I know what you’re thinking of the title, CIANDRA MANAGED TO PACK FOR A WEEKS TRIP WITH ONLY HAND LUGGAGE!! And yes, even I’m shocked I managed to do it, I must say it wasn’t easy but I am going to share a few tips that helped me achieve it. I didn’t just manage a boring work trip with hand luggage,  it was a week away of swanking it up in London going to interviews, after-parties, sight-seeing, visiting artists’ studios – the usual grind. That’s a lot to ask from one 56cm x 45cm x 25cm case (the official allowance for Easy Jet, but check your airline website because they all differ).

I’d like point out that, despite all my fears and expectations, I didn’t once feel I had a lack of clothes or essentials and I write as someone who routinely and tactically overpacks (think 3 suitcases for a couple of days away!). When I’m working away the unexpected event always crops up and you need to be prepared. Plus you need to pack the essentials to the job – laptops, keyboards, iPads, extra batteries.


FINDING THE RIGHT CASE IS CRITICAL

This is where finding the right case is critical. Not all cabin cases are equal. I’ve tried many over the years, from designer to budget, but the ideal case is personal. I like Samsonite Neopulse 4 wheelspinner, which make it an effortless case to drive, either forwards or in reverse, and it’s very robust. They really don’t seem to die (they also come with a global 5 month warranty!).  Four-wheel cases are slightly heavier than two-wheelers, which is why I didn’t choose them. I’ve regretted it ever since.

The Samsonite cases are extremely well built and come in three sizes (I may have to buy them all) and lots of colours. I chose mine in Wine Red, I love this colour! The internal configuration is also one of the most intelligently thought-out of any brand’s. A zipped-in compartment on each side ensures nothing falls out when you have to open it for the umpteenth check, and your clothes can be evenly divided. A case that’s too deep guarantees a mountain of rags on arrival. You can purchase the cases on www.samsonite.co.uk.

ROLL YOUR CLOTHES, DON'T FOLD THEM

As for actual packing I always roll my clothes not fold them. I start with items that don’t crease, or aren’t going to be seen in public, such as workout leggings and nightwear, so that by the time I get to a silk dress or tailored trousers, there’s a substantial roll to wrap them around. Do it right, ie, rolling items smoothly and neatly, without overfilling the case, and there should be minimal rumpling on arrival – nothing that can’t be sorted by hanging them in a steamy bathroom for 10 minutes. Turning jackets inside out will help avoid crushing them, but if space is limited, wear  your jacket while travelling. Stuff sleeves with underwear. Leave no vacuum unfilled. If you’re taking a spare clutch bag, fill it with adapter plugs, or a belt.
  
FIND MULTI-TASKING BAGS AND CLOTHES

Bag-wise, on holiday I like a lightweight tote that can work well as a beach bag, I try to make sure the straps fit over your luggage handles when they’re extended and that it sits securely on the case when you’re wheeling it. Additionally I take a small cross-body bag – all you need it to fit is a phone, some money in a little purse, hand sanitiser, lip-balm and a sun protector stick (if you’re going abroad).

As for your clothes, make sure you pack lots of basic tops and dresses that can be worn over an over again, dressed up or down, and make life a hell of a lot easier.


CHOOSE ACCESSORIES CAREFULLY

Jewelry, a scarf big enough to wear as a cover up or sarong, and a belt or two will transform outfits. Limit what you take either to what you can wear whilst travelling, or to what you can securely fit in a travel jewelry case. If you do put luggage in the hold, at least your fine jewellery should be compact enough to take in your hand bag.

BE CAREFUL WITH YOUR BEAUTY PRODUCTS

Shower gels and body cream? If you’re going to a good hotel they’ll more than likely provide have nice ones. If not, buy it over there or at the airport once through security, along with your SPF. I like No 7’s Protect and Perfect (factor 30 for the face, 15 for my legs) because it soaks in so quickly. If you’re buying more than 100ml, get them to seal it all in some plastic bags with the receipt so that if you’re on a transfer flight and have to pass through security again, they’ll wave it through. If you’re lucky, they’ll even let you bring any unopened bottles back, provided they're still in its sealed bag. Don't let your beauty necessities weigh you down (I have this problem!). Beauty travel packs are an effective way to get a brand’s key formula – although some contain tiny amounts of shampoo and conditioner that are hopeless if you’re going to be washing your hair every day or have hair extensions like me! Better to buy a kit that focuses on the face, and stock up on body products once you get to your destination. Neal’s Yard Dry Skincare kit has a lovely orange blossom cleanser, toner, moisturiser and oil, £15 from nealsyardremedies.com.

Have you ever just packed with hand luggage, how did you find it?

Love Ciandra x


There has been so much good press recently about the importance of looking after the planet, whether that be by cutting back your plastic intake by using none-disposable bottle or paper straws (a big one for me!), as well as reusing shopping bags. Peoples focus on planet love has also made them more aware of ethical brands for makeup and skincare.

I was lucky enough to start my own journey with ethical skincare brands by being introduced to Clockface Beauty. ClockfaceBeauty are an organic, vegan, and cruelty free skincare beauty brand, based in York. Everything is 100% naturally created, and all made locally in Yorkshire, which is lovely as the products are made where I live. Could you get anything more lovely?

They “…take the best that nature produces – vitamins and nutrients, antioxidants, and anti-ageing properties – and formulate treatments that are kind to your skin, and kind to our world. All because you deserve to be the very best version of you, naturally.” Don’t you think that this is such a lovely statement to hold, a true vision for the planet.



They were very kind and gifted me a couple of products, I chose their 'Women’s Facial Gift Set', RRP £58 and they also threw in the 'Facial Serum' RRP £44, how nice are they!*. I have their Signature Facial Serum, Signature Collection Lip Balm, Clary Sage & JuniperBerry Face Scrub and, the Clay & Rosewood Face Mask to review. These items can also be purchased individually!

Their products came in a beautiful and luxurious box with product cards telling you how to use each product separately.


The Signature Facial Serum comes in a stunning pink glass bottle with attached dropper making application simple. The serum aims to give skin a youthful and healthy glow, and is suitable for all skin types and ages. It contains nine essential oils, Vitamin E, jojoba, avocado, grapeseed and argan oil. It actually feels really fresh and lightweight despite being an oil, and I have introduced this to my skincare routine, morning and night, before my moisturiser. It feels so natural on my skin and stops any dryness in the winter months!



The Signature Collection Lip Balm draws on the power of nature to keep lips at their most beautiful designed for both men and women. The balm combines scents of shea butter, rosemary, myrrh and frankincense for lips that feel and taste amazing. The balm is gently formulated to be kind to all skin type and being rich in all-natural vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants to heal, soothe and protect. I love wearing this over lipstick to give a nice sheen to any lip colour. I also wear before bed to reduce chance of lip chafing.




The scrub combines a blend of Himalayan pink salt, jojoba beads, avocado and mango butter, candelilla wax alongside other all-natural ingredients, fortified with natural vitamin E. This combination are concentrated in this relaxing, healing and moisturising face scrub. The scrub cleanses deep within the pores, our face scrub applies a host of vitamin-enriched nutrients to help firm up, tone up and brighten up skin. You just gently massage the scub into your face after washing and it acts as a gentle revitaliser, reawakening your face’s natural lustre while working hard to clear dead skin cells and excess oil, and deliver anti-ageing antioxidants that leave the skin with a hydrated, moisturised, healthy and youthful glow. I have never ever came across a face scrub that works as well as this, It got rid of all my dead skin and black heads and I will forever stand by this product!


This mask is a must! The all-natural ingredients in this mask deliver scientifically proven healing benefits, promoting the repair and regeneration of skin cells, and reducing scars, blemishes and the signs of ageing. I apply the mask for up to ten minutes each time and the clay gently cleanses and exfoliates, pulling impurities from the pores and absorbing excess oils, while the mask works to refresh, rejuvenate and balance the skin’s levels of hydration, tone and suppleness. I found this mask really helped to re-texturise my skin and regulate my oil production.
It has such a gorgeous, unique texture with the clay being light and velvety smooth! My skin looked refined and felt softer after each use.


ARE THE PRODUCTS WORTH INVESTING IN?

Now, I believe skin care is worth spending money on, they say if you have good skin then you don’t need to spend as much money on makeup. The Clockface Beauty products do not come with a small price tag as you may have seen in this post, but there’s clearly a reason behind why. These products are luxurious, and all natural and kind to the skin, and in my opinion really worth the extra pounds. I love that this company is based in York as I now live here, and the ethos behind it is so kind and comes from a such a good place. The brand put so much attention to the ingredients they source, the packaging, and the instruction cards. I’ll definitely be repurchasing when these products run out! Has anyone else tried Clockface, or have any all natural skincare favourites? I’d love to hear all about it.

Love Ciandra x

*The products where kindly gifted to me however all opinions are my own.

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