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Mumbai Fuchsia

This week, the lovely Lara Ramos (the beauty guru behind The Glossarie and self-proclaimed Stephanie Johnson addict) drops by to give us a peek inside her favorite SJ bags, and shares her tips for traveling chic.  Read on:

I am jetting off for a few days in sunny Los Angeles and I could not be more excited! Even though the purpose of my trip is work-related, I have never been to LA so I hope to explore a little bit and enjoy some of my last days of peace and quiet before the birth of my first baby this August. I think I’m probably one of the only people on earth who actually enjoys packing for a trip, but there is something about the anticipation of fun activities and the planning that goes along that makes me happy – plus I get to break out all of my gorgeous Stephanie Johnson goodies, and well, who doesn’t love that?

I am not the world’s best flyer, especially solo, and most especially at eight months pregnant. The thought of a five hour flight gives me some anxiety, but being prepared definitely helps to ease some of that. When flying, I always, always pack a Large Flat Pouch with a few necessities because I find that it fits so nicely in the seat-back pocket. It’s easy to toss into my carry-on tote and as a major added bonus, it doubles as the cutest clutch when I arrive to my destination! This trip I’m keeping earbuds and my backup iPhone battery handy because I’ve loaded my phone with meditations, my latest Kindle read, and a movie. Since plane cabins can be so drying, I also toss in hand cream and lip balm, plus a calming essential oil from Tata Harper. (Nervous flyers, this stuff is brilliant – a couple of drops rubbed into my palms and then breathed in deeply does wonders!)

Laguna Buff Grace

For a three-day trip, my beauty essentials fit perfectly inside Stephanie Johnson’s Grace Brush Case. I recently told Steph that I hoard this style (I think I have three different versions!) because it is so good. It’s compact, but at the same time you can stuff it to the gills and I never have to worry about leaving a favorite product behind. I use the slots on the flap to store brushes, pencils, and my favorite Tocca scent. The body is more than ample space to store all of my daily beauty essentials (makeup, skincare, haircare – the whole gang) – including a few multi-taskers and miracle workers that really pull their weight when I’m away from home:

  • Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Sellout – this luminous pink champagne highlights the brow bone, brightens inner corners and even works as a cheek highlighter when layered lightly over my favorite blush.
  • A long flight and jet lag do not a perky Lara make so First Aid Beauty’s Eye Duty Triple Remedy is the first thing I apply in the mornings when I’m away from home. The formula brightens, depuffs, and smooths any fine lines, helping me to fake eight hours.
  • There’s a good chance that I can get my blowout to last through this entire trip and Bumble & Bumble’s Pret a Powder plays a key role in making that happen. If the trip is short enough, I can pack this powerful powder and avoid bringing shampoo, conditioner, a blow dryer and flat iron along for the ride. It’s a godsend!
  • I do not travel without Dickinson’s Cleansing Astringent Towelettes. Each one is oil-free and nondrying, but works to perfectly tone my skin after cleansing in the evening. These completely eliminate the need to bring along a bottle of toner and risk a liquid leak or explosion. I absolutely love them.

Laguna Buff Grace Closed

When I hit the ground in LA, I’ll be dashing to meetings. I keep a Medium Flat Pouch in my work tote to corral my business cards, signature lip, lip balm, concealer stick, and breath mints – all things that I never want to be caught without. This pouch can also hold my phone so if I’m going to a happy hour or lunch and don’t want to drag my entire bag along with me, I can toss in my ID and credit card and I’m good to go!

As you can see, my luggage and my life are littered with Stephanie Johnson. I get so many compliments on the prints and, beyond being beautiful, each versatile piece truly does make travel a breeze. I love the thoughtful details and the way that each bag is designed and organized with the traveler in mind, making this pregnant lady’s cross-country trip a whole lot brighter and a little less daunting!


Mumbai Yellow

Laguna Beach, Montage, Stephanie Johnson copy

Hey there – it’s Sarah, Stephanie’s P.R. girl and the editor of this blog, popping in for a guest post!

One of my best buddies calls Laguna Beach home so on a recent July weekend, I opted to beat the 100 degree heat of the San Fernando Valley and head south for the cooler clime of the Southern California coast.  I’ve traveled all up and down the state of California in the 13 years I’ve lived here, and I think Laguna has one of the prettiest coastlines I’ve seen with steep cliffs down to the sea, robin’s egg blue skies, turquoise sparkling water, lush vegetation and pristine beaches.  It’s a popular tourist destination and summer is peak season with art festivals bringing even more people into the coastal town.  Even with packed streets, the sense of tranquil relaxation can’t help but pervade as soon as you hit PCH.  Here are some highlights.


With seven miles of gorgeous coastline and approximately 20 public beaches, hitting the surf and sand is a must.  To make beach-hopping even easier, the city offers a free trolley/bus service between downtown and South Laguna (ending at the Ritz Carlton) that operates during the summer months.  Choose one of the open air trolleys and enjoy the breeze whipping through your hair as you cruise along Pacific Coast Highway.  Ah, summer.

Walk.  There are no shortage of carefully curated boutiques, art galleries, cafes, and breathtaking vantage points along PCH, not to mention insane people watching.  South Laguna boasts the spectacular Montage Resort, with its gorgeous ocean views and acres upon acres of immaculately landscaped gardens.  The perfect spot for a summer wedding, on any given weekend you can catch a glimpse of a bride and groom posing for photographs along the pretty garden pathways.

Laguna Beach, Trolley Ride, Stephanie Johnson copyGet artsy.  Laguna is an artist’s colony and in addition to the countless art galleries that populate downtown, summer also brings in the Sawdust Art Festival (celebrating local Laguna Beach artists) and the renowned Pageant of the Masters, which brings famous masterworks to life in a live stage show.  Expect both to be crowded, and advance tickets are a must for the popular Pageant of the Masters.


If you’re going the luxury route, the Montage is a must-stay.  Set on thirty acres of pristine oceanfront property, the stunning grounds and sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean are impossible to beat.  Even if you’re not a hotel guest, indulge in the laidback luxury that’s so quintessentially California with an outdoor meal at Mosaic Bar & Grille or an evening cocktail on the patio of the Lobby Lounge.

Situated halfway between the Montage and downtown, Casa Laguna is a romantic boutique hotel with historic Mission architecture and offering personal touches like an evening wine and cheese reception.  With a maximum occupancy of two per room, Casa Laguna is uniquely designed for couples.

If it’s history you’re after, you’ll enjoy Laguna Beach’s oldest hotel, The Hotel Laguna, situated in the heart of downtown along the ‘California Riviera.’

Laguna Beach, Montage, Stephanie Johnson, Laguna Coral Laura Large Trapezoid and Katie Turq Folding Cosmetic copy


Downtown offers a ton of mouth-watering restaurants and anything with an ocean view will be popular (and crowded).  I like Asada on PCH for upscale Mexican food and a killer tequila bar.  A few doors down from Asada is Nick’s, a trendy bistro with a welcoming atmosphere and lots of delish comfort food options.  Try the fried deviled eggs, a Nick’s original.  No-fuss California cuisine can be sampled at Zinc, while C’est La Vie is a French restaurant and bakery that specializes in delicious crepes.  And I would be remiss without mentioning Taco Loco, a sidewalk taco bar south of downtown with a hippie surfer vibe that stays open late and offers plenty of good, cheap grub.  The vegetarians in the bunch will appreciate the yummy blackened tofu mushroom burger.


If you’re craving luxury but can’t quite afford the price tag, consider signing up for a yoga class at Spa Montage.  On off peak nights (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays) $40.00 will get you a one-hour yoga session as well as access to their world class spa.  Totally worth it.

Want more Laguna?  Shop the BRAND NEW Stephanie Johnson Laguna collection, available in Coral, Turquoise, Emerald and Brown, and stay tuned for Style Guide:  Laguna Beach, next week on Style Compass!

Laguna Beach, Montage, Laguna Turquoise Pouches, Stephanie Johnson copy


Chic Traveler:  Mary Alice Haney

Occupation:  Celebrity Stylist

Hometown:  Los Angeles

Mary Alice Haney is a stylist, editor and fashion TV producer with visionary talent.  Inspired by the gowns in old Hollywood films and on the pages of Vogue, Mary Alice earned her MFA from LA’s prestigious American Film Institute and studied at Parson’s School of Design in Paris.  A job at Harper’s Bazaar then led to a mentoring relationship with industry giant Polly Mellen and fashion editor roles for Marie Claire, GQ and Allure.  Appearing in front of the camera as a makeover show host and behind it as a producer, Mary Alice’s range ensures that she understands the nuances of style across visual mediums.  An avid fan of couture and designers such as Balmain and Tom Ford, Mary Alice also possesses the valuable ability to make elite fashion accessible to viewers of The Today Show and Good Morning America, where she has appeared as a style expert.

Dream destination?


What’s always inside your carry on?

Lip gloss, BlackBerry, eye mask for sleeping.  One pair of heels that go with everything.

What’s on your plane play list?

Country or Frank Sinatra

Your guilty pleasure while traveling?

1st class!

The Stephanie Johnson bag/bags that always make the trip?

I only use Stephanie Johnson bags when I travel.  I use them for make-up, vitamins and toiletries.

What’s the most stylish city/locale you’ve visited?  Anywhere in particular where the fashion/beauty/women’s personal style really blew you away?

Paris always blows me away.  The effortless chic that Parisian women embody always amazes me.

Next on your Stephanie Johnson wish list?

A beach bag!

Is there a favorite possession you’ve acquired during your travels?  What is it?

I always like picking up jewelry from different destinations.

Your personal travel style: (Do you like a luxury resort?  A private hideaway?  Do you prefer to lay on the beach?  Explore the countryside?)

I love a luxury resort but get bored after a day or two of lying around.  My perfect vacation mixes luxury and adventure.  Skiing, diving, trekking, safari.

The one thing that you cannot leave home without?

BlackBerry, iPad


Favorite pre-travel or travel-friendly beauty routine?

I choose each outfit and then pack.  I always carry on even when traveling for 2 weeks.

First drink in the air:  H2O, champagne or OJ?


Go-to luggage brand?


Favorite in-flight pastime?

Watching movies and catching up on emails.

Plane food or bring your own?

Bring my own.  I HATE all plane food.

Current favorite getaway?


Any tips for breezing through airport security?

Don’t bring your children.

Your flight’s delayed:  best way to kill time at the airport?

Get a mani-pedi or a massage.

How often do you fly?

Every other week.

Go-to Flying ‘uniform?’

Beyond Yoga yoga pants, J.Crew t shirt, Rick Owens sweater, and running shoes so I don’t have to pack them.

Do you work in-flight or use the time to unwind?




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