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Meet Amina Belouizdad. With an impressive pedigree starting with hotel development in China, real estate private equity investing in the US, and creating the perfect all-in-one bags (think backpack to tote to cross-body bag) for ladies on the web (make sure to check out Bartaile!) buckets her in the multi-faceted expertise lane. She speaks a handful of languages, holds two Finance degrees from McGill and Wharton, and is now holds the CCO position at the newly launched The Private Suite LAX (the most luxurious new private traveling experience). Amina is an expert global traveler and we had the wonderful opportunity to sit down with her and learn about her travel must-haves and tips.


What are your go-to wellness travel essentials? 

I don’t wear much makeup in general, and when I travel I like to wear even less. I focus on hydration and exfoliation. So, I always pack Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse for hair and body, LaNeige Lip Sleeping Mask, Caudalie Beauty Elixir and the Goldfaden MD doctor’s scrub.

Check bags or carry-on?

If you check bags, we can’t be friends!

What are your top 3 Carry-On items you cant travel without? 

I tend to pack with 1 or 2 color schemes in mind, so that everything goes together. All black and white is a no-brainer, but sometimes I’ll do blues and beiges too. Having said that, these are my must-packs:

  • Running shoes for impromptu workouts
  • LA Dodgers baseball cap (I have 3 of them!) for bad hair days and LA pride
  • Leather jacket because it makes everything look better

Last trip you took?

In the last month I’ve been to New York (twice), San Francisco, Washington DC, Anguilla and Saint Barth’s.

What do you wear when you fly?

Black jeans by Mother, graphic tee that usually says something French, Chanel skate sneakers, and a cashmere cardigan.

Best airline snack or meal?

I try to not eat on planes (no matter the cabin!), and I always carry on a few giant bottles of Smartwater.

How do you avoid jet lag?

I fight to adjust! If I’m landing during the day, I’ll make sure I stay awake during the flight, no matter how painful it is. If you force yourself to adjust the first 24 hours, it gets much easier from there.

Favorite city? 

Can I have three? New York, Paris and London.

Kindle, iPad or book?

 Book. I’m old school.:)

Gjenmi jewelry was born from a love story. An adoration for the feminine, a belief that beauty is discovered within, a dedication to feeling empowered, a respect for the past and a commitment of the future.

Their story begins in 2013, when founder and designer, Jennifer Pak created a bespoke jewelry collection for her bridesmaids to wear for her nuptials. After noticing the joy the pieces brought to her bridal party, she embarked on creating a line of fine jewelry for the classic woman in a modern world. Our name Gjenmi, is derived from her Korean American background – “Gjen” for half of her English name Jenn and “Mi” half of her Korean name Mi Reh [translating to future]

Gjenmi creates modern heirlooms. They cherish the art of making things by hand and are inspired by the timeless grace of antique and vintage designs.

We sat down with the powerhouse founder and designer Jenny Pak to learn more about how to navigate one of life’s greatest (and often times hardest) pleasures – motherhood.

Do you have any beauty shortcuts that mom’s need to know about?

I am all about shortcuts! I love taking a shower in the evening, rolling up my damp hair in buns and waking up with beach waves ready to go! The mornings are so hectic and it’s always so hard to get out the door- this is my favorite time saver.

Everyone has that ritual that makes them feel confident and pulled together, what’s yours?

Good hair and good skin can make me feel like a new person. Getting a monthly facial and quarterly trims are always things I make time for in my busy schedule.

Do you have any first-time mom advice?

Everyone has a different story, solution, family. Don’t be so hard on yourself and do what feels right and what works for your family. My solution may not be yours and vice versa. The best mom, is a happy mom!

What beauty product can you not live without?

Sunscreen! After two babies and a handful of Melasma spots to prove it, I have been really good about applying sunscreen daily. Skin damage is no joke!

How do you find balance?

The best way to find balance for me, is to either hang out with my closest friends over dinner or go on a date with my husband. Juggling life can be so UNBALANCED and being the best version of yourself with people that support and love you has always helped me blow off steam or relax me after a wacky week!

How do you de-stress?

Korean Spas! My favorite right now, is Crystal Spa in Koreatown after my old favorite (Natura) closed. Second to that, is something relatively new I have been doing- which is taking 1 creative class a month. It really lets you un-wind and look through other outlets of creativity. I recently took a figure drawing workshop and it was so freeing and different from what my mind and body does everyday, all day. I highly recommend it!

 

Travel. Air travel, specifically. Every time you board a plane, you’re exposed to stale, crazy-dry, recirculated air, so even if you’re only taking an hour-long flight (lucky!), you end up with a significantly moisture-sapped, duller complexion when you land. And that’s not accounting for what happens on your actual vacation: using strange hotel beauty products, skin experiencing different water, forgetting your favorite sunscreen, and eating different foods.

We sat down with Dr. G to understand just exactly what happens to our skin and how to combat Jet leg from sinking in while we travel.

Does skin get ‘jet lagged’? How does it manifest?

Jet lag manifests itself in many different ways, both physical and mental. Think fatigue, bloating, insomnia, irritability, digestive issues, breakouts and general stress.

Jet lag, or desynchronosis, is a temporary circadian rhythm disorder that often occurs when a person travels across time zones. The body’s internal clock is disrupted, and major symptoms include insomnia, fatigue, bloating, anxiety, malaise, and emotional disturbances. 

When a traveler crosses a few time zones, the body uses natural cues like sunlight and an eating schedule to try and acclimate to the appropriate time. But because travel is disorienting for the physical body, it can take a few days before all the natural processes even out and become normalized. 

Jet lag is usually worse when moving from west to east because travelers lose hours of their day.

Why does skin suffer? Is the increased cortisol combined with reduced hydration for example?

Stressful security checks, unhealthy airport food options, omnipresent air conditioning, cabin pressure and dry air can wreak havoc on the most resilient complexions. Dehydration and bacteria are major factors here. If you’re prone to breakouts, touching bathroom doors and tray tables (full of germs) and then touching or rubbing your face can exacerbate acne, let alone make you sick. Always a good idea to pack antibacterial wipes and wipe down the areas you will be touching. If you feel ill before travel you may want to wear a mask to protect yourself and those around you.  

If you choose to sleep on a flight (or in the airport) it’s likely not high quality zzz’s. Rest is incredibly important for cell turnover and skin recovery—in fact, regeneration happens three times as fast while asleep.

Are there any ways we can prevent it before hand? Or lessen its impact during flight or afterwards?

Pre-flight:

A pre-trip plan is crucial when it comes to preventing jetlag. If time permits you can start the week before travel by starting to wake up a few hours earlier every day to get your body used to another time zone. This is probably best for time zones, which will be many hours ahead. If you choose to do this, use a light to stimulate your brain/melatonin levels when waking (as the sun will not be up yet).  Being hydrated before your flight is crucial. Try drinking a hydration multiplier powder to increase internal hydration. Going makeup free on the flight is also a good idea but make sure you are wearing an antipollution serum (Brightening Elixir) and heavy moisturizer or nourishing oil (Fleuressence Botanical Oil) to lock in moisture. 

Inflight:

Drink plenty of fluids (no alcohol or caffeine as they dehydrate the body and skin).  Try and rest and or sleep. Pack earplugs and a sleep mask to create a relaxing sleep environment. 

Post Flight: 

Wash your face very well and try a gentle peel. Our Fresh A Peel (lactic acid peel) will obliterate any dry skin or bacteria that may have happened as a result of air travel. Follow with a hydrating oil or rich night cream. 

If possible, try to book a flight that lands later in the evening at your final destination. Your goal is to basically get to sleep, as this is the best way to acclimate to a new time zone. If you arrive during the day, a light workout or walk outside in the sunlight will help set your internal clock on the time zone.