What I packed for a six-week trip to the UK and Europe.
For my six-week trip to the UK and Europe, I didn't want to carry much makeup as I had plans to hit Selfridges, Boots, House of Fraser and Harrods, and Sephora Rome (major hauls were made). Nor did I want to carry a makeup bag at all. The things take up too much room in the suitcase and, honestly, it is easier to squeeze all those tubes and bottles among the clothes. Besides, once I reach my destination, I tend to spread out my makeup all over the bathroom and then repacking becomes an ordeal. Since I was renting a flat, there was no option of hotel toiletries, except from Rome.
I decided to pack two kinds of products - minis, and full-sized products that were nearly empty.
I emptied sample bottles, washing them with Johnson's Baby Shampoo and a bottle brush, and drying them overnight before squeezing in enough foundation and cleanser for three or four uses. Needless to say, all those beauty box subscriptions paid off and I had enough travel-sized products for skin and hair care.
- Mini Protect and Perfect Day Cream from No 7 and mostly-empty bottles of MEG21 eye treatment and serum (reviewed here), which ran out in a week. The day cream was "swallowed" by my suitcase and I haven't seen it ever since I left.
- Mini perfume vials; mostly used up now.
- Anti-acne treatment - Paula's Choice 2% BHA liquid, followed by Benzoyl Peroxide 5% all over the face, and Oxy 10 for spot treatment.
- Travel-sized bottle of Klorane dry shampoo - now empty - and 10ml Moroccanoil, also empty. I also had a Montagne Jeunesse hair mask but it disappeared once I arrived in London so it's probably somewhere in my suitcase, unused. I bought cleansing conditioners the second day after landing.
- A small mud mask for the face, Paula's Choice Resist Moisturiser and a hydrating spray for the face.
- Mini Aveda hand cream, face moisturiser, SPF50 sunblocks (x 2, because Rome), body scrub and Whish shaving cream, all emptied except for the hand cream, which I just kept forgetting to use (Hello, broken cuticles).
Makeup and cleansing
- An Ipsy bag containing Yes to Carrots lip balm, a mini Shiseido cleanser, a Shiseido powder compact, a mini Miguhara primer, Lorac Pro Matte lipstick in my favourite Mauve, Pur-lisse face moisturiser (travel) and a sachet of Lancome sunblock.
- 60 cotton pads (ran out and had to buy Simple wipes), a mini Lancome Bifacil (had to repurchase on the seventh day), anti-acne face wash in a little bottle, a mini Erno Laszlo black soap, a sachet each of body wash and cleansing oil (had to run to Sainsbury's on day 2) and a really awful Korean face brush, which I happily binned the moment I got a brand new Clarisonic Mia 2 from Debenhams.
- Estee Lauder GWP and a Pixi duo eyeshadows. I knew I would end up buying a gazillion eyeshadows/palettes (around 14, I think - I need to unpack to make sure), and I didn't have That One Travel Palette Which Has Everything anyway, so I picked the teeniest palettes to tide me over the first few days. I was quite sick of both of them by the time I managed to go shopping and wouldn't mind never seeing them again.
- Kat von D eye primer, Sephora and Too Faced mascara minis, Coastal Scents liquid eyeliner and Benefit Gimme Brow. All tiny enough to slip in without problems.
- I had to be sensible when it came to makeup brushes. For one, I didn't want to bring back a dozen new brushes. For another, I simply cannot do without my Beautyblender for foundation. I took along my oldest and rather battered Beautyblender, which is now replaced (it even began displaying signs of mildew; bought four newbies from Sephora) in a little pouch.
- Bdellium Tools Smoky Eye set in Yellow Bambu, EcoTools and Crown dual-enders, Sigma 3DHD Precision brushes (reviewed here) and a Bourjois powder brush.
- Three foundations - Estee Lauder Double Wear Lite, IT Cosmetics CC Cream and Bourjois Healthy Mix. I packed them in sample vials. They lasted for a couple of weeks in all and I had to buy foundation in a hurry!
- Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Eye Cream, which works very well as a concealer. For primer, I picked an almost-empty tube of Benefit Porefessional and it didn't get over!
- I only took along two lippies, and one in my bag for touch-ups (Lorac Pro Matte). The big two were both liquid - Hourglass Opaque Rouge Edition lippie in Rose and Rimmel Provocalips in Make Your Move. Both last the whole day without budging so they were ideal for travelling. Again, I was heartily sick of both after a couple of weeks (and ended up buying just 15 new lippies).
Blush/BronzerAfter week one, I completely forgot about using bronzers, highlighters and blushes. Anyway, I developed a rather deep tan in Rome and don't need bronzers for a good while! I had packed So Susan Cosmetics' Light Diffuser, which is a duo containing a highlighter and a nice bronzer, and Coastal Scents blush samples. Both lay forgotten for the better part of my trip.
All that might appear to be quite a lot but it all slipped into little nooks in the suitcase and saw me through a couple of weeks until I was able to go shopping. I only regret packing the blushes/bronzer because I hardly used them. And no, I didn't bring any of the empties back. Haul posts coming soon - Sephora Rome is as good as Sephora Dubai in handing out GWPs and samples!