Confessions of a Chronic Packing Procrastinator: Part 1

Published in: Just For Fun


It’s the final countdown to New Orleans and my birthday trip! We leave on Monday (we’ll be there through Thursday), which means I need to start packing NOW.


If I wait any longer, last-minute mayhem will ensue, and I’ll end up just randomly throwing sh*t into my bag — like, literally throwing bottles of hair spray and whatnot into my luggage all haphazardly shortly before we leave for the airport. Because that’s what I usually do. 🙂

But not this time! I started today by settings a few things aside…

  • A sample of Oribe Shampoo and Conditioner for Beautiful Color, which my friend Alis gave me a while back when I saw her at the salon.
  • One Gillette Venus Snap Razor. Because body hair never takes a day off, LOL!

    Mine certainly never does… I’m a freaking Sasquatch. 🙂

    This travel razor has its own little case, so it’s easy to bring along on trips. $7.99 for a razor, razor blade and a carrying case.

  • Avene Ultra-Light Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion Spray SPF 50+. It’s supposed to be hot in New Orleans, and I’ll be doing a lot of walking around outside, so SPF is a must. This sheer, lightweight sunscreen by Avene is oil and alcohol free, and very moisturizing, too. $12 for a 1-oz. bottle.
  • Klorane Dry Shampoo With Oat Milk. Since I probably won’t be washing my hair every day (it’s vacation, after all!), I’ll use this dry shampoo to help soak up oil on my scalp and remove the funky scent of unwashed hair. $9 for a 1-oz. bottle.
  • Byredo Gypsy Water Eau de Parfum Travel Spray. One of my favorite scents in a travel-friendly bottle. $110 for three 0.4-oz. spray bottles.


I’m also kinda tempted to take along this Clinique Touch of Comfort Travel Exclusive set (available now at select airports) largely because my skin gets incredibly dry on planes. It includes a tube of Sparkle Skin Body Exfoliating Cream, a tube of Deep Comfort Body Butter, a tube of Deep Comfort Hand and Cuticle Cream, and a tube of Superbalm Lip Treatment.


Knowing me, though, I’ll probably have barely enough room for the lip balm and hand cream, LOL!

One of these days I’ll learn to pack light…

Your friendly neighborhood soon-to-be New Orleans-bound beauty addict,



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  1. Maggie says:

    I’m also a packing procrastinator–I have to say I’m REALLY looking forward to this series. My own tips:

    1. I have a box where I keep packing goods:
    -samples–I actually buy sample-sized packets from Paula’s Choice JUST for traveling.
    -contacts lens cases–great for tiny amounts of things that are necessary but you don’t need a lot of–like primer, cream blush, face lotion, etc. I get a 12-pack at Walmart & label with a sharpie
    -containers from Daiso. They have awesome little tiny bottles that I can decant in. Pillboxes, tissue packets, pouches, you name it they have it.
    -tiny repurposed containers
    -tiny zip-lock bags (the 1″x2″ size that can be found in craft stores (good for bobby pins, pills & earrings) and that half-sandwich size (great for q-tips & cotton squares)

    Also, just IMO, I own that razor and dislike it. I have to be sooo careful when I use it and the angle just doesn’t feel ergonomic to me. The container/razor is good for holding onto the razor blade so it doesn’t get damaged or damage anything. I just bring along the regular-sized razor along with it.

  2. Rhia says:

    That’s a good list of travel essentials. I brought samples of the Clinique face wash and moisturizer on one of my trips and they were awesome. Have you been to NOLA before? If not, you will have a BLAST! I was just there last week for a friend’s birthday and am on some serious withdrawal. Such a lovely city with wonderful people. And that food though, don’t even get me started!

  3. Becca M says:

    Have a lovely time! No shame in the overpacking game, I have just learned to embrace the fact that I like options!

  4. Holly says:

    I’ve never been to the Big Easy and I’m so glad you get to go for your birthday! I’m not a packing procrastinator; I end up being completely packed the night before except for the very last minute stuff (toiletries/books/iPod/etc). And I seem to spend an inordinate amount of time sorting through my makeup to decide what to bring and I always bring more than I need because I love to have options!

    Anyway, have a wonderful time and eat lots of great food; I’ll live vicariously through your Instagram! 😀

  5. Nurra says:

    the clinique travel set seems nice! gonna start saving up to purchase it for my winter trip haha. anyways travel safe! xx

  6. I always pack early, because I don’t like packing. I just wanna get it over with. Plus, if I do it at the last minute I’m bound to forget things.

    Aaaaaanywhooo, only two more days and you’re off, woot! I’m sure you’re gonna have a great time.
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Video | My secrets on how to get that make-up to look on point all day errr’day!

  7. Niya says:

    Hi Karen, I think this person is copying your pictures (and some of your text) in this post: I was looking for the MAC Pro Longwear Waterproof Nourishing Foundation and came across both yours and theirs and it looked alike, so not sure if this person is using your pictures and/or text in other posts as well but just wanted to let you know.

  8. Leslie says:

    I love New Orleans. Luckily, I live in Louisiana and it’s only a short drive from here..less than three hours lol. I’ve been trying for years to pack light…it doesn’t work for me. We go on 7-day cruises and I’ve always been determined to “take less with me next time”. I finally give up. I’ve come to accept the fact that I will never be able to pack lightly. I bring a lot of makeup….and shoes. Lots of shoes. Have fun in New Orleans!

  9. I have to pack way in advance, because I now have to pack for Little Bean, too, and her stuff takes up so much space!
    Travel sizes or samples are great for shorter trips, I hate to be restricted in terms of skincare.
    LindaLibraLoca recently posted … New in – The parcel edition

  10. Charlene Cunningham says:

    I go to NOLA quite often! Check out the Carousel bar in the Monteleone! It rotates! Sazerac bar in the Roosevelt. There is also a Guerlain spa (which sells products)in that hotel! much to eat-so little time! Let e know if have questions.. Have a blast!!

  11. denise S says:

    I love reading packing tips! I tend to overpack cause I hate to be unprepared. I keep my travel cosmetic bags packed and replenish as needed. I brought a great makeup travel case from Laura Mercier a while ago it’s great for storing all my makeup , I keep it packed as well so I just add any special products I want to use on my trip. Mostly I concentrate on my outfits since I already have my skin,body and makeup products in containers for travel. Those sample sized cosmetics and gift with purchase items are great for travel. Karen have a ball on your trip!!!

  12. Rachel says:

    Woohoo! Good for you for taking a birthday trip! I did that for my 30th, went to Vegas to see Britney Spears (and shop and sightsee because I had never been there). The only way I can pack is at the last minute and under extreme pressure! I just figure if I forget something I can buy it when I get there!

  13. Elena says:

    Have fun in New Orleans! I remember I wanted to comment about this. So these guys I went to high school/college with have their own tv show on FYI Network where they go to different cities with $100 (I think for a weekend) and go to different places to eat. It’s mainly focused on budget friendly food picks that are delicious. Blanking on the name of the show though. It’s two brothers (the Fungs). They also have their own youtube channel too. Crazy to see them make it this far!

    Anyways, I remember in their New Orleans episode they had some beignets and then some po’ boy sandwiches that sounded delicious. I hope you have fun!

  14. Ah! A birthday trip to NoLa sounds so fantastic! Have you ever been before? I love it there. So much music everywhere and killer vibe. Overall just such a fun place full of friendly people. Have the best time and happy early birthday!! <3
    "Because body hair never takes a day off, LOL!" – Ha ha! So true! I love the Gillette Venus Snap Razor. That's seriously one of the best travel inventions in forever! So handy. That Clinique kit looks AWESOME! Good luck on not overpacking, but if you do…that's perfectly acceptable as well. After all, it's your birthday and you should live it up! Bring as many hairsprays and dry shampoos as you want! 😉
    kristen @ glambunctious recently posted … Loves & Lemons | May 2015

  15. Katie L says:

    Yay! NOLA! We live about an hour away, so it’s easy to go down for the day every once in awhile. I wanted to give you a couple of recommendations (not that you’ll probably run out of fabulous places to eat): An adorably romantic French restaurant on Robert called La Crêpe Nanou, and Creole Creamery which is pretty much across the street. The lavender honey ice cream is to die for. They are both a decent walk from the street car line. Another fun place to eat is the Camellia Grill on S. Carrollton near St. Charles, also reachable by street car. It’s a little gritty, but it’s an institution. If nothing else, the ride there is lovely.
    Anyway, you’re going to have a great time. It’s a spellbinding place.

  16. Tatiana says:

    Ugh! I hate packing and I put it off until the very last minute. I can make lists and start putting things together, but I still find myself trying to figure out what to pack when it’s past midnight on the eve of our trips.
    My Dear Husband just got back from a business trip (or so he says it was business related) to New Orleans this past Thursday and he did say it was hot. And humid compared to the Bay Area.
    Hope you have a fun, relaxing and wonderful birthday trip to New Orleans! Happy Birthday!

  17. Iris says:

    I think you’ve packed well. Better to be prepared.

    Have a great time!

  18. Tracy Robertson says:

    I don’t pack early, but I make a list of what to pack early. I’ve found doing it that way relieves a lot of stress of wondering what I might have forgotten because I’ll start the list at least a week before the trip, which gives me plenty of time to think of what I forgot before it’s “go time”. You will have fun in New Orleans! I’ve been there exactly once for Mardi Gras 2015. Don’t forget to try those French Donuts called something like “ben -yay”, yummy!

  19. RM says:

    i live in new orleans so be prepared for heat and humidity. wear breathable natural fibers and comfy shoes. your feet may swell in the heat. also bring heavier hair products to keep your waves under control. the humidity will make them spring to life.

  20. Mimielle says:

    We go to NOLA every Halloween season – you’ll have a lot of fun but beware, it’s a city that can call you back over and over! I hoard samples of my staples when I can and decant the rest of my necessities into travel friendly bottles and containers so I don’t get any new product skin reactions and its a no-brainer to get ready each day and evening. Down there, blotting paper and skin refreshing sprays are my most-used secrets to keeping the face on and pretty brunch to midnight, adding more color as the sun goes down! Go to Antoine’s for brunch and walk the Quarter, ducking into the little tiny shops and bars. Ride the St. Charles car to see the beautiful houses. All the hotel concierges I’ve talked with are friendly and will clue you in on what’s hot this minute as well as the ‘must-see’ things according to your interests. The people are really nice there. Have a great trip and a lovely birthday!

  21. Gloria says:

    Hi Karen! Are these all the skincare you are going to take with you? What about makeups? 😛 I’d like to see what to take for travel. I guess New Orleans will not be very dry so take it easy. Wish you a nice trip and I’ll be looking forward to your photos!

  22. Jennifer says:

    Have a fabulous time and and an even more fabulous birthday.
    My gut says you should leave the Clinique at home.

    Who’s tending to the Tabby Overlord while you guys are away?

  23. Vanessa says:

    Cheers to your packing list!
    You got this.

    My problem with packing early is I still want to use what I want to set aside to pack….

  24. ame says:

    OMG last minute packing?! GAH! I am a packing freak. I pack two weeks ahead of any trip…I just can’t NOT be packed. I have a separate makeup bag and a separate liquids bag already pre-packed with minis or decanted products I regularly use, and I do my clothes in advance in packing cubes. I get anxious if I am not already pre-packed! I pack febreze antimicrobial in a small spray bottle so I can refresh as much as I can, as well as a tiny bottle of detergent and shout wipes if I need to do an emergency hand wash. All are part of my liquids bag.

    I love that razor btw. I use the full size already so I already have the blades in a multipack from Costco, so I just make sure there’s a fresh one in my travel makeup bag and my razor is in the case ready to go.

  25. Evvie says:

    I found the smaller razor to be a bit flimsy. I think it’s going to be great for travel, which is what it was intended for…LOL, but it’s not suited for any long term use.

    *need to buy a replacement for my venus razor after 7+yrs*

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