Welcome to our series, the T+L Carry-On, where we take a look inside the luggage of those who find themselves frequently traveling around the world—and gain a few expert tips along the way.
This week, we caught up with Tata Harper, founder of her eponymous skincare brand, at The Standard High Line. Born in Colombia 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.”
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.”
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 and are in every one of our products."
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 York—Kreafunk 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, Solid & Striped swimsuit, and Lucas Hugh leggings. I can’t forget Joy Mangano’s My Little Steamer Go Mini.”
On the beauty products she always brings on the plane:
“I take my Hydrating Floral Essence, Moisturizing 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.”
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.”