I had around eighteen seconds to put together a washbag for my little mini-trip to the Isle of Wight and I thought it might be interesting* to show you what I packed in terms of skincare. You’ll notice I’ve included a makeup product too; that’s because the skincare section was so bloody thin on the ground that I needed to bulk this out a bit!
Usually I have around three or four options for each skincare “stage”, even if I’m only away for a short amount of time – I have an endless supply of tiny sample bottles and tubes that I somehow manage to stockpile over the years, and quite often I use my travels to plough through these samples and test new stuff. Saving space and researching skincare at the same time – I do love to multitask. But my limited packing window meant that I didn’t have the luxury of clarting about in my samples box (I was busy packing the baby’s bag, managing to remember eight sleepsuits, thirty pair of socks but NO coat or cardigan) and so I grabbed the first full-size things that took my fancy and chucked them into my washbag.
Ooh – and one small-size thing, actually – the Aurelia Miracle Cleanser. Nothing particularly miraculous about it, but it is creamy and deep-cleansing and does a brilliant job of removing makeup and grime. Mine’s in a travel tube (£14) but the full-sized glass jar is better value for money and looks lovely if you’re after something luxe – it’s £38 for 120ml here. It’s ever so slightly more suited to oily/combination/normal skin than the very dry, I think – I always feel properly purged when I use this, so it was perfect for cleansing after a whole day near the beach.
The “power-serum” I took with me (always have to carry at least one!) was the Z Luminous Brightening Serum from Zelens. I’m always paranoid about getting pigmentation issues during pregnancy and this hi-tech product has been formulated to help repair and protect the skin from damage caused by sun exposure and to really – really – brighten it. I’ll flag it up that this isn’t cheap (a whopping, wince-inducing £135) and I had been purposefully saving it for pregnancy to give my skin a boost, but it works incredibly well. I also use the Indeed Labs C-24 regularly and Caudalie’s Vinoperfect – I actually have quite a few antioxidant serums on the go at the moment, in preparation for a post… You can find the Zelens serum here, if you’re looking for a serious, effective skincare investment.
For a sumptuous, buttery night treat I chose the Darphin 8 Flower Nectar Oil Cream (£65 here). I wanted something rich and floral that would be enjoyable to apply – part of my “let’s go on holiday and completely relax!” plan, which blatantly didn’t take into account that we were travelling with a baby and a mad dog. This was supposed to be my evening cream and then in the day I was aiming to just use the SPF (see below), but in actual fact my face was a bit weather-beaten and wind-whipped by the time we got to the end of the four days and so I added a touch of the 8 Flower Nectar Oil Cream after serum and before sun cream. It felt beautifully plumpy and comforting. (Full review here.)
And then, finally, the SPF. I took a brand new one, which was something of a risk, but luckily I got on very well with it. It was the Prep Step from Bare Minerals, an SPF50 with a light, fluid texture and a finish that’s non-greasy but still nicely moisturising. Do you know, I was about to write a mini-review saying that it’s brilliant under makeup, and then I went to check the price and saw that it’s actually a primer! (Which must be why it’s called Prep Step, duh.) It works so well as a primer – makeup goes on really smoothly – but equally it’s great as a standalone SPF. I’ve used it a lot in both ways and it’s definitely a keeper. You can find it online for £26 – Escentual currently have it for £22.10 here.
The makeup item? A “real skin” dewy foundation from No7 that’s affordable, foolproof and available in loads of shades. I’ve really grown quite attached to the Essentially Natural foundation (though Burberry have just brought one out that’s unbelievably nice!) and this was the perfect sort of “barely there” base I wanted whilst on hols. It’s £9.95 at Boots.com. You can see it on video here.