I'm Packing for My Band's Tour and Having Beauty-Product Separation Anxiety

A romantic tale of a girl forced to choose between her effect pedals and seven-step skincare routine

I'm about to embark on an international tour — JK, I'm just going up to Canada with several pit stops in upstate NY for a week to play music in a bunch of people's basements and probably dive/DIY clubs for a week. The plan for the time not spent actually playing music will probably be spent driving while eating novelty foods and ultimately crashing on friends' or friends-of-friends' floors. It's basically the run-of-the-mill tour that even bands much more popular and playing actual venues with guarantees and buyouts can experience. Hotel rooms, gas, and food get expensive.

Without the romantic prospect of calling a van our home for the duration (it is actually a Toyota Matrix, which will somehow Mary Poppins all our gear and personal effects), space is really limited, so my innately light-packing tendencies will need to become even more stringent. Being as fanatical about skincare and self-care as I generally am, you bet for damn sure I'll be cycling through the same three to five items of clothing (new underwear every day, I promise) but I'll be damned if I'm sacrificing my skincare.

Meeting up with a few friends in the band Wax Idols, who were touring through town, naturally this was the first thing I asked: "What do you do about your whole face situations?"

Rachel (the drummer), who's also enthusiastic about a Korean multi-step skincare routine just said, "Dude, I just bring it all," and proceeded to fire off all her favorite K-beauty products. "Yeah, you should see her toiletry bag, it's huge!" Marisa, who plays bass, echoed. Granted, they're in the midst of a five-week national stint, so were I also leaving town for that long, you bet I'd bring all of my products.

But for a mere week, it might be a bit excessive. Luckily some of my favorite staples come baby sized.

In the interest of versatility in any environement, a full-size bottle of Bioderma micellar water will replace my oil-cleanser and makeup remover. I've got a bunch of packets of Honest Beauty's Powder Cleanser for a complete cleanse with some light exfoliation. I got little bottles of my favorite toner and essence from Missha in a goodie bag a while ago, as well as the teeny bottle of Son & Park Beauty Water. I could've just decanted these into travel bottles either way. I'm throwing in a trial tube of Missha Snail Sleeping Mask for some help in looking like I got more sleep than I probably will.

I'm so glad my Drunk Elephant staples also come in a travel set — I've been religiously using the C-Firma Day Serum and T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum and, you know, it sucks to interrupt a good routine. A tiny bottle of their Virgin Marula Oil can provide moisture, and I've got a sample tube of Restorsea Revitalizing Eye Cream for when my eyes inevitably huff and puff from sleeping in foreign environments. (Is it just me or do you also sleep poorly in a new strange place?)

Dr. Jart's illuminating sunscreen and Urban Decay Naked Skin One-And-Done are taking care of my sunscreen and complexion needs wholesale because sun protection is important (duh) and I don't feel like futzing about with spot concealer honestly.

And most importantly — deodorant.

I honestly do not know what I'm going to do with my hair. I wash it about twice a week tops, and I actually kind of like the texture and body it gets after a few unwashed days, so I may very well just bring a few packets of coconut oil as both conditioner and styling aid (I honestly know of no other leak-proof way to tote around coconut oil in warm weather).

I recently yoinked a stash of Davines Minu Shampoo samples from a hair salon, which is the PERFECT way to carry nice shampoo around. Hoardings — come to my aid!

As for makeup and facial decorations in general, I'm a firm believer in packing with a theme in mind. Generally, when we play a around town, I'll amp up the drama with lots of bold color, shine or texture. Not that there's a whole green-room situation, but I found this neat little LED slim mirror.

Because I can't ever decide any makeup look to do until I'm doing it, I'm basically bringing a good deal of long-wearing color — all of which require no brushes. Who has time to look over brushes on the road? Not I.

Being that my fingers are going to be my tools here, Milk Makeup comes in handy (they're adamantly pro-using-your-fingers) with their Eye Pigment, as well as Kat Von D Tattoo Liner. Since I'm a balm addict, especially in situations of uncertain circumstance (we all have our security blankets, OK?) I am packing the trio of Glossier's newly flavored Balm Dotcoms.

Lipstick can easily wander away in traveling situations and for fear of that happening (since lipsticks are the one thing I carry around and handle the most), I figure bringing a bunch of easily replaceable drugstore finds is a safe mom-approved move. Also I heard that Wet'N'Wild's MegaLast lip colors really live up to their name. Same goes for mascara — I'm bringing one along from Maybelline.

I'm throwing in a pot of Sephora's Glitter Eyeshadow + Primer (do they still sell those?)... just in case. I don't know! Anything could happen! I could be challenged to some sort of eye makeup-off! Upstate NY is a wild land!

  • Somehow, all of this will need to fit in a backpack with whatever essentials a person needs to live. Am I missing anything? Has anyone done a road-tripping activity like this?
  • Also, I watched Green Room not too long ago, and now I'm wondering what one should pack in the situation where I need to fight off a bunch of murderous club-owners. Swiss Army knife? Flare gun? I'm going to need a bigger backpack.
  • Also, in case you live in Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo, Albany, Toronto or Hamilton, this is not a drill.