FASHION Get rid of excess beauty baggage

By Samantha Critchell

Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Travel globally; pack minimally.

There was a time in the not so distant past when it wouldn't be uncommon for a woman to take everything in her bathroom cabinet with her on vacation -- even if the "vacation" was a weekend getaway.

But this is the no-frills year of 2002 when people are literally getting rid of excess baggage, especially if they are planning to fly.


Beauty companies have responded with several small-size products.

When Prada introduced its skin-care line, the primary reason for its monodoses of toner, eye gel, body lotion and other 23 products was to keep the active ingredients active.

"Using an airtight and airless delivery system, all the formulas are not only guaranteed to stay fresh, and active, but the luxury of the line is the product purity and potency," says Jill Scalamandre, general manager of Prada Beauty.

However, a bonus is that single servings reflect the way women and men live in the 21st century. "You only have to carry what you need," Scalamandre says.

For travelers' hair, London-based stylist Charles Worthington, who sells his products in drugstore chains throughout the United States, offers Takeaways and a brush-curler combination.

The Takeaways are miniature containers of shampoo, conditioner and hair spray that are big enough for a weeklong trip but at $1.99 a pop can be left behind at the hotel.

The In Fashion Rollerbrush has three round-brush heads that detach from the base and act as curlers.

Mario Russo, who has two salons in Boston, also has launched travel-size products. He says the most important products to travel with are "your standards: shampoo, conditioner, body gel or soap."


Finishing products for the hair and moisturizer should be packed next, Russo says.

A new trend, though, is for upscale hotels to provide all these items for guests in the same high quality that their guests buy for themselves at home.

"For a client at a boutique hotel, opening a tiny square of drying soap is not a good experience," says Russo, who will have his own olive oil-based line at Nine Zero Hotel when it opens in Boston in June. "And these hotels are looking to enhance the entire experience."

When there was a temporary halt in production of Aveda's line of bath amenities for W Hotels, the hotel chain heard from its guests, says Guy Hensley, senior vice president of W Hotels.

Frequent guests of upscale hotels know that they can leave their bath products at home and still be able to follow their normal bath-and-beauty routine, Hensley says. In fact, he adds, many guests end up taking their high-end bath products home with them from hotels.

For makeup, Trish McEvoy helps the traveler eliminate the cluttered, cumbersome cosmetics case with her credit card-size makeup kits. The Face Essentials compact contains all the color for eyes, cheeks and lips, the Maxed Out gloss kit has 10 lip colors, and a set of natural-bristle brushes has been downsized to fit in the palm of the hand.

If there is still a need for a bag to hold the mini toiletries and makeup, several "travel cases," such as the stiff-sided leather square from Luxury Accessories International, can double as handbags once the traveler has reached her destination.

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