Apologies to the poor suffering blog, due to my being away on assorted bits of travel. In no particular order, here are some observations from the travel beautification routine:
The things that didn’t change: La Roche-Posay Tolériane cleanser for face, reusable cotton/bamboo rounds for face-cleaning and eye make-up removal, Mountain Rose Herbs aloe vera gel (hair tamer) decanted into an old Garden of Wisdom serum bottle, Garden of Wisdom anti-puffy-eye stuff, DIY lipbalm, eyeliner, mascara, other usual stuff like nail-scissors, eyelash brush/comb, old mirror.
Brought and forgot to use then rediscovered at bottom of bag on return home: Garden of Wisdom green tea etc. antioxidant serum. It smells a bit funny / cooked so it’s in the bin. Sure, I may well buy and use it again but didn’t miss that particular Station of the Cross in the morning. Routines are all very well until they become religious rituals. I’m not OCD enough to have worried about The Missing Step. If it gives me more time in bed or gets me out the door faster, I’m all for skipping the odd rosary bead from time to time, aiming for catholicism rather than orthodoxy in morning ablutions. I don’t look or feel like I’ve suffered. No smiting has been observed.
And besides, life’s too short especially if you’re away on holiday / annual leave.
Usual travel kit: plastic bottles (various sizes), zippered 1 liter / 3-1-1airport security liquids bag, and toilet bag all from Muji. Bottles inside freezer ziplock bags inside the 3-1-1 bag. Extra sunscreen and bottles of cleansers & conditioner in checked bag. Deodorant transplanted from the heavy glass jar to an old plastic one.
1. Free & Clear / Cliniderm shampoo
= too dry on hair and scalp, but fabulous as a hand-washing laundry detergent and for cleaning out a menstrual cup between uses.
2. Free & Clear / Cliniderm conditioner
= does double duty as a moisturising shaving cream (pits, legs)
3. La Roche-Posay Lipikar Syndet cleansing cream-gel
= doubles up as body wash and moisturising unscented shampoo, replacing item 1. above
4. CoTZ sensitive / pediatric SPF 40 (20% ZnO, different sizes, coated)
= sunscreen for all over: neither drying nor greasy, easy to apply, melts in, no reactions, fully protective (used with hat, sunglasses, clothing, and shade-seeking).
I like having one product that performs the same function all over, as much as I do a product that performs more than one function. Sunscreen is a tricky bastard, and all too often I find myself traveling with multiple different ones for different purposes. Screw that.
In a 100 g tube which looks like 100 ml (less actually, as it’s denser than water so occupies a smaller volume). This means you can carry at least two (I packed in three, due to lack of other stuff) in the 3-1-1 bag in carry-on when flying. If like me you go through lots of sunscreen, this allows you to fly faster and more simply without checking bags on short to medium trips (a long weekend, a few days, a week). Then again, most of my travel on this trip was by train so it didn’t much matter.
Possible downside: a screw cap. This can be replaced by many a standard screw-on flip-top cap, such as that on Derma E body SPF30.
5. CoTZ SPF 45 lip balm (4% TiO2 + 5.5% ZnO)
= better than its predecessor though still with slightly odd ginger flavour. Tinted–beige-brown–so it doesn’t show up white on lips, but a sort of merging in with natural lip colour.
6. Primal Pit Paste (regular strength, unscented) deodorant
= one of the classic kind: shea butter, arrowroot powder, coconut oil, & baking soda. Has worked immaculately in a range of temperatures, circumstances, and activities.
7. Avène Cicalfate
= using this for face (continues to be soothing, moisturising, and generally fabulous), as eye cream, and elsewhere as general moisturiser (neck, throat, elbows, hands). Minimalism FTW.
8. Sunflower seed oil (the cheap supermarket cooking kind)
= I ran out of meadowfoam seed oil (or rather, that mixed with sunflower) while I was in Europe so just did the usual thing of going to the nearest food shop and getting some sunflower seed oil. On this trip, that was Aldi’s 79p/1 litre. Great stuff. For eye make-up removal, body moisturising in shower, hair pre-condition, soaking feet (with some peppermint oil or fresh mint and rosemary leaves) after a long day’s walking, etc.
9. Silk Naturals HD cream foundation in C10
= for concealer, mainly on eyelids and undereyes. Better colour match than their HD concealer stick I was using previously, lighter texture, stays on perfectly. Dead easy to appy even when hung over with stucky itchy eyes. Wide colour range available. Compares fabourably to the Bobbi Brown long-lasting cream shadow in Bone (this latter is a little more pink) as a fast easy disceeet eye base.
10. Clinique Chubby Stick for lips in Bountiful Blush
= yes, like anyone else, sometimes I am a sucker for airport shopping. I had bought the dutiful duty-free good whisky for household and hospitable use (OK, that includes me). I mooched around the other shops (with a circuitous detour to avoid the perfumed horrors), went to look at mainly-unscented brands to see what was up there, and ended up talking to a nice Clinique sales assistant.
Bad news to pass on: Clinique is no longer doing Black Honey anything (lip things, eyeliners, nailr varnish) in the UK and (possibly to probably) Europe.
Good news: they have some fine-looking and -feeling lipsticks. Some really bold popping colours. Not at all my cup of tea, but gorgeous if you’re into that sort of thing.
Most excellent and outstanding news: I found a new lipstick. If you’re ginger and pale this is quite an achievement.
I tried on a chubby stick in a neutral unprepossessing brownish pink. It turned out to be lovely, MLBB perked-up pink, more balm-like than lipsticky, and moist. Similar shade on me to Lipstick Queen Jean Queen, but a better texture, more comfortable, and longer-lasting. Went and had a coffee. Looked in mirror. Chubby was still there. So I went back to the nice lady and bought one. GBP14.50 in duty free (which is heinous translated to CAD with our dreadful exchange rate right now), CAD19.00 in normal shops here. Can indeed (as many reviewers gush) safely be applied without a mirror, even in the immigration control queue with the coordination you would expect after no sleep on a very very very long flight.
Potential weak points: the lid, and whatever happens when the chubby nub wears down. Would be good to know how recyclable the packaging is, but looks like some of the regular plastics. To be checked like anything else later; laundry and work and suchlike dull humdrum things are higher priority right now. Alas.