the Pack-It® line, including my favorite Pack-It® cubes.  It’s the perfect size to house all of Don’s toiletry needs for any given trip.  There are two exterior pockets, which I use to separate his hair comb and razor from the main compartment contents   The case fits nicely in all of our luggage.  It is simple yet effective.

I require several more toiletry items, being the girly girl that I am and someone with a generally more elaborate personal hygiene routine.  I travel with what makes me feel the most comfortable, which is not necessarily the same for everyone (as you can tell by the disparity between my husband’s toiletry needs and my own).  I like to keep most of my toiletry items in their cases upon arrival to our destination, because I have so many small containers and items.  It helps to keep the hotel bathroom neat and uncluttered.

Le Pavillion Large Natalie from Kate Spade (photo source)

Le Pavillion Large Natalie from Kate Spade (photo source)

I love my Kate Spade Large Natalie case.  It is sturdy, water resistant on both the inside and the outside, and can hold quite a few products while still fitting nicely on most hotel bathroom counters.  It also comes with a smaller size matching case that fits inside of it.  This case is quite pricey ($148) usually.  I was lucky to find mine on clearance last winter.

Purse Size Terry Bag with Silver Initial from Glitzy-Glam (photo source)

Purse Size Terry Bag with Silver Initial from Glitzy-Glam (photo source)

I have quite a few skincare products that I travel with, which I prefer to keep together in a separate case.  I’ve been using the Purse Size Terry Bag from Glitzy Glam for the past few years for this very purpose with great results.  It’s the perfect size to house my travel-size skincare (mostly Origins products, if you’re curious!).  The inside is lined in a water resistant plastic, which is easy to wipe down and contains any leaks.   It has a handy slip pocket where I secure my travel makeup wipes.  I usually park this case right next to my Kate Spade Natalie on the hotel bathroom counter when we travel.

Nalgene® Round Leakproof Bottles | Translucent Flip-Spout Bottles | 3 oz. GoToob™

Nalgene® Round Leakproof Bottles (photo source) | Translucent Flip-Spout Bottles (photo source) | 3 oz. GoToob™ (photo source) All three shown from The Container Store

I like to have the travel-size versions of my toiletry staples whenever they’re available for purchase.  After I use something up, I will simply refill the bottle from my full sizer version.  There are some products I use which are not available in travel size versions.  I have a nice selection of travel bottles I’ve purchased from The Container Store over the years that do the trick nicely.  They are easy to rinse out and reuse over and over again.

Toothbrush Covers with Microban® from The Container Store (photo source)

Toothbrush Covers with Microban® from The Container Store (photo source)

The Container Store has a nice selection of other kinds of travel toiletry organizational items, including these toothbrush covers.

Medium Cosmetic & Small Cosmetic from Vera Bradley (photo source)

Medium Cosmetic (photo source) & Small Cosmetic (photo source) from Vera Bradley

I really like Vera Bradley cosmetic cases for my additional toiletry needs.  They comes in three sizes, are lightly padded thanks to the quilted design, and are lined in a water resistant plastic.  I use the medium size for the items I bring on a trip specifically for the shower.  I usually unpack these items, leave them in the shower, and store the empty case in my luggage until it’s time to go home.  I also use two of the small cases on any given trip.  One holds my Clarisonic Mia face brush & power cord perfectly.  I keep my bedtime necessities, such as cuticle cream, hand & foot moisturizer, and lip balm in the other.

Essentials Cosmetic from Vera Bradley (photo source)

Essentials Cosmetic from Vera Bradley (photo source)

Recently I started packing my hair accessories in a separate case.  I like using the Essentials Cosmetic from Vera Bradley for this.  It has three compartments to easily separate my different hair accessories.  It’s super lightweight thanks to Vera Bradley’s beautiful quilted fabric, and folds pretty flat, which makes it super easy to pack and tuck into an out of the way corner of the hotel bathroom.  I usually only bring this case on longer trips.

Mini Hanging Organizer from Vera Bradley (photo source)

Mini Hanging Organizer from Vera Bradley (photo source)

Another case that I occasionally travel with is the Mini Hanging Organizer from Vera Bradley.  I like to paint my own nails and usually travel with polish.  This case fits all of my self manicure needs perfectly for on the go!  I love the clear, plastic compartments to house all of my different nail care items.  The larger pouch at the bottom can hold quite a few nail polish bottles.  I usually put each polish bottle in a small size zip top bag (I’ve purchased these at Michael’s in the past) as an additional precaution from possible leaks during travel.  I have had a top coat leak in the case before and it still looks good as new!

* Sadly, it looks like Vera Bradley is discontinuing the Mini Organizer, as I could only find it in one pattern in the sale section and it is sold out online.  I recommend calling your local Vera Bradley boutique to see if they have any in stock if you’re interested. *

Cosmetic Clutch from The Container Store (photo source)

Cosmetic Clutch from The Container Store (photo source)

The last of my many toiletry cases is the Cosmetic Clutch from The Container Store.  I only travel with this one when we’re going to be spending some time by the pool or beach.  I have a duplicate of this case for my beach bag at home.  It is the perfect size to hold several bottles of sunscreen, leave-in conditioner, a brush & comb, as well as my other pool/beachside must haves.  I like how sturdy it is, that it’s water resistant, and clear for easy identification of its contents.

As you can see, I prefer to have a place (or case!) for everything even when I travel.  You need to sort out what your personal travel needs are and what packing methods work for you.  I’d love to know what your favorite toiletry cases are if you care to share!

* I am not affiliated with any of the brands mentioned in this post.  All opinions are my own.*


40 thoughts on “My Travel Toiletries (Winter 2013 Update)”

  1. I tend to travel with three toiletry cases, and I go a lot back and forth between my university and home, as I study abroad.

    I have one of the tiny, very plain rectangular-shaped (standard drugstore case) for my every day essentials, this also always holds a plastic bag fitting airport security-restrictions, as I tend to forget or don’t have the coins to get them at the airport, and I am not about to lose my favorite make-up! This lives in whatever bag I use daily, and thereby also ends in the carry-on.

    My biggest one is a hanging organizer (with one detachable mesh-pocket, I love that detail!) for toiletries, supplements and medical needs, where I separate into hair, skin, medicine/supplements and those tiny things like hair-grips, tweezer and razor (with a new blade on the side, still sealed up and not cutting my fingers.) and etc.

    The last one is dedicated to make-up and nails. This one is a “Signature”-case from Elf Cosmetics with two large compartments, one with holders for brushes and one for the rest! It is the perfect size for not over-packing make-up.

  2. It always makes me laugh when you compare how much “stuff” a guy needs in comparison to what we girls class as beauty essentials for a trip. They have it so easy! 🙂

      1. I don’t really mind either, I love having lots of options. Some days though, after a late night or a bad nights sleep I really wish I could just wash and go! 🙂

  3. Hej (Hi), Jen! Great post and great video.. again! 😀 You´re such a natural in front of a camera.
    If you haven´t already you should definitely check out
    She has fantastic toiletries bags, totes, pouches, covers, rolls etcetera which are both practical and pretty – very pretty! Lot´s of gorgeous fabrics and models to choose between.
    Have a lovely afternoon! Btw, what special day is it today? Martini monday/Sushi monday, tuesday treat day/tuesday errands day, wednesday laundry day, thursday, friday, saturday donut day, sunday run day etcetera. You should make a blog post about this.
    It´s a fun and cute way of making everyday a bit more special. /V

    1. I actually have a Stephanie Johnson case I used to use a few years back with cute red cherries on it. I used it to death, though, and replaced it with the Kate Spade one.

      I usually do the linen laundry on thursday & change all of our towels & sheets. Not sure if that warrants a title or not :p

  4. I travel with 2 toiletry cases. Downsized versions of all my daily items like you. I stopped traveling with the Clarisonic. I also no longer pack my makeup in my checked luggage. Most cannot be downsized and would be very expensive to replace. I travel a lot and am constantly revamping my system.

    My biggest challenge is getting my turbie twist (usually wet) home. I haven’t found a good way yet. How do you do it?

  5. Thanks for your post Jen. I invested in a prada travel case and have used it for years. The price has gone up considerably per the years but I think it was a great investment. They clean up easily as well because of the nylon material. I find that if I invest in good pieces they last me a long time and I am more likely to take care of them.

  6. Perfect post, very imformative. I have not done much travelling in my life time, due to the fear of flying. I have been to two places (weddings) Hawaii and Italy. I was pretty much “drugged” the whole time. I am trying to overcome this fear, because we are schedule to fly to Ireland and Florida in the next couple of years to visit family. I get nervous everytime I think about it.

    Anyways, thank you so much for sharing. I have done some purchases to get ready and I am super excited, more so, because I am shopping.

    I did happen to buy the “Joy Mangano Better Beauty Case Set” for my trips, I will have to let you know how that works. I will post the link if I can.

  7. Really really love all your tips..I’m so happy to have stumbled across your you tube channels by accident a couple of weeks ago, and have already applied lots of your tips to my own home. I have always been very tidy and organised, but your advise has really helped me streamline things, and also helped with my anxieties too..(I know alot of people who are sensitive and anxious prone..tidy and organise to clear their heads!..well I do)

    thanks Jen..just wish I could get Vera Bradley in the UK!

    Lots of Love Sam (UK Wiltshire)
    (An illustrator with organising urges, and a Stationary addiction!)

    1. I don’t understand why VB doesn’t sell in the UK. I think they’d do very well there!

      BTW – loved your blog. Did you draw the illustration of the cat in the header? Too cute!

      1. Hey Jen!

        I’ve been a bit lazy with my blog lately..running out of things to waffle on about after 5 years of blogging..basically it about me and my bengal cat Silkie!

        ..and yup the drawing is a quick one of mine..I work as a illustrator for a publisher in and stationary..lots of watercolour pictures!

        Lovely to hear from you..look forward to more Jen TV..

        Sam x

  8. Hi Jen! I travel much like you do with the compartmentalization (big word at the end of an 11 hour shift! lol). I have used the Mary Kay Rollup bag for years! Probably since sometime in 2006.

    (Here’s a link to it: )

    It has 4 plastic, zippered compartments that roll up into a nice, neat ball. It is SO easy to pack in a suitcase and during long car trips, I sometimes hook it to the outside of my bag in order to reach contacts/glasses/etc if needed. Then, when I reach my destination, it has a hook to hang up in the bathroom for easy access. 🙂 Each pouch also is velcroed, so it can be pulled on and off.

    Each pocket is a different category of stuff.

    Pocket 1: My “wet” shower stuff. Stuff I take into the shower with me: facial cleanser, travel size shampoo and conditioner, razor, soap, etc. If the shower happens to be in a different part of the bathroom like a lot of hotels, I can just unvelcro the pouch and take it on in the shower room with me.

    Pocket 2: My “dry” bathroom stuff. Moisterizer, eye cream, contacts, glasses,toothbrush and paste, deoderant, etc. Bathroom stuff that I don’t take into the shower.

    Pocket 3: Makeup! Everything from foundation, concealer, powder, eye products, blush, cheek products, etc.

    Pocket 4: Usually just cotton balls, q-tips, and hair ties for both me and my daughter. Lately, since I’ve been on a nail polish kick, this pocket also holds individual polish remover pads and nail polish! 🙂

    I have a seperate train case type bag that I put all the larger stuff in like our brushes and my straightener, etc.

  9. I also travel with several toiletry bags so I get where your coming from. My main bag is from Mary Kay and its been my mainstay for years. Recently I ordered their make up brush bag and can’t wait to check it out. I also have a bag for nail polish supplies, make up and hair products. Thanks to your videos I now carry a walking pharmacy, a lip product bag, a make up bag and a camera bag in my purse. It makes it a lot easier to find items. I hope to do a blog post about it soon, unfortunately I’ve been dealing with a pinched nerve since my pantry remake back in the fall and even this little bit of typing is painful! Your vlogs and the recent addition of the blog have kept me company during my recovery ( I lost the use of my right arm for nearly two 1/2 months). Thanks Jen for being such an inspiration!

  10. Hey Jen

    I am sold on investing in a Kate Spade large Natalie case after hearing all your postitive feedback. I know you stated that you got yours for a discount. Do you mind sharing what store or website you purchaed it from? I know that pattern you have is no longer avalible, but I wanted to keep my eyes peeled for a good deal. Thank you so much for the great video and blog post 🙂


    1. I actually found mine at the Kate Spade boutique in downtown Chicago. I happened to pop in last winter & there it was!

  11. U r my organization idol Jen!!! I really truly appreciate how thorough u r with info on everything! U give the full name and how descriptive u r when explaining things to us!! Thank u for giving us links to all these wonderful products you’ve introduced me to in the last 2years that I’ve been an avid watcher of all ur vids on all ur channels!! Ur the best!!!:-)

  12. Hey Jen! These are some really great bag ideas. I think I may just get the Eagle Creek toiletry bag for my husband. I also have the MK rollup like DisneyCyndi and love it. I adore watching your videos, my husband even knows who I’m talking about when I say “ok off to “chat with” Jen!” 🙂 I think he gets a kick out of it. I recently sprained my MCL from running and have had a lot of time on my hands so I have been viewing older videos I have not seen, just kind of catching up! 🙂

  13. I’m surprised that you don’t travel with your electric toothbrush (or so you seemed to imply). I guess if you have so much other stuff filling in your toiletry bag(s), it might be harder to find room for it. I have a Sonicare Diamondclean. I just take the brush head off the body to make it shorter, cap the brush head with the plastic cap that came with it, and put both in a ziploc bag. Hardly takes up any room at all… My teeth just don’t feel as clean if I a manual brush. And of course, I fully charge the handle before the trip. If was going away for more than a week or two, I’d take the charging travel case with me (otherwise it’s a bit too bulky to travel with).

  14. Hi Jen! Quick question: do you think the Essentials Cosmetic is a decent size for makeup? Not a ton of makeup, but perhaps like a mascara tube, some lip and face products, as well as perhaps the Naked palette? Thanks! I love to see what you use to pack because I’ve been trying to get better at it!

    1. The case would definitely fit a good amount of makeup, especially if you don’t bring a lots of things on any given trip. The Naked Palette is too long to fit in the zippered parts, but you could just place it inside and close it in with the ties. Hope this helps!

      1. Awesome! Thank you so much, because the case looked adorable and seemed the perfect size to slip in my luggage! Have a lovely day :]

  15. Hi Jen! Thanks for posting this. I definitely will be picking up the Essentials Cosmetic Case from Vera Bradley. I have the cosmetics hat boxes in the same Indigo Pop print for my makeup bags that I love!

    I also didn’t know if you have heard about the new Cosmetics line from Drew Barrymore, Flower beauty. I know that you love trying new makeup, so here is a link to my first impressions post because I picked up 2 items this weekend. I would love to hear your review on the products if you decide to pick some up.

    I would love to be considered for your “Links” page!

    P.S. I am loving the new Positively Polished Blog as well! 🙂
    P.P.S Hi Winnie!

    1. Thanks for sharing your vlog posts! A viewer actually sent me that VB cosmetic hat box as a gift because it perfectly fits my travel makeup mirror. How thoughtful was that!

      BTW – Winnie sends kisses 🙂

  16. I just discovered your vlog when searching for videos about Disney World, which my daughter and I are going on our first Disney adventure. Woohoo! I love how organized you are! I’m inspired to do the same. Keep it all coming!

  17. Have you found it easy to label the little bottles (nalgene, etc)? Do the labels just stick on the outside?
    I’m gettimg addi:-)cted to your blog…loving the detailed look at products! Thank you from another Container Store super fan!

  18. I LOVE cosmetic cases & am happy to see someone else sharing my obsession! My fav travel cosmetic case is the Vera Bradley grand cosmetic! I don’t know why in the world they discontinued it – but you can find it brand new on Ebay – it has amazing pockets inside to organize & is huge. I have purchased 5 and am about to get more!

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