When on-the-go, the less you carry, the better. Whether you are on vacation or just heading out to work, an essential to-the-point makeup bag is wise to bring. Below, I have chosen some of my top picks for both my day-to-day makeup bag and travel case. I based my picks not only on quality but functionality as all these products are easily accessible and light-weight.
For my everyday makeup case, I only bring the basics which are used simply for touch-ups. The key items I make sure to include are: a powder compact, light blush, lipstick/gloss & eye pencil. I find that just these 5 items are all you need, simple and easy.
1.) POWDER COMPACT
A powder is absolutely crucial, especially if you have oil- prone skin. Throughout the day, unwanted shine is sure to make its appearance, so a nice, easily accessible power will surely come in handy. One of the compacts I have been using almost constantly for the last few months has been the MakeUp Forever HD Pro Finish Powder Foundation. This HD pro-finish is very full coverage so I find I only need to use a little on my T-zone and that’s about it. This foundation powder comes with a mini puff for on-the-go use and the packaging is sturdy but not bulky. It will keep you matte without looking like a caked-on mess. Just remember to use sparingly as a little bit of this product goes a long way.
2. & 3.) BLUSH/ LIPSTICK
I had written about my love for NARS’ new Matte Multiple recently in my “May Favorites” post (link down below) and I still love it a month later after repeated use. This product is incredibly versatile, perfect for a makeup bag because it is both a quality cream blush and lipstick. It provides a great matte finish yet it is still creamy enough that it doesn’t dry out your lips or skin. The Matte Multiple comes in 6 varying colors and runs at about $36 retail.
Gloss is optional, but just in case you prefer less of a matte lip and more of a shine finish, I would suggest an old time favorite of mine, the NYX Butter Glosses. Not only do these glosses have an fantastic formula and come in a wide selection of colors, but they smell sooooooo good. My usual NYX gloss colors are: Crème Brulee, a nude rose shade, Fortune Cookie, a true nude shade, and Éclair, a 60s- pink gloss. Even if you have very little to no other make upon, if you have a plump, shiny lip, you look put together no matter what. These glosses only cost $5, a wonderful bargain for such consistent quality.
5.) EYE- PENCIL
Packing an eye pencil is optional~ I don’t really carry shadow with me because if you use a solid primer on your eyes, your shadow should not need any retouching throughout the day. With that being said, eye-pencils seem to fade more easily, especially if your apply a pencil to your water line. What ever shade of pencil you use, I think it’s nice to keep one on hand as a little liner here and there can really transform any look.
My top pick for on-the-go liner is the Urban Decay 24 Hr. liner as it lasts a fairy long time~ I don’t know if it really lasts 24 hrs. like the tittle suggests, but it does a pretty decent job at staying applied. These liners run at about $20 and seem to last a good amount on time (I’ve had mine for a few weeks now).
For my travel bag, I bring all the products listed above but just add a few more things including a highlighter, bronzer, brushes, foundation/concealer, moisturizer/primer, makeup remover, eyebrow definer, mascara & eyeshadow.
1. & 2.) HIGHLIGHTER/ BRONZER
~ $30 Urban Decay just launched this amazing 3-in-1 palette called the Flushed Palette that has not only a blush, but a shimmery highlighter and bronzer. Now highlighter and bronzer is an essential for me, but for an everyday look, it isn’t really necessary. With incorporating a highlighter and bronzer though, you can take your look from simple to radiant. This compact is very light- weight and relatively small, perfect for travel. I’m going to include it in my upcoming “June Favorites” so stay tuned for more about this awesome palette.
There are only two real important brushes to include in your bag:
1.) Blush brush & 2.) Bronzer brush (that is, if you decide to use a bronzer for contour)
Choose whatever brushes you have/ like best. My personal favorites have been the BOBBI BROWN blush brush ($56) and the NARS “Ita” contouring bronzer brush ($55). Though they aren’t really practical because of their size, I still like to bring both these brushes because they are essential for my makeup application routine.
4. & 5.) CONCEALER/ FOUNDATION
I always make sure to bring a concealer whenever I travel. An old favorite of mine is the Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Concealer ($36) which I’ve talked about a bit before in my “March Favorites” (link down below). This concealer is very full- coverage and hides any unwanted blemish or pigmentation. I can even sometimes just wear a little of this concealer and leave off the foundation for a lighter look. This product needs to also be used sparingly as a little goes a long way. Tip: Add a little moisturizer with the concealer for a more glide-on application underneath the eyes to prevent a drying effect.
Foundation: For foundation, my top travel pick is the Chanel Vitalumiere foundation ($45), which I wrote about in my recent “Best Foundations for Summer 2014” post (link down below). I choose this foundation for my travel bag because it’s light and easy to carry. Additionally, the formulation is great, and I’m in love with the ultra- light weight feel it has on the skin.
7. &8.) MOISTURIZER/ PRIMER
LUSH’s Skin Drink is a natural moisturizer infused with Avocado and healing Aloe Vera cream. It comes in a small pot and runs at about $23 retail. I like how this formula is made with 100% natural ingredients as it doesn’t irritate my sometimes sensitive skin.
A good moisturizer can many times make up for a primer, but just in case you want a primer, I choose the Hourglass Mineral Veil primer. Now I’m trying out this primer and so far I really like it~ It has SPF 15 and seems to really minimize shine. This primer goes for $18 retail, and I’m going to continue to try it out to see if I like it in the future. For eyes, I rarely stray from the old Urban Decay Primer Potion ($20) as very few priming products can even compete. This primer comes in a tiny tube, ideal for travel, yet lasts a surprisingly long time for its size.
9.) EYE- BROW DEFINER
A nice, defined eye brow really polishes off any look. I used the Anastasia Brow pencil quite a lot in the past, but I recently switched to Benefits’ Brow Zings ($32). The Brow Zings include both a wax to settle the shadow over and a nice brow shade. Additionally, two brushes are included: an angled brush for the wax and a blending brush for the shadow along with a mini twizzer, perfectly travel-sized.
10.) MAKEUP REMOVER
A strong but gentle makeup remover is an absolute necessity in keeping your skin clean and clear. I have been using the Estee Lauder Take it Away remover for a couple weeks now and it really does the trick. It even takes away all of the pesky water proof mascara. This product costs about $28.
Givenchy makes a mini Nior Couture mascara (full size $32- half size ~$15) that is nicely travel sized. I have grown to really like this mascara as I find it is great in defining individual lashes. Many brands offer a miniature sized mascara, so you don’t always have to splurge on this guy, though the quality is fantastic.
note: Though non-essencial, you may also want to include an eyelash curler to enhance lash length apperance
For shadow, I choose two very compact, light- weight palettes: the Dior 5- Colour eyeshadow ($60) & the Urban Decay Basics ($26). By no means do you have to get the full $60 blowout Dior palette though the quality is out-of-this-world and comes with portable brushes.
The Urban Decay palette is fantastic on the other hand, because it has only the essential shades, perfect for making both a subtle, natural eye and more dramatic smoky eye. Note though that there are no brushes included in this one so you’ll have to bring a couple eye brushes in addition to your others. Small palettes like these fit nicely into any makeup bag, big or small. There a hundreds of Drug-store compact eye shadows too, my favorites being those from Rimmel London and Maybelline.
OTHER ITEMS (not in makeup bag): Though not directly carried in my makeup bag, when I’m traveling I like to bring some sort of cleanser and toner water (just something to keep in mind while you’re packing).
My makeup bag is always changing as I discover more products to love. Stop on by again as I will be posting pretty consistently all summer!
As always, thanks for reading!