An interview with Conde Nast Traveler

Katharine L'Heureux Illustration

The jet-setting beauty exec reveals her packing rituals, favorite airports, and why she’s not a fan of room service.
by Jada Yuan

On a trip to Morocco in 2007, Katharine L’Heureux’s skincare products were confiscated at the airport, so she asked her guide if he could recommend products used by local Berber women. He introduced her to argan oil, she became obsessed with its beautifying powers, and soon after, her own argan oil-based skincare line, Kahina Giving Beauty, was born. She flies from New York to Morocco several times a year and has learned the importance of multi-wheel luggage—and wearing pockets while flying.

How many miles would you say you’ve flown in your current role? Maybe 200,000. I go to California three times a year; Europe three or four times a year; and Australia once and Asia once. Last year was a light year: I only visited California twice, and Morocco, Germany, Sweden, and England once.

Do you have a packing ritual? I pack at least a week before so the night before a flight is very calm. And then I’ll probably repack because I’ll think, Oh gosh, did I put in my underwear? Which I probably didn’t.

What will you never pack? I blew out the fuse in a hotel in Morocco, so I know never to bring a blow dryer to Europe or Morocco. I never pack high heels. I like ankle boots that I can quickly take off getting on and off the plane. Fiorentino and Baker boots are stylish but they feel grounded.

What do you always pack? James Perse is a great travel brand because it folds up really small. And I always travel with a huge oversized scarf that I bought in Morocco; when I’m in Morocco, I use it to cover my head.

What do you wear on a flight? I think the most important thing I wear on a flight is a giant oversized coat with huge pockets because I’m always losing my passport or my tickets in my bag.

Favorite airport or least favorite airport? Least favorite airport is LaGuardia. It’s just awful and inefficient. In Casablanca, getting your bags can be a hassle. Everything is manual, nothing is automated, and they can just decide to take a break in the middle of unloading the luggage.

Are you a fan of room service? No, because I feel kind of sad if I’m doing room service. I have three kids and to me, traveling by myself is a great luxury. It feels like a time to get away and be by myself, and I don’t have any problem going out to restaurants by myself. I think that’s such a treat, to go out on my own in a place that I’m not familiar with.

Do you have a spot in Morocco you always go to or do you try out different hotels each time? In Morocco I generally like to go to the same place: my favorite place is in Fès called Riad Laaroussa. I’ve come to know the owners there, and the staff is just so welcoming whenever I stay there.

Read the original article here. Illustration Courtesy Louisa Cannell

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