I thought 'makeup and skin for travel' might be a misleading title - this is more about what I bring when I pop home to Surrey for the weekend or for a week's holiday. I don't have to contend with dehydrated aeroplane skin and hot, humid conditions, thank goodness.
I used a cross-body travel bag for years, but I find a rucksack is much more comfortable and easier on my back. Apparently rucksacks have become cool - last year Fjallraven Kanken bags were everywhere and you couldn't go into central London without seeing at least three. Nice as they are, Fjallraven Kanken bags are rather overpriced in my opinion. Luckily I didn't have to sacrifice comfort, style, or two week's worth of groceries, and found this lovely Vans bag in the sale at Schuh for £11.
Clear plastic travel bags and bottles from Muji
My assortment of skincare products...
...surprisingly all fits in this little bag!
My clear zip-up bags cost £6 for a set of three from M&S. They've paid for themselves in the number of times I've used them. Muji bottles are amazing - they're refillable, un-leak-able, and easy to refill.
Into the smallest bag clear bag go Muji bottles of full of cleanser, shower gel, and body oil, plus a travel-sized bottle of Head and Shoulders 2in1 (the least glamorous shampoo ever, but my hair and scalp seem to like it). I pop in my Vichy serum and some face oil (currently Neal's Yard Remedies Wheatgerm Oil in a little Trilogy Rosehip bottle, cheating a little bit there on brands but the wheatgerm oil comes in a chunky 100ml bottle, and the little Trilogy dropper bottle is so useful for travelling.) Medication fits in too. I add a tube of Oilatum Natural Repair Face Cream if I can squeeze it in, if not it goes in my handbag for on-the-go, multi-use moisturising.
My pocket-sized 30ml bottle of Escentric Molecules Escentric 02 comes with me too. Perfume has taken the place that earrings used to occupy - I feel like I've forgotten something if I'm not wearing any.
The boring stuff like toothbrushes and deodorant come along too. I have a Sonicare toothbrush which has it's own travel case which is very useful.
I take a couple of flannels too, preferring to do a hot-cloth cleanse to get my makeup off and my skin nice and clean. This is because I can't be doing with carrying another bottle, and my flannels can dry in the bathroom or airing cupboard overnight and thrown in the wash when I get home. My flannels are from IKEA, they cost £1 for a pack of 4 (absolute bargain) and they have a useful little strip of fabric on them so you can hang them on the back of the door.
My standard travel makeup
Makeup-wise, I keep it simple - I have a standard look that I reach for when I need to look nice but don't have the time or inclination for finding complementary shades.
I know that Nars Radiant Tinted Moisturiser in Finland and Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla pair up beautifully and help my skin look brighter and more even-toned.
No.7 Shade and Define in Cocoa Bean is a lovely deep brown with gold shimmer that gives my eyes more definition, doubling as shadow and liner, and is foolproof to apply. I team that with whatever mascara I've got going (Rimmel Wonder'full Waterproof at the moment).
Rimmel Professional Brow Pencil in Black-Brown is still one of my absolute favourite brow products. Very useful for filling in my patchy eye-hats.
Cheeks and lips:
For cheeks Clarins Multi-Blush in Peach is another reliable shade with foolproof application. The packaging is very compact and sleek and includes a mirror in the lid. It warms and contours my face and gives a lovely soft wash of colour. Nars Sheer Lipstick in Mayflower, my perfect nude, 'my lips but better' shade pairs up beautifully with it. Both can be applied mirror-free without looking like a two year old did your makeup.
My Bobbi Brown Sheer Finish Pressed Powder in Pale Yellow is just about holding on and it comes along for the ride to set everything in place.
My approach to travel makeup
My approach to travel is 'keep it simple': I hate packing already without having to scurry around deciding whether I'll need a third eyeliner or a fourth lipstick. Experience has taught me that extra makeup just won't get used. I bring enough to look like a polished version of myself in case I go out to dinner or just want to look a little bit more spruced up.
You've probably noticed that I have a preference for cream formulas. This is deliberate. I love powder formulas (I reach for my Urban Decay original Naked palette several times a week, and I'm loving Sleek's powder brushes at the moment) but powder formulas need brushes, and ultimately it just means I have more items to pack and more decisions to make. Plus it's much easier to smudge on a creamy shadow or blush in the car or on the train than risk poking someone's eye out with a brush end.
Do I get bored of the same look? Not really, to be honest! I think it's a classic natural look that can work year round. As we move into winter I'll probably switch up my tinted moisturiser for a foundation, and might occasionally bring a red lipstick or a different shade of pink, but I'll always love a soft smoky brown eye and peachy cheeks and lips. I feel like I've got this little makeup routine down and can get everything on in a few minutes. I find new shades and formulas need a little more consideration and have more pitfalls, like a blush that needs to be applied with a light hand. Plus the time it takes to carefully apply makeup can be used to do fun stuff, like exploring and reading and cuddling chickens (that last one will sound weird to anyone who doesn't know that my parents keep chickens in the garden.)
One of the ladies, the beautiful Dotty.
That's pretty consistent with my approach to makeup though. If I'm getting ready I prefer to get ready quickly (despite what my boyfriend might think) rather than waste my energy on dolling myself up. The less time spent on my makeup, the less I'll worry about how I look, and the more I'll enjoy myself. (Experimenting with new looks happens in special 'experimenting time' where I'll sit down with my stash of makeup and a few face charts and try out some new looks. What a nerd.)
What are your favourite travel products?