My diminishing suitcase packing list for a Europe holiday in earlySpring

Well I'm here in France! I never got to publish my packing list before we left Australia, because as per usual I was too busy with work and sick (yes again! This time with the flu) before we left. I guess now I can add some preliminary notes.

Packing light for just over a month away is no mean feat for some one who enjoys dressing up... but it's very important for someone who also enjoys to shop whilst away.

What worked really well for me back in 2012 when we traveled to the USA, was packing a diminishing suitcase. This means, that apart from the staples, I also packed a few items that were on their last legs.

I did the same on this occasion and specifically 'saved' a few bits and pieces from my recent wardrobe cull to take with me, so that as I travel across Europe acquiring new stuff, I will get rid of this old stuff hence making room in my suitcase.  It's also a really good way to just get rid of worn out pieces that you find yourself clinging onto, even though honestly the items belong in the bin.

My packing list (items in red text are the pieces destined for the bin):

Coats and Jackets
  • Etoile Isabel Marant Kady leather jacket in tan
  • Etoile Isabel Marant tweed blazer in dark grey
  • Fleur Wood felt wool blazer in light grey (worn on Day 2 in Nice)
Day 2 outfit

  • Etoile Isabel Marant Prewitt dress in black & ecru (can be dressed up or down)
  • Trenery check dress in navy

  • Etoile Isabel Marant Falk sweater in black & natural
  • Country Road knit in light grey 
  • Indie designer light knit in black

  • Country Road long sleeved striped jersey top with zip
  • Country Road crew neck long sleeved striped t-shirt
  • 2 x SABA striped breton top in black and white
  • Jane Lamerton striped Breton top in cream and ink navy
  • Country Road long sleeve tee in grey marle
  • SABA white tee  
  • Layering tops
  • Seamless tank tops in black, grey and nude

  • Country Road skinny jeans in blue
  • Nudie skinny jeans in black
  • Zara cropped cuffed trousers in black
  • Isabel Marant Dickers in tan*
  • Isabel Marant Jenny in dark grey*
  • Country Road Winona ballet flats in black*
* After walking 20 km around Nice and Monte Carlo I have decided I need to buy sneakers. Walking on cobble stones and up a million stairs is a bit different than walking the streets of New York...

  • Statement necklace in black
  • Scarf in black
  • Socks
  • Opaque tights in black
  • Undies
  • 2 x bras (one nude and one black)
  • Pyjama pants (with daytime layering tops as pyjama tops)
That's it.  In case you are wondering the above list includes what I wore on the plane.

Toiletries & Makeup Packing List

We depart for our holiday in less than a week! First off, I'm publishing my toiletries and makeup packing list.  Of course these packing lists will be different for everyone, depending on what products one uses, but they are a good start.

Back in 2012 when I holidayed in the United States, I only packed sample sizes or almost finished cosmetics.  This turned out to be a great idea given that within 24 hours of our plane landing I found myself in Sephora hemorrhaging money.

Our first stop on our Europe itinerary is Nice, France, and well, I can almost hear the French pharmacies calling my name in the distance...  I will be packing very lightly in the skincare department, knowing that I will certainly buy a few new products in France.

Toiletries Packing List  
  • Deodorant
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush
  • Floss
  • Dry shampoo (travel sized)
  • Cleansing Oil/Makeup Remover (deluxe sized sample from Biotherm)
  • Exfoliating Cleanser (deluxe sized sample from Biotherm)
  • Facial Oil (remainder of my Kosmea Organic Rose Hip Oil) 
  • Moisturiser (a small deluxe sized sample from Clinique)
  • Eye Cream (a tiny sample tube from Caudalie)
  • Body wash (deluxe sized sample) 
  • Fragrance (a couple of sample vials)
  • Shampoo and conditioner (sample sachets)
  • Comb
  • Hair ties
  • A few bobby pins
  • Tweezers
  • Nail clippers

When it comes to makeup, I plan to play it safe and pack the items I use on daily basis here at home.

I'm packing my every day favourite cosmetics

Makeup Packing List

Foundation and tinted moisturiser.  A small sample tube of tinted moisturiser and my current foundation (Bourjois Healthy Mix).

Concealer.  I can't live without my Ellis Fass concealer...

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder palette.  This is one of my favourite recent purchases.  I have fair skin, so the powders in this palette work for me as a setting powder, highlighter and bronzer.

Blush.  A small travel compact of a pinky neutral Tarte powder.

Eyeshadow.  I'm taking my Clinque Chubby Stick in 'Ample Ambre' (a favourite), my NARS shadow pencil in 'Skorpios' and Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Sticks in 'Amethyst' and 'Sugar Frost'.  These four colours will create a lot of looks and the products require no brushes for application.

Mascara.  A deluxe sized sample tube.

NARS lipstick.  My favourite YLBB shade for day ('Dolce Vita').

MAC lipstick. My favourite bright shade for night or day ('Vegas Volt').

I am packing the bare minimum make-up brushes with me - just the MAC 187 duo fibre brush which I use for powder and a Tarte blush brush.

I'm planning our European holiday... really quickly

In less than two weeks my boyfriend and I will be relaxing somewhere in Europe...

We have been planning (read: talking about) this holiday for many months. We got to a point in mid January that nothing was booked so I called our travel agent to make it happen. Now all of a sudden, it's happening. We leave in a matter of days and and I'm starting to get nightmares about:

1. My boss telling me at some stage prior that I can't take the time off work anymore
2. Forgetting to pack something really important
3. Forgetting to pack altogether
4. Misplacing my passport somewhere in the house
5. Being stuck in traffic on the way to the airport
6. Missing the plane altogether

What can I say, I'm a worrier...

I hope that none of the above mentioned travel disasters occur and that instead I finally get to try Pierre Hermé macarons.  Back in 2012 I tried Ladurée's offerings in New York and was left a little bit disappointed. Pierre Hermé macs better blow my mind!

Ladurée NYC - March 2012
Of course I'm hoping to do the obligatory 'what's in my cabin bag' and 'packing list' posts (because it's excellent blog fodder if anything).  Some may say that lists like this are anal retentive, but let me tell you that back in 2012 when I came down with gastro/food poisoning (whatever that was) days before we were set to depart for the US, the lists saved me a lot of worry. They allowed me to literally pack in 10 minutes flat - which was all the time away from the bathroom that I could muster.

So now to get through the next fortnight of work without tearing out our hair and/or working until 10pm in the days leading up to our departure.  I also need to get around to booking the rest of our accommodation and internal train travel - yes we are this unorganised!
Map sourced from: