The other week, I went away to San Francisco on a work trip. I stayed in three hotels in three different parts of the Bay area - so I knew I wanted to keep my suitcase as light as possible. So, I pared down my makeup bag to the bare minimum to get the maximum possible number of looks from a small number of items. This is what I took.
Clockwise, from top left:
- La Femme blush palette - this is now almost full, and has ten shades with varying finishes. They're all highly pigmented, and last very well on the skin. Best of all, they're also dirt cheap, at around £2.99 per pan.
- Clinique Age Defense BB Cream* - it has a natural matte finish which controls oil throughout the day. I took it because it requires so little maintenance - slap it on, leave it on, remove it at the end of the day. No need to set it with powder, no need to powder at lunchtime. Perfect for busy schedules.
- Crown Brush Oval Lip Brush - at £2.30, this is one of my cheapest and most frequently used brushes. I don't actually use it for lips, but for smudgy, close application of eyeshadow around the eyes as liner - the tapered tip and firm bristles make it perfect for a soft, precise application.
- Urban Decay 24/7 Liner in Zero* - Black eyeliner is pretty much an essential, and this one is highly pigmented, glides on smoothly, and lasts very, very well.
- Benefit They're Real Mascara* - long, flutteringly voluminous lashes in two coats, and no smearing or flaking. Wonderful stuff.
- Estee Lauder Pure Colour Eyeliner in Blackened Plum* - An alternative to black liner. This liner is also intensely pigmented, and lasts well, but is less smudgeable and less smooth to apply than the UD one I took along.
- NARS Concealer in Vanilla* - This is an excellent concealer, with a creamy but budge-proof formula, and it's suitable for blemishes and under eyes.
- Urban Decay Naked2 Palette* - Enough shadows to get me through a week of makeup with plenty of variety, and it includes a double ended brush to apply the shadow with. Very travel friendly.
- Urban Decay Primer Potion - Classic. No need to explain why, really!
- Kiko Cosmetics eyeshadows - I use these for my brows. Brown first to fill in the shape, and then red for the colour.
- Hard Candy synthetic angled brush - This is probably the oldest brush I own. It's perfect for brows - very firm, perfectly angled, and exactly the right size. I will cry on the day it falls apart.
- Chanel Illusion d'Ombre in Illusoire - Just in case I needed something a little more sparkly for a night out (or, in reality, for when I got tired of wearing neutrals all the time and wanted something with a bit more oomph).
- Japonesque blush brush - This is from a travel set I received as a gift a while ago. It's got a short handle, making it easy to pack, and a soft set of bristles which are the perfect balance between size and fluffiness to allow for precise application and easy blending.
What are your travel essentials? Do you manage to pack lighter than I do? Let us know in the comments!
* Items marked with an asterisk are PR samples