Tomorrow I'm off to America for three weeks, and whilst I am of course going to take the opportunity to try out American skincare and makeup brands that are expensive or not available over here, I do need some things to keep me going for a few days, at least until I can get to a Sephora or Walgreens. And when it comes to packing cosmetics I rely upon two saving graces: freebies and samples.
Throughout the year I collect and hoard as many beauty samples as I can get my hands on, (I am guilty of using multiple addresses and email accounts to get more of certain things). Danny has become used to sachets of moisturiser and mini mascaras turning up at his house, and coming home from uni is always a bit like Christmas as I usually return to a mound of miniature bottles and packets. I do use these throughout the year but there are usually some I set aside if I have a holiday approaching.
These dinky perfume bottles are perfect for mini-breaks and weekends away if (like me) you hate the thought of lugging a full size glass bottle of rather expensive perfume around with you. Most perfume brands offer these freebies on their website, and whilst many will send postcard samples (like the types that come in magazines) you're in for a chance of getting lucky and landing one of these gems.
I will definitely be buying shampoo, conditioner, and shower gel Stateside, there's really no point taking weighty bottles of products over when you can pick up the same stuff over there (and possibly for cheaper). Hotels pretty much always offer mini complimentary bottles anyway if you're just going for a short break. However, if you're planning on going somewhere exotic and supermarket barren then I would definitely recommend one of Lush's solid shampoos. I use these quite regularly as I find they leave my hair cleaner for longer as well as soft and voluminous. I regularly travel to Manchester from Oxford and this is small and light enough to carry hassle free. It also lasts as long as three full-size bottles of shampoo, and is of course packaging free so eco-friendly. I use the Squeaky Green bar as I've only ever had an amazing experience of using it and am a little scared that others won't live up to my now high standards. Warning: don't be put off if these don't smell as pleasant instore as you were expecting, they're not as sweet and floral as everything else in Lush but smell great at home.
Subscribing to Birchbox is another great way to get your hands on some mini's. I'm loving this blush by TheBalm which came in the July box (review here), and am even considering a full size purchase. It's a lovely colour and a little goes a long way. I'll also be taking the leave-in conditioner from June's Birchbox (review here) as this is basically a mini (and delicious smelling) version of my beloved Aussie Miracle Hair Insurance leave-in conditioner. This generously sized suncream sample by Green People also came in the June Birchbox, it'll be ideal until I get my hands on some SPF in the USA.
I picked up this months copy of Red magazine solely for the REN skincare freebies it came with (but was pleasantly surprised by the content!). I've been wanting to try REN for a while after reading so many blog posts recommending their skincare range, and this set will be perfect for the first few days in America. I love the ease of these nail varnish remover wipes, they're so much less hassle than cotton pads and a bottle of remover, especially travel-wise.
One of my best freebie catches this year has to be this miniature Chanel 'Le Volume De Chanel' mascara. It's a really good size, about half the size of a normal mascara and works beautifully. If it wasn't £24 I'd have purchased the full-sized version in an instant.
This sachet of Origins cult moisturiser 'GinZing' will be perfect for inflight moisturising. It's super important to stay moisturised whilst you're in the air, especially if you're on a long flight. It's lovely to have something refreshing on a long hot journey, I always travel with a small sized bottle of Lush's 'Breath of Fresh Air' toner. As well as being a part of my skincare routine this is great to spray on if you need a cool down/refresh.
I will be taking some full size products of course. My Chanel foundation (Vitalumiere Aqua) is perfect for travelling with as it comes in a compact plastic bottle. Not as aesthetically pleasing as the majority of Chanel's products but definitely travel friendly. My Chanel compact goes everywhere with me so will definitely be included in my hand luggage, and no trip would be complete without my La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo (I dread to think what would happen if I stopped using it). I'll also be taking along my Soap and Glory eyebrow pencil (Arch de Triumph) and my trusty Tangle Teezer.
What products do you take on your travels. Are you a sample hoarder like me? Let me know and if you have any questions ask away! Follow me on Bloglovin for similar posts and updates.