Monday, January 28, 2013

on my face - travel edition

I traveled quite a bit over the last few months, including a month-long trip to the States and a little weekend getaway, so I had to do some careful thinking about my makeup essentials.  I pared it down and managed to fit everything into this little makeup bag (which, by the way, is the absolute best for travel, each little compartment velcros out so you can customize it as you like or just grab one little pouch, and the whole thing weighs about as much as a moth).

Here's the final edit: everything you need to look and feel fabulous when you're away from home without being overloaded or deprived.  It will get you through everything from casual cups of coffee to family dinners to glammed up nights out.

See the details...

First, the basic essentials for a lovely complexion:

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11

Note: If I've gushed about a product before, I'll just refer you back to the original post.  Keep in mind that the fact that I'm still gushing months later is definitely a high recommendation since I can be a bit fickle about these things.

1. Giorgio Armani Light Master Primer - This one is new in my arsenal (you can see I was traveling with just the generous sample) and I am totally hooked (I've since bought a whole bottle).  This primer doesn't feel at all silicone-y, and though if you try it on your hand it will look a bit too shimmery, on your face it just looks like you've applied liquid light and youth.  Yeah, can you tell I like the stuff?

2. Burberry Sheer Luminous Fluid Foundation - Still my go-to foundation of choice.  Only difference when I travel is that I pump a little into one of those sample containers you get from Sephora. If I'm going to be gone for 6 weeks or more I'll take the whole bottle (it will slowly start to dry out in the sample container after a while from being exposed to so much air), but for most shorter trips I'll just take enough to get me through.

3. Sephora Collection Pro Airbrush Concealer brush #57 - still the best brush in the world to seamlessly blend foundation just where you need it.

4. Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Double Face Perfector - that's a mouthful.  Unfortunate product name aside, this cheap little guy is a workhorse.  Concealer on one side, highlighter on the other, I own this in both Light and Medium, but I just take the Light with me when I travel since my foundation does a fine job at covering most spots. And yes, I do actually use both ends.

5. Make Up For Ever Kabuki Brush - still using this daily, partly because it does a good job applying the MUFE HD powder, and partly because it just feels so damn luscious.

6. Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder - still my go-to powder, and if you're traveling, get the smaller version.  Actually, get the smaller version no matter what; I've had mine for a few years now and it shows no signs of diminishing.

7. Stila Convertible Color in Camellia - I was just starting to use this in November, and by now I am totally addicted.  It is my everyday blush, and even on the days when I think I want a little pop of something else, I start out with a touch of this (under my powder) to add a bit of life to my complexion.  Best everyday neutral blush.

8. Prescriptives Foundation Brush - I know Prescriptives is no more, but you can still nab this brush online, and I still think it is just awesome for applying cream blush.

9. Nars Blush in Douceur - I traveled with this in addition to the more subtle Stila Camelia for days when I wanted a bit more of a rosy blush.  It's one of my favorite powder blushes.

10. Benefit Slant Powder Brush - still all I need for powder blush.

11. Nars Illuminator in Orgasm - I love this both as an illuminating highlighter, and to add a touch of peachiness to my cheeks on the go (since I didn't travel with a peachy blush).  And yes, it's (still) the sample size, so perfect for travel!

 And now, to fill in some of the finer details:

12 / 13 / 14 / 15 / 16 / 17 / 18 / 19 / 20 / 21 / 22 / 23 / 24 / 25 / 26

12. Sephora Collection Duo Eyelash/Brow Comb - the travel version is no longer available at sephora, but this one is similar, and hardly takes up any more room.

13. Tweezerman Slant Tweezers - if there's a way to ensure you'll have unruly and unwanted hairs sprouting over the course of your trip, it's by not taking tweezers with you.  Scientific fact.  And a good pair is worth the investment; I've tried drugstore tweezers as well, but these are much much better, trust me.   I've had mine for years, and though the colorful enamel has all worn off the outside, they are still perfect and precise. 

14. MAC Eyeshadow in Concrete - still the only thing I ever need for my brows.

15. Maybelline Full 'N Soft Mascara - still the best mascara I've ever tried.

16. Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler - never needed to even try another.

17. Nars Eyeshadow Duo in Madrague - boring? Possibly.  Indispensable?  Definitely.

18. Sephora Collection Crease Brush #13 - gotta have a soft crease brush.

19. Giorgio Armani Maestro Eyeshadow in #22 - I love this purpley taupe shade, it does a soft smoke if you use a small eyeshadow brush (see below) all around your lashes, but you can also use it to define the crease, or all over the upper lid in a light wash.  It's slightly warmer (and therefor much more versatile and flattering, at least on me) than a plain old grey, and other than my basic Madrague duo, the only shadow I needed all winter.

20. Sephora Collection Eyeshadow Brush #23 - one of the most useful brushes ever.

21. MAC Small Angle Brush #263 - still perfect for brows.

22. Yves Saint Laurent Glossy Stain #20 - this is a new discovery for me, and kind of a huge one.  I'm fairly skeptical about "scientific new breakthroughs in cosmetic technology!", or however it is they usually market these things, but this lippie really is different.  It goes on sort of liquidy, and dries down, but never feels either like a gloss or like a dry stain.  Rather, it feels like the most perfect almost not-there lipstick you've ever worn, and even better, it lasts.  It lasts hours upon hours.  It will even stay put through a meal.  Seriously, I am not exaggerating, this stuff is wonderful. I only have #20 right now, which is a perfect shade of red, but you can bet I'm going to try a few more soon.  Also, it's perfect for travel, because you don't have to constantly reapply.

23. Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15 in Rose - can't travel without ample lip balm, I think I would shrivel up and die within two days.  I love this one because it goes on thick and slightly waxy but still smooth, lasts quite a while, and gives a nice gentle hint of natural color.  Plus the feel of the metal tube is pretty awesome, and I love that it screws shut so you know it won't be spontaneously opening up in your purse and moisturizing your phone and wallet.

24. Clinique Quickliner for Eyes in Smokey Brown - this is a great soft pencil liner, totally smudgeable but sets to last pretty much through the whole day.  The color name is misleading in my opinion, it's really more of a purpleish taupe, and goes perfectly with the Armani eyeshadow above for a soft casual daytime smokey eye.

25. Smashbox Limitless Eye Liner in Java - the perfect dark brown eyeliner, for when you want a little more depth on your eyes.

26. Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes Pencil Liner in Golden Olive Sheen 5L and Matte Black 0L - I've mentioned the pewter grey shade before but the olive green is an amazing option as well.  I often use it to tightline and it looks so subtly beautiful, just a vaguely bronze glow coming from within, but you can also use it all over your lids as a shimmery khaki wash.  Really great stuff.  And as for the black, well, who could travel without a black eyeliner?

So, there you have it.  It seems like a lot, listed and detailed like this, but for me this really is a highly edited selection, and most of it is compact and travel-sized, hardly taking up any space at all.  How about you?  Do you carefully curate your cosmetics when you travel?  Does this seem outrageously excessive or fearlessly disciplined?  What's in your travel makeup kit?


  1. That looks like a lot to me but this is coming from the girl who is makeup free 95% of the time. I've figured that people have got so used to seeing me without makeup and not said anything, I'll just carry on as I am.

    However, I am going to get myself a new makeup bag and try to fill it with some new makeup this year. I've made a start with the Dr Jart Beauty Balm and a pair of eye brow tweezers. My last pair were used for deboning the salmon. Gosh I'm shameful.

    1. Deboning salmon, you crack me up!! Let me know if you need any help fillin gup your new makeup bag, as you can see I have a (mild) product addiction ;)

  2. That YSL lip product sounds intriguing. I'll have to check it out!

    1. It's so good. Let me know if you try it, and if so, how you like it!

  3. I am in a Burberry Sheer foundation - want to buy it for a long time.
    But the question is : do you try their 'Effortless Mascara' Volumising Enhancer?
    i fell in love with a MIDNIGHT BLONDE (want to have it right now)

    1. You should definitely try the foundation, you won't regret it. I haven't actually tried their mascara though, I'll look into it. I have a few of their lipsticks and while they feel really luscious and silky going on I find that they don't last very well at all so I hardly ever wear them.

  4. Is there a trick to keeping the various containers of potions from exploding or oozing in flight? I always put them in small baggies, but end up having to scrape the contents out of the bags.

    1. Hmm... this actually (knock on wood) hasn't happened to me in ages. I think it has to do with the kinds of travel containers you're using. I use little bottles from Muji if I need to take a small amount of product and they work wonderfully, I've also had great luck with small travel bottles from sephora, even for tricky things like plain jojoba oil, no spilling at all. If I have a container that seems iffy I'll put some tape around the edge or a rubberband around the lid, but I try to just avoid those situations. So annoying when it happens!

  5. This must have taken you forever! I've been meaning to do one of these, but I keep switching the products weekly so, yeah, I'll never get to it.

    1. Ha ha.. yes, well, it's not a quick post, that's for sure. But now that I've done a few of them I'm getting a bit more streamlined about the process. Actually super fun to do as well. You should do one, even if it is just for a week's worth of stuff, I'd love to see it!

  6. Have you tried ELF's eye concealer duo? I went to find the Maybelline (a must-have) and they were out, so I tried ELF eye concealer/illuminator and I liked it even better. I put the illuminator on first, then the concealer on top, no more circles! Three bucks. Give it a shot.

    1. I've actually never tried any ELF products, if you can believe it! I don't think they're available here in Spain, but next time I'm in the states I will definitely check out the concealer duo, thanks for the tip!

  7. Ooh, I love a good makeup post! I've been eyeing that makeup forever powder, as I want to switch to a really fine translucent powder instead of the MAC powder I am currently using. I hear Smashbox does a good one as well! My latest obsession is lip sticks, which is weird because I have never really been into them before.

    When I traveled to Paris a few years back I only brought concealer, kohl, mascara, brow powder, and Benefit Benetint for my cheeks and lips. I have no idea how I managed with so little, these days I bring twice as much for just a weekend away!

    1. So glad when folks appreciate me totally nerding out on these makeup posts! I do love the mufe powder, it's not the most mattifying but if you apply it sparingly it really is invisible. I've always had horrible luck with MAC powders/foundations. Major breakouts. The last time I tried was years and years ago so maybe my skin would handle it better now, but it's not worth the risk I think.

      Have you tried the YSL glossy stains? If you're having a lipstick moment you might really get into them. I'd be curious to hear what you think.

    2. Not yet, but your post really tempted me! I tried their Rouge Volputé Sheer Candy, which is basically a glorified, overpriced and absolutely WONDERFUL tinted lip balm. I wear it on its own or with a red lip tint, it is absolute heaven!


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