My Capsule Make-Up Bag

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A capsule make-up bag is (in theory) about having components to create any look you might fancy yourself to wear, streamlined to an effective but powerful kit. This translates to me as throwing your favourites into a bag and being good to go – however, after careful thought (and realising that a lot of my hero products are glass and very anti-travel) I ended up chosing each item individually on their own merits. A well-rounded collection makes life away from home a lot easier – you’re happy with what you’re putting on your face each day (because you actually thought about it) and you don’t end up resenting your most loved products just because they’re the heaviest. I hope you enjoy my choices!

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Base: The Kiehl’s Micro-Blur Skin Perfector (always a mouthful) works in two brilliant ways – first and foremost it is a pore-disguising balm that blurs imperfections, and it does that pretty damn well. This all makes it perfect for that final skincare/pre-make-up step, which is often where I finish if I need brunch more than I need golden eyelids and blushed cheeks (this is often). It also showcases it’s talents as a primer, and helps make-up stick around a little longer – pretty helpful if you’re out all day and don’t know when you’ll be able to touch-up (if you can be bothered at all). Then comes the light but buildable base, Jouer’s Matte Moisture Tint. I go on about this so much, and must have been using it for over a year now. The travel-friendly packaging, SPF 15 and optional coverage makes it an all-rounder for any occasions, and frankly I don’t think I could be without it. Finally a concealer that covers all sins and the one that I always tend to travel with because I find it the most versatile – I bang on about it more, here.

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Cheeks: I love powder products – they are the most long-lasting and reasonably travel friendly (I, touch wood, have never managed to crack a powder by dropping it). On my recent jaunt away I did try to slim down what I would usually take, and settled on a matte bronzer, translucent setting powder, bright blush and (my new staple) a highlighter. The Bobbi Brown Natural Bronzer in Golden Light gives very daytime-appropriate warmth to the skin, no glitter or tango-effect here. One Heck of a Blot by Soap & Glory is very much on its last legs, and it has served me very well. A no-fuss, no-cake powder, affordable and keeps make-up from sliding around, there’s nothing not to love and if you haven’t tried this yet, you must have been under a literal rock. Then my latest obsession went into the make-up bag, there was no way I could cope for even a day without this. An Hourglass blush had to make the cut too; here I took Diffused Heat, which I rave about, here. Over the last few months #highlightonfleek and strobing has swept the beauty world, late to party (as usual) I picked up the Mary Lou-Manizer last month, and am in the process of a completing a review of it, which is consisting of me repeating how much I feel like a glowy angel when I’m wearing it – a post obviously worth waiting for. 

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Eyes: Generally, I’m not big on heavy eye make-up day-to-day; often mascara and some slightly better eyebrows do me just fine. However, when away I like to have an option, you know, just in case the mood strikes! The Bourjois Colourband in Brun Dadaiste is a metallic bronze shadow/liner crayon, and doubles up as a shimmery liner, and an all-over-the-lid shade, blended for a subtle daytime look, and heavily applied for that night-out glamour. Mascara wise I have a few mini sample sizes lying around from last Christmas, and have been saving them for such occasions as this. The Clinique High Impact Mascara is thickening mascara that does a half decent job at giving my short, straight lashes the illusion of length and volume. Not being waterproof mascara also means removing it is an easier job – thumbs up from me. Onto eyebrows, and Soap & Glory must do the best affordable products out there. The first two Archery pencils are great, as is this third edition, with a waxier nib one side, and then a clear setting gel on the other – the gel is bog standard, but does the job on a windy day, and the wax does a great job at naturally defining my sometimes shapeless pair – the only struggle with the Archery line is the shades – sort this out please S&G.

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Lips: Finally we’ve got to the thing I care about most! If a bright matte lip looked good with imperfect skin and messy eyebrows, believe me I would chuck the rest (apart from the highlighter maybe…). The NARS Velvet Lip pencils are fantastic, and Dragon Girl is that hot pink-red shade that I’m pretty sure suits everyone under the sun, and is different enough from classic red to feel interesting. Ridiculously long-lasting and smudge proof, all whilst taking up minimal space – win-win (win?). ‘Tis the season for a berry lip, so on my recent trip I was compelled to take one of my first berry shades – Kate Moss for Rimmel lipstick in 107. The in-between red and purple shade is a classic take on berry lips to me, and for such a budget product this lasts a good few hours before touch-ups are needed. 

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Tools: Brushes are the thing that make any overnight make-up bag bulky, but with a little persuasion (me talking to myself), I settled first for the Beauty Blender – it does foundation, concealer and manages powder highlighter too, a no brainer, everyone should have tried this by now! A MAC 217 blending brush and RT duo-fibre face brush is the minimum I can get by with for everything else. Duo-fibre brushes are great for building pigment up – bronzer for example – but a light touch gives just a pop of product – perfect for the Hourglass blush. Finally, eyelash curlers, although (super) bulky, I could not go without them since as previously mentioned, my eyelashes basically suck with no cosmetic assistance. The Shu Uemura classic pair is worth the added bulk, always.

If you’ve gotten through that pretty in-depth description of my capsule make-up bag, then you deserve a nice big thank you (and maybe a hug). Perhaps in the future I will come up with a more innovative way to get through what is still quite a lot of products (whoops), but for now just tell me about your travel make-up bag – is it this big? What couldn’t you be without away from home?