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I'm off for a long weekend in Budapest this Friday and - you guessed it! - I'll be travelling with hand luggage only. Today I thought I'd share my top tips and tricks for maximising your beauty mileage within that pesky hand luggage liquid allowance, as well as recommending a few of my own travel beauty favourites.
Multi-taskers are your best friends
If you can find products that serve multiple purposes, this is obviously going to free up precious space. I personally always have something like the Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Multi-Usage Dry Oil | £18.50 (50ml) | on-hand. This comes in a handy spray bottle and it's amazing for nourishing the dry skin on my body, as well as helping my hair to look smoother and shinier. Another great multi-purpose product is the Ordinary's Squalane Cleanser | £5.50 | full review. It's a lightweight, gentle cream-balm cleanser that's a nice hydrating option in the morning but can also break down makeup so you can remove it with a damp cloth. Although it's a small bottle, it isn't so tiny (like some minis) that you can't use it morning and evening and even share it with your partner without worrying you'll run out on your trip.
In terms of makeup, there are two products that always make their way into my essential travel bag. The first is the Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Hydrating Foundation* (250) | £27 | full review. This comes in a travel-friendly tube as opposed to a glass bottle and the finish is hydrating without being shiny, it's long-wearing (for those times on holiday when you go straight from day to evening without getting much of a chance to freshen up) and the coverage is so customisable. You can sheer it out to a very light everyday coverage or build it up into something more glam, so you can get whatever look you want with your skin using one product.
Save up those minis and samples
Whether it's gift sets, samples with your online order or the contents of a subscription box; I really recommend saving up good minis you acquire for times like these. Take this little Dr Jart Ceramidin Cream | £12 for set | full review | from a set I bought to try the other products. Though I already own a big tube of this, getting the mini was still useful as I've been able to save it for travel, knowing before the trip that it's a great product (it's also a multitasker that can be used as both a day and a night cream).
They don't even have to be official minis! The Ordinary cleanser I mentioned isn't a mini, but is really travel-friendly and so is my little Fourth Ray Beauty Watermelon Face Milk | $8 | full review | to use as a serum, or even a moisturiser if you want something very lightweight.
Coordinate your colour products
This should go without saying but sometimes when packing we can get into the mindframe of 'I like that blusher, I like that lipstick, I like that eyeshadow' and just packing them without thinking how they'd work together. Choose a blusher and eyeshadow / eyeshadow palette and work from there, perhaps going for two lip colours that compliment the shades you've opted for (you could choose one for day and one for night).
Pick a compact, versatile palette
For me; it tends to be a no-brainer - when I travel, I pack my Huda Beauty Topaz Obsessions Palette* | £25 | full review & swatches. Whilst this doesn't scream 'loads of range', I know I generally wear warm tones and they fall into two categories: more orange-gold based or more rosy-undertoned. This palette covers off both of those bases and I can pack a single lip colour that will go with either look. The quality is amazing and the palette is tiny, despite containing nine shades, and it also has a mirror (though I once crushed my makeup bag in a bit too enthusiastically and broke it - whoops!) Have a look at the smaller palettes you own and consider which of them can give you a few quite distinct looks. Even if it's only for a few days; it's nice not to get bored of your eyeshadow looks.
I'm also a big fan of cheek duos because you get a blusher / bronzer / highlighter combination that's perfect for your skin tone and the makeup colours you gravitate towards. So, if you're on the go a lot, it might be worth investing in something like this. My personal perfect combination has been discontinued *sobs* but it's the gold highlight and warm nude blusher combination of the Becca Champagne Face Split Pan in Prosecco Pop / Amaretto | £28 | full review and swatches.
Find liquid alternatives
The liquid restrictions on flights are usually where us beauty-fanatics fall down! Therefore I recommend considering if you can change some of those liquids and creams into solid products. The first swap I'd recommend is switching up your concealer for something like the Nars Soft Matte Complete Concealer (Ginger) | £24 | full review. It's also a good one because it can be used for natural coverage under the eyes, as well as for spot concealing.
Instead of packing a liquid primer, opt for something like the Milk Makeup Blur Stick | £30.50 | full review. It will reduce the appearance of pores and fine lines and comes in a stick, so you can get a nice, smooth look with your base without using up your precious liquids! As much as I love cream and liquid shadows on a city break where I don't have ages to faff around with my makeup, I still have to be smart with that. I recommend opting for a pencil instead, like the beautiful, wearable gold tone of the Nudestix Magnetic Eye Colour in Copper Foil (apologies this is mislabelled below!) | £20 | full review and swatch.
I recommend chemical exfoliation over physical any day of the week, however these formulas usually come as liquids. A great way around this is to pack pre-soaked pads, like these mini Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Pads | minis available in Boots stores | full review | I have.
The tools of the trade
There are a few tools I recommend that will make your life easier when travelling. The first is this mini Magnitone Wipe Out! Microfibre Cloth* | £7.50. This just really helps get your makeup off when used damp with something like the Ordinary cleanser. In my everyday life, I usually use a bit of micellar water for getting that last bit of makeup off my face, however I just don't have the space or liquid allowance to do this when travelling with just hand luggage, so this helps you get totally clean skin without that extra step.
Finally, I love a beauty sponge! Makeup brushes take up a lot of room and you can use a damp sponge for your concealer and foundation, so it's a no-brainer, really. I have this fantastic case from the EX1 Beauty Sponge* | £13 | set. This does come with it's own sponge, if you like something a little dense and more foamy, but personally I still stick my BeautyBlender Electric Violet Swirl | £17 | full review | in there (sorry EX1!) However this case is fantastic for travel, keeping your sponge clean and germ-free and it also has air holes so if you use your sponge damp, it can dry out instead of becoming a breeding ground for bacteria. It's cheaper than BeautyBlender's version of the same thing too!