With one plastic bag for all your toiletries – including skin care, hair care and make-up under 100ml – you need to think smart. The biggest lesson I’ve learned in my 15 years as a beauty editor is that you never need as much as you think. You can buy almost anything abroad or in duty-free, and make-up multitaskers are the way to go. But if you don’t feel safe without some of your stash from home, here are the 10 products you should bring that fit neatly in an airport toiletry bag.
1. Elizabeth Arden eight hour cream skin protector 50ml
£28, Look amazing
This skin-soothing salve has been around for nearly a century, and it’s been a bestseller ever since. For good reason too: you can use this multi-tasking salve to soothe any sore, sunburned skin, as a nourishing lip balm and even smudge on during a flight to ward off dehydrated skin. While the thick, sticky cream has the faint medicinal scent of an old Parisian apothecary, that’s all part of its long-lasting appeal.
It’s a functional cream, in a reassuringly functional tube, and a little really goes a long way. Another surprising use: many makeup artists have it in their kits to dab gently on top of the model’s cheekbones instead of highlighter.
2. La Roche-Posay Anthelios UVMune 400 invisible liquid SPF50+ sunscreen 50ml
£14.40, Look amazing
Let’s face it: sun protection is a must all year round, not least when you’re going on holiday. And while the thought of sunscreen usually connotes a thick, greasy lotion that leaves a white cast on the skin, recent years have seen the biggest innovation in the sunscreen market. Now you can find lotions that feel like serums and are moisturizing enough that you can skip a traditional day cream underneath.
The Anthelios range from La Roche Posay is one such product: it does the hard work of moisturizing the skin while protecting it. If you like your SPF with a tint, this one also comes in a customizable tinted version.
3. Dr. Bronner’s organic baby unscented pure castilla liquid soap 59ml
This cleanser has something of a cult following, and ticks the box with several products in one. You can use this pure castilla soap – which means it is made from vegetable oil – as a face wash and effective makeup remover, as a shower gel and even as a shampoo. In fact, the company claims it has 18 different uses, including pet washing and laundry, although the chances of doing so on holiday may be slim.
The soap comes in several versions all infused with delicious essential oils, but my favorite is the unscented version which is safe to use on babies and small children too.
4. Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish 50ml Hot Cloth Cleanser
If you’d rather pack a separate facial cleanser and save the Dr Bronners for the shower, you can’t go wrong with Liz Earle’s classic Cleanse & Polish as a fantastic cleanser option. Massage a dab into dry skin and remove with a flannel dipped in warm water (if you’re staying in a hotel on vacation, there will likely be a lot in the hotel bathroom).
The smell is fresh and herbal and the texture isn’t greasy like some cleansing balms – but it’s powerful enough to remove make-up and sunscreen easily and give the skin enough hydration to go straight in with SPF as the next step.
5. A Social Life For Your Hair finishing cream 30ml
£12, Larry King
Kensington-based hairstylist-to-the-stars Larry King knows a thing or two about brilliant multitasking hair products, and this finishing cream – which goes everywhere he does – is no exception. You can use the moisturizing cream as a leave-in conditioning hair mask, styling cream or to tame flyaways or frizz (especially useful if you’re heading somewhere hot). It also works very well on freshly washed hair that you let air dry during the day or evening.
Best of all, however, is the delicious scent: a luscious combination of freshly cut grass and warm, mild bergamot. Who needs perfume on holiday when your hair smells so good?
6. Rose Inc Blush Divine Radiant Lip and Cheek Color in Azalea
£23, Space NK
There’s lip and cheek balm and then there’s Rose Inc, which is undoubtedly one of the best we’ve tried. It packs a serious punch with pigment, so you don’t get a hint of color that fades after half an hour in the heat. The shade azalea is a universally flattering raspberry pink that gives a healthy flush to the cheeks. As for lips, you can dab it on for a soft touch of color or build up to the intensity of a fully pigmented lipstick.
If you’re really short on space, you can skip taking the whole compact and just buy the refill for £14 – it comes in a slim protective sleeve.
£28, Trinny London
The founder of beauty brand Trinny developed this smart double-ended mascara and eyebrow gel to simplify your routine and save space in your make-up bag. It turns out that it is also a space saver in hand luggage. The mascara formula provides a deep black water-resistant formula that leaves your lashes looking glossy and separated, while the brow gel comes in a variety of shades to match your brow hair. So easy you can use it poolside in seconds.
8. The Face Pencil and Beauty Blender Starter Kit
£23, Jones Road Beauty and £21, Beauty Bay
When makeup artist legend Bobbi Brown left her namesake for a billion-dollar beauty brand six years ago, the beauty industry was a little impatient for her next move. Jones Road, her new label, was worth the wait when it launched last summer.
The Face Pencil sums up the simple and no-nonsense approach to her line: simply scribble on the pencil anywhere you need to even out skin or conceal, such as dark circles, and blend it in with your fingers or a Beauty Blender and you’re good to go to walk. To step it up a notch, you can even buy a face pencil a few shades deeper and use it as a subtle contour stick too.
9. Pixi On-The-Glow bronze stick
2022 is the year of the cream bronzer, and this slim, compact On-The-Glow bronzer from Pixi is one of our favourites. Apply it to the temples, cheekbones and jawline for a naturally sun-kissed look and rub a little on the lids to mimic the look of a subtle wash of eyeshadow.
It leaves a beautiful sheen on the skin without looking glittery – win-win. You can even use it on the lips for a nude-but-better tone.
10. Toothpaste tabs and bamboo toothbrush
£6.95 and £3.95, both off Parla
A tube of toothpaste can be quite bulky in your cabin, so these anhydrous toothpaste tubes are brilliant for travel – you technically don’t even need to keep them in your plastic bag. Developed by leading dentist Dr Rhona Eksander, you simply take as many tabs as you need for the trip.
Put one in your mouth, chew for five seconds and continue brushing your teeth: you get all the cleaning power and fluoride of regular toothpaste in a space-saving way. We also love the brand’s biodegradable bamboo toothbrush.
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