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Preparing for a holiday? These are the travel-sized and mini beauty, skin and haircare products Stylist’s senior beauty writer never goes anywhere without.
After two years of fluctuating rules and oscillating green, amber and red country lists, it’s no wonder packing to go on holiday feels like an event of its own. Before, I used to be able to travel light – frequently throwing a few bits into my carry-on ziplock, knowing they would serve me well for the exciting days ahead. Now, it takes me a couple of hours and a well-thought-out list to make sure everything I need is with me.
Fortunately, this newfound meticulousness has served me well, forcing me to decide between similar products – eventually whittling down into a robust list of minis that always get stashed inside my bag.
How big can travel-sized toiletries be?
Currently, the rules state that any liquids, pastes, gels or aerosols stored in your carry-on/non-checked bag must be under 100ml and all fit inside a quart-sized transparent bag that closes. Trust me, it has to close – I’ve lost a number of beloved mascaras to this rule and it’s never been worth it.
So, here’s my edit of the best travel-sized beauty (and skin and hair care) I wouldn’t be without in 2022.
Haircare: Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask (59ml)
One of US brand Briogeo’s bestsellers, this award-winning hair mask deeply penetrates the hair, rehydrating damaged strands and delivering nutrients (B vitamins, rosehip and argan oils, as well as collagen and algae extract) to restore hair’s natural shine and softness.
Whether you’re dealing with salt and heat during the summer or cold air and environmental stressors like acid rain and snow, this mask has brought my hair back from the brink a number of times. Packed!
Haircare: Ouai Leave In Conditioner Travel Size (45ml)
What’s a beach bag for if not to pack full of lovely things for your hair and skin? OK, perhaps local currency, your phone and SPF – sure. But, if you can squeeze something else in, make it a leave-in conditioner that’ll keep your hair happy under difficult conditions as well as help you gently detangle it after a day full of swimming.
Haircare: Olaplex No.7 Bonding Oil (30ml)
Another leave-in treatment, this Olaplex oil contains the brand’s patented ingredient bis-aminopropyl diglycol dimaleate that strengthens hair with chemical (colour), heat or mechanical damage.
I like to run it through the ends of my hair as well as the frazzled, weaker follicles around my hairline. A repairing and styling oil, it works as an overnight leave-in treatment and an on-the-go smoother.
Haircare: Bread Beauty Supply Hair Oil: Everyday Gloss (100ml)
Slightly thicker in texture than a traditional oil, I carry this glossing hair sheen everywhere with me – holiday or not. Packed full of emollients, it’s specifically designed to keep curly and coily hair shiny, soft and dewy. I use it to smooth down my hair when I wear it up, to add hydration to the ends when I wear it down and as a divine olfactory experience just because.
It comes in two sizes, 30ml and 100ml, both a perfect size to pop in your carry-on.
Skincare: Pai Skincare Light Work Rosehip Cleansing Oil (28ml)
Created for hyper-sensitive skin, this cold-pressed rosehip-infused Pai Skincare cleansing oil is a non-negotiable in my home and travel routines. It doesn’t irritate my reactive skin but thoroughly removes make-up, dirt and remnants of the day without having to overwork my skin in the process. Afterwards, my skin is left soft, supple and protected.
Skincare: Murad Essential-C Cleanser (60ml)
For the second step of my double cleanse, I swear by this Murad Essential-C Cleanser to address areas of hyperpigmentation (which are often exacerbated in the sunshine), brighten dull skin and increase hydration. It’s infused with allantoin (a calming ingredient that soothes irritation), as well as vitamins A, C and E to slough away dead skin and repair any broken or dry areas.
Skincare: Oskia Renaissance Mask (50ml)
My secret for genuinely radiant skin, this mask is my failsafe choice when it comes to instant brightness and clearer skin. Butter-like in texture, lactic acid, pineapple extract and papaya extract slough away dead skin, encouraging increased cell turnover and the decongestion of clogged pores.
On holiday, when skin can undergo more stress (eg SPF being frequently reapplied, UV damage and dehydration from travelling), this mask brings my skin back to its happiest, most glowing baseline.
Skincare: Medik8 Hydr8 B5 Serum (30ml)
A powerful mix of multi-weight hyaluronic acid molecules and panthenol, this intensely hydrating serum helps to plump and smooth thirsty skin. Use after cleansing morning and night, followed by your choice of moisturiser for soft, supple skin.
Skincare: Farmacy Honey Saviour All-In-One Skin Repair Salve (46g)
A holy grail product, this salve can be used on any area of skin that needs extra moisture: lips, skin, elbows, heels and cuticles being the main ones. Much like the Bread Beauty Supply Everyday Glossing hair oil, this Farmacy salve is the second item always found in my bag or coat pocket. It contains Royal Jelly, as well as vitamins A, B, C and E, amino acids and antioxidants to leave skin softer, healthier and more hydrated.
As a lip balm expert (I’ve likely tried over 150 at this point, this salve beats them all for how well it works and how brilliant it is to be able to use it in multiple places.
Make-up: Refy Gloss Highlighter (20ml)
A highlighter that leaves a glittery mess all over your face within an hour? Not the one. A highlighter that sinks into your skin, leaving a dewy, moisturised glaze of softly blended shimmer? Absolutely the one. One of my favourite Refy products, this highlighter is gloss-like in consistency without any of the stickiness – instead, it’s surprisingly smooth and hydrating thanks to its natural oils and minerals.
Make-up: Jones Road Lip and Cheek Stick
Space-saving, this multi-purpose stick can be used on the cheeks, lips and eyelids for an immediate flush of colour. It’s creamy, blendable and makes natural-looking yet sophisticated make-up as easy as pie. Available in eight colours, it can be used as a bronzer, blush or something in-between – no brushes necessary (unless you want them, of course).
Make-up: Glossier Cloud Paint (10ml)
Glossier’s best product (in my opinion), these highly pigmented cream blushers are easy to apply and give fantastic colour payoff, even when a teeny-tiny amount is applied. A buildable gel-cream formula, it doesn’t feel heavy on the skin – instead, it moves and blends, buffing out to a softly diffused, seamless flush.
Make-up: Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Freeze (8g)
If your fast and lazy holiday make-up routine focuses on brows and blush like mine, Brow Freeze is your best bet. It’s truly transparent, doesn’t leave any residue on darker eyebrow hairs and genuinely keeps them in place for an entire day (and night).
Make-up: Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess Shimmering Oil Spray (50ml)
The first “make-up” my mum ever let me experiment with, Bronze Goddess holds such a special place in my heart. It has a warm, toasted coconut, amber, sandalwood and vanilla scent and dusts skin with a sheen of flattering shimmer oil. One to use in place of fragranced body cream or perfume, it can be spritzed in the hair or on your body. Dealer’s choice.
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