As I said in my previous Vic's Tips for City Breaks post, I've been luck enough to go on several four-day city breaks over the past couple of years. Whilst I'm pretty confident that I've got my clothing choices down, I still struggle somewhat with my toiletries. This is mostly because I'm a girl who not only likes her makeup but also has several stages when it comes to hair care. It's bad enough that I can't take my diffuser with me, let alone if I had to leave behind anything else! (As an aside, I'm going to be posting an updated 'everyday hair routine' post soon as it feels like a lifetime ago since I wrote one).
However, there are a few things I have picked up over the years which I thought I'd share with you today. Remember, the UK has a liquids allowance for hand luggage. You cannot carry bottles with over 100ml of liquid in them in your hand luggage and all you liquid has to fit into one clear 20cm by 20cm bag.
1) Travel Size Bottles. I know all those miniatures that line the queue are very sweet and tempting but trust me: miniature products are over-priced and you can get by without them. Instead, I recommend investing in a good kit of travel sized bottles. I invested in a LifeVenture Travel Bottle Kit, which contained three bottles, one spray pump, and two screw-top tubs. This comes in a zip bag, which I've never used because I take a lot more than these items, but the bottles are a really good starting point for me to decant other toiletries into.
2) Shampoo and Conditioner. If you're travelling with a friend, I really recommend compromising on these and trying to share out the shampoo and conditioner between you both. Unless you have super thick hair, you'll never get through 100ml in only a handful of days. Sharing between two of you will still probably leave you with loads left over and you'll be amazed with how little product you actually need. The same goes with toothpaste and shower gel.
3) Don't overestimate. 100ml is actually a lot more than you think. You'll probably be surprised how many of the products you own are already in bottles smaller than 100ml and, if you can fit them in, I'd recommend taking products in their original bottles where possible. This saves on wasted product. as I always loose some of the product during my transfer between different bottles. Similarly, pare down your skin and hair care routines as much as possible. You're not going to suddenly break out if you go a handful of days without properly exfoliating! I usually decant some miceller water into a 100ml bottle and use that as a two-in-one makeup remover and cleanser. I also always take a flannel with me. This way you know you have something clean to wash and dry your face with and I make a point of rinsing my face before and after using the miceller water.
4) Makeup. You probably won't need to significantly reduce the amount of makeup you take assuming that you're like me and the majority of your makeup is powder based. Eyeshaddows, blushers, brow pencils, setting powders - there are all powders and don't need to be included in your liquids bag. Lipsticks/glosses/balms, mascaras, liquid eyeliners - these are all products that you have to think about when you're packing your bag. I usually only take one lipstick, one lip balm, my mascara, and my concealer. I'm not a foundation girl, but if you are you might want to think about that too.
5) Samples. Ask in shops as samples are a great way to get miniature bottles of things without paying above and beyond. Lush is a great company for giving out samples - so long as you don't take the mickey they are often more than happy to give you samples of a couple of products to try out. Some perfume companies also give out miniatures, which is a great way to include perfume into your bag without taking up loads of space.
6) Buy it. Another thing I like to remember when I'm packing toiletries is that it isn't the end of the world if I forget something. If you're staying in a hotel, they usually provide small shampoos, conditioners, and body washes as standard. If you're staying with a friend, ask in advance if you can borrow their stuff for the couple of days you're there. Otherwise, you can probably buy a cheap as chips option when you're out there and leave it for the next person who is in need!
Here's a run down of everything I take in my toiletries bag...
R&B Hair Moisturiser
Phil Smith Curly Locks Spray
Toothy Tabs (I use this instead of toothpaste)
Makeup Sponge and Brushes
I hope that helps! What are your top tips for travelling light with toiletries?