I don’t know about you, but I find that the hardest part of packing for a holiday is always streamlining my beauty collection. For my last trip, I ended up packing three toiletry bags. It’s easy to get carried away when selecting the hair, skin and body essentials that will get you through a week in the sun—which is where the brilliance of travel beauty kits steps in.
If anything’s going to turn you into an organised packer (packing squares and checklists aside), it’s a curated kit holding all you need for glossy hair, dewy skin and bronzed cheekbones. There’s an abundance of sets on offer, but we’ve selected the best for all manner of trips—from L’Occitane’s city-break heroes to La Mer’s sumptuous in-sun solutions. Keep scrolling to find the sets that belong in your suitcase.
If there's ever a time to harness the concentrated, high-performance power of a mask, it’s during the summertime. After all, even if your skin is parched from the sun, you still want to return home to tons of “you look well” compliments. Patchology has all areas covered—eyes, lips and face—with its pack of serum-soaked sheets that push hyaluronic-fuelled hydration deep into your pores. There are two full-face masks, so use one after your outbound flight and the other when you return home. Save the eye and lip patches for a midweek treat.
Skin that’s seen plenty of sun requires some TLC, which is why Elemis’s ultra-comforting routine is a holiday saviour. The cleanser is perfect for gently removing makeup and traces of suncream, whilst the toner doubles up as a cooling spritz for your beach bag. Finally, save the capsules for bedtime when the reparative oil in the green nighttime pods will pamper pores back to their hydrated best. Note that each bottle is over 100 millilitres, so you'll have to add this set to your checked luggage—not your carry-on.
Suncare brand Coola specialises in SPF that feel undetectable on your skin, so there’s no risk of feeling sticky. Instead, you’re left with light-as-air, waterproof protection that typically smells like the best kind of holiday. In this set, you'll find a piña colada SPF spray, facial sunscreen, a silky aftersun and a protective lip balm that prevents sunburnt pouts.
On a scale from one to impossibly dreamy, La Mer’s skincare kit is right up there. But don’t be thinking that the luxury factor means this set isn’t functional, because it truly is. Holding a trio of regenerating hydrators hardy enough to soothe sun-exposed skin, there’s also a jar of the famed face cream for intense moisture, the treatment lotion for a boosted post-sun glow and a potent oil that will temper wrinkles caused by squinting in the sun all day. Tick, tick, tick.
This holds everything you need to ditch the tongs. There's a dry shampoo for post-beach touch-ups, a spray that’s perfect for wet-look sleekness and a texturizing spray to boost breezy waves. Three sachets of its supremely softening hair mask also come as a bonus for weather-beaten hair.
If you aspire to pack like a Parisian, then check out this travel set. We’ve spotted this in numerous French pharmacies, and we love it for the creamy, white floral notes found in its shower oil, body lotion, multi-purpose oil and eau de parfum. While that quartet of minis has fragrance layering for hair and body covered, the moisturising cream ensures the skin on your face remains soft and supple, too.
Blogger extraordinaire Fashion Mumblr nailed this curated collection of L’Occitane minis, featuring some of the brand’s cult classics in a suitably chic pouch. Favourites include the Almond Shower Oil, Pivoine Flora Beauty Milk and Immortelle Oil Makeup Remover. We’re tipping this kit as a must for city breaks when you want to feel your polished best.
For holiday-bound mums-to-be, this kit is filled with stretch mark–soothing, leg de-puffing, rehydrating solutions that keep skin soft and smooth from head to toe. Pop the Lucky Legs Cooling Gel in your in-flight bag (it's particularly great for long-haul flights) to ease water retention when leg room and walking space is at a minimum.
The best kind of holiday makeup simply enhances (and never hides) your glow, and Benefit’s kit of shimmering neutrals is just the ticket. Blend an even mix of Benetint and High Beam on cheekbones to boost post-sun dewiness. Then, sweep the Sugarbomb Face Powder over high points to add subtle definition and finish with Sugarbomb Lip Gloss to tie this sun-kissed look together.
Next up, your definitive holiday beauty packing list.