A Peek Inside Katharine Sise’s Carry On Bag

Katharine Sise, author of Creative Girl, has been everywhere from South Africa to China to Belize. Here’s what your likely to find in her carry on.

My carry on bag is a dark brown Balenciaga Motorcycle Le Dix bag that I’ve worn into the ground, but can’t give up! My husband hunted it down for my birthday four years ago, and I’ve carried it ever since. It’s gone through two leather restringing revivals. It’s the perfect airplane carry on size for my stash of grandmother-candies (the old school plastic wrapped cinnamon and orange flavored kind), my passport, a tiny notebook, makeup, moisturizer, and most important: great books.

What are some of your must have beauty products (lip balm, hair products, moisturizer)?

Recently, I’ve been on an all natural and organic beauty product craze. I love Nude’s Cleansing Facial Oil and Replenishing Night Oil after a long day of travel. Tarte cosmetics is my favorite line of natural makeup and organic beauty products that are eco-friendly and cruelty-free. The Eraser 4-in-1 natural concealer is perfect for camouflaging dark circles after a redeye flight. Tarte’s Lights, Camera, Lashes! (shown) Mascara is another favorite. It’s never too heavy—so you can reapply on the runway before you deplane. Lipstick Queen makes an incredible lip gloss called Fired Up. It instantly brightens a tired face. For hands, nothing beats Ellen Sirot’s line of hand care called Hand Perfection. She has some great travel-sized products to choose from, like Complete Day Cream Purse Size and Nail and Cuticle Treatment.
My hair never ceases to be an unruly mess, so I always carry Sachajuan Ocean Mist, a Swedish miracle spray I stock up on at Whittemore House Salon in the West Village. It gives your hair a natural twist that makes it look like you’ve spent hours at the beach (instead of mashed against your seat on an airplane.) As far as relaxation, a friend of mine with airplane-anxiety swears by Tata Harper Aromatherapy.

Any current or fave plane reads?

Reading is just about my favorite thing in the world (even more so than beauty products!) On my most recent trip, I read three of my friends’ young adult novels: Micol Ostow’s, So Punk Rock, Anna Carey’s Sloane Sisters, and Aimee Friedman’s, Sea Change. They were all excellent. I also loved The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf and I Love a Man in Uniform by Lily Burana. If you’re looking for a mystery, pick up anything by Jan Brogan. And you can’t go wrong with Tana French. I read her first book, Into the Woods, on a trip to Belize. I took her second book, The Likeness, on a trip to India. Both kept me up at night. She really gets your imagination going!

What do you have on your iPod when you travel?

Kings of Leon, Frou Frou, and my new favorite, Emily Greene. Music by Ashana is great if you’re trying to relax or fall asleep.

Any fave plane snacks?
I have a pretty massive sweet tooth. I once brought a stack of First Prize Pies mini-size-pies for the hostess we were traveling to visit , and couldn’t help but break out one of them to eat during the plane ride. I should have checked my luggage to avoid the temptation. My airplane snack staples are Roni-Sue’s chocolates (my favorite chocolates of all time), apple cinnamon soy chips, and ginger candies. A weird combination, but delicious! I’ve definitely been known to ask for two snacks on the airplane. It mortifies my husband, but those airplane cookies always hit the spot.

Do you have a favorite wrap or sweater?

Thistle and Clover sells a cotton blazer by Joie that’s perfect for keeping you warm and comfortable, but still looks a bit dressed up.

I’m currently coveting every wrap and sweater sold at Castor and Pollux in New York City. It’s the best spot for finding luxurious clothing you want to wrap yourself in on the plane! This scarf is my favorite on their shelves.

My go-to airplane staple is an over-sized scarf by Asli Filinta that covers my top half. Asli has a collection of scarves that connect in the center, so that your scarf doesn’t unravel and fall into the aisle if you fall asleep on the plane. After all, you can’t annoy the flight attendant if you plan to ask for two snacks. I love this one she designed for Target:

Where are some places you’ve been to recently or have planned?

I’ve been lucky enough to do a lot of traveling during the past couple of years. Having a flexible schedule as a writer and jewelry designer makes it much easier to find travel deals and fly at the last minute. I visited South Africa to visit my sister while she worked as a doctor in Durban. While there, I did a shark dive—terrifying but amazing! I made a volunteer trip with my dad to Lourdes, France and helped take care of a five-year-old boy there named Louie. I wore a 1940s-esque nurse uniform for six days while volunteering and had one of the best weeks of my life. I traveled with my mom and sister to see the pyramids in Egypt. My husband is less adventurous, travel-wise, so we took a great vacation to Belize a little over a year ago and laid-low on the beach. I traveled with my good buddy Jen to see China—it’s great when you have a friend you travel well with. Most recently, my mom and I went to India and got to meet the Dalai Lama. It was incredible. I did each trip on a budget that didn’t break the bank, but nothing gets my creative juices going like travel!

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