Packing for a weekend away

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I’m off to London for the weekend to meet up with the boyfriend and some friends for a bit of an adventure! This means a short hop with Easyjet and their joyful baggage restrictions… So I thought I’d show you my carry-on bag and it’s contents.

As you all know, cabin liquid limits are 10 items, 100ml or less, in a clear plastic bag. I have no idea how some bloggers spent the summer promoting plastic bags with designs on, I’m sure I’ve seen them be binned at airports… Either way, my bag is a John Frieda one that came with a mini shampoo, conditioner, and hairspray. They’re long gone now, but the bag lives on! It’s sturdy enough to survive the dozen or so flights a year that I do at the moment.

These are my ten items… (I took the pictures and then changed my mind slightly, sorry! The Clarins toner is staying home and my Collection concealer and LOreal foundation are going in its place.)

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From left to right: toothpaste, contact lens solution & case, Original Source mint shower gel (decanted), Rituals shampoo & conditioner (taken from the last hotel I stayed in!), Garnier Moisture Match, Clarins Daily Energising Cleanser, and LOreal micellar solution (decanted).

Seeing as I’m only away for two nights, I’ve tried to limit the size of each item, but I’ve done a week on cabin size stuff quite easily before. The easiest and cheapest way to do this is to decant what you have, rather than buying travel size bottles of each product. Boots sell 50ml and 100ml bottles for just over £1 each, in a variety of screw cap/ squeezy/ spray types. I’m using a spray bottle for micellar solution and, if I didn’t have hotel miniatures, my shampoo and conditioner would be in 50ml screw cap bottles. I usually add coloured washi tape to each bottle so I don’t get them muddled up.

I have cheated slightly on the 10 items restriction; there’s perfume at my boyfriend’s house that I can pick up on the way from the airport to our little holiday place, but if I didn’t have that option I’d go for a dry perfume stick like this.

I always see loads of people try to put their entire make up collection in the toiletries bag, but it really is just liquids – my test is that if I can tip the open container upside down and nothing oozes out, it’s not a liquid, so mascara and lip balm are both going in my handbag. I’m not certain that airport security agrees with me, but they’ve not challenged it yet!

What do you take away with you for short trips? Any tips for packing super light?

The ‘not quite a spending ban’ isn’t working…

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I’m supposed to be sticking to the A Thrifty Mrs £100 challenge this year. Walking into Boots or Superdrug is definitely bad for this..

So, what’s in my haul? A nail polish, a foundation, two types of conditioner, and two serums. Oops. I might have also acquired a new iPod. Big oops. That isn’t in the £100 challenge though!

The nail polish is Essie Mojito Madness, which I’ve been dying to get for ages! I picked it up from eBay for under £4. It’s such a gorgeous green shade – and it matches my handbag nicely!

The foundation was also in a Wishlist post a while back: LOreal True Match. I swatched a few before purchasing and ended up with Rose Vanilla, which is a neutral (not too pink or too yellow) and on the pale end of the spectrum. It was in a 2 for £14 deal in Boots, and I got the LOreal Lumi Magique primer too, but that already has a new home via eBay as it really wasn’t suited to me.

The two conditioners are from Superdrug, and both their own brand; coconut oil, and tea tree/peppermint conditioner. A total of less than £3! I’ve read amazing things about coconut oil improving hair growth, and I really want to get mine long again. The conditioner is pearly and definitely smells minty!

The serums were a bargain. Clinique Laser Repair Focus was a free sample (2 weeks worth) from Debenhams, and Nip+Fab was on a clearance shelf in Boots so only £4.66 (RRP £14.95!). I’ve not tried the N/F one yet as its glycolic acid so I need to get a decent SPF day cream to go with it, even in autumn this far north!

What have you bought recently? Loving any of the products I bought?

Boots haul – LOreal Feria, Maybelline brow pencil, Nivea In-shower moisturiser

My mum, being the generous soul that she is, recently gave me her Boots Advantage card so I could use all the points she’d accumulated. So I had the luxury of picking out all my wants from Boots and getting them all for free! Yay!

My first pick was hair dye, because my hair currently looks like the pic below. It’s six weeks since I last dyed it (with LOreal Sublime Mousse in Hot Brown – love this dye, always pick foam formulations if I can) and it’s just looking a bit meh. A colour boost is just what it needs, and I think I’m gonna stick with red tones for the moment. I had a few thoughts about going pink or purple, but red seems to let me indulge my crazy side without looking too unprofessional at uni.

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Feria is LOreal’s new permanent colour range, with shades from Extreme Platinum Power through to Blackest Black. There’s very few ‘standard’ colours in this range; these are all head-turning colours – oranges, reds, purples, and even some intriguing pastel shades such as peach. For the less adventurous, there’s a handful of browns and blondes. The difference from LOreal’s other permanent ranges? Feria is a gel dye, designed to give rich colour and shine to your hair.

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I was deliberating between Scarlet Red and Hot Chilli Red for ages, and what swung it in the end was that the model on the HCR pack just looked way too eighties. Who says I pick things based on irrelevant factors? Either way, I’m looking forward to going Scarlet.

My next choice was a brow pencil and I picked Maybelline’s new MasterShape brow pencil. What I love about this is that it’s a double ended product – on one end is the pencil and on the other is a little brush to tidy up those brows before you start adding some shading. It’s only available in Dark Blonde or Soft Brown, so I went for the latter but I’m not sure if it’s a little too light – despite being naturally mousy in hair colour, my brows are pretty dark.

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There’s a little diagram on the side of the pencil to show how to draw a neatly shaped brow, but these are your brows, so play around and see what suits. I really didn’t think a touch of background shading would make a great deal of difference to my brows – think long, sparse, dark hair – but it really does help to define my brow line and shape my face. I’d feel far more confident with bold eye make up now I’ve got some decent brows to go with it.

Last but not least I repurchased Nivea’s innovative In-shower body moisturiser. I’m really bad at remembering to moisturise and I can never be bothered waiting for it all to soak in before I get dressed, so this is a god-send of a product. It’s like conditioner for your skin – wash, rinse, apply this, rinse again and you’re done. I was fairly sceptical as to whether NIvea had just repackaged a standard moisturiser, so I tried it on dry skin – don’t do it! This really is completely re-formulated for shower use. On dry skin it refused to rub in and when I added water it turned into a waxy layer that I pretty much had to scrape off. Inner Unicorn – doing things wrong so you don’t have to!

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I know this doesn’t quite stand up to the hydrating powers of ‘normal’ moisturiser, but it’s fantastic if you’re in a bit lazy, in a rush to get dressed, or just want an excuse to spend a few seconds more under a warm shower. I got the Almond Oil one for dry skin and my skin does feel softer since I’ve started using this every day.

All in all, about a tenner’s worth of stuff for nothing! And I still have my own Boots points to spend later!

Have you tried any of these products? What do you think?