Never compromise on your skincare when you’re travelling. Stick to your usual regime, and perhaps add in a higher SPF and a richer moisturiser (almost everywhere in the world has drier air than Singapore). But this doesn’t mean lugging around your full-sized bottles in your check-in luggage! I found the best way to put together a travel skincare kit is not just with miniatures, but with SACHETS! I used to think that sachets were just samples given out by beauty counters, but they can be much more than that. Lots of brands are happy to dole out complimentary sachets (for both skincare and makeup!) if you ask nicely, and especially if you shop at the brand. But of course do so with integrity — take these sachets to build your personal travel beauty kit (and not to list on Carousell!).
Here’s a guide to some of the best beauty miniatures and sachets to get you started on your ultimate beauty travel kit.
TIP: Sometimes I find the best way to get more sachets, is just to ask nicely. And even be upfront about why you want extra sachets (to bring travelling!). Go on a day and time when the store is not crowded, and actually purchase something if you’re serious about the brand. It will demonstrate that you’re a genuine customer and not just there for freebies. Even better if you get to know the beauty advisor! A personal relationship with an advisor makes it so much easier to ask for stuff. Anyway, don’t paiseh; if you don’t ask, you will not get.
shu uemura Cleansing Oil sachets
shu uemura has sachets for their entire line of cleansing oils, their stage performer block:booster (this is an excellent primer), and petal skin fluid foundation (also an excellent liquid foundation). According to the brand, consumers can get sachets by visiting any of the physical shu uemura stores, and asking for them with no obligations to purchase anything. I find that with the cleansing oil sachets, I can count out how many I need according to my itinerary. One sachet gives me two washes — one to remove makeup entirely at the end of the day, and one in the morning.
Kiehl's skincare sachets
Kiehl’s is the king of sachet sampling. They have almost all of their products (including skincare, bodycare and haircare) in sachets, and each sachet contains the amount required for a day’s use. These samples are given out at Kiehl’s physical stores, and based on a customer’s skincare needs after a consultation with a Kiehl’s Customer Representative. The brand tells me that the main objective of giving these sachets is for customers to “try before they buy”, and to test for any sensitivity towards the products before purchase.
I recommend: Amino Acid haircare (not shown here), Ultra Light Daily UV Defense Sunscreen, and Creme de Corps body moisturiser sachets.
Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum EX sachet pack
You can find most Sulwhasoo products available in sachets, with the exception of their makeup items, and this pack of five sachets here is the one you definitely want to try. I can’t live without this amazing serum — it hydrates, calms and repairs skin using five precious medicinal herbs that address yin deficiency (which is a sign of ageing). To get Sulwhasoo sachets, you can walk in to any Sulwhasoo store and just ask. You’ll be given a skin consultation so you can find out your skin needs, and then you’ll receive sachets of the relevant skincare products suited for your skin. Ask for the First Care Activating Serum EX if they don’t include it — it’s a must-have.
Three Cosmetics sachets
The Three Cosmetics store is located at TANGS at Tang Plaza Level 4. Pop in, check out the skincare and makeup (I highly recommend the Flawless Ethereal Fluid Foundation — one of the best liquid foundations I’ve ever tried), then smile and ask the beauty advisor for samples to bring home and try. The sachets available include: the Balancing Cleansing Oil, Clearing Foam, Treatment Lotion, Treatment Emulsion, Treatment Cream, and Balancing UV Protector. And these are given out after a quick consultation with the advisor so they can determine what’s best for your skin condition. I actually think you will return to buy the skincare once you’ve tried a few days’ worth of Three products; they feel good and smell good.
Urban Decay makeup sachets
I LOVE these Urban Decay sachets…!!! Especially the ones for the eyeshadow primer potions. There are four different primer potion sachets in the pack, and each can last for at least 5 days of use (assuming you use it once a day). And need concealer? There’s an All Nighter sample swatch sheet. Need lip colour? UD even has a sample card for four shades of their Ultra Cushion Lipgloss. I really like space-saving flat makeup. Note that the brand says that these sachets are more like gifts that customers get with their purchase; but they are sometimes given out at the store’s discretion when a customer tries a product in-store. You know what… just ask. Tell them how much you want to try the product and would love to bring this travelling with you.
The Body Shop Don't Ask Just Mask Set, $15 from thebodyshop.com
Need to mask while on holiday overseas? These sachets are far more convenient to travel with than their original tubs. This is a set of six 100% vegan face masks including Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask, British Rose Fresh Plumping Mask, and Japanese Matcha Tea Pollution Clearing Mask. The box set also comes with a Baby Deer Headband (not shown here).
Sephora Collection masks
Sephora also has many sheet masks — face masks, eye masks, nose masks, lip masks, hand masks, foot masks, after-sun masks, and even hair sleeping masks. You can buy them individually or as a value set from Sephora stores or online. Featured here: Sephora Collection Coconut Face Mask (not available in Singapore), Cucumber Eye Masks ($3), and Pineapple Nose Mask ($4).
Drunk Elephant The Littles Skincare Set, $128 from Sephora.sg
This is a delightful set of Drunk Elephant’s best-selling products — in mini sizes! — including the cult Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil. This is also a good sample set if you haven’t tried the brand yet. I also really like the pink zippered pouch this comes in; it’s the perfect size to store all your sachets in!
LA BRUKET Travel Kit, $49 from escentials.com
Here’s another wonderful set of travel essentials, including shampoo and conditioner (lemongrass), and liquid soap and body lotion (bergamot/patchouli). And yes, they smell as heavenly as they sound. Remember not to throw the bottles away when you’re done with them; rinse them out and refill for your next trip!