How To Downsize Your Travelling Beauty Stash

…to what you ACTUALLY need

I’m not quite sure how this has happened, but over the next six weeks I’m away for almost three of them. Now I ain’t complaining because travel is food for the soul and all that, plus each trip away is accompanied by either family, Mark or my mates which is very exciting indeed. First up we have the annual Gardner family trip up to the Lake District with Mark, my parents, my sister and my Aunty and Uncle. I haven’t made an appearance for the past four years due to various different commitments (which makes me sound way more important than I am by a mile), so it’s time to grace them with my presence LOL and spend some quality time playing Uno by evening and getting my walking boots muddy during the day. This will be swiftly followed by an Italian mini-break and then a trip over to the other side of the Atlantic. My packing skills will be put to the ULTIMATE TEST *said in an action movie trailer voice* and although I feel like I’ve got my capsule wardrobe down (did you see my Vietnam vlog? I only bought two pairs of shorts that I didn’t wear!), I need a bit of work when it comes to beauty as I still err on the side of overpacking. So here are the rules that I’m going to attempt to put into practice…

Don’t double up. I am 100% guilty of filling those little plastic sandwich bags to the brim with liquids for the flight. I’m all about that moisture and along with buying three bottles of water on the other side of security for the flight ahead, I bring serums, eye creams, body creams, body wipes, oils, lotions, balms, masks – the lot. Here’s the thing though, I really need to decant all the bits and bobs into the relevant skincare/body/beauty stashes at the other end, instead of doubling up and weighing down both my bags. It might take a bit more planning and a bit more time during the packing/re-packing process, but it saves on space big time.

Keep you bag small. It’s a proven fact that if we have space, we naturally like to fill it. If we buy a bigger wardrobe then it will be bulging within about a month. If you purchase a larger makeup set-up then you can guarantee you’ll be struggling to close the drawers six months later. We’re subconscious space fillers and so keep that in mind across all aspects of your packing, not just with your beauty bag. This spotty number is one I purchased from Hay a couple of years pack and I can fit just the right amount in there, so that I end up using everything; it forces me to cut back the fat and leaves me with a lean routine.

Let’s talk tools. I can guarantee that you don’t need all the brushes you’ve got there in your hand ready to stuff into your Glossier ziplock pouch. HOLD UP. Hotels tend to come with a cute little bar of soap that doubles up as a fab brush washer and although you might have grand ideas for your makeup look whilst you’re away, nine times out of 10 I end up doing the exact same look that uses about three brushes and a BeautyBlender. Speaking of which, your BeautyBlender is your new travel companion. If you’re using exclusively creams for your complexion you can use it for EVERYTHING from foundation to highlighter and everything in between. Just give it a good wash every night, pop it on the side to dry and it will be good to go the next morning.

Mirror, mirror on the wall. There is one thing that you can never guarantee in a hotel room – a mirror with good light that you can get close enough to to properly see the slap that you’re throwing on your face. Sometimes you find a spot so good that you never want to leave, but other times you’ll be balancing on the loo lid trying to crane your neck to see yourself in the magnifying mirror that is making you wonder when your last eye test was. It is for this reason that I always make sure that I have a beauty product with a decent mirror in – and not just some weenie one that you have to hold about 2 metres away from your face to see yourself fully. I’d recommend the Urban Decay Naked Petite Heat, not just because the colours are all kinds of amazing and it’s slim design fits in with the whole capsule vibe, but the mirror is just the right size. SCORE.

The multi-taskers. It’s an obvious inclusion, but travel is really where your multi-taskers shine. Let me throw in a couple of examples. The Glossier Stretch Concealer is actually a really great all-over, über glowy base if you’re going somewhere hot and just want minimal coverage; skip packing a foundation all together and just use this. A bronzer in the right tone can have blush or contouring effects, so skip whatever else it doubles up as (the Anastasia Beverly Hills Powder Bronzer in Rosewood has a pink-wash to it that saves me loading up on blush). Bring along your brow pencil that has a spoolie on one end, your lip colour that’s dispensed in a point and so doesn’t need a liner and a clear balm that can be used on your lips, cheeks and eyes for extra glow.

Use your miniatures! You know all those ‘gift with purchases’ or the cute miniatures you’ve picked up whilst you’ve been in line at Sephora? NOW IS YOUR TIME TO USE THEM! I found myself misplacing them and forgetting to actually use them up when I travel, but it’s time to stop revelling in just how adorable they are and put them to good use. I find the best way to do this is to either keep them all together in one place in your beauty drawers, so you remember where to search next time you’re filling up your suitcase OR keep a pre-packed bag of them ready to go in your luggage. I go for the latter so I’m basically ready to leave at a moment’s notice like I’m some kind of secret agent.

Photos by Lauren Shipley

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