I'm such a huge fan of going away on little city breaks during the year and obviously if it's just a weekend, I usually only take hand luggage. Over the years I've picked up little tips and tricks for packing well and I also have a few products I recommend checking out to save yourself some space!
In terms of clothes, it's really important for me to have staple pieces that are easy to mix and match. Of course sunglasses are essential and I'm in love with these AJ Morgan Rose Gold Mirror Lens | £12 | pair, as they're eye-catching without being over-the-top. I really love my River Island White Frill Lace High Neck Top | £28 | as it's casual enough to wear during the day but can be dressed up with heels in the evening. I always pack a pair of ASOS Clean Black High Waist Rivington Jegging | £22 | as black skinny jeans can be dressed up or down and I just find this style so comfortable and flattering (plus they come in a range of waist and leg sizes). I also love my Zara Floral Dress | £29.99 | as it's a great day-to evening option (not to mention a total bargain!) Another great piece that can be worn for a wander around during the day and then straight to dinner afterwards is my New Look Crochet Detail Cami Top | £19.99.
When it comes to shoes, I tend to take something prettier like heels or sandals but also like a practical pair to wear on the journey and for days when I'll be doing a lot of walking. I wear my ASOS Movement Leather Loafers | £35 | to death! They're so comfy and are a great dupe for the Gucci ones. You can buy zip-up compartments to store your shoes in but personally, for a weekend I just take a couple of empty plastic bags to separate out shoes and dirty clothes. Finally, as I tend to take a bigger bag or backpack with me for the actual journey as it just makes practical sense, so I usually pack a little one for the evening. The Topshop Kylie Chain Crossbody Bag | £25 | is the perfect size and a style that goes with most of my wardrobe!
I'm definitely one of those people who can't resist a mini! Though for those products that I can't live without that aren't available in mini form, I use the £1 empty bottles you can pick up in Primark (you get around 4 of them with various dispensers and they come in a handy clear waterproof ziplock pouch).
I'm a little bit in love with the Bramley Lavender, Geranium & Petitgrain Hand Wash and Hand Cream and Juniper, Sweet Orange & Bergamot Body Lotion* | £6 each. I actually first discovered this brand last year when I was staying at a nice country hotel and they were in the shower. I liked the products so much that I nabbed them and they lasted for many, many weekends away after that! These are 100ml each so are hand luggage friendly, though as they're a larger bottle, you can take them for your entire party and there'll be plenty for everyone to share without you each having to pack your own things separately. The body lotion is lightweight and fresh whilst still being moisturising and I love the light fruity fragrance. The hand wash is foaming but not stripping and the hand cream isn't at all greasy. I really like the relaxing but fresh, outdoorsy scent of this duo too.
Aurelia does some pretty amazing skincare minis. I have the Aurelia Miracle Balm, Miracle Cleanser & Aromatic Repair & Brighten Hand Cream* | from £14 each. The balm is essentially a nourishing exfoliator that removes dead skin cells, leaving my skin softer and brighter. The cleanser comes with a tiny muslin cloth, which is so cute! It's just a nice, gentle cream cleanser that can be used both to remove makeup gently and effectively and as a morning or second cleanse. The hand cream smells beautiful and moisturises my hands and nails. It's also supposed to fade uneven pigmentation on the hands over time.
I've also been enjoying the eSalon Body & Bounce Volume Travel Trio* | £15. It contains a volumising shampoo and conditioner and also a spray to be used in the roots for some extra lift. I don't often use volumising products, however these are very lightweight and really do work! The mist doesn't leave a residue on my hair and just gives it a nice bit of bounce.
I often save up minis from beauty boxes, gift sets and advent calendars for travelling. I've had some amazing premium travel products through the Look Fantastic Beauty Box* | from £13/month | including a Korres body lotion and a NuFace single-use face mask. Soap & Glory do some great ones and I also got this mini Ultrasun facial sunscreen free with my Space NK order.
Makeup & Beauty
When it comes to skincare and makeup, it's a good idea to pack multitaskers. Two products I totally recommend are the Caudalie Beauty Elixir* | £12 | & Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre* | £13. The Beauty Elixir comes in a 30ml bottle with a stunning design for its 20th birthday. It can be used as a calming aromatherapy product because it has such an amazing scent, as a hydrating skincare product in place of a toner and also as a setting mist for a dewy makeup look. The Embryolisse is also 30ml and I love this product! I love it as a 2-in-1 priming moisturiser, as it's nourishing but lightweight, taking care of any dry patches and ensuring my base looks nice and dewy. Glossier's Coconut The Balm Dotcom | $12 | is also a great multi-use skin salve. I use it as a lip balm but also on dry patches of skin to relieve and moisturise. Plus, it smells incredible! I also tend to pack one of the Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatments | £20 each | as they're super-nourishing but also give a nice light wash of colour and SPF protection all in one.
On a city break, I generally want quick and easy options, so for the base I tend to pack the Clinique Chubby in the Nude Stick Foundation | £24 | review | & Nars Soft Matte Complete Concealer | £23 | review. The Clinque foundation isn't the longest-wearing, though it's the kind of product you can throw in your bag and touch up. It gives a natural, radiant finish without being greasy or dewy on the skin. The Nars concealer is quick and easy to apply and blend out with your fingers and can be used both on blemishes and under the eyes for a natural, but high-coverage finish. I also tend to pack a BeautyBlender* | £16 | because it can be used damp to apply and blend both foundation and concealer quickly and easily.
I love having options with my makeup when I travel but obviously when I just have hand luggage, there isn't a great deal of space, so I go for palettes. I know it isn't available any more but I always, always pack my Becca x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Face Collection | £48 | review. It just covers all the bases when it comes to blusher and highlighter, perfectly complimenting the sort of makeup I go for and the shades can be layered together to create so many looks. The Smashbox Cover Shot Eye Palette in Ablaze | £24 | review | is a more recent favourite as it's so slimline and contains everything I need to create a warm-toned eyeshadow look. I really like the formula and there's a great matte-to-shimmer ratio.
A pretty genius device is this Fragrance Shop Twist & Spritz Atomizer* | £10. This comes in a variety of colours and designs and holds 8ml of fragrance. Obviously it's not practical or very economic to have minis of all your favourite scents - with this you can quickly and easily dispense the perfume directly into the plastic centre without wasting any product. Then you pop it back into the outer shell and you can twist it up to easily spray the product out.
One of the things that always takes up a lot of space in my suitcase is hair styling. I have the Alfa Italia Rose Gold Viaggio Travel Styling Set* | £39.95 | which contains a mini blowdryer and a set of straighteners. Hotel hairdryers are always awful, so I prefer to take my own! This only has one setting but it's small and comes with a couple of diffusers. It leaves my hair nice and smooth, so definitely works for me in the short-term. The straighteners are quite small so are a little more fiddly, but I can deal with it for a weekend. These don't drag or snag on my hair and generate enough heat for me.
In terms of gadgets, of course you have to be sure to pack an adapter, however I also really recommend getting your hands on a multi-port plug as I you can attach three USBs to it at once. It also means you only have to have one adapter and everyone can charge their phones at once if you're popping back to your accommodation before heading out for the evening. I also totally recommend getting a small portable charger, because on city breaks you're often out for hours with Google Maps draining your battery. This allows you to charge your phone (and also other people's) fully from your handbag and it doesn't take long at all. You can pick up both of these things quite cheaply from Amazon.
I also really love the Andrea Garland Beauty In Flight Kit* | £24. It contains all sorts of bits in a handy little tin including an eye mask, aromatherapy rollerball and earplugs. They're all great things to have to hand if you've got an early morning flight or you're landing back home late in the evening and want a bit of rest!
For storing jewellery I love this Oliver Bonas Small Travel Jewellery Box | £16 | to keep everything separated, prevent tangling and ensure my jewellery stays safe. It's small and zips up but can store a surprising amount of stuff. I find the Glossier Pink Pouches | $12 (for 3) | so handy for beauty products! They come for free with your order or can be purchase separately. They're the perfect size and are waterproof, preventing any spillages making a mess of your clothes. I also love my Alphabet Bags Extra Large Wanderlust Travel Pouch | £22 | for storing things like a magazine, my sunglasses, my passport and any other little bits I want to keep safe.
How do you pack for a city break away?