Maybe this is a girl’s only post today. If, like me, you’re into makeup – you’re probably also interested in what’s in the makeup bags of other gals. I was in a state of indecision over what to bring with me for 2.5 months in Italy. I mean 2.5 months is a loooong time in makeup terms. I knew I’d buy a bit of makeup in Rome but I didn’t want to go overboard. So that meant I really needed to take the essentials with me.

But not so much that I’d end up with a heavy bag. I think my great mate who stayed 5 days with me will tell you that the “essentials” were a little bit more than I intended. I mean, I have five blushers that I love and use often. How to choose just ONE? Or two? As I was packing for the return journey to New Zealand, I thought I’d take a (dodgy iPhone) photo of the makeup I brought with me. This doesn’t include lip glosses, which I’ll cover in another post. And a further post will show you the makeup I bought here in Rome (not much, I promise).

So what’s in my makeup bag?

Okay so starting from the bottom left. This is the Maybelline Stylish Smokes Eyeshadow Quad in Natural Smokes and what a great eyeshadow palette this is. I’ve kind of missed out on the whole Maybelline thing. I’ve never really looked into the brand but since being more frugal, and as items have run out, I’ve replaced them with Maybelline if possible.

The four shades are labelled lid, crease, brow bone and liner (or you could use the liner for the outer eye area). The brow bone is the largest of the four shadows and frankly, I use this as the base colour. It gives great coverage and a natural colour on the lid. I also use it to highlight the brow area. I bought this palette in New Zealand and will certainly rebuy.

Above this you’ll see another Maybelline product: Dream Matte powder in Light. This is a very fine powder that I actually use like a mineral foundation powder. I think it’s more for giving you that matte perfection look by setting your foundation but heck, it’s a multi-tasking product if you ask me. It has a swing out mirror that can be slightly annoying because it swings out when it wants to.

To the right of the Dream Matte powder, you have my three “cannot live without” MAC eyeshadows: Naked Lunch, Orb and Bronze. I use Naked Lunch as the base shadow and then dust a bit of Orb over this. Then I use Bronze in the crease and on the outer corner of the eye. Love these three colours – you get a very neutral eye, which is great for the day. I often line the upper eye with a MAC eye kohl pencil in Teddy. I think this little number is overlooked in the MAC arsenal. It’s a gorgeous dark shimmery bronze. I often smudge the line with a MAC brush (third brush from the left in the photo) and then line the lower eye area with whatever is on the brush. Teddy is on the far right in the photo and to the left of the little kabuki brush.

Above the Dream Matte powder is Elizabeth Arden’s Dual Perfection Brow Shaper and Eyeliner in Soft Blonde. I just use this to fill in the brows; never used it as a liner. Then we have Rimmel’s Natural Bronzer in Sun Light. This is the perfect bronzer for pale faces like me (MAC NC15) and has a hint of shimmer, just a hint. There’s no fake orange look to this bronzer and it’s cheap. I bought it in Australia ages ago and I think I paid some ridiculous price like AU$5.00 on sale. I don’t use it all that much because I’m happier with The Body Shop baked bronzer (see below).

To the right of the MAC eyeshadow pots, you’ll see two of my favourite products: Za’s Shimmer Glimmer and Thin Lizzy concealer creme in Miss Von Dita. The shimmer glimmer is a not-too-shimmery pale gold liquid that you can use to highlight the cheeks, under the brow, bridge of nose – anywhere. It’s just such a great multi-tasking product and this is my third Shimmer Glimmer bottle. Thin Lizzy is a New Zealand brand and the concealer creme costs NZ$29.95 and lasts a heck of a long time. It’s not thick, glides on very easily and stays put. Most NZ women know of Thin Lizzy because of the 6 in 1 Professional Powder. Honestly, I’ve been through three of these powder compacts now (in Light) – it’s a fantastic product. You can use the powder as an eyeshadow, bronzer, contouring powder and even dust some on your lips and chuck a clear gloss on top. Mmmm…just realised it’s not in the photo but I promise that I did bring it with me. I’ve been using it as a body bronzer on the legs so I don’t cause the Italians to put on sunglasses due to the glare of my pasty white legs. I do think the ads showing you how to use the 6 in 1 all over yourself are a bit much. Just go easy with this product so you don’t end up looking like some Oompa Loompa.

Okay. So above Za you’ll see a pot – that’s my miracle product. MAC Paint Pot in Painterly. I use this as an eyeshadow base and believe me when I say your eye shadow will cling to it all day. I often sometimes use Painterly as a concealer because it’s a beautiful soft flesh colour. To the right of Painterly, you’ll see another small MAC pot – that is the NC15 cream concealer. It’s creamy without being heavy or gluggy. A nice stand-by concealer that won’t fail.

The larger pot below this is Pur Minerals 4 in 1 Pressed Mineral foundation in Porcelain. This is a fabulous mineral powder that I’ve used for centuries. I haven’t found better although I do think Jane Iredale’s Amazing Base is equally as good (I use the colour Warm Silk).

Below this, you’ll see Thin Lizzy’s cream concealer, which is my all-time fav. I use the MAC concealer more for the under eye area. Then you’ll see Maybelline Lash Stiletto mascara in black (red tube) and next to it a small Lorac mascara I received as a sample. Not overly impressed with Lorac as it seems to clump. In contrast, that is my second tube of Maybelline’s mascara.

Next to the Lorac mascara, there is my assortment of brushes, including a fabulous YSL blush brush that is just the softest thing imaginable. The brush on the far right is Bare Mineral’s kabuki brush – a great brush for swirling on the mineral foundation. My very first mineral foundation was Bare Minerals. I still use the brushes and buy the powder when I see the kit available.

Above the little kabuki brush, there is MAC Mineralize blush in Warm Soul – this is one of my favourite blushes along with the one to its left. This is The Body Shop’s baked powder bronzer in Warm Glow (02). This is an amazing bronzer for pale faces like me. Beware though: don’t go overboard because it has a bit of shimmer to it. It’s flecked with ivory, gold and pink swirls. Get a large brush (you can see mine next to the YSL blush brush) and swirl it on lightly. I do sometimes use the YSL brush but I find the larger brush gives you a more natural look. At the very bottom of the photo, you can see the pencil sharper to keep Teddy nice and sharp.

What do you think? Too much for 2.5 months? I’m actually going to pare down for my two weeks in Malaysia and Thailand. The angst will be over which blusher/bronzer to take. I’m going to try and take just one. Yeah right. I’ll let you know.

And here's me wearing the lot. Well, in this photo I'm using The Body Shop's baked bronzer in Warm Glow. Lipgloss is Revlon Superlustrous 180 Pink Pop (I think this is Limited Edition and I'm going to be upset if it is!).

And here's my makeup bag. I bought it at David Jones in Sydney years ago. It's looking a little worse for wear now - it's basically been around the world.