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.

Clinique SPF30 Face Cream with SolarSmart

Clinique SPF30 Face Cream with SolarSmart
Clinique SPF30 Face Cream with SolarSmart

Since I wrote about the bareMinerals sunscreen that I really like for my face earlier this week, I thought I should write about the Clinique facial sun protection that I tried recently too.  I picked up my little one ounce/ 30 ml tube of Clinique’s SPF30 Face Cream when we were in Helsinki because I saw a special deal on it.  Since I’m always looking for good facial sun protection I thought this was the perfect time to try this out.

I saw this small sized tube in Stockmann department store in Helsinki for just €10.00 and it was a low enough price point, and a small enough tube, that I took a chance on it.  Plus, I thought I remembered seeing a post recently on someone’s blog (that of course I can’t recall now) about this being a great Clinique facial sunscreen, so I thought I had a recommendation.  Of course, after trying this one I think that they weren’t talking about this at all but rather about the Clinique Super City Block SPF40.  Whoops!

I had thought this wasn’t going to be so much like sunscreen, but really it is just sunscreen from Clinique.  It is thick and white and has that unappealing sunscreen smell.  All of that is the main reason why I think I really want the Super City Block instead.  The good thing is that this provides a high level of protection against UVA/UVB, which it does quite well.  It uses Clinique’s SolarSmart technology that they describe like this:  “…stabilizes high-level protection against the aging and burning effects of UVA and UVB rays. Triggers a repair that helps prevent signs of aging. With solar-activated antioxidants that help prevent visible damage.”  All of which sounds great, plus they say that it is oil free and gentle enough for sensitive skin, which also sounds like a big plus to me.  Unfortunately, my results didn’t quite live up to that description.

I will say that this kept my skin from burning on a recent day when I was outside for a couple of hours in the sun, so it did that well.  Unfortunately, the thick texture made my face pretty sweaty, even though it wasn’t hot out at all.  And despite the oil-free nature of the cream, it broke me out.  A lot.  My skin is pretty stable and doesn’t usually breakout like this unless I’m having killer PMS.  But after using this, I ended up having a big, unattractive breakout on my chin and even my nose.  That is not the result that I want in my facial sunscreen.

So, needless to say, this isn’t going to be my go-to facial sunscreen cream.  I can’t imagine how much this would make my face sweat and freak out my skin if I wore it in a place where it was actually hot.  I much prefer the equally effective but less annoying to my skin bareMinerals sunscreen.  However, if you’d like to give this a try since I’ve talked it up so much (LOL), you can find it at John Lewis in a 50 ml tube for £17.00.  I think I’ll either have Dave use the rest of this tube or else I’ll use it on my hands to protect them since they are less persnickety than my face.  And at some point in the future I’ll pick up a tube of the Clinique Super City Block SPF40.

bareMinerals SPF30 Natural Sunscreen

I have two bad traits for summer:  I have super fair skin and I am prone to sweating across my nose and cheeks.  Neither are great for summer and they are even worse when it comes to protecting myself against the summer sun.  With my pale skin, I really need a high level of coverage.  Of course, if I use a sunscreen that is too heavy I will get sweaty across my nose and cheeks and it will just run off and leave them exposed and reddening by the second.  It’s a real problem that I have struggled with for a long time.  Luckily, skin care always seems to be improving with the amount of products with SPF increasing and the texture of everything lightening up quite a bit.  But the ultimate lightness is mineral makeup or powder.

I’ve worn bareMinerals makeup for a number of years and have always really liked it for various reasons, not the least of which is the incredibly light texture that makes it seem like you’re not wearing anything at all.  So, when I found out that they have a sunscreen I was most definitely interested.  I don’t know how I’ve missed this previously, but I’m glad that I’ve found it now.  I’ve worn it a few times now and think the coverage is great and so is the light texture.

bareMinerals SPF30 Natural Sunscreen
bareMinerals SPF30 Natural Sunscreen

The bareMinerals SPF30 Natural Sunscreen protects agains UVA/UVB rays with a pretty high level of protection (it’s right there in the name).  It is able to offer such a good amount of protection due to the physical barrier created by the Micronised Titanium Dioxide.  Plus, it has good antioxidants Vitamins A,C, and E to help nourish your skin, as well as aloe vera extract to provide some skin soothing properties.  All of this while being so light feeling on your face that it is hard to think that you have anything on at all.

No one likes that greasy feeling that you get from so many sunscreen products.  Not to mention, the greasy sheen that it leaves you with doesn’t look ‘lit from within’ just oily and gross.  I prefer to avoid that whenever I can, so the mattifying nature of the bareMinerals sunscreen is perfect for me.  I will also say, you look better in summer photos without the shine from the usual SPF face creams and lotions.  The other thing you won’t have to worry about with this, is the clogged pores from a heavy sunscreen cream.  I’ve tried some things that had good protection but clogged my pores so much that my skin rebelled and got all spotty and horrible looking; also not a top summer look.  However, the bareMinerals sunscreen is light as a feather and won’t clog your pores or cause you to have a breakout.  I have usually found that the bareMinerals makeup helps clear up breakouts too; that could just be me though.

I ordered the light version of the sunscreen, but it also comes in medium and tan.  It is very light in texture and colour, kind of like the bareMinerals Mineral Veil really because when you apply it you can’t really see it on your face.  I did notice that it gave my skin a slightly more even look, but it isn’t like wearing a foundation for sure.  The sunscreen comes with a very cool container with brush applicator all-in-one type of package (as you can see in the image).  So, all you have to do is open it up by twisting the bottom of the container, then you shake a bit of the sunscreen powder into the brush, and use the brush to apply it to your face, neck, chest, or wherever.  When you’re done you just twist it close and pop the lid on the brush and you are good to go.  You can also just twist it open partially to use the brush without getting any powder released.  I applied the sunscreen over my moisturiser (which has an SPF25), but the bareMinerals sunscreen brought down the shine and seemed to make my other sunscreen/moisturiser stay put better too.  So, I ended up not looking shiny at all and the level of protection was great.  I was out in the sun for a few hours and didn’t get even a little pink, nor did I get all sweaty, greasy faced feeling.  The other thing that is nice about the powder sunscreen is that you can put it right up by your eyes without it causing you a problem, or running into your eyes, and causing irritation.  It’s also nice because you can easily apply it wherever you want it, face or body, without a worry of greasiness.

So far I am a big fan and will certainly be using this all through the summer.  With it’s very light texture, this is perfect to use over your regular makeup as a finishing powder.    The all-in-one packaging is also compact enough that you can definitely find space for it in your purse or beach bag without any trouble.  I went to the park over the weekend and threw it in my bag so that I could touch up if necessary.  I didn’t find it necessary to add to it though but it was good to know that I had it available if I would have needed it.  As I learned from experience, you have to make sure that the little cap on the powder end is correctly seated and tight, or the fine powder will shake out and get all over everything.    It’s lightweight, doesn’t clog your pores or make you look greasy, gives great coverage, and is highly portable.  What more could you ask for in a sunscreen?

I got my bareMinerals SPF30 Natural Sunscreen at FeelUnique (see my post on Monday for my great customer service experience with them when the first one they sent spilled in the package).  You get a 4 gram package which comes in the all-in-one package with the brush applicator for £21.95 at FeelUnique, which is the best price that I found.

Super Customer Service from FeelUnique

I like ordering from FeelUnique because they have such a wide variety of brands for all types of cosmetics, hair and nail care.  Expensive to inexpensive, they’ve got a very wide variety, and pretty much all of my favourite brands.  Plus, they do free delivery worldwide!  I love free delivery and like it even more when they don’t take forever to send things out just because it is free.  Not to mention, they also send out free samples, that you get to choose, with all orders.

FeelUnique was great when my parcel was protected by more sunscreen than was left in the container
FeelUnique was great when my parcel was protected by more sunscreen than was left in the container

I’ve been ordering from them for a couple of years now and haven’t had any type of delivery issues, so I hadn’t ever had a reason to really turn to their customer support team.  Unfortunately, there was a bit of a problem with my most recent delivery and I had to turn to them for help.  I had ordered three things and one of them didn’t arrive in good shape.  The bareMinerals SPF30 Natural Sunscreen, which is a powder and comes in a brush dispenser – the powder goes in one end and the other end is a brush that you use to apply it – that I ordered was seriously not as it should be when it arrived.  Unfortunately, the bottom of the powder container wasn’t on properly and that meant that powder had been shaking out of the container for who knows how long, but definitely all during delivery.  The powder was in the product box, on the outside of the product box, and then all over the inside of the shipping box and everything else too.  It was a bit of a powdery mess.  Truly, when I opened the box I knew something was wrong right away because there was a little puff of powder when I set the box down.

After I determined that the sunscreen was the culprit and that it was down to it not being properly closed, I wondered what I should do with it.  So, I went to the FeelUnique site and filled out their email form to contact Customer Service.  It’s an easy form to fill out and only took about a minute.  I figured that they would tell me to pack it back up and mail it back to them and then they would send me a new one.  Which would have annoyed me because that would have taken more time than I wanted and involved far more hassle too.  But I was amazed when they responded within MINUTES!  Yes, just a few minutes, not hours or even days, like a lot of online retailers.  Honestly, I think they responded within ten minutes, and that is amazingly good and responsive customer service.  It’s like a customer service dream really.

But then Esther from FeelUnique wrote the magic words that every customer with a problem wants to hear:  I’ve sent out a replacement.  Just like that, they sent me a new one and didn’t demand that I send the messed up one back first or fill out some form in triplicate.  Or buy a new one and send the messed up one back. I’ve had that happen to me before too and thought it was kind of lame of the company because they had twice the amount for the product while I was sending one back that was messed up and hoping it would be handled correctly and they would give me a refund, which they eventually did but it took a whole month.  Nope, none of that messing about was necessary, it was handled smoothly and with the least inconvenience to me.  They didn’t require that I do much of anything except await the arrival of the replacement.

That’s how all customer service should be, in my opinion.  I’m not a person who is continually having problems with my orders and stuff, but when I do have an issue come up, I would like it handled quickly and not be a colossal inconvenience or expense for me.  I don’t really think that is asking that much.  In any case, FeelUnique rocks!  And that’s just one of the reasons why I love shopping there.

By the way, I’ll be doing my review of the bareMinerals SPF30 Natural Sunscreen later this week, along with some of the other stuff I got in my order.