Yes, well – I told my great Aussie mate that I had pared down the makeup for my trip to Stockholm. I leave tomorrow and not sure how often I’ll be able to post. But I’ll only be away for 12 days and apparently there is free Wifi in the hotel – so hopefully I can do posts showing you all the sights and sounds of Stockholm. I’ve never been to Scandinavia before so really looking forward to it. Only problem is that I’ll basically be locked up in a conference venue and probably will only have one or two days to get out and about.

Worse. The conference venue is outside of Stockholm and, from the hotel, apparently one has to walk for 7 minutes to the bus stop (no big deal); then catch a bus to some train station; then schlepp by train into Stockholm. So it’s not as though I’m smack bang in the middle of Stockholm and can just duck out for some quick retail therapy. And I’m not sure that there is a Sephora in Stockholm either.

Anyway. I decided to try and take minimal makeup. I repacked my makeup bag at least three times. I threw out this and that. But in the end, I couldn’t take just ONE bronzer. I can take just one blush but not one bronzer. And I think my makeup brushes almost outnumber the makeup.

Okay so what am I taking?


  • I decided to stick with what I’m most comfortable with and that’s my MAC eye shadows in Era, Orb, Naked Lunch and Bronze. I’ve been flirting recently with Urban Decay’s Naked2 palette – must do a review for you. It would be easy to take this palette with me but, in the end, I decided against it as there would be too many choices for colour combinations. Since I’m at a conference, I need to be up in the morning and out the door pretty quickly.
  • Eye shadow primer is my HG of primers – MAC Paint Pot in Painterly. It also works as a concealer in emergency situations.
  • For a bolder eye, I’m taking Dr. Hauschka Stone Colours Collection palette. I’ve mentioned this palette many times before. It’s super-versatile with lovely soft neutrals. Great for a daytime look or you can smoke it up for a night-time eye.
  • Mascara – I’m taking my current favourite, Revlon’s Grow Luscious mascara in Blackest Black. In case this dries up (hardly likely but you never know!) I’m taking L’Oreal Voluminous in Carbon Black. I picked this up at Sephora in Rome as I’d read so much about it on beauty blogs. I’m a bit iffy about it. I don’t see plumper lashes and I don’t think it’s as black as the Revlon mascara. I’ll use it up and that’s why I’m taking it to Stockholm; but wouldn’t buy it again.
  • Eyeliner – Almay Crayon Contour Automatic Eyeliner one in black and one in brown. I really like these Almay eyeliners. They’re creamy and have an automatic twist-up sharpener. They glide on well and stay put. Very slim line – so easy to take on my travels.
  • e.l.f. eyelash curler. I haven’t used the legendary one by Shu Uemura so can’t tell you if this is better. But for around NZ$7.00, it’s good enough for me.
  • Brows – I am taking a MAC eyeshadow. The name has long since worn off the back of the little pot. But I think it’s either Espresso or Embark. Can also double as a crease colour.


  • I’m taking two foundations with me – one is a mineral foundation and the other is Revlon ColorStay liquid foundation for combination/oily skin in 150 Buff. The mineral foundation is Bare Escentuals Bare Minerals Matte Foundation in Fairly Light. This is the matte version of the original Bare Minerals foundation powder and I prefer it because it’s great for oilier skins and feels like you’re not wearing a mask.
  • Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch. This is a makeup base and primer that’s supposed to melt in and conceal pores and lines. Mmmmmm…nope. I don’t think it covers a thing and it slides off my combination skin. So it’s coming along for the ride so I can use it up. Wouldn’t buy again.



  • Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzing powder in Milk Chocolate. I bought this at Sephora in Rome and it smells like yummy chocolate. Fantastic for paler skins like mine and imparts a subtle golden glow. If you’re dead scared of bronzers, this would be an ideal one to start and play with.
  • Blush is MAC and I’m not entirely sure what it is. Once again, the details have long worn off the back of the container. I think it’s MAC powder blush in Blushbaby. In fact, I’m pretty sure it is because I don’t have many MAC blushes and I do know Blushbaby was recommended for me by some pretty young thing behind the MAC counter in Sydney.


  • The brushes almost outnumber the makeup! A few of them I can’t tell you about because the brand name and brush number have rubbed off. But I am taking my new love – the EuPhidra bronzing brush I bought in Italy. It’s the brush at the bottom of the brush line-up in the photo below.
  • Above the EuPhidra brush (and with the plastic cover) is the e.l.f. Studio Stipple brush. This is an okay brush. I find it a little difficult when applying liquid foundation – it either takes up too much product or too little and it’s not dense enough to really do a good job stippling your foundation.
  • Above this brush there are various MAC brushes and one Stila brush. These are for applying eye shadow and blending.
  • Above this is the Sephora contour and bronzer brush #43. It has a flat top with dense bristles that pick up product very well. It seems to work best as a buffing brush because I do find it’s not the softest of brushes. So if I go overboard on the bronzing (very easy for me!), I use this to buff and blend. I haven’t used it to apply mineral foundation but I suspect it would be fantastic.
  • Then there is the e.l.f. Studio Complexion brush. I use this for everything – applying blush, bronzer, powder and even for buffing in the mineral foundation. It’s soft and washes well with no bristle fall out.
  • And finally I’m taking Bare Escentuals Full Flawless Face brush. It’s a soft brush but I’m not sure it lives up to being a full coverage brush. The good news is that this brush is formulated without parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances or dyes, or petrochemicals. I must say it doesn’t shed and, if you build up coverage, it does a fairly okay job. I might try the Sephora #43 brush to apply the mineral foundation powder and see how it compares.

So that’s it. Possibly I didn’t pare back all that much. But my makeup bag is only half full – plenty of room to fit in some Swedish cosmetics. πŸ™‚

Zsa Zsa isn’t too happy that I’m off again. She declined to help me pack the makeup bag!