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10 ‘hand luggage only’ beauty and fitness ideas

June 1st 2015 / Anna Hunter

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Travelling light? You needn’t forgo your fitness or beauty routine just because you’re downsizing…

Remember that time that Justin Bieber tried to bring a monkey onboard as hand luggage? I know that sneaking your 200ml fake tan or stealthy yoga mat into the cabin doesn’t seem nearly as cheeky or unreasonable, but unfortunately, airport security personnel may (*will) not meet you in the middle where matters of hand luggage restrictions are concerned. Most of us know the score; no liquid containers holding more than 100ml (even if your Crème de la Mer is half full, it’s not coming with you if it’s over the limit), liquids must be presented in a clear resealable bag holding no more that a litre and only one of said bags permitted per person. There are exceptions to the rules (baby food and medications for example), and depending on where you’re travelling policies can vary, but for the most part, that’s your lot.

The law may seem particularly prohibitive to beauty junkies, but keeping up appearances over a long weekend or short break needn’t be a struggle, in fact, streamlining your kit is quite liberating. It can be a good chance to nail what you really really need and use, not to mention dabble in new palettes and multitaskers. Just as you don’t have to enter the beauty void if you’re committed to just a carry-on, so you needn’t waive your workouts either. Functional fitness wear ticks multiple boxes, and you needn’t be left sweaty, tangled or underprepared post-swim or run just because you’re going minimalist. Here are ten ideas to make the most of what Easyjet et al are allowing you…

Antibac EVERYTHING

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Don’t get paranoid, but for occasions when soap and water is lacking and bacteria is lurking, an antibacterial gel will zap nasties and most bugs. Whether you’re on the plane, bus or post-workout, a quick squirt can help to prevent you catching contagious infections and maintain your gloriously hygienic status quo. Aesop Resurrection Rinse-Free Handwash 50ml, £7, is hands down the most chic model on the market and will banish germs while not smelling like floor cleaner- the botanical formula is practically aromatic. The brown bottle helps to protect the product from degradation due to UV rays, so it contains fewer preservatives than your average sanitizer, and it even claims to moisturise the skin, although it’s no competition to a rich, buttery hand cream. Combine both and you’ll be soft and sanitary, which doesn’t sound very sexy, but in the long run, neither is getting the runs…

Don’t sweat

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Actually, do (see the next sporty suggestion). If you’re getting active while you’re away though, an antiperspirant is probably high on your hand luggage list. Compressed deodorants aren’t new, but more and more brands are shrinking their regular can into a more petite model, and you don’t lose out on any product in the process. This not only makes them infinitely more packable, as the usual 150ml is reduced to 75ml, but also better for the environment. I have a possibly irrationally deep fondness for Soft & Gentle deodorants, having used them all throughout Uni; one spray and I’m back to my heady fresher days (still fresh btw). I still use them, and their range of compressed deodorant come in a delicious array of fragrances and actually do keep you dry of pit and soft of skin.

Go from plane to pool to party

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This is essentially your holiday itinerary anyway, so you may as well do it in one very cool top. Said top is Lucas Hugh Fleet Crop Top in Print, £77.50. Fast-dry fabric and light yet secure and supportive fabric means that you can gym and swim to your heart’s content (although you will of course need a bottom half…), and after a quick wash and dry it makes for a frankly fabulous evening ensemble. Wear with a high waisted skirt or jeans and it will even wick away sweat as you dance into the night, not something your average LBD can achieve. It also takes up next to no space. It might be a little heavy on the wallet, but it pays its way.

Wear sunscreen

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Don’t skimp on the sun protection; always make room for a trusty SPF. If fitness, fun in the sun and airport security are all factors to consider, stash Lancaster Sun Sport Dry Touch Gel SPF 20, £21, in your holdall. It comes in under 100ml (75ml), is suitable for face and body and not only protects against UVA and UVB rays but also keeps skin soft and matte, no matter how sultry the climate or how intense your hotel room HIIT session is proving to be. Skin also gets a boost thanks to moisturising agents, and a melanin-enhancing complex helps you to achieve an even tan. Baz Luhrmann was probably talking about this SPF when he wrote that song.

Don’t sacrifice your skincare

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There’s no need to give up your skincare goodies either to the security bins or by leaving them at home; adorable and effective minis are everywhere these days (raid Sephora when abroad- their range is expansive to say the least). A large selection of face saving favourites can be found online at the Elemis Travel Shop- from cult Pro-Collagen Marine Cream, £28, to Pro-Radiance Cream Cleanser, £7, and Total Glow Bronzing Body Lotion, £10, almost every product in their range has been ‘minied’. Pick and mix or go for the Travel with Elemis Collection, £39.90, which covers all of the face and body skincare basics (cleanse, tone, exfoliate, moisturise) and is packaged in a transparent clutch that’s clear for take off.

Pack a palette

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Hauling around hefty glass bottles or bringing an entire contouring kit on holiday can kill the laid back vibe; lighten up and equip yourself with a multi-tasking makeup palette instead. Studio 10 Age Reverse Perfect Canvas SPF 30, £34, weighs next to nothing, both in terms of carrying it around and wearing it, and the fact that the foundation duo is solid removes the need to submit it for security approval. Combining two tones of skin base (plus a pleasingly large mirror), the compact allows you to spot correct, cover and even sculpt and subtly contour should the mood take you. The finish is even and radiant, and it’s especially suited to plane journeys thanks to an added antioxidant complex that shields skin against environmental damage and boosts cellular regeneration. SPF 30 adds further protective clout, and the darker shade is ideal if you get a tan while you’re away- your head won’t look like it’s floating above your bronzed body after a week or so. No brushes are required either, which is a major bonus when you’re globetrotting.

Do the Hoola

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Whether you’re off to Hawaii or not, chances are you’re after a holiday glow. Again, carting around a cargo of products isn’t an option, and protecting your precious complexion is paramount. Do the Hoola instead- Benefit’s Beyond Bronze Kit, £23.16, is small but mighty, packing in the brand’s legendary Hoola bronzer (the UK’s number one selling bronzer FYI), plus a bronze flecked Hoola lip gloss, new Dew the Hoola sheer soft-matte liquid face bronzer, a rosy lip and cheek Bene Balm, They’re Real mascara (also a UK top seller) and cute but effective bronzer brush. Unlike some compacts or kits where you use two of the products and reject the rest, it’s likely that you’ll fall in love with all five of these; they’re well curated and combine everything that’s required for a relaxed yet ravishing holiday face. Benefit’s former head of UK PR Jazz took only this box of bronzing goodies away with her to a far flung location and wanted for nothing.

Surf’s Up

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Ahh, beachy waves. Elusive but oh-so-beautiful and the ideal devil-may-care, off-duty hairdo. Make them easier to achieve with the chilled out, texturising trio that is Bumble & Bumble Surf Travel Set, £18. The Surf Spray has been going strong since 2001, thanks to its near-miraculous ability to tease hair into piecey, seemingly windswept yet somehow still well turned out styles. This mini will provide enough styling ‘oomph’ that you shouldn’t need assistance from heated appliances (another beauty ball and chain that we’re delighted to leave behind when holidaying). The clarifying shampoo whisks away dirt, sweat and impurities, while the conditioner is fairly light but leaves hair smooth and nourished. Whether you’re a beach bum or not, grab them before you go for low-effort but achingly hip hair. If you’re holidaying on a shoestring, Toni & Guy Casual Styling Kit, £4.66, will deliver mussed up beach kinks on a budget.

Brush off tangles

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Sometimes beach hair migrates into bird’s nest. It happens. Sort it out with a Tangle Teezer- I’ve tried many a hairbrush and found that a good TT is really the only way to nuke knots without chopping chunks of your hair out. The Compact Detangling Hair Brush, £12.49, is smaller than the original but that doesn’t diminish its smoothing powers. It sorts out wayward lengths without pulling, tugging or snagging and is very handy for self-administered scalp-massages (possibly don’t do this on the plane…). It comes with a stand to prevent the teeth of the brush from getting scuffed in your bag, and the array of designs and colours make it a very merry holiday companion indeed.

Smell nice

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It’s a simple brief, but when you can’t lug your preferred perfume with you, smelling of sunscreen doesn’t have quite the same allure as your usual eau de toilette. Cue My Little Chloés- dinky, pretty vials of Chloé’s most popular fragrances. Choose from Chloé Signature, £35, L’Eau de Chloé, £30, or Roses de Chloé, £30, or buy the whole lot if you’re in an indulgent holiday mood. They’re classics and will add a certain class and charm to your plastic transparent washbag (rarely glam). Alternatively, decant your scent of choice into an atomiser like your mum does. She’s onto something there.

Final announcement before boarding…

Did you know that you’re allowed to bring tweezers, nail files and disposable razors in your cabin baggage? I actually didn’t before I researched this piece and have endured many hairy, monobrowed minibreaks. Maybe I’ve been living in a cave, but I’m glad I know now. Also, always pack a spare pair of pants in your hand luggage. You’ll relish a pair of sensible briefs if you’re suitcase goes missing. Lastly, if all else fails, buy your beauty bits when you arrive at your destination. A bit like sampling the local cuisine, foreign beauty products are always intriguing and inviting (possibly just to me because I’m a makeup maniac and all but I’m sure I’m not the only one). Buy, try and if they’re under 100ml you can cart them home as a beauty souvenir.

Do you have a must-have hand luggage product? Or a favourite product to pick up at your destination? I’d love to know- comment below or tweet me @AnnaMaryHunter

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