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Toiletries, Cosmetics and Travel Essentials I Took to London

August 29, 2023

Saturday night I returned home from an 8-day trip to Britain. My lifelong friend Candy and I joined up with four other women and our hostess Shelly of Walkabout tours for a whirlwind week in London and the surrounding area. It was such an amazing experience, my first time to visit anywhere in Europe at all. I’ll gladly answer reader questions about my trip later this week, but today I’m sharing the toiletries, cosmetics and other travel essentials I packed for my trip to London.

the Toiletries, Cosmetics & other Travel Essentials I Packed for an 8-day trip to London

I know that many of my readers are currently preparing for similar overseas excursions, so I thought it would be helpful to share the cosmetics, toiletries and other small travel essentials that I packed for my 8-day journey. In fact, this seems to be the most requested information ever since I announced my trip. I shared the clothing and accessories I packed for my London trip in this previous blog post last week. And later this week I hope to share the outfits I actually wore during the week.

I did in fact manage to get everything into a carry-on suitcase and a sizeable tote that fit snugly under the seat in front of me on the plane. When I returned home I opted to check the roller bag so that I wouldn’t have to worry about the liquids in my carry-on. Just an FYI, London-Heathrow Airport is extremely stringent about the liquids rules. They consider things like mascara, toothpaste and stick deodorant to be a liquid, so that would have made it much harder for me to get all of my liquid essentials into the required 1-quart size clear bag.

Travel Photo
top // travel pants // no-show socks // sneakers // necklace // bracelet // earrings // crossbody // suitcase // carryon tote

Speaking of the clear bag, I had purchased these three clear TSA approved toiletry bags for my trip, and they worked perfectly. They made the trip just fine, but they’re not expensive, so if they come apart at the seams later I don’t mind replacing them.

Important Note: For the plane ride I put ALL LIQUIDS into ONE of these TSA approved toiletry bags. Then after I got to my destination, I sorted the items and put them into bags mostly by category.

I also need to let you know that I have TSA Pre-Check. So, while I did get all of what I consider to be liquids into one quart size bag, I didn’t have to remove them from my carry-on to have them checked. When I returned, of course, my TSA Pre-Check status didn’t gain me the same privilege, so that’s why I put them in my checked bag instead.

Here are the three one-quart size clear bags I used for my toiletries and supplies. They look a little dirty because these photos were taken a couple of days after my trip. I hadn’t unpacked because I have duplicates of everything I took so that I can leave these packed and ready to go for the next trip.

The 3 one quart clear bags
three one-quart size clear bags

Here’s what I had packed in each of the three one-quart size clear bags:

Bag 1 – Hair Care and Other Self-Care Supplies

In this first grey trimmed TSA approved toiletry bag I packed mostly hair supplies. I added a few other things I would need in the bathroom with me when I was showering for the day.

Hair Care Supplies

The Colleen Rothschild haircare products were a few of the products included in their travel kit that I’d bought earlier in the spring for my Maine trip. I had plenty left over from that trip for this one. And I still have some product in them even now.

Bag 2 – Skincare and Various Other Toiletries

This next bag contains mostly skincare with the addition of a few random items that probably migrated to this bag as I packed to come home. I started out much more organized than this. Ha!

Various Toiletries

You can see that a lot of the travel size items I carried were purchased in kits. Some were from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, but I also used several items from this Colleen Rothschild skincare kit, this Elemis skincare kit and this Colleen Rothschild haircare kit. And I’ve used those items for mutiple trips at this point.

Bag 3 – Makeup Brushes and Tools

The third quart size clear bag contained my makeup brushes and a few other makeup tools.

Makeup Brushes and tools

Bag 4 – Makeup

That leads us to my actual makeup collection for the trip. I worked really hard to get all travel size items in the products I already use and love. I wanted to be able to use the makeup I’m used to, but I didn’t want to pack large, bulky items. I was so glad when I found the Tarte travel size items; they made a huge difference and I had room left over in my case. I packed everything in the case that came with the Colleen Rothschild hair care travel kit. This case worked nicely because I could unzip it all the way and have easy access to all my items.

Makeup collection

Yeah, it looks pretty dirty. Ha! But it’s just makeup product. I’ll wipe everything down before I store it away until the next trip. I’ll list the items in the order I generally use them.

Because I had so much space left over in that bag, I was actually able to pack bag number 3 into bag number 4. So that really helped with packing it all into my suitcase. I only carried the one bag with all the liquids in my tote, shown below.

My Medium Everywhere Bag
medium Everywhere Bag // Hobo crossbody // scarf (similar) // similar cashmere wrap // bag from this kit

When I traveled, I kept this small black bag (acquired from this kit) in my medium Everywhere Bag. Before putting the tote under the seat in front of me, I took the little black bag out and kept it in my seat with me. I guess you could call it my “seat bag.”

Seat Bag

My seat bag contained the following (a few items are not pictured here):

These were items I wanted to have handy during my flight. The compression socks worked great for me; I have circulation problems, but they really kept the swelling down in my legs and feet. I didn’t end up eating much of the snacks, but I’d rather have had them handy than not. And I absolutely used the eye mask when I slept on the trip to London. I’m convinced that the fact that they provided me with a dark environment really helped me to make the time change almost effortlessly.


Because you’re only allowed two carry-on bags of any size, I kept the contents of my Hobo crossbody minimal and put it into my medium Everywhere Bag before boarding the plane. I really loved how my luggage and bags worked for me on this trip. And I especially enjoyed using my Hobo crossbody throughout my trip.

Ready to Travel
top // travel pants // no-show socks // sneakers // necklace // bracelet // earrings // crossbody // suitcase // carryon tote

Later this week I will happily answer any reader questions about my trip to London. I want to share, but I don’t want to write such a long post that no one wants to read it. So I’ll limit my blog post to answering the questions I receive. I’ve already had several come in, so let me know if there’s something you’d like for me to share.

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Blessed for My Day

Do you feel disheartened today? Discouraged or depressed? If you are struggling with longterm depression or sadness, I certainly encourage you to seek perspective and wise counsel from your healthcare provider and a wise Christ-follower who can help you get sustaining help. But I think it’s also important for each of us to remember that the occasional “blue day” is quite normal. We all have days when we feel a little sad and down, even if we can’t lay a finger on why.

But we don’t have to sit in our sadness. We can encourage our souls. Take a cue from the David and instruct your soul to bless the Lord. Remind yourself of His blessings and character. Draw near to Him intentionally. This blue day will pass, but you can hasten it’s exit by reminding your soul to bless the Lord.

Bless the Lord, my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the Lord, my soul,
And do not forget any of His benefits;
Who pardons all your guilt,
Who heals all your diseases;
Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you with favor and compassion;
Who satisfies your years with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle. ~ Psalm 103:1-5

xoxo, Kay
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17 thoughts on “Toiletries, Cosmetics and Travel Essentials I Took to London

  1. Great post! I’d love to hear more about your trip! What clothing items worked well and what did not… What place was your favorite and which one would you skip next time… What restaurants would you go back to, etc. Of course, I’d love to see pictures and your trip as well! Next stop – Italy! I’d love to go back with a group of friends! Take care and have a blessed day!

  2. I would also love to hear more about your trip! Please tell us more about where you went and stayed and how the group and guide enhanced your experience.

  3. I can’t read the words of Psalm 103 without singing the song !

    My question is this – In retrospect, is there anything that you would not have packed that you did or anything that you wish you had had that you didn’t take? I certainly enjoyed the photos you did post of your outfits each day. I also wondered if those gray cap toe shoes were comfortable all day long? As comfortable as sneakers?

  4. I would also like to know anything and everything about your trip! How was the weather and was it as you expected? Did you drive anywhere? Did you feel you looked like a tourist? Did you think the Londoners were stylish?

  5. First I want to complement you on your amazing work ethic. I did not expect posts last week and certainly not yesterday, but I was wrong. You don’t know how much you inspire us, so thank you! I have to say my two favorite type of posts are when you post your entire seasonal wardrobe and anything travel. I’m looking forward to your London recap. As far as the trip, I’d like to know what worked, what didn’t and what you might do differently if you go overseas again. As far as your tour…I know you went with your close friend; my question is do you think it would be comfortable for a woman to go alone? Thank you again for all you do for us!

  6. Hi kay
    Another great travel post! Thank you so much for sharing your travel tips for packing makeup and other cosmetics. I immediately put the quart size travel bags in my Amazon cart!!! I will also use your tip on buying cosmetic kits in the smaller sizes for travel. I look forward to hearing more about your London trip.

  7. Thank you so much Kay for all your Inspirational tips and all your hard work keeping us all updated Bless You while on your Trip . You look Super Chic in your travel outfit and with your beautiful minimal luggage . So pleased you enjoyed London and got home safely Xx

  8. These two travel posts are so informative – thank you! I’m wondering on the travel pants from Talbots, what size did you get? I’m 5’8″ and weigh 150 pounds so we are about the same size. They are not in my local store, so I will have to order. The reviews mention complaints about the zippers, were they an issue for you?

  9. Hello Kay. Loved your London travel blog. How did your trench coat work out? I am going to Italy in January and liked the way your coat looked. Would a longer coat be too bulky in the plane? So many questions lol. I loved your choice of black and white.

  10. So glad you enjoyed your trip. Like others, I would like to know what worked, what didn’t work, weather, highlights of your trip, with as much details as possible! Thanks for sharing!

  11. I travel frequently and I’m wondering how you got all those travel sizes through TSA. They look like they are way over the liquid limit.I must be doing something wrong!!!
    Thanks so much!

    1. I was thinking the same thing. Perhaps I’ve always misunderstood but I thought you are only allowed one quart size bag for all your liquids. Can someone please clarify?

    2. I condensed all the liquids into one of those bags – they are quart-size and TSA approved – for the trip. Then I sorted them back out into the three different bags. They did fit into one. They were tight, but they fit.

      1. Thank you so much for clarifying, Kay. That is a brilliant idea to have extra bags to spread out your toiletries. It makes such a difference when you can find your products to get ready for the day. I’m using this idea on my next adventure. Awesome tip!

  12. Sounds like an awesome trip. Thank you for sharing what you packed and liked and didn’t like about your choices. I would especially like to hear about your luggage and if you felt the “Away” brand is worth the price tag! What about it that was better/worse than other brands.

  13. You looked like a chic American girl in Britain😉
    Thanks for sharing your travel essentials as I am the one who gets to my destination saying “uh oh, guess what I forgot?”
    I have to know, did you partake in High Tea, and if so, what did you wear and more importantly what did you eat and what tea did you drink? Tea Sammies, scones, china???

  14. I so needed this today. I’m tired. I work 2 jobs. My mother and brother are on Hospice and I live states away. My sister and sister-in-law are carrying all the burden. I visit a couple times a year but I only have so much time. I don’t feel like who I am today and this was a good reminder to bless the Lord! He has given me so much! I really am thankful!