Friday, 15 June 2012

Three Months' Makeup

In keeping with this week's minimalism theme at the House o' Drivel, and also with the editing mood currently resonating with so many on the beautynets, here's the makeup I brought for this three-month E.Asia trip to demonstrate my latest 'edit'. (Italics+scarequotes because I'm pretty sure it will be much larger than the actual unedited makeup collections of many legit beauty-lovers as is, and please let's no-one invoke the dreaded Average Woman....)

This is not a collection of my 'favourites' or 'capsule wardrobe' necessities; it's a mix of humidity-friendly and/or yay-I-can-wear-this-formula-now-my-skin's-not-desiccated-by-winter products, various socially-appropriate-mask elements, some of my current preoccupations (colourful liner, cool-toned lips, matte lips) and a few bits I felt guilty for not blogging about earlier.

To spare my blushes, we'll start with the bit that actually keeps faith with the true 'capsule' spirit:

Shu Uemura UV Under Base Brightening Mousse: a primer with sufficient evening-out and texture-refining powers to replace foundation for everyday wear.
MAC Face&Body White decant, in case I do want to wear foundation, which would be Shu Uemura Nobara stick 784, a beautiful formula which holds up exceptionally well in high heat and humidity, no setting required. Doubles as concealer and portable enough for touch-ups.
Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer SX-01 for spot-concealer for major boo-boo's -- this stuff is so incredibly pigmented this tiny jar (smallest I had to hand) holds at least a year's supply. I'm two months into my stay and haven't even made a dip. I need a separate undereye concealer to sit well on the extremely thin, dry skin I have there, and Burberry Sheer Concealer 01 Light Beige is my current favourite -- a neutral beige about a shade darker than my skintone, with the right salmony tones to obviate the need for a separate corrector.

Brushes / Tools
For face: a Beautyblender sponge for foundation and to 'set' concealer by pressing it into the skin
1. Hakuhodo 5531, a synthetic eyeliner brush I use for pin-point concealing
2. Illamasqua Blending Brush #1, my favourite synthetic blender for undereye concealer
3. Chikuhodo Z-2, grey squirrel multi-purpose candle brush, but especially excellent for highlighter and contour
4. Suqqu Cheek Brush, my favourite blush/highlighter/powder/blending grey squirrel brush -- I much prefer this to any of the Chikuhodo blush brushes
5. Illamasqua Highlighter brush: a round, soft synthetic for creams and stains
6. Hakuhodo Large Pointed Yachiyo, stiffer goat hair for stippling on very pigmented blush formulas (I prefer to blend out using the Suqqu Cheek)

For eyes, a selection evenly split between tiny precision instruments and bigger brushes for laydown and blending.
For smudgy lining, and lining with powders (which is what I favour most days) though these all handle creams and gels just as well:
   1. Boots No. 7 Smokey Eyeliner Brush does what it says on the handle
   2. Chikuhodo Artist 6-1, an infinitely better version of MAC's 231, in tightly bundled-kolinsky
   3. Hakuhodo 162, the best angled brush out there, end of
For more precise lining:
   4. Hakuhodo 007 blows every other 'superfine' liner brush out of the water. Since 'discovering' this last November, I now have three.
   5. KATE gel eyeliner brush, deceptively similar to the Maybelline one, it just performs and holds up better. I love it for lining the waterline or pretending I'm Jung Saem Mool (thus, a bargain at about £1)
For eyeshadow washes and blending:
   6. Suqqu Eyeshadow Brush L manages to apply even the most problematic shadows evenly
   9. and 10. MAC 217 and 286 which work perfectly for the cream formulas I favour
For errythang:
  7. and 8. Suqqu Eyeshadow Brush S and Shu Uemura Natural 10, my true holy-grail brushes

If we're getting down to brass tacks, an eyelash curler is my one beauty essential. A perennial makeupalley poll asks what your "argh, I need to be out the door in five minutes" makeup routine consists of; even if I'm running two hours late, I will bloody make time to curl my lashes on my way out. My beloved Chanel curler ist kaputt: this is MAC's filling in the gap in the meantime.
A metal comb for further lash-primping.
And a Hakuhodo Misako Portable lipbrush, which I quickly realised was about three too few because I use a lipbrush with everything.

In which I fling all pretentions to minimalism aside. With great force.
Large Z-palette filled with:
Suqqu eyeshadows wear unfailingly in the sweltering heat and their thoughtful combinations (of texture as well as colour) save me a lot of time in the mornings. 01 Kakitsubata and 02 Kokedama are here in full, supplemented by three shades from the limited edition EX-07 Lilac Allure palette, the clear gold sparkle from 06 Ginbudou and the pink and purple shades from 08 Mizuaoi.
Rounded out by some eyeshadow singles: Shiseido Ghost, Yaby Sunny OceanDragonling and Highlighted, and Rouge Bunny Rouge Fire-Tailed Sunbird and Abyssinian Catbird [I prefer to save most of my RBR shades for winter, when I can't wear most other powders].
For blushes: Illamasqua Lover (the perfect peach) and Laduree Pressed Cheek Colour 11 (raspberry-rose) are both a bit too dry for me to wear comfortably back home; I'm enjoying them a lot more in the heat. MAC Strada for a warmer summer contour [now supplanted by Burberry, but  this was my original reasoning] and Shiseido High Beam White for a powder highlighter (in winter, I stick to my Rouge Bunny Rouge liquid illuminators).
Shu Hard 9 eyebrow pencil Stone Grey fits perfectly into that gap at the bottom.

Guerlain 2 Place Vendôme for wheaty greyellow neutrals
A cool-ish selection from Addiction: Pink Python for a complex sparkly 'black', lilac-grey Concrete Jungle for a neutral, pastel cornflower Blue Moon and shimmery teal/hunter duochrome Deep Forest for pops of colour (sorry). Bright pink Amazing to round out my powder blushes.

other eye bits
Bright liners: liquids in red (Kryolan Skinliner 31), blue and pink (Barry M Electric Blue and Pink) and a yellow gel from Shu Uemura (Citrine).
Pencil liners/bases: two (or five) from Shu: Tri-Colour Pencil Energy Flow and the dual-ended Misty Brown/Earthy Brown pencil from this spring's collection. And two purples from GOSH (Purple Stain: rich amethyst pearl) and Make Up Store (Go Wild: lilac satin).
Cream eyeshadows which function as bases and liners too: a sparsely-sparkly black (Shiseido BK912) and blingtastic complex purple (Sonia Rykiel 04 -- swatched here).
Basics: a white kohl (GOSH), a black liquid liner (Rose of Versailles), a glossy topcoat/moisturising primer/mixer (Rouge Bunny Rouge Angel's Play), black mascara (Lancome Hypnôse Drama Waterproof).

Finally, lips/cheeks
These coalesced into pretty obvious colour families:
Red: Illamasqua Follow (neon pinky-red), Shu Uemura RD178M (matte deep brickish red), Addiction Revenge cheekstick (bright clear corally red).
Coral: always a summer staple, amplified this year by my love affair with orange. Ellis Faas L307 (juicy cantaloupe gloss), Hourglass Muse (bright retro orangey coral), Chanel Genial (even brighter, more pink-based coral), Becca Guava Beach Tint (paler peachy-pink).
Rosy platonic my-lips/cheeks-but-better (because my actual lip colour is far more corpsical and I also blush a feverish pink-red): Guerlain Chamade and Becca Watermelon Beach Tint are easy-to-wear warm bright roses.
I don't normally care to stray too far to either side of neutral but this year I've been experimenting with more cool-toned lips: Burberry Bright Plum lipstick, Becca Raspberry stain and Addiction Miss You More gloss.
I also think I can pull off nude lips better with a bit of a summer 'tan' (maybe it's just the quality of light or maybe I made it all up in my head): Fresh Sugar tinted lipbalm Honey and Lunasol Full Glamour Liquid Lips EX-01 Clear Beige are both pigmented and peachy enough to offset the cool pinky-mauve of my natural lipcolour. Both Gorgeous formulas which DON'T collect in my vertical liplines.
Finally, some depots I chucked in because I had just enough room for them: from left to right YSL Rouge Pur Couture 17 Rose Dahlia (bright pink-coral), two Lancome mattes (corally Corset and rosy Stylista) and orange-red Revlon classic, Fire&Ice.

For three months. Too much? Too little? As usual, a bit of both. Two months in, I've already decided to let go of quite a few of these and replace them with other things. And of course I've learned yet more lessons for next time; this is only my second time -- I know how to pack for a weekend, a fortnight, or a year+, still working out the kinks on this awkward three-month-stint thing.

As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts, advice, anecdotes, mockery, staged interventions etc. Or just say 'hi' if you made it this far for an e-cookie.


  1. I love that you have chosen products that are weather friendly (either cold, humidity, etc). I find it very hard to choose brushes however (and I am scared they would get lost, lol), as always your brush selection is devine. I do struggle with e/s ... so many colours to choose from and what if I have a I-need-colour-more-colours phase and get bored with the stuff I brought with me? *sigh*. I am very glad I see a guerlain palette, neutrals ftw! I am, however not surprised you have so many reds and red based lipsticks :] they just go with everything, stain, full colour, blush (yeah, yeah, hair cream, face mask ... um no, red lipsticks do have a limit, sadly). I don't think it's too much at all, you need variety, even when you are travelling, no? but where are the pinks? and you need a squeaky lime green missy! :P

    1. I need to see you with red lipstick all smushed into your hair now :D're right, there's major pink shortage going on! I guess I must be in an anti-pink phase :) Everyone wears pink in Asia!

      I have a lime green in my new Sugarpill quad now :D

    2. hehe, actually, I love red hair but my I-need-to-dye-my-hair phase is over, it's natural black again :D I realized, I have not much pinks either, reds and red based lippies are just too tempting and pretty *sigh*. I want to see the sugarpill on you! so much fun D:

  2. Gasp. You depotted a Laduree blush?

    Sometimes I think I get more pleasure out of the packaging design than the actual cosmetics.

    1. nope, I just bought the cheaper pot form :) Most cosmetics packaging just looks and feels like what it is to me: cheap moulded plastic. The Laduree packaging I find actively unattractive.

  3. Your new header is cool: more the depot-mania Kate I know than the city-view watcher. Addiction gloss? now I gotta google for a pic of how it looks

    1. thanks birkie :) I trust your eye.
      I've worn the Addiction gloss quite a bit, actually! Love the magical lip-line-covering formula, and I'm not usually a gloss girl:

  4. My heart started pumping blood quicker when I saw all this. You know what, I now want Muse so bad *cries*

    I support Claire, you need a bright green in your travel collection. But you probably have it back home. When are you coming back? *e-cookie*

    1. not until July (when I can haz real laitae cookies? :D), and you two are evil! There are a few Yaby greens I'm trying to resist....
      You NEED Muse -- did you get on with Fresco formula-wise?

    2. I'm trying to resist everything, but can't resist a new lippie (my lipstick lemming list is massive). This is what rebuilding lipstick stash is doing to me:/
      I wasn't sure about Fresco's formula at first (I immediately admitted it's a perfect everyday shade for me, though), but we are getting on much better now. Unfortunately there is no Dior Addict Extreme lipstick as deliciously bright as Muse, so we are bound to be together one day:)

  5. I so enjoyed reading this (read, drooling over your pictures). I can only imagine how hard it must be to try and pack for three months: it's not long enough to take everything but too long to comfortable with complete minimalism. Looking at your pictures makes me wish I was more adventurous with colour. I shall make it my mission to use more colourful liners and lipsticks over the weekend!

    Thanks for sharing and thanks also for the kind mention :)

    1. Thanks for dropping by, dear Modesty.

      I like to take advantage of the more 'enlightened' Asian attitudes towards professional women wearing colour and sparkle in the workplace. My palette would have looked very different if I'd been sent to France or America!

  6. This is a great post. Well thought through and well edited. I really enjoyed the whole thing. Thank you for putting it together!

    1. Thanks for your kind comment :) I rarely think things through so it's lovely to be praised for it.

  7. I have to agree with Claire, I do change formulations with a change in the seasons but it is without any forethought,more by happy accident really. I am impressed and envious of your planning and organisation. This is a post to re-read I think, thankyou.

    1. Jan, I can't quite take credit for that -- my skin is SO finicky it rules out huge and glorious swathes of makeup in winter.

  8. I think you've packed pretty well for 3 months …

    if I were doing this, there would be more base products (since I have more complexion issues), a similarly sized collection of tools, slightly less cheek and lip products, but a similar number of eye liners … and probably at least one more mascara.
    And I'd be willing to bet your skin-care choices are more elegantly streamlined than mine tend to be.

    I'd like to pick up some Yaby shadows to fill color-gaps in my collection without taking up much more space, but I hear quality is variable, and haven't seen really excellent swatches yet. (Plus, I would end up buying neutrals I don't need!)

    Also, I'll be swayed to depot more if I find a good magnetic palette that I can totally love … the z-palettes always look kinda card-board-y to me - are they better in practice?

    I've been on a neutrals kick, I think I need some sunnier weather to convince me it's time for pops of bright color.

    2nd to last comment … I NEED Concrete Jungle, don't I?

    Last comment … you're tempting me to pick up Burberry Earthy for a contour, as I do have Strada, but I feel it can be too pink sometimes …. and also makes me break out if I use it near acne-prone areas - yuck.

    1. Proximity, every comment you leave makes my day :) The more the better.

      I've tried one or two Yaby shadows from all their formulations and found them universally wonderful (although I'm sure there will be the odd dud). The pearl paints seem pretty solid -- complete swatches here:

      Z-palettes are cardboard but feel sturdier and less cheap than MAC, for ex... I do prefer the Yaby freeform for a more solid option (it's fairly nice and sleek). I don't care for the etsy cardboard palettes (too many reported problems with closures and uneven edges) or the Unii (unusably small).

      Neutrals AND pops. AND Concrete Jungle. AND Earthy.

    2. And every post you make cheers my day and provides excellent procrastination fodder :D

      I'm probably adding the Yaby freeform palette to my wishlist ... Concrete Jungle and Earthy will probably end up being mine, it's just a matter of time. Oh yes, I will collect all the preciouses. Eventually.

  9. It takes me an age of agonising to decide what to pack for a two week holiday. I do enjoy seeing what you've chosen. It sounds like we have very similar pale-mauve lip issues, and we both gravitate towards the same lip colours (I do also love a good bright coral.)

    1. I confess, much as I enjoy all your posts, the ones about lip products are usually the deadliest :)