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timothy
04-19-2009, 12:57 AM
Hi!

I managed to pare down pretty well (to my own satisfaction at least) on a recent trip by air -- one convertable backpack, plus Checkpoint flyer. I pared down the toiletries, too: a semi-depleted tube of toothpaste (made sure it was less than 3oz when new, and so labeled); 1 toothbrush; 2 disposable razors; small bottle of shaving oil (I'm now a convert); small containers each of Dr. Bronner's soap and shampoo; stick deodorant. I was staying with a friend, and though shampoo, soap and even toothpaste were *available,* I thought it was nicer to supply my own.

These containers / doodads, however small they are in the mandatory baggie, make an awkward little bundle. Their total volume isn't much, but what I'd like is this: squarish tubes that pack flat into something perhaps the size of a old-fashioned slim cigarette case, or perhaps more like the size of an Altoids tin. Even better, if these tubes could click together somehow. It's incongruous, but the visual model that comes to mind is a kind of candy I used to get as a kid (70s / 80s -- but this stuff was on the way out even then), with a kind of thin syrup in chewable wax cylinders. I bought them bundled in little flat packs of 4 or 5, different colored liquid in each. The feel of chewing on that wax is one of those weird childhood memories impossible to forget.

(I can't find the bundled ones, but here's a pic that may / may not stir memories: http://www.candywarehouse.com/candywaxsticks.html)

So: I'd like small plastic tubes like this, which would pack flat in a slim, transparent (for TSA idiocy) plastic case, into which could go a few week' frugal portions of shaving oil, shampoo, toothpaste (or powder if necessary; not sure how to manage getting toothpaste back *out* of a thin tube strong enough for this -- a small plunger?), cologne / perfume for those so inclined, perhaps room for 14 one-per-day multivitamins.

Does this exist? Or is there a reasonable alternative? How do you bundle your toiletries for slim packing?

timothy

p.s. Have seen, am uninterested in the gelatinous sheets of shampoo / conditioner / shaving cream -- though I have *not* tried the shampoo-in-a-bar stuff, which looks interesting. For shaving, a small tube of shaving gel [EDIT: think-oh; this should have read "shaving oil" as above] and a few disposable razors weighs far less and takes less room than any electric razor I've ever seen.

ozone
04-19-2009, 08:26 AM
Haven't seen them myself. I find that toiletries in general are not too much of a concern for me. However, if you go to stores like Lush, you can get solid bars of shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer, etc. I've switched to shaving oil.

What might help is to go to an outdoor/camping store, and get those storage vials or containers. I bought some a couple of years ago, and while not exactly what you describe, some are rectangular and slender in shape: it helps avoid the round bulkiness that some some gels, etc. come pre-packed in.

I have seen and bought flat bowls, plates and cups however. They're neat: they're made from heat resistant plastic, and you fold them into the shape of a bowl, cup, or shallow plate like you would in origami. Nifty!

Sco1t
04-19-2009, 09:07 AM
Timothy, I also have looked for something akin to what you desribe but to no avail.

After a couple of years of trial and error, my kit comprises: 1 x Lush solid soap & shampoo bar which I also use for shaving (came with it's own tin), 1 x 4 use disposable razor, 1 mini moisturizer tube, 1 mini tube (from Muji.com) filled with toothpaste, 1 travel toothbrush, 1 solid deodorant stick, 1 sample vial of aftershave.

I have other alternative sized tubes from Muji for longer trips.

Let me know if you ever find what you are after as I would be interested in one too.

Regards,
Scott

timothy
04-19-2009, 12:35 PM
Scott: If I find them, I'll probably write about them here :)

Going to shaving oil is probably my favorite paring-down thing; I was skeptical -- thought I'd slice my sensitive face to pieces, but now I've switched completely. I wanted initially just to cut down on weight / bulk for travel, but now it's all I'm using. Perhaps I'll try the gel-in-a-can again for a week or so just for a more thorough comparison.

I took a full-sized toothbrush on my recent trips, but I think will either bring a cut-down one or a purpose-made travel brush. Not for the few grams of weight difference, but so it doesn't need to be wrapped separately from the other toiletries.

I will try the Lush dry shampoo (there's a Lush store not far from me), but I'm skeptical on that front, too. Will check out muji.com -- thanks.

Cheers,

timothy

falconea
04-19-2009, 05:44 PM
I use a Lush shampoo bar (Seanik) and am delighted with it. I have long, fine, oily hair and I find that the Seanik doesn't leave residue in my hair that attracts dirt. With expensive shampoo and conditoner from my hairdresser I had to wash my hair every second day - now with Seanik (which is conditioning so no separate conditioner needed) I only need to wash my hair every 4 - 6 days!

I bought a bar in about September last year and there's about a quarter of it left.

Fro travel, it's also a pretty good laundry soap - I've handwashed silk and wool with it successfully.

I love the stuff! While the bars are expensive they work out very cheap on a per wash basis.

The Lush shops smell horrible, of far too much cheap perfume. (I never went into them until reading a recommendation on flyertalk.com.) Seanik doesn't have much smell at all; my husbabnd uses "New" which is anti-dandruff (works well) and it has a light smell of cinnamon. Avoid "Godiva" - it's supposed to be "jasmine" scented and will stink the whole house out. I suspect that it's one of the stinks in the shop. Works well on my hair as well, but I didn't want to smell it on my hair all day long. I have taken it travelling - in case I get a smelly room I can at least change it to a more pleasant smell!

Audrey

Just
04-20-2009, 02:35 AM
Audrey, thanks for the recommendations re: Lush shampoo bars. I've been meaning to try them out but didn't know where to start. I'll probably pick up a Seanik bar tomorrow per your rec. I think my hair is similar to how you described yours, so here's hoping it'll work for me too!

pretzelb
04-20-2009, 06:15 AM
Wow. Just when I think I know it all about travel products along comes this post. Lush shampoo bars? Those just look crazy to me, but if I can find one in a store I might try it. I'm hearing more of the shaving oil but I seriously doubt I can use that and not my electric razor. Again, maybe if I can find some I'll try it but while my electric may weigh more and take up more room, at least it's not land fill material (until it dies on me at least).

Have you looked at the Nalgene travel bottles? REI sells them in many sizes (http://www.rei.com/product/402139). The Container Store has similar items.

Darcy
04-20-2009, 09:22 AM
The Lush shops smell horrible, of far too much cheap perfume. (I never went into them until reading a recommendation on flyertalk.com.) Seanik doesn't have much smell at all;

I'm glad you've posted this. I've avoided Lush stores and products because I don't like how the stores smell when I walk by them. But I think I will try Seanik - carrying one bar instead of two travel bottles sounds great.

falconea
04-20-2009, 03:24 PM
Goodness, Lush should pay me a commission! :+>

They have little tins for the shampoo bars which are excellent for travel.

When using the shampoo you only need very little - wet hair, then stroke the bar 3 times over your hair, then lather up. If my hair is very oily it doesn't lather well - I just wash, rinse, then repeat and the second time it lathers up fine, allowing me to comb out tangles with my fingers easily. It's much, much quicker than my old routine of shampoo twice then condition and untangle. And after squeezing my hair dry with a towel it is much drier than it used to be.

It's important to let the bar dry thoroughly before putting it back in its tin. I just let it sit in the lid to dry.

My husband and I traveled for just over 3 months (Nov - Feb) and carrying three little tins took (the Godiva for emergency laundry and for stinky hotels) was a massive improvement on carrying 3 giant bottles of shampoo and conditioner.

Please do all let me know what you think of it.

Audrey

falconea
04-20-2009, 03:31 PM
I've avoided Lush stores and products because I don't like how the stores smell when I walk by them.

I don't know why they do it - the smell is horrible! I would never have tried it but for recommendations, the fact that my old shampoo had just been discontinued and we were planning a 3 month trip.

They moved in my local giant shopping centre recently - my husband went looking for a store directory. I sniffed and said "that way!" and followed my nose straight to the shop!

I've never tried any of their other products - and I don't want to spend long enough in the place to see what they have.

Audrey

Darcy
04-22-2009, 09:42 AM
They moved in my local giant shopping centre recently - my husband went looking for a store directory. I sniffed and said "that way!" and followed my nose straight to the shop!

Hehe! I think there is a Lush store in Westlake Center now. I might visit that one. My only guess is that the majority of potential customers do like that smell - or it causes them to stop in their tracks and take notice of the store. My favorite products smell-wise are Juniper Ridge (http://www.juniperridge.com/) soaps, but they don't make a shampoo type bar.

bluedenim
04-22-2009, 02:20 PM
hmmm I will have to check this stuff out...
I am looking to travel super light on my next trip to Europe and I always find that the toiletires have a tendency to build up really fast and all of a sudden its like bring another pair of shoes space wise.

I ussually just buy the travel packs of expensive products. I have used Shaving Oil in the past and ir really is good stuff.

yeti
04-22-2009, 02:34 PM
Burt's Bees makes a shampoo bar that works pretty well, and has a light, natural rosemary-mint scent. They're available at many markets these days for around $6 for a 3.5 oz. bar -- so they may be easier to come by than the Lush bars.

flitcraft
04-23-2009, 08:40 AM
One of the plusses of Lush shampoo bars is that they are Sodium Laurel/ Laureth Sulfate free--some people prefer to avoid SLS as they find it irritating and drying. They make several different ones--and I agree that Godiva is too scented for me and smells vaguely like perfumed moth balls! I like Squeaky Green, which has a light, pleasant mint-rosemary scent. Hybrid is lightly liquorice scented and has cocoa butter in it so it is a hybrid shampoo and conditioner. They also make a separate solid conditioner bar called Jungle that has a really lovely scent.

By the way, you can use shampoo--solid or otherwise--to wash out socks, undies, tops etc in a hotel sink. Saves taking along a separate clothes washing product.

Just
04-23-2009, 07:17 PM
Update! So I did buy the Seanik and it does work well - my hair doesn't get as oily near as fast as normal. I think I'm going to try following it up with conditioner and seeing how that works (since the girl at the shop seemed to hint at getting conditioner too), but I think it might counter the un-oiliness. I also picked up the Karma one, because apparently the deal was free travel tin with purchase of two shampoo bars, and I'm going to need the tin soon, since there will be traveling and staying-at-places-other-than-home soon!

Can't believe I'm getting this excited about shampoo bars!

falconea
04-23-2009, 08:36 PM
Just,

They do like upselling and I find that annoying. (I've just been to an optometrist for new glasses and had some difficulty actually getting the $59 basic glasses rather than the "second pair free" super thin, all bells and whistles for $700+. Most annoying! I just wanted cheap reading glasses to see if I would actually use reading glasses.)

I find the Seanik conditioning enough for me and haven't bothered to purchase any conditioner.

The "un-oiliness" as you call it is a remarkable effect. I eventually decided that it was more that there's no residue in my hair to attract and hold dirt.

And yes, a little tiny round bar in a matching round tin is exciting, compared to two huge bottles of shampoo and conditioner. My first bar has lasted me 6 months so far and has travelled around the world with me for 3 months.

Audrey

timothy
04-23-2009, 09:02 PM
Audrey:

re: "(I've just been to an optometrist for new glasses and had some difficulty actually getting the $59 basic glasses rather than the "second pair free" super thin, all bells and whistles for $700+. Most annoying! I just wanted cheap reading glasses to see if I would actually use reading glasses.)" -- Check out zennioptical.com

I get compliments (not all of which are sarcastic!) about my glasses (http://zennioptical.com/cart/product.php?productid=467&cat=15&page=1#largeimage) all the time, and I have a bad habit of blurting out "20 bucks online!"

True story: to get my prescription, I went to one of those "two pairs for $89!" type places; it ended up costing me more for the usual reasons (the come-on price is only for glasses made out of sandpaper and arsenic), but I thought "eh, at least now I'll have an extra two pairs of glasses, one of which I'll get tinted for shooting / driving / etc." The truth? The ones from the store not only are flimsy (nose bridge broke quickly), but despite being based on the same prescription (done at that store!), are clearly optically inferior to the ones from Zenni which cost around 1/5 of their price. Not sure whether it's the fault of machinery, humans, or what.

Zenni has *very* mixed reviews -- which doesn't surprise me, it's an online business with high volume, selling a product that people may take as part of their identity, at very low prices -- but my own sole experience with them was spot-on. Service was friendly and quick (and when I called to ask a question, I felt treated well and politely, which is rare for any business at all, sadly).

Sadly, they do not pay me to make such plugs, but I like to tout what I like :)

timothy

peregrina
04-24-2009, 06:46 AM
I LOVE Lush shampoo bars! Not only the shampoo is of great quality but it'll last at least a couple of months taking very little room in a suitcase. It's a no-brainer...

timothy
04-27-2009, 09:58 PM
Heh, the new clear toiletries case sure looks like an improvement on the hated-by-me plastic baggie. I'm semi-clairvoyant! A medium-medium!

timothy
04-28-2009, 02:16 AM
Just learned from unclutterer.com that Muji now has an online presence for mail-order -- cool! They have lots of neat stuff.

http://www.muji.us/store/

cpau
04-29-2009, 05:41 PM
Another vote here for lush solid shampoo/conditioner. And one is enough for several months.

The little tins are useful but unless the bar is completely dry before you put them back in, it'll stick to the bottom and be almost impossible to pry out without damage.

What I found to fix that is a strip about 2" wide and 6" long, perhaps less, of flexible but strong plastic. You could cut up a ziploc bag, but I used the outer wrapper of a packet of biscuits which is all I had on hand. Place that underneath the bar with the ends hanging out and you can lift it out easily. To close the lid, just fold the tabs under the (slightly curved) lid. Presto!

falconea
04-29-2009, 06:18 PM
When using the shampoo while travelling, I use the lid of the tin as a soap dish, and when packing away I make sure it's packed upside down. That way if it sticks it's stuck to the lid and can still be used. In fact, my local Lush shop recommended leaving it stuck to the lid and just using it that way.

Audrey

RedBeard
05-06-2009, 02:02 PM
I have not used the Lush bars, but I can recommend Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Bar soap (http://www.drbronner.com/DBMS/LS.htm) for all travel needs. I have used it for soap, shampoo, shaving, and hand laundry. Since it's a castile soap it even works as a toothpaste, although the taste is not something I recommend. Still, if you are looking for an all-in-one, TSA friendly solution it's worth a try.

timothy
05-06-2009, 02:08 PM
RedBeard: I buy Dr. Bronners for most purposes. For shaving, though, I decided that for me (sensitive skin) it's better than nothing, but far inferior to a tiny tube of shave oil. And the toothpaste function ... well, even with the peppermint variety, I was spitting out soap flavor for quite a while after ;)

Hmm, for shave oil, for any trip of a week or perhaps even two, I'd like to find the tiny sample bottles that I once had with some cologne in it. Or maybe one of those *per* week, up until one month, at which point, I'd take the whole (still small) bottle. Perhaps I'll visit a perfume store at a mall to seek some of those containers ...

timothy

Nana8
05-07-2009, 02:59 AM
RedBeard: I buy Dr. Bronners for most purposes. For shaving, though, I decided that for me (sensitive skin) it's better than nothing, but far inferior to a tiny tube of shave oil. And the toothpaste function ... well, even with the peppermint variety, I was spitting out soap flavor for quite a while after ;)

Hmm, for shave oil, for any trip of a week or perhaps even two, I'd like to find the tiny sample bottles that I once had with some cologne in it. Or maybe one of those *per* week, up until one month, at which point, I'd take the whole (still small) bottle. Perhaps I'll visit a perfume store at a mall to seek some of those containers ...

timothy

Maybe this will work...
Sephora, the cosmetics store, is always giving samples of their products. For a recent hospital stay, I visited my local store and asked them for some sample bottles. They were more than accomodating and the size of the bottles is generous enough to hold at least 3 days of product with a bit left over - maybe another day's worth.

Otherwise, our local Container Store
http://www.containerstore.com/

has many flat containers to choose from as well as round, oval, etc. If you can't find anything in the travel section, go to the kitchen section! I have solved many a container issue by going to a different department. In person is best but have included the link for you to get an idea.

Hope this helps.
Nana8

timothy
05-07-2009, 11:42 AM
Hey! I didn't realize there was a Container Store in Bellevue -- dangerous knowledge. When I've lived near other locations, I've found myself in there far too often, just wandering ... addictive ideas in there.

timothy

backpack
05-07-2009, 11:47 AM
In person it is always better, she said, plotting to get to Tom Bihn store and all sorts of other cool stores in Seattle.

timothy
05-07-2009, 12:03 PM
I have never been in a Sephora store, but I think there's one right near the Lush store in / near downtown Seattle, so I might force myself into those two "aromatic" places in the same day, for travel shampoo and sample bottles.

timothy

Darcy
05-07-2009, 12:04 PM
I have never been in a Sephora store, but I think there's one right near the Lush store in / near downtown Seattle, so I might force myself into those two "aromatic" places in the same day, for travel shampoo and sample bottles.


Hmm, not sure if I can picture you in a Sephora store, timothy. I think you should photograph and live-blog the experience. :)

Just
05-07-2009, 07:20 PM
Hmm, not sure if I can picture you in a Sephora store, timothy. I think you should photograph and live-blog the experience. :)

I wholeheartedly agree.

Also, backpack, you and I are in the same boat. Planning a trip to the TB Mecca later this year, hopefully.

timothy
05-07-2009, 08:25 PM
Luckily I do not "live blog" anything :)

The last time I was in a perfumy store of some kind, it was the one in every mall, called either Body Works, Body Shop, Bury the Body ... something like that. They had a sample-sized cologne called Oceanus, iirc, and it's one of the only scented things I've ever been impressed with. I went back after very slowly using up the sample, and found that they didn't carry it any more. But that little sample bottle, which looked like some sort of futuristic drug-delivery method -- *that* is what I want for my shaving oil on short trips. It's fun to pare down :)

timothy

Nana8
05-08-2009, 02:33 PM
Hmm, not sure if I can picture you in a Sephora store, timothy. I think you should photograph and live-blog the experience. :)

LOL! It could be quite a photo! I would love to see it posted!

katiya
06-16-2009, 01:14 PM
I was just reading this thread a month late but I hope timothy found Sephora directly across from Westlake Center! I've never been in Lush because the smell sets off my allergies. Maybe I'll give it a go when I am on the way back from Bihn later. I could use a decent shampoo for my hair when I travel. I have some nasty coarse hair and most shampoo sucks honestly. I've used the expensive salon shampoo/conditioner--never again.

Yeah, they hid the Container Store in Bellevue kind of catty corner to the Postal Office about 2 blocks from Bell Square! There is another in Lynnwood where the Target is about a block from Alderwood.

travelwkid
06-26-2009, 04:13 AM
Well I finally got myself to a Lush store and purchased a Seanik bar. I've been using it for about 2 weeks now, and am longing for the day that my hair gets used to it and stops being so terribly knotty all the time. Even if I brush my hair very thoroughly, within a very short period of time, its knotty again.

I don't know if my hair likes the whole "without conditioner" thing. Will it improve? How long will it take before my hair and the Seanik like each other?

travelwkid

eastercat
06-26-2009, 07:16 AM
I don't know if my hair likes the whole "without conditioner" thing. Will it improve? How long will it take before my hair and the Seanik like each other?

travelwkid
I wish I could even think about not using conditioner. I use Lush's Gentle Lentil. Even though it has moisturizing properties, my wavy hair demands conditioner. So, I use Jungle afterward. It's too strong for my friend to use (she's got normal hair), but it's perfect for my dry hair.