10 Travel Beauty Essentials I Never Leave Home Without
As I grow older, I find myself enjoying the world of beauty and skincare more and more.
Learning about the products that suit my face, what way to style my hair and how to get the most for my money has become increasingly interesting to me over the past two years, and as I gain a greater understanding of what works best for me my makeup collection has grown smaller (and probably a little more expensive).
Long gone are the days of circling my eyes with thick layers of black and pewter shadow (because while it may have suited my obsession with Skins’ Effy Stonem, it most certainly did not suit me).
I laugh at ten year old photos where I seem to have smeared heavy duty foundations like Elizabeth Arden, MAC Studio Fix and (hands up if you remember it) Dream Matte Mousse all over my face, lips and neck and marched straight out the door to get drunk in a field.
These days, I prefer to keep things (mostly) light and simple, and after a few years of working abroad, travelling as much as I can afford and eventually packing up to move to the other side of the world I have a newfound respect for the art of ‘less is more’.
I’ve whittled down my holiday beauty essentials to ten holy grail products I never leave for the airport without - let me know if you love any of them as much as I do, or maybe this will inspire you to try some for your next adventure!
Anything that acts as a multi-purpose product gets bonus points from me, and that’s why I love and use Huile Prodigieuse more than anything in my makeup bag!
It’s a natural dry oil designed to be applied to your face, hair and body, suitable for all skin types and packed in a neat 100ml bottle - perfect for travel.
Fellow frizzy haired sisters - you cannot jet off on your next sun holiday without this! I run a few sprays through dry (humidity ruined) hair for a sleek but non-greasy finish, and it’s great for achieving a slicked back bun as well which is my go to style in the heat.
HP is also beautiful dabbed on the collarbones, chest and shoulders for a radiant glow and it works as a subtle highlighter underneath a light foundation or bronzer, too.
I’ve always loved mascara and the way it can open your face with a single swipe of the brush.
After many years of trying and testing tens of brands I would bet my life savings that Lancome’s original Hypnose in black is the best there is.
(There’s also Hypnose Drama and Doll Eyes, but I’ve tried them all and I still say the original is the standout winner.)
If I’m going to be diving, snorkelling or just in the water a lot I sometimes go for the waterproof version but from experience the normal formula hardly runs even after submerging your face fully!
I will never use another mascara as long as I live. #HypnoseForever
This product - which is now my favourite beauty item and one I wear everyday and cannot do without - came to me by way of my old friend Holly (thank you Hol!!!) who recommended it when I was looking for a light coverage, non-cakey alternative to foundation a few summers ago.
Soleil is a bronzer designed to be used as a base for makeup, but Holly (and now myself!) use it in place of traditional BB cream or foundation to let skin look like skin.
I go through about two of these a year, which is pretty good going considering I use it every single day.
I LOATHE the feeling of applying heavy makeup when travelling, and if you’re out and about sightseeing for a day there is nothing worse than coming home with a patchy face or sweaty line marks.
Run a face brush with a dab of this over your complexion a few times, layer some mascara, brush your brows and dab on lip balm - good to go!
If you’re tight on space in your travel makeup bag, Gimme Brow is going to be your best friend.
I was given this in a PR pack and have used it to death, to the point I’m not sure there’s any product left in the bottle - but it’s still perfect to use as a spoolie to brush out your brows and give them that fuller effect!
I’m lucky to have naturally dark brows so day to day and whilst travelling I don’t pencil them in, but if you’re in need of some darker tone the Benefit Brow Contour Pen is pretty good and a great size for taking around the world.
Okay so this is a very specific item which may not be to everyone’s taste, but it’s my favourite summer scent in the world.
I love how fragrance evokes strong memories and emotions for people, and Beach Walk reminds me of working part time in Brown Thomas (Ireland’s luxury department store) while I was at college.
There was a sample of this perfume on a stand I walked by every day in the shop; the smell conjured these incredible images of holidays and adventure in my head.
I would spray myself with lashings of it every time I went passed, telling myself one day when I was rich and successful it would be my signature scent.
I’m not rich, not yet successful but when we moved to Australia, I got my dream job at Daily Mail and that afternoon I saw a Margiela stand in the window of a shop in the city.
Carrie Bradshaw liked her money where she could see it, and I think I like mine where I can smell it - that same bottle is still going strong with me today!
It’s the ultimate light, airy and romantic summer fragrance and it comes with me whenever I head off somewhere new.
I’ve only recently discovered the versatility of Hula after using it as a bronzer since I was a teenager.
It turns out this useful little box doubles as a beautiful mahogany eye shadow, creating a brilliant continuity between bronzed cheeks and eyes.
I love using this as my eye shadow because it means I don’t have to pack a bulky palette.
When travelling I just apply a whole lid look with Hula and highlight the brow bone and inner corners of my eyes with a dab of highlighter.
I first tried this cult classic about three years ago and it’s been a staple in my bathroom cabinet and travel beauty bag ever since.
It’s made from natural ingredients, which I love, and can be used for a variety of different purposes - as a facial cleanser to take off stubborn makeup, a hydrating masque (best left on overnight) and also as a gel for unruly hair (I use it all the time when I’m doing a sleek wet look).
Another dream product for when you’re on the go and haven’t the time or energy to use ten different potions!
I’m of the opinion brand doesn’t really matter on this one, but I always carry a bottle of facial mist spray while travelling, especially flying long haul.
At the moment I’m using the Perfecting Mist from L’Occitane (I think I got it in a press pack, definitely wouldn’t splash the cash for this) and spritz it all over my face and neck before applying makeup.
Mario Badescu does a great rose infused spray which is fantastic value, but really any mist works - you can even use water if you have a spray bottle - to keep your face plump, supple and hydrated, even at 32,000 feet.
Holidays are expensive so the more you can cut back on beauty cost the better!
A good lipstick (I usually take two) is essential to elevating your travelling glam, especially if you go light on foundation and eye makeup.
I’ve tried a lot of brands and my favourite nude is still the bargain buy Kate Moss for Rimmel - I love numbers 3 and 42!
A statement lip is another great way to lift a night time look on the go without adding any weight to your bag.
For the perfect red, I’ve been using La Flamboyante by Chanel since my best friend Sinead gave it to me on my 19th birthday - it literally lasts for years and never dries out so well worth the investment.
My favourite holiday lip liners (and in general actually) are from MAC and NYX (for nudes and pinks) and L’Oreal (for red).
Lip care is also essential in the heat (and equally so in freezing temperatures). My constant companion is Honey Trap from Lush.
Last but by no means least - in fact, most importantly - no travelling makeup bag is complete without a high protection SPF.
I’m getting better at guarding my skin against UV rays, but I am still yet to buy a dedicated facial SPF.
I’m a bit ashamed to admit I just apply standard body factor 50 every morning to prevent (more) sun damage, but it’s probably not advisable - splash out on a targeted face product infused with zinc for optimum protection.
I’ve heard good things about La Roche Posay and Glossier, so when my current trusty bottle of Nivea 50 runs out that’s where I’ll be running.
Your skin is an organ and you only get one chance to preserve it - it’s never to early to start no matter what age you are.
Take a look at Elle’s top 9 SPF’s for summer here for inspo.
Hope my favourite pieces gave you ideas for new products to try before your next trip - I’d love to know your beauty secrets and what you love to use so drop any comments or advice below!