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The ultimate capsule packing guide – fashion and beauty

Now that lockdown is lifting, many of us are visiting family or booking mini-breaks in the UK. We’re here to curate your case, with only the most important wardrobe essentials and makeup must-haves.

By Jenny Brownlees

Capsule packing – the fashion edit

These classic yet versatile picks are perfect for a fuss-free capsule wardrobe approach that makes packing less of a chore. Figuring out how to dress for the unpredictable without the contents of your entire at-home wardrobe can be a stressful task. Keeping the majority of your case neutral means easy mix-match dressing is a doddle. For a hint of summery flair, add in colour with your lipstick, eyeshadow or accessories.

These easy, stylish pieces will cut down your time getting ready – instead of spending your precious hours away trying to create an outfit out of four different prints you bought in a panic dash. These hero buys are an investment – taking you from day to night, from sightseeing to relaxed dinners. In the essence of sustainability, opting for buys you will wear again and again avoids wasting money on hyper-trendy fast-fashion items that won’t stand the test of time.

Perfect for a multitude of occasions whilst you’re away. Whilst white can often be hard to pull off, these Frame culottes are tailored just-so, with a flattering wide-leg fit that hits just below the knee for an elongating effect.

Both fashion-forward and figure-flattering, this square-necked swimsuit is made from stretchy, quick-drying fabric and looks far above its price point. Practical for swimming but chic enough for lounging pool-side or in the spa – we love the tortoiseshell buckle detail.

A light wash pair of denim jeans will be an easy staple until the weather hits the high summer temperatures. We love this kick-flare pair from ASOS, but if you’re feeling extra summery, try mixing it up with a coloured pair.

A Breton top will never, ever come in wrong. We love the boxy fit of this Mango version.

Packing a few neutral-coloured tops ensures creating outfits is simple, no matter what you opt for on your bottom half.

The relaxed elegance of this pretty tie detail top makes it an ideal go-to. Better yet, it’s breathable being made from 100% cotton. A piece like this will never go out of style, looking great whilst you’re away and slotting easily into your wardrobe when you’re back.

A tailored linen short is our personal must-have for travelling. Flattering on the silhouette, yet look smart enough if you don’t have time to go back to your hotel before dinner. Pair with a white top or shirt and stylish sunnies.

Our best styling tip for taking an outfit from day to night quickly and efficiently is adding a fashionable statement earring and red lipstick. Elevating any outfit in an instant, you’ll look cocktail-ready in minutes.

An across body bag means you’re free to roam a new place hands-free, ideal for taking pictures and browsing shops, all without worrying where you put your handbag down last. The tan shade means you can style it with any and every outfit.

The ideal day-to-night dress, wear with flats or even over your swimming costume for the day, adding eveningwear accessories for dinner and drinks.

To avoid getting caught out by a chilly night-time breeze, pack one light neutral blazer in cotton or linen.

These suit-all-face-shape sunnies come in classic tortoiseshell, meaning they go with everything – all the while oozing sophisticated glamour.

The ultimate strappy sandals, comfortable enough to walk around in through the day, but giving you a slightly elevated heel for the evening. & Other Stories are killing it with their sleek accessories at the moment, and this square-toed shoe is no exception.

Capsule packing – the beauty edit

When your beauty must-haves are confined to a wash bag, what products are worth taking up space for? We have set out to save you time and stress by compiling the essential travel toiletries.

Whether you’re a skincare minimalist or maximalist, serial over-packer or last-minute panic-buyer; these are the ultimate travel-friendly products that will see your skincare, makeup and haircare sorted.

Cult brand The Inkey List is ideal for travel as nearly all of their products are under 50ml. The stripped-back brand offers quality ingredients at affordable prices. Their Hyaluronic Acid serum is one to use in-flight, as its super-hydrating formula locks in moisture into the skin. It’s even gentle enough to be used to smooth lips.

We always carry a facial mist when travelling, no matter how long the journey is. This 100ml wonder from The Body Shop instantly refreshes the skin with protective vitamin E, and is perfect for giving make up that fresh, dewy glow.

If you hate the white residue and sticky feeling left by some sunscreens, this lightweight transparent formula is for you. With SPF 35, it protects skin whilst feeling like a light serum – plus, it won’t clog your pores. A go-to for all skin types, the Invisible Shield uses active microcapsules to instantly absorb, meaning makeup application isn’t a problem. Apply 20 minutes before sun exposure, reapplying after swimming.

In the case of Vitamin C, little and often is best. OSKIA’s superior form of Vitamin C and Smart Vitamin E work synergistically to provide enhanced results that gives skin a youthful glow. These compact, travel-friendly capsules offer daily skin a super-charge of the skin-illuminating ingredient. 

Intense bronze pigments combined with ambient lighting powder make this our all-time favourite bronzer. Luckily, it comes in a travel size too. Providing the perfect tan-enhancing colour – it applies to the skin seamlessly, and is easily buildable without being at all cakey or patchy – our bronzer pet hate.

To avoid the sun drying out your lips whilst you’re away,  generously apply this lip mask before bed, so come morning you’re lipstick-ready thanks to softening coconut and shea butter. At under 100ml, this is also perfect for a surge of hydration mid-flight if you’re jetting off. 

Our new favourite hair range also comes in minis, so we can take the Voluminous Shampoo, Voluminous Conditioner and Lift + Volume Spray – and our new shiny hair – away with us. We’re keeping the stylish box, too.

Ensure you’re looking after the skin on your body as well as your face, especially if you’re in the sun. This mini-version of The Body Shop’s cult buy will make arms and legs glisten and look butter-soft. Now even richer in shea butter, it melts into the skin with an indulgent yet non-greasy texture that offers 72 hours of hydration.

Instead of packing a bulky face scrub or mask, opt for this mini pod from L’Occitane which uses natural fruit acids to exfoliate the skin leaving it visibly brighter.

If you’re going to pack one lip set, make it this one. A much-loved staple of Huda Beauty’s range, these liquid mattes are long-lasting and create a voluptuous pout in complimenting shades of pinks and nudes. Use the colours individually, or mix to achieve an ombre finish.

The ultimate waterproof mascara is, thankfully, available in travel size. Offering maximum coverage with lifting, lengthening and volumising properties. If that weren’t enough, coconut oil and 12 fruit extracts work to condition and nourish the lashes.

Our long-standing travel companion, this gem of a buy gives effortlessly chic and textured waves with just a few sprays. When you don’t want to be styling hair with heated products, this is the ultimate lazy-girls’ answer to gorgeously tousled tresses.

Never before has achieving a non-patchy, warm tanned glow been so convenient. Simply smooth the biodegradable, botanical-infused cloths onto clean skin in large circular movements for a healthy-looking, long-lasting tan.

There’s a reason this palette is a bestseller. The suit-everyone, go-anywhere shades enhance everyone’s eyes with stunning, crease-resistant colour. Its mini compact makes our must-pack list every time.

Clean beauty brand BYBI is enabling you to pack light, without compromising on great skincare. This set includes the best-selling Mega Mist (use as a hyaluronic acid toner in between cleansing and moisturising) and Swipe Clean to remove every trace of make-up. 

Have you heard? Solid bars are beauty brands’ new, innovative answer to going plastic-free. Plus, no need to worry about spillage or going over your 100ml.  The cleanser to wash both the face and body, probiotic skincare brand Gallinée have changed the game – nourishing your skin’s good bacteria for a naturally radiant complexion. 

Our favourite Replica scents are now available in handy minis for your carry-on or your handbag. This set includes cult-favourites Whispers in the Library, By the Fireplace and Jazz Club.

This cult super-powder has been making waves since its release in 2006. Now in a travel size, it combines four harmonious shades for a smooth, matte finish. Yes, it looks lilac – but trust us it offers a soft, perfectly translucent finish for sunny days away.

Herbivore create all-natural skincare that delivers tangible results. What better way to pack one of their luxurious oil formulas that nourish skin, than in their handy mini versions?

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