Usually when it comes to travel, I do not mess around with my makeup. I bring anything and everything I want to make sure all my bases are covered, especially when it’s a long trip or weddings are involved (more often than you can imagine these past few years). This time however, we were just off for a weekend in Seattle to hang out with Nick’s brother so I thought this was a perfect opportunity to share a much more reasonable “weekend edition” of what’s in my makeup bag.
For most “categories” of makeup, you should be able to get by with just one product. For me, that includes:
- Face Primer – Just one here, the super moisturizing Too Faced Hangover RX to help prep skin and keep my makeup looking better, longer.
- Eye Primer – My Holy Grail go-to, MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Painterly, I love that it provides some coverage for any redness and veins on my eyelids (if you’re more warm-toned, the Soft Ochre shade is also really popular).
- Foundation – I opted for the Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua this time, my “special occasion foundation”. It leaves a nice, natural finish on the skin and the bottle is plastic, so it’s perfect for travel. I use the shade BR12.
- Concealer – I’ve been favoring my MAC Pro Longwear a lot lately, but the Mineralize Concealer is in a plastic tube (and has a brush applicator) so that’s what came along. I use the shade NW15.
- Setting Powder – The usual, MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Light. It’s so finely milled that it doesn’t add any texture to my skin, and it doesn’t add any coverage either, just a sheer and light powder to prevent my makeup from creasing.
- Contour – I don’t use it much, but it’s good to have on hand. Sometimes you just need to add a bit of dimension back to the face. I love the Sephora Collection Contour powder in Tranquil.
- Mascara – Benefit’s They’re Real! Definitely in my top three all-time favorite mascaras, and the mini tube is perfect for travel. It’s volumizing, lengthening, and defining – an all-in-one that gets it all right.
- Brow Product – Currently enjoying the ColourPop brow pencil in Dope Taupe. It’s small, affordable, easy to use, and has a built-in spoolie on the other end. (This “group” did get an extra in the form of brow gel – the packaging is so tiny that I brought along both Benefit’s Gimme Brow and a deluxe sample of the Anastasia Beverly Hills clear brow gel. I used them all.)
- Setting Spray – MAC Fix+ always and forever, it helps meld all the products together so my skin looks natural, not cakey.
Other products are great to have a few options for, but for just two nights away, it really wasn’t needed. I also brought one of each of the following:
- Highlight – ColourPop’s Lunch Money is a gorgeous luminous light gold that works wonders with my cool-toned skin.
- Blush – Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Mood Light, hnng. A bit of a cheat here, this is technically a setting powder, but it’s so pink that with very little work, it’s a gorgeous blush too.
- Eye Liner – Lots of ColourPop, clearly. I packed their crème gel liner pencil in Cry Baby, an awesome icy lavender that brightens and opens the eyes but still gives a bit of an unexpected surprise.
- Lip Liner – ColourPop’s Westie is an excellent neutral pink that works with just about any lip color (or at least, all the colors I gravitate towards).
It’s really only in the color cosmetics world that I bring multiple options, for me that specifically means eyeshadow and lipstick. Other products, like blush or eyeliner, I love having options for, but again, just for a short weekend away… it wasn’t really necessary.
- Eyeshadow – I actually kept it to a reasonable minimum this time. I only brought along the Melt Cosmetics Dark Matter stack with a single tag along shadow from the Love Sick stack, a Sugarpill single shadow in the shade Kitten Parade, and a ColourPop single in the shade Weenie that I only used once, but it was a great base to help Kitten Parade really shine.
- Lipstick – I brought three with me to cover all the bases – sheer, pink, and a deeper pinky-nude. All that said and done, I most often reached for the lipstick I carry in my purse: the Glossier Generation G sheer matte lipstick in Crush, I am loving this stuff.
Finally, the tools. Makeup brushes, sponges, applicators, and other tools – this is my happy place. I own so many brushes, I actually wash them regularly, and the Beauty Blender has changed my life (in terms of makeup application). This was probably the hardest section to pare down for a weekend away – I know I don’t need all the brushes, but I like them! I managed to focus on the essentials with one extra for face and eyes, and even then I ended up not using them all!
- Blending brush – Probably my favorite brush of all time, the MAC 217 is perfect for working product into the crease and blending out harsh edges for a smooth gradient. This brush comes on every trip.
- Tapered Blending brush – A newer addition my collection, the MAC 224 is a slightly bigger, fluffier version of the 217 and helps diffuse harsh edges over a larger area.
- Pencil brush – A must-have for any eye look, I use the Bdellium Tools 780 for work in the inner and outer corners as well as the lower lashline.
- Outer V brush – A small brush that I should love, but not quite feeling it these days. I didn’t use this brush from Makeup Geek at all on this trip.
- Small Shader brush – A stiff, small brush perfect for packing color onto the lid. Synthetic brushes like this 772 from Bdellium Tools are great for ColourPop shadows too.
- Small Crease brush – Another tiny brush, it’s good to have a back-up when working with multiple shades to reduce the risk of muddying up your look! I love this one from Makeup Geek.
- Soft Dome brush – One of my favorites from Makeup Geek, I actually ended up not using this at all either! I stuck to pretty neutral looks on this trip and I definitely favor my smaller, more precise brushes for the outer and inner corners of my eye.
I brought even fewer brushes and tools for my face, but a damp sponge is the workhorse in my collection, so that’s not very surprising. Entirely from RealTechniques, including the Miracle Complexion Sponge (not shown):
- Setting brush – The smallest brush of the bunch, this little guy is perfect for setting eye primer, concealer under the eyes, and contouring my jawline when I feel like doing it.
- Powder brush – The RealTechniques Contour brush is my go-to these days for setting my makeup, contouring, and just about anything else.
- Concealer brush – Self explanatory what this one is for, I use a RealTechniques Deluxe Crease brush because it’s simultaneously dense and fluffy which is perfect for blending out liquid concealer.
- Large Fluffy brush – The RT Blush brush is massive, and it took me ages to figure out how to use it appropriately. Now I love it for both blush and an all-over dusting of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder. Multi-tasking products are always a great choice for traveling!
- Duo-Fibre Powder brush – Normally one of my favorites for applying blush, I ended up not using this one either, guess I didn’t need as much as I expected!
As for Seattle itself, it was a fantastic trip overall, but highlights definitely include the Chihuly Garden & Glass and the Space Needle (we’re good tourists, clearly). Saturday night dinner at Cajun hot spot Toulouse Petit was also excellent.
Disclaimer: All thoughts are my own and all products mentioned were purchased by me. This trip was not sponsored in any way. Glossier link is a referral. Any Amazon links are affiliate.