My sister and I have a rule when we travel together: we go away to try to get good looking, not to be good looking. This crucial distinction informs our packing mantra: masks are in, excesses of make-up out. As I’ve headed to Budapest with her primarily to review hotels/spas in the pursuit of better health and skin (I know – it’s a hard life), but still need to look a touch more put together so I can sink a glass of red in the wonderful watering holes that are so liberally dotted around Budapest, I packed with purpose. Here’s what made the cut:
HANDSOME SWIMMING COSTUME / I’m not given to slipping on a two piece nowadays. Equally, I feel that I’m not of the mighty fitness levels required to pull off a racerback cossie. It’s a conundrum, but one I’ve happily answered with this number which aptly and chicly (don’t say otherwise, people of fashion knowledge) features a plane.
THE POST OFFICE GIRL / I couldn’t even hazard a guess at the number of books I’ve torn through over the years, but this one always calls me back both for Zweig’s enormous insight and for the storyline which is at once unremarkable and unputdownable.
BY TERRY TERRIBLY DENSILISS FOUNDATION / While the idea of leaving foundation at home for the duration of a holiday and instead applying serum galore appeals, I know that looking relatively unblemished really bolsters my confidence. To sort of combine skincare and make-up, I took this serum/pigment hybrid along with me. A note on the hugh price tag – one pump is more than enough, so you should have about six months of face in a bottle, which I feel slightly justifies the price (especially as this really looks after the skin while on).
l: By Terry Ombre Blackstar in Velvet Orchid, r: Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Red Square.
NARS VELVET MATTE LIP PENCIL IN RED SQUARE / Nothing says polished like a good red lip. As I anticipated a certain laziness in my attitude to evening make-up after days spent at the spa, I packed this to take things up a notch if need be.
TOM FORD CORRECTING PEN / Possibly my favourite discovery of the past month, this dual-ended pen offers a hefty stick of concealer on the one side and a little thin nib that’ll cover the tips of angry spots or tiny dots of pigmentation on the other. As it’s a TF offering, it goes without saying that the formula is spot on (forgive the pun, it brought me joy).
BY TERRY OMBRE BLACKSTAR IN VELVET ORCHID / Smudge, smudge and smudge this into your lash line and expect it not to budge after a minute or two of setting time. Also, this pen is the thing for quick application on the go and, in my humble opinion, beats all the shadow pencils on the market.
NARS DUAL-INTENSITY BLUSH IN FRENZY £30 due here on the 1st April / The most wearable of the range of new Nars blushers (photo of them all in my Marie Claire piece here), this one offers a peachy blush and a bit of a golden highlight in the one palette.
BURBERRY EFFORTLESS EYEBROW DEFINER / Bang on, Burbs: this is effortless. A spoolie on one end and pencil that offers a soft, powdery finish on the other, this is the easiest making a brow a little denser and neater gets (provided you mimic little hair strokes when applying – don’t drag the pencil from inner to outer brow – that’ll NEVER look good).
CHLOE MY LITTLE L’EAU EAU DE TOILETTE / This bottle is the perfect size for handbags or a few days on holiday. The scent is a little lighter than my usual, but it’s nice and fresh and based on rose so pleases me.
CHANEL LES VERNIS IN BEIGE PUR £18 launching on the 19th of June here // Nude nails: effortless, eternally chic, easy to apply. When I’m not flirting with riots of colour, this clean and crisp nude will see me through the spring.
PHILIP KINGSLEY ELASTICIZER / I know you’re probably thinking I should stop being such a bore and start banging on about other hair masks, but this is still the one for me. Putting it on slightly damp hair while in the gym/sauna always renders hair smoother/silkier/any of the other s words that hair should be.
NATURA BISSE DIAMOND LIFE INFUSION RETINOL EYE SERUM a zillion pounds, due here imminently / As I’m in Budapest without my press releases and this hasn’t launched yet I can only remember that this is somewhere over the £200 mark, which is ludicrous. Stupid money. Is it worth it? Well, it feels good on and the skin around my eyes is looking pretty happy but I’m not sure if it’s worth a good £150 more than some other very good eye creams I’ve used.
SISLEY SPF STICK / This is a nifty number to travel with – just slide on as and when for decent protection and a shot of moisture. Get the coloured one (as I have) and you also have yourself a bronzer for on the trot. You’re welcome.
SUTI CLEANSING BALM / I hadn’t tried this before packing it. This was a mistake – while I wanted to love this a whole lot (the rest of the Suti range is brilliant), and it feels promising when smoothed on, it’s performance is disappointing – when on, it virtually stays put and even a fairly heavy-handed rub with a cleansing cloth doesn’s quite get the greasy residue off my skin. Which makes me very glad I also took…
OSKIA RENAISSANCE CLEANSING GEL / Divine. Simply divine. Looks like an odd carrot-coloured gel on the hand (I think that’s something to do with the impressive vitamin content), turns into an oil on application and, finally, washes away like a milk, leaving skin soft, clean and happy. This doesn’t have enough grab to take off a day’s make-up, but as a second cleanse or a morning one it cannot be beaten, particularly if you have sensitive skin.
DR HAUSCHKA ROSE CREAM / I usually wouldn’t dream of using a cream this thick on my acne-prone skin but am still warding off some sensitivity and flakiness that’s a hangover from the trip to NY/the rigours of LFW and am therefore slathering this rose-scented unguent on my skin in an attempt to help repair my ruffled barrier.
SALT OF THE EARTH DEODORANT / The only organic deodorant I’ve ever found that works (and it comes in a satisfying spray pump – no rubbing salt crystals along armpits hopefully).
DR HAUSCHKA REJUVENATING MASK / I have neither good nor bad things to say about this mask – it claims to do a host of things from minimising pores to improving circulation and diminishing redness. I’ve used it a few times and my skin always seems a little smoother post but not radically so and certainly not enough to rave about it. If you like natural products and get on with Dr. Hauschka, try this. Otherwise put your money elsewhere.