It’s been well over a year since I last went abroad (I know, it’s not a big deal and all that), so I feel a little out of touch with how to be practical when it comes to packing. Can little travel requirement really make you forget how to pack? Anyhow, in just over 3 days I’ll be jetting off to Brussels for three nights with my boyfriend for his birthday which I’m super excited for as we’ve both never been before, but I’m more excited for him in some aspects because of a special day out I have planned for us. Here’s the low down…
His birthday was way back in January, and just 15 minutes into the New Year I surprised him with hand-made boarding passes which featured all the information he needed to know about where we’re going and what we’re doing. Below is a picture of the boarding passes I made (I’m pretty proud if I say so myself). The majority of our time will be spent in the heart of Brussels where we aim to visit the likes of Mini Europe, the Atomium, the Royal Palace of Brussels and of course, Grand Place. However, on the Sunday we will be travelling south to Spa, where I’ve booked us a tour of the Spa-Francorchamps circuit – he’s a major Formula 1 fan and the circuit down in Spa happens to be one of his favourites he sees on the TV every year – so I want him to be able to see and walk on it in person.
Ps. I hope you admire my creativity there…
I feel like I haven’t done a travel post in a while, and this holiday will most definitely be the first one to make it onto this blog afterwards – I really want to kick-start the travel category on Coffee & Blogging, so fingers crossed I stick to it! Anyway, onto the point of this post. Below is a break down of what I’m going to be taking to Brussels; from the mandatory ‘undies, to the crucial Olympus Pen 8, I’m sharing it all with you…
Ever since selling my iPad Air 2 a couple years back, I’ve been wanting another tablet which I can simply put in my bag and carry with me wherever I go. Lately I’ve been getting stuck into my Amazon Fire* 8GB tablet in blue and although it’s not as good in comparison to the iPad; the battery dies faster, the camera isn’t as great, and the storage is limited, it’s great for what I want it for – carrying to work for lunchtime entertainment, resting in bed, but also for my travels.
I’ve got an exam to prepare for this July and although reading core text isn’t on my list of ‘Fun Things to do in Brussels’, the Kindle app on this tablet is great for the wait in the airport, the plane journey and the long journey to and from Spa on Sunday – so happy days! They’ve recently brought out new colours in both the 8GB and 16GB versions, to which I was lucky to get my hands on this blue one – my favourite colour! You can still get all your favourite apps; games, social media, and even your shopping apps, so it’s great for on-the-go entertainment that’ll fit in your handbag.
Obviously I’ll be taking spare clothing, an extra pair of shoes and all the essential travel documents with me, but let’s face it, you don’t want me to bore you with all that. One thing I will mention though, if booking airport parking, hotels or travel insurance for example, I highly recommend signing up to TopCashback; every time you make a purchase via one of their listed retailers, you’ll earn a percentage of cashback. I believe I’ve earned around £60 in cashback from this holiday alone just from booking my insurance, hotel and parking via their site. I’ve shared my top money saving tips and advice on ways to save money before, but this is simply a quick heads up! If you sign up via this link, you’ll also receive a £5 M&S e-Gift Card! You’re welcome. Now, let’s get onto my makeup travel essentials, shall we?
I’ve been loving highlighters as of late, and my favourite liquid one of the moment is this Trifle Cosmetics Liquid Glow. This is a purple-toned liquid luminizer which looks A W E S O M E on the cheeks. I prefer liquid-based products for my skin as it’s very dry, but I do top this off with a powder-based luminizer which I’ll get on to shortly. Makeup wouldn’t typically be my focal point for travelling, but I figured lately my beauty posts are doing really well on the blog, so you guys seem to like me chatting sh*t about makeup, so why not continue?
I’ve raved about the YSL Touche Eclat Radiant Pen in my Monthly Favourites before, which is why it’s going to join me on my travels to Brussels. Travelling can take it’s toll on you, even if you’re not travelling far, and my skin is always the first to show the tiredness. That’s why this is going to be by my side every morning. As for the rest, well, we’re only taking hand-luggage which is why I’ve got to limit myself to what I bring. So, to be extra crafty, I’m bringing my trusty In Transit Camera Close-up mask, moisturiser and primer in one by This Works – a trusty companion for any overnight travelling you may do. Simply cleanse, wack this on and let is sink in for 5 minutes, then apply your makeup as you would. I also like to take these luxe beauty wipes to help freshen up after a flight.I’m also currently in the stage where I have a lot of makeup in different categories (base, eyes etc.) which are nearly finished, so I’m trying to stick to using solely these so I can finally do my first ever empties blog post – what do you think? But, it also means that once I finish my foundation, I have an excuse to go splash out on the one I really want – Estee Lauder Double Wear. Anyway, I’m taking The Body Shop Moisture Foundation in shade 02, which is pretty much on it’s last legs. Then, to set it, I’m taking the Bourjois Healthy Balance Unifying Powder in shade 52 – Vanille. I’m sad to see I’ve hit pan on this, as I actually really like this powder, so will actually consider re-purchasing this in the next month or so when my other powders have finally been used.
For eyes, I’ve opted to take the Estee Lauder Sumptuous Knockout mascara which is a travel-size 2.8ml which I actually got in the Breast Cancer Awareness Beauty Box back in October last year, but haven’t even opened since. So, what better occasion to try it out? Now, as for the brows, this is where I get a little protective. I want to bring my trusty HD Brows palette with me, but last time I brought the smaller palette of this on my travels, it smashed into smithereens…I’m not going to risk that again. So instead, I’m taking the Soap & Glory Archery pen, which is as good as it’ll get.
Lastly, but most certainly not least is this new addition to my makeup bag; the new PUR Cosmetics Vanity Palette* in Dream Chaser, which is also available in another shade for more tanned skin. When I knew this would be landing on my doorstep just over a week before travelling, I got super-excited, because I love anything that’s practical. The fact that this has a highlighter, blush, bronzer and 4 eye shadows (and a handy mirror) all in a sleek, silver compact palette, makes it the perfect travel companion. Secondly, the pigmentation is awesome. I don’t wear blush, and still won’t reach for this one, but it is a beautiful colour and is in the shade Visionary. As for the bronzer, it’s great for pale girls like me and is in the shade Driven. Thirdly, the highlighter has been A M A Z I N G – you can probably see where I’ve been using it in the image above!
As for the four eye shadows, you’ve got all the essential shades for a warm smokey eye, but the bottom shade is also the perfect shade of brown for doubling up as a powder for my eyebrows – YES! Below I’ve swatched all the products in this palette for you to give you a better idea of the colour on the skin.
L-R [eye shadows]: Aspire / Utopia / Good Intentions / Fantasy
L-R [highligher, blush & bronzer]: Illusion / Visionary / Driven