If you mixed sunshine and joie de vivre, threw in a splash of sarcasm and bottled it into human form, you’d end up with Casey Wilson. The actor, writer and “Real Housewives” anthropologist also delivered a surprise bestselling book in May 2021 with her collection of essays, “The Wreckage of My Presence.” Her secret sauce is her innate ability to laugh at herself without being precious about it.
“I love people. I want to be out with the people morning, noon and night,” Wilson says.
It could sound cheesy. But it doesn’t when Wilson says it. And somehow Wilson, who’s currently promoting her partnership with Hellmann’s new spicy mayonnaise dressing, manages to make even that decidedly odd campaign not just palatable, but downright amusing.
“I’ve been given a title, which is the spicy ambassador,” she says. “Did you ever think I would have an ambassadorship? Nobody did. But once you hear it, it’s right. You know it’s right. I am just an ambassador to help people to spice up their lives and live their lives.”
To connect with people, Wilson travels — a lot. Both as part of her day job and when she takes her podcast “Bitch Sesh: A Real Housewives Breakdown” on the road with her co-creator Danielle Schneider. So she gave us the lowdown on all the gear she’s bought — from her go-to eye mask to her favorite carry-on luggage — to make travel not just tolerable, but enjoyable.
Her travel mantra: “I try to keep it looking like I did something,” she says. “Everything about me is a lot of attempting to do something that looks like one thing but is really lazy.” We’re here for it. Here’s what Wilson doesn’t leave home without on her travels.
$48 at Lunya
Wilson wants to zone out — and zen out — when she’s airborne. For her, that means getting this shockingly affordable but gloriously luxe silk eye mask. “A face mask is my number one,” she says. “And it’s that one by Lunya — it’s an obsession. If I don’t have it, things get very strange.” It’s got a 100% silk exterior so it’s incredibly soft, and it doubles as a headband for your nightly beauty routine without creasing your hair.
$349.95 $199.99 at Amazon
Wilson doesn’t go anywhere without these headphones, which have up to 22 hours of battery life and pure adaptive noise cancellation that will actively block outside noise while still delivering premium sound. “I have a whole contraption where I’ve got my Beats noise-canceling headphones. I’ve got my Lunya. Of course, I’ve got my gossip magazines so that sometimes I put the mask up, read them, only to pass out with the magazines all spread over me,” she says. A good pair of noise-canceling headphones is an essential part of any traveler’s wardrobe to block out the sound of your snoring seat neighbor, a nearby crying baby or the loud hum of an airplane engine.
$199.99 at B&H
Some folks go for trendy carry-on bags with all of the contraptions. Not Wilson, who instead opts for this roomy yet sleek and durable bag from a storied travel brand. “I did get this suitcase — it’s Samsonite, but it’s not like a huge one or a carry-on. It almost looks like an old school, big briefcase. I can’t describe it, but it is indestructible, yet it’s not gargantuan, so I’ve become obsessed with that,” she says.
$84 at Vuori
When she travels, Wilson wants to look dressy without having to sacrifice comfort. So, she’s addicted to these pants that don’t actually feel like pants. “I wear them every single second — they’re called Vuori,” she says. They’re not classic sweatpants. Instead, they’re a soft fabric that has a wide leg and is fitted through the waist and hips for a slightly elevated look.
$65 at Sephora
Wilson doesn’t go anywhere without a product that’s beloved both by celebrities and their makeup artists for its flawless finish. “I’m very devoted to my Armani Luminous Foundation,” says Wilson. The foundation is available in 40 shades in a 1-ounce container, making it the perfect size to stick in your favorite travel makeup bag and take through airport security.
$15 at Sephora
As a working mom, Wilson doesn’t have the time or patience to meticulously apply layers of eye makeup or create a complex smokey eye — especially when traveling. “[Kosas] has this product called 10-second eyeshadow where you just dab it on your lids and smudge it. Done. That’s been a real game-changer for me,” she says. It comes in six neutral shades and is perfect for adding that pop of sheen to any look.
$34 at Sephora
Wilson is all about products that are two-in-one — including when it comes to makeup. “I love the Ilia Multi-Stick,” she says. “It’s blush and lipstick. Anything I can get going in multiple areas, I love.” The Ilia Multi-Stick can be applied to cheeks and lips to give your skin a luminous finish and brighten up your skin.
$38.95 at Amazon
Like most adults, Wilson is a devotee of sunscreen, no matter where she is. Specifically, she’s into the EltaMD SPF, which is a mineral-based, non-greasy and ultra-lightweight sunscreen option for everyday use. “I’m very obsessed with Elta sunscreen with the moisturizer in it — it’s not chalky,” she says. It’s a tinted facial sunscreen that’s fragrance-free and 100% mineral-based.
$195 at Staud
You want to look put together when you get to your destination, but you don’t want a suitcase of wrinkled ensembles. Wilson is a fan of the Staud color block dresses because they’re cute and the perfect travel companion to put on once you’ve arrived at your destination. “I’ve gotten really into those dresses by Staud, because they can go into your bag crumpled, but then they look very cute,” says Wilson. The midi dress from Staud is available in five different color combinations, so you can select an option that suits you — and your destination.
From $34 at Amazon
When she flies, Wilson says she usually wears these Birkenstock EVA sandals as her travel shoe of choice. They’re waterproof, washable, lightweight and available in 35 different colors and prints. They’re also insanely cushy and easy to get on and off. “I got these new Birkenstocks that are kind of rubbery and lavender, but they’re so comfortable,” she says.
Find out which cards CNN Underscored chose as our best travel credit cards of 2022.
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