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I have slowly but surely become a packing pro. I still don’t use packing cubes but I don’t take a separate bag for shoes anymore either. Ha! Honestly, I still overpack all the time and one of the things I have realized that usually weighs the most is my travel beauty essentials. Since I am usually traveling longer it makes no sense for me to use travel-size toiletries. I have also noticed changes in my pretty easy going skin the older I get and as most of my destinations tend to have some sort of extreme climate or be generally hot and humid I invest in good quality products these days. Curious to see what I pack? Here is a sneak-peak into my travel toiletries that I pack in addition to a comprehensive first aid kit.
My travel beauty essentials
Solid Shampoo & Conditioner
I was never a fan of travel size shampoo and conditioner because quite frankly, I have too much hair for them to last longer than a day. I also try to avoid using a hotel’s products unless they come in refillable bottles, simply to avoid the single-use plastic.
But lugging around big shampoo and conditioner bottles is an absolute pain and so I have started to exclusively use shampoo and conditioner bars. Lush has quite a few great ones (don’t use the pink one though because when it gets hot it melts and can stain your stuff!) and you can usually find a selection at drugstores or health food stores around the world.
I am not set on a specific brand yet and usually just buy one wherever I go – the latest one I am using came from KYND, my favorite vegan restaurant in Bali.
I keep them in a tin from Lush but have also stored them in a ziplock bag before which works for a few days. Those bars are also perfect if you are traveling with hand-luggage only as they don’t count as a liquid and you can take them through security without a problem.
I have struggled a bit to find a good conditioner bar and when I dive I will use Sun Bum 3-in-1 leave in conditioner. That stuff is such a lifesaver when you put your hair under the sun and into salt water. Bonus: it is also reef-friendly!
You know how much I love my face spritz, right? It is my number one travel beauty essential when flying and is great in hot weather when any kind of lotion is just too much and too sticky. My all-time favorite is Dr. Hauschka tonic. Love the herbal smell that is not too overpowering and quite calming. They sell at quite a few duty-free stores around the world and while the glass bottle is definitely heavy I don’t mind it in this case as I love it so much.
I am also keen to try the Aesop face mist as I currently love anything Aesop or anything rose water. Whichever one you get, make sure to find a bottle with less than 100ml so you can take it on the plane!
In addition, I have started to fork out a bit more money for some better face care. I love the Aesop cleanser (which also takes off my make-up) and moisturizers. While they are packaged in glass bottles, I still like them for traveling because they last forever. I like a light moisturizer preferably with SPF for the day and face oil at night.
Make sure whatever you chose for skincare to test it out at home first to make sure that you are not getting any allergic reaction or break-outs.
When it comes to lip balm I am also super picky. I have two current favorites which are worth the money: Dr. Hauschka and Aesop. I actually prefer the latter now as it has SPF 30 (I am prone to cold sores when my lips get too much sun) and it lasts for hours without ever being sticky.
Another new favorite of mine is sheet masks. I am currently using a coconut one I got from China which is the perfect skin pick-me-up after a long flight or if your skin is feeling a bit meh from humidity, seawater, and too many local beers.
I know they are not the best in terms of packaging so I use them sparely and only when my skin seriously needs some help or when flying. Yes, if you see a scary looking person on the plane it might be me wearing a moisturizing sheet mask. Laugh all you want, I will be the one who will arrive looking fresh-faced!
Best travel beauty products
And now, at least you girls, are gonna ask me about travel cosmetics that don’t melt, right? Honestly, I don’t have the answer. I don’t wear much make-up in general when temperatures are rising I usually end up wearing just mascara and a bit of red on the lips as my travel beauty products.
If the temperatures are manageable I like Vichy’s BB cream which also has SPF 30 but as soon as I start to sweat it ends up either on my scarf or just runs down my face freely. Neither is pretty.
I have recently invested in some Chanel mascara at duty-free and I absolutely love it. I am not a fan of waterproof mascara as I find it impossible to take off and since I don’t travel with special make-up remover, I rather deal with some smearing. But honestly, that mascara is the bomb and worth its rather steep price tag.
Sunscreen is one of my travel beauty essentials especially since I tend to spend a lot of time in the water. Most important for me? That it is reef-friendly when I go into the water.
For beach sessions I love Nuxe (their aftersun lotion also smells amazing) and I am keen to try this Shiseido compact powder with SPF.
While this might not be considered a travel beauty essential for many I will not travel without my beloved Essie nail polish. I know I know I can get a manicure done almost everywhere but they won’t ever have this exact color and I have loved and used “Meet me at Sunset” for years. I also take a clear polish as a base and top coat, nail polish remover and rather do my own nails wherever I go!
I also use a bamboo toothbrush and am happy to report that these are also widely available these days. Another essential? A tangle teaser! Honestly, I will not brush my hair with anything else ever again.
In case you are wondering, I never travel with any body lotion because quite frankly, I am usually not a fan especially when it gets hot. I rather invest in a good oil massage on occasion when my skin is getting too dry. Especially when in Bali or Thailand, those are my favorite travel beauty essentials!
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