Thursday, January 16, 2014

Travel Beauty: Jet-setters’ delight

Travel Beauty's Night Only Overnight Essentials kit includes Institut Esthederm E.V.E. Serum Source, $129 ... Elemis Tri-Enzyme Resurfacing Facial Wash, $15.50 ... Compagnie de Provence Olive and Lavender Shower Gel, $5.50 ... Compagnie de Provence Olive and Lavender Body Milk, $5.50 ... Philip Kingsley Daily Damage Defence, $12 ... Juvena Specialist Skin Nova SC Eye Serum, $154.
Travel Beauty
Jet-setters’ delight
by Delia von Neuschatz

Have you ever come across great grooming products on your travels and were disappointed to discover when you got home that they weren’t sold in the US? Well, I certainly have and so has frequent traveler, Alyssa Barrie, who, sensing a void in the marketplace, decided to do something about it.

Alyssa Barrie, the CEO and founder of This New York native’s love of travel was inspired early on by frequent family trips abroad.
Enter Travel Beauty, an online destination that offers hard-to-find luxury beauty and grooming products from around the world.

Proffering goods from Europe, Canada, and Japan, Travel Beauty’s focus is on skin care, hair care, bath and body. While the site specializes in travel-size imports (namely the TSA-friendly 3.4 fl oz. or less), it does also provide full-size options. And the wares are not for women only. With dozens of goodies to choose from, men are well looked-after as well.

So, what sets Travel Beauty apart from other online purveyors of grooming products?

First and foremost, it is more class than mass. The merchandise is high-end and for the most part, not easily sourced. The offerings certainly can’t all be found under the same online “roof.”

Second, there’s a seasoned panel of industry experts which vets all of the goods, cutting through the clutter of the thousands of personal grooming options on the market. These trade veterans include Yasmine Djerradine, an aesthetician with 30+ years of skin care expertise, world-renowned trichologist Philip Kingsley, Japanese hair styling guru Ishi of Salon Ishi and makeup artist to the stars, M.B. York.

Third, customers can pick and choose to create their own travel kits, a customization option that Barrie hasn’t found anywhere else.
Travel beauty's panel of industry experts (clockwise from top left): Yasmine Djerradine, Skin Care Expert; Anabel Kingsley, Hair & Scalp Trichological Expert; M.B. York, Makeup Expert; Ishi, Hair Care Expert; Philip Kingsley, Hair & Scalp Tricological Expert.
And lastly, there’s the advice. It’s not all about pushing product and Barrie is good at doling out some honest girlfriend guidance. “Not by the Hair on My Chinny Chin Chin,” for example, is her Facebook post strongly urging the removal of facial hair, even those strands you think are visible only to you.

“Ladies, you can do it … get close to the mirror, lift your chin and take a good look ... are there any whiskers? Maybe some small blond ones that you think no one can see? They can see them, so don’t be afraid to pull out your tweezers and pluck. If you don’t, everyone will be talking about your chin hairs behind your back.”

The regularly-updated blog is an additional source of information.
Barrie's well-stocked medicine cabinet. Having tired of the grind of an actor/comedian’s life, Barrie started working in advertising and then marketing and then enrolled in an MBA program at Fordham University. Travel Beauty grew out of a business plan the 37-year-old marketing executive drew up in business school. No stranger to hard graft, Barrie at one point was working full time while going to school and launching Travel Beauty.
Barrie and her husband share their apartment with Kramer, an Australian shepherd mix, who loves nothing more than to have his belly rubbed. It may not come as a surprise to Travel Beauty customers, with some of the site’s humorous product descriptions and posts (e.g., a deodorant recommended for “major schvitzers”), that Barrie was once a stand-up comedian. Her dream, though, had always been to be a serious Shakespearean actress. To that end, she attended the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU and the British American Drama Academy in Oxford. But a funny thing happened on the way to King Lear. Barrie’s sense of humor wasn’t lost on her manager and before long, this dotcom entrepreneur had back-to-back nightly bookings in New York City comedy clubs.
But getting back to the goods, what are some must-haves for Barrie? The self-professed product junkie quickly rattles off her faves. For the current dry winter weather, she is partial to the Canadian B. Kamins Lip Balm with SPF 20, the Nia-Stem anti-aging moisturizer and the English Elemis all-over conditioning franjipani body oil. For a glowing visage, Barrie swears by B. Kamins’ brightening BB Cream, the French Institut Esthederm’s “idiot-proof” line of self-tanning products (use them on your face with no fear) and its rejuvenating eye patches. Appealing to Barrie’s love of multi-taskers, the Japanese Care Water by Vine is an indispensable all-in-one moisturizer/toner/de-frizzer.
Travel Beauty must-haves (l. to r.): B. Kamins Laboratories Lip Balm SPF 20 (from Canada), $19; B. Kamins Laboratories Nia-Stem Moisturizer Kx (from Canada), $125; Elemis Franjipani Monoi Body Oil (from the UK), $25.50; Vine Minus Ion Care Water (from Japan), $20.
For men, Barrie recommends the compact travel shaving brush and spill-proof shaving stick (looks like a deodorant, lathers up like a shaving cream) from London’s venerable Taylor of Old Bond Street. And for kids of all ages, there’s the Japanese Smile Heart Story scalp brush, guaranteed to invigorate your scalp and smoothly detangle your kids’ hair.
Taylor Of Old Bond Street Pure Badger Shaving Brush in
Imitation Ivory Travel Case, $64.
Taylor Of Old Bond Street
Sandalwood Shave Stick, $20.
Continuing on her quest to have Travel Beauty become a one-stop shop for exclusive globally-sourced beauty and grooming products, Barrie is currently working on importing an organic Israeli skin care line. With its intelligent, hard-working, resourceful (not to mention funny!) founder at the helm, Travel Beauty is ready for take-off.
Best Beach Day kit includes:

Institut Esthederm Adaptasun Sea and Tropics Body Lotion SPF 20, $68.
B. Kamins Laboratories Lip Balm SPF 20, $19.
Institut Esthederm Bronz Repair Age Control Face Cream SPF 20, $90.
Smile Heart Story Scalp Brush Mini, $72.
Philip Kingsley Swimcap, $18.
Hair-oes kit includes:

Du-Boa Ceramide 2+ Ion Scalp Massager, $18.
Philip Kingsley Elasticizer, $25.
Vine Minus Ion Care Water, $20.
Caretrico Moist Bounce Shampoo, $36.
Shave The Day kit includes:

Taylor of Old Bond Street Jermyn Street Collection Shaving Cream for Sensitive Skin, $18.
Taylor Of Old Bond Street Pure Badger Shaving Brush in Imitation Ivory Travel Case, $64.
Elemis S.O.S. Survival Cream, $75.
Ursa Major Essential Face Wipes, $24.
B. Kamins Laboratories Vegetable Cleanser, $15-$34.