Been following my Thailand travel guide? These are the cosmetics that have made it into my suitcase

If you’ve been following my guide to visiting Thailand on a budget you’ll know I’m currently in Phuket and I thought I’d share exactly which cosmetic items I’ve taken with me. Lots of sun, sea and seriously hot, sticky weather requires a particular arsenal and, having headed to the east several times, I know exactly what’s going to work and what wont.

But first, let’s start with what I’m NOT taking and that’s anything in a powder format. As it’s so humid and you sweat up a storm so powder, blush and eye shadow just ends up turning to mud. I also take a little break from all my anti-ageing products and tint my brows and lashes as well as get a gel mani and pedi so brow filling products and anything relating to nails can be left at home.

So, what’s coming along? Let’s start with what I’ll have on me on the plane, the first item being Cetaphil Gentle Skin cleansing cloths. They cleanse like a bomb, are alcohol-free so they don’t leave you feeling tight and, as the packaging sports a plastic ‘lid’, they never dry out. After cleaning up, I’ll slap on two hydrators and in this case it’s going to be Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 serum and Restylane Night Cream. I’ve got millions of sample size products to choose from that are perfect for the plane but I’ve picked these particular gems for their mega-moisturising hyaluronic acid content. The Restylane Night Cream also contains hydrating ceramides and soothing oat extract so drying cabin air won’t stand a chance! I’ll then slick on some lip balm, my beloved Blistex DCT, and I’m ready to take a sleeping tablet and black out.

Catrice Camouflage Cream isn’t pictured ‘cos I’m trying to find my colour (020) and it’s NOWHERE to be found in Cape Town. My old pot is almost empty and I’m kind of freaking out.

When it’s time to rise and shine and I’ll reach for another cleansing cloth, hydrate once more and then neaten up my brows using the spooly brush of my RapidBrow eye brow enhancing serum (I’m using it religiously and will report back soon). I’ll then make myself look human with a little Catrice Camouflage Cream and my hideous Chinese store ‘mood lipstick’. I’ve relied on this guy for ten million years to stain my lips a pretty shade of pink and use it like a cream blush when I travel in countries that are hot. Remember what I said about powder? This means blush is out. I also live and die for Batiste dry shampoo and love that they make it minis as it’s perfect for the plane, your beach bag, your life!

Now as far as ‘in my suitcase’ toiletries go you should know I’m not too fussed about the shampoo and conditioner I take along. They’re always decided based on whatever’s in my stash at the time and I decant them into mini bottles. What is very important to me, however, is my trusty Tangle Teezer and a good spray conditioner to rescue my baby fine hair when it’s reduced to a ball of fuzz from too much salt water and chlorine. I’ll be using Philip Kingsley PK Prep Perfecting Spray as I was recently given a mini bottle which is perfect for travel. I like that it conditions without adding weight, blitzes frizz and smells like cherry blossoms!

What else is coming with me? A hard-working deo, disposable razor, Veet (because using a razor on your bikini line is dancing with the devil) and Elgydium’s whitening toothpaste. It contains a micropulverised version of sodium bicarbonate so it lifts stains without destroying your enamel, something I have to be careful of because I’m addicted to Crest Whitening Strips. I’ll also be taking a But First body scrub in Coffee Mint as it strips off self-tan like a boss and it’s screw top tin packaging gives me hope that it won’t explode in my bag. Expect a full review on that soon.

How cute is my monogrammed travel bag? That was a gift from NIVEA.

As far as facial skin care goes, I keep things super-duper simple, washing my face and body with Cetaphil Gentle Skin cleanser. The gentle aspect is important because it helps my self-tan last longer! When I do want to exfoliate, however, I reach for my beloved Dermalogica Superfoliant. It leaves an invisible anti-pollution shield on your skin which is a must-have when you spend time in big, smoky cities like Bangkok. As far as a daily moisturiser goes, I’ll be using Dermalogica Oil-free Matte SPF 30 as it’s perfect for the climate. I’ll also be taking along one of Garnier’s new Moisture Bomb tissue masks and will review them in full while I’m there.

So, what’s in my make-up bag? Believe it or not, almost nothing! Like I said, my brows get tinted and all powder products stay at home. What I will use, however, are the aforementioned ‘plane products’ – Catrice Camouflage cream, the mood lippie and RapidBrow – along with oil blotting papers, waterproof mascara (I love L’Oreal Voluminous which is sadly discontinued in South Africa), a pair of tweezers and a small bottle of Calvin Klein CK All – a cool, breezy scent that’s perfect for days that are hot, hot, hot! Also, if there’s a day when I do want a little coverage I won’t bother with a proper foundation. Instead I’ll use Sorbet BB Cream. Have you guys tried this little gem? It’s one of the best BBs I’ve ever used! It has an SPF of 15 and makes use of light diffusers that give your skin with a subtle ‘glow’ that looks healthy and radiant, not sweaty or shiny in the least.

How cute are the oil blotting powders? I buy them in bulk from Aliexpress.

Last but not least, let’s talk self-tan and sun care! I don’t like to tan but I don’t like being pale either so this is where self-tan comes in. Before leaving I marinate in The Tan Lab in Dark as it delivers a deep, natural-looking bronze that takes forever to fade. The self-tan I’m taking with me, however, is Skinny Tan Mousse. I apply it with a mitt so it sweeps on in the lightest layer that dries in two seconds flat and doesn’t smell as it develops so you can slick it on your legs and head off to a night market. It’s ‘lightness’ also means it’s not occlusive so it won’t cause you to sweat and then run. (As much as I also adore The Tan Lab, it’s lotion texture means it’s not ideal to use on the go in a country that’s crazy humid.) Another reason why Skinny Tan gets to travel is because I also use it on my face. Yep, it’s dark enough to give your bod a golden glow, but light enough to bronze up your gesig.

I’m now a quarter way through Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine and loving it! 

As far as sun protection goes, I love Heliocare Gel SPF 50 for my face. Being an oily-combo girl, I need sunscreen that isn’t greasy but still serves up a super high protection so this baby fits the bill. I’m also taking Aloe Unique Aloe & Honey Gel mask to soothe my skin at the end of long day in the sun. I’m aware that the brand make a specific after sun, but I love this mask’s non-sticky texture which means I can leave it on. I use it on both my body and face and consider it a nice 2-in-1 solution that saves me taking two products.

In regards to sun protection for my bod, I’ve got that covered with NIVEA Sun Protect & Moisture SPF50. It’s been specially formulated so that any sunscreen-related stains on your clothes will be easier to wash out and the fact that its water-resistant is essential. Speaking of NIVEA, I’ve got a very cool competition coming up so keep an eye on the blog. I’ll be posting every second day while I’m away so don’t be a stranger.

Love, love


9 thoughts on “Been following my Thailand travel guide? These are the cosmetics that have made it into my suitcase

  1. Thanks for this! Super helpful as I’m leaving for a holiday on Monday. What other waterproof mascara do you suggest…I don’t want raccoon eyes after a day of beach and humidity and I don’t typically wear waterproof mascara, so any advice is welcome.

    1. Pleasure! I’ve tried the waterproof version of Maybelline Volum’ Express The Colossal before and really liked it. You should find it at Dis-Chem if Clicks doesn’t have it. For the record, I’m probably the only person in the world who’s not a fan of Maybelline’s original pink/green tube mascara but I think The Colossal – the original one, not the flankers – is awesome.

  2. Ah! Love this post – thanks for all the great tips and advice! I’ve also added a few things to my ever-growing Dischem shopping list :/
    Hope you’re loving your “time-off” – although I do see you have been working whilst there tsk tsk

  3. Quick question: what do they put into that Chinese store lipstick? I have a bright red one I bought on a whim for Valentines day once and it STAYS PUT FOREVER!!!

  4. Hey Leigh, ah I miss you here! Can I ask, you mention the Catrice Camouflage Cream in this post, how do you use it? Do you use it as a foundation? Or just cover spots on a foundation-less face? If so, would bare parts of your face not emphasize the parts on your face that have the Catrice Camouflage Cream?

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