Friday 10: What's in your makeup bag?

In my experience, the perfectly packed travel makeup bag doesn’t have lot of products in it. It’s full of long wearing basics that are easy to apply and can take you from day to night. 

Today’s Friday 10 is a peek into what I recommend traveling with and why. I’ll also share the products I’m currently using and loving. 

The Basics

The key is to choose one product in each category that is versatile, works with the other products, and, most importantly, is something you love to use. Why else would you lug it around with you if you didn’t love wearing it? 

They should also be long-wearing and be able to take you from day to night no matter what you’re wearing. If you can find multitasking products  (i.e. a lip stain that doubles as a blush), it gets bonus gold stars! The goal is to make things easy. 

My favorite tutorial for this kind of beautiful everyday look is from Lisa Eldridge, an incredible makeup artist, called The Ultimate All Occasion Makeup Look For Everyone (link). I recommend checking out Lisa’s other tutorials if you love makeup or are looking to learn new skills and looks!

So with all of that in mind, here are the 10 products I pack:

  1. Foundation/Tinted Moisturizer
  2. Concealer
  3. Setting Powder
  4. Contour
  5. Blush
  6. Eyeshadow primer
  7. Eye palette 
  8. Mascara
  9. Lipstick
  10. Setting Spray 

My Picks

Just for reference, my skin tends to be dry and sensitive. I’m also very fair with yellow/neutral undertones. So it’s taken some time to find products that work for me, but they might not be perfect for you. If you have read my Friday 10 Long Flight Essentials and 3-1-1/TSA Bag Essentials posts, some things might look a little familiar. 

Foundation - Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer in Finland

This falls somewhere between a tinted moisturizer and foundation for me. I love how light it feels while still providing a decent amount of coverage. It also has SPF 30, which is a nice bonus. It’s a bit pricy but I don't think I’ll be persuaded to try anything else anytime soon. 

 via  L'Oreal  |  True Match Crayon Concealer  | around $10 CAD 

via L'Oreal | True Match Crayon Concealer | around $10 CAD 

Concealer - L’Oreal True Match Crayon Concealer in W1-2-3

I picked this up on a whim and ended up really liking it. I have yet to find a concealer I absolutely love, but this does the job well without feeling heavy and sinking into the fine lines around my eyes. It also lasts a lot longer than most concealers I’ve used in the past. 

 via my makeup bag | Top Cat Finishing Powder | $16.25 USD

via my makeup bag | Top Cat Finishing Powder | $16.25 USD

Setting Powder - Meow Cosmetics Top Cat Finishing Powder

A simple setting powder from Meow, an indie makeup company that specializes in mineral makeup. Top Cat works great as a finishing powder for me. It doesn’t set my sensitive skin off, and is cost effective, especially compared to some of the big names out there. Another more well-known option is the Nars HD Microfinish Powder ($39.00 CAD), but it can cause flashback in photos so I steer clear from it. 

I also like Meow's Equilibrium Powder ($13.95 USD) as a primer. It has a bit of lanolin in there, so it's soothing and help keeps dry skin happy while also mattifying it. Magic!

 via  Sephora  |  Nars Contour Blush  | $46 CAD

via Sephora | Nars Contour Blush | $46 CAD

Contour - Nars Contour Blush in Olympia

A Sephora makeup artist recommended this to me for my engagement photo makeup. It quickly became a staple. I used to steer clear from too much contouring and highlighting because it’s easy to get to heavy-handed, especially with anything shimmery. I love that this is subtle and matte. It helps give me some extra oomph for that natural “no makeup” makeup look. 

Blush - Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Dollface

The only blush I use now. It’s long lasting, pigmented, and blends nicely. I’ve been using Dollface for a couple of years, but Tarte has a range of beautiful colors that suit a range of skintones. I might have to add a nice rose to my own collection soon. 

Another option is the Tarte Cheek Stain ($36 CAD). I’ve used this in the past and like it, too. It gets the multi-tasking gold star since you can use it on your lips. I just find that it tends to feel sticky and disappear quickly on me.

Eyeshadow Primer - Urban decay eyeshadow primer potion in eden

If you’re not using an eyeshadow primer, you need one. It helps prevent creasing and keeps your eye makeup looking beautiful all day. I love Urban Decay's Primer Potion and just recently tried it in Eden (listed as a tawny matte). I used to use the Original sheer version, but Eden does a better job of evening out my lids and creating a nice base for the shadow.

I've also heard lots of raves about Too Faced Shadow Insurance ($24 CAD).

eyeshadow palette - urban decay naked basics 

My new favourite palette. It's small, slim, and packed with everything I need. As the makeup artist at Sephora said, “this is your face, in a palette!” She also told me that there's a palette out there for everyone, it just takes a little time and testing. 

I love that the colors are neutral and matte, it makes it so easy to wear them on a daily basis. I even use one of the colors, Naked 2, for my brows. 

Another option is the Naked Basics 2 ($34 CAD), which looks darker and richer than the original. 

 via  CoverGir l |  CoverGirl Clump Crusher  | about $8 CAD

via CoverGirl | CoverGirl Clump Crusher | about $8 CAD

mascara - Cover girl clump crusher

I keep coming back to this mascara. It’s cheap and it does its job well—better than some of the high end brands I’ve tried. It gives my lashes volume, some length, and it never clumps! 

Sometimes I wear waterproof mascara for the plane ride, but I find the regular Clump Crusher is more than adequate. It's long lasting and doesn't flake off, but is still easy to remove.  

lipstick - sephora Cream Lip Stain in #10 Everlasting burgundy 

Realistically, I would take Clinque’s Almost Lipstick in Black Honey ($19 CAD) and the Sephora Cream Lip Stain. Black Honey is a perfect anytime lipstick for me because it’s moisturizing and buildable. It doesn’t last very long, though, so I have to reapply often.

The Sephora Cream Lip Stain, on the other hand lasts forever through just about anything. The Everlasting Burgundy color is gorgeous for fall and winter. I apply it lightly for the daytime and use a lip brush for a strong, bold evening look. It isn't drying on me, which is amazing for a lip stain.

So why not both?

Setting Spray - Skindinavia Bridal 

A couple of years ago I might have scoffed at a makeup setting spray, but I decided to order one recently for our engagement photos. It was love at first spray! This stuff works. It does as it promises: “helps keep makeup looking flawless and photo-ready [. . .] Absorbs quickly and lasts for up to 16 hours.” It’s worth having for those days you need your makeup to last as long as possible, which happens a lot when you’re traveling. 

You might be tempted to get Urban Decay’s All Nighter Long-Lasting Setting Spray ($36 CAD), but it’s manufactured by Skindinavia. After a lot of research, I found that most people preferred Skindinavia’s Bridal version to All Nighter. It’s the same price and, when I ordered, I got free shipping and travel sizes of their Primer Spray and Makeup Finishing Spray


So there you have it. My recommendations for a 10 item makeup bag. Let me know if you agree or disagree with my choices. Or leave me some of your own favourite product recommendations in the comments!

Hope you have a happy weekend!