12 Travel / Style Essentials for your Trip to Bali

Spending a month in Bali was the experience of a lifetime. It’s a fairy tale-like island with inspiring art, yoga retreats, a thousand temples and breathtaking waterfalls. It will always have a special place in my heart.

I prefer practicality and value versatile pieces when I travel. Lots of solids, bright shawls & coconut oil are always in my suitcase. I also shop for local crafts and textiles while traveling, so my suitcase is usually half empty with a room to bring things back.

Certain things I’m listing here are available in Bali’s local stores and markets; however, if your time is limited and you’d prefer to be prepared, you may find these tips particularly useful. 

Lightweight Tees & Leggings

Before throwing tees & leggings into your suitcase, check out the label that indicates the fabric content. Make sure that it’s made of natural fibers. Lightweight cotton or lycra blend clothing is ideal for a hot, humid climate. 

Mosquito Repellent

Bali is known for many insects, including dangerous mosquitoes. Avoid their bites! I purchased my mosquito repellent in Bali. It has a pleasant orange scent. Lemongrass and tea tree oil are also natural mosquito repellents. I added them when customizing argan and jojoba body oil at one of the local shops. When indoors, I also use natural mosquito repellents, such as sandalwood incense sticks and oil.

Blotting Papers

High humidity is no friend to my combination skin; therefore, I like using blotting papers every few hours or so. Mostly over my T-zone where I get shiny. These papers also quite effective with keeping my phone screen clean.

Coconut Oil 

Why bring tons of beauty products when all you need is coconut oil? This oil is so versatile. It can be used as a makeup remover, sun protection agent, hair conditioner and even deodorant. Coconut oil also is known for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and moisturizing benefits. 

Sandals and Sneakers.

I like both sandals and sneakers to have some sort of Velcro fastening. They are so convenient when going to yoga studios, swings, waterfalls and massages.

Cotton Shawl / Poncho / Scarf

Bali is about trips to waterfalls, beaches and pools. I find a poncho or shawl made of cotton or linen or a blend of both is a good investment. It can be used as a towel and provide protection from the sun. You’ll find plenty of these around the island, including beautiful handmade batik pieces. 

Swimsuits

Bring 2 swimsuits. If you are size L or larger, I recommend that you bring your own swimsuits to avoid spending time hunting for them. Local sizes run significantly smaller and size L, the largest size available, is equivalent to American size M. 

Sunscreen

No comments needed. You will need at least 30 SPF for adequate protection. 

Linen / Cotton Shirt Dress 

A solid shirt dress made of natural fibers is very useful when travelling. It can be a stylish dress or amazing beachwear. Wear it with various belts, jewelry and accessories. 

Light Raincoat / Parka 

During the wet season (October through May), occasional rain showers are quite common and it’s always great to have a very light parka or raincoat. In Bali, plastic ponchos are sold everywhere. Most of these are not durable and are not made with eco-friendly plastic. Rather than acquiring new plastic, bring your own raincoat. 

Full-length Statement Kaftan

I loved having my full-length statement kaftan when traveling to Bali. It was a perfect piece to take my outfit from temples to the beach.

Reusable Water Bottle 

Bring your own reusable water bottle, especially if you practice yoga. I purchased mine at one of the local yoga studios. I use it for cold distilled water and my favorite honey-lime-and-ginger tea.

ShopDrop: The App that Navigates Sample Sales and Discovers Amazing Brands

Hope that you all are having an exciting holiday season!

A few days ago, I had a chance to attend a shopping event where I discovered a great app that helps users navigate sample sales within New York City.

Being one of the most expensive cities in the world, New York forces people to look for discounted products, yet, finding sample sales can be frustrating and time-consuming. In addition, the brands are overloaded with an excess of products and don’t reach the right people.

The founder of ShopDrop, Estee Goldschmidt, found a great solution to these problems by creating an app that does the bargain hunting for you. After attending the event, I downloaded the app and was excited to see upcoming sample sales of La Perla, Helmut Lang, Dannijo, Marc Jacobs, John Hardy and many other of my favorite brands.

With one click of the button, I was able to send a few sample sales to my phone calendar. The app also has options to RSVP, check-in and leave comments regarding user experience. Also, within just a few clicks, you can share your favorite events via text, email them to your friends or share them across your social media platforms. Overall, I think the app is very user-friendly and useful for any budget fashionista.

Edun – one of my favorite sample sales

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$15 Etienne Aigner clutches (original price $65)

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$15 Etienne Aigner clutch (original price $65)

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3 Deepa Gurnani headbands for $25 (Original price around $150 each)

Miista Shoes starting at $35

Lastly, the app not only lets you enjoy savings, it allows you to discover brands which you’ve never known. Many of the sample sales also curate cause-related actions. For instance, I discovered an amazing brand Aday, which offers modern basics. It sent 10% of its proceeds from its sample sale to FabScrap, a fabric recycling company. The company also accepted unwanted or slightly used clothing to donate to Wearable Collection.

As ShopDrop grows, I’d love to see more cause-related events and collaborations. Also, I’d like to see the app curating sample sales in other fashion capitals of the world.

Happy bargain hunting!

Elev8 Show NYC: Luxury and Sustainability Do Go Hand in Hand


Spring is a great time to give your closet a fresh look, go get a new haircut, treat yourself to fresh smoothies and discover new beauty products and brands.

With this in mind, I set out to the heart of Chelsea with an open mind. I wasn’t disappointed. I learned so much about Elev8. I obtained a lot of fresh insight into the luxury beauty industry.
You’re probably already aware that more beauty brands are becoming socially and environmentally conscious and attempting to bridge luxury and sustainability. This means that we can enjoy a luxury experience that often provides health benefits while minimizing environmental impact.
I hauled home numerous samples. Here my top five picks.

Kaia Naturals Juicy Bamboo Facial Cleansing Cloths

Most of us are not aware that daily we use so many personal products that cause damage to our environment. Kaia cloths are a true game changer! Not only are free of alcohol, synthetic fragrance, parabens and sulfates, more importantly, they are 100% biodegradable.

Kaia bamboo cleansing cloths

Soigné Nail Polish

Soigné is more than just a luxury brand with elegant packaging. Its formula contains no harmful carcinogens (cancer-causing chemicals that may be found in many personal products). And they are up to 85% plant sourced.

Soigné Organic Luxury Nail Polish

Flynn & King Natural Skin Care Soap

This company uses a cold process to produce its soaps. This creates an incredible lather to allow a truly luxurious bathing experience. I’ve tried quite a few brands that make organic soaps and I’ve noticed that most of them do not lather well. I found out during the event that some soaps use a hot process technique, which is more efficient, yet decreases lathering and nutrient levels. So, if you want to try an incredibly natural soap without sacrificing luxury, check out Flynn & King soaps.

Mālayā Organics Hair Oil

What an amazing experience! This company offers aroma therapeutic hair oil, which repairs dry hair and doubles as a styling product to give hair shine. It’s 100% natural. This product is rich with a number of organic oils. Curious to know which kinds? They use coconut oil, olive oil, argan oil, hemp oil, apricot kernel oil, jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, avocado oil and many more. No genetically modified, hydrogenated products here! Mālayā Organics Hair Oil is perfect to nurture and revitalize my stressed hair, keep it less vulnerable to breakages and frizz.

Malaya Organics Hair Oil Style And Repair

S.W. Organic Lip Balm

This just became my best friend. It fits easily in my purse and has a great peppermint flavor that I absolutely love. More importantly, the Brooklyn-based company that produces it uses natural ingredients that are certified organic, fair trade, or sourced from family farms.

S W Basics Organic Lip Balm


Elev8 Beauty Event, Chelsea, New York

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What is new and fresh in your shopping list?