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Let me start by saying that I have a pain tolerance second to none: tooth extraction, eye surgery, you name it.

But snow. Snow reduces me to tears- DON’T JUDGE OKAY I’M AUSTRALIAN. I’m heading to New York in a week, I hear y’all are having a particularly bitter winter? Say a little prayer, not for me, but for my significant other who will have to deal with it.

Imma show you what I’m packing, skincare and makeup wise. Despite my incessant frippery and embarrassingly inflated stash, you may be surprised to find that I am a very light packer. This is less of a practicality matter and more of a shop-a-holic-makeup-glutton situation; I arrive with an empty suitcase and invariably leave panicky that I’ve exceeded the baggage weight limit.

Let’s get down to biness (I ain’t got no time to play around what is this?)


Travel Essentials: Skincare & Makeup

Shu Uemura Eyelash Curlers // If nothing else, I am curling my eyelashes for fear of being mistaken as a prepubescent boy.

Sunday Riley Effortless Breathable Tinted Primer – Light // Perfect for no-makeup days but also incredibly versatile; mixed with the Dermablend, I can conjure up countless potions to fit my every coverage requirement. I’ve chosen this over my beloved Armani Lasting Silk because I feel the combination is more forgiving on winter-worn flaky skin, of which I anticipate will become the bane of my trip.

Dermablend Fluid Corrective – 15 Opal // The supporting act to the Sunday Riley Primer, Dermablend is a fantastic spot concealer and, at a pinch, can be used under the eyes.

Laura Mercier – Secret Brightening Powder // SOS saviour for flight-induced weary eyes, it can also be lightly dusted in the t-zone to set and brighten the complexion.

Lancome Hypnose Star Mascara – Black // Sample size and dramatic enough to detract from my otherwise blank face.

Chanel Contour – Notorious // I got the natural flush thing down pat but gurl, those cheekbones aren’t going to carve themselves.

SUQQU Brow Pen – Moss Green // I’d forgotten to picture this because it’s practically become an extension of my limbs. My brow-but-better to bold brows and everything in between.


Unlike makeup, it takes some serious convincing to detach me from my regular skincare routine (already painfully paired-down and minimalistic), so I’m packing mini sizes of my staples. I won’t go into great depth here because I have youtube videos pertaining to my skincare.

Travel Essentials: Skincare & Makeup

Chantecaille – Vital Essence // My everyday hydrator, this also functions as a fantastic base for makeup.

Sisley – Black Rose Mask // Ludicrously overpriced, I received a sample of this and went on to purchase the full size (that’s how they get you! Sly bastards). I mix this with my Vital Essence to protect my skin from ruthless weather and slather it on alone for long haul flights (flights from Australia can take up to 42 hours, this is no joke).

Fancl – Mild Cleansing Oil // Mini size, my pick for dissolving makeup and grime.

Bioderma – Sensiobio H20 // Decanted into a travel bottle (that looks empty, photography phail) for quick cleanups.

La Roche Posay – Lipikar Syndet Gel // Basic foaming cleanser, I have the jumbo size and decant into another travel bottle.

SUQQU – Barrier Bounce Cream // A sample I received in Japan, I use this as a lip balm, cuticle ointment and cracked skin solution.


While traveling with my girlfriends, I’ve been known to leech off their shampoo/conditioner/body wash/toothpaste. This time I’m traveling with my boyfriend and I recently discovered that his dedicated bathroom was void of shampoo for six months. SIX MONTHS.

Travel Essentials: Skincare & Makeup

So obviously the onus is on me this trip. I’m taking this gorgeous KAI travel set with all the hair and body necessities. It’s a real spa experience and hopefully I’ll be a walking gardenia by the end of the trip.

Finally, the most crucial essential in my packing paraphernalia…

Travel Essentials: Skincare & Makeup

This silk eye patch was a gift from my ever-thoughtful aunty. It’s so me, I can’t even.

Do you pack light for trips? What is your packing philosophy?


Complete list of products mentioned

Eyelash Curlers
Eyelash Curlers
Barrier Cream
Barrier Cream
Cream Mask
Cream Mask
Body Polish & Travel Set
Body Polish & Travel Set
Effortless Breathable Tinted Primer
Effortless Breathable Tinted Primer
Fluid Corrective Foundation
Fluid Corrective Foundation
Cleansing Oil
Cleansing Oil
Vital Essence Serum
Vital Essence Serum
Hypnose Star Mascara
Hypnose Star Mascara
Secret Brightening Powder
Secret Brightening Powder
Brow Pen
Brow Pen
* Denotes products sent for consideration. I’m always honest with my reviews :)

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  1. WHUT? That’s IT?! Is this just base makeup?

    Although when I travel of makeup heaven destinations (Japan/HK), I pack nothing and then BUY EVERYTHING. *waggle brows*

    It is miserable here. Pack warm stuff!

    1. Hey Belleh!
      Nope, that’s all the makeup I’m taking! Keeping the brushes to 2 or 3, too. I like to buy colour products when I travel so I’m sure I’ll be rocking a strong lip or something. As an Australian, I don’t even know what ‘warm stuff’ means! LOL. xx

  2. It’s not SO bad in NY! Bring a coat and boots and you’ll be fine. We really haven’t gotten much snow, and what we got melting a few hours later when it poured. If you have a coat and boots, you will be fine, especially if you’re just taking cabs places. (If you’re taking mass transit, pack hand sanitizer and a hat and gloves. But especially hand sanitizer.)

    I still want that Sisley, and I think I want the Chantecaille, too! I honestly don’t know if it’ll work for me, though, and the price makes that a big risk.

    1. I was hoping to walk around a bit but not sure how practical that’s going to be (whinge whinge whinge). Can you possibly get samples of the Chantecaille and the Sisley? I frequently go through about 2 samples of skincare before I commit, to really determine if they work for me. xx

  3. I do not judge!! Currently in Illinois, and never wanting to go outside, ever! Hate the cold. I understand about the long flight too- moving to Papua New Guinea next month, and not looking forward to the long sleepless flight with my 18 month old. Thanks for introducing me to Lipikar Syndet- it has been the best cleanser yet for my sensitive dry skin with breakout issues! BTW, saw the haul you are planning for NYC on MUA- the TF$ cream foundation brush is awesomeness and the Kevyn Aucoin concealer brush is fantastic as well (not to mention pretty) πŸ™‚ Have fun on your trip!

    1. I like a little chill but when I start to lose sensation in my feet and my hands hurt, DO NOT WANT. Safe travels with your baby!
      Regarding Lipikar Syndet: my pleasure! It’s such a basic cleanser but it does everything a cleanser should, in my opinion.
      I have a question about the KA Concealer brush- is it stiff/pointy? or on the softer side? Lisa Eldridge described it as pointy and when you have a blemish to conceal, pointy is not exactly a good thing! LOL. xx

  4. I hope you have fun over there πŸ™‚
    Lipikar Syndet is fantastic, I tried it after you mentioned it and it is so useful coz it replaced face wash, body wash, shampoo and brush cleaner.

  5. I’m going the end of January! Let us know what you do, where you eat, etc when you’re there, so I can get some more ideas πŸ˜€

  6. Ha. I haven’t been to NYC in winter for YEARS. But yeah it can be freaking cold there.
    Um. Great minimalist packing. I am sure shopping is a non-stoppable event despite any cold-freezing weather as online shopping is always available.

    Ah. Can’t wait to see what you will get while in NYX!
    Maybe be the currently raved NAKED Palette 3?

    1. Unfortunately I won’t have a suitable postal address for online shopping but nevermind, I will face the cold for makeup. I’m thinking about the Naked 3… cool tones don’t do so well on my complexion so if I swatch it and it runs a little warm, I will definitely pick it up! xx

    2. Ahhhhhh
      Naked 3 seems more warm than cool compare to the Naked1 and Naked2.
      Haha can’t wait til you share your opinion on it! (and maybe I will win the other one u got? lol)

      Seems like Spring collection start popping out at this time too. Any goodies?

      1. I actually think that Naked 3 runs a little warm (despite the pinkened shades), Naked 1 runs VERY warm and Naked 2 is most neutral. I’ll post up swatches and thoughts once I get back to Sydney πŸ™‚ x

  7. I hope you have a wonderful trip, Karima!

    I love that eye patch! Omg it’s so damn cute! Also, thanks for recommending Lipikar Syndet. This is by far the best basic cleanser I’ve ever tried.

    Safe travels πŸ™‚

    1. Awww thanks Jen!
      Yeah that eye patch has been my friend for many long haul flights. So pleased that Lipikar Syndet works for you! It seems like a lot of comments agree that it’s awesome πŸ™‚

  8. Here in NYC, we got snow but it’s starting to melt. I think you’ll manage. It’s not that bad. We didn’t experience a blizzard.

    When you get here, go to the “Cosmetics Market”. It’s on 37th street between 5th avenue and Madison. They have high end makeup and Essie nail polish for cheap. The average Stila product there costs $10. “Beauty 35” on W. 35th and 8th avenue is also a favorite, but it’s mostly for OPI, Essie and Orly nail polish. They sell NYX makeup and skin/haircare products, but I don’t know if that would interest you enough to purchase in NY.

    Oh, and come to my place for tea and an intense makeup discussion. πŸ™‚

  9. YAY! Have fun in NYC! May I also suggest bringing a rich, thick, extra hydrating lipbalm for those desert dry cabin conditions, not to mention the NY winter…maybe the pawpaw stuff? (also good stocking filler for US friends!)

    1. Thank you! I actually find the SUQQU Barrier Bounce cream to be more hydrating than most of my lip balms (which are mostly petroleum) but I may bring another! xx

  10. The concealer brush is on the softer side I would say, not like “oh this is so soft and wonderful on my skin” like Suqqu, but it certainly isn’t rough or scratchy or pokey, unless you stab yourself with it ;). I think by pointy she may mean how small and rather densely packed it is, and how very precise you can be!

  11. First of all, I love your videos and reviews! Honestly, you’re making me buy a ton of stuff I didn’t even think about before and what makes it even better is that my skin tone is about the same as yours, which is awesome for someone like me, since I can only buy makeup online. One of the (many) products I’m interested in thanks to you is the By Terry Touche Veloutee, but I’ve seen you say recently that you haven’t found a great concealer yet, so I was wondering if it was really worth the price and I wanted to know your thoughts on it. Oh, and the shade! I assume mine would be Cream like yours, but sometimes I think my undereye area looks sort of greyish with yellow toned concealers. Do you have that problem with this one?

    1. Hey Lena πŸ™‚ Is your name Milena, by any chance? That is my mother’s name! πŸ˜€
      When I first discovered BT Touche Veloutee, I absolutely loved it. You can read my original verdict here:
      It’s still my best underye concealer by far but I think I may be reaching the end of the tube because it’s feeling a bit dryer than I recall? I’m obviously conflicted on this lol. In terms of shade, there isn’t a huge range but I find that it’s pigmented enough that it doesn’t need colour correcting.
      I hope this helps πŸ™‚

  12. The eye patch is gorgeous!!! I got a flurry one that actually looks like one of my dogs face! lol

    I need to learn from you, I’m so not minimalistic for travelling, I almost take a bag full of makeup and skincare *I’m embarrassed now*

    Have fun at your trip!!!

    1. How cute is it πŸ˜€
      If you’re not a ridiculous shopper like I am, it probably helps to bring a bit more but I plan on buying lots of colour products so I don’t need to lug around stuff from home, know what I mean? Thank you πŸ™‚

  13. I’ve never been to NY, I’d love to go! This might be a really silly question but where did you get those cotton pads (second picture)? They really look a lot better than the ones I’ve been using!

    1. Neither have I! I’m very excited πŸ™‚
      Not a silly question at all! You’re in Australia now, right? They’re called Swisspers, you can pick them up at any Coles/Woolworths. Hope this helps πŸ™‚

  14. It is true that the past week or two has been unseasonably cold here in NY. But luckily for you it is supposed to be warm up, and be unseasonably warm here this upcoming week. I am talking about weather in the 50’s and 60’s. It will still be very rainy since we get a lot of that in the winter here, but not the bitter cold 20 degree (as in bellow freezing) weather we had been having.

  15. Hey Karima!

    That actually looks a lot like the travel bag I had last month. SR Tinted Primer, Lancome Hypnose Star sample (from Sephora gwp), NARS radiant concealer in Vanilla (waaay too drying), Hourglass concealer in Pearl and Fair. For powders I had the UD original Naked palette, NARS laguna/orgasm thing for convenience, Tarte transclucent powder.

    Sadly, the Tinted Primer is no longer available or even shippable to Canada now. Sure Nordstroms will but after duties it come to _$86_. Really gutted, it was my favourite base of all time. It had this uncanny ability to look amazing all day no matter what. Odd thing is I can still order the Sunday Riley foundations without incurring sudden wallet holes.

    I noticed in your review that you mentioned it was unsuitable for skin lighter than NC20. I’m paler than NC15, slightly warmer than NW10 but C1 is too yellow. In the 10 months that I used the tinted primer, it always matched perfectly. It went on slightly dark but lightens after a few minutes. Maybe it really is magical.

    Happy holidays πŸ™‚

    1. Hey Celeste!

      WOW, your packing picks sound very similar to mine! Regarding NARS concealer, is it the creamy radiant that you find drying? Nooo πŸ™ I wanted to try that one but I need luminous finishes under my eyes or it looks so crepey.

      That’s so bizarre, that Sunday Riley Primer isn’t widely available in Canada? Do you have any American friends that could maybe forward it to you?

      Hmmm that is very strange… So C1 in Face and Body is the right depth for you but too yellow? Am I understanding that correctly? Because I find C1 to be a tad dark for me when I’m an NC20!

      My neck is an NC15 and when I tested SR primer there, it was a tad dark (but given it’s sheer texture, it’s easy to make it work). Perhaps it has something to do with skin chemistry?

      Happy holidays to you and your family πŸ™‚

  16. welcome, welcome, welcome to our fair city. have so much fun and get lots of goodies. i too hate the cold (and the short days and long darkness).

    i’m impressed at how light you pack! i pack lightly for clothes (VERY lightly) but my cosmetics is double yours. *blushing*

    travel safe! xo

  17. Yes, that’s my name! You and your mother have great names. πŸ˜€
    Thank you for the answer, it was really helpful! I just got mine! I’ve tried so many concealers alredy but still haven’t found anything really great for my awful undereye circles, so maybe this one works better since it’s a highlighter. Fingers crossed!
    By the way, I’m shoked to see how lightly you pack. I could never do that and I don’t have nearly as much make-up as you do! Good for you!
    Hope you have fun on yur trip!

    1. That’s so interesting, may I ask your ethnicity?
      The Touche Veloutee concealer is lovely, it’s also a great facial concealer if it’s not your ideal undereye concealer. I hope it works well for you!
      Yes, I pack very light πŸ˜› Preempting many purchases!

  18. Enjoy New York! Can’t wait to see what you’ll buy πŸ™‚

    I wish we had Dermabland in Opal here as well.. Our shade range starts one tint darker. I own the Toleriane corrector in a perfect super light shade by La Roche-Posay and although I love LRP and have many skin care products of the brand, this one breaks me out. I’ll get Dermablend in the right shade next time I’m in France πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Isabelle!
      Oh no! I purchased my Dermablend on so perhaps that might be an option if you’re looking for Opal? LRP is amazing for skincare, shame to hear the Toleraine breaks you out πŸ™ That’s a bummer! xx

  19. Hello again! Well, I’m brazilian, portuguese descendant. I haven’t met many girls called Milena, (maybe 2 or 3), so I wouldn’t say it’s a very ordinary name here, but it isn’t very rare either.
    Happy holidays! xo

  20. No judgment here – I’m from Pennsylvania, and now I live in Southern California. If I never see snow again, it will be too soon!

    What are you going to look for in New York, like what can’t you get in Australia that you will look for here (in the US)?

    1. I’ve been in NYC for two days and I’m happy to report that there has been no snow and for the most part, the cold hasn’t been so bitter! Don’t want to jinx it though πŸ˜›
      Well US cosmetics prices work out to be quite cheap for Australians (MAC, for example, is about half price for us- ridiculous) so a bit of everything! But in particular, US drugstore brands (wet n wild etc), Urban Decay (not available in Aus, strangely), MAC (half price woo!) and I also have a high end wishlist (bit of Tom Ford etc).

    1. Hey Laura,
      In terms of shopping? Don’t do any beauty shopping in Australia, we have the same range as the rest of the world at double the price. Definitely visit beaches though! Especially the more secluded ones πŸ™‚

  21. Hi Karima! I am thinkin bout getting the dermablend fluid. Do you find it oxidizes on you? Hold/weartime? Thoughts??? πŸ™‚ thsnk you!
    Loui x

    1. Hey Loui!
      Just a note, I use the Dermablend Fluid mostly for concealing (because it’s ultra pigmented). I don’t find it oxidises on me (largely, this comes down to skin type and skin PH though) and I find the longevity to be very good on my normal skin type (generally makeup sticks to me like a magnet). I’m doing a swatch/review post soon! x

  22. How useful on a plane where you have an uncomfortably chatty seatmate…gah. Yeah, I’m not feeling social on my days off, having to deal with the public for work. I much prefer my dogs’ company. Even though they’re large and fart a lot…

  23. My wife loves to travel and she takes lot of things for makeup when we go for any trip then i suggested your site to my wife and she likes it a lot we go to Australia and your blog helps us a lot………..