Beauty

I Downsized My Beauty Collection to One Bag, Here Are the Holy Grail Pieces I Kept and the Ones I’m Repurchasing

A self-confessed beauty addicts favourite picks.

If there’s one thing to know about me, it’s that I’m a diehard beauty lover. I was that teenager watching YouTube beauty tutorials for hours, experimenting with eyebrow shades far too dark and contour shades far too harsh. I even had a brief stint working as a makeup artist for weddings and events and now write about beauty products for a job, which means I’ve been growing my beauty collection for years.

So when I recently moved overseas and had only 30kg – yes, 30kg – in which to transport my entire life across the globe I had to cut down my beloved beauty collection to just one single bag… 

Cutting down my makeup and skin collection into just one (I admit, not-so-small) bag was no easy feat. But – with a strict weight limit and my fashion faves also vying for space, I had to get ruthless.

So, if you’re curious about which beauty essentials made the cut and are travelling with me to the other side of the world, keep reading for my honest reviews. As well as what I’m repurchasing now that I’ve arrived. 

Holy Grail Beauty Products of 2024 

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(Credit: Isle of Paradise)

Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Drops 

$57 at ASOS

This is my Desert Island beauty product, I truly could not live without it. Mix a couple of drops of this liquid in with your favourite moisturiser before bed and wake up sun-kissed, bronzed skin with a radiant glow. 

Beauty notes: 

  • Available in three shade varieties 
  • Naturally fades without looking patchy 
  • Can be used for face and body 

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(Credit: COSRX)

COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence 

$29.27 at iHerb

I experience ultra-dry skin, and nothing gives it a true shot of hydration like this innovative snail mucin essence. It’s a game changer for those with dull, dry, textured skin as it quickly absorbs into the skin leaving it feeling refreshed and illuminated. 

My top tip is to apply this on top of damp skin so I often apply it over my toner (which we will get to later) or right after washing my face. 

Beauty notes: 

  • Soothes damaged skin and helps target dark spots and scarring
  • Great for sensitive skin as it is fragrance-free and alcohol-free
  • Can be used for face and body 

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(Credit: Caudelie)

Caudelie Beauty Elixir 

$86 at Sephora

I first tried this beauty spray over five years ago after a trip to a French pharmacy and have been hooked ever since. You can use this for almost anything, prep your skin, set your makeup or use it as a general hydrating refresh throughout the day. It not only smells incredible but helps give a dewy, radiant finish to your skin.

Beauty notes: 

  • Natural scent of mint, rose and rosemary 
  • Tightens pores and creates glow
  • Available in a range of sizes 

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(Credit: Paula’s Choice)

2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant 

$45 at Paula’s Choice

Finding the perfect exfoliator that works for your skin is a journey, you want something that clears your pores but won’t leave you feeling tight and dry. Nothing that irritates, but something that actually does the job. I love the cult-favourite 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant from Paula’s Choice and this was one of the products I just had to make room for. 

I find that it really does help clear my pores and I often wake up with far less textured skin than I went to bed with. 

Beauty notes: 

  • A versatile formula for all skin types 
  • Award-winning formula
  • Available in travel sizes 

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(Credit: BDK)

BDK Pas Ce Soir Extrait 

$498 at Myer

I understand this is certainly a splurge item, but there was no way I was going to leave this delicious perfume behind. I have never received as many compliments on the way I smell as I do when I wear this rich, deep scent. 

It’s like a decadent treat for the senses, blending cocoa essence, pear, vanilla, and jasmine along with many more rich notes to create this uniquely intense and irresistible scent that just sticks with you all day long.

Beauty notes: 

  • 30 per cent concentration

Also available from: 

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(Credit: Who Is Elijah)

Who Is Elijah Wall Street 

$179 at Adore Beauty

As if I was ever going to travel with just one perfume – I could never let go of my Who Is Elijah Wall Street. A deep smokey and woody scent, this is the ultimate winter perfume and stays on the skin for hours upon hours. 

I love to pair it with Rebel Rose from the same brand to create a complex blend of rose and smoke – just be warned this stuff is potent so one or two spritzes will do! 

Beauty notes: 

  • Australian owned brand 
  • Cruelty-free and vegan formula 
  • Notes of rose, raspberry, Oud, leather and more

Also available from: 

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(Credit: Fresh)

Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Facial Toner 

$72 at Sephora

I lugged this toner across the world and have absolutely no regrets as it is a game-changer for my skin tone. I use it on the daily to quickly hydrate tired and parched skin while soothing irritation and leaving it glowing. 

Apply it during your nighttime routine or before you apply your makeup to create a perfectly hydrated base. 

Beauty notes: 

  • Alcohol-free so as not to irritate skin
  • Power ingredients include rose fruit extract, rosewater, rose petals and rose oil
  • Works for all skin types

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(Credit: Charlotte Tilbury)

Iconic Nude Lip Cheat 

$38 at Charlotte Tilbury

I can barely leave the house without throwing on some lipliner and Iconic Nude is the perfect match to my natural lip colour. It’s long-lasting and can stay in place through a good meal which is a game-changer. I actually brought two over with me and purchased two additional ones on arrival because I truly use them every single day. 

Beauty notes: 

  • Waterproof formula 
  • Matte finish 

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(Credit: Anastasia Beverly Hills)

Soft Glam Palette

$78 at Anastasia Beverly Hills

You know when you buy an Anastasia Beverly Hills palette it’s going to be good quality, and the Soft Glam edition is the ultimate everyday selection of neutral tones mattes, shimmers and glotters that allow you to experiment and create diverse eye looks. 

The shadows are easy to blend and super pigmented, they also last on the skin for a long time which is essential if you’re trying to avoid dreaded panda eyes. 

Beauty notes: 

  • Nine matte shades and five shimmer/glitter tones
  • Travel-friendly as comes with a duel-ended brush and large mirror 

Also available from: 

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(Credit: One/Size)

One/Size Point Made Eyeliner

$35 at Sephora

Much like lipliner, I rarely leave the house without a sharp wing and I’ve come back to this formula time and time again. It creates a sharp, clean line with a highly pigmented and matte finish and best of all it is waterproof and won’t run. 

Beauty notes: 

  • Comes in black, blue and brown shades
  • Dries down in 15 seconds 
  • Easy glide ink to create an easy wing

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(Credit: McoBeauty)

Instant Contour Cream

$35 at MCoBeauty

I was so pleasantly surprised the first time I used this contour wand, it has an almost gel-like texture which means it blends into the skin very seamlessly to ensure you don’t have harsh lines. 

Beauty notes: 

  • Comes in two shades
  • Easily blendable

Also available from: 

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(Credit: Naked Sunday)

SPF50 Clear Glow Sun Stick 

$39.95 at Naked Sunday

I never go anywhere without sunscreen and this handy little stick sits permanently in my handbag for easy reapplying. You can slide it seamlessly over makeup or use it as a base to ensure you have SPF50 protection all day long – it’s an everyday staple. 

Beauty notes: 

  • 100 per cent invisible with no whitecast 
  • Doesn’t leave a sticky feeling on the skin

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