My Favourite Travel Sized Companions

We take a lot of weekend trips, so over the last few years I’ve tried to get a good selection of travel sized beauty products.  If we’re not going on a super long trip, I only carry hand luggage, which means I have to comply with airline regulations that I have all of my liquids in a clear quart sized bag and none of the items can be over 100ml.  This is pretty annoying and restrictive, but I’ve found some really great multi-purpose products that fit into the small size requirements perfectly.  Sometimes, I even have room left over in my quart sized bag.

Some of my favourite travel companions
Some of my favourite travel companions

1. DHC Deep Cleansing Oil, 70ml – I’ve written about this before because it is my daily facial cleanser of choice.  It’s an ideal travel companion though because it does the work of two products but isn’t a space hog.  It removes makeup and leaves your skin looking and feeling super clean but since it doesn’t strip it of its natural oils your skin still feels soft and not at all tight.    I always use it to remove my makeup because it works so well on even really stubborn mascara.  Plus, the oil texture means that you don’t have to worry about scrubbing at the delicate skin around your eye area to get your eye makeup off.  You can only find this at the DHC website, but you can get it in two travel sizes now: 70ml for £11.00 or the really tiny 30ml version for £4.50.

2. La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Intense Light, 50ml – This is another great multi-purpose item.  Depending on how heavy you put this on it is equally good as a day or night cream.  It doesn’t have an SPF in it, but I’ve got another product for that, so it can be used to keep you skin hydrated and lovely all day and night.  It has a nice light texture that works well under foundation because it isn’t too heavy feeling, and really, the lack of SPF means that you won’t get any of that shine in your holiday snaps either.  At night I put this on a bit heavier and it works to keep my skin hydrated.  You can get La Roche-Posay products at a number of chemists, but I get mine from FeelUnique for £16.50.  They also have a formula that is thicker called Hydraphase Intense Rich for people with really dry skin, they sell a version of that with SPF too, both for £16.50 as well.

3. Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet, 30ml – I am loving this foundation.  I haven’t had a chance to write my full review of this yet, but the condensed version is that I am a huge fan.  This gives your skin a beautiful smooth, matt finish with an incredibly light texture even with its SPF15.  It goes on as a liquid but dries to a powdery type finish, and that’s how it makes your skin look so great.  It is light enough that you can use it under your eye area too without it settling into all of the fine lines and looking like a hot mess.  This is great for travel because of the packaging, but also because you’ll look gorgeous on holiday.  The packaging is very slim, flat, and compact so it fits in your little bag of liquids really well.  This is the best liquid foundation packaging I think I’ve come across for traveling.  Also, you don’t need to use a lot of it so this little bottle has good longevity.   You can get this at Boots or Harrods for £33.00.

4. Lancôme Définicils High Definition Mascara, 6.5g –  I’ve used this mascara for years and love it.  It will always have a place in my mascara collection because of how you can use it to either get a very light coating or layer it up for a more dramatic look.  The small brush is the key I think because it is can easily coat all of your lashes, upper and lower, without clumping.  It’s nice for travel because of the slim packaging, which I’m sure they can achieve because of the small brush.  Also, I never have a problem with this flaking after a long day, which is great since I wear contact lenses.  Lately I’ve been getting my Définicils Mascara from FeelUnique for £22.50.  You can use this without an eyelash curler because it will actually give your lashes a bit of curl it seems, or you can pack the very compact Muji Portable Eyelash Curler (£3.95) which takes up way less space in your travel bag than your traditional eyelash curler.

5. Aveda brilliant Retexturing Gel, 25ml – Dave and I have both been using this for years in our travel kit.  It works really well to give your hair body and control without making it look dry or dull.  I like it because I can use it to bring out my curl or to keep my hair sleek and smooth when I blow it out straight.  This has all kinds of reasons for being in my travel bag really, not the least of which is that both Dave and I can use it and it works for curly or straight hair.  It’s quite good for hold too, so sometimes I don’t even need to bother with hairspray, which means I can save that much more room.  I’ve only had luck finding the travel sized version of the brilliant Gel from Aveda for £5.50.

6. L’Oreal Elnett Flexible Extra Hairspray, 75ml – Even though I just got through saying that I don’t always need hairspray with the Aveda gel, sometimes I do, it just depends on where we are traveling too.  I like the L’Oreal Elnett Flexible Extra because it keeps my hair soft to the touch, and to the eye, but still manages to have great holding powers.  I find this to be really useful when it is humid too because it doesn’t ever seem to get sticky like a lot of hairsprays.  I normally get mine when I order from my groceries from Ocado for £2.50 because it seems to be less expensive than other places I’ve found it. It is kind of expensive for this little can, but I haven’t found a good replacement that is less expensive for a travel size.

7. bareMinerals Natural Sunscreen SPF 30, 4g – Okay, this doesn’t need to go into your clear baggie of liquids, but is something you should always take when you’re traveling.  I’ve only been using this for about a month now, but I love it.  The powder sunscreen works so well to protect my skin, but doesn’t feel heavy or make my face feel greasy or sweaty.  I like that this does double duty as a way to protect my skin from the sun, but also as a light finishing powder to set my makeup.  The packaging is nice because it comes with its own retractable brush so you don’t have to worry about bringing one along with you but is still really compact.  This can easily tuck away in your carry on luggage or even your handbag.  I got mine from FeelUnique for  £21.95.

So, that’s not an exhaustive list of what’s in my travel bag, but these are the things that are always going to be in there.  If you are looking for some other travel sized suggestions, Vogue recently had a great article with 20 petite products that they think are tops for travel.

La Roche-Posay Lipikar Surgras

I’ve mentioned a few times, or more than a few times, how dry my skin is because of medication that I take.  I’ve tried all kinds of lotions, creams, different soaps and shower gels, but haven’t had great results, especially not with anything that is reasonably priced.  To just exacerbate the situation, I also have a slight problem with eczema, which gets highly irritated if I use the “wrong” products on my skin.  I’ve been able to get some good products for my hands, like L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream and Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream, but finding something for my entire body has been much harder.  Thanks to the FeelUnique sale on French Pharmacy brands, I’ve found something that seems really promising.  I’ve only been using the La Roche-Posay Lipikar Surgras for a week, but I wanted to share how great it is with everyone, especially anyone else with dry, but sensitive, skin.

La Roche-Posay Lipikar Surgras
La Roche-Posay Lipikar Surgras

Lipikar was created 20 years ago in the laboratories of La Roche-Posay and has been saving adults and children from dry skin ever since.  They have six different products in the line, all geared towards fixing up various dry skin issues, but mostly they are for body, except for the hand cream.  I chose the Lipikar Surgras because it sounded like something that would help my skin but wouldn’t leave my skin feeling greasy or like it even had anything on it.  Luckily, that totally turned out to be true.

Lipikar Surgras is a concentrated shower cream, which means that you put it on in your shower and then rinse it off.  The cream is an enriched 10% lipid-rich concentrate with niacinamide and works to restore the skin’s natural barrier and replenish the skin’s lipids in the shower.  All you do to apply it is put a bit in your hand then rub it into your wet skin and then rinse it off.  I got the 200 ml tube which is easy to open, even with wet hands, and is a reasonable size for the shower.  The cream is white and thick-ish, it’s thicker than a normal shower gel but not as thick as a body lotion.  It has a bit of a fresh smell, but definitely isn’t strongly scented.  It’s paraben and soap free too.  Of course, it is also enriched with La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water which is rich in the anti-oxidant selenium. The water has soothing, softening and anti-irritating properties which makes it perfect for this type of application.

After you put it on and rinse it off, your skin is softer and better moisturized.  Gone is that tight skin post-shower feeling, but there’s no greasy residue, there doesn’t actually seem to be any type of residue, but my skin definitely feels better.  A couple of times I followed it up with the Vaseline Spray and Go Body Moisturiser, just for an extra dose of moisturizer.  However, I don’t really feel like that is necessary for the most part.  It hasn’t caused a flare up in my eczema either, which is super, because that is not part of my Artful Appearance plan.  I have found that this works really well for shaving my legs.  I just rubbed a bit onto my legs, shaved, and then rinsed my legs and they felt probably the best they ever have after shaving.  They were smooth and soft, plus, I’m pretty sure I got a better shave too.  Since it is Summer, it is great to be able to have soft, well hydrated skin, but not actually have to have a heavy cream or lotion on, which is just going to make you feel hot.  And I’ll bet this works so well for getting rid of that horrible dry, dry winter skin problem too.

I purchased my 200 ml tube from FeelUnique for £6.66, which is 33% off full price of £10.00.  I think the regular price is really reasonable and will definitely pay that for the next tube, but luckily for me FeelUnique is having their French Pharmacy brands sale right now, so I didn’t have to pay full price to try it out the first time.  Throughout the rest of the month you can get the La Roche-Posay Lipikar Surgras for £6.66, and if you order more than £10.00 of stuff you get free shipping too.  On the La Roche-Posay website they say they have a 400 ml pump top bottle of this too, so if I continue to like this as much as I do so far, then I’ll probably purchase the bigger bottle next time.  The 400 ml bottle is currently £10.99 (though out of stock) at FeelUnique, but is regularly £16.50. If it were in stock, I would probably buy the big bottle now since it is on sale, of course, I’ve spent a small fortune already this month at FeelUnique, so my bank account is probably glad that it isn’t in stock.  But really, if it keeps me from having horrible dry skin and needing to try different lotions all the time, then I am more than happy to pay full price.

La Roche-Posay Physiological Ultra-Fine Scrub

I like to use a cleanser a couple of times per week that is more of a scrub than just a cleanser.  I like the gentle exfoliation, along with the side benefits of that like radiance and smoothness.  It seems like a good thing to get rid of dead skin and excess oil with something scrubby.  Of course, you want to avoid anything too harsh because that will do more damage than good.  A lot of scrubs and facial exfoliators use things that are just too gritty I think, so it can be hard to find something that is the perfect mix of cleanser, gentle scrub, and actually good for your skin.  I think the La Roche-Posay Physiological Ultra-Fine Scrub is a good mix of all of those qualities and has worked really well for me.

La Roche-Posay Physiological Ultra-Fine Scrub
La Roche-Posay Physiological Ultra-Fine Scrub

The “Physiological” part of this scrubs name comes from La Roche-Posay formulating it, as well as the other cleansers in this range, to do the job of cleansing but maintain the delicate pH balance of your skin.  This is formulated for sensitive skin and is just what you want, or don’t want as the case may be, in your cosmetics:  no parabens, no soap, no alcohol, and no artificial colours.  And of course, it is enriched with La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water too which is exceptionally rich in anti-oxidant selenium. The water has soothing, softening and anti-irritating properties which makes it perfect for any type of cleanser.

The little bits that do the actual scrubbing part are very fine, much smaller than most scrubs, and do their work without feeling harsh at all.  To be truthful, unlike almost every other scrub like this I have used, you really can’t even feel the exfoliating action, but you can definitely see and feel the results when you are done.  It’s gentle enough that you could use it every day, but I prefer to only use it a few times per week; three or four, depending on how my skin is looking in a given week.  Also, it will remove makeup but since you can’t use it around your eye area, or at least you really, really shouldn’t, you’ll need to use something else for that super delicate area.

I’ve been using this for a few weeks now and have found it to be a great switch from other scrubs.  Since it is free from soaps and alcohols and anything that will overly dry the skin, it never leaves me with that tight feeling.  Instead my skin looks really fresh and glowy.  I think it is even working to improve the texture a bit.  I definitely think my skin is looking better since I’ve started using this.  I feel like when I use a good scrub like this my makeup looks better and smoother.  Plus, I think my skin care works more effectively too.

I purchased my first tube from FeelUnique for the full price of £10.00 for the 50 ml tube.  I think that is a super fair price and would gladly pay that again, but luckily for me FeelUnique is having their French Pharmacy brands sale right now, so I don’t have to pay full price to get another one.  Throughout the rest of the month you can get the La Roche-Posay Physiological Ultra-Fine Scrub for £6.66, and if you order more than £10.00 of stuff you get free shipping too.  I like it so much that I ended up buying a second one since it is such a good deal right now.   You can also find this at Boots for the same regular price of £10.00.


Up To 1/3 off French Pharmacy Brands at FeelUnique

Get your French pharmacy favourites at up to 33% off at FeelUnique in June!
Get your French pharmacy favourites at up to 33% off at FeelUnique in June!

For the rest of the month of June, you can get great discounts on the French pharmacy cosmetics brands at FeelUnique.  This covers brands like La Roche-Posay, Vichy, Klorane, Caudalie, Eau Thermale Avène, Embryolisse, and a few others.  The sale says “up to” 33% off because mostly all of the stuff is 33% off but there are a few exceptions that are 20% or 25% off instead.  Caudalie products seem to be consistently just 20% off.  It’s all quite good savings though.  But you really need to hurry because they are selling out of stuff quickly!  I’ve already missed out on a few things I wanted to try, though I’m hoping they get them back in stock before the end of the sale.

I’ve got a couple of reviews that I’ll be posting this week about some of my recent French pharmacy finds.  I’ve got reviews of the following:  Vichy Liftactive Serum 10 Eyes and Lashes, Vichy Idealia Life Serum, as well as La Roche-Posay Physiological Ultra-Fine Scrub.  For the condensed version, I would have to say that they are all really great and I will be buying them again.  I especially love the Vichy Serum 10 for eyes and lashes because it works well, but doesn’t irritate my eyes at all and you can put it on your entire eye area, even the lid, without causing irritation or problems.  It is normally £25.00 at FeelUnique, but with the 33% off from the sale it is just £16.66, which is far less than the Lancome Hydra Zen eye cream that I used previously (£32.00 at FeelUnique for the same size container), but works just as well.

For years, people have been talking about how great all of these French pharmacy brands are for various beauty needs.  The big reason they get so much love is that (for the most part) they are less pricey than premium cosmetics brands but give really great results with high quality ingredients, often including thermal water. So, this is a perfect time to try them out if you are unfamiliar, but curious.   If you’re looking for some suggestions, I found some great articles that give plenty of recommendations: