These last few days I’ve been doing a KonMari tidy up of my beauty cabinet. I’ve chucked out the foundations that make me look like I’ve eaten too many carrots, the face masks that smell of mouldy vanilla (I think they’re meant for teenagers anyway) and a zillion dried up pots of eye cream (more likely to give me conjunctivitis than smoother skin).
I’ve worked on my packing technique, but there are a few essentials I simply can’t do without. OK, some of them may seem a little expensive, but trust me ladies, they are worth their weight in gold. Which is good, because no matter how much my husband moans when he lifts my heavy case, these favourites are non negotiable. In fact I love these products so much that if there were a fire in my house I’d grab my kids and the following five items:
- QMS Sport Active Cream – Sleep in a pot. I apply this tinted cream when I can’t bear (or be bothered) to wear make up. It’s famous for working with all skin tones, it doesn’t clog pores, and it gives the most natural glow compared to similar products I’ve tried. Yes, it’s not cheap, but it lasts for ages – I’ve been using the same pot almost everyday for over six months and there’s still plenty to spare. Most importantly, after a gruelling trip to Shanghai from London with delays and lost baggage I arrived feeling dreadful. My husband, not known for giving false compliments greeted me with, ‘wow, you look lovely’. Now I order in bulk.
- Beauty Pie Jeju Daily antioxidant Superinfusion™ Serum A poor night’s sleep, fusty air recirculated by overzealous air conditioning and little natural light are not great ingredients for a good complexion. This serum is a shimmery UV white colour and makes me feel I’m magically feeding my face with pure, concentrated goodness. The only downside is its (pretty but) heavy glass bottle which is not ideal for travel. Nevertheless I reckon it’s worth its weight. I call it the ideal husband for skin – it calms, protects and makes it a whole lot happier. If only Beauty Pie made men too.
- Becca First Light Priming Filter. I recently discovered this elixir which the manufacturers claim ‘erases the signs of a bad face day’. In short, I agree. It’s a strange light purple colour in the tube and somehow it tricks my skin into looking like it’s drunk a bucket of kale smoothie. I tend to wear it as a primer, but it’s also good when I want to give my skin a day off from my cement style makeup routine.
- Klorane Oatmilk Gentle Dry Shampoo. Even on the most luxurious flights I’ll rarely sleep, tossing and turning like a Waldorf. The more tired I get, the greasier my hair seems to get and this is the only product I’ve come across that rids of the oil without adding build up. It’s also great for adding a little lift when your hair is feeling as limp as you are.
- Sisley Black Rose Cream Mask Touted as offering ‘instant youth’, this mask is great when you reach the hotel room after a gruelling journey. I like to leave it longer than the recommended 15 minutes (a full episode of House of Cards is my record), and my skin really does feel much more hydrated and awake. With a gentle rose fragrance (no old granny smells here) and a luxuriously creamy texture, again it’s not the cheapest on the market, but it’s a lovely treat for the skin; all the more necessary after a horrid trip.