For the past several days, I’ve been jamming to Lady Gaga’s new song (ft. Ariana Grande), “Rain On Me,” pretty much nonstop. The song is amazing, and the music video is equally fabulous. This music release feels like it’s from another world—and certainly, the video must have been shot before the current global pandemic situation. If you somehow haven’t yet seen/head this masterpiece, here you go:
Gaga and Ari’s makeup/entire look in this video inspired me to glam up my own face a bit this Memorial Day. I just washed all my makeup brushes (long overdue—if you’re reading this, you probably should, too. Just sayin’) and they’re currently drying, so I only used sponges and fingers (mostly fingers) for this look, a fun challenge. I usually am a major brush lover, so it was refreshing to get out of my comfort zone application-wise.
Color-wise, though, this look was right in my comfort zone, which is to say, PURPLE. Whenever I’m wearing a non-neutral makeup look, chances are that it’s mostly purple. It’s my second-favorite color (yellow, unfortunately, is not quite as flattering on my face), and it makes brown eyes pop! I’m just obsessed. I used a combination of new and well-loved products to create this look and I’m loving the subtly space-glam vibe. Plus, no fussy application techniques, since again, I didn’t have any brushes to use. Read on to learn what products I used to create this look!
I’m typing this from the airport, waiting to board my flight for a week and a half full of spring break adventure (!!!) in places warmer than Vermont (!!!!!). I always love reading people’s vacation packing lists, so I thought I’d share my own! This post will focus on the makeup I brought, and I’ll likely do another about my clothes, too.
Now, listen: When I wear makeup, I like to wear a lot of it. To some people, this might seem like an excessive amount of makeup to bring on vacation. But for me, it’s…just right. I think. I hope. We’ll see!
This trip will involve a few days of hiking/outdoors adventuring, a few days of bopping around the city, a few nights out on the town, and a few days of just chillin’ in Cedar Rapids. So the makeup I brought is pretty low-key, with a few choice elements to jazz things up into a more ~fun~ look. Read on for my thoughts on each product—they’re all ones I genuinely love!
This has been my go-to combo of products lately for a fresh-faced…face, so I decided to stick with it for the whole trip.
Covergirl Clean Fresh Skin Milk (530, Fair/Light): I got this to try out recently after running out of my previous lower-coverage complexion product, NYX BB cream. And I’ve gotta say—I LOVE it. (The one thing I don’t love is this inexplicable trend of vegan beauty products including the word “milk” in their name. See also: Milk Makeup.) It goes on sheer, with buildable coverage; the finish is glowy, and it feels like nothing on the skin. I’m glad I got the chance to support recently cruelty-free Covergirl and their new vegan product line! I may do a full review of this product in the future, so stay tuned, but for now consider it a thumbs-up.
Makeup Revolution Conceal & Define (C6.5): This line of concealers has been my go-to for a while. They are affordable, blendable, offer good coverage without creasing, and come in a wide range of shades. What more can you ask from a concealer, really?
CoverFX Illuminating Setting Powder (Light): CoverFX is a brand that consistently impresses me. This setting powder is great and mattifies without flat-ifying. The travel size has lasted forevvvver and I bring it on basically every trip I take.
Covergirl Clean Fresh Cream Blush (390, Ripe & Ready): Another product from Covergirl’s new Clean Fresh line, and another win in my book! I’ve never used Glossier Cloud Paints, but I’ve heard this product is a dupe for them. This shade is opaquer and much more shimmery than other cream/liquid blushes I’ve used in the past, but once it’s on the cheeks it looks just like a lovely flush. The staying power is quite impressive, and this berry shade is the only blush I brought on the trip.
Kani Botanicals Prismatic Highlighter (Rose Quartz): I admired this highlighter from afar for months before I bought it, and I’m so glad I finally did! (Even better, I actually got it as a gift-with-purchase from a Petit Vour order.) The packaging is gorgeous and compact, so it’s perfect for travel; the dense yet creamy texture is easy to apply and blend; and the shade adds a lovely pinkish glow that’s not too over-the-top sparkly. If you’re looking for a cool-toned highlighter that feels luxurious, I would definitely recommend this one.
Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion (Original): This is the OG and still my favorite eye primer! It’s essential for me to keep eyeshadows from creasing. I’m almost done with this tube, though, and planning to try something more affordable next. Let me know if you have any suggestions.
Ilia The Necessary Eyeshadow Palette (Cool Nudes): I talked about this palette more in my something old, something new post, so I’ll give you the tl;dr version here: It’s a versatile, compact, beautiful, high-performing eyeshadow palette and I love it very much. There’s also a Warm Nudes edition if that’s more your speed.
Modern Minerals Eyeshadow (Cherish): Since the Ilia palette is, by definition, all cool shades, I brought along one warmer shadow that also happens to be my favorite for a super-quick wash of color all over the lid. This shade is seriously gorgeous and complex while still being subtle enough for any occasion.
Urban Decay Eyeshadow (Fishnet): I brought this purple shadow, along with a couple other purple products I’ll introduce you to shortly, to do a more colorful look for nights out on the town. Purple is my favorite bright color to use for makeup because it is just so dang gorgeous…especially on brown eyes. And this shade is a great iteration of it.
Fenty Beauty Flyliner (Cuz I’m Black): I’ve had this Fenty liquid liner for awhile and it’s now on its last legs, but I gave up buying beauty products for Lent, so it’s sticking around for a few more weeks. It’s a perfectly good black liquid liner and I love the triangular shape, but once it runs out I’ll probably try KVD Tattoo Liner now that the brand is finally (really) cruelty-free.
Stila Smudge Sticks (Vivid Amethyst and Vivid Labradorite): Sharpening eyeliner pencils is one of my least favorite things to do in this world—they always break or turn into a mushy mess, and I inevitably end up with eyeliner all over my hands—so I have embraced the convenience of twist-up liners. Stila’s is the best that I’ve found, and these grey and purple shades are go-tos for me.
Nabla Dazzle Liner (Royal Blood): This sparkly purple liquid liner is another product that I brought along for night-out pizzazz. I actually kind of forgot about it before I grabbed it for this trip (bad!), so I’m excited to play with it again.
Tarte Lights Camera Lashes: In the realm of mascaras, I usually rely on free samples that come with my Sephora orders, but when I found myself wandless a couple months ago I picked up a mini size of this go-to mascara. I’m #blessed with pretty long lashes naturally, so I don’t need a miracle worker, but this mascara always gets the job done and looks good doing it. And while I have…mixed feelings…about the packaging, it does fit in with the glittery purple theme of this post so I’ll give it that.
Essence Lash & Brow Gel Mascara: Clear brow gel! Does what it is supposed to do and keeps my brow hairs in line and out of trouble (for the most part).
I originally planned to bring twice as many lip products, then decided that was ridiculous as I will inevitably wear one (1) lip gloss the whole trip anyway. So I definitely don’t need this many lip products, but I love to have options—even if I won’t use them.
Rainwater Botanicals Tangerine & Grapefruit Lip Balm: Lip balm is a winter essential! This one has a lovely citrus scent and comes in eco-friendly metal tin packaging. It’s super moisturizing and the smell is an instant mood lift.
The Mikay Brand lip gloss(Baby): A current student at my alma mater, Washington University in St. Louis, created her own lip gloss line and it’s great! Shiny, smooth, shimmery, moisturizing, and imparts a hint of color. The overall effect for me is similar to the Fenty Gloss Bomb (at a fraction of the price). Support a young woman entrepreneur and check out The Mikay Brand for all your sheer gloss needs.
Em Cosmetics Lip Gloss (Aurora Pink): I’ve been a Michelle Phan fan (a phan, if you will) ever since I read a feature on her in the pages of Teen Vogue—probably a decade ago at this point. She introduced me to the whole world of YouTube beauty gurus and inspired my lifelong love of makeup. Fittingly, I LOVE her brand Em Cosmetics that relaunched a couple years ago. This lip gloss is the perfect pink shade—not too neutral, not too bright—and its smooth, gel-like, cushiony texture is to die for. If I could only choose one lip product to bring with me to a deserted island (lol), this would be it.
Em Cosmetics Infinite Lip Cloud (Muted Mauve): I feel like the liquid lipstick wave has been receding for the past couple years, but if you find yourself in the market for a good LL, this formula is non-drying and overall pretty great. The moussey (not mousey!) texture reminds me of a classic, NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream, but Em’s iteration feels more luxe and goes on less patchily.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss (Venom): For the most pigmented lip gloss on the market, look no further than ABH. This rich, sparkly berry shade has the lasting power and color payoff of a lipstick with the eye-catching shine of a gloss. It’s special enough for a night out and still wearable enough for day-to-day.
Bite Beauty Crystal Crème Shimmer Lip Crayon (Grape Glaze): Bite Beauty recently revamped their entire product line to be 100% vegan, and I, for one, couldn’t be happier! I’ve always love Bite’s twist-up lip pencil/stick hybrid packaging, and now I can enjoy it anew. This shimmery purple lipstick is gorgeous and so much fun. I’ll definitely be wearing it in my night-out looks.
I brought four face brushes (foundation, powder, blush, highlighter) and five eye brushes along for the ride. They’re a mix of Sigma, Real Techniques, e.l.f., and EcoTools.
That’s all the makeup I brought on my trip, and I think I’ll put it to good use! I hope you enjoyed this post, and please let me know if you’d like more packing lists or an in-depth review of any of these products.