Hand luggage only? Prep your beauty kit for your carry-on.

Hurrah, I am finally going on holiday. I usually make a yearly pilgrimage to my aunt and uncle’s home in Southern Spain, and to keep costs low I travel with hand luggage only. But this does tend to thwart a gal’s beauty kit, especially if you’re a product junkie like I am. I have thrown plenty a pre-boarding tantrum when having to bin my beauty bits thanks to some little Hitler on the security line (JOKING, I know it’s for our safety and I’ve come to terms with the loss). Nevertheless, it has taken me a few years and several flights to hone the process of travelling with limited liquids, and so I thought I’d share some tips when it comes to packing in those mls and travelling “light” but completely beauty-fulfilled.

The Rules

No more than 100ml per container. No more than 1litre in total. All to fit in a teeny tiny clear plastic bag measuring just 20cm x 20cm.

Decant, decant, decant.

Got a hero product over 100mls? Decant it. Buy some mini bottles from your local pharmacy and transform your favourites into miniature miracles…

Fragrance in miniature

One of my pet hates when it comes to travelling light is forgoing my fragrance selection. That was, until I discovered purse sprays and touchpoint pens. Everyone from the likes of Tom Ford to Chloe to Prada produces these small scale scents… it’s also a great way to try out a new fragrance for half the price.


Sample sized

When I was shopping for foundation a few years ago was given a miniature bottle of Estée Lauder Double Wear by one of their makeup counter pros. I am now a convert with a full-size bottle, but it’s a heavy glass bottomed bitch that isn’t too travel-friendly. So I pour it back into its sample bottle for travelling. I also have a little collection of sample sized products thanks to my Birchbox subscription and a few Christmas gift sets… they are great to save for a holiday.

Liquid for solid

You can swap so many liquids for solids when it comes to beauty. I trade my hand cream for balm, my lip gloss for lip stick, my face wash for Honest’s Cedar & Pine Soap, and I’ve recently discovered a few genius gems from new-to-the-UK brand Afterspa. I’ve tried their Cleansing Puffs, their Facial Micro Scrubber and their Magic Makeup Remover, they all do a great job and they totally negate the need to pack liquid removers, cleansers and scrubs.


Stock up en route

Finally, I’m all about forgoing a few items to fuel a little pre flight shopping. Everyday essentials such as hairspray, dry shampoo, deodorant and shower gel are easy to grab once you’re through security. As are a few duty-free gems… just remember if you buy something special, you’ll have to get it home again…

N.B Also, DO NOT entrust your boyfriend with the airport shopping bag because he might just forget about it and leave it on the plane. This happened just last night, so we are currently without a few essentials, although all is not lost because I followed the tips above 😝

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7 Comment

  1. I used to travel back and forth to London a lot with just hand luggage and trying to get all those beauty essentials through security was a nightmare. Swapping out liquids for solids was an absolute life saver (I think I may be a little dramatic when it comes to beauty products and airports) so that is always the tip I use whenever I travel.
    I don’t think I could work at airport security and tell someone they have to throw away some of their makeup or skincare when I know how much that stuff costs!

  2. LaaLaa says: Reply

    Packing for travelling can be such a nightmare but I also believe decanting and swapping liquids for solids is a lifesaver where you can. I like the Afterspa products too x

  3. sample sizes or travel sizes are a great way to go when travelling. For most things you don’t need anything large anyway plus it saves on the space and weight.

  4. Travelling with just hand luggage is such a struggle for us girlies, we need all the liquids! I love all your tips and will definitely try looking for samples and decanting more next time I’m hand luggage only.

  5. These are all great tips! I’ve not flown in about 12 years so I had no idea on the rules and regulations around this. I’ve bookmarked your post for future reference 🙂

    Louise x

  6. I love these tips, I just tend to use some of my son and boyfriends space ha ha

  7. Top tips! The liquid to solid part is genius – I recently discovered a face wash powder and it is going to be in my hand luggage for sure.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Leigh at Fashion Du Jour LDN x

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