I like to believe I’m all about the paring down.
Then I take one look in the mirror and laugh heartily at myself. I plaster copious amounts of products declaring themselves to have that skin-like, no make-up feel onto my face every day; spending far to much time and effort than is necessary trying to perfect that “natural” look. I’m a skincare and makeup junkie. And I’m refusing to admit I might have a problem.
I should probably be clear on one thing at this point, however:
I am not, nor ever will I be a fan of the caked on, masked lady, uber Barbie look. But I am a girlie girl who loves her slap, despite doing a job that can involve steel toe capped boots and dirty hands (think Flashdance, but substitute the welding get up for a hard hat and a high-vis coat)! Maybe it’s only natural that a girl immersed in what’s considered to be a profession for the boys would choose to rebel outside of the workplace. (And I’m not ashamed to admit to wearing pink now and again, either.)
As usual, I digress…
The question here is what cosmetics do we really need to take with us when we’re away?
I’m talking day to night looks which can be created from a stash of products that won’t mean you have no room in your luggage for anything else besides one bikini and a flimsy cotton kaftan (flip flops optional). It’s taken time, but I’ve decided I’ve finally got it down. And from someone who owns nearly as many lipsticks as she does pairs of shoes (oh, if you only knew), I hope I can speak with a reasonable amount of authority!
I’m a part-time traveller, so there’s no long term backpacking on my travel horizon, and with that in mind, here’s my essential kit for breaks that usually last between a few nights to two weeks:
I’m trying to make sure I’m packing carry on only these days, so there are no “just in case” products here. And obviously nothing over 100ml.
What you choose is largely dependent on your skin type, but I’m currently loving DiorSkin Nude Natural Glow Creme Gel Makeup. It’s not too dry, has a bare, skin like coverage and comes in a shade light enough to suit my pale and interesting complexion. I don’t need powder with this, so I’m leaving that at home.
Eye Shadow Quad
To get the most versatility out of an eye shadow compact, I usually go for a quad. Although I have a gorgeous natural eye kit from Too Faced that’s also an excellent multi-occasion winner. Whichever brand you go for, don’t be afraid to mix the shades to change up your look.
If you really do want to go bare-faced, this is always going to be the one thing that you really will benefit from packing. It should be in any make up kit, and all the light-reflecting under eye concealer in the world won’t save you from a sleepless night if you don’t have any mascara. I’m packing a plum shade these days. I like black for an evening, but for multi-tasking, I prefer something less harsh. Plus the purple is excellent for emphasizing my green eyes.
I’d usually only pack this in summer, but the right shade doubles up as a blush quite easily, making it an all year round product.The key is the right mix of sparkle and matte. There are plenty of half and half style compacts around (Estee Lauder springs to mind) to give you extra versatility if you think you need it. Personally, I’m keen to try Chanel’s new Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Powder.
Looks like a stop at the Duty-Free is in order.
This does help banish those shadows and cover those pesky spots, and you never know when you’ll need it, so it’s going in the bag. Plus, it doesn’t need to be a bulky product – think Bobbi Brown’s Face Touch Up Stick. Smaller than a lipstick, it’s a no-brainer. That said, if I know I’m off somewhere I’ll be regularly getting less than my eight hours of sleep, I’ll bite the bullet and pack something designed for under eye brightening, too.
I’m old school. Gloss alone just doesn’t do it for me. And no matter how many I try, when you have long hair you like to wear loose, a gust of wind will always mean you end up on the verge of snacking between meals on your tresses. Sticky lips and long locks do not a good combination make. So I’m taking a peachy, nude lipstick in a light weight formula. And despite being the owner of so, so many, I’m investing in and recommending Chanel’s Rouge Coco collection. My current favourite shade: Chintz
There are so many fabulous mini brush collections available at all price points (Bobbi Brown and Dior are just two brands with great, space saving kits). And a good eyeliner brush used with the darkest shade of your eyeshadow compact will mean you avoid the need for eyeliner itself. Applying your products with good brushes will also help them last longer, so you can worry less about stuff slipping off your eye lids and more about doing your travel thing.
Though these are my absolute essentials,it’s worth noting that if I know I’ll be dressing to impress, I might throw in some shimmery highlighter (it’s all about the cheekbones) and a red lippy, although this list is really all you need.
I might be a high maintenance kind of gal, but there’s no way I’d spend hours in the morning in front of a hotel mirror when there’s a new destination waiting to be explored.
So what’s in your travel make-up bag? Share your must-haves in the comments!