If you are even marginally familiar with me, you might know of my love of makeup (and pizza). Mostly because I find a way of working makeup into any conversation I am having. Also because there is always a makeup related post on the front page of my website. This is another such post which I have been meaning to writing ever since my return from our vacation in Australia.
Any time we plan a trip and I am faced with the daunting task of thinking what to take along, I envision myself in gorgeous well-coordinated outfits and wearing a different makeup look each day. Consequently, whether I am packing for a three day city break or a three week long vacation, I end up packing a plethora of makeup products needed to create the wide variety of complex makeup looks I plan to wear at different times of the day. Just as an example, even though I never wear colored eye shadows, the untouched green single from MAC always comes along for holidays. I always consider the possibility of needing three different concealers to create the perfect contour and highlight on my face when The Husband and I go out for dinner. I can very easily convince myself that these are three very different shades of red lipstick and I might need all of them. Believe me, I can go on and on.
But the reality of my situation is very short and sweet. I am a Mother to a two year old. Going out for me entails packing an enormous baby bag containing everything but the kitchen sink, making sure my daughter is ready and fed, and trying to leave a semblance of order in the room we are staying in (because I don’t want the cleaning crew to think I am sloppy). In the ten minutes I usually have to get ready, I ransack my over flowing makeup bag like a mad woman and reach for the products I trust to do a good job while my daughter tugs on my legs and begs for a bite of the beauty blender. This time when we returned from our vacation and I was unpacking, I took a minute to think about all the products that had returned home without seeing the light of day (or night) in Australia. Here I am listing the only products I managed to pull out of my makeup bag and the reason why I picked them as a reminder to myself the next time I am packing and also to help you out if you are an over packer like me or have simply no clue what to take along to achieve a reasonable look for day or night.
Taking two foundations on holiday is not extreme. Well, maybe it is. But in my defense, I bought one of them while I was on vacation. The L’Oréal Nude Magique Cushion foundation is the lightest and most sheer foundation I have ever owned, yet I like it. It takes hardly a minute to blend it over the face which makes it perfect for the days when you want to look good but are not concerned with coverage. Or if you have perfect skin! I love that it doesn’t look like makeup on the skin and is buildable without getting cakey. I wore it every day after I bought it in Sydney despite it not having a long wear time. I think this is a vacation essential on account of its ease of application and light texture. Additional points for SPF 29.
For evenings out or when I had a few extra minutes to do my makeup, I wore the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation. What can one say about a foundation this perfect? Nothing much, but if I could, I would write a love song for it. I wonder how I have lived without this foundation all my life. It has an amazing velvety finish and medium coverage which can be built to look perfect. It looks flawless in pictures, which you obviously take a lot of on holiday. So I suggest, pack a foundation that gives you a perfect finish, just in case an opportunity for a date night presents itself and you have get dolled up.
This is in no way a vacation essential, but I have chronic dark circles which are the bane of my existence. And since they get especially pronounced when I am wearing foundation, I never ever do my makeup without the Urban Decay Naked Skin Correcting Fluid. This peachy corrector counteracts the darkness under my eyes and stops them from looking grey. I take another minute to conceal my dark circles with the Clarins Instant Concealer and my base is done. If you are not bothered by small imperfections then by all means, skip this step. I despise my dark under eye area with a passion, that is why I need these two products no matter how pressed for time I might be. But having a concealer in your makeup bag is always a good idea. You never know when unwelcome guests might make an appearance on your face, so keep it handy.
Blush, Contour and Highlight
One slim blush palette that has a color to suit every occasion? Who wouldn’t need such a genius product on vacation? The Becca Blushed with Light Palette (discontinued) perfectly fits the bill. It has a pink, peach and mauve colored blush and the quality of the powders is top notch. This will easily be the palette to go away with me on all future trips and eliminates the need to carry multiple single blushes. I am aware that I come across as ridiculous when I admit that I need three blush colors, but I enjoy such frippery. So if you are like me, a blush palette is a great option to have in your makeup collection.
I also purchased the NYX Wonder Stick while on holiday and wore it every single day. It is such an easy product when you are getting ready in a hurry but still need to add some shape and dimension to your face. I apply a line of this under my (hidden) cheek bones and blend it with a sponge or even my fingers and Voila! I get cheekbones! It is a great quality cream contour that almost takes no space in my makeup bag and I am certain that it will accompany me wherever I go.
Since I don’t like to wear a blinding highlight during the day, I love the MAC Cream Color Base in Hush applied lighting over the cheekbones. I really enjoy the natural look of this owing to its creamy texture and that’s why I didn’t bother with the other highlights I took along on holiday. This is subtle enough for the day and can be amped up if you are getting ready for a night out. So I feel that a highlight similar to this is the only one you need in your travel makeup bag.
Packing eye makeup is when I literally go crazy. I pack multiple eye shadow palettes, liquid eye liners, pencil eye liners and all the mascaras I own. Yet when I am getting ready on vacation, I can barely be bothered with a coat of mascara. I don’t know why but I lose interest in eye makeup when I am travelling. On most days I only applied a few coats of my favorite Chanel Volume De Chanel Mascara and that was it. If I was feeling a little fancy, I used one of the L’Oréal Infallible 24 Hr Eyeshadow colors on my lids (the easiest and most long wearing eyeshadow on earth) and called it a day. I hardly ever wore liquid liner and didn’t even crack open the eye shadow palettes I had packed up so ambitiously. I always tamed my unruly brows though using the L’Oréal Brow Stylist Plumper. So essentially it only makes sense to take products that provide maximum effect with minimum effort and do not need brushes to be applied.
Lipsticks are another item that I pack an entire horde of but only wear the very sheer, creamy ones. This time I inadvertently reached for MAC Patisserie (nude) and MAC Brave (pink) on repeat. This is because these colors work during the day or night with any makeup look and outfit you might have on. They are both very creamy which means that they aren’t too long wearing, but who cares about that on holiday. Having a statement lip color in your bag is never a bad idea. I, of course, had at least six of those, but only used the Rouge Allure from Chanel in the color Passion. This is a very intense red which makes me feel like a million dollars and makes The Husband look at me with googly eyes, so it is a great choice for a vacation.
Here’s hoping I can help you streamline your makeup bag the next time you travel. And I will revisit this post to remind myself that I certainly don’t need a makeup bag that weighs a ton and which The Husband pretends hurts his arm when he is putting it in my suitcase. I am constantly trying to simplify my life and maybe help some of you who are currently reading do the same. So my new found makeup packing formula will now be to take only what I know works, can be applicable to various scenarios and does not require constant checking and reapplying. Thanks for reading.