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City Break Travel Beauty Essentials

13:49Alice Grace

city break travel beauty essentials makeup body care haircare hot humid

No matter where in the world you are, you want to look chic and put together during a city break. But, with so much shopping to do, sights to see and hidden backstreets to explore, there isn't time to spend hours getting glammed up to the max, every morning. Your travel bag needs to be brimming with trusty, versatile products that can get the job done quickly and effortlessly, whilst leaving you looking like you haven't only spent fifteen minutes preening.

If I'm restricted to a carry-on case, then I stick with just one base. Something light, but with a higher level of coverage than a standard, tinted moisturiser. My perfect match? The Diorskin Nude BB Creme, which has the fresh, hydrating feel of a tinted moisturiser, with the coverage of a sheer foundation. It's comfortable to wear, easy to apply and makes the skin look luminous, clear and healthy, without completely masking the complexion. Being a beauty balm, it contains the added bonus of SPF to protect the skin, without the need to to pack a separate, facial sunscreen.

Then, to camouflage any pesky imperfections, or to use for more of a flawless, full-coverage finish, I'll pack the Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer. This is the ideal, multi-tasking marvel. Not only can it be used as concealer, but it can also be mixed with other bases to amp up the opacity and customize your coverage. Despite being so highly pigmented and having the ability to cover every blemish, the finish is smooth and natural-looking, ensuring you blend it thoroughly. 

city break travel beauty essentials makeup bb creme full coverage concealer setting spray long lasting lip products all in one palettes

If it's hot, makeup meltdown is a concern. The first mishap that I'll suffer with when it's humid, is mascara smudging. To avoid the panda look, I always rely on the Clinique Lash Power Mascara. A tubing mascara that uses thermal sensitive technology, it holds on to the lashes for dear life through swimming, crying and serious sweating. Unlike many waterproof mascaras, which often do nothing, this one seriously lengthens and grabs even the smallest of lashes for amazing definition. It's also easy to remove, as you only need to press a warm, wet cotton pad onto the eyes for a minute, before wiping away!

Who wants the hassle of touching up their lip colour every hour, when there's so many exciting things to do on a trip? I certainly don't, so long-lasting lip picks are essential. For a glossy option, I'm still loving the YSL Rouge Pur Couture Glossy Stains, with my favourite shades being Corail Aquatique for a peachy hint, or Brun Cachemire for more of a 90's nude. These lacquers create a vinyl-shine and bee-stung effect, along with a translucent tint that lasts for hours when layered. If sheen-free finishes are more your thing, then I adore the incredible staying power of the Sephora Cream Lip Stains. For a matte, liquid lipstick, they're so light and comfortable to wear and they're by far the most durable, non-cakey formula I've tried.

Another product that is a necessity when your makeup keeps sliding off your face, is setting spray. A quick spritz after finishing your makeup not only keeps skin looking fresh and radiant, but also helps to seal everything in place. Carried in your bag and used throughout the day, it offers much-needed hydration and feels freakin' amazing during summer. My ultimate favourite has to be the Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray. It delivers such a fine, gentle mist, is so cooling and really does boost the longevity of makeup.

Hauling lots of different colour cosmetics when traveling isn't ideal. What you need is a great, all-in-one palette that will have you covered for all eventualities. I adore kits like the Dior Color Designer Palette which I picked up in World Duty Free. With blushes, eyeshadows, lip colours and pretty much everything else needed to create a whole makeup look, you're pretty much set with the one compact. Similar options would be one from Stila. If you prefer to have a few more options, then you can't really beat the Urban Decay Naked Eyeshadow Palettes. The original is still my favourite, containing warmer tones and a nice mix of matte and shimmer shadows.

city break travel beauty essentials deodorant antiperspirant body moisturiser once a day sunscreen blister patches dry shampoo

Whipping off your clothes and topping up on sticky suncream every hour is the last thing you want when you're not at the beach. Fortunately, there's a plethora of once-a-day formulas  on the market, to keep you covered for a solid, eight hours. The best of the selection I've sampled, is the Ultrasun Family Sun Lotion For Sensitive Skin. Non-greasy, the silky formula absorbs fully in no time and leaves skin feeling soft and smooth. Formulated with sensitive skin-types in mind, it shouldn't cause any irritation or leave skin feeling itchy or dry after use, like some can do. 

For body moisturiser, I love to carry an all-in-one balm with me and nothing beats the Yu-Be Moisturising Skin Cream. This Japanese balm is intense and seriously effective at softening dry patches. Packed full of glycerin and vitamins and free from petroleum, artificial colours or fragrances, it doesn't just create a barrier, but actively nourishes. With such a rich, buttery consistency, it's a force to be reckoned with anywhere on the body, from elbows to lips. It does have a strong, medicinal scent thanks to calming camphor, but that soon dies-down after application. 

I remember when I visited NYC in the summer a couple of years ago and mannnn, it was stiflingly hot. I'm not a sweaty person, but even then I felt drenched after just a few minutes without air-con. Since then, I've always made sure to remember a heavy-duty deodorant, like the Sure Maximum Protection. I literally have no sweat issues when using this anti-perspirant and it actively moisturises my under-arms, rather than drying them out. This is actually best used in the evening, before bed, to build up sweat and odour protection whilst you sleep. Even after showering the next day, you continue to stay dry and fresh. You can apply it in the morning, but I get better results at night.

For hair, I like to keep things simple when I'm limited with space. In the heat, my hair doubles in size. So, to tame the frizz and calm things down, I'll turn to the most potent hair oil on the market, the Ojon Rare Blend Oil. One drop, and I really mean just one drop, of this transforms the hair, leaving it so smooth, shiny and tangle-free. Any more than that and it will weight the hair down, so that it's lank and greasy-looking. I'll also pack a mini dry shampoo. Perfect to refresh the hair when you've skipped washing it, but it also doubles up as a volumising, styling spray. I'm currently using one from James Brown, but it isn't anything special. Instead, I'd recommend COLAB for an amazing, affordable range.

Chances are, walking will be your main mode of transport when in a new place, so you can make the most of exploring and sight-seeing. Whilst packing comfortable shoes makes sense to avoid sore feet at the end of the day, they aren't always the most stylish. Whenever I know I'll be traipsing everywhere, I make sure to pack tonnes of Compeed Blister Patches. These literally save my life when wearing new shoes, sandals or heels for a long period of time, taking away the pain and preventing rubbing instantly. Plus, you can't even really tell you're wearing any!

What are your beauty essentials for a city break?


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  1. You have a beautiful collection of products at hand ready for city breaks - gotta look good for those travel photos, right?! ;) My beauty essentials are fairly minimal while away, though always include Clarins Instant Concealer!

    ps. beautiful photos in this post - so much to look at!

    1. Thanks so much, lovely! That concealer is so beautiful, isn't it? :) x

  2. Such a great post! I always take one of my Naked Palettes away with me, as they're so versatile and travel friendly! The Naked 1 is my favourite though xx

    Gemma ♡ Miss Makeup Magpie

    1. They're just ideal for trips away! Same, I much prefer the warmer tones and it's got a better selection of mattes and isn't as pink-toned as the Naked 3 x

  3. I'm still a big fan of the UD Naked Palettes, they just have everything you need and not to mention they're the perfect size for travelling!

    Shellie Skillen

    1. Exactly, they''re just the perfect addition to any travel makeup bag! x

  4. A good palette and that UD setting spray are must haves for travel. | Amy x

  5. Such a great selection of products for bringing away. The UD palette and setting spray would be included in my travel pick also x

    Beauty with charm

    1. Urban Decay just hit the nail on the head when it comes to palettes, don't they? :) x

  6. Your photos are gorgeous, so many pretty things! I adore that UD setting spray and there are so many others I want to try, can't wait for my birthday to roll around! Stunning blog :D xx

    elizabeth ♡ ”Ice Cream” whispers Clara | (lets follow each other on bloglovin or instagram)

  7. I love the UD Naked palettes, they are staples in my makeup bag!

    Emily xo

    1. They're just the best, aren't they? Such good colour palettes and amazing textures! x

  8. You really can't beat minis on holiday! I always make sure I have SPF and a good cleanser with me to protect from the sun and wash off any city pollution.
    Kathryn /Cherries in the Snow

    1. Everything is so much better in miniature for some reason, even if it isn't more economical haha! Yeah, a good skincare routine is always a must for me! x

  9. I nearly always pack one of my Naked palettes when I go away as you can produce such a good range of looks from them :)

    I also love their setting spray!

    Louise |


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