The Queen and I are alike in so many ways. Discretion surrounds her grooming rituals, but I am reliably informed that we used to favour the same foundation.
It was even imported for us both from France when it was discontinued in Blighty, though I am sworn to secrecy as to exactly which one it is, as the brand doesn’t want to ruin its royal relationship.
But one way in which we do differ is in the matter of travel. Her Majesty is not known for travelling light. An entourage of 34 will take responsibility for Globe-Trotter suitcases filled with up to 30 outfits, framed family photographs, barley sugar, gin, a hot water bottle, pine-scented soap, Harrods’ sausages, a kettle, Dundee cake, and a supply of her own blood (not, we assume, for vampire facials).
I’m happy so long as I have my make-up bag and a pair of clean pants. But, should I be going on actual hols abroad, as is increasingly possible, having the right lotions and potions is essential. (Who wants to be living it up in a fancy hotel — or worse, an unfancy one — without bath oil?)
Hannah Betts shared advice for packing cosmetics when travelling this summer (file image)
At 50, I’ve got this down to a tee. I’m not quite at the level of beauty supremo Bobbi Brown, who once showed me a small travel palette in which she had decanted all her slap and cream needs, but I’m getting there.
Ginny ROBERTS has created The Karry (£49.99, thekarry.london), a ritzy, transparent wallet featuring six glass containers, including blue and amber ones to protect retinol and vitamin C from damaging sunlight.
It’s slightly heavier than plastic versions, but far less damaging to the planet.
Otherwise, I live for Boots’s portable pots (from £1, boots.com), often picking them up to store final scraps of lipstick and cream — yes, I’m that woman.
Boots also stocks the Kitsch 11-Piece Travel Bottle Set in black or blush (£10), which meets all carry-on requirements. It’s a bit too kitsch for me, but the containers are dishwasher-safe, which Boots’s frequently aren’t.
Trinny Woodall favours Muji’s minimalist receptacles, which inspired her brand Trinny London’s cosmetic stacks. Muji’s pill-pot towers (£2.95, muji.eu) are seriously good.
Or, if I’m stuck, I’ll repurpose contact lens cases to store liquid foundation. Some people choose not to wear a base on holiday. I’m not one of them. The Vital Skin Foundation Stick (£62, cultbeauty.co.uk) by Gucci Westman, Jennifer Aniston’s go-to make-up guru, has a lovely dewy finish. Or try Chantecaille’s matte Real Skin+ Eye And Face Stick (£57, cultbeauty.co.uk).
Something I always make room for — not that it needs it — is Aromatherapy Associates’s Face Oil Collection (£53, net-a-porter.com). Each of these six minuscule 3ml flacons contains enough oil for seven treatments. They smell divine and leave skin plushly plumped.
Make this a real holiday by investing in the brand’s sandalwood and vetiver Relax And Sleep Edit, too (£33). Aromatherapy Associates’s products are one of life’s entirely necessary luxuries. Once experienced, you’ll never be without them.
Finally, chuck in a tube of Philip Kingsley’s Swimcap (£19.50, philipkingsley.co.uk), a hair mask originally created for an Olympic synchro squad, which protects against chlorine, sun and salt water damage.
Hannah Betts (pictured) said she can’t travel without perfume and usually carries an 8ml spray of Ormonde Jayne Montabaco
Everything else can be bought on the other side of security. Head to Boots to snap up a mini deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, micellar water, body lotion and sunscreen.
You’ll also need eye drops, insect repellent, antihistamines, and Clean & Clear Advantage Gel (£4.49, boots.com) for spots, infected hair follicles, and those boils that tend to emerge whenever one relaxes.
Then I treat myself to some slap: a Clarins travel palette, say, or a punchy Rimmel lipstick.
Everything gets thrown into two holdalls — one for wet bobs (bathroom), the other for dry bobs (bedroom). Within these, everything is stored in transparent cases, so I’m never left fumbling while jet-lagged.
I’ll always pack a mini WetBrush (£7.49, amazon.co.uk) plus plenty of grips and bobbles, as hair in the heat is a fuss. I can’t travel without perfume, either — never have, never will. Why go somewhere incredible if you don’t smell incredible, too? I carry an 8ml spray of my beloved Ormonde Jayne Montabaco (£105 for five, ormondejayne.com), all cigar smoke on sun-warmed skin.
Happy holidays, sisters.
RACE YOU TO IT!
Lip colour has staged a comeback now we can go about unmasked. Armani’s first new lipstick in three years, Lip Power, has just hit the shelves. Thanks to two oils blended in a patented technology, it’s both long-lasting and highly pigmented.
MY ICON OF THE WEEK
Jennifer Lopez (pictured) puts her lustre down to SPF; avoiding alcohol, smoking or caffeine; and exfoliating with glycolic acid
All hail the Bennifer revival! Is it the tender kissing, or the fact that J. Lo looks unchanged, that makes us feel warm inside? Ben Affleck had to grow a beard so as not to look haggard next to her. She puts her lustre down to SPF; avoiding alcohol, smoking or caffeine; and exfoliating with glycolic acid.
Unlike posh bath oils one can luxuriate in, I typically couldn’t care less about posh shower washes — you’re shooting it down the drain, after all.
But those of us who aren’t heading off on holiday are tired, oh so tired. Neom usually makes stuff to send you to sleep, yet its new Super Shower Power Body Cleanser, with spearmint, rosemary and eucalyptus, will jolt you awake. Fans compare it to an espresso, and there is a shot of coffee in it, plus oak milk.
Its generous 500ml size means you won’t punch your other half when they steal it, either. If anything can drag us through August, it is this.
MY TRAVEL MUST-HAVES
Make-up artists love these clear multi-set PVC cosmetics cases and so do I.
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Express Hydrating Spray is powered by the super-hydrator hyaluronic acid. Spray and go for an instant glow.
Beauty buffs adore Mrs White’s Unstung Hero Anti Mosquito Eau de Cologne, a fabulously glamorous insect repellent.
Boots Soltan Protect & Moisturise SPF50+ Mini Suncare Spray is a handbag-sized, water-resistant cream without a greasy finish.
Bourjois Palette Le Smoky Eyeshadow is the world’s most smokin’ eye palette. There’s a nude version, too.