Spread Jao Not Germs: Jao Hand Sanitizer and Travel Kits

JaoI’m a little obsessed with germs lately. And I know “little” doesn’t necessarily pair well with the word “obsessed” but I say that because I try to be discrete about my germaphobic tendencies.

Like recently, I thought I’d try out a new deli that opened in my hood and just as I was stepping in through the door, the guy behind the counter blew his nose above the sandwich prep area. “Oh,” I said using my best southern belle accent as I pretended to peruse the menu. “I thought this was a vegan restaurant.” “No,” he said. “But we have hummus.” “Oh darn,” I said. “I’m allergic to beans.” I smiled, wished him a wonderful holiday season and hightailed the heck out of there. Ewww. I love hummus and while I lean toward vegetarian food, I haven’t had a meal in ages that didn’t involve some type of cheese.

But I don’t want anybody to feel bad about their germs. Germs have a good side, don’t they? Anyway, I’ll be traveling soon and I’m not looking forward to being quarantined in a flying tin can with hundreds of other germs … I mean people … so I’ve been seeking out subtle but effective ways to protect myself other then the very non-discrete surgical mask and gloves.

Enter Jao Ltd. Now here’s a company that gets it. Jao products are void of icky stuff like petroleum and dyes and are low-profile, natural and don’t smell like you doused yourself in bug spray. The Jao Hand Refresher is the germ-stomping natural antiseptic that you want in your carry-on, purse, kitchen and desk drawer. It smells clean, dries fast and doesn’t coat your hands in a sticky goo. Heck, if I’d known about it earlier, I would have given it out with the Halloween candy. What’s even better is that you can get the hand sanitizer in cute minis and on-the-go kits. The Jao Staycation Amenities Pak is a great starter kit with a semi-resealable hand sanitizer pouch and minis of LipJao lip balm SPF 15 and Joe Goe Oil body and hair moisturizer ($6). The Jao Flight Rescue Pak comes ready for you to pop in your zip-sealed travel baggie with a mini bottle of the hand sanitizer plus lip balm and Jao Serious Moisture facial moisturizer ($16). Chic, urban, functional — what a concept, right? Check out all the Jao products and on-the-go kits at jaoltd.com. Here’s to a healthy, happy, germ-free holiday season!

New Website Caters to Beauty Junkies on the Go

I read about 3floz.com in of all places, an airplane. My feet were crammed under my seat with barely room to move because I sure as heck wasn’t going to fork up more dough to check in my bag. And I’ll do anything to avoid the post-landing rush to get into the overhead compartments. It’s madness. So everything goes under the seat in front of me including the million little 3-ounce-or-less bottles jammed into a Ziplock straining at its plastic seams. I can live without clean underwear (Commando baby! Oops, oversharing?) but not my emerginC Vitamin C Serum, philosophy hope in a tube eye and lip cream or my bliss moisturizer/sunscreen. Oh hells no. So as I was flipping through Southwest’s Spirit magazine, and came across an article on 3floz.com, I shouted out a tiny hallelujah. No worries that the cuddly couple next to me thought I was crazy. They needed to find themselves a hotel room, stat, and learn how to control their PDA inclinations when sequestered in a tin can at 40,000 feet.

Digressions aside, 3floz.com digs up travel-sized beauty and grooming products and presents them in one chic online package. The site was created by two friends and coworkers, Alexi and Kate. While the two bonded during their frequent business trips, they often clashed on their packing styles and as the story goes, a business was born. The site offers featured travel sets like Jonathan Jet Set Kit – a five-piece hair care product ($38) – and onesies like Whish Pomegranate Shave Cream ($7). You can browse by product type or brand or go straight to the kits. I love that they went to the trouble of making their organic and men’s lines stand out in separate categories and that they go beyond the basics. Nothing like a good facial scrub and hydrating mask after a day of traveling (Love the Ole Henriksen Micro/Mini Peel System Starter Kit, $45). Plus, they’ve put together their own favorites in Alexi’s and Kate’s custom kits. Brilliant.

Bottom line, you can rest assured that all items you buy from the site are TSA-friendly and that you can take as many of them as you can cram into a zip-top bag with you on the plane. Plus, you get free shipping with orders of $100 or more. Check it out at 3floz.com and happy travels!

Germaphobics Alert: On-the-Go Hand Sanitizers

Bathandbodyworks_anitbacI don’t mean to be insensitive. But seriously people, I can’t afford to get sick right now. I assume that you, like me, do not want to take a real sick day off, so let’s make a pact to keep our icky sticky germs to ourselves and keep the anti-bacterial wipes handy. You can grab the mini Purell Hand Sanitizer at any ol’ store (try the aloe one, it’s not bad) or go rogue with one of these trendy finds.

Bath & Body Works PocketBac Deep Cleansing Gel. They’re a buck fifty and come in unscented or sweet aromas like Coconut Lime Verbana. I say splurge and pick up a bunch to give out to your friends as a hint. In Bath & Body Works stores or bathandbodyworks.com.

Burt’s Bees Aloe & Witch Hazel Hand Sanitizer. Whoever this Burt guy is, he can do no wrong in my book. This germ-squashing formula uses corn-based alcohol tempered with a dose of aloe and witch hazel so skin doesn’t dry out. The 2-ounce spritzer is about $5 at most mass market stores and burtsbees.com. (P.S., and of course I mean no disrespect to the revered Burt Shavitz, co-founder of Burt’s Bees. He sounds like the coolest dude ever.)

Ed Hardy Habit Hand Sanitizer. We keep this one in the Spa Girl office because it looks cool and smells good. I know, I know. The Jon Gosselin hype may have dampened your Hardy appetite but try the girl scent with the pink label. The 2-ounce bottle runs about $6.99. More at edhardyhabit.com.

EO Cleansing Wipes. Natural bamboo wipes made of pure essential oils and organic alcohol. Made by good peeps (read the EO story). $5.99 at natural food stores and eoproducts.com

Victoria’s Secret Anti-Bacterial Sanitizing Hand Wipes. Seriously, if Vicky’s is getting sexy with hand wipes, than hygiene has taken on a whole new meaning. The $8 20-packs come in aromas like Love Spell and Pure Seduction and are available in stores and victoriassecret.com.

CleanWell All-Natural Hand Sanitizer. Keeps germs to a minimum without harsh chemicals. Comes in a pocket-size spray ($3) for your pocketbook or individual wipes for your desk drawer ($14 for 20-pack). Pick it up at Target stores or cleanwelltoday.com.

Vacay Beauty: Fat Busters, Bronzers and On-the-Go Beauty Finds

FakeBake_MousseVacation or local staycation in your near future? Get swimsuit ready and travel in style with these pre-vacay and on-the-go product finds! Here are the cellulite treatments, self-tanners, and travel-friendly beauty finds.

Bronzers and Self-Tanners

  • Jergens Natural Glow Foaming Daily Moisturizer, $8.50 at most drugstores.
  • L’Oreal Sunless Sublime Glow Daily Moisturizer, $11 at most drugstores.
  • Too Faced Tanning Bed in a Tube for face ($21.50) and body ($22.50) at Sephora and toofaced.com.
  • Aqua Tan Clear Self Tanning Treatment for faces , $36 at aqua-tan.com.
  • Fake Bake Sunless & Skinny ($21.99) and Self-Tanning Mousse ($22.95) at fakebake.com.

Cellulite Busters

Travel-Friendy Beauty Products

  • Sephora Calypso Soul Pink Bag, $15 at Sephora.
  • Carry-on beauty minis from Sephora, prices vary.
  • Lush Solid Shampoos, $9.25 at Scottsdale Fashion Square Lush store and lush.com.
  • SweetSpot Labs on-the-go wipettes, $2.50 at sweetspotlabs.com.
  • Cris Notti Silk Sleep Masks, $20 at crisnotti.com.
  • Sleep Pretty in Pink Ear Plugs, $3.99 at most drugstores and sleepinpink.com.
  • Illume Candles Travel Tins, $7 at illumecandles.com.

Chick Wit Travel Tip

When you’re packing for your next getaway, remember the TSA’s 3-1-1 carry-on rule: 3-oz. bottles, packed in 1 zip-top bag, and 1 bag per passenger. Translation: all liquids, gels, and aerosols must be in 3-oz. (actually 3.4 oz.) or smaller containers, which should be contained in 1 quart-size, zip-top, clear plastic bag. Stick to the 3-1-1 rule and security check-in will go faster. Get more travel tips in The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Girlfriend Getaways by Lisa Kasanicky.

Top Shops for the Cutest Travel Gifts

So you got “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Girlfriend Getaways” for all your girlfriends right? Now you just need some cute travel goodies to seal the deal and get the gals excited to plan your getaway! Listed below are my favorite sites for travel gear and accessories along with suggestions for cute and affordable trinkets that go well with the little orange book that keeps on givin’!

Lug
Lug. Personally, I’ve got a serious crush on the super-sizes Shuttle Bus bag in rose pink. At $104, it’s out of my budget scope right now so I’ll continue to salivate over the trillion little compartments and settle on the fashionable Luggage Belts as the perfect gift. Rather than fumbling around to find your luggage tag, these belts give bags some blink while making them easy to spot on the airport carousel ($18). Matching luggage tags ($7) also available.

PBTravel
PB Travel. This site has the goods. For persnickety travel friends, a good bet is the All in 1 Flight Pack that comes with sanitizer towels, ear plugs, eye mask, inflatable pillow and mouthwash. They have an entire collection dedicated to germ freaks (from disposable pillow cases to face masks) and their initialed luggage tags ($9.99) and shoe bags ($21.99) are adorable too!

Flight001

Flight 001. I get the whole idea of throwing out dirty underwear when you’re traveling abroad but I don’t buy it. I like to keep my undies to myself! If traveling with dirty laundry is an issue for you or your travel companions, Flight 001 has Pack Bags marked Laundry, Wet Suit, Lingerie and Stuff ($18-$24) so packing won’t be quite so … dirty.

BelleHop

Belle Hop. Not sure how these nifty little locks actually work but Belle Hop’s little purse cable locks have a Travel Sentry mark that allows airport security to unlock and relock luggage for inspection. Every girl needs one (or three). Get them on Amazon.com.

Tepper_Jackson

Tepper Jackson. The Tepper Jackson travel collections are so darn cute and colorful, it’s tough to narrow down your choices. Thank goodness for sales! You could keep it simple with a dashing passport cover and travel wallet ($28 in various designs) or splurge on a beach tote bag ($46 and up) and tuck the book inside.

Tweet it Up for the CIG to Girlfriend Getaways and You Might Win!

The Idiot’s Guides folks are running a contest to drive followers to their Twitter page. They want informed readers and fans like you to cast a vote for their favorite Idiot’s Guide before Friday, April 16, 2010 and they’ll pick someone to win a free book.

Will you Tweet it up for “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Girlfriend Getaways” and pass it on? I would love your support!

First, you’ll need to follow @IdiotsGuides.

Second, you’ll need to shout out your support with a Tweet something like:

@IdiotsGuides My favorite is The CIG to Girlfriend Getaways!

Simple as that!

Click here for complete details.

As a special thank you, I’ll be picking a winner of my own to receive a complimentary signed copy of my book. And if you don’t have a Twitter account yet, maybe this is a good excuse? Happy Tweeting!

P.S., Follow me at @azspagirls for Tweets on spa deals and the best spots in Arizona to plop up your tired tootsies!

New Review from GirlsGetaway.com

Dian Emery of GirlsGetaway.com taps The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Girlfriend Getaways as “a great primer on how to plan the perfect getaway for you and your best buds.” Read her full review at www.girlsgetaway.com.

New Review from PlanetEye Traveler Plus Free Copy!

Tell PlanetEye Traveler about a girlfriend getaway you’re planning and qualify to win a free signed copy of The Complete Idiot’s Guide® to Girlfriend Getaways! Read more.

Gift Idea: The Super Smart Travel Organizer

SuperSmartTravelNow here’s a travel planner for the serious jet-setter in your life. The Super Smart Travel Organizer comes jammed with pre-trip and packing checklists, removable budget planning forms, nine tabbed dividers with storage pockets and tab labels, a world map with re-usable stickers for tracking destinations, a pen and 50-sheet pad. Plus, the perky orange cover pairs perfectly with my lil’ book!

Get it at Delight.com for $24.50.

Sacramento Book Review

Take a “witch walk” in Salem. Indulge your foodie cravings at a Native American salmon feast in Seattle. Learn to saddle a horse in California. Volunteer to clear a hiking trail in a Texas cavern. Or shop till your feet are bleeding as you find fashion paradise at an outlet mall in South Florida. Written by self-described girly-girl and spa blogger Lisa Kasanicky, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Girlfriend Getaways offers an abundance of travel opportunities for like-minded gals. The first half of the book covers power shopping, antique furniture discovery, weight loss, and luxurious (pricey) spa getaways. The second half makes up for the first by exploring more unique experiences, like photography classes and rock climbing that can be done without concern for fashion or lipstick. You can expect a bevy of shoe advice and women-only tour packages spanning some of the best cities in the United States. You’ll also find useful tips on delegating group travel planning tasks, including splitting costs and maintaining room-sharing sanity. Grab this guide and start at chapter 10 if you’re overdue for some R&R with the gals.

Reviewed by Amber K. Stott
Sacramento Book Review