Oh hey, vacay: The ultimate travel beauty kit

We’re officially a couple of weeks into summer AKA holiday season and there’s no greater feeling than hitting ‘out of office’ on your work emails. If your bags aren’t already packed, you’re probably fantasising about which of your beauty products will be going into them once that time comes – from a supercharged skin serum to a can’t-live-without cream blush. These are the staples we recommend adding to your travel tote before jetting to your sunny destination of choice. 

IN-FLIGHT SKINCARE STAPLES 

The products that always make the carry-on cut for beauty on board 

Claire Hill Micellar Water 

Before jetting off, it’s best to remove your makeup to really allow your skin to breathe on board. We recommend cleansing your skin with this gentle micellar water that you’ll invest in time and time again. A cleansing water that we regularly use on repeat, this formula is enriched with native Australian desert lime extract and fatty acid esters to gently mop up dirt and makeup without removing the natural oils on the skin’s surface. Suitable for sensitive, acne-prone and mature skin, in our opinion this skin-relieving lotion provides the deepest clean of the micellar waters, so you can say goodbye to dull, congested skin. You can also use it before a deeper cleanse to help remove stubborn eye makeup. 

R600 from www.clairehill.co.za 

REN Clearcalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser 

Hands up who enjoys the ritual of removing makeup more than actually applying it? Same. With this indulgent, hard-working antibacterial cleanser that leaves skin visibly clearer and calmer, who can blame us? Not only does it come housed in the most #shelfie pleasing packaging, but it also has a hidden twist. Designed to combat the appearance of breakouts and blemishes, this clay cleanser brightens the dullest of dull complexions. It lathers without stripping, washes away easily and is amazingly calming – the extra-gentle formula makes it a dream for sensitive skin. Plus, it minimises the appearance of pore size as well as reduces redness and inflammation. Get ready for your healthiest skin ever! 

R440 from www.renskincare.co.za 

Litchi & Tith Balancing Aromatherapy Blend Serum 

Proudly South African beauty brand Litchi & Titch, who use all-natural plant botanicals in their face and body care products, have launched a range of serums that feature an impressive blend of essential oils but clock in at a relatively affordable price. The Balancing Aromatherapy Blend Serum is packed with neroli, grapefruit, chamomile and 10 essential oils to plump up skin and, over time, address concerns like dullness, dryness and sun damage. We recommend applying a few drops before hitting the pillow to wake up to skin that feels healthy and beams with a radiant glow. Your mind and soul will also love with beautifully calming aroma. As for the highly Instagrammable glass bottle, that’s just a bonus. 

R425 from www.litchiandtitch.co.za 

Sothys nO₂ctuelle Chrono-Destressing Sleeping Mask 

The struggle is real when it comes to looking radiant despite getting inadequate rest, but this sleep mask can help even the most experienced of globetrotters feel refreshed whatever the time zone. Putting a whole new meaning to sleeping beauty, it’s formulated with a concentration of stabilised vitamin C and botanicals to fill cells with the optimal amount of oxygen and help turn up skin’s natural brightness. The scent is subtle and the gel formula is light, which is great if you don’t love being aware that something is on your face when you’re falling asleep. Our top tip is to gently massage it on in circular motions to truly penetrate it deeply into skin for prime smoothing results long after you hit snooze. 

R590 for eight 4ml sachets from select spas and stockists 

Filorga Hydra-Filler Mask 

Air travel can leave us feeling jetlagged, dehydrated and desperate to hit the hotel room on arrival, but fortunately this sheet mask will have you feeling like you just walked out of a spa. It’s kind of amazing how much goodness can be packed into such an ultra-fine lyocell fibre material, and that’s what makes it so fantastic. The lightweight mask, which will fit any face perfectly (no readjusting needed), rests on the skin and infuses it with a super-moisturising blend of aloe vera, iron, zinc and vitamins A, B, C and E in just 15 minutes. It’s a little pricier than other sheet masks, but the plumped, glowing outcome is totally worth the splurge. We’re also in love with the designer-fragrance-esque scent. 

R175 for a single mask from www.skinmiles.co.za and www.absoluteskin.co.za  

Suki Suki Naturals Papaya Rose Hydrating Facial Mist 

If you’re a fan of the Suki Suki Naturals line, you’ll fall head over heels for its hydrating face mist, which will give you a major glow in a matter of seconds. Infused with moisture-enhancing rose water to tone, hydrate and soften as well as papaya extract to speed up cell turnover, it will not only leave your thirsty skin feeling quenched but also baby-soft and refreshed. We reach for it every time our skin’s looking particularly stressed, but you can use it between your cleansing and essence steps or whenever your face needs a wake-up call. We especially love the way it brings dried, cakey foundation back from the brink and that it smells like fresh papaya. Consider this your post-vacation glow extender! 

R295 from www.sukisukinaturals.co.za 

MINIS, MULTITASKERS AND OUTDOOR MUST-HAVES

For those who don’t want to travel with a huge makeup bag in tow 

The Beauty Worx Collagen Boost Face Serum 

When our skin is feeling a bit dry or tired on holiday, this is the serum we reach for. Delivering equivalent results to one injection of collagen filler in just two weeks, it will keep your skin healthy and gorgeous all season long. The best thing about this serum is that it firms skin and gives a boost of moisture – not to mention that the super-hydrating formula feels so luxurious. Expect to see an instant dewy freshness after application, but then over the long term, it helps boost collagen and elastin to leave the skin looking plumped, youthful and glowy. After weeks of use, it helps skin become better equipped to repair itself, which sounds pretty great to us! For best results, use it morning and night. 

R109.95 from Dis-Chem 

Filorga Lift-Structure Radiance Ultra-Lifting Rosy-Glow Fluid 

Meet the best facial you’ve ever had … in a bottle. This serum’s lightweight, pink tinted formula (that’s suitable for all skin tones) gives your skin a sheer, rosy glow as soon as you massage it on, without it looking too obvious or makeup-y. Packed with skin-loving ingredients that will help you achieve the glowiest, prettiest skin of your life, it leaves you with a plump, dewy effect that’s nothing short of enviable. It also helps correct complexion irregularities as well as visibly lifts and smooths skin. Add on a string of hydrating, calming and brightening ingredients and it’s hard not to see why this serum is a favourite of ours. Slather it on in the morning and follow up with your favourite moisturiser. 

R895 from www.skinmiles.co.za and www.absoluteskin.co.za 

NUXE Crème Prodigieuse Boost 5-in-1 Multi-Perfection Smoothing Primer 

It all starts with a perfectly primed face. After slathering your face with moisturiser, reach for this primer with an antioxidant complex containing jasmine flower and natural origin perfecting powders. The non-tinted paste, which sinks in immediately, will help stave off shine, blur irregularities and signs of ageing, fill in enlarged pores for a smoother finish as well as give your foundation some added staying power. When you the clock strikes noon, your foundation will look just as good as when you applied it! A pea-sized amount is enough to prep your whole face for foundation and keep it looking flawless from dusk until dawn. Sponge it on with a damp beauty sponge to create a thin, even layer on your skin.  

R450 from select Woolworths, Truworths and Foschini stores 

EcoTools Travel Makeup Brush Set 

Your makeup application is only as flawless as the tools you use to blend, sweep and swirl it in place. If you want the kind of carry-on bag that’s all about packing efficiently but don’t want to forfeit looking good, snatch up a set of these mini makeup brushes that will ensure your makeup looks its best while you’re on holiday. Consisting of a Complexion Blending, Multitasking Blush, Micro Crease and Angled Liner brush, this on-the-go style kit covers all the essentials for effortless application. As an added bonus, they come in a sleek cosmetic bag so you can carry them with you neatly wherever you go. We think this would also make a fabulous gift for a beauty-obsessed friend for the 2020 holiday season. 

R220 from Clicks 

REN Evercalm Ultra Comforting Rescue Mask 

See ya later, inflammation! Whether it’s just a seasonal woe or you happen to suffer from redness year-round, thankfully this calming face mask is made specifically for inflamed skin. It’s truly the closest thing to hitting the reset button on your skin you can find. The creamy formula is loaded with white mushroom extract to soothe swelling, redness and itchiness as well as arnica, which assuages inflammation almost instantly. If you’ve accidentally irritated your skin with overly aggressive products, this mask will save you from literally any skin SOS. Throw it on for 10 minutes and your complexion will thank you! We also recommend wearing it to sleep to wake up with the dewiest skin ever. 

R710 from www.renskincare.co.za 

Filorga UV-Bronze Face Anti-Ageing Sun Fluid SPF 50+ 

Keep your skin safe from am to pm with this sunscreen soulmate for your face. This is one of those products that are all pros and no cons: With a weightless texture that feels closer to a serum than a lotion, it’s made for mature skin and protects against skin ageing and dark spots. So, you’re really getting a sunscreen and skincare product in one, which makes it well worth the price tag. Don’t let the creamy, white consistency intimidate you – once you start massaging this anti-ageing facial SPF into your skin, there’s zero chance of any chalky residue. The blurring, fast-absorbing formula sinks into the skin like a dream, leaving a hydrated and dewy finish in its wake to unleash your inner glow-getter. 

R499 from www.skinmiles.co.za and www.absoluteskin.co.za 

SVR Sun Secure Brume SPF 50 + 

A lot of sunscreens come with fruity or coconutty scents that are sometimes very overwhelming. If you’re not about the scented sunscreen life – or if you have sensitive skin – you might want to opt for this ultra-fine mist that leaves an invisible finish and provides an immediate sensation of freshness. No stickiness, no residue and great coverage – just a few of the things that make this spray sunscreen perfect for your face and body. It’s super-easy to apply, is less messy than lotions, can help you reach difficult places (like your back) and applies on evenly so you don’t have to worry about missing any patches of skin when you spritz. It can really come in handy if you’re going to be in the heat all day long. 

R440 from www.absoluteskin.co.zawww.shopfomo.com and www.riekiemedaesthetic.co.za 

pHformula SOS Lip Rescue 

If you’re more of a lipstick girl than a lip balm one, this product will be the one exception. We’re even willing to bet that it will soon be your new go-to lip product (you know – that ride-or-die you carry around everywhere). A warm-weather alternative to lipstick, we just can’t get enough of this medicated lip balm with multitasking ingredients like shea butter – because there’s absolutely nothing sexy (or comfortable) about flaky, chapped lips. Not only does it work wonders on dry, cracked lips, but it’s also lightweight and non-sticky, and has the ability to soothe chapped anything – cuticles, elbows, you name it. A thin layer of the balm adds the prettiest subtle sheen to lips, and it layers nicely with lipstick too. 

R410 from www.dermastore.co.za 

Schwarzkopf Gliss Bio-Tech Range 

You don’t need to be using a million products to get the full, shiny hair of your dreams – trust us. This new range, consisting of the Restore Strengthening Shampoo, Conditioner and Hair Butter as well as the Restore Express Repair Conditioner, does it all at once. With new plant-based phyto stem cell complex technology, these products transform damaged hair in a jiffy (and for months to come), while fresh rose water softens strands to keep them looking like new and adds an irresistible scent. Our favourite product is the Hair Butter, which is fabulous whether you’re in need of a little TLC or a complete overhaul. Comb it through your hair in the shower and leave it on while you shave your legs (or longer for a deeper treatment) so it has time to get the job done. 

Priced from R72.99 each from Dis-Chem, Clicks, Checkers and www.takealot.com 

INOAR 2-in-1 Shampoo & Shower Gel 

This two-in-one shampoo and shower gel will cut some time out of your shower routine without leaving you feeling like you missed a step. Not only is it great for repairing damaged hair (we’re looking at you, split ends), but it also adds back moisture and nutrients to make hair feel soft and look shiny. From a shower gel perspective, the delightful aroma of orange flower is floral but not girly – making it suitable for both ladies and men – and energising enough that we don’t need our morning coffee. Almost. It lathers beautifully and cleans the skin without stripping, and the scent lingers for hours. Plus, the formula is 100% vegan, botanical and sulphate-free, meaning it doesn’t contain any sketchy ingredients. 

R420 from www.inoar.co.za 

Cantu Avocado Hydrating Curl Activator Cream 

Start your holiday styling routine with an extra dose of moisture and shine. Crafted with the brand’s award-winning shea butter formula and infused with avocado oil, this repair cream will ensure that every vacation day will also be a good hair day. In addition to smoothing flyaways, it penetrates deeply to prevent breakage, repair split ends, increase your hair’s manageability and make dry ends look like new. You can also count on it to detangle damp hair. Aimed specifically at curls in need of some love, it makes waves and curls look and feel bouncier and less frizzy after every use, without even the slightest hint of product buildup. When used daily, it helps promote stronger, healthier hair.  

R169.95 from Dis-Chem and Clicks 

OGX Hydrate & Repair + Argan Oil of Morocco Hair Mask 

If you’ve got 10 minutes to spare in your day while on holiday, doing a hair mask might not be a priority, but it can make a big, shiny difference to your crowning glory. Frizz, faded colour, scraggly ends: This is one of the best hair masks to undo summer damage. Made with argan oil from Morocco – a natural source of vitamin E filled with antioxidants – after just one use, your hair will feel sleeker, shinier and smell amazing thanks to conditioners like silk proteins. If chlorine, salt water and sun has wrecked your hair colour (it happens), this creamy blend will help detangle and revive even the most severely dry, damaged strands. And let’s be real: The baby blue jar is just fun to stare at in the shower. 

R189.95 from Dis-Chem, Clicks and Foschini 

COLAB Dry Shampoo Glam 

Why wash your hair when you can look fresh and flouncy with this hair freshener instead? We’d like for you to meet your saviour – between wash days, that is. After a day at the beach, just pull out this trusty dry shampoo and you’re good to head to dinner! The sensual sandalwood and cassis scent adds a touch of luxury to your daily routine and will have you longing for a tropical getaway. It absorbs oil at the drop of a hat while preventing dryness at the same time and leaves zero stick or residue in its wake, so you won’t need to worry about brushing hair out. You can also use this to finesse an updo or to add texture and grip to hair you want to braid or style on those days your hair may be especially, um, lived in

R79.95 from Clicks 

REN Clearcalm Non-Drying Spot Treatment 

If you’re still using toothpaste to get rid of your spots, it’s time you upgraded your methods. This skin-loving spot solution works with a variety of anti-inflammatory and pore-flushing ingredients – think willow bark, maritime pine, thyme, xylitol and prebiotics – to gently calm the skin, reduce redness and speed up your skin’s natural healing process. One of the fastest working spot treatments on the market, apply it before bed and that blemish will be gone come morning. The best part? It’s non-drying and incredibly soothing, and despite its potency it’s suitable for even the most sensitive skins. FYI, it works best if you use it at the very first sign of a breakout. A tube should be kept in your bag at all times! 

R310 from www.renskincare.co.za 

L’Occitane Almond Milk Concentrate 

Post-shower moisturising can be a chore when you’re on holiday, but this body cream will turn a hassle into a treat. We’re not going to pretend that rubbing a silky, sweet-scented cream all over your body is as indulgent as eating your way through a pile of flaky, buttery almond tarts, but it’s still pretty satisfying. Enriched with a concoction of powerful almond extracts as well as nourishing almond milk and oil, this body cream melts into the skin in a creamy texture and leaves it with a deliciously nutty scent that lasts for hours and hours. Fast-absorbing, velvety in texture and impossibly addictive in scent, it’s no wonder this product is notorious for converting many to luxury body care (ourselves included). 

R845 from L’Occitane en Provence 

The Body Shop Coconut & Yuzu Hair & Body Mist 

Dry shampoo can make a two-day-old ‘do look wildly sexy, but nothing can fake just-stepped-out-of-the-shower freshness like this superfood-inspired hair and body mist. We’ll admit that ‘hair perfume’ sounds a little hoity-toity, but when you come to think of it, your shampoo, conditioner and styling products’ scents don’t last that long. Blended with coconut and yuzu for a fresh, tropical scent, this irresistible mist leaves your strands smelling as fresh and clean as a mojito. Lightweight enough to use as a body fragrance too, the super-sensual scent is the perfect pre-date hair refresher and a first date essential. Trust us – it’s worth splurging on this hair fragrance to perfume your ponytail. Yum! 

R190 from The Body Shop and Clicks 

SOiL Lemon and Tea Tree Sanitiser 

You’ll always want to keep one of these essential, straightforward hand sanitiser sprays in your handbag while travelling. Combining beauty expertise with a bacteria-banishing level of 70% alcohol, this natural formulation is enhanced with the antiviral and antibacterial properties of organic tea tree essential oil for an effective cleanse that doesn’t leave your hands sticky or chapped. The added organic lemon essential oil cleanses and protects your hands with the sensorially satisfying scent of lemon to give you a little peace of mind when you don’t have access to a sink and good old soap and water. In our opinion, this hand sanitiser is also the perfect first step of an at-home manicure or pedicure. 

R30 from www.soil.co.zawww.faithful-to-nature.com and Wellness Warehouse 

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