How to conquer your carry-on beauty stash
What you can take in your hand luggage, how to save space and the very best travel minis – here's how to master holiday beauty
If you're reading this, congratulations! The chances are you're heading off somewhere hot and sunny. What a time to be alive! But, first things first, packing: the black cloud to every holiday's sunny silver lining. Of course, we must discuss hand luggage and the bane of overseas travel that is "liquids". For who has not had their foreign excursions blighted by having their newly bought bottle of Volvic binned at security? Who, I ask, has not had their favourite lip balm confiscated because they forgot to take it out of their handbag? And who on earth can be faffed with spending the night before their hols decanting moisturiser into teeny-tiny containers? Nope? Thought not. Instead, here's everything you need to know about what you can and can't take with you, as well as the very best holiday minis to pack.
What you probably know
All individual liquid items need to be 100ml or under to get through security and you can't take more than 1 litre of liquids in total. This includes creams, lotions, oils, gels and balm-based products (which means mascaras, lipsticks and stick deodorants). Pencils don't count, though, so load up on those where you can. Nudestix are great for this as they do lip, cheek, and eye pencils in pretty summery shades, which glide on easily and give a lovely amount of colour.
What you might not know
You can travel with sharp objects like tweezers, nail clippers, scissors and razors in your hand luggage, but the blades need to be less than 6cm long. Strictly speaking, only razors that have a fixed, rather than detachable, cartridge are permitted (this means disposable razors). I've tried – and failed – to find an eco-friendly, disposable option. So, if you are travelling with hold luggage, it would be best to stash your regular razor here. For tweezers, Tweezerman's mini slant tweezers are the best, being both streamlined and exceedingly precise. As for nails, Boots' Mini Manicure Set does the job and comes complete with scissors, clippers and emery boards.
The UK currently has no restrictions on powders such as eyeshadows and blushers (something which could be changing soon); they don't affect your liquid allowance and they don't need to be bagged up. To save on space, however, minis of your favourite powders are always a good idea. Cover FX does a 4g version of their Perfect Setting Powder (great for zapping shine), while Byredo offers a very luxurious powder perfume, which can be dusted on with a kabuki-brush applicator. At 7g, it's a genius space-effective way to pack fragrance that doesn't eat into your liquid allowance. And ColoreScience's tinted powder SPF combines sun defence with make-up coverage all in one place and means you can top up throughout the day without feeling slimey.
What to do
As liquids are limited, the best thing to do is identify the products you need most. If you're only going overnight, do you need shampoo? Will you get round to using a face mask? Can you switch your body lotion for an aftersun? Then, find the products you can't leave behind in miniature form. Benefit does a dinky version of its brilliant They're Real Mascara, Bioderma's cult micellar water comes in a 100ml and Ouai's mini Dry Shampoo Foam will see your hair through another day without needing a hairwash.
Next, choose products that multitask. Nuxe's Huile Prodigieuse oil can be used to hydrate your face, body and hair, and smells delicious. Frances Prescott's Tri-Balm cleanses, exfoliates and moisturises skin and Trinny London's Lip2Cheeks can be used across lips, cheeks and even eyes. You could even double up your shampoo as a body wash.
Finally, if you can't treat yourself when your off on hols, when can you? Which is exactly what Elemis' luxurious skin and body care set was made for. Containing the delicious Frangipani Body Oil, Pro-Collagen Marine Cream, Gentle Foaming Wash, Peptide4 Night Recovery Cream Oil and Frangipani Shower Gel among others (all in travel-friendly sizes), it's a treat-yourself option that I thoroughly endorse (the jazzy bag it comes with is designed by fashion brand Lily & Lionel and is also brilliant).