Packing makeup for a month away isn’t an exercise in minimalism unless you choose to make it one, which (surprise) I didn’t. But I did have to limit myself somewhat in what I brought to the UK, so perhaps my not-quite-capsule collection will be of interest to others. I’m proud to report that my entire suitcase weighed in at 39 lbs, well under United Airlines’ 50-lb limit! Given that my suitcase was routinely overweight when I traveled back and forth to Oxford in my junior year of college, that’s quite an achievement. I guess I’m no longer terrified of being temporarily separated from my books. If there’s one thing that will make you less precious about books, it’s a doctoral program in literature. Seriously.
Anyway, let’s rummage through the contents of my giant makeup pouch (giant head included for scale). Excuse the tea-towel backdrops and overcast British lighting throughout.
L-R: Heritage Store Rosewater & Glycerin in mini CVS spray bottle (complete with Glossier stickers!), CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion, mini Lush 9 to 5 cleanser, Bioré UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence. I also brought Skinfood’s Super Nut sheet mask to use after my seven-hour flight. Yes, I bought Super Nut mainly for the name.
Clockwise from top left: NYX eyeliner in Golden Bronze, Urban Decay Naked2 Basics palette, Topshop Chameleon Glow in Wax + Wane, NARS Lhasa, Urban Decay Demolition eyeliner, NARS Habanera duo, Revlon Volume + Length Magnified mascara, NYX HD primer, theBalm custom eyeshadow palette.
Clockwise from top left: NARS Mata Hari, Sleek Life’s a Peach, ColourPop Lunch Money, Illamasqua Zygomatic, ColourPop Rain.
Clockwise from top: NARS Dolce Vita, Glossier Cake, Urban Decay Streak, Maybelline Vibrant Mandarin, NARS Mysterious Red, Bite Radish (mini), NARS Angela, MAC Eugenie, Glossier Jam, MAC Up the Amp (almost gone!), Bite Lavender Jam, NYX Amethyst, NYX Stone Fox, Milani Matte Naked, NYX Tiramisu, ColourPop Trap, Revlon Sultry.
Note to self (and others): never twist up your Glossier Generation Gs to see how much you have left. I did this with Jam and the bullet snapped off and fell out of the tube! This has never happened to me with any other lipstick. The Generation Gs are so delicate because they’re so thin, and they’re so thin because they’re so damn tiny. If they were the width of an average lipstick, they’d be about as long as my tube of Urban Decay Streak above. Could Glossier truly not afford to make their $18 lipstick a tiny bit larger? I’ve read ITG comments about other people’s Generation Gs breaking, which assures me that I’m not uniquely clumsy and this really is a design flaw. Maybe Glossier should put a little more money into product design and a little less into moodboard photoshoots.
Clockwise from top: two Target kabuki brushes, leftover spoolie from Milani clear brow gel, Sephora lip brush, Sephora eyeshadow blending brush, e.l.f. small angled eyeshadow brush, NARS pencil sharpener.
L-R, top-bottom: Butter London Bossy Boots, Floss Gloss Dinge, Essie Lounge Lover, Essie Altitude Attitude, Revlon Quick Dry Top Coat, Illamasqua Melange, Zoya Kristen, Revlon Multi Care Base + Top Coat.
L-R: Fresh rollerball in Citron de Vigne, NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla, CoverGirl concealer in Ivory, Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula lip balm, Glossier Boy Brow in Brown, Vaseline Lip Therapy in Rosy Lips.
Not shown: DevaCurl B’Leave-In gel, Lush shampoo bar in Jason and the Argan Oil, Lush solid conditioner in Big.
Ten days into my trip, I’m proud to report that I’ve used almost everything pictured above. In fact, it’s easier to list what I haven’t used: NYX Golden Bronze, Topshop Wax + Wane, NARS Habanera, NARS Mata Hari, NARS Angela, NYX Stone Fox, Revlon Sultry, Maybelline Vibrant Mandarin, ColourPop Trap. Yes, that means I’ve worn twelve different lipsticks in ten days. In fact, when I started writing this post three days ago, I had already worn twelve lipsticks! For the last few months, I’ve often found myself using at least two lipsticks per day, starting with something sheer like one of my Glossier Generation Gs and graduating to a bolder color for afternoon or evening. I say this as if I have a lifestyle that involves multiple dramatically different environments per day, which I absolutely do not, but…I don’t know, I’m fickle and moody, and switching my lipstick helps me transition from one mood to another. Incidentally, the lipstick I’ve worn most often in the UK is none other than Bite Lavender Jam! I’m so glad I didn’t return it to Sephora. I still haven’t brought myself to wear NYX Stone Fox in public, but I swear I will before I leave. Maybe in London next week, though my boyfriend’s family will be visiting and his female relations don’t wear makeup at all…
I haven’t done much makeup experimentation since arriving here, I’m sorry to say. I tend to wear less makeup overall while traveling (even if I’m staying in one place for a few weeks), and the lingering effects of depression have taken their toll on my creativity. I did step outside my comfort zone last night, though, with a smoky eye and nude lip, and I really liked it! More on that in another post. If I could change anything about my makeup selection for this trip, I’d probably switch out a couple of the nude/MLBB lipstick shades for a brown (something like Revlon Lacquer Balm in Coy) and a vampy purple. I’m usually all about the pinks and corals by late spring, but this year I’ve been clinging stubbornly to my gloomy winter shades, and I wish I’d brought one or two more. I’m happy with my selection of blushes and eye products, though. And I’m absurdly proud of myself for unconsciously choosing lipsticks with 16 different packaging schemes: the only two with identical packaging are the Glossiers. Makes it so much easier to find the lipstick I’m looking for in my cavernous pouch.
I was planning to end this post with a series of makeup swatches I’ve made in the past ten days, but I think I’ll save that for my next post. Frankly, I’m hungover and not at my most eloquent. So let me end instead with one of the most bizarrely punctuated signs I’ve ever seen: