What's in my makeup bag: Travel Edition

You tell yourself you're going to see your family and there really isn't any reason to look nice. But then you remember that no-one judges you more than your aunts. They look you up and down and make off-hand remarks as if you're not even there. Like a pack of hyenas, you need to be ready to fend them off. 

And so I packed the makeup.

I was not wrong. I've been told today by two different aunts that I've put on weight, that my face has changed but perhaps for the better, and that it's a shame the Vietnamese blood in our family is now almost non-existent in my generation. I'm still pretty, though, and the Vietnamese is present in my cheekbones, but I ought to focus on my brain, Paulette said. I'm not sure she would approve of this blog. 

I'm in Nice for 5 days, so I've put what I could in a medium sized makeup bag, skincare included. I'm often amazed at the amount of makeup people pack with them when they travel. To be fair, I'm no artist. My makeup rarely changes, and when it does it's most often due the color of my lipstick (or that I even wear one to begin with). I don't wear eye-shadow (I have yet to find a color that looks nice on me) so I don't have to worry about fitting an entire eye-shadow palette as I often see other bloggers do. 

This is the time to bring out your free samples. Though I rarely wear, or even buy, foundation, I love to accumulate little samples of them. Because everyone's been raving about the Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat foundation, I decided to give it a try (the itty bitty version) and pack it in my suitcase. I wore it today as I walked along the beach, and though I don't like the feel of having something on my skin, I will say that when I looked in a storefront mirror, I was pleased at the dewiness yet medium-light coverage the foundation gives. Though the woman who gave me the sample said the foundation is best used with a brush, I disagree. When I followed her advice I found the foundation made my skin look lackluster. I re-applied it with my hands and I think that's the best way to make it look natural and dewy. Usually, though, I just stick to Nars' Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer. You can see my review for it here

Maybelline's Instant Rewind Concealer (I have the shade medium) is proof that you don't need to buy expensive brands to find a (near) perfect product. If you want high coverage, skip this one, but I find that it's just enough to hide the scars of my many sleepless nights. It doesn't crease (and everything creases on me), it's lightweight and therefore (when applied right) is almost invisible on the skin. Most of all, it's $7.99. You really can't go wrong. 

For eyeliners, I took the much coveted Kat Von D. Tattoo Liner, though a full review of that will be coming soon. I like it, but I think some drugstore offerings are just as good, if not better. I also agree with some that it dries up and as a result doesn't give me the most perfect line. To tight-line, or for a more subtle liner, I have the M.A.C Eye Pencil in coffee. A deep, dark brown that doesn't get enough love from people.

For mascara, I've recently re-discovered Maybelline's Full N Soft Waterpoof Mascara that was lying around in my stash. It gives long, fluffy lashes and holds a damn good curl. I'm impressed. To give them said curl, though, I have the Kevyn Aucoin Eyelash Curler. Everyone raves about the Shu Uemura one, but honestly I compared both on each eye and I found no difference. This one seems to fit my eye better though. I think it's just a matter of preference. 

For blush, it's been Tarte's Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in the shade Tipsy all month long. At first I didn't think the color suited me, but honestly I find that if you go with a light hand it gives a subtle color that immediately freshens and wakens you up. Though the color payoff is great, a regular fluffy brush doesn't really grab the product, so I use a denser Real Techniques Stippling Brush. Is it the best brush for this blush though? No, I'm still on the hunt for that.

If I can be bothered, and if I want to impress the aunts, I dust a bit of M.A.C's Mineral Skinfinish Natural on my forehead to keep the oiliness at bay. It's a nearly invisible product that mattifies and looks (as the name indicates), natural. I use a big giant brush from Duane Read that I am honestly completely happy with. Had you told me a year ago I would sometimes powder I would call you insane, but especially because of the Nars tinted moisturizer, I do like to do it from time to time. There's also a strange feeling about putting powder on that makes you feel polished, lady-like. It's asinine, but I have an image of the perfect, glamorous woman sitting at her vanity. And what is she doing? She's putting some powder on. This image is certainly one that has been fed to women through the media (aided by the beauty industry), as is the idea of a "true woman." That one, the one sitting in front of her mirror. She can be you, too, if you just powder....

I usually like to keep lips bare, but when they're looking especially pale (I know, who thought pale lips was a problem?) I find Soap and Glory's Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Stick in the shade Nudist moisturizing (as far as those things go...) and a perfect nude color. Definitely one of my favorites, and affordable too. I also took along a mini sample of a Make-Up Forever's Lipstick in shade N9 and though I thought it would be much too dark and brown for me, I actually love it. It's a light formula that gives a natural tint to my lips, but helps them a little bit in the color department. This actually makes me want to check out their range, so, wise marketing strategy, MUFE. 

To take it all off, I took along Liz Earle's Cleanse & Polish Hot Clothe Cleanser. It's a cream formula that a) smells divine without being overpowering and b) melts away the makeup. I then take a warm cloth to my face and wipe it all away. I enjoy this product; it feels luxurious even though it's reasonably priced, and the small size is perfect to travel with. You also don't need cotton as you apply and massage the product with your hands, so it saves you some bag space.

To moisturize, I'm currently trying to finish off Olay's Active Hydrating Beauty Fluid Lotion but three things bother me about this product:

  1. The smell (it's way waayy too strong for something to slab on your face).
  2. The color. Why is it pink? Do women need everything to be pink? The answer is no. 
  3. The name. Beauty Fluid? I'm looking for a plain moisturizer, not something that claims to add another element of "beauty" when all I want is for my face not to feel tight because it's dry.

Everything gets a thumbs up from me except for the latter.

Honestly, if you told me these were the only products I could use for the rest of my life, I'd be totally content (I'd haggle for a better moisturizer, though...). They all do a great job and give me exactly what I'm looking for. And yet, here I am. A girl with a beauty blog. A small wallet. And a new CC Cream in my purse. 

- Coline