I’m sorry that my first post on this subject only applies to people who wear makeup. It’s just that I’m feeling very smug about the small size of my make-up kit so it seemed like a good subject to start off with. I will be posting about pretty much every aspect of my new packing obsession as I go along as well as updates on how things did or did not work out.
For now here is the lowdown on my crazily compact make-up masterpiece along with a photo of the bag in question. Prepare to be impressed.
Now if you aren’t impressed yet, then take a look at this beast that I’ve been travelling with for the past 10-years.
I’d like to tell you that the small purse contains a magic wand that scans on flawless makeup whenever I need it. However the reality is that I’ve had to make some serious cutbacks. The other reality is that I don’t intend to wear make-up very often and when I do I will go fairly light. If for some reason I want to go for the Fox News look I can always layer it up. However, even if you do intend to wear makeup every day on your travels I think you could modify this to make your own equally small version, you’d just need to replace the contents more often. And here they are…
In addition to packing small and light a key consideration is the liquid restrictions in place at most airports around the world. I wanted to save that limited allowance for the more important items I need to use every day. Plus liquids almost always weigh more than solids.
You may notice that there is no mascara. I don’t often use it anyway, so figured I could live without it, but if you can’t then just shop around for a mini. If you know of a non-liquid mascara option, then I’d love to hear about it in the comments.
Before we go into detail on what I have and how it will be used lets take one last look at what I had been carrying around and around the world during my whole time at Virgin Galactic. Just so I can feel a bit more smug about my cutbacks.
Smugness aside, I also want to reassure people who do love their makeup that I actually am a makeup person too and did put some serious thought into how this teeny-tiny new supply was going to work in practice. So here goes…
On the left is just the very cool reverse side of my mirror. It is a combination of lightweight metal and plastic with an actual mirror glued inside. It’s a back-up for when I can’t get close enough to a bathroom mirror. It doubles as a bit of protection for my foundation without adding the bulk of having to carry a full compact.
The little white butterfly brush is for applying blusher and is from Benefit. I have no idea if they still sell them, but an eyeshadow brush would achieve the same effect that I write about further down the page.
The brush on the far right is another Benefit product and I’ll use it for eyeliner and eyeshadow. I’m not sure if Benefit sells them separately as this one came as part of an eyeshadow kit, but I’m sure you can find similar brushes elsewhere.
One of the things I love about Benefit products is the packaging so it was upsetting to have to tear this foundation compact apart, so that I was just left with the bit I needed. The good news is that the compact is lightweight anyway, so it was easily done with a bit of twisting. You are supposed to use this product with a brush or sponge, but I didn’t want to carry one around, not just due to weight but because they tend to get messy. So I did a few test runs of applying this with my fingers and it worked just fine.
I went to one of those fun shops where all the packaging is in Chinese and everything costs $2. I splashed out on a set of little zip-lock bags that people use for storing crafty stuff like beads. I seem to find myself saying this often, but it was honestly the best $2 I ever spent. In order to protect the foundation I keep it in one of those little bags, then cover it with the mirror I discussed above. The result is something that works just fine without adding unnecessary bulk or weight.
As I was figuring out how to butcher some more lovely Benefit packaging in order to get some mini eyeshadow trays I discovered these gems from Revlon. They are mix and match eyeshadow pallets and best of all they come with their own very compact compacts. In fact, you couldn’t get much more compact from your compact. You can buy as few or as many as you like and they can be slotted together so you can fit them into pretty much any little space you have in your bag.
So this is how I intend to use them…
Thanks to that time American Airlines lost my luggage twice in a row, I’d already worked out that eyeshadow can make a perfectly good blusher and vice-versa. If you have a little brush, then great. If not you can actually use a finger. Basically, you treat the eyeshadow like a liquid blusher and make 2 or 3 little streaks across your cheekbone with the colour then quickly blend with your fingers. Blending is really key to this so be sure you have thorough check in a mirror with some good lighting. Or ask a friend who will give you an honest answer. So don’t ask any of my friends.
On the left is my basic eyeshadow palette. On the far left is the base that also doubles as a handy cover-up for nasty red things like pimples. I’ll do an update as to how many different colours combos I managed to use, but if you factor in the pink blusher I think I have enough options for both subtle and showy looks that will match up with pretty much any clothing.
The dark brown on the far right will be my go-to eyeliner colour, but I’ll likely switch that out with the grey from time to time, occasionally using the yellow-shade as a highlighter.
If you haven’t tried using eyeshadow as a liner then do. I will admit that it takes some getting used to however, I have been doing it for well over 10-years now and whilst I wouldn’t describe myself as a fan girl I am a definite convert. I now find kohl or gel eyeliner to be a little harsh. I suggest you visit YouTube for a few tutorials then give it some practice. You will need a special brush to get the right effect which is why I love this double-ended one from Benefit.
So that concludes my Ultralight Packing Guide to Makeup. If you have any tips of your own or any questions then let me know in the comments. And likewise, I’ll attempt to keep everyone updated on how this works out. If I get enough wine in me I may even post some before and after photos. Hopefully they will be of my make-up too.