For the longest time, I had no clue how to do my makeup properly. I was a hot mess. Then, YouTube happened and I discovered a world of talented beauty gurus sharing practical makeup tips I could understand and actually use. Seriously, it helped me out of sight! Over the past few years, I’ve tried loads of different products and techniques, putting them to the ultimate test in a variety of travel conditions from long-haul flights and intense humidity to freezing conditions and beach settings. Today I wanted to share what I’ve learned. These are my all-time favourite, ride or die, tried and tested travel make-up products and how I use them for a last-all-day, flawless look.
Note: Some of the products are pretty banged up in the photos, these poor things spend their lives cooped up in my travel beauty bag and take quite the beating – sorry.
1. L’Oreal Infallible Matte Primer
I’ve just started using the L’Oreal Infallible Matte Primer and love it! I squeeze a pea-size blob of the clear gel onto the back of my hand and do it around my face, working it into my skin, gently, using my fingertips. It has a silky smooth, velvety, mattifying feel and leaves my skin looking bright and corrected. I find it creates a long-lasting base for my makeup and helps it stay in place longer.
2. Nyx Dark Circle Concealer
The Nyx Dark Circle Concealer is a real lifesaver for those days when I have dark bags under my eyes (like right after a long-haul flight!). After my primer has settled into my skin, I dip my pinky into the conceal pot and gently dab it onto my under eye area, working it into my skin very lightly, trying not to tug at the eye area. If I think it needs a little extra blending, I use a damp beauty blender.
3. L’Oreal Infallible Matte Foundation (vanilla)
This is my holy grail, ride or die foundation! If I need my makeup to last all day and want my skin to look flawless without feeling too heavy, I use L’Oreal Infallible Matte Foundation. I squeeze some onto the tip of my finger and dot it around my face, focusing on the T-section. I use my foundation brush to buff it out then blend it using a damp beauty blender, making sure to blend it well a little into my hairline, ears, jawline and neck. If there are any parts of my skin I think need extra coverage, I pop on an extra dot of foundation and blend it in. It’s full-coverage but still lightweight and it lasts all day. If I don’t feel like using a full-coverage foundation because I’m only going to the movies or dinner with Matt, I use L’Oreal Infallible 24H Stay Fresh Foundation. Seriously, the Matte stuff is so good it converted me to the whole Infallible range.
4. Za Perfect Fit Concealer
Once my foundation has set into my skin, I take a pea-size blob of Za Perfect Fit Concealer on the back of my hand and use my fingertip to dot it where the light hits my face: chin, bridge of the nose and forehead. I also apply it under my eyes, starting at the bottom, inner corner of my eye down to the bottom of my nose, up and out to my cheekbones (like a weird triangle). Then, I take my damp beauty blender and blend it all in. Now, look, I’ve only been able to buy this brand in Singapore so, if I don’t have it, Maybelline Fit Me Concealer is my next go-to.
5. Rimmel Match Perfection Loose Powder
After my concealer is blended in properly, I open my Rimmel Match Perfection Loose Powder (Translucent) and tap a good amount into the lid. I take my damp beauty blender and dip it into the powder then press it over the areas I just applied the concealer. The thicker the layer of powder, the better! This process is called ‘baking’ and was created by very savvy Drag Queens who worked out the layer of powder traps the heat of your skin underneath, helping melt and set the liquid for a last-all-day, crack-free finish. I let it bake for about 10 minutes then swipe it off with a powder brush. I only bake my makeup if I need it to last all day, not if I’m running out to meet a friend for coffee.
6. Nude by Nature Natural Mineral Cover
Baking done, I move onto powder. I’ve been using Nude by Nature Natural Mineral Cover for years and still love it. I tap a little powder into the lid and work it into my skin to set my foundation for a flawless finish. This stuff is natural but buildable, so if I have any dark spots or blemishes, I can work a little extra on my skin for more coverage. P.S This stuff lasts like you would not believe – I’ve had the same Nude by Nature powder and bronzer for over a year and I’m not even halfway through them!
7. Nude by Nature Bronzer
The Nude by Natural Bronzer is my all-time favourite bronzer, I just love the colour and how it makes my skin glow. I tap a little powder into the lid, swirl my brush around and tap off the excess. I apply it just below my cheekbones, starting at that little round part of my hairline just above my ear. Work in little circles, I apply the bronzer below the cheekbone, following its natural curve. I also apply a little bronzer all over my eyelids, temples and forehead hairline, jaw, ears and down the side of my neck. I finish by blending it in with my powder brush (I never blend the bronzer up, onto the cheekbones).
8. Eylure Brow Pomade – Blonde
I like to keep my brows neat but natural using Eylure Brow Pomade and a thin makeup brush (it kind of looks like a lipstick brush). My brows are naturally pretty thick so I just fill them in and make sure the tail is nice and sharp.
9. Maybelline Eye Studio Brow Satin
To make sure my brows are set, I go over the pomade using the powder end of my Maybelline Eye Studio Brow Satin duel-ended pencil. Sometimes I use the pencil end to my brows, but I really do prefer the pomade.
10. Essence ‘All About Nudes’ Eyeshadow Palette
I mentioned earlier, when applying my bronzer I swipe it all across my eyelids – this forms my transition shade. I’ve been using this Essence ‘All About Nudes’ Eyeshadow Palette for over a year now and it was dirt cheap but has been really good to me. I take a medium brown tone and apply it to the crease and outer corners of the lid, blending it into the bronzer and out. next, I take a lighter toffee tone and swipe it all across my lid, blending it in, followed by a light champagne shade applied to the inner corners of the lid. Finally, I take a brush with a fine tip, dipping it into the deepest brown shade and apply it like eyeliner across my top lashline.
11. Rimmel Soft Kohl Sable Brown
To intensify my lashline while keeping that soft, smokey look, I simply go over the eyeshadow line I just drew with the Rimmel Soft Kohl Sable Brown. I pop on a pretty good amount, blending it in with either my pinky fingertip or smudging it with an eyeliner brush.
12. Nude by Nature Touch of Glow Highlight Stick
For that ‘lit from within,’ super healthy glow, I use a Nude by Nature Touch of Glow Highlight Stick. Using my pinky, I apply it on to one spot, sparingly on the tip of my nose, then the top third of the bridge of my nose. Next, I apply it to my brow bone, still using my pink. I use my pointer finger to apply it, still sparingly, to my cheekbones, but only in a small oval below the corner of my eye, where my cheekbones are highest. Finally, I dab a little above my eyebrow arches and cupid’s bow.
13. L’Oreal True Match Highlight Powder ‘Golden Glow’
Using a fan brush, I go over all the spots I just applied the Highlight Stick with L’Oreal True Match Highlight Powder in Golden Glow. I also swipe it across my whole cheek area, this means when I put the blush over the top, it’s going to give me a really healthy, natural glow, as opposed to the makeup looking too ‘layered’ on my skin. I also apply a little highlight powder to the inner corner of my eyes.
14. Clinique Chubby Stick Cheek Colour Balm ‘Robust Rhubarb’
I used to be afraid of cream blush but after I worked out how to use it, I’ve become addicted! It looks so much more natural and glowy than powders. I take my Clinique Chubby Stick Cheek Colour Balm in Robust Rhubarb and dab it onto the fat bottom of my damp beauty blender. Then, I apply it in a light, circular dabbing motion to the apple of my cheeks before moving along my cheekbone.
15. L’Oreal Infallible Fixing Mist
Before I put my mascara on, I like to give my makeup a spritz with L’Oreal Infallible Fixing Mist (told you I was hooked on the whole Infallible range! They got me goooood!) Again, I would only use this if I need my makeup to last all day. It just extends the wear that little more and keeps my makeup looking fresh and flawless, working to prevent it from fading, melting or cracking.
16. Rimmel Extra Super Mascara Black Black
I finish off my makeup by swiping on Rimmel Extra Super Mascara in Black Black. I’ve tried lots of different mascaras but always come back to this one, I’ve been using it religiously for years now! It’s the only mascara I’ve used that doesn’t flake or smudge off and doesn’t give me panda eyes throughout the day. It really is my ride or die mascara! If they discontinue it, I’m going to have a huge problem.
17. Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm
Lipsticks can be really drying and I find myself getting tired of topping up layer upon layer of dried-out lipstick on my face. Instead, I use Burt’s Bees Naturally Tinted Lip Balm. The colours are natural, subtle and, because it’s beeswax lip balm, it’s hydrating too. That’s a win-win.
Pro tip: If I’m looking a little tired and need to brighten my eyes and face that little more, I take a white eyeliner like the Nyx Faux Whites Eye Brightener and apply it to my inner, lower lash line. It makes my eyes and whole face pop, giving me an instant freshness. It won’t last all day, so you may need to reapply, but it’ll definitely brighten your face up.
Phoebe Lee is a travel writer and award-winning blogger with a love for storytelling. Phoebe creates practical, fun and engaging written content designed to inspire and energise travel-lovers and dreamers. Follow her and Matt’s adventures at home and around the world, right here on Little Grey Box and through Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.