When it comes to make-up and skincare, there’s an avalanche of products continually thrust in front of us as the latest must-haves that will revolutionise our beauty routines. I should know, as I’m often the one writing about them, singing the praises of products that, as a beauty writer, I’ve fallen in love with.
While this is all well and good, and true in so many ways – we really do believe that conditioner will make your curly hair softer, this sunscreen will protect you from being burnt, and these are the best fake tans to buy right now – it can get overwhelming. And many of us – myself included – are staring into bathroom cabinets busting at the seams with half-full bottles of lotions and potions trying to pinpoint exactly what it is we really need to be using.
This may be ok when at home, but when going on holiday and trying to pack things into a make-up bag, or worse, a plastic sandwich bag when taking hand luggage only through the airport, suddenly we have to select a handful of favourites. And I’ve managed to get mine down to just three products when it comes to make-up – a foundation, concealer and blush stick that doubles up as a lipstick too.
Granted, I have had a little bit of help, ridding the need for brow products thanks to DIY at-home brow lamination kits, and often foregoing mascara. Although it wouldn’t be too much hardship to chuck a mini sample one in if you really can’t bear to be parted with longer-looking lashes without bulking out the bag.
Interested in which three products made the cut? Keep reading below to find out. And the top tip for keeping your make-up bag mini: get creative with how you use them and banish the brushes.
Chanel les beiges water fresh complexion touche de teint: £51, Feelunique.com
Working as a cross between a foundation and concealer, cleverly dubbed a “fondcealer” by those at the Chanel HQ, this is the perfect product for a lightweight holiday foundation. Non-sticky, non-cakey and easy to blend into the skin – even with just your fingers – I haven’t used any other foundation since trying it. And you can build it up should you wish to have a fuller coverage look in the evening.
In a small 20ml bottle, it’s easy to pop into a plastic bag for liquids if you’re flying without taking up too much space, and the mini brush that comes with it is all you need to apply it with too, although your fingers will also do just fine.
Writing up a more detailed review of the product when it first launched earlier this summer, the formula was one of the most impressive parts. And in warmer weather with the sun potentially drying out your skin, it really does make a difference to have something more hydrating on your face – although it has no SPF factor so be sure to pack a good sunscreen separately.
While the fondcealer works to even out skin tone, texture and colour, caprylic/capric triglyceride, amodimethicone and hexyl laurate form a barrier on the skin surface helping to reduce moisture loss, glycerin draws water from the atmosphere to hydrate and soften the skin, and castor oil rich in fatty acids nourishes the cells.
Antioxidant-rich ingredients such as tamarind extract and jasmine are also included, protecting the skin from pollution and other environmental aggressors as well as being anti-bacterial so anyone prone to breakouts may find this helpful too.
But, at £51, it’s far from cheap. Although a little goes a long way and after over two months of daily use there’s still around a third of the product still left. And when cutting down the whole of the routine to just three products, suddenly it doesn’t seem as costly when taking away money spent on a number of extras no longer needed.
Dior forever skin correct – moisturising creamy concealer: £27, Boots.com
If the Chanel fondcealer works as a concealer, then why do I need this you may wonder? But with ever-growing under-eye bags that could rival tote bag, the lightweight foundation isn’t quite up to tackling these just yet.
So, giving just that added layer of coverage to under-eye bags, red patches and the odd blemish or two, this concealer earns a spot in the three quite nicely. And, in a slightly lighter shade than the fondcealer, can actually be used to highlight the face too – illuminating the bridge of the nose, the centre of the forehead, under the brows and chin to add shape to the face.
It’s another small one at just 11ml, with a long, thin tube that can easily slot into any bag. And a soft cushioned applicator makes for easy application across the face – just be sure to give it a good wipe-down after using it as the product can build up around the rim, squeeze out of the lid and cover your bag with product – which yes, I learnt the hard way, multiple times.
Again, it’s no bargain beauty buy, but it lasts an incredibly long time as you really only need a handful of swipes to cover targeted points. It’s on the heavy side with a full-coverage result with an intensely creamy formula that lasts all day while moisturising the skin.
Some people may opt for bronzer over blush, but for those in the blush-loving club, it’s quite a no-brainer. In a handy stick format, this Huda Beauty option couldn’t be easier to use, and, surprise, surprise, I double it up as a lipstick too.
Opting for shade proud pink, it’s the brightest pick of the lot for more of a standout look, and works great as a lipstick too – although it does need to be regularly re-applied, and can be layered up to increase the intensity.
At just 5g it’s again small, and just like the other two products can also be applied with just the fingers should you be really tight on space.
It’s never too early to get planning, so bookmark our ultimate guide to all the beauty advent calendars worth knowing about