On-The-Go Preening 101

(Left to right) Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, Real Techniques Contour Brush, MAC 217, Laura Mercier Cheek Contour Brush
Since late March, when lectures came to a close and a job was secured back in the home land, I have been living the life of gypsy Rose Lee - on and off trains and whizzing to all ends of the country. Amongst essay writing and visiting friends in the land of the unknown (the midlands), I have had my fair share of poor packing strategies when it comes to beauty. This process of trial and error saw bags bursting with every product to create every possible look, to being caught off guard with nothing but a lip balm and tangle teezer to salvage any glimpse of tidiness after a long day. That said, I like to think I have now mastered practical packing for all occasions.

Now, that's an intro that has you hooked, right? Yes, I have developed a pretty pressing penchant for practical packing (alliteration unintentional but too good to delete).

First and foremost let's talk about the all important vessel. Once the laptop, uni books (..who am I kidding?) magazine and purse are suitably tucked away, little room is left for tools for touch ups. This means the makeup bag itself must be as slim and subtle as possible. I found mine at Forever 21 for the pocket-change price of £3.90, it's easy to keep clean and the perfect, manageable size. Let's crack onto the packing those products (individual product reviews linked & indicated by underline).

My base generally involves a plethora of bottles, pots and brushes which means keeping it compact can be a challenge. Chanel Vitalumière Aqua is my foundation of choice at the moment, it's a light weight but easy to build, water based foundation. The finish is glowy and has a second-skin feeling, lasting well throughout the day. What's more? The packaging is a travellers best friend. Plastic and compact, this foundation will never be the culprit of an accidental spillage or leak and is small and slender enough to tuck into the corner of my makeup bag with ease. Whilst Vitalumière Aqua settles in my good books, for those bases less portably perfect, I decant a small quantity into a sample sized pot (available dirt-cheap at Boots) and sacrifice space for the Real Techniques Expert Face brush. The concealer that wormed it's way into my collection of essentials is the Radiant Creamy Concealer by NARS. Never one to crease under the eyes and simultaneously employed for banishing blemishes and redness elsewhere on the face, NARS have restored my faith in concealers as this product is long lasting, comes in a huge range of shades and has faultless coverage. To finish off my base I also equip myself with a travel pot full to the brim of ByTerry's loose Hyaluronic Hydra Powder. Made of micronized Hyaluronic Acid and silica beads, this powder locks moisture into the skin and creates a silk-like finish, smoothing over any expression lines and pores. Using a tiny amount on the same brush used to blend in my concealer (Real Technique's Contour Brush) I press the powder into areas I want to be shine-free and flawless.

Base covered, it's plain sailing from here. Tom Ford's Brow Sculptor steps up to define and shape my brows. The waxy consistency makes it easy to manipulate, following that jog of the hand whilst trying to trace a steady and natural arch on the jerking train ride and the attached spoolie makes for effortless blending and even distribution of product through my brows. Eyelashes curled with Shu Uemura's infamous curlers, a slick of ByTerry Growth Booster Mascara in 'Black Parti-Pris' and eyes are a done deal. However, if I'm feeling wild, a swipe of Maybelline's Colour Tattoo in 'On and On Bronze' blended out with a fluffy MAC 217 brush is all that is needed to create a bronze smoked out eye. Evening out on the cards? I'll slip a liquid liner in for good measure. I turn to Kevyn Aucoin's Sculpting Powder to chuck some faux cheek bones into the mix and double up on the Laura Mercier Cheek Contour brush to dab on a flush of cheap and cheerful 'Melba' by Natural Collection (sadly today she smashed into smithereens). Finishing up, either a dab of fail-safe MAC satin lipstick in 'Brave' does the trick for daytime or for a punchy bold lip I reach for MAC 'More to Love' lip pencil for a bright fuchsia pout.

Desert island essentials? Lip balm and eyelash curlers. Whilst I dub these my 'essentials', it is undeniably still quite the hoard. When all else fails me, curled eyelashes creating wide eyed peepers and moisturised lips will get me by just fine. What girl doesn't have at least five lip balms floating around in the bottom of their bag? 

Now that my second year at University is complete I am looking forward to putting a lot more energy solely into my blog. Any suggestions welcome and please do leave me a comment with any responses.

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