What I'm Packing for Travel



I'll be in Europe for two weeks, and unlike past trips I've decided not to take half my collection! This is pared down from what I would usually bring, but I know I'll be picking up a lot of souvenirs along the way (and doing some shopping for local cosmetics) so I wanted to pack light. Note the cream blushes and liquid eyeshadows - I won't need to pack blush or eyeshadow brushes. My skincare for the trip will be a ragtag collection of samples, not worth cataloging - same with my fragrances (travel is a great time to take some chances and work through all those sample vials that have been piling up!).

What's On My Face Today

  • Revlon ColorStay Makeup for Normal/Dry Skin in 150 Buff: I don't normally use long-wear foundations, but I've got some travel coming up and I think there will be some long days ahead. It's been years since I've really used a drugstore brand, at least for foundation - I've had some bad experiences with oxidizing and orange skin is not a good look on me. But I know that drugstore foundations have improved a lot over the last few years, so I'm auditioning a few of them before my trip. This one, unfortunately, is not going to make the cut. It's a good color match for me, but I think it sets too quickly and that makes it really hard to blend. It also doesn't have great coverage - I had to use a lot more foundation than I normally would just to even out a little redness in my skin tone, and now I feel like I'm wearing a mask.
  • Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer (concealer) in SX01: When my skin is clear, I don't normally use a concealer at all, but the foundation left me with no choice to even out some of the redness on my chin.
  • Givenchy Prisme Libre Loose Powder in Mousseline Pastel
  • Milani Color Harmony Blush Palette in 01 Pink Play: My eyeshadow today is really taking center stage, so I've got just a whisper of cheek color from this blush palette. I'm really happy with it, though. The pigmentation is good, the color is good, it's easy to blend. I used to think of Milani as a lesser brand, even among drugstore brands, but I've gotten a few blushers and eye products from them in the past year that I just love, so I think that's changed.
  • MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Painterly (eyelid primer)
  • Almay Shadow Squad Holographics in 290 Pegasus: This stuff is amazing! I came across a new drugstore display yesterday when I was picking up these other products and immediately grabbed three of the four quads they had out. Pegasus is a collection of greens, like varying shades of electric seafoam. I'm using one of the darker colors on my lid, with the lightest one as a
  • Benefit They're Real! Lengthening & Volumizing Mascara in Black
  • Sisley Phyto-Sourcils Fix Brow Gel in 2
  • Dior Addict Lip Glow in 001 Pink
  • Today's fragrance: Glossier You EDP: I love how much this smells like a cross between clean skin and fresh notebook paper. I wear this when I don't want to feel too "perfumey".

Favorite Eye Makeup Removers

On Friday I posted a link to a news item about a woman who had not properly removed her eye makeup for years and sustained some terrible long-term eye injury as a result. I'm not going to re-post the link here - the photos are a little graphic - but the upshot is that over a period of a few decades, bits of left-behind mascara and eyeliner embedded themselves on the underside of this woman's eyelids, where they scratched her corneas and caused irritation and vision problems.

So, yeah, if you weren't already motivated to remove your makeup every night, maybe that story will do the trick?

I've been meaning to talk about eye makeup removal for a while, so I guess this is good timing. A few months ago, a work friend confessed to me that she'd been using micellar water to remove her mascara. I'm not sure that's the worst thing you could do - better to remove it somehow than to not remove it at all - but I suspect the surfactants in micellar water might be a little harsh. Wouldn't that sting if it actually got into your eyes?

Anyway, here, in order from least to most favorite, are my recommendations for eye makeup removal products.

All three of these products are great. They all remove even tough waterproof makeup with very little effort; that is, they dissolve the mascara so you don't have to tug and pull on your eyelashes. Some work faster than others, but the biggest difference between all three is probably the price point.

Use these with cotton rounds, not cotton balls (I find that cotton balls are more likely to leave behind stray fibers that can irritate your eyes; rounds, especially better quality ones, have dense surfaces that won't get caught on your lashes). Just wet the cotton round and gently wipe across your lashes:

Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover
This oil free remover is composed of glycerin and eye-safe surfactants that have to be mixed before use. It does what it says on the tin - removes even tough waterproof makeup with little effort - but I've found that this product stings sometimes, so I wouldn't recommend it for sensitive eyes.

Clinique Take The Day Off Makeup Remover For Lids, Lashes & Lips
This is a good mid-range product. I like that it's gentle enough to be multi-purpose, and I've never had any irritation when using it on my eyes. I think Clinique is one of those brands that's earned a lot of trust in the skincare, but if you want to try before investing in a larger bottle, they often include this cleanser in mini packs, samples, or special offers, so just check the Clinique web site every once in a while.

Lancome Bi-Facil Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover
This is my HG remover. I don't always use it because it's a little spendier than the other brands, but it's so worth it. If you have sensitive eyes, if you've had trouble finding a makeup remover that doesn't hurt to use, this is the one for you. It's a powerful cleanser, but so mild, and it leaves your lashes gently conditioned.

Wipes for travel

I travel a lot, and when I do I rarely want to bring along a full bottle of this kind of cleansing product. Instead, I usually pack wipes - they're not the most thorough solution, but they'll do if you just want something quick and convenient. Remember, some cleansing is better than nothing at all: