A compendium of Recomendo




Treat shaving cuts

For some reason I frequently cut myself shaving when I travel. I’ve stopped trying to figure out why. I just bring along a pack of KutKit Styptic Swabs. They look like Q-Tips but have a glass ampoule of staunching liquid inside the straw that is released when you bend the tube like a light stick. It stops the bleeding instantly. — MF

Painless hair brushing

Because of the Tangle Teezer, I actually like brushing my hair after I shower. Just a few, quick strokes and my hair is super smooth and detangled. I’ve used the Tangle Teezer on my 10-year-old niece, who has 26-inch long hair and hates getting it brushed, and there was not one complaint. A tip for brushing long hair painlessly: gather all hair in a fist and brush in sections from the bottom up. — CD

Travel floss

GUM Soft-Picks do a better job than toothpicks or floss for cleaning food and plaque from between my teeth. The soft green brush pushes out all the gunk without hurting. I buy the version that comes with the travel cases. — MF

Oil absorbing sheets

Blotting sheets are a savior when my face gets oily and I don’t want to ruin my makeup. Clean & Clear Oil-Absorbing Sheets are cheap and portable. But if you find yourself in need and without, just use a sanitary toilet seat cover — they work just as good. — CD

Best flushable wipes

I’ve installed inexpensive bidets in the toilets at my house, and I’m sorry I can’t bring them with me when I travel. But I have recently started carrying a DUDE Wipe packet in my pocket. The packet resembles a condom packet, but it contains a flushable single wipe. It’s unscented and is treated with vitamin E and aloe. — MF

Perfume gift boxes

I like giving perfume and cologne samplers as gifts. These gift boxes from Sephora come with 12-17 samples (each bottle has about 3 uses) of the year’s newest or most popular perfumes, and inside is a voucher that they can return for a full-size bottle of their favorite scent. This is always one of my go-to Christmas gifts. — CD

Favorite body scrubber

Last year I started using a Salux Japanese Nylon washcloth (reviewed on Cool Tools), and I won’t ever go back. No other product has made me feel this clean before. It exfoliates, but it’s not as rough as some gloves or loofahs I have tried, and I use the one labeled “super hard.” — CD

Facial sonic cleansing brush

I’ve been using the Clarisonic Mia2 for a couple of months now and I’ve seen a definite improvement in the appearance of my pores and brightness of my skin. It does a really great job at removing my makeup and exfoliating. I can’t imagine living without it now.  — CD

Best hair towel

I bought an Aquis Microfiber hair towel and I use it every day. It’s probably shaved off a minute or two of blowdrying, but what I really appreciate is that my hair is breaking less, and visibly smoother and less frizzy. Also, it’s much more comfortable to wear a lighter, less heavy towel on my head. — CD

Flossing better

The civilized way to floss is to use a long-handled floss bow so you don’t keep putting your fingers deep into your mouth. I’ve been using Reach Access Flosser for many years, now rebranded as Listerine Ultraclean Reach. Rinse after use, and replace the cheap tiny bow as needed. — KK

Hair timesaver

Dry shampoo works great at absorbing oil and making my hair look clean when I skip out on washing it. All brands pretty much work the same, and you could even use talcum powder. I prefer Batiste Dry Shampoo because it comes in “brunette”, which spares me having to aggressively comb out the white powder from other shampoos. — CD

Stylish shower cap

Some days I skip out on washing my hair. After my reserve of complimentary hotel shower caps ran out, I needed to buy own. These are cheap and long-lasting, but the prints are what sold me — nostalgic and fun. Reminds me of my grandmother in Mexico. — CD 

Prevent frown lines

I often get sinus headaches and sometimes when I fall asleep with a headache, I will wake up with deep wrinkles from brow furrowing throughout the night. Frownies helps to prevent these from forming. I’ve already gone through a box and will continue reordering. — CD

Cheap hairdryer

I’m always amazed and slightly annoyed when the hotel hair dryer works better than my more expensive one back home. This hair dryer is cheap, portable and works just as good as any $50+ dryer. — CD

Hair bun pins

These spin pins are essential for holding your hair in place in a perfect little bun. They never loosen or fall out, even while working out. My only problem is that I’m always losing them and rebuying them. — CD 

Contacts without prescription

I recently went to the optometrist and got a new prescription for contacts, but for the last 7+ years I’ve been ordering my contacts without one from 1-Save-On-Lens. I’ve never had an issue. I ended up buying my new contacts through the same site because it was cheaper than what my optometrist wanted to charge me. — CD

Spikiest hair gel

If I don’t spike my hair, I look like Captain Kangaroo or Moe Howard. Bangs may have worked for those two august gents, but it doesn’t for me. The best styling gel I’ve come across is Got2b Ultra Glued Invincible Styling Gel ($8.22 for a 2-pack as an Amazon Prime Add-on Item). A little dab does the trick, and it lasts all day. — MF

Clean teeth for travelers

For a variety of reasons, most hotels don’t supply toothpaste in rooms. (Here’s an article from Slate that explains why.) And you can’t take a standard-sized tube in carry-on luggage because the toothpaste police at the airport will confiscate it. I stock up on 12 packs of 0.85-ounce tubes of Crest. — MF

Favorite travel razor

This small $15 electric razor from Philips Norelco uses 2 AA batteries. I bring it with me when I travel and have started using it at home too, because it works so well. — MF 

WellnessClaudia Dawson