Beauty Capsule {For Travel}

Author: Charlotte O'Shea

Those of you that read my post on “railing my wardrobe” or follow me on instagram, will know that I’ve been endeavouring to figure out my weekly outfits on a Sunday evening for the week ahead.

The intention is to be more organised, to spend less time faffing around in the morning trying to find “something to wear”. It’s also an exercise in figuring out what I do actually wear – what pieces come out of my main closet the most and what items hardly see the light of day.

Where I’m winning on the fashion front I’m failing miserably when it comes to beauty/skincare, particularly apparent when I have an overnight stay somewhere. I’ll be super strict when it comes to packing garments (no alternative outfit options allowed!) and then when it comes to make-up and toiletries I literally fling everything into a massive wash bag (or three) and my small holdall goes from light and streamlined to jam-packed and bursting at the seams.

At home I tend to have big bottles of stuff (shampoo, body lotion and the like) as they are inevitably better value. I should probably decant into smaller pots and jars but I inevitably forget to buy the damn things in the first place. And I can find hardly any of my staple products available in “travel size”.

I favour the see-through wash bags so you can see what you are looking for quickly and easily (or at least I would, if there wasn’t so much stuff in there) and I’m often looking for products that have clever/slimline packaging.

I’m recently sold on this Briggs and Riley “Deluxe” Wash Bag which apparently has a lifetime guarantee! And you can hang it up! I’m a marketeers dream me.

As you can see from my bathroom cabinet there are quite a lot of products in there right now (mainly for testing I might add – I’m wading my way through and will update you on the results of various delights soon!) and perhaps, especially for gallivanting, I need to consider more 2-in-1 multipurpose type items. Is there a general cleanser that will take off your eye make-up and face make-up and won’t irritate or sting? Do you know of a decent volumising hair mousse that comes in travel size? I’m nervous about using the “S” word but you know, is there a decent soap I could travel around with that you can use for your body and face that’s relatively gentle? (I would only essentially be using it once a week or so).

How do you travel lighter with beauty bits for short trips? (or long haul for that matter).

Actual travel case wise, I need a new one – my beloved Antler is now over 10 years old and is looking very tired and worn. I would love to find something sturdy yet compact, with useful compartments if possible. Suggestions most welcome.

In denim news, I have been coveting the Frame le Flare De Francoise jean for well over a year but they were just too expensive. Then they went down to half price at matchesfashion (I had to buy a size smaller than I normally take but can just about squeeze into them). They have a few sizes left at The Outnet. I used to be quite wary of high waisted stuff, but so long as the cut is right, your legs are lengthened like nothing else.

Purveyor of short shorts. Make-up junkie. Hopes to grow old disgracefully.
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32 thoughts on “Beauty Capsule {For Travel}

  1. Odd one I know but I always pack a mini pot of decanted lanisoh. It’s great for lips, any sore or dry bits, cuticles etc.

    About my only other travel concession is to take one eye cream rather than separate am/ pm one!

    Sample sizes from gifts with purchases or beauty boxes are handy too. M&S do some travel sizes if REN, Pixi and Alpha H

    1. That is a good shout Rachel, I’ve run out of lanisoh and my lips have been really dry and chapped.

      Fascinated by the AM/PM eye cream thing?! I only have one, which ones do you use? x

      1. Nowt fancy but I use a Vit C (Una Brennan) one in the morning (allegedly for dark circles) and a retinol one at night to tackle the wrinkles (retinol not great for day time use as can make you more sensitive to sun damage I think). Going to try The Ordinary caffeine one next I think, though those glass bottles aren’t great for travel.

      2. Nowt fancy but I use a Vit C (Una Brennan) one in the morning (allegedly for dark circles) and a retinol one at night to tackle the wrinkles (retinol not great for day time use as can make you more sensitive to sun damage I think). Going to try The Ordinary caffeine one next I think, though those glass bottles aren’t great for travel.

        Oh and I usually use 3 cleaners (am cleansing oil) and double cleanse at night. For travel I will use my cleansing oil for my first cleanse at night. So ‘only’ 2 cleansers instead of 3!

  2. Iv been using a simple make up remover for eyes and face and it works a treat! Gentle and non greasy and doesn’t make the peepers sting! I sometimes still do a full on cleanse routine on my days off but between long days when all I want is to get to bed the simple stuff takes it all off nicely! I have the same issue packing make up though and always always pack far more than I will use (just in case) and him indoors always does a massive eye roll at the sign of my make up bag for an overnight stay ?! Xx

    1. I always pack ridiculous stuff like a glitter eyeliner because you know…..I might just need that (!)

      1. Obvi! As well as four or five lippies too just cos decisions?! Husband: “You have just one mouth yes?” Me ” Yes, but do you have a point?” ?? x

  3. Hi Charlotte,
    like you I also suffer from extremely sensitive, eczema prone skin and my eyes in particular are hyper sensitive when it comes to make up removers. I recently bought the Clinique ‘take the day off’ cleansing balm and find it’s so gentle especially on my eyes, it really breaks down all the make up you’re wearing and takes it all off in one go without any scrubbing. The tub lasts ages too as you only need tiny bit!
    The other thing I’ve found for my sensitive (dry itchy flakey eyelids !!!) eyes is the Aveene Soothing eye contour cream, it’s perfect for when you travel as it comes in a tiny tube, its about £8 from boots and they often have 3for2 on Aveene products. xxx Ps. I am loving the railing idea, all your outfits look so beautiful together.

    1. Oooh I’ve not seen Aveene eye cream Hannah. I’ve used their water spray for years, as it’s so “pure” unlike tap water I often use it on my eyes to get rid of residue after cleansing or as a kind of toner. Of course it could all just be bollocks but I like it! 🙂

  4. For eye and makeup remover you NEED Nivea miscellar water for sensitive skin. My eyes are so sensitive that there’s very few things I can use that don’t irritate (even ‘simple’ eye makeup remover and johnsons baby lotion irritate my eyes!) but this has been a game changer for me, I can use it with cotton pads to remove all my makeup, and I don’t even have to rinse my face if I’m in a rush, I can just climb into bed and it doesn’t sting my eyes or face at all. They do a smaller 200ml bottle for about £4 in boots, but a little tip, if you go to home bargains you can get the bumper 400ml for £2.99 – absolute bargain! And then perhaps you could find a little bottle to decant into when travelling. Give it a try 🙂

  5. Micellar water! Eucerin, garnier (pink sensitive one! NOT the green one) and a nuxe rose one I get from m and s are my recommendations.

  6. I used to travel a lot for work and got in the habit of having a fully stocked, ready to rock travel wash bag. That way, if my husband decides to whisk me off to Paris, I’m ready to go (a girl can dream right?).
    Like you, I favour a clear bag. Boots do a great 3 pack, I use the small for make up, medium for toiletries and large for my undies etc.
    I decant into travel bottles and it’s part of my unpacking routine to refill everything.
    My other tip is befriending counter ladies. Lots of my fave products don’t come in travel size but these gorgeous ladies will often decant generous ‘samples’ into various pots for me. My best was a 10ml sample bottle of my adored Tom Ford perfume which I’m always too scared to take anywhere with me for fear of breakage.

    1. I’d add that I don’t really use any hair products (other than shampoo and conditioner) so that makes my life a bit simpler!

    2. Sarah that is SO organised. I think you deserve a high five.

      You are right about beauty counters – the ladies in my local John Lewis are always offering samples. Also loving the clear bag for underwear?! I have never thought of that! x

      1. Haha, it’s probably one of the only organised things I do.
        Clear bags are the way forward – I also use them in my little boys bag of everything. One for change of clothes, one for bottles etc.

  7. This does not answer any of your travel related dilemmas, but WHAT is Mermaid Hair??? I need to know! 🙂

    Though, First Aid Beauty has THE best face wash ever. It takes off mascara and everything with no need to cleanse first.

    1. Ha ha Tracy! It’s a shampoo, it makes your hair lovely and soft and smells of coconuts. I don’t use it that often as I like my hair to have some grit, rather than silky – but it works really well on Mabel’s curly locks x

  8. Ah I am now well practised in travelling round with the contents of my bathroom cabinet in miniature. I travel for my job and now try only to take hand luggage so I have to make sure everything is small and compact. I definitely definitely recommend buying miniature pots that you always have full and ready to go so you don’t need to think about it, just pull it out the cupboard and pack in your bag. Muji are great for those. And when you buy your toners and cleansers etc ask for any miniatures or samples they can give you to travel with which will often do at least one day. Shu Uemura’s cleansing oil (and I think there is a gel version now too) is brilliant for taking off all makeup including mascara etc, you only need a little bit so it is easy to take in a small bottle. As for soap, Clinique’s face soap (part of the 3 step cleansing thing) is very useful, and comes in relatively small sizes (tiny ones if you get one of the promotion things they are always doing), good for body and face. I like the organisational aspects of that washbag!! Sadly my travel is usually international so it wouldn’t work for pulling out everything at airport security…

  9. I’m late to this party (my favourite kind of party!) because work go in the way of my lunchtime perusing.

    Anyway, what I’ve learned is that it really pays to have a pre-packed toiletries bag with all of the essentials ready to go at all times (I re-stock mines when I return to make sure I’m never running low on the essentials. For me, this means a minimal amount of faffing when it comes to packing my overnight bag / case! My non negotiable are:

    * Mini toothpaste / toothbrush / deodorant etc
    * Mini shampoo & conditioner (I like Aussie or Bumble & Bumble)
    * Mini dry shampoo / texturising spray (I use Batiste and Oribe) @Charlotte I’m sure I’ve seen Milkshake minis!
    * Mini moisturiser (Dr Haushka Clarifying Day Oil)
    * Mini cleanser (Emma Hardie Moringa Balm)
    * Mini body wash (Currently La Roche-Posay Lipikar Surgras concentrated shower creme for dry skin but I swap this out quite frequently as I don’t have sensitive skin)

    I then add make-up, perfume etc depending on what I’m wearing at the time.

    I should caveat this to say my bag has a tendency to increase in size quite dramatically when I’m off on a proper sunshine holiday. That’s when I start throwing in all manner of potions, potions and hair masques to try out! ?

  10. Charlotte, if you’re looking for new luggage, can i recommend having a look at Kipling! I have been buying them over the years and they have lasted like nothing else (they’ve even outlasted my most expensive samsonites). I recently bought this carry on and it’s fantastic, so so lightweight but really sturdy and rolls like a dream:

    Also – for general make-travel-easier, I got some packing pods on Amazon which I now cannot do without ( Shove all your tops in one, dresses in another, trousers in a third and its all so easy to find when you get to where you want to go. It’s especially useful when travelling with littles, we took our son all the way to Fiji and further and I was always able to find his pyjamas at the bottom of the suitcase no matter how jetlagged I was! Sorry this is a bit off topic of your post but ?? to everyone suggesting a separate ready-to-roll travel beauty bag.

  11. Not exactly fancy but if I’m not travelling for long I just use a good old fashioned flannel for washing my face at night to take my make up off. My face can cope without proper cleanser for a few days and saves space in my hang luggage for other liquidy things.

  12. Very late to the party but Charlotte.. This is your suitcase. Seriously. They’re a little spendy, but if you’re going to get good use out of it, it’s worth it. We just invested in a set and they are amazing! Especially the compression strap, which they’re patenting. I swear I can fit a full suitcase worth in the carry on size. And there’s a lifetime warranty on them.

    And we usually save any old moisturiser pots/lush pots and the packaging sample size products to decant into.

  13. Here’s what I pack beauty wise for travel;
    Liz earle cleanse & Polish, Avon red tub moisturiser, pawpaw ointment, youth max serum, conditioner sachet, nars multiple, clinique superbalm gloss, clear mascara, shampoo & body wash 2in1, deodorant, perfume and matching body spray, toothpaste. All in mini sizes and all fit into a ziplock bag. The liz earle works as exfoliater and makeup remover when used with muslin cloth. The conditioner works as shaving cream and the pawpaw ointment as lip balm, dry skin soother etc etc. Nars multiple works as shadow and lipstick. I have my eyelashes tinted and brows shaped b4 I go. It takes research and practice but it can be done. Hope this helps

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