Avoid excess baggage travel charges with Louise McSharry’s top picks
If I was being kind to myself, I would say that I spent last weekend in a state of envy, but if I was being honest I’d admit that it was really jealousy. It’s that time of year again, when half the world seems to be jetting off to sunnier climes to have the perfect holiday.
Or at least that’s what they’re showing us on Instagram. It’s hard to be at home, gazing out the window at a grey, drizzly day while your internet friends engage in semi-ironic ‘hotdogs or legs’ posts, and yet there is no denying that you will absolutely do the same when it’s your turn to sit poolside. The holiday brag can not be resisted.
My favourite holiday content, it won’t surprise you to hear, is the ‘here’s what beauty products I packed’ subgenre. Of course, not everyone engages, but fellow beauty obsessives often oblige, and I adore taking it all in — in the hope that I might learn a new secret in terms of how best to pack it all or find a holiday wunderproduct I’m not familiar with. While I’m not exactly streamlined yet when it comes to packing my makeup bag for a holiday, I have picked up a few tips.
First, consider the bag itself. Some are needlessly bulky and make it difficult to see what you have with you. Despite not always being the prettiest, I find the drawstring style which completely opens up so that your items are spread out flat the easiest to use. The Flat Lay Co produces these in nice prints and a variety of styles (€25.99 via boots.ie). A classic plastic makeup bag is handy if you’re bringing leakable products, but otherwise you can lash them all into the drawstring bag.
Second, think about how you use your products with flexibility. There’s no reason a bronzer can’t also be an eyeshadow, for example. A lip balm can work well on the cheekbones for a glaze-like highlight. Lipstick can easily work as a blush, just dab your fingers on your lips and tap them gently on your cheeks for a beautifully coordinated flush (liquid lipstick can be mixed with concealer to create a blush with staying power). Concealer can easily take the place of foundation if you’re not totally dedicated to full coverage.
Third, look for innovative products that have taken the hassle out of travelling. Irish company Moxi Love’s range is ideal if you’re not checking in a bag or just need to cut down on space. The Barefaced Cleanser Infused Makeup Removal Pads (€3.95 via mcgorisks.ie) look just like any other pack of cotton pads but cleanse well once wet, and the brand’s Dry Shampoo sheets (€3.95 via mccabespharmacy.com) are much easier to throw in your bag than a big can of spray.
Fourth, it may seem obvious, but bring travel-sized versions of products where you can (mini-shampoos, toothpaste etc. are easily available in Boots). If the product you like doesn’t come in a mini, then it might be worth investing in some small pots and bottles to decant them into. These guys can usually be found in Penneys and will save you a lot of space in your case.
Finally, if there’s anything you really feel you can’t be without (for me it’s mascara, a toothbrush and lip balm), be sure to pack them in your carry-on. Nobody likes to think about their luggage getting lost, but it happens, and it’ll be much nicer if you can relax with a drink while you wait rather than running around town picking up replacements!
Mermaid waves have been hot on the beauty scene for a couple of years now, with people turning to all sorts of methods to achieve the beach-meets-glam look. There’s a lot to be said for sleeping in damp plaits, but another favoured tool is Mark Hill’s Pick ‘n’ Mix handle with the Mermaid Waver Barrel.
This handle can be fitted with various barrels (all sold separately) but the Mermaid Waver does a great job of getting beautiful S-shaped waves into your hair. This tool reaches a maximum temperature of 185C, good in terms of heat damage, but may not be enough for those with hair that’s tricky to curl. The barrel is easy to use and the tool itself is nice and light, so you won’t be so wrecked halfway through that you give up!
... Something new
Voduz is a haircare brand by Irish hairdresser and founder of the Pelo brand Denise Phillips, and the founder of BPerfect Cosmetics, Brendan McDowell. Together, they are building a range of products which use infrared technology to style effectively with minimal damage.
The latest launch is the Spectrum Three-in-One Waver (€149 via voduzhair.com). The tool will work well on users with varying lengths, and also those who want to mix up the size of their waves. It comes in its own case with clips and a heatproof glove.
If you’ve ever noticed patches of darkness on your skin, you may have been experiencing hyperpigmentation. This condition is often caused by sun exposure, inflammation or pregnancy and while harmless, it may be troubling to some.
Treatments like chemical peels, IPL, microdermabrasion can help in some cases, as can facial acids and retinoids. To minimize the appearance of this condition, be sure to regularly wear SPF and keep the skin well moisturised.