Packing Light for Prague

Posted on November 25, 2017 under Life

My last few trips I did not bother to pack light makeup-wise, either because I didn’t have to or because I felt I needed options. This weekend, however, I’m going to Prague for purely touristy reasons, and I thought this would be the perfect time to exercise some restraint. As with all my European weekend trips, I pack entirely in one small school-sized backpack, so I really need to streamline my makeup to make room. I thought I would share my very minimal makeup bag today.

I can easily fill a liquids bag with skincare, but I know that when I’m walking around all day and sleeping in a hostel dorm room at night my desire to keep up with a complex skincare routine is zero. So my liquids bag – which is from Muji, by the way – reflects a back-to-basics approach.

The skincare steps I cannot do without are cleansing and moisturizing. The Caudalie Vino Perfect Serum from this year’s Sephora birthday gift will help boost the La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra moisturizer to keep my skin nice and hydrated. I’ve never had issues with dry undereyes until the past month or so, so I decided to bring the Biotherm Homme Eye Depuffer (which, by the way, is a nice gel eye cream even if you’re not a man). I got a sample of the Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Reconstructor which I’ve been saving for travel, since obviously my poor dead hair requires a lot of moisture. I don’t have any travel-sized shampoo right now, so I’ll have to pick one up at the airport.

The IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream is such an easy, fuss-free foundation that it was a no-brainer when it came to choosing which base product to pack. The packaging is also incredibly travel-friendly. For concealer, Maybelline Master Conceal works under the eyes and on blemishes.

I can’t be without Milani Eyeshadow Primer, and Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner is a staple for me as well. The Lancôme Hypnôse Drama mascara mini is convenient for travel, and I like the mascara as well. (Lancôme mascaras are so hit and miss to me, but this one is a hit.) Finally, a fresh tube of Essence Lash and Brow Mascara to keep my brow hairs in place.

And then the rest of my makeup easily fits in one small bag, which is a point of pride when I am prone to overpacking.

For the cheeks, Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Mood Exposure goes with everything and is a perennial travel staple for me. This is the most beautiful flattering blush colour in the world despite how “meh” it appears in the pan. I’m not sure if I’ll bother with highlighter, but I figured I’d give myself the option. Glossier Haloscope in Quartz is easy to apply without brushes and it gives a very natural effect, so I thought it would be perfect for travel.

Urban Decay Naked Basics is probably the most boring travel palette choice in the world, but it’s small, practically indestructible, and foolproof. I decided to add an eyebrow pencil into my repertoire mainly for travel purposes, so I don’t have to mess around with a brush and pomade when I’m on the go. The Annabelle Skinny Brow Liner in Universal Taupe is one of many ABH Brow Wiz dupes, and it works for me.

Forgive me for being extra and packing two lip balms. Overnight, my lips need the heavy-duty power of Nuxe Rêve de Miel, but during the day I prefer something a little lighter like Vaseline Lip Therapy. In an uncharacteristic move, I am committing to a single lip liner – Rimmel Exaggerate Lip Liner in Enchantment – and a single lipstick – YSL Rouge Volupté in #17. I love moisturizing lip products when I’m travelling, and the soft berry shade of #17 makes it a perfect candidate for this trip. I usually like to pair the Rouge Voluptés with a liner underneath to increase the staying power a bit, so I’ll likely just wear this combination together each day.

I tend to really overpack brushes, but this time I cut it down to the essentials: Magic Collection Oval Brush, ColourPop Blush Brush, ColourPop Blending Brush, ELF Crease Brush, ELF Eyeshadow C Brush, ELF Eye Contour Brush, ELF Small Smudge Brush, Elf Spoolie. Wow, I do really like ELF brushes, don’t I?

(By the way, I definitely washed that foundation brush after I took this picture!)

In case you were wondering about cleansing, I did buy a pack of makeup wipes from Superdrug. I hardly ever use wipes, but I just think washing my face with an actual cleanser while travelling is more hassle than it’s worth. My skin is pretty resilient, so I think it’ll survive. I love using actives on my skin, but I know that I can get away with just makeup wipes and moisturizer for three nights. It’ll make my life easier!

Anyway, I’m off this evening with my nice light makeup bag. I’ve wanted to go Prague for years, so I’m really excited that I could finally make it happen.

Empties: February-April 2015

Posted on April 07, 2015 under Empties

It’s almost time for me to leave Scotland (Friday, baby!), so I have frantically been attempting to use up some products to save room in the luggage that I need to haul across the ocean back to Canada. Here are the products I’ve used up just in the nick of time!

Skincare

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La Roche-Posay Physiological Micellar Solution
I got this when there was a promo where you could get twice the product for the same price. That was back in June. $22 for a product I use at least four times a week that lasted me nine months is a steal, in my opinion. Additionally, I liked this product: it was gentle, but thorough. It didn’t sting or dry out my skin at all. La Roche-Posay continues to impress! I don’t think I’d buy the regular size at full price as it puts it at a much higher price per fl oz than Bioderma, but if they have this special again I’d definitely repurchase.

The Body Shop Tea Tree Mask
I enjoyed this mask’s soothing and cooling sensation, and I found that it worked reasonably well at reducing breakouts quickly. I didn’t use it regularly, but if I had a particularly rough breakout I’d use it every day for three or four days and it would do wonders at calming it down much faster than normal. I don’t think I’ll repurchase this anytime soon because I want to explore other masks, but I’d definitely recommend it.

Indeed Labs Pepta-Bright
Okay, so this is a bit of a cheat because Aisling gave me the tail end of a tube, meaning I did not use the whole thing up! Rather, I used it twice a day for about a week on a bout of hyperpigmentation that arose several months ago as a result of a particularly nasty zit. (I get terrible zit-caused hyperpigmentation; it sucks!) Here’s the before and after:

pepta-bright-before-and-after

One of the little spots has almost completely faded, and the other is visibly reduced (though it sprouted a new zit, so it’s hard to reach any conclusions about it). I know it’s easy to say, “Well, those spots would have faded naturally anyway” – but trust me, I know how my skin acts, and I can say that the Pepta-Bright has definitely faded those spots.

Also, I took a pretty picture of it when I had access to Aisling’s camera:

pepta-bright2

Anyway, this one is a winner in my books, and I really didn’t expect it to do anything. It’s on the pricey side so I’m not sure if I’ll end up buying it, but if I ever get serious about eliminating my hyperpigmentation this will be at the top of the list. And now I don’t have to do a full review of it!

Bodycare

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The Body Shop Olive Body Butter
I would recommend this body butter to someone who doesn’t like an overwhelming scent in their products. It doesn’t smell like olives at all, really; it’s quite a subtle scent, and reasonably pleasant. I prefer the scent and thicker texture of the coconut one, and once I’ve used up the remainder of my mango body butter I think Mr. Coconut and I will go exclusive. Gotta love modern romance.

Dermaglow Moisturizing Body Oil
Dermaglow went out of business several years ago so this is probably expired, but it smells the same so whatever. I like to live dangerously. I loved this stuff; it made my skin feel incredibly silky and worked fantastically under a thicker body moisturizer. Plus, that rose scent was divine. I’m sad this is gone. RIP Dermaglow. You made the only product that significantly impacted my keratosis pilaris and you will be forever mourned by your faithful devotees, my mother and I. (Seriously, if anyone can hook me up with a product even half as good as their 8% glycolic acid body lotion, I will be your slave for life.)

Makeup

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Revlon Lip Butter in Berry Smoothie
This is the first lipstick-ish product I have ever used up, which feels like an accomplishment. I loved the colour; it’s so wearable yet pretty, understated but a still a bit interesting. I wore this pretty much every day I travelled this year because it’s a comfortable formula and a great casual colour. However, I don’t love the Lip Butters in general so I won’t repurchase this.

berry-smoothie

Oh, hello, disconcerting close-up that shows off my peach fuzz and chin zits!

For the record, I purchased this in the winter of 2013 and finished it in March, so it lasted me somewhere in the vicinity of two years.

Rimmel lip liner in Eastend Snob
I put this lip liner through a lot; it’s a similar colour to my lips so it worked well under most lipsticks, and it’s a gorgeous colour on its own as well. I’m already well on my way through a second one of these.

Miscellaneous products

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L’Oréal Elvive Colour Protect Mask
I told you I love this stuff! This is now my third tub of it and I will repurchase until the end of time! I’ve been without it for a few weeks now since I didn’t want to get a new tub and haul it back to Canada, but rest assured my baby and I will soon be reunited.

Superdrug Nourishing Nail Polish Remover
I mean, this was nail polish remover. It removed my nail polish. I much prefer the tubs with the sponges because I find them quicker and more convenient (not to mention less wasteful since you bypass the whole cotton pad issue!), but those don’t seem to be a thing in the UK, at least not as far as I could tell. I will be happy to get back to the land of abundant “I’m a lazy ass” nail polish remover!

Things I’m getting rid of

There are also a few products that aren’t empty but that I’m tossing or passing on.

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Benefit Gimme Brow in Medium
Aisling gifted this to me (she tends to unload her unwanted products on me), and it’s far too warm for my brows. It’s a perfectly good product so I will rehome it with one of my friends.

NYX Extra Creamy Round Lipstick in Paris
This pale pink simply clashes with my complexion. I’ve tried to make it work several times, and I just hate it on myself. My friend Marston is much more tan than me and looks great in these types of colours, so I’m passing it on to her.

Revlon Lip Butter in Peach Parfait
Remember how I said I don’t love the Lip Butters? Yeah. I’m down to one now, and even that is tenuous. Peach Parfait was super hyped as a “my lips but better” colour in 2012/2013. That may be true for some people, but peaches never look good on me. Add that to the extreme gold sparkle in this particular shade and the fact that I don’t love the formula (it doesn’t last through anything!) and it’s time for someone else to give this product some love.

Soap and Glory Archery Brow Pencil in Medium
Again, the shade doesn’t work for me. This is also the old packaging, with a much thicker pencil; I find the new packaging, with the fine Anastasia-reminiscent tip, much more agreeable.

Benefit Pocketpal
I have absolutely no use for a clear gloss (I do not like lip gloss), so I emptied the mini Benetint into my full-sized Benetint. I will now proceed to throw this out, because I doubt any of my friends want a half-empty, used product.

I made it a mission to use up as much as possible between February and now, and I think I did okay! That’s fourteen products that I don’t have to fit into my very limited suitcase space.