Apr 4, 2016

My Makeup Bag Essentials: How To Pack for 10 Days Away

Makeup bag on the left and skincare/hair product bag on the right

Ever since I backpacked around Southeast Asia for 3 months, I've become such a great packer.  Before backpacking, I was TERRIBLE.  I would literally pack my entire wardrobe and all my makeup in the biggest suitcase I could find even if we were only traveling for 3 days.  Seriously, I'm not kidding.

Since I had to carry everything on my back for 3 months, I realized how little you truly need to still look good and feel like yourself.  Plus, the benefit of going to Toronto and not Southeast Asia is I can still buy all my needed toiletries if I've forgotten anything, LOL.

The cosmetic bag I chose to use is not the nice new Sephora one I posted about last week but a matching set I bought at Winners.  I chose these two bags because I they match (obviously) and they are small enough to fit in my carry-on suitcase.

Best part of this little bag is it came with the travel makeup brushes.  Yes, I am bringing a few of my own but to include 5 brushes (and fairly decent ones at that) is a pretty good bargain.

At the bottom of the makeup bag are my face items.  They include (from left to right) my ecotools powder brush, Almay Smart Share Anti-Aging Skintone Matching Makeup in Light, NYX Color Correcting Concealer Palette, BH Cosmetics Studio Pro Perfecting Concealer palette, my Bon Voyage Dual-Sided Mirror and Maybelline Fit Me Powder in Classic Ivory.

The next group of items are my blushes and highlighters.  They include (from left to right): Model Co Highlighting Trio in Champagne, Peach Bellini & Bronze, Benefit Ooh La Lift, Pixi by Petra Beauty Blush Duo in Rose Gold, Sweet Lei Lani Color Tides Mineral Blushers in Star Fish and ELF All Over Color Stick in Persimmon.

I found packing the eye shadows to be the hardest part.  Especially because I didn't have room to bring my Chocolate Bar palette or anything.  I settled on the following items (from left to right) Coastal Scents Glamour Eyes Eye Shadow Sampler, Benefit Air Patrol Lid Primer, LOC One and Done Shadow Stick in Day Trip ,NYX 3 Color Shadow Palette (created for IPSY), City Color Eyeshadow Trio in Falling Leaves, Cynthia Rowley Eyeliner, Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara and Tarte Opening Act Lash Primer.

For my lips, I packed (from left to right) Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Natural in N50, Tarte LipSurgence Lip Tint in Classy, Mirabella Love Velvet Lip Pencil, Jersey Shore Spa Pumpkin Spice Moisture Rich Hydrating Balm, tre'Stique Mini Matte Lip Crayon in Nantucket Nude and Bare Minerals Marvelous Moxie in Maverick.

Also in the bag are the following items (from left to right) Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Lip Pencil, Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade in Soft Brown, a spoolie brush I made, a sample of Atelier Cologne Rose Anonyme, a L'Occitane nail file, a Forever 21 Brush and Comb set, Davines OI All-In-One Hair Milk and a sample of Clean Reserve in Blonde Rose.

The last item in my makeup bag is a clear little pouch filled with my headbands, bobby pins, hair elastics and clips.  I don't wear my hair up a lot but it's always nice to have these items just in case.

My skincare/hair product bag is a lot smaller and therefore I had to be very choosy about what was coming with me.

First, I always bring a selection of sample moisturizers.  Mainly because mine are too big to pack and also because it's a great way to find new brands that might actually work well.  I also packed a coconut face mask for a relaxed night in at the in-laws.

Besides the sample packs of moisturizers, I am only bringing this group of skin care items.  They are (from left to right) Clarins Bi-Serum Intensif Anti-Soif, pur-lisse Pur-Delicate Gentle Soymilk Cleanser, Acure Brightening Facial Scrub, Mitchell and Peach Fine Radiance Face Oil (x 2), Elizabeth Arden Prevage Hydrating Fluid, Pixi Skintreats Glow Tonic Exfoliating Toner, 100% Pure Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream and Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Overnight Firming Mask.

Hair products!  From left to right, I packed Moroccan Oil Treatment, Co Lab Dry Shampoo, SG Play It Big Firmer Hair Spray, L'Occitane Cleansing and Softening Shower Oil with Almond Oil, Sebastian Professional Color Ignite Multi Shampoo, L'Oreal Excellence Conditioner, L'Occitane Verbana Body Lotion and Bumble and Bumble Surf Infusion Salt Spray.

And of course, no toiletry case is complete without a toothbrush, deodorant, toothpaste and dental floss.

There you have it ladies!  I will say that all my sample/trial sizes from Sephora, Ulta, Birchbox, Luxebox, Ipsy and LipMonthly really helped.  Everything I packed (except the toothbrush, toothpaste deodorant, powder, concealer and foundation) were from these monthly subscriptions.


Apr 1, 2016

DIY Beauty Fridays: Uses for Q-Tips You'll Wish You Thought of Yourself

I am currently in travel mode, again.  We are going to be flying to Toronto next Thursday to introduce the Little Man to some of Allan's family.

Hence why I've been posting about travel makeup bags, etc.  I love packing for travel, especially my makeup, BUT I always find that I run out of room before everything I need is packed.  Yes, I know they make those little clear makeup containers for a reason but truly, they are so small, finicky and the leak.

That's why I am always on the hunt for new ways to pack my products using the smallest amount of space possible.  The answer: Q-tips!

Awesome Uses for Q-Tips

1.  Q-Tip Perfume Swabs
Seriously, packing a huge bottle of fragrance is completely impractical.  Spray your favorite scent on some Q-tips and touch up when you're out and about.

2.  Pop pimples with Q-Tips
We all love to squeeze pimples though we do this knowing they can scar.  After a hot shower, when you're skin is still warm, take two Q-tips and press on either side of the pimple and push lightly together.  The pimple will pop, you can easily clean up the mess AND no scarring.  Win-win

3.  Remove puffy eyes with Q-Tips
Place some eye cream in the ends of Q-tips, place in a ziploc bag and freeze them overnight.  In the AM, use the coated Q-tips underneath your eyes to remove bags and look awake!

4. Coated Q-Tip Eye Shadow Sticks 
Coat either end of a Q-tip with your favorite eye shadows, store in a ziploc bag and use when traveling.  Saves the hassle of packing a huge palette!

I know I will be saving a lot of room using these tips.  Anything you think I've missed?


Mar 31, 2016

The Travel Beauty Organizer: Sephora vs. Forever 21

Sephora on the left and Forever 21 on the right....which is better for the money??

I've been on the hunt for the PERFECT travel beauty organizer that won't break the bank for a number of months now.  You'd think something so complete and useful would be easy to come by, but alas, they're not, at all.

A few years ago they were all the rage and had I thought about needing one back then, I would probably own the Bobbi Brown Organizer of my dreams but I didn't and I'm now trying to find the one that comes closest to the Bobbi Brown one which is no longer available.

I picked up both of these cases last week without knowing the Forever 21 case would be an almost exact dupe for the Sephora case.  The top one is the Sephora bag and it is a lovely quilted faux-leather material with a nice thick silver zipper.  The Forever 21 is the bottom bag and it's more a windbreaker material, also with a silver zipper.

Sephora on the left and Forever 21 on the right.  The Sephora bag has a tuck-in hanger in case you want to hang it on a door when traveling.  I also like the "Sephora" logo on the inside zipper.  The Forever 21 case, though missing these details, is very similar to the Sephora bag.  The zippers are not as durable but all in all, not too bad.

One thing that is SUPER cute on the Sephora bag is that each compartment is labelled.  This is the makeup pouch.

The Jewelry pouch which is located on the back of the brush holder.

Lastly, the pouch for your toiletries.  So cute that everything has it's on place.

Though the Forever 21 bag is not labelled with where your products can go, it still has the same amount of pockets for your travel items.  It's probably one of the best dupes I've seen in a long time.

Alright ladies, the most important part....price.  The Sephora Collection Weekender Organizer rings in at $48 CAD.  Not too bad in price but hefty compared to the Sonia Kashuk Organizers I've seen at Target.  The Forever 21 Organizer is priced at $19 CAD.  A huge price difference and a great dupe if I do say so myself.  The quality is not as good as the Sephora bag BUT with that price, you can buy a couple and keep the extra one ready to go if one breaks.

What are your thoughts on the bags?  What's your go-to travel cosmetic organizer?


Mar 30, 2016

A Glimpse At My Vanity Table and Makeup

Confession time!  I am obsessed with seeing other people's vanity tables and makeup storage.  I don't know why but I actively google it.  Sometimes it's to get ideas and other times it's to drool/lust over items I will never be able to afford.

I have to say, though, I'm quite proud of my vanity area.  I've been asked a lot lately by some of my readers to post about my vanity area and I am so excited to share these pics with you.

Allan fixed the two crystal knobs to the drawer for me and also hung a power cord to the bottom of the table SO all my cords are out of the way and no one can see them.

No vanity area is complete without a gorgeous piece of art work and I am loving the colors in this piece.

My daily-use bushes are in the cup and of course, my gold telephone piggy bank houses all my rainy day spend-on-makeup coins.  The white jar holds all my q-tips and cotton pads while the green jar holds elastics and bobby pins.

My Ganesh candle holder sits directly in the center of the vanity table and my little oil burner sits beside it.  Doing your makeup when the air smells pretty is the best thing.

Above the vanity table are my wordy inspiration pictures.  The one in white is my all-time favorite: "If you want to know where your heart is, look where your mind goes when it wanders".  Love it.  Below the pictures is a basket of my hair goodies.

Inside one of the drawers are some palettes, hence why I call this Palette Drawer 1.

This is the blush/bronzer/highlighter/contour drawer.  I know it looks disorganized BUT I know where absolutely everything is.

Palette drawer 2.  Ha

The eye drawer contains all my mascara/liners/shadows/liquid liners.

Last but not least, the lip drawer.  All my favorite flavors of LipSmackers are sitting on the top as I have dozens of these glosses everywhere.  You can definitely see I like the pink lipsticks....ha

As you saw from the pic above, I have a jar of brushes I use most of the time.  However, when I am actually wanting to do my makeup perfectly, I use my better sets.  This is my Morphe Brush set.  I love the duo colors.

This is my newest set of brushes and I actually just received them last week so haven't even used more than a couple of them.  However, look how many brushes there are AND I am in love with the colors used.  They are so classic looking.

THANK YOU for asking me to share this with you.  Was it what you thought the space would look like?  I'd love to see some of your makeup spaces as well.


Mar 29, 2016

Pinterest Find of the Day: MAC Lipstick Dupes

 For some reason, I've never become the MAC lover the majority of my friends are.  I try to love their products but for some reason, they just fail to wow me.  (Of course, NOT ALL FAIL TO WOW ME but most do.)

Plus, the price of their products can definitely add up when shopping for many items at one time.

One item I do find very difficult to spend a lot of money on are lipsticks.  There are my few favorites, don't get me wrong (Bobbi Brown and Chanel, to mention a couple) but since I'm a lipstick junkie, I sometimes find it best to buy cheaper lipsticks.  Yes, the quality isn't always the best and they sometimes won't last as long as better quality brands but you have the option to try many more colors without breaking the bank.

Here's a fantastic Pinterest list of popular MAC lipstick colors and their dupes, which you can find in your neighborhood drugstore.

What's your favorite MAC lipstick?  What's your favorite drugstore brand?
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