What’s in my travel makeup bag? 2016 edition

Posted on June 02, 2016 under Lists

The last time I did one of these posts was back in April 2015, and that was in the context of the frequent European weekend jaunts I did when I was studying abroad in Glasgow. Tomorrow I’m departing on a six day trip which will take me to Kentucky for my uncle’s memorial service and then to my university graduation. Since we’ll be flying from Kentucky to Montreal, I’m packing as light as possible while considering the two very different occasions I’ll be making myself up for.



This is a no-brainer since I am not a hoarder of base products. I’ll be bringing my Make Up Forever Ultra HD Foundation, L’Oreal True Match concealer (for under the eyes), Maybelline Master Conceal (for blemishes), and my brand-spanking-new Rimmel Stay Matte Powder (absolutely necessary in the heat of Kentucky in June). Those are pretty much the only base products I own, so this really was an easy choice. Or non-choice, as the case may be.



I have a tendency to want to bring every possible shade of blush with me when I travel, but I’m not listening to that urge. I’m bringing only two, Hourglass Luminous Flush (a glowy peach that’s perfect for summer) and Mood Exposure (a warm brownish shade that goes with everything). I’m also bringing my Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Moonstone since I also feel that it goes with anything. Illamasqua Cream Pigment in Hollow is a no-brainer for me since it’s my perfect contour shade; The Body Shop Honey Bronzer in Matte 1 is the only bronzer I own, so once again I don’t even have to think about it. (If this were just a trip down south I wouldn’t bother with the contour and just use bronzer instead. I also probably could cut out Luminous Flush, but I didn’t say this was going to be the most minimalist makeup bag ever.)


I promise the bronzer isn’t that orange in real life.



For my eyebrows I must have my Maybelline Colour Tattoo in Tough As Taupe, which is still the BEST colour I’ve ever found for my brows. I’ll top it off with Rimmel Brow This Way in Clear, though that’s more because it’s what I have on hand than because it’s a particularly good product.

Obviously I’m bringing my NARS Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base, because I would be nowhere without it on an everyday basis, let alone in 100+ degree Kentucky!

For everyday use, I’m bringing my beloved Urban Decay Naked Basics palette, which hardly sees a day without use. I imagine I’ll be using this for most of my trip: my go-to look is Venus all over the eyelid, Naked 2 in the crease, and a slightly more precise application of Faint on the outer corners. Again, were I only going to Kentucky this would be the only eyeshadow I packed, but I’m also tossing in my LORAC Pro palette for my graduation: I’m planning on using Gold, Sable, and Espresso. Strictly speaking I could probably just bring this and get everyday looks with Cream, Nude, Taupe, and Mauve, but for very simple neutral looks I just really love having my Naked Basics on hand.

I’m bringing four eyeliners: Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner for my lashline, Clarins Waterproof Eye Pencil to tightline, and Stila Smudge Stick in Damsel and Little Mix by Collection Rock It Glitter in Leigh-Anne for my graduation look.

The mascara that I’m currently loving is Clarins Truly Waterproof. It gives me a really nice lengthening effect on the lashes and doesn’t get clumpy at all.

Finally, I’m packing my Tanya Burr Everyday Flutter false lashes for my graduation.



Lip products are my weakness, and I find it hard to pack less than a lipstick a day for a trip. However, I have edited this batch down to an easy-to-wear neutral (NARS Audacious in Brigitte, a new-to-me peach with a hint of brown), a sheer berry that’s super easy to apply on-the-go (Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupté in 17), and the red that I intend to wear for graduation (Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution in Red Carpet Red, of course). I’m also bringing two lip liners, both by Rimmel: East End Snob for use with the first two lipsticks, and Red Diva to pair with Red Carpet Red.




Tweezers are a must wherever I go; Tweezerman currently owns my heart.

I have very straight lashes so I won’t go anywhere without an eyelash curler. This one is also by Tweezerman.

I’m bringing my Quo blending sponge for foundation, though I’ll probably use my hands most of the time because it’s quicker and sometimes I’m too lazy to go wet the sponge. (This is why people hate millennials, isn’t it?)


For face brushes, I’m packing my Real Techniques Multi-Task Brush for blush, Duo-Fiber Brush for bronzer, Contour brush for, well, contouring, and Kabuki brush for powder. I’ll also be bringing my bdellium tools 944 for highlighter.


For eyes I’m bringing my Real Techniques Base Shadow Brush (for all over application), Angled Shadow Brush (for application of imprecise crease colours), and Detailer Brush (for inner corner highlight). Rounding out the eye brush category are my ELF Concealer brush (for packing on the shadow), ELF Small Smudge Brush (great for the lower lash line), Lise Watier Eye Contour Brush (for more precise outer V/crease work), and of course my beloved MAC 217 (for blending). I’m also bringing this old Maybelline mascara wand that I’ve been using as a spoolie since my first year of university, as well as an old Forever 21 angled brush which is surprisingly the BEST for applying brow pomade.

For some reason I find it really hard to be minimal with brushes, especially eye brushes. And, FYI, I washed all of my brushes immediately after taking these pictures, so don’t judge me too harshly.



I would be lost without sunscreen; this one is La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra-Fluid and has seen better days. (It’s almost empty and expires in the fall, so I’m using it up.) In the spray bottle I have some micellar water (this one is by Vichy because it’s what I have on hand). I also have sample sizes of the La Rohe-Posay Makeup Remover Milk and the Lanôme Bi-Facil eye makeup remover. In the jars are my current day cream (Avène Hydrance Optimale Légère) and night cream (No7 Beautiful Skin for dry skin).



My hair is currently the perfect platinum blonde, so I’m bringing a hardcore purple shampoo: Light Blue Shade. In the pot is Marc Anthony Nourishing Argan Oil of Morocco Deep Hydrating Treatment, which I’m currently trying out (and liking!).

Then, we have two lip balms: one thinner for day (Arbonne Lip Intelligence*), and my favourite thick nighttime balm (Nuxe Rêve de Miel, of course). I have to have my current nail colour (Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Gilty Party) lest my polish chips before my graduation. Finally, I have a pack of Joe Fresh blotting papers because “Kentucky in June” and “standing outside waiting to graduate for four hours” both seem like situations with the potential for a lot of sweat.

And that is it for the makeup and toiletries. Which is admittedly a fair amount! It would be a lot less were I not graduating somewhere in this whirlwind 2500km round-trip. Anyway, I probably will not check in here until after I have graduated, so take care until then! Next time you hear from me I’ll be coming at you as a human with a degree.


There are 2 responses to “What’s in my travel makeup bag? 2016 edition”

  • Love this post! You’re better than me, though–I would’ve brought half of my collection for a round trip like yours. But, I just want to say–isn’t the Rimmel Stay Matte powder amazing? Even for me, that thing is bullet-proof–I love it! Also, you’ve just inspired me to want to use my Lorac Pro palette (I forgot how beautiful that thing is). Have fun on your trip, girl and congrats on your graduation!

    • Ha, I used to be terrible but frequent weekend trips in Europe with only one backpack for everything taught me how to be a travel minimalist! I do love the Stay Matte – I’ve never felt like I needed to buy anything else! I swear that powder works for so many people. I’m normal to dry and it’s great for me, and it works on my oily-skinned friends too.

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