We popped away for a little winter mini break TO ATTEND A wedding last weekend. I thought it would be a good opportunity to write about what skincare I felt was needed (nay, essential) to take away for A COUPLE OF nights.

And of course, there was one product that didn’t get used… because, like packing sneakers for a trip and never letting them see the light of day, that’s just the rules.

So let’s break it down.


I brought two products - a night time/makeup removing/SPF removing one and a morning one. The morning one was a new-to-me product that a good friend of mine swears by, Alpha-H’s Balancing Cleanser with Aloe Vera. It’s a delightfully soft white cream with a gently herbal/lavender scent, nourishing without being thick and didn’t irritate my post-dermatitis flare up-py skin at all.

For the heavy duty night time removal, happily I had a 50ml travel size of my beloved Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm, so got to dig into a fresh pot of that which is always an absolute pleasure. It definitely needs its own review (to add to the glowing pile available across the inter webs) but suffice to say it removed full on wedding guest makeup, including lashings of L’Oreal’s Lash Paradise (my new favourite mascara), waterproof gel liner etc etc easily, gently and in true spa-like fashion with that fabulous citrus scent.


I had a tiny sample bottle of Medik8’s Hydr8 B5 I got recently with an order of their excellent salicylic pads, and I have to say I wasn’t particularly moved one way or the other by it. It felt fine going on - these serums can often feel tacky which is annoying, and this didn’t - and it didn’t aggravate things on my already delicate face, but I didn’t notice any real difference. Could be the sample was too small to really tell. I just feel like I’ve used many more exciting hydrating serums in my time.


Ever since my months-long orbital dermatitis flare up, I’ve been wary of using eye cream. There is so much conflicting opinion floating about on whether to add moisture or to keep the area completely clean and dry that I got overwhelmed and decided as little interference as possible was best. Then I went and had a facial last week and the therapist told me a particular area of dehydration (read: fine lines) was around my eyes. I had noticed it too but it always gives you more of a kick when someone else says you’re looking crepey. So I brought a little travel size of Lancome’s Hydra Zen eye cream away with us. It is a light gel-cream texture and felt like just what I needed - extra hydration without needing any vigorous, skin-upsetting rubbing in and is only vaguely scented. I don’t know that long term I would consider it enough for my difficult eye area but it was so unobjectionable it’s definitely one I will be keeping in the back pocket.



Again turning to the Lancome samples from various gifts with purchase in the past, I brought the trusty plain version of their Hydra Zen cream. Similar to the same line’s eye cream mentioned above, it’s sort of just thick enough to feel really calming and soothing without requiring any heavy rubbing in or feeling like it might be too much on acneic skin. This is a standby for me that I have returned to time and again and can always rely on. It certainly didn’t fail me here.


You may have seen on my Instagram stories recently my incredibly sad fail of using Votary’s lovely Super Seed Facial Oil… as a cleanser. I mean, I have no defence. Total moment of idiocy. So this time I brought it to do the job it’s meant to do, and kept it on the bedside table to add once I was in bed. It has a really lovely green scent (it’s technically unscented, though because of all the fantastic oils in it smells very herbal and garden-y, so fair warning if you’re not keen on unmasked oil smells). Much like the Hydra Zen cream, it feels thick enough to go on like a protective blanket but thin enough to play well with everything I had already layered on. Wonderful.


I simply cannot decide if I like coconut or not. Evidence - my love for RMS Coconut Cream to remove makeup, general fondness for Pina Coladas, but distaste bordering on revulsion of coconut candles - would suggest it’s overall a wavering yes. I seem to have permanently chapped lips, not helped by a disgusting tendency to pick at them, and the Kopari Coconut Lip Glossy is such a delight that though I’m happy to use it in the daytime, I like best to use it overnight to get the most bang for my buck. It’s not gloopy and nor does it just disappear (the worst). It drenches your lips in moisturiser. It leaves a barrier so when you wake up in the morning there’s still some product left (the best). It smells of coconut (I… just don’t know. But it’s not an awful fake smell and it doesn’t linger). Thumbs up.


One of my all-time favourite products, funnily enough. Yes, I brought and did not crack open the cult Biologique Recherche P50. My reasoning? My skin just didn’t feel up to it. On the night we arrived it was already just a little sting-y and red, and I didn’t want to risk it going into melt down with the wedding the next day. The night of the wedding I had taken off a trowel load of makeup and felt like my face just needed nurturing. P50 is a truly fantastic product but nurturing, it ain’t. Then the night afterwards it was still feeling delicate, so for once in my get-all-the-things-on-my-face-now-now-now life, I managed to keep my foot on the brake and decide I’d take leave of actives for the whole weekend. I mean, can you even IMAGINE.