It would be revealing to play Desert Island Beauty Bags. What would be your must have products if you were playing survival? It struck me that I could get close to answering this question by going through the toilet bag that I took with me to Nicaragua for my Thanksgiving break.

My choice of products to travel with was determined by three things: practicality (they had to be small, light and easy to use); relatively known quantities (I didn’t want to find myself in a far flung place and breaking out in reaction to something new); whatever skin issues I felt were most urgent.

My current skin issues are my neck and my lip lines. I have been getting a grip on my much neglected neck with SenZen’s Infinity Never Ending Moisture recently and I wasn’t about to let up and so I decanted some into a small plastic container. The lip lines are a new  obsession and I am still in the experimental stage. I recently started treating them with E’shee’s Bota Therapy. Not only does it seem to be having some impact, but the Liliputian size of the bottle made it a no brainer to pack.

I was determined to be extra vigilant about sun protection and so packed ColoreScience Sunforgettable for my face. This is great for traveling as it can be easily carried in purse or pocket and as it is in powder form, just brushed on whenever needed (no greasy hands). For body, I used Epicuren Zinc Oxide. Both it and ColoreScience are waterproof and offer really good protection so despite plunges in the pool, long bicycle rides and day-long boat trips, I didn’t get burned at all.

Luckily, I had a trial size tube of Your Best Face Correct eye cream. I couldn’t help but be tempted to take something new with me and stowed away SenZen’s Hydrating Serum ($48). In case there were any issues, I also took YBF’s Restore as a backup as I know my skin is very comfortable with it. As it turned out, Hydrating Serum seems to be a refreshing and soothing potion that didn’t cause any breakouts and I’ll definitely be sticking with it for a month or so to review.

For cleansers, I took trial pots of Nurture My Body’s cleansing milk and exfoliator. They both did a fine job, although I found myself missing La Vie Celeste’s cleanser and wishing that I had incuded a toner. The least successful part of my packing was in the hair care department. Nicaragua’s humidity gave me an untamable, frizzy mop that neither Nurture My Body’s shampoo and conditioner or Fekkai’s Advanced Glossing Shampoo could do anything about.