Last week, I was lucky enough to fly to Scotland and spend seven days exploring Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Luss (a small village on the shores of Loch Lomond). The weather was just what you'd expect it to be. Five out of the seven days were dark and gloomy with pelting rain and blowing wind. While I normally wouldn't mind that weather—in fact, I'd embrace it—I knew I'd be spending a lot of time outside, and I wanted to look somewhat put-together.
Luckily, I checked the weather before leaving, so I was prepared. Before boarding my first flight, I assembled what I consider to be a pretty epic beauty edit. I packed a skin-soothing face mask to prevent travel-induced dryness and irritation. I packed a humidity-resistant styling product to keep my hair smooth and shiny despite the rain. I even packed a lip-plumping-and-conditioning duo because I knew I wouldn't be wearing a lot of makeup, and I at least wanted my lips to look full and hydrated. Basically, I gathered the finest fall beauty products and put them to the test, hoping they'd hold up to rain, wind, and sweat. And guess what. They did.
Let's start with skincare products, shall we? My goal with this trip was to stick to the essentials and only bring a few effective products. I wanted to save space in my carry-on, but I also wanted to keep things simple, as my skin tends to freak out when I travel. If I could avoid clogged pores, irritation, and dehydration, it would be a success.
The first product I packed was this drugstore classic. It's been recommended to me multiple times by multiple dermatologists. I struggle with redness and irritation, so I love that this one is gentle, hydrating, and fragrance-free (and it removes sunscreen easily).
This vitamin C serum is expensive, but it's also incredibly effective, which is why I chose to pack it. After all, I knew I'd be in crowded cities for most of the trip, and I wanted to protect my skin against environmental pollution and free radical damage. Since it's a lipid-soluble 25% vitamin C, it has an oily texture that moisturized my post-flight skin.
Fun fact: UVA rays aren't filtered out by clouds, so it's important to wear sunscreen every single day regardless of cloud cover. I packed my favorite mineral formula by Dr. Loretta. It has a slight peach tint so it never (I repeat: never) leaves a white cast. It instantly sinks into my skin and provides the dreamiest glow. Plus, it didn't slide or smudge even when I was working up a little bit of sweat from walking all over Glasgow.
I'm really excited about this product, and I've been using it nonstop ever since I left for Scotland. It can be used as a moisturizer–sleeping mask hybrid, so I put it on as the final step in my nighttime routine and go right to sleep. Thanks to geothermal bioactive Blue Lagoon seawater, it hydrates and soothes my stressed skin, making it look plump and bouncy. I know it works because I've gotten three compliments on my skin since I started using it.
I put most of my focus into the makeup portion of my beauty bag. Since it was going to be rainy and windy, I wanted to make sure I was packing products that could withstand the weather. As such, I had a strict set of standards when it came to packing.
The first product I packed was this new concealer from Haus Labs. Not only does the shade suit my undertone perfectly, but the medium-coverage formula looks like a second skin when it dries down. It covered my redness and dark circles and stayed put even when I walked a mile in pouring rain with no hood on my rain jacket. That's impressive.
When my eyebrows aren't brushed up, I don't feel like I'm put-together, so brow gel is a necessity for me. I brought this clear one from Kosas, which kept my brows in place all day long.
This highly pigmented blush stays put all day. Seriously though, it's completely budge-proof. The color is so flattering too. It made me look bright-eyed and bushy-tailed even when I was super jet-lagged. Just be warned: A little goes a long way. All you need is a little dot or two on each cheek, which means it lasts forever. I've had mine for over six months, and I haven't made a dent.
The Who What Wear team named this mascara the best out of 77 tested, so duh, I was going to bring it with me to Scotland. Its lengthening and volumizing powers are major, yet it never looks thick or clumpy. My sister actually asked if I got lash extensions the first day I wore it—just saying. I like packing the mini one with me when I travel for convenience's sake.
This was one of the more important products I packed, and I'm counting it as makeup because it visibly transforms the look of my lips whenever I use it, making me look and feel more put-together even if I'm not wearing a lot of makeup.
It's designed to work like a topical lip filler, so yes, it majorly plumps my lips, but it also enhances their natural color. It's thanks to a combination of hyaluronic acid, multiphasic vesicles (a patent-pending technology that delivers hyaluronic acid where it needs to go), and a vitamin B3–derived color enhancer. The difference this makes is massive, and I love it.
After using the Lip Filler product, I apply a thick coat of this gloss-conditioner hybrid to seal in moisture and give my lips an expensive-looking shine. It uses hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, cupuaçu seed butter, and soy and ginger oils to plump, smooth, firm, and hydrate. Bonus, it's also rich in antioxidants to protect the lips from environmental aggressors.
I recently wrote a glowing review of this product since it made my otherwise dull and dry hair look super soft and shiny à la Jennifer Lopez or Kim Kardashian. Don't believe me? Check out the before-and-after picture. Since it lasts for up to three washes, I knew I had to bring it with me to Scotland. It was the only thing that helped my hair stay somewhat smooth despite the incessant wind and rain.
I forgot to pack this, and I was so upset. It would have been the perfect thing to keep my slicked-back bun looking, well, slicked-back in spite of the wind and rain. Since I didn't pack it, my baby hairs didn't stay down and my hair looked less smooth than it normally does when it's tied back. Sigh. But back to the product. It's essentially an oil-wax stick that gels hair down. The fact that it's formulated with coconut and castor oils to moisturize the hair is just a bonus.
In fall, I always crave scents that are earthy and cozy. Since Scotland in September is basically a fall fantasy, I knew I only needed to pack one fragrance: Nette La Forêt. With notes of bergamot, moss, and sandalwood, it's a classic woody fragrance that, to me, smells more like a cologne than a perfume. It doesn't scream 'masculine,' though. There's a certain fresh crispness to it that balances it out and reminds me of rainy forest air.