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!

Friday 10: 3-1-1/TSA Bag Essentials

A few of weeks ago I did a Friday 10 of my long-haul flight essentials. Another tricky part of packing a carry-on is meeting the 3-1-1 Rule when flying out of the US or Canada.

What's the 3-1-1 Rule? All carry-on liquids, gels, creams, pastes and aerosols must be:

  • In a container that holds 3.4 ounces (100 mL) or less
  • Put in 1 quart clear plastic bag
  • One bag per traveler 

It's not always easy to pare down, so I put together a list of easy essentials that will to get your through the flight. 


I might be a little different in that I don't fully unpack my 3-1-1 bag when I arrive. There have been many times in my life I've been thankful to have something like a small deodorant or wet ones with me! 

As you will see, I also pack the bag so I have access to enough basics to freshen up and put on some minimal makeup if my luggage is lost or it's too early to check in at the hotel. It just makes life easier.

5 scents in 0.5 oz jars | $18.00 USD  | Bergamot+Lime, Ylang-Ylang+Calendula and Lavender+Sage are my favorites!

5 scents in 0.5 oz jars | $18.00 USD | Bergamot+Lime, Ylang-Ylang+Calendula and Lavender+Sage are my favorites!

#1 Travel Deodorant

Because I want to arrive at my destination smelling good. I usually just pick up whatever is available at Walmart or Target in the travel section, which is what's shown in the above photo.

However, my favorite natural deodorant company, Schmidt's, recently started selling travel sizes on their Etsy store. I might do a separate post on Schmidt's one day because I love their scents and it's the only natural deodorant that works for me. The biggest bonus is that it doesn't stain my white shirts since it doesn't contain aluminum. 

Stick deodorants don't need to be in the TSA bag, but I put mine in there anyway just to keep everything together. Since Schmidt's is more of a cream, though, it would have to go into the bag anyway.  

#2 Travel Toothpaste 

I also carry a small toothbrush and travel-sized floss. I usually keep all of this in my purse after I land for those spinach-in-the-teeth moments.

It's not a problem, it's a collection. Yeah. 

It's not a problem, it's a collection. Yeah. 

#3 Hurraw! Lip Balm

Yep! I'm including this again (and probably again at a later date). Planes = dry air, dry lips, dry skin, etc. and Hurraw! is the only lip balm that doesn't irritate my lips. I carry at least two with me: one with SPF and one delicious smelling one without SPF.  Prices vary. I usually pay under $4.00 CAD. 

#4 Clinque Black Honey Almost Lipstick

This is such a wonderful product! It looks scary in the tube, but it has a cult following for its nearly universally flattering shade. It goes on sheer and is build-able. It adds that lovely, elusive "my lips but better" touch of color. The formula is moisturizing and feels fantastic on. It's one little thing that can help make you feel a little more put together after a long, tiring flight.

#5 Mascara

Having very blonde--almost invisible--eyelashes means I rarely leave the house without mascara on. Even if I put on some long-lasting, waterproof mascara for flights, I usually end up wanting to touch it up before we land. I stick to L'Oreal Voluminous ($7.29 USD) or Cover Girl Clump Crusher ($7.99 USD).

#6 Makeup Removing Cloths

I use these near the end of a long flight to freshen up and then apply the following sunscreen and moisturizer(s) before landing. I love Burts Bees Sensitive ($6.00 USD). Alternately, if there isn't much room in the bag, I will take a couple of dry Olay 4-in-1 Daily Facial Sensitive Cloths ($6.99 USD).

#7 Moisturizer(s)/Tinted Moisturizer

I love this NARS Perfectly Radiant Tinted Moisturizer. So much! It has a little more coverage than most tinted moisturizers, feels fantastic on, actually moisturizes, and has SPF 30. The only downside is the cost.

So as another option, I recommend a light moisturizer like Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Invisible Finish Moisture Gel under a broad spectrum sunscreen. It's soft, lightweight and doesn't leave me feeling greasy. 

I also carry an unscented lotion for my hands. 

#8 Sunscreen

Being very pale has made me something of a sunscreen expert. I believe everyone should wear sunscreen daily, especially on their faces, to protect their skin and keep it healthy.

Not a believer? Watch this video. 


I'm currently using a broad spectrum, SPF 50, matte-finish Vichy with Mexoryl SX.  La Roche Posay's Anthelios Ultra-fluid Lotion SPF 60 (with Mexoryl) is also nice. They are both around $25 here in Toronto, but I don't think products with Mexoryl are available in the US.

I'm less picky about what goes on the rest of my body, though.  Sometimes I throw in a small travel-size sunscreen or sunscreen wipe if there's room. I worry less about this when going to Europe, especially France, because they have the good stuff when it comes to suncreens. 

#9 Hand Sanitizer

Any kind will do. I try to get unscented ones out of respect for the other people I'm packed into a metal tube with for hours on end. Not everyone likes the smell of juniper berry bliss or whatever. 

#10 Wet Ones Antibacterial

For gross tray tables, gross hands, gross anything that you might encounter on the plane or anytime afterward (I'm looking at you, public washrooms). I usually find the thin travel packs for about a dollar at the drugstore/Walmart/Target.

That's it for my essentials. If there's room leftover in the bag, I might toss in some extra stuff from time to time like a small travel-sized perfume (like these La Vanila ones). 

There are some reusable 3-1-1 bags on the market, like this one at REI or this one on Amazon.  I think $5 is a little steep for a plastic bag. I just us a Ziploc freezer bag. They've never let me down, and I like being able to replace them easily. 

I'd love to hear what you put in your 3-1-1 bag!

Hope you have a great weekend!

*Always check the rules and regulations of your departure country before your flight, just in case something has changed recently.