Tom's Spring Break Packing List


The main reason I went to Barbados as my post-Fashion-Week, get-the-hell-out-of-town vacation is because round-trip flights were around about $200 from New York. And it's only four hours away! To paradise! But may I just take a moment to recommend the island for all of its other, much more significant beauty? It's one of those places with so much to do, but you also get to wake up each morning and float in the ocean and just reset from regular life. I stayed near a place called Oistins (there's a big fish fry every Friday night here, not to miss, the whole island shows up) and that coast faces the Caribbean—with white sand beaches and the bluest water. It's as amazing as Rihanna makes it sound.

Being on the coast is key for me; in New York, I shower at least twice a day, so that clean feeling you get from swimming (and the curl I get in my hair) is all I need. I almost didn't need products. We brought a ton though, so much so that we checked luggage solely to bring more beauty products. A hefty amount of Maui Babe Browning Lotion and After Sun got passed around—but you'll be happy to know that I abstained and kept to my diligent SPF routine so as not to burn. My system is the Peter Thomas Roth Sunscreen for day, and then diligently scrubbed off at night with Renée Rouleau's cleanser at night, followed with a layer of Skinceuticals Phyto Gel. This kept my face clear, and also its normal NYC color. Bless that routine, I guess.

I also brought my favorite thing in the whole wide world, Epicuren Aloe Gel, to put some moisture back in my skin throughout the day. For body suncreen I stuck to Supergoop's spray-on, which made the floors slippery but smelled really nice and rubbed in easily. Somehow it lasted the whole trip with three people using it twice daily, and all that excess covering our tiles. (The slipperiness combined with trying to take photos for this post resulted in one broken travel-sized Byredo Mojave Ghost, which would have been the PERFECT going out in Barbados scent for me. RIP what could have been.) The other key product for body was a giant pump bottle of Aromatica Organic Aloe Gel, which we all used every night before going out. It's a lot chicer and nicer feeling than the typical drugstore green tinted aloe stuff. Not much more expensive either.

For general comfort, I always bring a travel candle—this time, I had Byredo Bibliothèque (this one didn't break). The place we rented was right on the beach, but it was completely bare bones and not very homey. When we were home, the candle was almost always lit, making it smell like home whenever we came back late at night. Totally worth the two square inches it took up in my luggage and almost worth the $35 it costs.

At the end of the night, we were almost never sleepy (sugary rum drinks and crashing waves outside feet from your bed will do that), so we masked instead of going to bed. The MVP is and always will be the Origins Clear Improvement Mask. So good after a lot of sunscreen, a lot of fish fry, and a fair amount of alcohol.

Pour one out for the La Prairie SPF 50 I brought on the trip and immediately lost. I got one use out of it and it was incredible—smells expensive, blocks serious rays, but doesn't feel clinical or goopy on skin. I definitely no longer have this in my possession but that's all right. Or at least that's what I keep telling myself.

—Tom Newton

Photographed by the author.

Your vacation packing list: the best sunscreens, lightweight body lotions, and carry-on essentials to take with you to paradise.