Don’t even think about travelling without these beauty essentials

Don’t even think about travelling without these beauty essentials

Don’t even think about travelling without these beauty essentials

Bonnie Gillies,Oz Beauty Expert

After taking three Europe trips in eight weeks, Bonnie Gillies knows all about what you really need (and what you don’t).

Photo: @ozbeautyexpert

After a solid three trips to Europe in a mere eight weeks I can safely say I have my travelling beauty kit down to a perfect selection of travel sized essentials.

I’m actually sitting at the boarding gate as I type this, waiting to board my next flight to Lake Como, Italy. (Sorry.) And my in-flight travel beauty kit is sitting here right by my side.

A carefully curated selection of products that fit into a pouch the size of a small pencil case.

Because I seem to have a problem packing an excessive amount of shoes and clothes (every god damn time!) I need to make sure I only pack the essentials, and that I pack travel sizes of each so that I can accommodate for my excessive wardrobe.

Large sizes of cosmetics like shampoo, conditioner, body wash, body lotion etc are generally pretty heavy and they take up a lot of space in your suitcase.

It’s fantastic idea to stick to products you already know and love, and invest in some travel sized bottles and tubs to fill with your favourite products. This means you can still take all your favs without taking up too much room in your luggage or being overweight.

In flight

Invest in a small clear plastic beauty bag to take on board with you. A clear plastic pouch or case means you don’t have to pull everything out when you go through security. Make sure you don’t take any aerosols or anything over 100ml in your hand luggage. Most travel sized things are under 100ml anyway.

Essentials to pack in your in-flight beauty kit are:

  • Eye drops- I hate having red eyes, so I use these before I get off the plane at the other end.
  • Lip balm- If you’re like me lip balm is absolutely essential on a flight. I start to panic if I’ve forgotten it because I can’t stand the feeling of dry lips. My favs are Lanolins Golden Ointment and Bioderma Atoderm Lip Balm.
  • Toothbrush – For obvious reasons…
  • Hand cream – I'm not usually a hand cream user, but when I fly I can’t go without it. As you know flights seem to suck all the moisture out of you, and my hands get really dry and feel awful.
  • Deodorant- I use natural deodorant that comes in a small pot anyway, but if you usually use a big aerosol buy a small roll on to take on board with you.
  • Basic make-up- I only take a cushion foundation, concealer, mascara and blush for a quick freshen up before I land.

In your suitcase

When packing travel sized skin care it doesn’t mean I’m willing to compromise on the high quality of skin care I use. And I don’t really like the idea of digging into my expensive face creams to dish them out into travel pots either.

One of my favourite brands Ultraceuticals make travel sized skin care kits, with literally everything you could possibly need for a long holiday. Like I said, I’ve been on 3 Europe trips, and I’m still using the same Ultraceuticals travel kit. Those tiny bottles have a deceivingly large amount of product in them. Their price point is $90 and in it you get- moisturiser, moisturiser with SPF, serum x 2, and cleanser. A little goes a long way, and I find these kits always last me a really long time. If you don’t finish them off on one trip, save them for your next trip or finish them off at home.

Body wash, body lotion, shampoo and conditioner can all be safely and effectively poured into plastic travel bottles. I buy travel bottles and tubs from Clarkes storage. They are really handy to have, inexpensive and save a significant amount of space.

Fake tan users beware

I find fake tan of the mousse/foam variety (my favourite) almost always leaks when it’s in your luggage. I’ve learned that the hard way, probably 3 or 4 times. Actually I currently have my favourite pair of white shorts sitting in a tub of bleach at home- not happy….

Unless you want to triple wrap the fake tan bottle in plastic it’s probably easier to take a cream self tan instead. I prefer to have a spray tan before I leave , and then I only have to take a gradual tanner with me. The gradual tan doubles as your body moisturiser and tops up your tan, meaning you take one product instead of two.

I’d still make sure its in some sort of plastic bag, but from experience I’ve found this type generally don’t leak.


Hair Products are one category I will only take specific travel sized bottles. As you know hair products are almost always in quite large sizes, they’re heavy and take up precious dress and shoe space in your suitcase. A I’ve found a lot of brands do travel sized products and trust me by just going out and buying these, saves you a lot of effort and mess trying to decant them in to plastic travel bottles.

Klorane do a big range of travel sized bottles, and aerosols. I LOVE my Klorane dry shampoo and I always take a travel sized spray with me. I also take their mini shampoo and conditioners with me.

A lot of other brands do travel sized hair spray too.

A good way to find out which brands sell travel sized products is to head to Kmart, Priceline or Big W and look in their beauty section, or even the impulse buy section they place by the queue to the checkouts. I actually get a little excited going beauty shopping in Kmart these days, they have so many great travel sized products usually for $2 each.

If you need to take nail polish remover (shit! Just remembered I forgot to paint my toe nails…. currently a chipped mess) opt for nail polish remover pads. Nail polish remover pads come in smaller pots, and the pads absorb all the liquid so there is no chance of leakage. Like fake tan, I’ve found that normal bottles of nail polish removeralways leak under the pressure on the plane. Nail polish remover pads can also be bought at Kmart for $2.

If you have a pretty full make-up bag, try to down size. Product weight and size isn’t really an issue with make-up products as they are usually small anyway. If you have 20 lipsticks in your bag try to narrow it down to 2 or 3.

I like to take an eyeshadow palette with a selection of colours in it with me to save me taking separate loose eyeshadows. An eyeshadow palette should have everything you will need on your trip and it’s easier to pack and takes up minimal space.

When travelling I do love a good cushion foundation for quick and easy coverage that’s light and natural. I particularly love the Estee Lauder Double Wear cushion stick foundation, it’s ingenious. It’s a tube like bottle with a cushion pad on the end, you dab the foundation on the skin, then blend it in with the cushion.

If you’re going somewhere hot, mineral make-up is the way to go. Mineral foundations are the only type of make-up that won’t clog your pores, it’s very long lasting and will withstand even the hottest climates. Mineral make-up absorbs excess oil from the skin evenly across the face. So rather than feeling like your make-up has all come off it the heat, it will last all day long and not cause any blockages. And mineral make-up is naturally sun protective too.

If you’re going on a beach holiday or somewhere hot, trust me when I say you won’t wear anywhere near as much make-up as you would at home. So try to bear that in mind when packing your holiday make-up kit.

Overall try to pack products you love and you know are effective. And if you find yourself being lazy and considering throwing in the full size product instead of making a trip to the shops to get everything in travel size, just think about this- one full size bottle of shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, deodorant, and body wash ? or an extra pair of shoes?

I know what I choose!

See you soon, Lake Como…. Sorry, I promise I’m not trying to rub it in!

What it’s like to go from brunette to blonde0:42

What it’s like to go from brunette to blonde

Follow my travels on Instagram.


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