What I Packed: USA 2014

USA bag 1This was meant to be a “what I will be taking to the US” post, but I failed at getting it ready in time. It works out well enough though because now I can tell you guys what I regret taking with me and what I wish I had brought. Packing beauty items for travel has never been easy for me, unless I’m going to the beach (see my beach beauty post from a few months back). I always want to have options but I know I have to pack as light as possible because of weight and liquid limitations… plus I knew I was going to be buying new stuff there too, hehe!

After taking these photos I moved all of my makeup to a different makeup bag because (as you can see) my striped MUJI one was just too full. The black case to the right is the Real Techniques brush holder that comes with their sets. 

USA bag 2EVERYTHING! I had a difficult time paring down my picks, but this is what I came up with. Minimal liquids (no liquid foundation at all </3) and just enough variety on the eyeshadow front to get me through day-t0-day activities and one wedding. I had to keep it to one blush and one highlighter and no bronzer (big mistake), but I didn’t compromise when it came down to concealers and makeup brushes.

USA bag 3My biggest mistake was taking the VMVArmada Post-Procedure Barrier Cream 50+ with me instead of my usual VMV Armada Face Cover 45 sunscreen. I had just run out of the Face Cover 45 and when I went to VMV to buy a new one, they were out of stock. While both sunscreens are from the Armada line and aren’t too far apart when it comes to SPF, they couldn’t behave more differently. I’ll go into the differences in detail when I write about the Amada sunscreens very soon, but for now suffice it to say that the Face Cover 45 is lightweight and perfect under makeup, while the Post-Procedure Barrier Cream 50 is thick, gloopy, green, and greasy. The Barrier Cream has its own uses, but that does not include use as a makeup base. Lol. Lesson learned: stock up on old skincare reliables well before a trip!

Also in the picture above are my Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Concealer in SC-5 (review) and my fave summer blush + highlighter combo: theBalm’s Frat Boy blush and Cindy Lou-Manizer highlighter. The only foundation I brought was my Ellana Loose Mineral Powder Foundation (review), which I chose because it can go from light to heavy coverage depending on the brush you use. Mineral powders are incredible in humid weather, but my skin dried out so much in LA that I found it hard to figure out how much moisturizer to use to compensate. I do wish I had taken one tinted moisturizer with me at least. NYX Taupe blush also came along to do a bit of contour work for the wedding.

For my brows, I took a Canmake brow powder palette that has served me long and well plus the Pixi Brow Duo that I hauled from Glamourbox. Mascaras are two faves: Revlon Lash Potion and (ultimate fave) Max Factor Clump Defy. For eyeshadow, I took my Laura Mercier Artist’s Palette for Eyes (2013 ed.) palette because I can get anything from a basic all-matte look to a dramatic purple or bronze eye out of it. It’s not the most lightweight palette I’ve ever owned, but nothing beats having variety and excellent quality in one palette.  USA bag 4For some odd reason, I took an eye cream with me! The BRTC Bright Eye Vitalizer Cream is something I like to use when I’m feeling extra tired, but I kind of forgot that I had it so I wish I hadn’t taken it in the first place. My two other HG concealers can cover up and darkness easily, anyway. I can’t imagine being without the MUD Blue Corrector and the K Palette Zero Kuma (Type 1) concealer. Also from K Palette are the only two eyeliners I brought– the Real Lasting Eyepencils in both black and brown. The Put A Lid On It eyeshadow primer by theBalm and a mini Laura Mercier Radiance Primer were my primers of choice. I didn’t use the radiance primer everyday, but it doubles as a liquid highlighter so it was nice to have (plus it was a mini).

As for tools, I did my very best to keep it down to the bare minimum for the type of looks I do while still taking enough to allow for variety sans frequent brush cleaning. There’s a mix of Real Techniques, Laura Mercier, Sigma, Charm, and Landmark (unbranded) brushes in there. They’re all old-reliables. I wish I had taken a brozer brush and a bronzer with me because I often felt that the looks I was coming up with were too flat.

That’s pretty much it. I should mention that my lipsticks always go in my handbag with me. I took two going there and acquired some new ones while shopping. I wasn’t too happy with the way I packed for the trip, but not because of the products I took. All of them –with the exception of the sunblock–are tried and tested products. I think I was just unable to predict what kind of “makeup mood” I would be in. I’m spoilt for choices when I’m home, so feeling restricted sucked but it was my own fault.

My tips based on the experience? Take two bases to address your skin’s different moods, stock up on skincare that you can’t live without, and try to take multipurpose products and travel sizes if you have them. OH and take a mirror or have a product that has a large mirror as part of the packaging!

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4 responses to What I Packed: USA 2014

  1. You packed so well! I gotta learn to pack light esp when it comes to makeup LOL >.< I missed out on the Laura Mercier Artist's palette…It looks super gorge though xoxo HUGZ

  2. I’ve never thought of taking 2 sets of skincare for travel, ooverflow na toiletries ko! But I do see your point. And about the mirror thing: I have this really cool bag that has a huge face mirror framed in folding leather. It can fold up to stand and fold down flat, to be used as the base of the bag. My mom took it though!

    My best travel decision was getting a travel brush set. Never realized that brushes ate up a huge bulk of my makeup sack. Since my travel set is almost palm sized lang, I can pack a bit more actual makeup.

  3. I actually always use sample size skin care when I travel eg. clinique’s bonus travel kits. then as for toiletries, I learned how to minimize them. as for makeup brush, I always bring travel sized ones, and make sure that I bring a multitasking eyeshadow brush. ^_^
    Random Beauty by Hollie

  4. I’m excited to read your post on the Armada sunscreens! I remember the first time I discovered your blog, and it was actually because I was searching for reviews on VMV products haha! I came across your skin story post & I’ve been reading your blog ever since! <3 Thanks for the packing tips too! :)

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