Travel Make Up Essentials

Went traveling recently (hence the delayed posting!) and realised that I have finally figured out my make up bare essentials – i.e.: enough to prevent me from scaring the entire town, without costing me precious luggage space! For starters, my personal make up mantra is that make up is suppose to enhance whatever beauty you have. It is not meant to conceal and change your look. It is simply meant to enhance the beauty you already have. Thus, I have stopped following a one-size-fits-all make up routine and instead developed one especially for my skin type and features. Thus, my make up essentials are really based on where my ‘weaknesses’ and ‘strengths’ are.

What I really hope to capture in this blog is my face before make up and after. In the after, you will find that I chose to (1) selectively enhance certain areas – playing on my strengths i.e.: this is where I can be a little more lazy; and (2) selectively compensate for weak areas i.e.: slightly more effort needed here. So here goes.

1. Eyes

Assessment: Good. Thick eyebrows (thank you mum and dad!), big round eyes

Where my big round eyes are concerned, mascara and eye pencil comes in handy here. I focus on elongating my eyes. What this requires is a more extended and thickened outer eye. Thus, my eyeliner is focused on tight lining, with a little more emphasis on the outer corner. Note that I avoid using liquid eyeliners etc. when travelling just because it is less versatile: you can’t tight line with a liquid eyeliner and you can’t smudge or blend it. As you can see in the images below, my eyes look rounder on the left and a bit more elongated once I apply eyeliner. It is amazing how simple eyeliner can lift an entire look!

Adding Eyeliner:


I am happy to leave my eyes just like that, but on days when I have dinner plans or is feeling a little more dramatic – I turn to very simple eye palettes and mascara. I wouldn’t go into details of how I apply, but will just show you the outcome for now. How I made a simple eye look slightly more dramatic with a small eye palette. My favourite eye palette is from Kate. Good colour pay off, buildable and with a beautiful shimmer. As you can see, my eyes on the right image looks more deep set and dramatic with a simple eyeshadow.

Adding Eyeshadow:

I keep my eyebrow process simple. Eyebrows aren’t Cara Delevingne thick – but thick enough for me to rely on a only a brow tint. I love brow tints because it omits the need for a two step process i.e.: i do not need to pencil my brows in, then spooly it to make it look natural. With a brow tint it thickens my brows, and the spooly ensures it looks natural and all my hairs are ‘stiffen’ into place. To avoid looking theatrical, I settle for a shade lighter than my actual brow hairs.

Adding Eyebrow Tint:

The difference here is very subtle and that is exactly what I want to achieve. I have no aspirations to change my eyebrow shape. They aren’t perfect, but I actually like them that way – I am just here to build upon my ‘base’.

2. Skin

Assessment: Mediocre (trust me, I have seen worse days). Highly sensitive. Pigment scars from Acne.

For this reason, I stick to powder. I lightly brush powder (even press powder is applied with a brush where I am concerned!) all over my face. Some powder touch ups are needed throughout the day, no doubt. Rest assured, your face will not feel cakey even if you pile up on powder – provided you use a lightweight powder. Note how the redness in my face has toned down after I add powder.

Adding powder:

Undoubtedly, for those ‘time of the month’ or ‘sleep deprived’ days, a concealer comes in handy. So what I have achieved here is a nice even skin tone. Helps me to look more presentable and less like I have just woken up. The best part is, given how sensitive my skin is, this routine has worked well for me, without me risking a major breakout. I tend to apply powder, then concealer. Then finally, powder once again to set the concealer. The first layer of powder is where I determine if additional coverage is needed. It also ensures I do not go overboard with my concealer.

Adding Concealer:

Notice how my redness is further reduced and the darker pigments around my nose and eye area has reduced.

3. Cheeks and Lips

Assessment: Poor. Pale lip colour. Also lacking colour and definition on face.

It is not rocket science, I do not think you need a special product for this. I think any lipstick can play this dual role really. That said, I have really been loving the lip and cheek pencil by Nude. It is a soft nib, but not too soft that it melts. It blends really well and isn’t drying. Best part is – its size! It is a pencil!

Adding Lip and Cheek Colour:

Similar to the eye palette, if you are having dinner plans and want a slightly more dramatic look – opt for a darker lip shade. In fact, a dark lip is all I need to lift up an entire look. On normal days, I like to leave my lips with a natural looking colour, with a nice tint of red brown.

Adding Dark Lip Colour:


At the end of this, my make up collection is no more than a hand grip (see image below). It really doesn’t take much to look good. At most, adding those extra palettes and lipstick will just take a little more space. Also, as someone who is constantly on the run, this simple / minimalist make up enables me to look decent, without creating a dent in my sleep routine! (I love my sleep!)

It takes this:



To go from A to B:

Certainly no make up expert, just someone who likes to break the rules here and there. Life is about finding out what works for YOU after all. No two people are the same, so I do not believe in blindly copying someones’ make up look. Thus, not all of my suggestions will work for you. The point of this was to really demonstrate how I took a different approach to doing my make up based on my skin, eye, and lip type. Do let me know how you have adapted or customised your make up ritual to suit your current circumstances – be it genetic circumstances, or work circumstances etc.! Let me know in the comments below!





3 thoughts on “Travel Make Up Essentials

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