“I jumped at the opportunity to visit Morocco for work. Who wouldn’t? But it was harder than expected to travel as a makeup artist on the job. First of all, I had all of my stuff—everything I needed so I wouldn't get sick when boarding planes and working long days. I travel with medicine just in case, and bring all the homeopathic, preventative stuff too when I’m on a job. I think Zicam is the most important way to beat getting sick—everyone should travel with it—and I’m addicted to this Byredo hand sanitizer. I bring the Defense Drops from The Nue Co., which I drink on the plane, and their Power Up supplement, which is sort of a coffee substitute. It works for me when I’m super jet lagged.
Then there was the makeup—mine, and my kit's. I usually don’t wear makeup when I’m traveling or for work, but when really I’m tired I use RMS on my skin and this little lip oil from Amorepacific. That’s wonderful to travel with—it softens lines or rigid dry spots on your lips, and absorbs instantly without any stickiness. The Corpus mini deodorants are easy and reliable, and I can’t give up my shampoo and conditioner. The water is super hard in some places, and because I have fine, curly hair I keep my products consistent. If I know enough about the looks I’m going to do I can condense my kit into a carry-on but… that means I've got to take a lot of liquid and gel products through airport security. The security agent dissected and opened everything—and I was traveling with 60 to 80 makeup pencils! I almost missed my connecting flight, but the rest of the trip was a dream.
I can't believe they put us up at La Mamounia, that hotel you’ve probably seen on Instagram. Honestly, the photos don’t even do it justice. It was originally built as a palace, and has all of these intricate spas and baths and tea rooms and gardens. The property is so fragrant and green you can’t believe you’re in a desert. My room had a little patio, a green little fence, and two chairs with French doors. When I got there, I unpacked and lit my mini Byredo Burning Rose candle to get ready for the work week ahead. The hairstylist on my first Into The Gloss shoot brought a candle, and now I do when I travel for work to ground me. Especially in high-stress situations, a familiar, calming scent sets your energy in a different way.
Tom happened to be in Marrakech at the same time, so when I got a break from work we went to the markets together. (Main objective: rugs.) I recommend going straight to Souk des Tapis in Medina—the craftsmanship there is incredible. I found the most amazing rug store called Bazar du Sud. If you're reading from somewhere that's not Morocco you can shop from their website, and the shipping price is pretty reasonable. I’m so excited to buy rugs from them again and again. I picked up spices, too—ginger, turmeric, curry, and a mixed lamb seasoning for tagine. There were also a lot of beauty shops. One had these terracotta disks called Aker Fassi, which are used as lipstick. The pigment is made from dried poppies—I thought that was really interesting. And there were other terracotta disks without pigment that are used to exfoliate. It’s the most efficient and least disgusting exfoliating device I have ever traveled with, because it doesn’t stay too wet. It’s not porous like a sponge, and it’s coarse so it does the job really well.
The shoot was at the Aman hotel in Marrakech, Amanjena, so that’s where we spent the last day. It’s about twenty minutes outside of the city center, and has this lush, sprawling property with palm trees everywhere. The architecture was out of control intricate but also so simple—everything was monochromatic. It felt like I had entered a different universe. Even if I wasn’t working and had all the time to myself, six days in Marrakech wouldn’t have been enough. There’s just so much to see, and so many other things outside of the city to visit. I can’t wait to go back.”
Photos via the author