Travel Bag Treats

I have very fond memories of shopping for holiday toiletries in boots. The ultimate "chancer", I would fill my mother's basket with products for all eventualities – mountains of magicool, scores of suncare products – before trying my luck in the cosmetics section. "Muuuum of course I need another lipgloss – and, look, this one has SPF, do you WANT me to have burnt lips?!" On reflection, I sound a total brat, but hey, think of those advantage card points.

I have always been very good at spending other people's money, less so my own. As I have grown older (and started paying for my own sunscreen, plasters and travel toothbrushes) I have become rather frugal in my pre-holiday spending. Sure, there are some products necessary for the summer months - sunscreen and Autan- but who delights in buying those? Instead, I prefer to spend my money on the products I want, rather than need.

I am referring to my travel bag treats; the luxuries that prove you needn't abandon your beauty regime just because weight restrictions apply. Here are this year's picks.


I am not one to commit to a single, signature fragrance. I like floral, I like citrus, I like woody and I like spicy, so why settle for just one? I play the fragrance field, which is why I am so fond of Jo Loves. Devised by master perfumer, and all round Wonder Woman, Jo Malone, the Jo Loves collection comprises of eleven carefully crafted scents. If you don't have the time to pop to the Elizabeth Street flagship, opt instead for the Shot Box, a neat little box of samples best described as a Jo Loves tasting menu. The Shot Box is ideal for summer getaways, allowing for fragrance options without the bulk. My current favourites are the charming No 42. Flower Shop and the sweet Orange Tulle.

A Fragrance Shot Box, £38.00, at


Ah, NARS Hot Sand, let me count the ways. This illuminator is a gem of a product, all the more precious as it is limited edition (see you at the Space NK counters in a week or so? I'm Hot Sand stockpiling). Despite my fondness for matte skin and pressed powders, I am obsessed with this peach Champagne highlighter. A light liquid creme, Hot Sand can be applied directly to the face/d├ęcolletage, or blended with foundation for a soft iridescence. I mix one pump of Revlon Photoready with one pearl of Hot Sand for a light, glowing base.

NARS Hot Sand illuminator, £22.50,


A holiday is a great time to step up your skincare routine. Though I am sometimes guilty of the slapdash approach (eg Avene Micellar water > La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo > bed), on holiday I prefer to fully nourish and protect my skin, particularly given the inevitable exposure to sun. This year I have packed a little taster kit from Su-Man, a decadent skincare collection created by the expert facialist of the same name. The velvety serum is the hero product, but I must sing the praises of the fragrant gel oil cleanser, which feels a treat to apply. It cleans deeply, removing all make-up and impurities.

Su-man Purifying Gel Oil, £40.00 at


It is tricky to get excited about sun protection, but The Organic Pharmacy's natural shea butter and marigold-infused cream with SPF30 feels more like an exotic body balm than it does a sunscreen. It is soothing and smells delicious, but it also shields the skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays. My only quip is that the rich creme is not water resistant, therefore the 100ml tube is unlikely to last beyond 10 days. However, if you are off on a city jaunt, then this natural mineral cream is a must.

Cellular Protection Cream SPF 30, also in 25/50, £38.95,
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