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Tips for travelling with only hand luggage

I’m ashamed to say it but I have never travelled with only hand luggage, I’ve always found the thought a bit frightening because, and I’ll admit it, I can’t pack! Not even for an overnight, I am terrible at it. So bad, I once took five pairs of shoes to a two day conference in Brighton! 

But, I have set myself a challenge for my trip to Ibiza on Friday –I can only take hand luggage for a four night trip.

Now this does panic me slightly. Ibiza is known as the most glamourous of the Balearic Islands so I’m really going to have to pre plan my outfits early.

As my trip to Ibiza is for my hen do I’ve splashed out on a really pretty bikini from Victoria’s Secret which I bought in New York in February. So that’s swimwear sorted although I will probably squeeze in another one if I can.

Shoes always take up the most room so for the first time ever I’m limiting myself to two pairs! I’ve got a versatile pair of rose gold high heels from Office which I hope will go with everything and a pair of Carvella gem slides from

My top tips for hand luggage only packing:

·         Travel in anything bulky like trainers.
·         Roll rather than fold – this should help minimise the creasing
·         Pack multi-functional items which go with more than one other thing
·         Streamline your make up bag and include multi-purpose products
·         Don’t pack anything ‘just in case!’

Do you have any packing shortcuts that you rely on? 
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On Board the Good Ship Benefit with Macy’s

I was invited to join Macy’s on board the Good Ship Benefit to hear all about their latest news whilst enjoying some pampering and cocktails with Benefit Cosmetics. I've been dying to have a nosy on-board since Benefit first revealed its plans to have a boat on the River Thames this summer. 

Good Ship Benefit with Macy's

Good Ship Benefit

The Good Ship Benefit is moored up on the Victoria Embankment across the river from the London Eye and Southbank. On-board is split into several different areas and we spent the evening relaxing in the Pinkton Parlour sipping on Pink Lady cocktails.

Benefit Cocktails

Pinkton Parlour

I’ve mentioned before that Benefit are the queen of brows and had I not had mine wowed at the Carnaby Street store earlier this month I would have had them done on-board.  All summer long until August you can be pampered on-board with a number of treatments including brow waxing and make overs. 

Benefit Cosmetics

Laughter is the best cosmetic

Last time I was in New York I visited Macy’s, it’s one of those stores which you absolutely have to visit whilst in the city. The flagship in Herald Square is incredible and it's home to the world’s largest shoe store!  To say I was in heaven would be an understatement. This year Macy’s is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks in New York City. More than 45,000 fireworks will be fired into the sky making sure the night goes off with a bang! 

Macy's New York City

Have you been to Macy's before? What was your best purchase? 

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Victoria's Secret Scrapping Swimwear

I read on the Huffington Post earlier this week that Victoria's Secret are going to be scrapping their swimwear line by the end of the year! I'm quite sad about this because I bought a really fabulous bikini from their New York City flagship store in February.

Victoria's Secret Bikini

But fear not, you can still stock up online with your favourite colours and designs. Plus if you used the code SAVE40SWIM you'll save 40%. 

Quick get buying before they disappear forever! 

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Guest Review: Escargot Collection by The Snail Company

It’s not every day someone asks if you want to smear snail slime all over your face, so when Kylie told me about the Escargot Collection I was curious to say the least. Every day it seems there’s a new product with weird and wonderful ingredients claiming to turn back time and help prevent aging – and this collection would appear to be no different.

Escargot Collection Packaging

The key ingredient Helix Aspersia Muller (Snail Secretion Filtrate) is said to date back to ancient Greek cosmetics, and supposedly has a range of benefits from anti-aging to healing of the skin. The Snail Company claims that the Escargot Collection can result in the improvement of fine lines, removal of skin blemishes, hydration and moisturisation, and that it also helps combat acne and spots.

So, I gallantly agreed to give it a go and let Kylie know what I think. First things first, I think it’ll help to describe my skin type – I have combination skin (sigh), which means an oily t-zone meets drier patches of eczema. Oh, and over the last six months I have had mild acne on both my cheeks – so a bit of a mixed bag!

I have used the emulsion serum and moisturising lifting cream for two weeks so far and I have to say that, following a sceptical start, I was pleasantly surprised by these products. The creams themselves are nice and light so it doesn’t feel like your clogging up your pours and it sits well under make up. After using them there are a couple of immediate effects - my skin was silky smooth to touch and had a pleasant tautness to it. For longer term effects - whilst I can’t say I’ve noticed a reduction in the lines around my eyes - I have definitely noticed an improvement in my acne.

Escargot Collection

If any of you have suffered from acne you’ll know that once the spots themselves clear, you’re often left with inflamed red patches and marks that can take ages to fade. I have noticed these marks diminish considerably over the last few weeks, and I haven’t had a flare up during this time either! My only criticism would be that it doesn’t seem to treat my eczema that well – I usually have to use a specialised cream for these areas with my regular moisturiser anyway so this didn’t really surprise me. I think this cream would definitely suit most skin types and is worth giving a go if you suffer from inflammation/acne.

The Escargot Collection is available online and through Amazon – the price for both the emulsion and lifting cream starts from £58.

Guest post written by Stephanie Buck
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Hand Luggage Beauty Essentials

When travelling with only hand luggage I find the beauty and toiletry side a little bit stressful purely because I normally travel with so many products. I’ve really had to plan properly for my trip to Ibiza to make sure I’ve got some great multi-functional products along with some top essentials.

hand luggage beauty essentials

I’ve got this gorgeous clear bag from Sephora which I bought on my last trip to New York. It’s great because it already has three empty tubes which I can decant my shampoo and conditioner into. And because it’s clear it should go through the security checks no problem!

Sephora Travel Beautifully Case

I have a feeling Ibiza won’t be the most relaxing of breaks and I know my skin will need a little extra help so I’m planning on taking a couple of sheet facemasks with me to help rejuvenate my sun soaked skin.

So what else am I planning on taking?

A strong SPF is an absolute must and I will be taking this to protect me. It contains Green Tea and Grape Seed extracts along with antioxidant vitamins C and E which is improves the skins smoothness and provides defence against anti-aging. (Which I definitely need especially after being asked if I was the mother of two 16 year olds!!). It’s 50ml so the perfect size for hand luggage.

Dermalogica products

This nifty little electric toothbrush is so slim line and compact is barely takes up any room in my case at all. It sits in its own USB charging case which means less adapters and chargers for me to take! Can you believe it delivers 25,500 strokes per minute and has a handy two minute timer ensuring my teeth are in sparkling condition when I’ve finished. It’s exclusively available at Boots and it’s currently on sale for just £43.32!

Colgate ProClinical Pocket Pro Toothbrush

I love my original Tangle Teezer and having used it for so long I can’t imagine using another hairbrush again. I’ve recently bought the compact styler with a really cute animal print design on the back. It’s the perfect handbag size and it also has a bristle protector to stop it picking up dust and fluff which is usually lurking in the bottom of my bag. I’ll be taking this one with me to Ibiza to save a little extra space.

Astral one pot cream - £1.29 for the 50ml pot
Astral is the original moisturiser, for over 60 years they have been taking care of our moisturising needs which is why I’m taking it with me to Ibiza. After being out in the sunshine and in and out of a pool or the sea my skin can feel a little parched but Astral’s intensely moisturising formula replenishes my skin with the exact moisture it needs. Plus I can literally use it for everything, rather than having lots of different creams taking up extra space.

Astral one pot cream

I have so many lip balms that I’ve lost count but I always like to have a brand new one whenever I go away. My lips really dry out in the sun so I need something extra moisturising but not too heavy to revitalise them. The new Happy Lips Strawberry from Blistex does just that as it contains vitamin E to soften and condition and it tastes like strawberries, what’s not to love?

I love sheet masks! They are my favourite of all facemasks, not only do they make you look like a bit of a ghost when you use them but they are also incredibly moisturising. The Timeless Travel Pack is a three in one sheet mask set with an oil based make up remover, a water based deep cleanser and a hydra-soothing moisturising mask. It is designed to hydrate, freshen and brighten skin which has been dulled due to the effects of travelling. But, I shall be using mine to combat the effects of too much Ibizan partying!


I’m going to be using quite a lot of sun cream on my face while I’m in Ibiza, I’m quite conscious about burning especially as our wedding is two weeks later and I don’t want to walk down the aisle glowing like a beacon! But I do find sun cream can be quite heavy on my skin and pores which is why I’m taking the Dermalogica special cleansing gel with me. Its soap free so won’t dry my skin out but is strong enough to get rid of any impurities and excess oil. Hopefully I will come back from Ibiza with a healthy glow rather than the classic ‘Brit abroad burn’.

Hand luggage beauty essentials

So that’s it, well apart from my make-up, everything I’ll be taking in my hand luggage. Do you have any beauty essentials you simply can’t leave home without?

*contains PR sample

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Sunday Sessions - Unintentional Wedding Week

This week has been a bit of an unintentional wedding planning week with shopping for wedding rings and another dress fitting. Along with a Saturday night pure indulgent pampering with boyf away on his stag do and letterbox flowers from the fabulous Bloom and Wild. More on that later.

Bloom and Wild Peonies

So what did I learn? Firstly you shouldn’t go shopping for wedding rings with only a month to go unless you have a standard finger size – boyf doesn’t………… Secondly, everything can be negotiated and you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for a discount! Suffice to say buying my ring was straightforward and easy, I knew exactly what I wanted and I have tiny fingers in a size which they tend to stock in the store windows. But, finding boyfs proved slightly harder. He doesn’t wear any jewellery at all, not even a watch so shopping for a ring was a little bit alien to him. He has a manual job working with his hands all the time so he wanted a ring which was quite flat and in his words ‘not too jazzy’.

This is where Goldsmiths came in, they offer a fantastic build your own ring service and you can choose the size, thickness, metal, style and the finish to create something to your exact specifications. We were a little worried that we wouldn’t receive it but I had a phone call Friday to say it was in and ready – just four days from us ordering it!

This week as well as a little online ordering in preparation for Ibiza I’ve also been rocking my new Jord watch. I love it, so light and perfect for summer. During my online ordering I decided to treat myself to some flowers from Bloom and Wild, I cannot recommend their service enough. The flowers come beautifully packaged in a box flat enough to fit through your letter box, all that’s left to do is unpack them and arrange them in water.

As I had Saturday night to myself I gave in to some indulgent pampering and tried out Bliss Spa’s Facial in a Box. The Triple Oxygen Facial is a three step spa-at-home facial kit which includes a mask, peel and moisturiser and there’s enough in the box for two treatments.

Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Mask
Bliss That's Incredi-'Peel' Glycolic Resurfacing Pads
Bliss Triple Oxygen Ex-'Glow'-Sion Moisture Cream

I’ve got quite sensitive skin and it can sometimes react to new products but with this I was left with a really radiant, healthy glow. For just £12 I was really impressed with the results and how easy it was to use!

Bliss Spa Facial in a Box

Bliss Spa Facial in a Box

Here’s Nigel doing what he does best on Caturday, snoozing! 

Nigel Cat

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Wow Your Brows with Benefit

We all know that Benefit are the queen of brows and have been since, well forever. Yet, I've never had my 'brows wowed' by them until now. I took myself off to the flagship store on Carnaby Street for a brow wax and tint and a little bit of lunchtime pampering. 

Benefit Beauty Services

I love the Carnaby Street store but then again I love anything pink. My brow wax and tint only cost £19.50 but because I had it done in May I was given a free Gimmie Brow as part of their 'Bold is Beautiful' project. 

Benefit's website says the following about Bold is Beautiful:

We believe a woman is her most beautiful when she's confident, empowered and strong, so we launched the Bold is Beautiful Project to spread this feel-good approach and empower women and girls around the UK. Throughout May, Benefit will be raising funds for two great charities, Look Good Feel Better and Refuge. 

So if your brows need a tidy book in at Benefit store in May and help two great charities. 

Benefit Bold is Beautiful

My brow wax and tint only took about 20 minutes and my lovely therapist Megan was simply fantastic. This was my first ever brow tint so I was a little worried I'd end up with a 'Scouse Brow' and being blond this would have looked terrible! But, she put me and ease and explained the whole process. So easy and the results are fantastic. 

Please excuse the not so great eyebrow pictures but, the top is the before and the bottom the after.

I'm so pleased how defined they look especially as I am so fair! 

So ladies, why not book in and get your Brows Wowed for charity! 

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Sun Awareness Week - top tips to stay safe in the sunshine

Today marks the beginning of Sun Awareness Week which is particularly good timing considering the gorgeous weather we enjoyed this past weekend. I know that the minute the sun comes out I cannot wait to bask in it like a sunbathing seal! But, sun damage is more and more at the front of my mind now, especially as the UV rays seem so much stronger and I am clocking on a bit.

New York Sunshine

So what is Sun Awareness Week I hear you ask?

Sun Awareness Week runs from 9 - 15th May and is a campaign run by the British Association of Dermatologists to raise awareness of wearing adequate sun protection. The results from this years survey are pretty shocking. Even though skin cancer is the most common cancer in the UK, eight out of ten people still don't apply sun protection before going out into the sunshine. 

Sun Awareness Week is sponsored by La Roche-Posay who have just launched a new innovation to help us measure our UV exposure whilst basking in the sunshine. They have unveiled the My UV Patch which is the first ever stretchable skin sensor designed to monitor UV exposure and let you know when it's time to top up on the suncream. Check out their website now and sign up to the waiting list to receive yours! 

My top tips for staying safe in the sunshine: (I am in no way an expert, this is just my opinion!) 

  • The most obvious one - wear a high factor suncream and make sure you reapply regularly. If I know i'm going to be hanging out near water I will always go for a water resistant one. My current favourite is Ambre Solaire Clear Protect I find it feels much lighter on my skin than a heavy cream.  Personally I don't think anything lower than SPF 30 actually protects your skin properly

  • Sport a fabulous hat to keep the sun off of your face. There are so many gorgeous hats available at the moment. My personal favourite is this 'I'm Busy' oversized straw floppy hat from ASOS and it's only £18
Image 3 of ASOS Oversized Straw Floppy Hat With I'm Busy

  • Keep hydrated! Drink plenty of water, there is nothing worse than feeling dehydrated and lethargic in the sunshine
  • During the heat of the day take some time out in the shade. I don't know about you but, I really love the sunshine but it is important to take some time in the shade especially during the hottest part of the day! 
  • Protect your eyes - I have a love affair with RayBans and am usually found with a pair of aviators attached to my face, no one likes a squinter ;-) 
Rayban Aviators

Just to help you a bit more with the sun protection the lovely folks over at Hawaiian Tropic have launched The Application ABC highlighting how much sun cream you should be wearing. Did you know that you should divide your body into 11 applications zones! 

If you're looking for a new sun protection which smells fabulous why not try the brand new Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Air Soft, SPF30. The air whipped formula is softer than silk and feels as if it's barely on whilst giving 12 hours of moisturisation.

Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Air Soft

What are your top tips for staying safe in the sunshine? 

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Summer is officially coming

This last week has been gorgeous and I wanted to share with you a couple of pictures of how my bank holiday weekend panned out.

Burnham on crouch
Watching the sunset in Burnham on Crouch 

horse riding
Early morning sunshine rides on Freddie

Hunter 707 sailing

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