How do you pack beauty products for travelling? With military precision

Plan which products you will bring (and no, you don’t need four red lipsticks)

The best beauty essentials for travellers,  from eyeliners to facial mists

The best beauty essentials for travellers, from eyeliners to facial mists

 

Last summer, while waiting in the security queue at a big airport, I found myself standing behind a woman who understood the rules around carry-on liquids in spirit but not in actuality. She dragged behind her a transparent plastic bag about the volume of a wheelie bin liner, full of mini cosmetics. The bag was so vast that when she lifted it, the woman had to squat deeply and brace her knees.

Everyone stared, mesmerised, as though this was a bit much even for people whose daily schedule involves cavity searches and finding cocaine or knives stuffed inside hollowed-out teddy bears. There were hundreds of mini products in the sack, whose owner was presented with one of those piffling little carry-on plastic bags, and told she could keep as much as would fit in the pouch. There were tears. 

Most of us find airports stressful, and the fury you feel at overlooking a nice product in your luggage to then see it sailing into the bin (I’m convinced the staff pilfer the good stuff) is barbed. Packing should be rigorous and militaristic. Plan which products you will bring (no, you don’t need four red lipsticks); choose multiple-use products. If possible, select powders where you can. Show me, by the way, 10 different airport security employees and I will show you 10 different definitions of what constitutes a liquid, paste or gel – powders are safest. If you are carrying anything that possibly could be interpreted as a liquid, paste or gel, put it in the plastic carry-on pouch.

Chanel Les 9 Ombres in Les Indispensables (€85 at Brown Thomas) is the eye palette of this year, and not a single competitor can touch it. It is expensive, but it suits everyone, and any time of day or year. I will use this until every molecule is gone, and then I will weep for having finished it. For a multitasker, RMS Beauty Sensual Skin Trio (€38 at Space NK from June) is a great buy.

The highlight and bronzing shades double up as eye products, so the handy trio dispenses with the need for packing multiple face products. If you prefer a small, multitasking liquid, Charlotte Tilbury Glowgasm Beauty Light Wand in Peachgasm (€35 at Brown Thomas and Arnotts) is sumptuous, and works as beautifully on eyes as it does on cheeks.

For longer plane journeys, a facial mist makes more than a cosmetic difference – it actively soothes the significant dehydration that can leave your face feeling a size too small for your head. Use any you like, but Révive Vitalité Energising Hydration Mist (€46 for 30ml at Space NK) is the Rolls-Royce of facial mists, and the mini size is ideal. If you don’t like the idea of dispensing with fun, holiday-only products, Anastasia Beverly Hills Shimmer Body Oil (€45 for 45ml at anastasiabeverlyhills.co.uk and at Arnotts and Brown Thomas from June 7th) fits neatly into a carry-on and its impressive glow instantly blasts the cobwebs off a dull, overwintered skin.

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