Maria del Russo
Sex & Wellness Writer 
Freelance Writer

Travel- hate it, love it?
Absolutely love it! I recently went on my first trip alone and now am kind of hooked on traveling solo. 

It’s not a vacation unless…
There is wine with lunch. 

Planes, trains or automobiles?
I love a good road trip, especially upstate. But there's something romantic about train travel, too. 

Checked bags or carry on?
I use too many full-sized beauty products to not check a bag. I envy people who can carry-on for weeks. One day I'll learn the trick to it. But until then, I just read while waiting for my suitcase at baggage claim. 

Travel beauty- bare or elaborate?
My skin care routine stays as elaborate as it is when I'm on the road, but my makeup routine ends up getting slashed to the bare minimum — concealer, mascara, a touch of blush, and some red lipstick.
 
In general my beauty routine is….
Very involved! I have a full skin care routine in the morning and at night — face wash, toner, two serums, moisturizer, eye cream, and then an SPF during the day. As for makeup, I like it to look like I'm not wearing much makeup. But I'm actually, usually wearing a bunch. A little concealer, blush, highlighter, a wash of brown shadow across my lids, a teeny line of liquid liner, and then a bold red lip
I must pack __________ when traveling?
When I'm in the air, I need under-eye patches (yes, I wear them in public), a small face mist, hand cream, and my headphones for hours of podcast listening. I also never get on a plane without a copy of Real Simple magazine, because I am my mother. 

Best travel tip?
Bring a notebook and carry it with you during the day. I used to be someone who just wrote in a travel notebook at the end of the day, but I've found that there's no greater pleasure than sitting in a cafe with a glass of wine and scribbling everything I'm feeling. It's also an amazing way to make sure you don't forget anything! I also hang on to ticket stubs, pastry wrappers, or other little trinkets or receipts and tape them into the notebook along with notes about what they are. It's a living scrapbook of my trip, and I love to go back and read when I get home.
 
Upon arrival at my destination….
I unpack my entire suitcase — even if I'm only staying for a few days. I hate living out of a suitcase, so this eases my transition a bit. If I'm staying in an Airbnb, I find a spot to pick up fresh flowers. It makes me feel more at home. 

Favorite travel spot?
Paris, France. No contest. 

What are your 3 must see/do things in this city?
- Rue Montorguei is an ongoing street market packed with adorable cafés, specialty shops, and fromageries. It's amazing for a stroll, but make sure to stop by Patisserie Stohrer, which is toward the southern part of the street. It's the oldest patisserie in Paris, and the entire place smells of butter. It's basically heaven. 
- Chine Machine is my favorite vintage shop in Paris. There are two locations — one in the 18th an one in the 9th. But both have amazing deals. I once snagged a Burberry blazer for $30. 
- If you have time for a quick day trip, make sure to check out Giverny. It's where Monet painted his water lilies. Skip the house and just take some time to wander around the gardens. It's like being in a fairytale.