Travel Light ... Look A Mess

I am just back from ten days in The Maldives which should have been heaven, but nowhere is without your luggage; and mine was lost for four days. Now I often have to write about travelling light and looking good, and I think that is possible. But being on holiday without any luggage at all, just is not.

I know because I was forced to try it. No clothes of course but also no sun stuff, no serums, no razors, no anti frizz conditioner, no make-up to speak of, no tweezers … need I go on?

And so I sat around, silently fuming at the airline, internally stressing and compiling a list of my ‘next time I take them on the plane with me’ must haves, all liquids sealed in a clear plastic bag of course. This includes

  • A Bikini
  • A Piz Buin SPF20 sun stick to wear on vulnerable areas. Trust me with no clothes or bikini you don’t feel the urge to go out in the sun.
  • Tweezers
  • Max Factor Masterpiece Max in Black
  • Bobbi Brown Black Plum Eyeshadow and stubby brush for lining eyes
  • Olay Regenerist Serum because it works overtime as a make-up remover, neck and eye product, aftersun and even hair tamer.
  • Hair pins and a hair band, because no matter how bad your hair looks it can always be worn up.

Now of course on this and this alone I would not look groomed, for that I need a plethora of straighteners, high speed hair dryer, brushes, sprays, exfoliants, full range of SPF’s, body lotion, cleanser etc etc etc. But I can get by with the help of the free mini shampoo and conditioner, bar of soap and so slow it is painful frizz forming hotel hairdryer, I just hope I never have to again. I always thought I was pretty low maintenance, but this trip has made me realise that I am not.

And to top things off I have come home with a cold sore. I tried to sit in the shade but the sun is so powerful I burnt my lips and now have a cold sore the like of which would look at home on The Elephant Man.

Oh and the airline think that £50 compensation is enough! I need another holiday and any advice at all on how to get rid of my cold sore or cover it up and let me know what products you always take with you on holiday – your desert island buys.


I would be absolutely murderous with rage over this, Nadine. Have you tried threatening to expose the airline in your capacity as a well-read and high-profile journalist? Argh!I've never (knock wood a thousand times) had a cold sore, but my friends who have all swear by Carmex. You can find it at the till in most US chemists, and I'm not sure but I think you might also find it in the UK. My desert island kit (which takes into consideration current restrictions on liquids - all must fit into a quart-sized resealable plastic bag):DeodorantEye dropsEyeglassesDisposable contact lensesJuice Beauty Lip Plumper (best. lipbalm. ever.)Tarte Smooth Operator (has SPF 20) foundationAny old translucent powder compact (I'm using a Cover Girl one at the mo)Pout cream blushBrown eye pencil (can double as lip pencil if blended reeeeally well)Tarte Toolbox (mini eyebrow kit with little pencil, brow powder, brow wax, mini tweezers, and brow gel)Max Factor Stretch & Separate Waterproof Mascara (waterproof)Sample size of any nice perfume

Yes, carmex is good, you can indeed get it in the UK. It feels tingly upon application, which i what helps cold sores i suppose.

I've just come back from the Maldives too and had a fabulous time, fortunately for me my luggage didn't go missing though! I suffered a similar situation last year on holiday when my luggage went missing for three days, so now I always pack a change of clothes, including underwear, flip flops, bikini, moisturiser, sun lotion and make-up in my hand luggage!

Hi,I had a painful coldsore right on the middle of my top lip. Carmex really soothed it. Even after eating and showering I used it straight away. Carmex is available in Superdrug, Boots, Tesco. It's usually in the lipbalm sections. There is a pot version or tube.


My desert island buy for holiday would be a moisuriser with spf in (clarin's hydraquench spf15), a tinted lipbalm (mac, clinique etc), bronzer (origin's sunny disposition), dove soap (can be used as a face wash, body wash and if desperate, a shampoo) and any of the bodyshop body butters (moisturiser, aftersun, hair tamer, also fragranced.)I'm starting to think that i'm not so low-maintenance either! For coldsores, the only thing that does the trick for me is good old Zovirax.

That sucks about the luggage. No wonder you got a coldsore - you were in the sun and stressed out!!!An old wifes tale is to put Vics Vabour Rub on coldsores. Not sure if you have that in the UK but its a chest rub cream for when you have a cold.But I usually either use Zovirax or Blistex if I dont think its very bad

Hi, Maldives, amazing. Always on my list! I have had the unfortunate experience of having my luggage lost twice in the last six months and My suitcase completely left behind on a work trip (I am a wedding planner) Oddly enough, it is sort of the most freeing feeling to know there are some standards you can just grab and try for the first time at the drug store or target. (not talking about clothes, just beauty...although a week or two of my life has been sponsored by Target, haha!) I have actually let go of a few favorites and replaced by different options. I never thought I could be this flexible! Imagine losing you make-up bag and starting over. I actully swore I would challenge anyone to do this - to get out of a rut and see new things...Although a fun challenge, it can get expensive depending on how many products you use. Maybe you can find out you can get away with more while traveling. ( I have not, I think I am terrified of not having what I need.)Thankfully all my luggage loses were in a large area. Maldives, I am sure was another challenge all itself.

The three things that i wish i could just take with me to my honeymoon on an island in malaysia is a kaftan, moisturier with sunscreen ofcourse and sandles...unfortunately as low maintaince as i try to be i just can't so i'm taking all the makeup i own, 5 dresses, two shorts and two tops, plus anything extra that i fear i'll regret on the holiday that i didn't bring. For my hair i'll skip the straightner but will take the blow dryer. Also jewellery is a must such as bangles, anything with beads, anyhing that screams out island holiday. Also sandles, thongs and two sets of swimwear. How's that for light travel.

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