What's In My Carry On

This weekend, I'm traveling to Toronto with my friend, H, who is also a huge travel buff. I think she's the only person I know who is probably more wanderlusty than I am, and I think that's saying quite a lot. We're headed up because one of the best clubs ever (The Guvernment) is closing its doors soon and we wanted one last awesome cheers. I'll be sharing the good bits of the trip here, I'm sure. We're flying up on Saturday and flying back down on Sunday so we'll have plenty of time for exploring before and after we party.

Since I've got all of that fun stuff going on, I thought I'd share an updated 'What's in my carry on?' since it's been about two years since I've last shared my carry on contents. Not much has changed, really, which I think speaks to how streamlined and cool I am. Jokes! But seriously, it does speak to my preferences because I'm not an over-packer but I still love to have certain essentials at my disposal when I travel (namely by plane).
When I say "carry on" I mean the little bag that fits in the space below the seat in front of me. I never check luggage so all of my bags are technically carry ons but the one that goes in the overhead compartment isn't exactly the most convenient thing to rummage through once you're aboard and flying. That bag has clothes and shoes and underpants in it. The more accessible bag has stuff I might need throughout the flight.

Here goes!
  1. sleep mask - this is an absolute necessity for me! I can fall asleep almost anywhere but a sleep mask ensures that I get a lovely deep sleep by blocking out flashes of light. If I've got a long-haul flight, this is a must.
  2. sunglasses - a more fashionable version of the sleep mask and a way to cover up sleepy, dark circle-ridden eyes. I mean, who wants to wear makeup on an airplane? I usually pop these bad boys on as the plane is landing. I also use them when inconsiderate people leave up their window shades and sun is streaming through at a bad angle, blinding half of the plane.
  3. medication - I like to pack some headache relief pills, motion sickness relief pills, allergy pills, and my prescription meds in my carry on. You never know when you might need some pharmaceutical help.
  4. wallet - duh!
  5. snack - I always pack a little something to eat because airports and planes are overpriced. Also, if you're ever running late and you can't grab something from a kiosk, at least you've got a back up.
  6. passport/ID - this is another duh
  7. dream water - this stuff is awesome if you've got a long-haul flight to a place where you might end up jetlagged. I just take a few sips to help me fall deeeep asleep on the plane. It doesn't make me feel groggy or sick; it's v. gentle.
  8. makeup bag - I like to keep my makeup with me because it's delicate and I don't like the idea of it getting jostled. I've experienced the horror of opening up my makeup bag at my hotel to find destroyed compacts and crumbled powders. Plus, if I've got to get somewhere quick after I've hopped off the plane and I need to look "good" then I can grab the bag and slap some stuff onto my face before landing.
  9. pashmina - airplanes are friggin' cold so I like to bring along something to wrap myself up in. I'm not the biggest fan of airline blankets, mostly because they're really not that warm and the fabric is usually a little itchy. This particular one I picked up from a street vendor in London for £2.
  10. toothbrush & toothpaste - because the dry plane air might leave my breath a little funky.
  11. phone - duh!
  12. charger - I like to bring one charger to service both my iPad and iPhone to save space. I know the voltage is different or whatever, but a few days won't kill them (or will it?).
  13. iPad - entertainment is important! These days, airlines charge you to watch movies and TV on board so I like to bring my own.
  14. face wash & face wipes - the airplane air is so drying that my skin goes into oil-production-overdrive. I like to give my skin a nice, refreshing wash just before landing so I arrive looking fresh.
  15. headphones - I use these to listen to music or watch a movie or show (on my iPad or the airline in-flight entertainment), drown out the vibrating noise of the airplane, and to look a little less friendly to prevent my plane seat neighbors from trying to strike up conversation with me. I don't like the headphones that the airlines provide because I think they're gross. These particular headphones are by Frends and I think they're so pretty. They're overpriced but the sound quality is decent and they fold up into a little case.
  16. contacts case & solution - I like to wear my contacts in the airport and then switch to glasses on the airplane because the dry air makes them uncomfortable to wear.
  17. hand cream - I don't know how many times I can emphasize that airplane air is friggin' dry. I love L'Occitane.
By the way, one thing that isn't pictured here is my camera. That would definitely be popped into my carry on. The reason it's not in the photos? I was using it to take these photos, ha.

Let's talk a little more about my makeup bag. I've shared some of my favorite travel-sized makeup products but it's not like I take all of those products with me at once. Here's what I would typically pack:
By the way, if you were wondering, the makeup bag itself was part of a Laura Mercier kit.
  1. travel sized brushes - the little fold up kit is super old from Sephora and the two pink handled brushes are from Too Faced.
  2. Becca primer - I got a little sample size as a gift from Sephora and it works really well and keeps me from going too shiny.
  3. Philosophy take a deep breath moisturizer - this is another sample size from Sephora. This is a super light moisturizer that soaks into my skin and doesn't break me out.
  4. travel sized perfume
  5. lipstick - usually I'll bring two lip products with me, like one lipstick and one lipgloss, but this one from TopShop is like a two-in-one.
  6. mirror - not only is this essential for makeup application but I'll also use it to pop my contacts back in.
  7. MAC woodwinked (my favorite eyeshadow ever) - I love blendable, duo-chrome-ish eyeshadows. I'll put this all over my lid and then blend it at the crease where it goes a more coppery bronze color and makes it look like I've put in some effort.
  8. SPF - I always pack some sort of sunscreen for my face because wrinkles and leathery skin are two traits I do not want to see in my future.
  9. Josie Maran argan oil - this stuff is gold for my skin when it's super dry.
  10. ELF eyebrow kit - mine's in 'light' and it's perfect for my sparse eyebrows. It's only $3 and it's quite impressive for the cost. Plus, it's compact.
  11. NARS blush & bronzer duo - this mini blush & bronzer duo is so portable and perfect.
  12. Laura Mercier concealer & powder - I love this concealer duo and powder set. I use the peachy stuff under my eyes to brighten, the neutral stuff on spots and to highlight down the center of my face, and the powder to make sure none of it will budge. You may have noticed I don't travel with foundation; I just rely on concealer to make all this ::swirling pointer finger around my face:: work.
  13. Stila eyeliner - this stuff doesn't budge and it's easy to apply.
  14. Benefit bad gal mascara - I got the sample size as part of Sephora's birthday gift last year. I particularly like this formula and even though the wand is small, the brush portion is the same as the full-sized tube.
  15. Urban Decay eyelid primer - I bought the mini tube size for traveling.
  16. Benefit watts up - this was also part of last year's Sephora birthday gift. I love the portability and also the fact that you can blend this with your fingers. No need to pack a separate brush!
  17. Shiseido eyelash curler - this curler fits perfectly to my eye. It's not travel sized, but it fits in my makeup bag!
One of the most important things I pack in my carry on is my journal. I use it to write down my packing lists to help me get my luggage together prior to the trip and then I use it during the trip to write down my experiences and costs and whatever cool or unusual stuff I end up doing. Plus, having a writing instrument with you on board means that you can fill out the pesky declaration/customs forms ASAP and queue up to get the hell out of the airport quicker than everyone else who forgot their pens.
And all of this stuff usually ends up in this beige bag that I got from Barney's Outlet. It's the perfect size because it fits all of my stuff without feeling stuffed and it fits perfectly under the seat. Plus, it's super durable, it travels well (because it's leathery and doesn't get stained), and it's got a shoulder strap.
It's also got some convenient pockets inside too, which is awesome for holding important things like my passport, wallet, and pills. Oh, and "feminine products" conveniently fit in these pockets, if I need them.
So that's my carry on. If you've got other essentials, let me know in the comments!