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  • January 29, 2024 6 min read

    Why You Should Cruise—and How to Pack For It Using KUSSHI Makeup Bags

    By Emily Orofino

    If you’re anything like me, the thought of a vacation can make you feel anything but relaxed. Here’s the thing: I love traveling, but hate planning or getting organized. Beyond picking a destination, there’s booking flights, hotels, car rentals, and then figuring out the activities you’ll do and the best restaurants at which to eat. Don’t get me wrong, I love coming up with ideas, but actually getting everything scheduled is a lot of work — and you still have to pack your suitcase and your makeup bag once you’ve finally tackled everything on that list!

    That’s why, for the first time in my life, I decided to go on a cruise. I’ll admit, I was wary of booking, and according to Martha Pearlstone, luxury travel expert and travel advisor at FORA Travel, that’s because there are common misconceptions about cruising. My greatest concerns were that the experience wouldn’t be luxe and that the food would be bad, but that couldn’t have been further from the truth. “The new ships are built now to feel more like luxury hotel rooms, many more with balconies,” she says. The balcony in my stateroom — as well as the butler assigned to our room — made the experience a dreamy one, as did the food. “Most new cruise ships offer a combination of fine dining, a la carte and buffet options,” says Pearlstone. Onboard, I ate (very well!) at a restaurant with dishes designed by renowned chef Daniel Boulud.

    But most exciting of all was the route I chose. I was under the impression that cruises mostly traveled to the Caribbean, where I’ve been many times before. There are plenty of cruises that go there, but “there are now cruise lines and destinations for every type of cruiser,” says Pearlstone, including expedition cruises and cruises for history buffs. I went on a trip throughout the Mediterranean, leaving from Barcelona and making stops throughout the south of France, the coast of Italy, and Corsica, and was able to see Capri, Monaco, and the Vatican — as well as Pompeii — thanks to the excursions I booked through the cruise line. Because so much was included, I only had to book a few independent activities, and that was solely because I wanted to. Ultimately, the trip was a dream come true, and my only struggle was packing.

    It’s easy to feel daunted about packing for a cruise because there’s a lot to consider, including where you dock, events happening on the ship (including formal evenings), and the intensity of your excursions. Here, with the help of Pearlstone and celebrity makeup artist Natalia Thomas, I’m breaking down exactly how to pack your KUSSHI organizers for stress-free travel when you set sail. 

    KUSSHI Makeup Bag

    If your cruise is at least five days, you’re going to want to pack the KUSSHI Vacationer Makeup Bag. It’s nice and roomy, so you’ll have ample space to stash everything you could possibly need for your trip. Of course, any good beauty routine starts with skincare. Ahead of travel, Pearlstone recommends stocking your KUSSHI with soothing eye patches, makeup remover wipes, and a caffeine eye serum (she likes The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG). Then, the morning you leave home, add your cleanser, face serum, moisturizer, and sunscreen so you have your whole regimen at your disposal. 

    KUSSHI Vacationer Makeup Bag and Pocket Organizer


    According to Thomas, when it comes to makeup at sea, the name of the game is waterproof beauty. “I can’t live without my Skindinavia Waterproof Bridal Setting Spray, which is available in a tiny travel size, and the mini Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Pressed Translucent Powder to cut any shine after setting makeup,” she says. She also recommends using a two-in-one lip and cheek product, which can also be used as an eyeshadow in a pinch. We like Jones Road Lip and Cheek Stick; Thomas also likes Danessa Myricks Beauty Colorfix Liquid Pigment. “They pack light, come in a vast variety of shades and finishes that don’t budge, and can be used for multiple functions,” she says. Having a few different options, like a bold hue or a rich metallic, makes it easy to add a bit of glam to your look for formal events onboard. And, of course, don’t forget your waterproof mascara!

    Because the Vacationer Makeup Bag is so spacious, you’ll still have plenty of room to pack more goodies, like body care (for example, Thomas loves adding glow to the skin with Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse), hand cream, and travel-sized bottles of your favorite shampoo and conditioner. Other items to add include your toothbrush and mini toothpaste, a mini bottle of your favorite perfume (we’re big fans of Pearlstone’s signature scent, Kai), a travel hairbrush, and a travel candle. They even make mini deodorants—Pearlstone recommends Native Mini Deodorant.

    Lastly, snap in the KUSSHI Double Pocket Organizer to add extra storage and make it especially easy to find your essentials. We’re a big fan of the Port and Polish Pill Box, a shockingly stylish pill organizer in which to pack daily medications, pain relievers, and pills for heartburn and indigestion for days you overindulge. You should also slip in an emery board, a razor, a Tide-to-Go pen, a sewing kit, matches for your candle, your charging cables, and a pen and mini notepad. Consider including a small pack of sanitizing wipes “for any questionable surfaces,” suggests Pearlstone. We like ALŌH Moisturizing and Skin-Softening Hand Sanitizing Wipes because they do double duty on hands and surfaces.

    If you’re a frequent traveler, Pearlstone recommends having this bag packed ready to go. “As a travel advisor, I travel consistently, so I keep my makeup and toiletry bags pre-stocked with my must-have products so I save on packing time,” she says. 


    KUSSHI On the Go Pouch


    KUSSHI On-the-Go Pouch Set

    When it comes to single-day excursions — say, a few hours spent venturing into the port city du jour — it’s best to keep things light. The KUSSHI On-the-Go Pouch Set  features a pair of petite pouches in vibrant colors or punchy patterns that make them easy to spot in your bag and fit just enough to get you through myriad adventures. Sunscreen and SPF-infused lip balm (your lips are super susceptible to sun damage!) are musts, as are sunglasses. Try the ultra-compact Ray-Ban Wayfarer Classic Folding Sunglasses. Pearlstone also recommends a foldable hat and a folding fan for hotter trips, as well as a blister stick if you’re doing a lot of walking (we like Body Glide Foot Glide Anti-Blister Balm). We’d also suggest a good hand sanitizer, like the formulas from Touchland. Don’t forget cash, credit cards, and ID, including your passport if you have to go through security or customs to reboard.


    KUSSHI Medium Jewelry Organizer


    KUSSHI Jewelry Organizer

    If you’re reluctant to pack fine jewelry when you travel, we totally understand—but as Pearlstone says, “if you have ‘special’ jewelry pieces, what’s a more special occasion than wearing it on a vacation?” The reality is that as long as you take the proper precautions, your jewelry will be safe. It’s key to never pack your jewelry in your checked baggage, as that makes it an easy target for those handling your luggage at the airport or bringing it to your stateroom. Instead, keep it in your purse or carry-on when traveling. Once you arrive at your room on board, you can put it in the safe. “Put a reminder in your phone on departure day to remove your items from the safe,” recommends Pearlstone. “Nothing is worse than leaving precious items behind!”

    How you store your jewelry is just as important as where you stow it. Pearlstone says that a good jewelry organizer, like the new KUSSHI Jewelry Organizer, is essential. Without one, she found herself spending too much time untangling delicate necklaces. “Find one that is compact but functional,” she recommends. The KUSSHI Organizer fits the bill: Available in two sizes, it features a tri-fold design that keeps everything neat and tidy, but easy to find thanks to a loop at the top that can be used to hang the organizer so you can see everything all in one place. It’s lined with buttery soft microsuede to prevent any scratches on or snags in your jewelry. 


    Emily Orofino Headshot


    Emily Orofino discovered her passion for beauty at the age of four and has been chasing the high of that first lipstick ever since. She has over a decade of experience working in beauty across editorial, marketing, product development, and brand consulting. You can find her work on sites including InStyle, Harper's Bazaar, RealSelf, Editorialist, ELLE, Cosmo, Byrdie, Refinery29, and POPSUGAR, where she held a staff position as a beauty editor. She has also held in-house roles at Spotlyte by Allergan, Tarte Cosmetics, and Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare.

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