Keep Calm, Carry On: What I Packed for Greece (Skincare, Makeup, Packing List)

Bangkok, around seven years ago: Will and I were about to head to the airport to go home. We struck up conversation with another Kiwi (who knew someone I knew, funnily enough - two degrees, etc) and went on to share a taxi.

I was impressed by how lightly she packed -- an everyday sized backpack and a tote bag, from memory, whereas I had been lugging around one of those big 60L backpacking monstrosities for three weeks around Tokyo and Thailand. Those packs have their place (tramping, festivals, or transporting your favourite possessions when moving across the world, like I did last year), but I couldn't help thinking how I would have been a much happier traveller had I not had to constantly schlep around a good fifteen kilos on my back.

Ever since then I've tried to pack light, with varying levels of success. For this trip, a week-long Greek sailing holiday, I went as minimal as I could. It helps that it was hot, and that we pretty much only fly with the budget airlines where you have to pay extra for checked luggage. This is SO NERDY, but here's what I packed, for anyone out there who obsesses over this stuff like I do:

Sunset in Aegina: the black & Other Stories maxi is a little boobilicious at times. Wearing the Soap and Glory Motherpucker in Super Nude over Marc Jacobs Nude(ist) Lip Pencil.

Sunset in Aegina: the black & Other Stories maxi is a little boobilicious at times. Wearing the Soap and Glory Motherpucker in Super Nude over Marc Jacobs Nude(ist) Lip Pencil.

  • Three dresses -- a long black maxi (similar to this one, but in stretch cotton) and a short racerback tank dress (similar to this one, but with a twisted back), both from & Other Stories, plus a white linen sundress with crochet panels from Country Road several years ago (second from left in this pin).
  • Soft white button up shirt from Miss Selfridges, similar to this, and denim shorts from H&M - I probably could have done without both of these.
  • Two pairs of shoes -- jandals from Muji and plain black chunky sandals (£10 from a local department store).
Same day I threw up my breakfast Greek yoghurt and figs over the bow of the boat.

Same day I threw up my breakfast Greek yoghurt and figs over the bow of the boat.

  • Two pairs of togs -- a one-piece and a bikini. Next time: two bikinis, which would double as bras.
  • Undies! And two bras.
  • Blue cotton towel from Sicily -- chartering the boat included towels but I used this as a sarong as well.
  • Two plain black singlets (H&M) and a pair of soft black shorts (Trenery) for sleeping.
Calzedonia bikini top and a blue cotton towel from Sicily.

Calzedonia bikini top and a blue cotton towel from Sicily.

  • My beloved Saben Tilly's Big Sister handbag for going onshore, and a backpack from H&M (similar to this) as my carry on "personal item" for stuff like my diary, camera, notebook, phone, and travel documents. The challenge for next time is a smaller personal item. 
  • Sunglasses, an aviator style. I dropped them in a dirty toilet just before we left for the airport BAHAHAHAHAH. Luckily they were $5 from Cotton On.
Evening in Hydra. Wearing the makeup in the next shot, applied on-deck! Mostly piled on the Korres Zea Mays Blush in Orange.

Evening in Hydra. Wearing the makeup in the next shot, applied on-deck! Mostly piled on the Korres Zea Mays Blush in Orange.

Cosmetics-wise, I tried to fit everything into this Muji case and the regulation-sized ziplock bag (although I cheated and put some stuff in Will's). It's a mixture of favourites and a few new things I've been playing with:

Muji travel case with everything shoved in it. Applying makeup on-deck while moored up in Hydra: Real Techniques Duo Fibre Face Brush, EcoTools Tapered Blush Brush, Estee Lauder Doublewear Eyeliner, Korres Wild Rose and Vitamin C Treatment, Korres Zea Mays Blush in Orange, Muji eyelash curler, ArtDeco Bronzing Glow Blusher.

Muji travel case with everything shoved in it. Applying makeup on-deck while moored up in Hydra: Real Techniques Duo Fibre Face Brush, EcoTools Tapered Blush Brush, Estee Lauder Doublewear Eyeliner, Korres Wild Rose and Vitamin C Treatment, Korres Zea Mays Blush in Orange, Muji eyelash curler, ArtDeco Bronzing Glow Blusher.

Maybelline Powder, Coppertone Facial sunscreen, Muji eyelash curler, ArtDeco Bronzing Glow Blusher in Queen of the Jungle.

Maybelline Powder, Coppertone Facial sunscreen, Muji eyelash curler, ArtDeco Bronzing Glow Blusher in Queen of the Jungle.

Soap & Glory Motherpucker in Super Nude, Sephora Rouge Infusion in Peony, MAC Mattene in Eden Rouge.

Soap & Glory Motherpucker in Super Nude, Sephora Rouge Infusion in Peony, MAC Mattene in Eden Rouge.

  • Maybelline Clear Smooth All In One Shine Free Cake Powder SPF25PA++ (£1 at the local pound store! I think this is an Asia-only release), applied using the Real Techniques Duo Fibre Face Brush (from the duo fiber collection). I know from past experience that liquids and BB creams would simply melt off my face in the 30+ degree heat, so I just used the powder over the top of sunscreen if I felt like a bit of coverage.
  • ArtDeco Queen of the Jungle Bronzing Glow Blusher (limited edition from a couple of years ago, but still available here and they seem to do a variation on the theme every now and then), applied with the EcoTools Tapered Blush Brush
  • Estee Lauder Doublewear dual ended eyeliner in Onyx and Coffee (I think this was a limited edition release; the full sized version has a smudger on the other end), smudged out with the Real Techniques Shading Brush, and the Makeup Revolution Awesome Double Flick Liquid Eyeliner. I probably could have done with leaving one of the liner options behind.
EcoTools Tapered Blush Brush, Makeup Revolution liquid eyeliner, Marc Jacobs Lip Pencil in Nude(ist), Real Techniques Shading Brush, L'oreal False Lash Telescopic mascara, Estee Lauder Doublewear eyeliner, Real Techniques Duo Fibre Face Brush

EcoTools Tapered Blush Brush, Makeup Revolution liquid eyeliner, Marc Jacobs Lip Pencil in Nude(ist), Real Techniques Shading Brush, L'oreal False Lash Telescopic mascara, Estee Lauder Doublewear eyeliner, Real Techniques Duo Fibre Face Brush

Soap & Glory Motherpucker in Super Nude, Sephora Rouge Infusion in Peony, Lush Solid Perfume in Karma, MAC Mattene in Eden Rouge.

Soap & Glory Motherpucker in Super Nude, Sephora Rouge Infusion in Peony, Lush Solid Perfume in Karma, MAC Mattene in Eden Rouge.

  • Coppertone facial and body sunscreens (these were three for £1 at the local pound shop; another Asia-only release I think), contact lens solution (FYI: no one seemed to sell solutions for RGPs in Greece, and mine got confiscated at customs because it was 120 mLs... woe), and mini shampoo and conditioner (I got the Charles Worthington Sunshine Protector range from Boots).
  • Collistar Glycolic Acid, previously reviewed here.
  • A freebie pack of Simple Face Wipes (although I've bought them in the past) to remove makeup and sunscreen, and then I would do a second cleanse with the (shock horror) freebie soap on board.
  • Lush solid perfume in Karma, in the old push up packaging -- such a gorgeous scent! It's an orange and patchouli blend, and almost smells fizzy, if that makes sense.
  • Skinny cotton buds from Muji, a few cotton pads, tweezers, and hair ties.

Looking back, I could definitely have gone lighter, but hey... [insert something about minimalism being a journey, not a destination]. What about you -- what can't you travel without? How many lip options would you be happy with? And would you mind if I write more travel posts? I've got a lot more to say about Greece!

Ahhhhhhhhh take me back.

Ahhhhhhhhh take me back.

Extras for experts: How to Pack Like Joan Didion (Into The Gloss).

This just in: I'm a lazy blogger but here are some pretty photos

So much for a post a week! Life has been such that blogging hasn't been a priority lately, and I'm ok with that. I'd like to get back into things though, and thought I would start off with a few photos of things I've picked up recently, some of which came from a trip to Paris a few weeks ago.

I also went to French pharmacy Mecca, AKA Citypharma:

*ANGEL SONG*

*ANGEL SONG*

Where I squeezed through the throngs to pick up these babies:

French pharmacy finds

FIrst impressions, reviews, swatches, and more photos to come.

Take it or leave it

Take it or leave it

Take it:

  • Base products! Make up is mostly about the skin for me, and as a result I have a slightly excessive foundation and tinted moisturiser situation. I like light to medium coverage and the whole "my skin but better" thing.
  • On that note, a brush (at the moment I'm using the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush*) or Beauty Blender for putting on that base. 
  • Eyelash curler. Short stubby lashes, rejoice.
  • Nail polish! They just make me happy, even if I often don't make the time to paint my nails.
  • Blush has really grown on me.

Leave it:

  • Body moisturisers, because I'm lazy and the body is just a lot of real estate to cover, ok? (Although I am trying, and getting better at using it.)
  • On a similar note, I use hand cream maybe once a month. 
  • Tanning products.
  • Lip scrubs. Use your toothbrush or flannel, save your money, and spend it on lipstick.
  • Excessively pricey cleansers with active ingredients. Just, no.

And you?

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I Muji'ed: notes about Christmas, feeling down, and beauty product storage

I Muji'ed: notes about Christmas, feeling down, and beauty product storage

My cup does not usually runneth over with Christmas spirit. 

Growing up, my family didn't really celebrate it. It was only when I was in high school that my friends would take me in and include me in their family celebrations; later on, it was holidays with my partner's family. For a big chunk of my mid-twenties, I would always get quite down and depressed in the holiday season. There's something about it being "the most wonderful time of the year" which seemed to highlight all the shortcomings in my life.

It's a different story this year, though, and last year wasn't so bad either. I'm in a way better frame of mind, and I've made some positive changes, so things are looking up! Also there is a lot of mulled wine and cider going around.

I write about all of this because I wanted to acknowledge my decision to not buy anything beauty-related until after the Christmas break, and the two things are related. In the past I've been known to make some slightly stupid purchasing decisions because shopping made me feel better, even if I knew that I would feel bad about it in the long run. I'm much more considered in my approach to buying beauty things these days, even in the face of pre-Christmas sales and enticing discounts and a brand new country full of new-to-me brands.

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On beauty subscription boxes, and control issues: Birchbox UK September

On beauty subscription boxes, and control issues: Birchbox UK September

I've never been particularly attracted to beauty subscription boxes. I can see the appeal -- part of the reason I even started this blog was because I like trying new things, and I figured I would document the process; my beauty "journey", for want of a better word. But I've always been a bit of a control freak when it comes to choosing those new beauty products, and this, coupled with the fact that I'm something of a brand snob, meant that I never succumbed to the temptation of the subscription services in New Zealand. Besides, I'd been trying to de-stash and not hoard so many products, and the beauty box subscriptions seem like a recipe for accumulating piles of samples that I would never use up.

There are a few more options here in the UK, though. In addition to stalwarts like Birchbox and Glossybox, there are companies that cater to more niche or high end tastes. I've also had a look at Memebox -- they ship worldwide, and I know a few addicts from Beauty Review who can't stop raving about these.

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