The new black

Holidays are the best time to kick-start your beauty regime. With all that time on your hands, there is simply no excuse for not looking after your skin, and besides, who doesn't want to come back from holiday looking as radiant as possible? The only problem with this is, while I may just about manage to downsize my wardrobe, I'm hopeless at doing the same with my toiletries.

At the risk of sounding as if I take myself too seriously, on a typical day I use shower gel, exfoliator, cleanser, two types of moisturiser (face and body), body oil, eye cream, night cream and deodorant. All this to pack and I haven't even thought about sun creams. Or hair products. Or any holiday treats such as face masks or body scrubs. I've tried decanting my bigger bottles into smaller ones, but, let's face it, more of it ends up in the sink than in either bottle.

Thankfully, cosmetics companies have wised up and many now produce mini-me versions of their products. Capsule Collection from Debenhams, the Basic Skin Care Kit from Urban Decay, and the ever-so-cute Clip Doses from YSL (which clip together like Lego: each "dose" is filled with a weekly measure of YSL skincare) are all light, travel-friendly collections that should take care of your face's beauty needs while you're away.

Handy-sized body creams are hard to find, but thankfully Palmers Coco Butter comes in a convenient 100g tube - even though I've used this stuff almost daily for years, the smell of it always reminds me of the beach. For a great travel-sized exfoliating body treatment try Brown Sugar Body Polish from Fresh, which comes in a pack of five daily-use sachets. And finally, for a real spa in the sun, without the added shoulder strain, Marks & Spencer has a wonderful range of individual treatments for face, hair and body, none of which will take up too much room in your suitcase. All of which means your suitcase is much lighter on the return journey, unless of course you fill it up with tasteful souvenirs.

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