I don’t think I’ve done a what’s in the makeup bag since my working trip to Bhutan in December, 2013. That’s a bit slack of me isn’t it! Quite a few things have changed since then in terms of favoured products.

I was up in the North Island last week because it was my birthday on May 8 – so let’s have a look at what I took along with me.

Makeup bag. Looks pretty Aussie doesn’t it? I bought it in Australia in 2010, just before moving to NZ. I selected it because of the colour – the orange reminds me of the Outback and the Aboriginal design will always remind me of my home country. It’s well-used and loved.

Bronzer. Easy. NARS Laguna. HG status for me. It’s the same palette I took with me to Bhutan and I’ve hit pan now. Even though it’s a bit expensive (NZ$58.00), it’s lasted for close to 18 months so far.

Blush. I took along two. My current fav blush is Clinique Cheek Pop in Ginger Pop. A sheer, buildable warm reddish coral. There’s a whole host of colours in the Cheek Pop range and I also have Peach Pop. You get a very natural looking flush of colour with these blushes. How cute is the embossed gerber daisy?

The other blush I took along is Makeup Geek’s Spellbound. LOVE anything from MUG and I have a number of eyeshadows from the brand. Spellbound is gorgeous: a soft pink salmon with a satin finish. Apparently, it’s a dupe for Cargo’s Tonga blush.

CC Cream. Rachel K Cosmetics CC Cream in Neutral. I used up the Original CC cream in the black and gold tube and then bought the pink tube in Hong Kong. Doesn’t seem to be available on the Rachel K site, so I’m wondering if it’s been discontinued. The Neutral formulation evens out the skin tone very well and prepares the skin for foundation. After I’ve finished this tube, I have a CC cream from Essence to try out but will go back to Rachel K Cosmetics.

Concealer. Three of them. Lasting Perfection Concealer in Light by Collection (UK brand). This is a thickish concealer and works well under the eye. I also use it on the eyelid to tone down any redness. The other concealer I took is Revlon’s Age Defying Targeted Dark Spot concealer in Light. Saw this being used by a makeup artist on YouTube and I really like it. Particularly, the sponge tip applicator and that it’s very blendable. Certainly will buy it again.

To cover up any spots, I use my HG concealer – The Body Shop Concealer Pencil in 01. This has replaced my previous fav concealer by MAC. A crayon concealer is such a smart idea. Very easy to travel with and the concealer itself is creamy and easily blended. Will always buy this concealer.

Primer. L’Oreal Paris Nude Magique Blur Cream in 01 Light-Medium. Silky soft and silicone-based. Does a reasonable job of blurring imperfections and I like its mattifying effect. I’d like to try The Body Shop’s primer next.

Eyeshadow. Two eyeshadow palettes and one cream eyeshadow. Let me talk about the cream one first. A recent find and it’s LOVE. It’s the 5-in-1 BB Advanced Performance Cream Eyeshadow by Bare Minerals in Barely Nude. Whenever I want a nude base, this is the eyeshadow I use. Creamy, easy to apply and stays put all day long. You can use it as an eyeshadow primer but I prefer it as nude wash of colour over the eyelid.

I took along my HG eyeshadow palette: the Hourglass Modernist Eyeshadow Palette in Atmosphere. I’m a HUGE fan of Hourglass. I have their Ambient Lighting palette and Ambient Lighting Blush palette. Love the sleek gunmetal palettes, which are very easy to travel with. The eyeshadow palette is a beautiful sculptural design and the Atmosphere palette is cool neutral shades. The colours are pale ivory, pale pink, taupe, espresso, and charcoal. The charcoal shade works really well as an eyeliner.

The second palette was sent to me from Croatia by Rosana. It’s the Absolute Nude Eyeshadow palette by Catrice (German brand). The shadows are not quite as pigmented as Hourglass but the shades are gorgeous soft nudes. Some shades are matte, whilst others have a hint of shimmer.

Mascara. Essence I Love Extreme Volume mascara. Also sent to me by Rosana. You can get Essence products in the North Island in selected Farmers’ stores. Not in the South Island as far as I know. Go figure. Essence is such a great budget brand and this is my second tube of this mascara. A great ultra-black mascara that delivers volume.

Foundation. I swapped to mineral foundation powder a few weeks ago, so took with me Bare Minerals Original Foundation in Fair and I buff in the minerals with their Full Flawless Face brush, which I bought in Rome in 2012.

Powders. I recently managed to get hold of Ben Nye’s Luxury Powder in Banana. For years, I’ve been hearing about it but never could get my hands on it. Finally found it in Christchurch and there are a number of different shades such as Cameo and Buff. The Banana shade is a translucent beige with yellow tones and it’s the most luxurious setting powder. Finely milled and wonderful to use all over the face and under the eyes. I bought the 84g shaker a few months ago. Quite pricey at NZ$46.60 but heck, I’ve hardly used any product.

The other powder I took is an old favourite: Too Faced Absolutely Invisible Candlelight powder. I’ve had this powder for about three years now and only use it to highlight the brow bone.

Eyelash curler: The Body Shop. Stainless steel and gets a good grip on the lashes.

Brows. Another old favourite that is still going strong after many years. Elizabeth Arden’s Dual Perfection Brow Shaper & Eyeliner in Soft Blonde. A soft brown shade that is perfect to fill in the brows.

Highlighter. Ere Perez Natural Cosmetics is an Australian brand. I’ve used a few of their products over the years and I really like the Natural Vanilla Highlighter in Falling Star. It’s a pearl cream highlighter with a slight shimmer.

Brushes. WAY too many to go through but I want to rave about one brush. It’s the IB120 Jumbo Kabuki Fan by Crown Brush. What a fantastic, soft brush! You can see it in the first photo below; in the middle of all the brushes. I use this one brush to apply powder, bronzer and blush. It’s replaced three brushes basically. LOVE.


Bought the makeup bag in Australia in 2010 – when we moved to NZ.


NARS Laguna – same bronzer I took with me to Bhutan in 2013. I’ve hit pan at last! Also shown is Hourglass Modernist eyeshadow palette in Atmosphere.


Catrice Absolute Nude Eyeshadow palette.


Makeup Geek blush in Spellbound.


Clinique Cheek Pop in Ginger Pop.