We here at Fodor’s are an adventurous bunch. We’ve got hikers, campers, and scuba divers. We’ve got city-lovers and country-dwellers, beach-hounds and ski-fanatics. But no matter the destination or activity, we all want to look our best. There’s nothing like a glance in the mirror post-beach to make you feel like exploring the inside of your hotel room. So when it came to creating a Fodor’s-Approved shortlist of travel beauty products, we turned to the experts at 3FlOz.com for guidance.
Founders Kate Duff and Alexi Mintz worked with us to put together a big bag of products for Fodor’s editors to test on the road. And test we did. From Miami to the Bahamas to chilly NYC and Italy, we tested the products, shared them, and gave our honest feedback. What we’re left with is a selection of true top products (listed in no particular order) all conveniently sized under 3 fluid ounces (you’re welcome, TSA) and ready to travel.
1. Philip B. Light-Weight Deep Conditioning Créme Rinse
Fodor’s Reviewer: Cate Starmer, Senior Content Producer Fodors.com
How did the product perform? The name seemed contradictory to me at first but it’s true that it is light weight and deep conditioning. I tried it three times: after a full day at the beach, a full day at the pool, and a full day at the office. It nicely detangled my (long, thick, straight) hair without weighing it down.
Is it efficient or did it add to your routine? I didn’t necessarily need it after the average day in the city, but after the stress of sun, salt, and chlorine, it was a must-have. It also had a nice and light natural fragrance, which is great for mixing-and-matching products on the go.
From 3FlOz’s Kate Duff and Alexi Mintz: These luxurious hair products ensure that no matter how the water differs between your hotel and home, your hair looks sensational.
2. Philip B White Truffle Nourishing and Conditioning Creme
Fodor’s Reviewer: Nicole Campoy, Blog Editor
What type of trip would you take it on? This would be perfect for a beach or city trip. It’s luxurious and conditioning, so any time you want to take frazzled, dried hair and make it presentable (e.g. post-beach or flight), this is the ticket.
How did the product perform? The promise of white truffle both enticed me and made me skeptical—white truffles in the shower? What’s good, and maybe bad, is that it doesn’t actually smell like white truffle. It has a savory smell, but it isn’t overpowering. The focus is on the rich cream and how it really softens your hair.
Would you buy it yourself? Maybe.It made my hair feel really silky without feeling oily, but it comes with a hefty price tag.
3. Serge Normant Meta Revive Volumizing Dry Shampoo
Fodor’s Reviewer: Elizabeth Lynch, Editorial Intern
What type of trip would you take it on? I would have loved to test this on beach-y hair! I’d take this on any trip where you may not be able to wash your hair as much as normal.
How did it perform? It did what it told me it would and felt really nice on my hair. I used it once on unwashed hair to see if it made my locks look cleaner (yep) and once on washed hair to gauge its promise of added volume (double yep). Plus it is a huge time-saver!
From 3FlOz’s Kate Duff and Alexi Mintz: Dry shampoo is a girl’s best friend; one that creates volume too is a BFF.
4. Jack Black All-Over Wash for Face, Hair, and Body
Fodor’s Reviewer: Maria Hart, Cities and Culture Editor
Did it fit in your makeup bag easily?Since this is a three-in-one product, it actually saved room!
What type of trip would you take it on? Great for traipsing around the city. As face/body wash, it was a serious upgrade over the usually mega-harsh hotel soaps.
How did the product perform? You’d think something that doubles as a body wash would be too aggressive for your face, but it was surprisingly gentle. It leaves your skin soft, clean, but not tight. And it was a good body/hair wash as well. The lather is thick, creamy, and wonderful.
Any negatives? I picked this up because it’s free of all the nasties: paraben-free, sulfate-free, cruelty-free. But why oh why does it have to have fragrance? Being fragrance-free would have been the ultimate.
From 3FlOz’s Kate Duff and Alexi Mintz: Another great multi-use product that both men and women will love on the road!
5. Yes to Carrots Cucumber Facial Towlettes
Fodor’s Reviewer: Maria Hart, Cities and Cultures Editor; Margaret Kelly, Special Projects Editor
What type of trip would you take it on? For me, this is an all-purpose product. It now comes with me on every flight, to the gym, and on car trips. They are great for overnight flights, letting me avoid trying to wash my face in dinky airplane sinks. I may start lugging it around in my purse, too.
Is it efficient or did it just add to your routine? The whole reason to use this product is that it is ultra efficient. When you get off that red eye and you do a face-plant directly onto your hotel bed, you don’t even need to shuffle into the bathroom. Even room service requires more effort. Plus they smell like spa water.
Any negatives? I nabbed these from another editor who has sensitive skin. She gave them up after they made her skin red and flare up. Thankfully, mine didn’t have that reaction, but people with sensitive skin should take heed.
From 3FlOz’s Kate Duff and Alexi Mintz: This is hands down our ‘Don’t leave home without it’ product on 3Floz. Enough said?
6. Flight 001 Go Clean Laundry
Fodor’s Editor: Salwa Jabado, Countryside and Adventure Editor
What type of trip would you take it on? I would take it on a hiking, beach, or any outdoorsy trip where you might have sweaty, smelly, or wet clothing.
How did it perform? The laundry bag is supposed to prevent mildew from spreading and to keep the smell of dirty clothes away from your clean clothes. I used it on a 10 day trip to Italy with my husband and it was great. We used the laundry bag for keeping hotel rooms tidy (no dirty clothes strewn on chairs) and even used it to do laundry once. The bag is smaller (at 26" x 16.75") than an at-home laundry bag which was perfect for travel. It fit easily into our carry-on luggage and, best of all, left clean clothes outside of the bag smelling clean.
Would you buy it yourself? At first I questioned the usefulness of it—wouldn’t a gallon size zip lock bag work just as well? But, it exceeded my expectations, so I would consider buying it even at $22.
From 3FlOz’s Kate Duff and Alexi Mintz: These bags make us feel like we’ve customized our own suitcase design to separate laundry, lingerie, bathing suits, and really anything from the rest of our load.
7. Blowfish for Hangovers
Fodor’s Reviewer: Elizabeth Lynch, Editorial Intern
What type of trip would you take it on? Any trip where you might have too much fun! This would be great for a beach trip to help ease suffering caused by the alluring combo of sun and alcohol.
How did it perform? Three of us tried it and felt that it worked differently for each. It is aspirin and caffeine with antacid, so it can’t hurt. One of us had trouble with the fizzy lemon taste and the others praised it for its curative properties. All in all it was a lot like taking Airborne.
From 3FlOz’s Kate Duff and Alexi Mintz: We searched far and wide for the best hangover cure and found Blowfish is perfect to bring along on business trips when you need to shine in the am after late night drinks.
1. Blow Faux Dry Shampoo
Fodor’s Reviewer: Amanda Sadlowski, Editorial Assistant
What type of trip would you take these on? When I traveled to India, my travel buddies brought dry shampoo and were stunned that I didn’t. It is incredibly useful in places with limited access to hot water or where showering every day isn’t feasible. It’s also great for those days you haven’t washed your hair and its starting to look oily.
How did the product perform? You spray this on and massage it onto your scalp the same way you do with regular shampoo. I tested this the day after I washed my hair and it worked well in terms of managing oiliness and even added volume. In total, it probably took me about 2-3 minutes to do my hair.
Any negatives? Using the powder itself is a bit bizarre—sort of like putting baby powder on your hair. Make sure to put it on before you get dressed, as it’ll get on your clothes. And if you put too much on, it can fade your color a bit.
From 3FlOz’s Kate Duff and Alexi Mintz: We can’t say enough good things about dry shampoo. This lightweight powder version from the blowdry experts at the New York Blowdry Bar is easy to apply and can extend the life of your blowout for days.
2. The Laundress Crease Release
Fodor’s Reviewer: Salwa Jabado, Countryside and Adventure Editor
What type of trip would you take it on? A business trip where I had to look pressed and ready to go right off the plane.
How did the product perform? I sprayed it on a silk shirt that had wrinkled in my luggage. I used the spray while wearing the shirt (they say this is OK) and by the time I got to my destination, the wrinkles had disappeared. It didn’t ruin my silk shirt with water marks either. And at $8 a pop, it’s perfect to keep in your carry-on.
Does it smell nice? It has a soapy perfume smell. My husband sprayed it on his hat that smelled mildewed (Europe in spring is rainy), so it’s not an overpoweringly feminine smell.
From 3FlOz’s Kate Duff and Alexi Mintz: In addition to the effortless release of wrinkles, this spray also freshens up clothing that’s been in a less-than-pleasant-smelling hotel room closet.
3. Archipelago Botanicals Lip Balm Milk with SPF 15
Fodor’s Reviewer: Linda Cabasin, Editorial Director
What type of trip would you take it on? The SPF factor and cool coconut scent (which vanishes after a bit) make it perfect for the beach—I took it on the plane to Miami.
How did the product perform? The balm is great for soothing and smoothing lips: it’s creamy rather than waxy and felt luxurious, and it worked. Plus, you could easily put lipstick on over it.
Does it smell and/or feel good to use? The faint coconut smell plus the product’s creaminess appealed for me. It wasn’t like putting wax on your mouth. I like all the botanicals in it: like putting a garden on your mouth in a good way.
From 3FlOz’s Kate Duff and Alexi Mintz: The subtle soothing scent of this award-winning lip balm has just enough sweetness to it but is still loved by both men and women alike.
4. Supergoop! SPF 30+ Face and Body Lotion
Fodor’s Reviewer: Roisin Cameron, Associate Countryside and Adventure Editor
What type of trip would you take it on? Skiing/hiking or quick city break.
Did it shorten or lengthen your morning routine? It is a triple duty product—it’s facial moisturizer and sunscreen that I can slather on under make-up! You can also use it as body lotion, maybe on a short break if you didn’t want to pack an extra bottle.
Any negatives? No. It is a plain, every day product, not very exciting bit delivered what it promised. I’d buy it.
From 3FlOz’s Kate Duff and Alexi Mintz: Supergoop’s luxurious formulations are not only highly effective sun care but they’re also paraben-free, fragrance free, and water resistant.
5. Herban Essentials Mixed Towelettes in Peppermint, Lavender, and Lemon
Fodor’s Reviewer: Erica Duecy, Deputy Editor
What type of trip would you take these on? These towelettes make the space around you more pleasant, especially in cramped quarters like an airplane or car. I also used them to sanitize my hands after riding the subway. The essential oils that make them smell so nice also are a natural antibacterial.
Is it a double duty product? Yes, they clean, and they freshen the air around you. They also don’t dry out your hands, which is a huge plus.
Any negatives? The scents are strong, so I’d caution people who don’t like strong fragrances. I am usually one of those people, but I only reacted to the lavender. The others didn’t affect me negatively.
From 3FlOz’s Kate Duff and Alexi Mintz: We’re not quiet about our fear of germs while traveling. These are our savior for not just for their anti-bacterial properties but also the essential oil fragrances can help us sleep soundly in-flight (after we’ve wiped down the hand and headrests, of course).
6. Help! I’ve Cut Myself Bandages
Fodor’s Reviewer: Caroline Trefler, Senior Cities and Culture Editor
Does it fit in your makeup bag easily? Not in a makeup bag, but the package would fit in a purse pretty easily, or a tote bag
How did the product perform? They stay on well, even in water. You can put leave them on for days. Literally, if you forget about them, they will stay on even through your shower and continue to protect your skin. It also helped prevent blisters when I tried out new shoes!
Any negatives? The cloth part in the middle is white, so they show up dramatically on your skin instead of being subtle or invisible. Also, the packaging is cute but impractical: it doesn’t close well and is made out of flimsy cardboard that could get squashed.
From 3FlOz’s Kate Duff and Alexi Mintz: The only thing worse than cutting yourself while traveling is having to buy an enormous box of bandages at the drugstore to use just a few. We love all of Help Remedies’ products because you bring a long just what you (might) need.
All photos courtesy of 3floz.com