The T+L Carry-On: Green Beauty Pioneer Tata Harper

This week, we caught up with Tata Harper, founder of her eponymous skincare brand, at The Standard High Line. Born in Columbia and now based in Vermont, Tata finds herself traveling at least twice a month in search of the purest, most effective ingredients on the planet. Read on to find out how her beauty empire got started, what ingredients everyone should avoid, and of course, to take a peek into her travel essentials. Plus, don’t forget to check out last week’s column with model Robyn Lawley.

On the origins of Tata Harper Skincare:

“It all started after my stepfather was diagnosed with cancer. We ended up traveling around the U.S. to a couple of doctors, and there was a recurring theme—doctor after doctor asked, ‘what does he eat? What does he put on his skin? What shampoo does he use?’ So they started educating him—and me along with him—about how much our lifestyle affects our health and longevity. Before, I thought the whole natural and organic movement was all about the environment—I didn’t really realize that it had to do with your health.

It was so difficult to find things that I believed to truly be an alternative to the synthetic things I had been using before. It took a really, really long time to realize that the product I was looking for just didn’t exist.

That’s how Tata Harper Skincare evolved, and the premise behind the company was to make skincare products that really, really work, and that are really, really natural.”

Kira Turnbull

On her travel-beauty routine:

“I always travel with my whole beauty regimen—but that’s a given. So I’ll bring my Regenerating Cleanser, Elixir Vitae Serum, Boosted Contouring Serum, Restorative Eye Cream, Volumizing Lip & Cheek Tint, and Resurfacing Mask. I also really like W3LL People’s mascara, and LaVanila deodorant. For my hair, I’ll take The Beachwaver Co. Beachwaver S1.25 curling iron, and the Harry Josh Pro Dryer. And I love Rahua’s Omega 9 Hair Mask.”

Kira Turnbull

On the innovative process, and ingredients, behind her products:

“Our products aren’t all made with ingredients that we grow at the farm, because right now, we’re bringing in technologies from about 48 countries around the world. But we do make some state-grown ingredients—it’s actually called the Estate Grown Beauty Complex. The herbs are grown throughout the summer months.”

On the best natural beauty technologies developing around the world:

“In Israel, they’re doing amazing biotechnology where they’re extracting essence and fluids from the bulbs of flowers for anti aging. The South of France is really dedicated to all the flower and herbal extracts, whereas the North of France is dedicated to a lot of the algae. I also love what the Germans are doing—they’re bringing a lot to the table with natural preservatives.”

On her travel essentials:

“I always bring this cashmere travel wrap scarf by White + Warren. It’s a like a blanket; I use it for staying warm, sleeping on the plane, or if I need a place to sit, I’ll roll it up—I can’t travel without it! I love Steamline Luggage—I use their Diplomat Carry-On and Vanity Case. And I like to bring notebooks; I buy them from Sketch Inc., Atomic Soda, and Dotcomgiftshop, and then I’ll bring my gold pen by Hay. Also, Kikkerland’s Simulated Pearl Earbuds, a travel-friendly umbrella—like this one from Davek New YorkKreafunk speakers, my Lizzie Fortunato passport case, and an eye mask, like this one by The Goodnight Co. And of course, some comfortable clothing. On this trip, I brought an Etre Cecile sweatshirt, Manipuri scarf, Gucci loafers, and Lucas Hugh leggings. I can’t forget Joy Mangano’s My Little Steamer Go Mini.”

Kira Turnbull

On the beauty products she always brings on the plane:

“I take my Hydrating Floral EssenceMoisturizing Mask, and Boosted Contouring Eye Mask. I love to do those before the plane takes off, and then in-flight, I’ll do aromatherapy—I tend to use my Irritability Treatment. It’s great before getting to the airport and dealing with all of the security lines.”

Kira Turnbull

On her natural beauty tips and tricks:

“I tend to accumulate a lot of puffiness around my eyes after a long flight, so I love to use an eye mask. It really helps to improve a lot of the retention of liquid that happens there. And afterwards, I’ll take a hot tea and put in two tea bags, and when they’re warm, I put them on my eyes on top of the mask, and I keep them on until they get to room temperature. And if the puffiness is still there—ice. For treating sunburn—raw honey is great, as well as aloe, which we’ve known about forever—but putting raw honey all over your skin really helps. And taking a really cold bath if you can sustain it—it’s amazing to bring down the inflammation.”

American Tourist Traps That are Absolutely Worth the Trip

We’re all locals, and we all have places in our towns we avoid like the plague. In New York City, it’s the perpetually mobbed, chaotic Times Square. In Boston, touristy Faneuil Hall. In San Francisco, Fisherman’s Wharf.

But as a recent road trip schooled us, some hotspots are truly worth considering—especially if locals are echoing the same place over and over when you ask for recommendations. In some cities, in fact, the “tourist trap” defines the spirit of the town itself. So here are 10 busy, beloved, iconic destinations in cities all across America.

Robert’s Western World in Nashville

Who knew a fried bologna sandwich could be so compelling, and that a nine-month-pregnant woman could break down Patsy Cline’s “I Fall to Pieces” in such heartbreaking fashion? At Robert’s, anything can happen, and this beloved Nashville honky-tonk bar bowled us over. That bologna sandwich is as simple as it sounds, slapped on white bread with a side of mayo to squiggle over it. It’s part of a $5 “Recession Special” that includes a PBR and a bag of chips, and a free show (please tip!) of fantastic country music. (If the sandwich doesn’t fill you up, don’t worry: You’re heading to Arnold’s for a meat and three that will fill you up tomorrow.)

Ponce City Market in Atlanta

Ponce City Market in Atlanta
Courtesy of Ponce City Market

Sure, it’s swarmed on weekends, but when you can sample the fare of chefs Anne Quatrano, Linton Hopkins, and Sean Brock in one building without breaking the bank, that’s what you do. Try a lunch or dinner crawl: Start with half a dozen oysters at W.H. Stiles Fish Camp, follow them with a killer pork bun from El Super Pan, grab a taco at Brock’s Minero, and wind down with a classy cocktail at The Mercury. Architecture and design nerds will fall for the old-school digs (a revamped 1926 building) and the solid typography all over the market.

Franklin Barbecue in Austin

Franklin Barbecue Restaurant in Austin
Courtesy of Franklin Barbecue

Pack your sunblock and buy a cheap chair. You’re in barbecue country now, and whether you go to Kreuz, Black’s, or elsewhere, brisket obsessives know to beeline for Franklin, a newer member of the BBQ family. Aaron Franklin’s brisket is buttery and beautifully marbled, and waiting in line is part of the experience: Line up hours early, camp out near the misters in rickety chairs, buy beers that are sold down the line, and make friends. Yes, it’s worth the wait.

Japanese Garden in Portland, Oregon

Portland Japanese Garden, Portland, OR. Photo by Jonathan Ley

In a town packed with wonderful Thai, Japanese, and Vietnamese restaurants, it’s easy to forget that there’s also a gorgeous Japanese garden, restrained and resplendent, to ooh and ahh over. You can visit the PDX rose garden too, sure—this is the City of Roses, after all—but whether lit up with cherry blossoms in spring or austere and tranquil in winter, the Japanese gardens are a delight.

Three Muses and The Spotted Cat in New Orleans

The Spotted Car New Orleans Jazz Club

These two Frenchman Street siblings are cover-charge-free and regularly feature some of the best jazz you’ve ever heard. Tourists and locals stand shoulder-to-shoulder for regular acts such as Panorama Jazz Band, the Washboard Chaz Blues Trio, Shotgun Jazz Band, and trombonist Glen David Andrews. And know that—although you’ll want to stick to canned beer and well drinks at The CatThree Muses actually has a top-notch bar program, so you can sip a delicious off-menu cherry bourbon sour while listening to a fabulous clarinetist.

Alcatraz Island in San Francisco

© Mason Cummings/ Parks Conservancy

Now formally a national park, the former prison and Al Capone’s onetime home remains a magnificent place to visit. The ferry ride is fun, the audio tour is stellar, and the island itself has spectacular views of San Francisco itself. (Pro tip: Dress warmly and pack layers! Both the ferry ride and the city at large will be chillier than you expect.)

Pike Place Market in Seattle

Pike Place Market in Seattle

Vegetarians, beware: The flying and still quivering fish at the Pike Place Fish Market could put anyone off her appetite for seafood. Seattle has a ton of hidden gems, from cafes to cocktail spots, but popular Pike Place Market boasts waterfront views, a great farmer’s market, and a surplus of friendly Northwestern charm.

Grand Central Terminal in New York City

Grand Central Station New York City
Nicolai Berntsen

See all the people with their heads tipped back admiring Grand Central’s eternally cerulean blue ceilings and constellations? A sizable portion of those people live here. Even New Yorkers aren’t immune to the charms of our gorgeous transportation hub and all the secrets it holds. Look for the whispering corners, visit the oyster bar, and don’t miss Campbell Apartment, probably the prettiest watering hole in all of New York City. (For those who can’t visit, Maira Kalman’s adorable children’s book captures much of the terminal’s magic.)

Minneapolis Sculpture Garden in Minneapolis

Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
Matthew Deery/Flickr

Claes Oldenburg’s iconic, outsized Spoonbridge and Cherry sculpture really is that striking in person, whether the ground beneath it is covered with the whitest Minnesotan snow or the greenest grass. The famed sculpture garden will be closed for construction from May 2016 until June 2017, so go now if you’re local or visiting town.

Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia

Philly Destination Guide
Bloomberg via Getty Images

The only rule at Reading Terminal? “Don’t eat in advance!” Some of the best food in Philadelphia lives here. Skip the cheesesteak for now (and do some homework on which ones you want to try later), and belly up to the bar of DiNic’s for a “wet” (extra jus, a.k.a. gravy) roast pork sandwich. Take a spin around the premises to make room for dumplings, wonton soup, or Peking duck from Sang-Kee. Finish with super-fresh bear claw or donut from Beiler’s. Then get out of there before you go for another round. Maybe go run up the steps at the museum like Rocky, satisfied in the knowledge that you’re doing Philly right.

Best Places to Travel in May

The world’s mood seems to collectively improve around May, as the weather gets—and stays—warm enough for shorts, tank tops, and bathing suits. This is a popular travel month, as students get out of school and families gear up for Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial kick-off to summer. Thankfully, there are plenty of places near and far to soak up the sun.

Close to home, crowd-pleasing destinations like Cape Cod and Pittsburgh are a sure bet. The New England retreat (which still tends to be slightly quieter than Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket) doesn’t get super busy until early June, meaning beaches are open and rental rates are low. And Pittsburgh has gotten tons of attention lately, but its arts museums and outdoor dining spots are best enjoyed when the weather is nice enough to walk around outside.

If you prefer to be in the middle of the action, head to places like Louisville and Monaco, which host major events this month. Both the Kentucky Derby and Monaco Grand Prix are bucket list events that are worth braving the crowds for.

Related: Best Places to Go in 2016

As Europe warms up, there are many destinations worth going to early in the summer. For beaches, Barcelona and Malta can’t be beat, while culture lovers should head to Aarhus and Lille, two cities that have raised the bar when it comes to museums and public art.

For a destination that’s a bit more far-flung, opt for a big city like Shanghai and São Paulo—there are tons of direct, daily flights to these business capitals and more than enough leisure activities to fill your day. Take advantage of the weekdays, when museums and shops tend to be slightly emptier than the weekends.

There’s no better way to start off the summer than with a relaxing vacation—one with memories you’ll remember fondly for the rest of the year.

Best Places for Women to Travel Solo

Three years ago, I sat on the wooden chair in the back of Randi Bjellands’ kitchen in Norway, waiting. And waiting. A gentleman walked in and sat down. She quickly emerged from the back room and greeted him in Norwegian with a plate of food.

I don’t speak—or understand—Norwegian, and couldn’t tell if she understood that I was hungry, too. Did she think I was sitting here waiting for a travel companion to join me? Did she not realize my feet were aching from winding up-and-down the San Francisco-like streets of the Nordnes neighborhood, in Bergen, trying to find Bjellands Kjøkken (Bjellands’ Kitchen) before she closed shop?

It was clear Randi wasn’t to be disturbed. I had stumbled upon the recommendation online, stating that Bjellands, who is in her late 70s, single-handedly ran the restaurant and had her own methods.

When I first entered, all she said to me in broken English—a bit brusquely—was: “You hungry? You want fish? Cod?” I had nodded with every question and sat down, a good 20 minutes ago. She hadn’t acknowledged me since, while several locals had entered and been served immediately.

After another 15 minutes of clanking in the back, she appeared in front of me with plate, piled high with battered cod, potatoes, and slaw—and the heartiest grin on her face. Even though we couldn’t carry on a conversation, her expression said it all. She wanted to impress the one tourist—and only other female —in the room and had gone out of her way to prepare my meal with an extra dose of care.

The beauty of solo travel is the ability to immerse yourself in the community and to stumble upon those moments of international connection organically on your own. But as a woman, fears—sometimes innate—over the silliest things can spin into overdrive, especially in a foreign environment.

Related: 19 Hacks for Mastering Solo Travel

While the destination you choose should be somewhere you’ve always wanted to go, being in a safe location where it’s easy to navigate both the transportation and culture alleviates major worries and lets you focus on being present. And the more hotels, activities, and sights you’re able to find in a centralized, accessible area, the simpler it is to blend in, and allow yourself to experience those special travel moments that you’ll remember for a lifetime. Here, our list of the 17 best places in the world for women to travel alone.

America’s Best Lake Vacations

Waking to another cloudless morning, you dive off your houseboat into the wild blue of Lake Powell in southern Utah. The water takes the edge off the heat, and you float along, contemplating a lazy day of navigating spectacular red-rock gorges and flooded canyons.

The Best Ways to Handle any Travel Dilemma – Tips, Warnings and Etiquette

Any traveler knows that sinking feeling of boarding a plane only to get stuck with a less-than-desirable seatmate: someone who hogs that narrow, coveted armrest or brings an oversized duffel that encroaches on your legroom.

If you’ve ever resorted to a passive-aggressive nudge or, on the contrary, suffered through hours of transatlantic claustrophobia, you have experienced firsthand what not to do in this scenario. And we’re here to make sure you don’t get stuck in those shoes again.

After all, the space-hogging seatmate is just one of the many frustrations that you might encounter when you leave home (you could also be sitting in front of a seat-kicker or a pungent passenger). Among other familiar—and dreaded—scenarios? Overbooked hotel rooms, missing your flight, cab drivers who want to stiff you, or worse—having to drive on the wrong side of the road. Travel is supposed to be a break from our stressful day-to-day existences, until the masseuse at the spa seems more intent on breaking you in half than putting you back together.

And yet, it’s all about your attitude. The bumps in the road are inevitable. But they can be fought or embraced as part of the journey. The way you react can make all the difference, whether you’re dealing with that seatmate, a reckless taxi driver, or a bad case of food poisoning.

Knowing the dos and don’ts of travel etiquette will help you go from an amateur to a sophisticated globe-trotter. You’ll feel empowered to haggle at a market abroad and be informed about what to do if you get hotel bill shock. And the following tips, dealing with common travel frustrations you’ll likely encounter on one dream trip or another, will prepare you to deal with the challenge with the utmost grace and poise.

So before you wave your napkin to an inattentive waiter as a white flag of surrender, brush up on your etiquette with these strategic travel tips.

5 Tips For Easy Air Travel

There’s no denying that it has become more and more difficult to fly without running into snags or problems with the airport or the airlines. Enduring the line at the security check point in some airports is enough to put some passengers in a bad mood. However, despite all of the inconveniences that come with flying, it is a necessity. There are several things that can be done to make flying easier and more hassle free, and all that is involved is a little bit of common sense and planning.

1. Get to the Airport Early
Arriving at the airport early is a no-brainer, especially when the airlines tell passengers to arrive at least two hours prior to a flight’s departure time. However, there are many people who refuse to heed this request, and arrive at the airport just several minutes before a flight is scheduled to leave. If there is a line at the check-in counter or at security, this can create a very stressful situation. Not only may the flight be missed, but a new flight must be booked, and the passengers will probably have to travel stand-by on a later flight with no guarantee of a seat until the very last minute.

2. Take a Morning Flight.
Leaving on an early flight does not necessarily mean a 4 a.m. flight must be chosen. However, flights that leave first thing in the morning are less likely to be running late, and they are less likely to be affected by weather problems across the country and/or other planes that may be delayed at other airports. Also, if for some reason the first flight of the day is canceled or delayed, there will probably be several other flights throughout the day that, if necessary, can be taken instead.

3. Try Not to Fly During “Rush Hour”
Airports, like highways, have rush hours. Typically, rush hour in the morning is from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m., and in the afternoon from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. These are the hours when airports are the most crowded with people waiting for flights. Crowds mean longer lines at the security check points, more people in the restrooms, more people waiting in restaurant lines, and more people taking up seats in the waiting areas. Flying at a NON-rush hour time of day can alleviate the need to stand in lines and sit with crowds.

4. Try to Take Non-Stop Flights
Obviously, when a non-stop flight is taken, there is less risk of being delayed. Taking off and landing both take quite a bit of time, so avoiding having to do this twice is recommended. There will always be destinations when a non-stop flight is not available, but there are plenty of cities where non-stop flights are just as common as those that stop. It may even be worth a few extra dollars to book a non-stop flight to avoid an unneeded hassle and the possibility of being delayed.

5. Book Connections with Enough Time
If a non-stop flight is not available to a desired destination, make sure to schedule enough time in between flights. When airlines book flights, they often have a layover requirement of 30 or 45 minutes between connections. However, this is often not enough time if the original flight arrives late. In order to avoid this stress, try to schedule connecting flights with at least an hour to spare between the arrival time of the first flight and the departure time of the connecting flight.