Josephine Fairley – a chronic over packer – rejoices in the beauty of travel mini kits.
While I have every admiration for light travellers, I am personally incapable of going anywhere with less luggage than someone embarking on The Grand Tour. I need trunks, I need bearers, but instead I personally heave my (oversized, and often overweight) luggage on and off various forms of moving vehicle, with my husband muttering unhelpfully, our family mantra: ‘You pack it, you carry it.’
But one way I can decrease my load is via travel beauty kits. And even better, they serve two purposes, eliminating the need to carry weighty full-sizes of products – and offering a great opportunity to trial products, to see if you might like to spring for the full size.
Although, if you’d rather not experiment with products you aren’t familiar with on vacation, get yourself to a Muji store – where you’ll find a brilliant selection of travel-friendly empty bottles and jars for decanting your own skincare and haircare into.
This summer, I will be packing the below – all airline security-friendly, suitable for stashing in hand luggage. But alas, in my (literally…) case they won’t be slipping into a dinky wheelie that fits into an overhead locker.
Instead they will be stowed in a vast suitcase in the hold, probably alongside half a dozen pairs of shoes, a selection of scented candles (you just never know how your hotel might smell, even when you’ve zoomed in on the pictures on booking.com), a generous stack of hardback books, a full-size feather pillow and – on one trip to Dubai of all places – EIGHT JACKETS.
One caution: the following, mostly come with their own pouches, so if you are going hand-luggage-only, you’ll need to ditch those in favour of a see-through bag.
VOYA Organic Voyager Travel Set, £38. With its roots in the seaweed-swathed west of Ireland, VOYA’s products are all 100% organic, infused with marine elements and are deliciously (not-seaweedy-at-all) scented. In this kit, find generous 75ml sizes of body wash and moisturiser, shampoo and conditioner; the last is just brilliant for detangling beach hair.
Liz Earle Essentials Try-Me Kit, £25. Liz Earle’s skincare business was built on offering samples, small sizes and kits as a great intro to products, which has helped make them a go-to brand for travelistas. Showcasing multi-award-winning products – Cleanse & Polish, Instant Boost Skin Tonic, Eyebright Soothing Eye Lotion and one of the muslin cloths – in a choice for different complexions. Truly, your skincare essentials.
Leonor Greyl Travel Kit for Dry Hair, £26. Nobody understands straw-like holiday hair better than Leonor Greyl, a haircare legend whose salon has long been a mecca for swingy-tressed Parisiennes. (I’ve visited Paris several times just to take advantage of the gleam-inducing treatments on offer on the Rue Tronchet, where you’ll get the most astonishing scalp massage of your lifetime.)
This kit showcases three of her hero products, perfect for counterbalancing holiday damage: ultra-conditioning, silk protein-enriched Shampoo Crème Moelle de Bambou, Masque Fleurs de Jasmin and the pre-shampoo oil treatment L’Huile de Leonor Greyl.
Legology Strip Lite, £20. Your legs are destined to be on show, on vacation, so grab this for lemon-zesty Air-Lite Daily Lift for Legs, a wonderfully energizing treatment which instantly improves their appearance and Sun-Lite Sheer Lingerie for Legs, an instant tint (rather than a self-tanner) to deal with the pastry-legged S.O.S. on the first couple of days of your getaway.
Aromatherapy Associates Perfect Partners Relax & Revive Bath Oils, £20 for 2 x 7.5ml. One of my holiday pleasures is a long, leisurely soak – and I would never travel long-haul without these. The first is great for beckoning sleep when you’re jet-lagged and wide awake in the wrong time zone, while the second is just brilliant as a pre-cocktails wake-up call when you’d actually rather hit the sack than the beach bar.
This Works In Transit Skin Defence Kit, £25. I have been known to choose hotels for This Works amenities, but this kit means I can take the range anywhere with me. The In Transit No Traces mini-pads are brilliant for in-flight cleansing before slathering on In Transit Camera Close Up, a multi-tasking product which does triple-duty as a moisturiser, primer and leave-on mask and is brilliant for counteracting the dryness of a cabin at 37,000 feet.
In Transit Skin Defence is my favourite-ever daily SPF, great for my sensitive skin and featuring an SPF30.
Charlotte Tilbury Mini Celebrity Lipstick Charms, £29. It’s not hard to find great downsized skin and hair care kits, bt make up offerings are rarer. This set from red carpet make-up pro Charlotte is your complete holiday lipstick wardrobe, in drinky tubes: a great nude, pretty rose and a daring red, for after dark.
The Perfume Society Discovery Boxes, from £15. We get regular feedback from customers and members of The Perfume Society (see below) that the samples in our discovery boxes are brilliant for an in-transit perfume wardrobe. Alternatively, decant your favourite holiday scents into a useful Travalo atomiser – which we also offer on the site.
Jo Fairley is co-founder of The Perfume Society which offers perfume Discovery Boxes and online VIP membership with special events, competitions and discounts from leading perfume websites, plus six downloadable issues a year of award-winning magazine, The Scented Letter.
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