Being able pack light is a skill and learnt over time through experiences of packing too much! I enjoy planning for a trip and I actually love packing. Whether I'm filling a suitcase for a two week holiday or stuffing a backpack for a camping weekend; I enjoy making lists and thinking about how I can take everything I need but not be weighed down on my travels. Next week I'll be catching the train down to London for short two day break with one overnight. Of course, I want to bring some makeup, toiletries and hair products along - but I don't want to lug a heavy bag around with me. We'll be doing a lot of walking and jumping on public transport so a bulky suitcase is just going too far.
I'd like to think I've become pretty good at packing. Gone are the days where I add 'options' to my suitcase. If I don't have a personal assistant to carry all my bags then I'm only going to take what's necessary. For this blog post I'm going to show you how I manage to slim down my makeup and beauty bag, taking only the essentials for a overnight or short trip. And of course there are some tips and tricks along the way to make things easier...
Tip #1 Wrap Hair Ties to a Bottle and Hair Grips to a Credit Card
It saves space when you're packing and you're able to keep track of your little hair items instead of them all rolling around at the bottom of a bag. I push my hair pins on to wallet size gift card and wrap some twistband ribbon hair ties around a mini bottle of dry shampoo. You could also tie them on to the handle of a hair brush.
Tip #2 Decant Products / Chop Tubes in Half
If you're only going away for a few days you don't need a full bottle or foundation or a 200ml tube of your favourite moisturiser. Instead you should be squeezing the products out into little containers and only taking what you'll use. Empty out and clean old pots of lip balm and use these to hold liquid foundation or eye cream. When a tube gets low, cut it in half with scissors to scoop out remaining product. Wash out and re-use by pushing the top back over the base. It's not water tight but will still hold moisturiser or thick creams.
Tip #3 Take Sample Sizes and Miniatures
Sample sized or mini products are also brilliant. Save hotel minis or freebies from magazines. Perfume atomisers are fantastic for carrying around your favourite fragrances, but I like to carry rollerballs in my travel kit. At the moment I love Benefit's Roller Lash mascara and the sample size is lasting ages!
Tip #4 Look for Disposable Products in Sachets
Such as these Murad Clarifying Wipes that work to cleanse and tone the skin. These handy sachets came in a Glossybox and are perfect for popping into your travel kit. If you prefer a deeper cleanse, I like to take my travel sized Liz Earle products with me and the muslin cloths are thin enough to be folded up and slipped into a side pocket.
Tip #5 Push Makeup Wipes into Plastic CapsulesStuff makeup wipes into plastic capsules (like you'd find in Kinder eggs or those that disposable gloves come in) one capsule can hold two or three makeup wipes and they keep them from drying out. Plus it's a fantastic excuse to go out and buy Kinder eggs.
Tip #6 Take Multi-Purpose Products
Such as a small eye palette with the right matte shade for your brows. I use a couple of the matte brown shades in the Urban Decay NAKED original palette for filling in my brows. How about a lip and cheek stain? A highlight and bronzer duo compact such as the Sleek Contour Kit. Double ended eyeliner. A cream for face, eyes and lips, day or night.
Tip #7 Don't Double Up on Products
I have two highlighters that I have been using loads recently. I really want to take both, but that's silly. The cream highlighter wins due to its teeny packaging. Do this with all your beauty products to save space. No one needs two different concealers for a short trip.
Tip #8 Find the Right Bag
You could opt for one giant makeup bag but I prefer to split my essentials up into smaller compact bags. All my hair items (including brush, bands and grips) in one bag, and a 'bathroom bag' for toiletries such as toothpaste and shampoo. This Ted Baker makeup bag* (sold as a jewellery case but can be used for a variety of things) is from Country Attire and features Ted Baker’s signature cascading floral print and its patent finish makes it easy to keep clean.