July 29, 2013

What Did I Bring With Me In Europe?

Hello ladies, it has been a while and I hope you are all well! In my last post, about almost two months ago, I mentionned I was travelling in Europe without a return date in mind. After visiting Ireland, England, France and Spain, I got back to Montreal on July 19 and things have been crazy busy for me since then - dinners with friends and family, camping, parties, etc. Yesterday was the first day I could relax at home, unpacking my stuff and treating myself to a much needed pampering session.

I was wondering what was an interesting way to give you ladies a glimpse of my travel and I figured out it could be nice to share with you what I brought in my backpack, beauty-wise. Since this was not a glamourous holiday but more of an adventurous sleep-in-the-woods one (youth hostels are still amazing though!), I did not bring any makeup or really interesting things, and to save space in my bag, I kept it very basic. Can you believe I still brought too much stuff?

I have been very curious about Dr. Bronner's Magic "All-One" Bar Soaps that are completely biodegradable and vegetable-based, and  that have tons of uses such as hair and body wash, laundry wash, shaving cream, deodorant, etc., but I almost gave up since I could not find it anywhere in stores - not even online - at an acceptable price. To my great surprise, I found a rack full of Dr. Bronner's products at my local La Moisson by pure coincidence - this store is right next to where I live and I still can't believe I never stepped foot inside before! As if this was not enough, Dr. Bronner's Soap Bars were reduced by half, so I paid around $2.50 for the Baby Mild one.

Another multi-tasking product I knew I had to take with me was Get Creamed Body The Balm. Made of coca butter and shea butter, this is absolutely wonderful on my dry patches of eczema, and I could not believe I ran out of it so soon! It's easy and mess-free to apply but also to carry around while travelling thanks to its packaging similar to a deodorant stick.

Since my first destination was Ireland and I had not planned my trip for warmer countries, I did not bring sunscreen with me - I know, I know! After getting badly sunburned despite the cloudy sky of Normandy and heading to Spain soon, I knew I had to find some sun protection, and I decided to give
Lovea Dry Oil SPF 30 with Tahitian Monoi a try when I walked by a Carrefour. I was a bit reluctant to buy just another sunscreen since I already have so many at home, but I have never tried a dry oil before, and how could I say no to a product that protects from the sun while nourishing the skin and giving it a better tan?

I was hesitant to include Degree Anti-Perspirant Invisible Sheer Powder* in this post, especially since it is not cruelty-free (made by Unilever), but I won't lie - it was the only one left I had at home, it works great for me and its scent is just heavenly, especially since I did not bring any perfume.

I never seem to be able to completely use up those conditioners that come with box hair dyes, and I usually end up giving them away, but I figured out Clairol Perfect 10 ColorSeal Intensive Conditioning Cream* was a nice size for travelling. I did not really use it that much though, due to pure lazyness.

I planned to use Dr. Bronner's Magic Bar Soap mainly as body wash and no 'poo "shampoo", and altough it lathers amazingly well and is not too rough on my dry and sensitive skin (I did not feel the urge to apply moisturizer after showering), it left weird greasy/waxy residues on my hair - it was a total mess! It just felt weird and to me, it looked dirty. I did not give up imediately, but after a few weeks, I could not stand it anymore, so when I walked by a Monoprix in Étretat, I searched for a no 'poo or low 'poo alternative, and I chose Lovea Organic Nourishing Shampoo with Shea butter from Burkina. I wanted something that did not contain SLS, and although this product contains Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, it does not seem to mess up my "no-poo" regimen that much - I can go almost a week without washing my hair! This shampoo also leaves my hair amazingly soft, silky and shiny.

Before leaving for Europe, I found EthicBioskin Nourishing and Regenerating Lip Care in my stash and I absolutely fell in love with it! Made of raw cocoa and shea butter, and also organic and vegetarian, this is my current favorite lip balm - it works like nothing else I have tried before! Providing intense moisturization, this product deeply nourishes lips. I also love how it is non-greasy or waxy.

I had not tried Macadamia Natural Oil Healing Oil Treatment before since receiving it in the February 2013 Canadian GLOSSYBOX, but I figured out it was a nice size for travelling and so, the perfect time to try it! As for the Clairol conditioner, I did not end up using it much too, but I love how it is not greasy and how I need only the smallest quantity for smooth, shiny hair. Oh, and the smell - hmmmmm!

*Please note that these products are NOT cruelty-free


  1. Hello you! I was waiting for you to get back and ask about your adventures, you seem happier now and maybe this was the break you needed! I'm about to take a birthday break soon, blogging is killing me and I was this close to shutting it down with all the crazy people I have to deal with.

    I'm glad you got to travel and see new place :)

    Don't worry about the Secret, I use it too. I tried so many natural ones but they did not work out. Sometimes life works that way...

    Enjoy the rest of your summer XOXO

  2. Welcome back! As tu ramené des trucs? Moi jen profite quand jvoyage :) jaime bien les revitalisants de teinture, meme si jme teints pas les cheveux. Ma mere me les gardait pour moi!

  3. Next time you to to Europe - please visit Sweden. It is very cold in the winter, but it is beautiful in the summer.

  4. Hey, nice to see you! This was a very interesting post. I always fantasize about going minimalist (maybe someday?) and I see this as a nod to that. You're also gorgeous and need no makeup to show it, LOL. I'll just pretend I am, too :-P

  5. Oh bugger, I also meant to mention that while it doesn't really smell nice I use an unscented roll-on deodorant by Kiss My Face that keeps me from getting stinky (though no antiperspirant qualities so I still sweat, I feel it does the minimum I need), have you tried Kiss My Face products?

  6. @Venus Loves Virgo : Hey lady, nice to talk to you again! I am not sure about being happier, but it's not really in my habit to whine about my personal life on my website, so I always try to cover how I really feel with an happy tone, I guess... Of course, this break was good for me, but now, I just want to leave again and keep travelling!

    A birthday break seems nice, sometimes it's all you need. I am still not sure if my mojo is 100% back, but I quit for a bit for the same reason as you - stupid people! I tried again though, telling myself I won't care about such people - wouldn't it be stupid to give up a passion just because of a few people?

    @Stephanie B: Salut Steph! À part le shampooing et l'huile sèche, tel que mentionné, je n'ai rien ramené; je n'allais pas en voyage pour magasiner, sauf lorsque j'y étais obligé, comme pour ces deux essentiels. Je n'avais même pas de place pour des souvenirs dans mon énorme sac bourré à craquer!

    @Ninni: I'll be sure to keep that in mind - I've been told it's absolutely gorgeous too! Is that where you live?

    @Sarah S.: Hi Sarah! Funny how I completely lost the habit of putting makeup on, even if I've been back for a bit more than a week... it made me realize nobody really needs makeup!

    I really have to check out more of Kiss My Face products - I am currently trialling a mouthwash and I was disappointed by a body lotion... but I am always looking for cruelty-free and natural deodorants alternatives. Thanks for the advice!

  7. Welcome back Gaby! Missed your posts:)

  8. Welcome back Gaby! I don't use conditioner either now that I am traveling. It's been almost 2 weeks and I'm getting used to it. My hair is quite a mess though lol.

    Do share more about your journey! I'm looking forward to visit Europe too in the near future :)

  9. Oh and I have to agree with your comment above - nobody really needs makeup! :)

  10. Hey you're back! Yay!!! I don't use a lot of makeup when travelling either. Who wants to have to touch up all day when you're having fun? :) Can hardly wait to hear more about your trip!

  11. Ahhhh Macadamia Oil is my favourite!!!!!!!!! It's just incredible, and my hair loves it so much xx

    Gemma | ♥ Miss Makeup Magpie ♥

  12. Its great to see what you selectively packed to Europe. I'm sure you also came across some new brands of products on your travels :)
    I'm so happy for you that you took time out for yourself and travelled to help discover things about yourself :) You learn sooo much when you travel. I'm really looking forward to your travel pictures :) You went to so many places that I would still love to visit one day soon!

  13. Glad your back to blogging I missed seeing you pop up in my feed!