Portable Makeup: What Do You Need in Your Bag?

So I’m still having trouble saying “purse” for handbag. It doesn’t make any sense to me. A wallet is a purse. A handbag is not a purse. Anyway – Americans feel free to read “purse” when I say “handbag”.

As always, when I say “need”, please take with a grain of salt. There are many days when I do not touch any of these items and just let my makeup take its natural course. But if you’re going out after work or if you really want everything to look as fresh as possible, I have some tips for you my friends!

First of all, I find it easier to use two small cosmetic purses (this use is fine btw) rather than one large, handbag clogging one. I tend to separate this into actual makeup items and “other”. This is all the makeup-related junk I keep in my bag:

I consider it to be pretty darn pared down, to be honest with you, particularly since I am usually a total garbage packerator.

So let’s get the non-makeup stuff out of the way. The “other” bag is actually one of a pair that I got sent by my lovely friend, Zoe, who got them for me from the Turrell Exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia. The other one is purple, and I keep my receipts and other important things in it (I have become a hardcore budget recorder!).

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So realtalk, I left a couple of things out of this picture because they were kinda scuzzy. I left out a little packet of mini tissues and some chewing gum. They were kinda not really relevant. Also I keep a little mini tube of hand cream in here (Soap & Glory Hand Food) but it’s empty and the label has basically come off completely and it looks groce. Sorry.

One thing I like about this bag is that it is REALLY rigid. It’s a thick rubberised plastic that does not bend easily so it keeps everything really safely. I love it!

It contains my travel size of Jo Malone London – Wood Sage & Sea Salt perfume which is hands down my favorite perfume everrrrr. If I’m going somewhere after work I always spritz a little of it. I also keep my favorite hand sanitizer in here – it’s the Soap & Glory Hand Maid one and it smells great and I have no idea how to get more.

My actual makeup bag I got from Forever New in Australia last year. I like stripes. It’s a faux leather type material. I like it for similar reasons to the other bag – it’s quite rigid and doesn’t flop around letting things bang on other things. Technical!

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So it has just the absolute essentials (IMO).

  • A mini mascara (this is the IT Cosmetics Tightline mascara, I have it in there because it has the secondary purpose of eyeliner!
  • A mini Sigma E25 blending brush – I use this to re-blend any creased eyeshadow that might have gathered during the day, and to add additional color if I need to (I would just pack the eyeshadow in here if I needed to).
  • My Make Up For Ever pressed translucent powder – it is great for topping up powder on the face which absorbs oil that may have fought through my makeup throughout the day, making everything look a little fresher. It came in a little carrying case which I really liked, it gives the powder some extra protection.
  • MAC Fix+ mini spray bottle – this is perfect for freshening up tired makeup. If you go overboard with the powder, it also does a great job of patting down any excess powder. It also feels amazing on dry skin, or when it’s hot, I really love this product!
  • A kabuki brush – it’s super super soft and helps me to add powder without disturbing the existing makeup too much. Some people might prefer a powder sponge – this is totally personal. I prefer the brush.
  • A small packet of makeup removal wipes. I won’t lie – the only time I’ve used these is in Montreal when shopping for dresses with my gorgeous friends Nathalie and her fiance Zac. A girl who was waiting in line for the changing rooms had her son with her and he got into her bag and pumped foundation everywhere. ME TO THE RESCUE I am so great.
  • Sephora Targeted Eye Makeup Remover Swabs – these are great for if things are just a bit messy at the end of the day. You snap the end off the little cotton bud / q-tip and it lets the liquid in the stem into the tip. It’s a clean, neat way to tidy up any messes or, you know, if you are trialling a new eyeliner and it turns out to be total garbage and you need to get it off your face, stat.

So that’s honestly it. I don’t go overboard. You could throw in some concealer, a mini eyeliner or something, a small eyeshadow palette or something and you’ve got everything you could ever need.

I have a few good ideas for posts coming up. I’m sorry that I’ve been so quiet lately but I’ve been happily lacking in inspiration – it’s totally fine to take a break from things you love (remember?).

Excitingly, I also have a guest post coming up for you guys! Stay tuned – and as always, your ideas, feedback and comments are all 100% welcome.

Love+++
F&V

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Travel Makeup – the Overpacker’s Guide to Trying Not to Overpack

I’m off to Washington DC next weekend for my husband’s college friend’s wedding. I’m really looking forward to it, I haven’t met a lot of Ray’s college friends.. or maybe any of them.. huh.. but anyway I have a cute navy dress and I’m ready to rumble. I’m having my makeup done on Saturday night for some drinks with my beloved DC area friends but I have to do my own (UGH!) Friday night and for the wedding on Sunday. So what the hell should I pack?

Well I’ll let you in on a little secret. I always, ALWAYS take too much dumb crap that I don’t even touch the entire time. I’m going to try, REALLY TRY, to slim things down but I’m also going to make a trip report and tell you guys what I decided wasn’t useful afterwards. So with no further ado let’s get into it.

First, check out my beautiful cosmetics bag…

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It’s SO BEAUTIFUL you can get this and others like it for $24 from Sephora

The boring stuff still needs to be packed. All this goes into a separate bag – it’s toiletries not makeup. Obviously. Ahem.

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CLEANUP DUTY

This brings me to an important point. Sample sizes, whether “travel size” deluxe samples or actual sachets, are your friend. Above you can see that I have a few of those. Tbh, normally what I try to do is wash my hair before I go and when I get back but this is a three-night trip and that’s probably just a smidge too long or at least it’s a risk of being too long, especially as I’m getting my hair cut on Wednesday and I won’t want to wash it on Thursday night. You can get the little sample pots from places like Amazon – I think I got a 10 pack of the little containers you see above that I have moisturizer and makeup remover oil in for $6. Don’t try to fill these up. Just squidge out enough to use for the trip. The rest is just wasted as it’ll go crusty after awhile anyway.  Anyway this is just the basics, onto the good stuff.

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Another little container of primer here (just a small amount, remember!). Well, ok, there’s three primers but I’m kind of a primer nerd. I like to use different ones in different places. Recently when Sephora had a little cute sample kit of NARS product as a coupon code I snatched it up. I love the NARS Light Optimizing primer and we all know how I feel about the eyeshadow primer. So those both came out of the box and went straight into the bag. I had to fight myself to leave the Urban Decay setting spray out and put in the teeny sample of the Skindinavian one!

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Base & Face

A little (refilled) pot of the original sample I got of my favorite long-wear foundation, plus a little squidge of a light coverage daytime foundation for Saturday. My number 1 concealer, a setting powder that’s super flat (god I love that packaging), sample size bronzer and my beloved NARS Deep Throat blush (MASSIVE thanks to my lovely friend Megan who got this as a sample size and sent it to me!). I have a sample size of Orgasm but I just don’t like it as much, tbh.

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Eyes

I chose the Revealed3 palette here because it’s light and flat, but I’ve since applied it as eyeshadow and it is pretty bad so I’m not going to take it. I’ll probably take my Stila Eyes are the Window palette even though it’s heavier. I jumped straight on a large deluxe sample coupon code with Sephora recently because it contained a tiny mini of my ride-or-die liquid liner, the Kat von D Tattoo Liner in “Trooper” as well as a mascara that I know my friend Mem loves, and therefore must be fab. I never pay for high-end mascara but I love getting deluxe samples of it! My trusty MAC Paint Pot in Painterly and Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze and I’m good to go. See how good I’m being?! lol.

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Brows

One crayon (mini size, thanks Ipsy!), one pomade, one sample size powder. Hooooboy that was hard but it’s ok you guys I got this. Pshhwwww.

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Lips

Ok this is where I fell down a little, I’ll admit it. I probably have too much. But I can’t help it. Lips are my thing! One red (with matching liner), one pink, one nude and a primer. I may add more. I’m not gonna lie to you guys, I swore I’d never do that. Speaking of which…

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Brushes

I tried. I really did. But I need all o’ these. I can’t do the multi-use thing. It squicks me out. My one concession was blush and bronzer with the same brush, but that’s because I don’t wear tonnes of either. In fact I’m pretty impressed that I am only taking one foundation brush. Maybe I need another one. NO, STOP THIS… okay okay pshhwww ok I’m good.

What have I missed, do you think? Hair stuff is easy, I’ve got some texture spray and that’s pretty much all I ever use if I’m honest. I also have a little package of cotton pads, q-tips and a mini nail file plus some bobby pins and hair bands. Boring stuff.

So let’s summarize:

  • Store up your samples that you get from things like beauty boxes and online orders. I have two sample boxes – one for stuff to give away and one for things I want to eventually use. I raided that.
  • If you see a gift with purchase or coupon code etc with a sample or travel size of a product that you KNOW you will use, get it. They’re so handy, and it means you can leave them in the travel bag rather than unpacking every single thing and returning it to your stash.
  • If you’re decanting into smaller containers, just take a little at a time so it doesn’t get all gunky when you don’t use it all. So wasteful! You can always refill it for next time.
  • Just take things you are pretty sure you’ll use. I thought about taking my Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette and my Kat von D Shade & Light palette but I’m still learning how to use them so I’m not going to bother – I know traveling is not the time for this nor is a wedding. End of story!

I’d love to hear if you guys have tips, tricks and pointers for me for makeup travel. After this I’m not sure we’ll be going anywhere until Chicago so that’s a long time to think about what I’ve done.

EDIT: I did a test pack of putting the stuff in the bags and it turned out GREAT, the bags are full enough but not overstuffed. OBSERVE:

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Happy Sunday/Monday, lovers.

Love++
F&V