I think I pared down. Unlike my trip to Malaysia and Thailand or my last trip to Rome, I think I’ve taken less makeup. Then again, maybe not. I’ll let you decide. And I’ve been keeping out of Sephora. Well, I’ve gone in twice and eyed off some stuff I want to buy. But I’ve resisted so far. I haven’t even bought the Naked 2 palette yet (but I will).

So what have I taken with me in the way of makeup for my 2 months here in Rome? Once again, my beloved bird-decorated makeup bag has come with me. And I have only taken one eyeshadow palette and my favourite MAC eyeshadows. I’ve taken one bronzer and two blushes plus two mascaras. Quite restrained really!

Here’s the list:


  • Dr. Hauschka Stone Colours Collection palette. I really love this collection of neutral earthy tones. Frankly, I could have just taken this palette alone because it’s so very versatile. You can do a soft day-time look or use the darker colours for a smokey eye. The dark colour on the far right can be used as a liner, wet or dry. The shadows are soft and have great pigmentation. No messy fall out and the colour stays put all day, especially if you use an eyeshadow primer. HIGHLY recommend this palette.
  • MAC shadows in Orb, Naked Lunch, Era and Bronze. These are my very fav MAC shadows, particularly bronze. I can’t tell you how many pots of Bronze and Orb I’ve been through over the years. Orb is such a lovely soft pink and I like to wash a bit of Naked Lunch over it. I use Era as a crease colour or often as a base. Then I put Bronze on the outer corner of the eye and under the eye. I was going to take Bare Minerals Bare Skin (you can see the pot in the photo) but chucked it out at the last minute. I use MAC’s Painterly Paint pot as an eyeshadow primer. You can’t do any better.
  • I took two mascaras with me (in case one dried out!). Innoxa Lash Define mascara in black. This is my second tube. It’s a really lovely mascara. Doesn’t clump and separates out the lashes. I also brought along Revlon’s Grow Luscious mascara in Blackest Black. This was given to me when I bought the (hideously expensive in NZ but absolutely fantastic) Revlon Lip Butters. I’ve never used it before and wouldn’t normally take with me an untested product. But….so glad I did. What a great mascara this is. I LUV the funky green metallic tube and the mascara is an absolute joy to use. It does have a huge brush but that seems to work for me and the lashes are more voluminous. Will certainly repurchase.
  • Almay Crayon Contour Automatic Eyeliner in black. I actually haven’t used this that much since I’ve been here. I tend to use the Dr Hauschka dark colour as an eyeliner. But I like this eyeliner. You don’t have to use a sharpener because it has an automatic twist-up. The colour glides on smoothly and I haven’t experienced any smudging using this eye pencil. It’s a very handy item to travel with too. Only thing is, when I line the lower eye, the colour disappears after a few hours but I think that’s due to my combination skin.
  • Moisture Mist Circle Litener in pale. This is a creamy under-eye concealer that lightens and brightens. The tube seems to last for ages.
  • Too Faced Absolutely Invisible Candlelight powder.  I tend to use this as a highlighter on the brow bone, top of cheeks, bridge of nose, Cupid’s bow. I bought it at Sephora in Rome and LOVE it. I actually should use it on the face as it’s said to give you some sort of ethereal glow but I find it’s the perfect highlighter.


  • Revlon’s ColorStay Foundation 150 Buff (Combination/Oily). My fav foundation up to now has been Revlon’s PhotoReady in 002 Vanilla but I ran out and decided to give the ColorStay range a go. Glad I did. Applied with a stippling brush (I use one by Artiste), it gives great coverage. I do find you have to work fast though as the foundation can dry quickly and I don’t like the open bottle design. It means you have to be very careful pouring out the foundation onto the back of your hand. The PhotoReady foundation has a handy pump. Having said this, it’s a very buildable foundation and doesn’t go blotchy after hours of wear. I know that bloggers complain that the PhotoReady foundation has some sort of glitter in it but I’ve never noted that. I think I still prefer the PhotoReady formula because it seems to impart radiance but would certainly buy another bottle of ColorStay.
  • Innoxa Pure Mineral Loose Foundation – I ran out of Jane Iredale’s Amazing Base (in Warm Silk) so decided to give Innoxa a go. Innoxa seems to be quite popular in New Zealand and a couple of people I know use this mineral powder. I bought it in Fair and use it on days when I don’t feel like wearing much makeup. First thing I’m going to say is I don’t like the container. I don’t use the brush that comes with the product as I prefer using a kabuki brush. But the lid doesn’t allow you to do the whole tap and swirl thing. That’s annoying. The second thing is that coverage at first seems too light. But I’m used to it now and you can certainly build up coverage. It feels silky and lightweight and lasts well on my combination skin. The sifting holes are too large and you have to be careful the powder doesn’t fly everywhere. So I’m not giving this product good points for design. I’m 50/50 on whether I’d buy this again although I must admit I’m not disappointed with it.
  • Concealer is Thin Lizzy concealer creme in Miss Von Dita. I think this is my fifth tube. LOVE it. It’s a beeswax formulation and coverage is great. I apply it with a small brush to any areas prone to redness. Back up concealer is my other old stand-by: MAC’s Studio Finish concealer in NC15. Light and creamy. Couldn’t live without either.
  • Moisture Mist Green Veil. This has become my go-to product for neutralising redness. It comes in a sturdy stick formula that you apply before foundation. It’s creamy rather than a thin liquid such as Smashbox Photo Finish Color Correcting Primer, which I bought at Sephora and didn’t use much as I thought I would because it does zippo, nada, nothing.
  • Primers – I brought along two. Too Faced Primed & Poreless Skin Smoothing Face Primer and Moisture Mist Matifying Pore Concealer. Both create a really good canvas and certainly minimize nasty pores. Of the two, I prefer Moisture Mist because it’s more gel-like than Too Faced, which is thicker.
  • Powder – no argument on this one, it’s Maybelline’s Dream Matte pressed powder in Light. The thing I don’t like about this product is the design. It has a swing out mirror that can be slightly annoying because it swings out when it wants to. The powder though is very finely milled and I sometimes use it as a foundation powder. Multi-tasking!


  • I also packed a current fav – Palladio Paris Pink – a beautiful soft, semi-matte pinky peachy colour that seems to stay put through numerous cups of coffee.
  • For gloss, e.l.f. Studio Glossy Gloss in Ballet Slippers came with me, as well as Deborah Milano Euphoric Shine lip gloss (07). This last one I bought in Rome last year and I’m panicking because I can’t seem to find the range in Beauty Point (the Italian version of Sephora).


  • Miracle I know but I only packed one bronzer. What a decision this was when you consider my favourites. In the end, I settled for e.l.f. Studio Contouring Blush & Bronzer Duo, which is said to be a dupe for Nars’ Orgasm/Laguna duo. The blush is a soft peachy coral with a touch of shimmer and the bronzer is a soft caramel. There is great colour pay-off and the compact is sturdy and sleek. Will rebuy and rebuy!
  • For a touch of colour, there’s MAC’s Mineralise blush in Warm Soul. I think this is my most favoured of blushes really. I didn’t pick it out – a MAC sales lady said it would be perfect for my skintone and hair colour. I don’t think she was wrong. It’s a gorgeous rose gold shade with a rusty red veins – odd description I’m sure. There’s just a touch of shimmer in the gold. I also packed Pixi Duo Cheek Creme No.2 Natural Peach. I use either shade with the bronzer from the e.l.f. duo. Very velvety and also a great lip colour. And then there’s the coral colour from the e.l.f blush and bronzer duo.


  • I’m not good at knowing my brushes. I know that there’s a MAC 217 blending brush and an Artiste concealer brush. I also bought two e.l.f. Studio brushes – they are the two in the photo with the plastic protectors. Both are fabulous. The one on the far right is the complexion brush. It’s a multi-tasker as I use it for applying bronzer. Normally, I prefer a larger brush for bronzers but I wasn’t prepared to lug too many brushes. The other one is their foundation stippling brush and it does an excellent job. I’ve noted a few bristles dropping out of this brush but that seems to be settling down.