Rare is the occasion when I feel I’ve packed perfectly; I’m essentially an extreme person and as such am given to vastly under or overpacking. On the cosmetic front, it’s usually a case of the latter, which seems to turn holidays into a challenge to see how many times daily I can shower and slather to make my way through all the stuff I’ve crammed into my suitcase.
As I’m only in Menton for a short break, I thought I’d try swinging the other way. It’s served me remarkably well – rather than feel overwhelmed by choice, I’ve focussed less on products and allowed myself to ease a little into the gently sway of seaside life. Here are the highlights of my beauty bounty:
ORLA KIELY COSMETICS BAG / Retro pattern + spacious compartments + wipe-clean fabric = all my cosmetic bag boxes ticked. I suspect this will be joining me on many a jaunt.
COLGATE PRO CLINICAL POCKET PRO ELECTRIC TOOTHBRUSH / This little lightweight electric brush is just the thing for the frequent traveller – it comes in little plastic case to keep it clean in transit, the charger has a USB adapter for a quick laptop charge, and apparently it removes five times more plaque than manual brushing. Which is good news, given that my diet out here is on the most part comprised of red wine, cheese and chocolatey croissants.
MOA THE GREEN BALM / An organic balm that can be used as a cleanser (just rub in and remove with a flannel), moisturising balm, mosquito bite-soothing unguent etc etc. Very useful, very pleasing in texture, very reasonable price.
GILLETTE VENUS SNAP WOMEN’S RAZOR / When this landed on my desk I had little idea of how deeply it would thrill me. As a hirsute woman (I’ve got the polycystic ovaries, you see – hair is a lifelong battle), this easy to grip and teeny tiny version of the venus razor that comes in a little plastic shell is so very unexpectedly useful and I’m not ashamed to say I whipped this out on the beach today for a little surreptitious shave of a few missed hairs.
NUXE SUN SPF 30 / Smells good (like 80s suncream of the coconut variety), offers broad spectrum protection, doesn’t cost the earth and leaves skin moisturised but not greasy. Me likey.
MALIN + GOETZ PETTIGRAIN PERFUME OIL / Citrussy and a touch soothing thanks to lavender and tonka bean, I packed this rollerball as much to uplift me after long, balmy days outside as to please the noses of others.
RAYBANS / My go-to brand for sunnies, I’m still enjoying this tortoiseshell pair that I picked up in the airport on my way back from Faro in July.
MAYBELLINE DREAM BRONZE BB in Light/Medium / I got this because my sister raved about it to me, saying it injected her face with the sort of bronze dewiness she so loves. It doesn’t offer masses of coverage (think veil, not curtain of make-up), but it certainly perks up a sallow complexion and works nicely for me when coupled with concealer/foundation.
STILA AQUA GLOW WATERCOLOUR BLUSH in Shimmering Lotus / A host of these watery cheek stains have launched of late in no small part in a hope on the part of cosmetic firms to emulate the huge success of Daniel Sandler’s Watercolour Blush. Stila’s take is really nice – sheer, buildable and not sticky in the slightest. I think some people use brushes with these but I just dab them onto my skin, making sure to really warm the colour so it melts into foundation and looks like a natural flush.
l to r: Diego Dalla Palma Eyeshadow, Stila Watercolour Blush, MAC Koi Coral & Maybelline Dream Bronze BB.
MAC LIPSTICK in Koi Coral / Coral lipstick is a favourite of mine – a pop of anything in the peachy spectrum seems to bring the best out in my colouring. Also: coral is very French Riviera, or at least I like to think so.
BAREMINERALS BLEMISH REMEDY FOUNDATION in Clearly Cream 03 / Loads of mineral make-up is designed to moisturise, which is great, sure, but most the time if I’m wearing foundation, I’m doing so to cover spots. Adding spot-specific skincare to a base, as bareMinerals have done with this new release, therefore seems so obvious a move that I’m surprised more brands haven’t done so. Containing aspen bark and tea tree oil to help clear blockages and soothe angry skin, it provides fairly full coverage and if applied heavy-handedly is matte, so I just wisp the tiniest layer over my skin to cover congestion and mattify shine.
DIEGO DALLA PALMA in Castagna Illusion Eyeshadow 27 / Still not over the whole insouciant wash of cream shadow thing. This chapter: bronze with subtle silver shimmer.