The Weekend Post #97: Streamlining Your Travel Kit

You know I have a bit of thing when it comes to travelling with beauty bits (heck I even made a 5-part YouTube series on it). Over the years through stints at Uni, home and travelling back and forth across the country to a boyfriend, friends and family I’ve got packing down and slept on some rather interesting ‘beds’ in the process. But last weekend on a trip back to the seaside to stay with my parents I managed my biggest feat yet. Every single beauty-related item I needed for those two days was squeezed and sealed into my rather averagely sized Whistles clutch: body bits, hair, skincare, makeup, the lot. I ended up taking so little back with me that I packed it all down into my handbag; no suitcase required. Now the brief for the weekend was ‘chillax’ meaning that I didn’t need any fancy products, nor garb aside from a pair of comfy PJ’s. Still, I’m impressed. Next time you’re off for a low-key weekend away here’s what you actually need: 


  • Deodorant. Do I need to elborate? 
  • A Rollerball Perfume. They are a little hard to come by in the UK, but with all the Christmas fragrance sets making their way to the shelves, they’re worth keeping an eye out for. My favourite is this 10ml vial of Stella EDP. Fresh, floral without being too fussy.
  • Hairbrush and Hairbands. The latter comes into play for all greasy hair occasions when only a pineapple-esque bun will do, but a brush comes in handy too for a quick neaten now and then. My favourite travel-friendly option is this fold-up offering from MUJI.
  • Dry Shampoo or Texturiser. It’s rare that I leave the house without the Oribe Dry Texturising Spray these days and though it’s not strictly an oily scalp-mopper I spritz it in my hair whatever state it’s in. To oomph, to refresh, whatever. Because lets be honest, who can be arsed to wash their hair during a weekend away?


  • Makeup Remover. Yes, I know you’ve read ahead and only spotted three items. Allow me to explain. Whenever I’m away I get lazy. I’m not in my usual set-up with an abundance of facial flannels overflowing out my drawers or with an abundance of time to use the bathroom; it’s time to get simple. First step – makeup removal. I pack in this little plastic pocket of cotton pads and buds and a mini Bioderma.
  • Cleanser. This is one of those steps that just makes me feel clean. Makeup remover on its own just doesn’t cut it and a quick two minute massage and massage off (I use a damped cotton pad when I’m in a pinch), in the bathroom won’t hurt. I ended up decanting the leftovers of Radical’s Hydrating Cleanser into a pot I picked up in MUJI.
  • Moisturiser. Toners, serums, oils and treatments can be cast aside for a few days – but moisturiser. Well, you always need a moisturiser. Pick one that is light enough for the day, but rich enough for the night. I popped some of Perricone M.D’s Face Finishing Moisturiser into another MUJI pot – yes I went a bit crazy in there.


  • Foundation and Concealer. For base I use one rule to decide what one of my many foundation favourites will make the cut. Size. So many are housed in glass bottles and for travel that just won’t do. Either decant or go for a plastic offering; CHANEL’s Vitalumiere Aqua Foundation in B20 and NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla made it in this time.
  • Lash Curler and Mascara. Leave out the curlers if you’ve got a full-on flutter naturally, but if not I always travel with them as they just make me look more awake and well, human. Shu Uemura’s version rock. Then I add in whatever mascara I’m using at that moment – Maybelline’s Full and Soft Waterproof Mascara was on the top of my pile so in it went.
  • Brow Product. This step can again be skipped if you rival Cara D in the brow department, but for sparse browed folk I’d recommend lobbing in a brow implement. I usually go for the Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil in Soft Brunette as it serves as a spoolie brush on one end and filler-inner on the other.
  • Balms. Whether I’m living the house for two hours or two weeks there’s got be a balm of some kind stationed in my bag somewhere. This tiny, tiny tube of Dr Lipp Original Nipple Balm is an obvious choice due to its size, but I ended up throwing in a mini of the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in 01 too just incase I needed something with a bit of a colour injection.

Streamlining your weekend away beauty bag; the extreme cut. Another plus point is there’s less to unpack on Sunday evening. Packing, I love, but unpacking? Yeah…not so much.


  • T

    I’m curious. Why did you take Sure and not Soapwalla? It’s a pretty compact container…

    • Poulette

      Plus with Soapwalla, you can scoop out some & it saves soooo much space. I’ve put some into a tiny pot from a Clarins cream & it lasted much more than 2 days.

      And in terms of creating even more space (and to continue the Muji lurve…) they make THE best portable eye lash curlers. Honestly, these are better than the standard ones, they really give great curl. And they are flat… adorable & effective.

  • Alice Porter

    This was really helpful, I am such a hoarder when I travel I really need to start downsizing!


  • I’m all about downsizing when traveling. It makes it so much easier to bring everything you need. Your Bioderma bottle is so tiny and adorable. The small ones here are not THAT small. 😉 Still wanting to try out the Oribe Texturizing Spray. Thanks for sharing!

    xx Lauren
    Dirty Blonde Ambition

  • Eileen Wrighton

    It’s kinda hard to find sample sizes of makeup products.. But love your idea.

  • Hannah

    Anna you’ve done it again-making our lives so much easier! Thanks for this, this will be bookmarked for future reference.


  • Lily

    This is great! Thanks Anna. Where is that make up bag from I can never find one that’s the right size and this one looks perfect! xx

  • Thank you so much for sharing this! My travel bag has been growing and growing – it’s time for a cull down to the necessities…

    Have a wonderful day xoxo

  • Louise Hunt

    Packing for travelling is the worst
    Thanks for the help

  • Its so hard to narrow down whats in a make-up travel bag. i always panic and throw everything in.

  • Eleri Roberts

    Lady you’ve got beauty packing down to a tee! The Clarins miniature lip perfecter is soooo cute. x

  • Anna Blush

    Planning a trip to Thailand in the near future so this is really helpful, thanks!

  • yet another great bag of goodies anna! these a good ideas im going away soon and i never have brought my makeup before so this will be a first for me ! great post!

  • Definitely going to use this post when I go to New York and Los Angeles next year!

    xx Nicole

  • Just these past couple of days I was away with my sister and had packed so much! I always do and at the end of the trip don’t use even a half of it. So this was quite helpful! Thank you!!

  • Heels Forever

    Must get some MUJI travel pots! x

    Heels Forever

  • Shopaholic

    Love this for those of us trying to save money on products as well! No need to buy a bunch of travel minis.

  • Chelsea Shead

    I wish I could travel this lightly. I have a beauty suitcase!

  • Victoria Reilly

    I seriously jump at the opportunity to buy miniatures of products! They’re so handy. Even if I’m not going anywhere, I know they’ll come in useful to throw in my handbag or when I’m jumping on the train to visit my mother!

    Vickie xo | vickieblogs

  • I envy this. Maybe one day when I come to my senses.

  • Millie Robinson
  • This has come in handy as I’m travelling next weekend and haven’t done it for months. I always overpack and like you, I hate unpacking! I try go for products that are multi use like the Stila Convertible Colours and the Urban Decay Naked Basics palette as I can use it for eyes and brows. I need some travel bottles, but ones that are the Bioderma size that you have because the ones I find always seem to be too big for a weekend!
    Rebecca-Louise, Autumn Leaves – UK Beauty Blog

  • PeonyandPeach

    Great way of travelling light! I tend to decant a bit of foundation into a little pot as well so I don’t have to lug a full bottle around, I take a peachy pink cream blush as well though because I look terrible without blush and it doubles as a lip product!

  • Patricia E.

    I really like this post, I travel often to my friend in the city and need so much like Haircare and Skincare, and theese little things are much easier than the normal products.

    lovley P

  • Charlotte Lucy Philpotts

    This is such a good post – I am constantly spending nights away at my boyfriends/friends/worknights so these little travel tips are really helpful! x

  • Talisa Lauren Tossell
  • CharliDotDotDot
  • Naomi Carndorf

    So impressive, my toiletries are always what weighs my bag down the most!

    Naomi from NaomiGabriella

  • Michelle

    Great post, definitely will refer to this next time!

  • Tarte Tanya

    This is adorable all these minis!
    Great products, loving that mini Clarins lippy!

  • Love looking at all the miniature products here, love this post, I watched your youtube travel series last summer so many times and I still have your checklist for my next holiday! xx Emmi

  • Sylvia

    That mini Bioderma kills me, its so darn cute! I do love a good mini-sized product.


  • María

    Where did you find that mini bioderma? I always struggle to find small sizes to travel with… Next time I am going back home I will try to pack as little as you did, I tent to pack a lot but never end up using have of it!

  • Mary Elizabeth

    Great Post!! Very helpful! xx

  • Christina Abdilla
  • grace

    great post! i’m about to set off on a 3 month backpacking trip… i have contemplated bringing my flannels, cleansing balm etc but won’t for fear of being THAT girl in the hostel, drying her flannels off the side of a bunk whilst completing her 5 step skincare routine.

  • aww.. that mini bioderma. looks so cute.
    i’d like to try perricone md..

  • Rachel

    A really handy post. Definitely going to try some bioderma mini bottles!

  • Sarah Pradolin

    This is such a fantastic post. I love that you have really cut down and shown what products you do and don’t need on a short trip away. Thanks for the tips! x

  • Kate

    Love this post! It has definitely inspired me to go minimal. I’ve made my own list so when I visit my mom in a couple weeks I won’t have to check a bag. And an excuse to use all the little sample pots I have. Huzzah!

  • Que buen pack, no le falta nada. Me encanta el mini desosorante, no me suena haber visto ninguno tan pequeño!

    Kyllie | Make Up Fragrances

  • Aley

    Where is the clear bag from?