As someone with a fairly large and ever expanding makeup collection, I always find it difficult to narrow down my stash to a few basic necessities. But as someone who has had to travel quite a bit, I’ve found a whittled down list of ten items which I find to be the absolute bare-bones makeup and beauty necessities for lightweight and comfortable traveling. Here they are, in no particular order of importance.


I hope this an obvious choice for everyone, after all a clean face is both the ideal makeup base and a necessary part of any morning routine. Personally, I prefer oil cleansers as they do a great job leaving skin fresh and clean without over drying or stripping. And of course, they double as makeup remover so you don’t have to deal with carrying that around as well.


People sometimes think it’s odd that I bring face masks on vacation, which I don’t really understand. Just because you are on vacation doesn’t mean your skin won’t be suffering through dirt or grime. I consider them especially important when I travel to an area where the weather is different from what my skin is used to – humid areas seem to be especially damaging. I’ll generally bring along some kind of deep cleansing mask, or sometimes a volcanic mud mask in order to revitalize my skin from long days of makeup wear.


Normally I’d place sunscreen on this list, but with a BB cream I can take care of both sunscreen and foundation. While there’s many popular BB creams running around in the American market, I don’t really trust any of them. All the American BB creams I’ve tried are basically glorified tinted moisturizers with a hiked up pricetag. While some have a decent amount of SPF, they don’t have either the coverage or skin benefits that come along with those from Asian markets. The only brands I’ve tried and liked so far are Missha, Skin79 and Dr. Jart, all of which provide great coverage, solar protection, and are gentle on the skin.


I’m actually not a big mascara enthusiast, oddly enough. Sometimes I’ll go for weeks without wearing any. But I do find that it makes me appear about two times more awake than I actually am, which is very handy in everyday life. I also feel like if I put on any other eye makeup, I have to wear mascara. Otherwise I’ll feel oddly unfinished.


Eyeliner is very important to me. Everywhere I go I’ll bring at least one tube, if not more. If I could only bring one type, it would have to be a black liquid liner but since I’m a cheater I’ll usually bring along that and and least one pot of colored liner.


Sometimes I’ll tell myself that I shouldn’t bring along eyeshadows as I’ll be too lazy to put too much makeup on most mornings but I will always without a doubt regret that decision. And yet for some reason I keep making the same mistake. However, when I do make the right choice, I’ll bring along some kind of small palette (Urban Decay’s Naked Basics is a current favorite) and sneak along either a red or orange shadow, or something glittery. And of course, when you bring eyeshadow, primer needs to come along too. I’m not even going to count them as separate entities, to me one without the other is not a viable option.


I always bring along three lipstick colors; red, blue and purple. Maybe picking three is cheating, but they’re under the same category so it’s all good. It’s always my signature red (whatever that may be at the moment), as well as any blue and purple I’m currently feeling. Of course, the color choices are different for every person, but always remember to bring at least one color you consider your classic and/or nude color, and another for when you want to feel particularly good.


Brow powder / brow pencils are very important, I don’t understand why sometimes people neglect this fact. My makeup routine varies quite a bit, but filling in my brows is one of the few constants. I don’t care how good you think your brows look, you’ll look at least 100% better after filling and setting them. Guaranteed.


Speaking of constants, contour is another one. I’m not a big blush person, it’s something I’ll wear every few days but I can generally go without. Contour is a different story. Like brow filling, contour is another step that I find people tend to forget. And also like brow filling, it’s a step that can make a huge difference. My current contour is a matte bronzer, but matte blushes can work too provided they go well with your skin tone of course. Never shimmery though. It’s a terrible idea.


Some people don’t need finishing powder, but as someone with combination skin and a love for BB cream, it’s a must. Not only does it help set makeup, but prolongs its wear noticeably, so that means less touch ups and more anything else. I personally prefer a powder that has some color to it, just so I can use it to fix any rubbed off or worn foundation patches.

So, that’s my stripped down makeup bag. Are there any other products that you couldn’t bear to be without?

makeup case of dreams, courtesy of Louis Vuitton

makeup case of dreams, courtesy of Louis Vuitton