The Travel Edit: Beauty and Skincare Essentials
I am not one to pack lightly. At all. Somehow my mom is a master packer, but I seem to be the opposite (maybe because I've depended on her to pack my suitcases brilliantly for all these years). ANYWAYS, the thing that usually takes up the most space for me is toiletries. Well, that, and shoes. And while the latter is more difficult for me to narrow down, I made a conscious effort this year for my trip to Mauritius and France to pack much lighter in terms of skincare, hair and makeup. Also, since I knew the trip to Mauritius would be really long and I would have a crazy long layover in Paris, I needed to pack lightly and within the plane regulations so I could bring some essentials in my carry-on.
And you know what? I managed, thanks to a few key products which, thankfully, come in travel size! Here's what was in my bag:
Consonant Come Clean Face Wipes
If you know me, you know I'm a huge fan of Consonant Skincare. The Canadian clean beauty brand is the maker of some of my fave products, and the team is fantastic too, so you'll be seeing a lot of products from them in this roundup.
I really love their face wipes because they are BIG, meaning I can just use one wipe to get rid of makeup, dirt and grime off my face. I use these on the regular as a first step to wiping off heavy makeup, and also carry them in my gym bag. When travelling, these came very much in handy for wiping off my makeup on the plane (so I could put on a mask which you will read about later) and also for wiping down my body between flights, since, you know, I didn't have access to a shower.
Consonant Come Clean Face Wipes, $9 for 1 pack of 10.
Consonant Natural Foaming Face Wash
My forever-fave face wash. Cleanses, removes makeup and gently tones, and doesn't irritate skin. I made sure to bring the travel size along so I could actually wash my face during my layover in Paris.
Universkin P Serum
A few months ago, I worked with Universkin Canada, the makers of the bespoke skincare in the form of a "P Serum." The premise is this: after a consultation at an authorized clinic, your Universkin specialist will choose up to three of the 19 pharmaceutical-grade actives in 57 concentrations to be added to the P base serum. Your custom serum is then mixed in front of you in just a few minutes.
They usually make a morning and night serum, but one can also be made for eyes, neck, etc. My personal serums focused on hydration, fighting redness and sensitivity. Though it is costly ($199 per serum), the bespoke formula is worthwhile, especially if you travel and don't want to be lugging around several different products in your makeup bag. I made sure to bring these small bottles with me, as opposed to my numerous Skinceuticals products as it would be just too much to carry!
Universkin P Serum, $199 each.
Consonant HydrExtreme and Ultra Moisturizing Organic Face Cream
I've raved about Consonant's HydrExtreme a million times because it truly is one of the best hydrating serums out there (it's been proven to outperforming the leading Hyaluronic Acid serum by over 70 per cent after one hour!). You can either apply directly to your skin or mix it into your moisturizer. I made sure to use this on the plane to make sure my skin didn't dry out. And luckily, it comes in a tiny dropper bottle which makes it perfect for travel.
As for moisturizer, I grabbed the travel size of Consonant's Ultra Moisturizing Organic Face Cream while checking out the brand's new store on Queen Street West. Usually I use the cream for Dry Skin, but since it's summer, I decided to try this one out. It glides on super well, and is, indeed, ultra moisturizing. I'll probably add this to my regular routine moving forward.
Avene Soothing Moisture Mask
This is by far my favourite moisturizing mask ever. In the winter, I sometimes just use it as my regular moisturizer when my skin is super dry. I feel like it instantly plumps up my skin and is nice and soothing, especially when I'm having any eczema flare-ups. I brought the full size in my regular suitcase, but packed some sample sizes in my pouch for the plane to use in-flight.
Avene Soothing Moisture Mask, $35.50.
Avene Thermal Spring Water
A soothing mist is a MUST for travel. I used it on the plane after cleaning my face with the face wipes, after I woke up from a (not-so-great) sleep and before landing for a refresh.
Kaia Naturals The Takesumi Detox Overnight Dry Shampoo in Brunette
Another Canadian natural beauty brand I love is Kaia Naturals. They also have some great natural cleansing wipes, and I'm a big fan of their Underarm Bar and their Detox Hot Baths. However, I have to say, my fave product from them is their new Takesumi Detox Overnight Dry Shampoo. I actually had the opportunity to test the shampoo while it was still in the lab phase, and was blown away by how well it worked and by the smell (seriously, it's sooo good). I brought this along for my trip and, no lie, I went one whole week without washing my hair without any issues. I just put this on before bed, rubbed it into my scalp, and let it work its magic overnight. My hair was left clean, voluminous and smelling great. HIGHLY recommend.
F. Miller Lip Balm
I got a sample of this during my five-week Nike Air Society training a few months ago. Some of the Air Society girls were raving about it, so I figured I'd give it a try. It truly is incredibly moisturizing and was great for wearing on the plane.
F. Miller Lip Balm, $16.
Radford Makeout Balm
I'm obsessed with this stuff. Truly. I got a sample while visiting Radford Studio in Yorkville, and instantly fell in love at first swipe. It gives you a good amount of shine (and is great worn overtop of a matte lipstick or lip pencil) and it's ultra-hydrating and buttery-feeling and not-at-all sticky. Plus it has a hint of mint flavour, which gives you a nice tingle on the lips and freshens up your breath and the blue tint makes your teeth look whiter.
Radford Makeout Balm, $32.50.
All Birds Women's Tree Runners
OK, OK, these aren't beauty or skincare-related, BUT they are a definite travel-must in my books. All Birds is touted as being "the most comfortable shoe in the world" and it's true. They seriously feel like you're walking on clouds. I have both the wool runners and the tree runners, but I find the tree runners great for summer travel. They looked cool with everything I wore, they didn't give me a single blister and they kept my feet at the right temperature, even through changing climates. I was able to walk everywhere in them, even sockless, without any problems. The best part? If they get dirty, you can just throw them in the washing machine and they'll look good as new. I gave my mom a pair of the wool runners and she wore them throughout the trip as well and couldn't stop raving about what a "godsend" they were. Bonus tip: if you wear orthotics (like my mom), simply put them underneath the cozy wool insole, so they'll still feel comfy!