It is Christmas and I am back in my native Spain for a week to spend the holiday season with my family and friends. These trips are what my friends in the UK call a holiday, and in reality they are a balancing act of a very busy schedule seeing all my relatives (and it is a BIG family) and finding some time to unwind and recharge the batteries. The truth is that although this isn't a holiday like going away to the Caribbean, there is nothing like walking into your family home to make you feel like a child again, in the best way possible.
I like to pack as light as possible, and as an ex-pat, the numerous trips back home have turned me into a pro when it comes down to packing. Having said that, I always struggle to trim down the contents of my beauty bag. I like to have a little bit of variety and to bring a couple of treats. Here is what I brought with me this time:
If you had a few masks and a sunscreen this is what I use at home. I try to save travel sizes, especially moisturisers, but this time I only had one lying around.
- Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish
- Skyn Iceland Arctic Elixir is a serum I started using earlier this month and love.
- REN Evercalm Day Cream. This is a sample size I got with a magazine. I like to save these and use them when I go away, and I already really like REN as a brand, as they use natural ingredients and their products are full of goodness for your skin.
- Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate
- Eudermin protecting hand cream. I use this on my face at night though. But I will tell you more about that another time.
- Dermalogica Gentle Exfoliant Cream. I always like to bring a mask to pamper myself. Mum and I tend to have a mask night, which even my brother joins in sometimes!
- Rapidbrow. I'm trying to give my brows a little bit of help growing and started using Rapidbrow over the past few weeks. You are supposed to see a difference after 6 weeks, so stay tuned for a review with photos soon.
- Clarins Beauty Flash Balm, because we all need a bit of help with our skin in the winter. This makes an excellent primer to give you that extra glow, and I don't mean shine. It makes your skin look healthy and luminous.
- Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream lip balm
- Neutrogena hand cream, my all time favourite. The palms of my hands get very dry, and this is the only hand cream that makes them feel comfortable. I have been using it for over ten years.
- Stella EDP, which I like to wear every day.
- Tom Ford's Velvet Orchid for the evenings.
Looking at it on the screen, it looks like a lot, but this helps me create a neutral look for day time visits to aunties or lunches with friends, as well as something a bit more dramatic for New Years Eve. The stand out products of the list below are my red lipstick and the Naked Palette. I have got so much use out of it since I bought it years ago!
- Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua foundation
- Soap & Glory Kickass concealer. It's a little bit too creamy and tends to crease, so unless your skin is on the dry side of the spectrum I would not encourage you to rush off to buy it.
- Dermablend concealer, which is too thick for the undereye area, but perfect to cover blemishes or uneven skin.
- Tarte blush (Blushing bride).
- Urban Decay Primer Potion
- Soap & Glory Supercat liquid eyeliner
- Rimmel Scandaleyes waterproof eyeliner, perfect for "tight-lining"
- Bobbi Brown Natural Eyes palette. I bought this neutral palette on a plane a couple of years ago and I like that it is perfect for eyes and to shape my eyebrows, as it has three matte shades that I mix together to give my brows a bit of definition.
- Urban Decay's Naked Palette, which I ALWAYS take away on trips, as you can create so many eye looks!
- Soap & Glory Thick & Fast Mascara
- YSL red matte lipstick
- Bourjois velvet lipstick in Nude-ist. I like having two lip options when I go away for a week; one nude and one brighter.
- Blending brush. This one is by Ecotools.
- Eyelash curlers, from Sephora.
- Blush brush, from Boots No7. Mine is quite old and has started shedding hair, so I intend to get a replacement from Sephora this week.
- Spoolie, by ELF, which only cost me £1 eight years ago.
- Contact lens solution
- Wooden wide tooth comb, by The Body Shop.
- Hair ties
- Hair grips
- Essie's all in one base coat
- Maybelline's Vinyl nail polish in Record. I normally bring a nude colour, usually Essie's Sand Tropez, but my mum has nail polishes here, so I figured I'd save space and this red is perfect for Christmas!
- Sally Hansen's Instadri top coat is divine.
- Nail file
- Nail polish remover pads. In hindsight, I could've done without these, as I am only coming home.
- Kerastase Elixir Ultime, which I decant into a tiny little sample bottle.
- Kerastase Ciment Thermique is the leave in conditioner I have been every time I wash my hair since my hairdresser recommended it 3 or 4 years ago.
As I look at the images and read through it, it seems like an awful lot, but as I said, when I travel I am much better at downsizing my clothes than my beauty stash.
What are the favourites you can't bear to leave at home when you travel?