Travel Makeup Breakdown


I’ve been both Australia-absent and blog-absent for about 3 months, and thought I’d celebrate my return down under with a blog post before 2013 ends. Deciding what makeup to bring with me was a fairly agonising process, I mean does one REALLY need 7 eyeliners? And what happens when I get a tan? But I’m happy to report that I think I created the perfect little travel makeup kit that you can use to achieve any makeup look – and all in one highly practical 16 x 24 x 6.5cm bag.


There is something about handy compartments that really get me excited when it comes to bags. This one is the Large Hanging Travel Washbag from Muji. When Lily Pebbles talked about this little delight in her video, it was immediately on the top of my wishlist. It has been in constant use throughout the past year thanks to my constant moving back and forth between two homes, and I can definitely say that it has held up superbly. Big ticks all round.


Here is my makeup. Let me break it down for you by compartment.

Back Slip Pocket: Urban Decay’s Smoked Palette

This Smoked Palette by Urban Decay was purchased this specifically for the trip, as I knew it would be almost all I needed…and I was right. Aside from a shimmery highlight shade (hence Ricepaper in my MAC quad) and a lighter everyday bronze (in came my Bobbi Brown cream shadow in Bronze Sugar). Although it is purely marketed for creating smokey eyes, I found it perfectly versatile for both day and night.

Top Mesh Pocket: Cheek Products

This little pouch contained my Nars Duo in Angelika Laguna and Sleek’s Face Form in Light. With these two cheek palettes, I had two blushes (one pink, one coral), a bronzer, a contour powder and a highlighter. And not only are they convenient, well-packaged and perfect for travel, but they are also both of extremely high quality. Cheeks – sorted.

Slim Zip Pocket: Eyeliners

Eyeliners were the perfect item to go into this little zipped compartment, and they are (in my opinion) the best way to add variety to your makeup. Small and light, but highly versatile – good quality long-wearing eyeliners in a variety of colours can also act as cream shadows and eye bases. I had a range of 6 pencil liners – a skin-toned one to use as a highlighter both on my eyes and my face (Rimmel Scandaleyes Kohl Kajal in 005 Nude), 2 neutral shades (Bourjois Metallise in 53 Feuille de cuivre and 52 Brun inoxydable), 2 colours to add that pop (Bourjois Metallise in 54 Bleu clinquant and Rimmel Scandaleyes in 009 Green), and a standard black (Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Pencil in Perversion). I also threw in a black liquid liner (Soap & Glory’s Supercat) for creating winged eyeliner.

Back Elastic Rings: Primers and Bases

This is where I stashed my base face products – easily help upright by little elastic loops. I loved this feature of the makeup bag, as I could easily see my stuff from the moment I unzipped it. First on the left, I kept my Le Tan Daily Face Sheer Tint, which was a necessity in sunny Mauritius. Not only did it act as my daily moisturiser and SPF, but it also had a slight tint to it which meant it could be worn alone on good-skin days and beach trips. Next we have my Garnier BB Cream. I  tried this out just before my trip, and fell so madly in love that I just HAD to take it with me. It was the perfect everyday ‘foundation’ for my oily skin, and was lightweight but still provided decent coverage. Then there’s Maybelline Superstay Makeup, my favourite fuller-coverage, long-wearing, flawless-looking foundation for nights out. I brought one in a darker shade, anticipating a tan, and am so glad I did. By the end of my trip I was thinning it out with a little moisturiser and using it for my daily face base. Finally, I brought the Pore Minimizer by Clinique, a great primer when you’re expecting a lot of sweat and oil production. The light and sleek travel-friendly packaging also get big ticks.

Left Compartment: Concealers

There are five products in this category, and trust me, I needed them all. The top one standing alone gets used more as a highlighter than a concealer, and is the L’Oreal Lucent Magique pen. It’s one of my go-to face products for a night out as a little under the brows, on the cheekbones and down the nose looks beautiful in photos. The second tier are my two under-eye concealers. Garnier’s Anti-Dark Circles Roll-On is a long-time favourite of mine, and is perfect for morning use with its cooling metal roller-ball and added caffeine as an ingredient. When wearing a fuller face, I use the Dark Circles Eraser from Maybelline as its coverage is much more heavy-duty. And at the bottom, there’s my pair of blemish concealers, aka two of my holiest of holy grail items. On the left, the well raved about Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer that is even greater than all the hype it gets, and on the right, the Tea Tree Concealer by The Body Shop, which is pure magic for active blemishes thanks to the tea-tree oil it contains.

Right Compartment: Mascaras and Accessories

You’ll see later that I took a large assortment of falsies with me, but they were only used on special occasions and nights out. Sometimes I need my lashes to look their best, but still look real. For this purpose I used two waterproof  mascaras – Maybelline’s Full ‘N’ Soft for something slightly more natural, and Covergirl’s Lashblast for a greater impact, though often I’d just slather them both on. And of course, I could not forget my trusty Shiseido Eyelash Curler, and my nifty little mascara guard that prevented those pesky smudges all over my beautifully appliede eyeshadow.

Front Mesh Pocket: Tools and Smaller Items

This pocket stashed all my little bits and pieces that weren’t everyday basics. From left to right, there’s my Duo Eyelash Adhesive in Dark, nail scissors that proved more useful for my bushy eyebrows and price tags on new clothing purchases, Manicare Eyepencil Sharpener, tweezers, and the mini Urban Decay Primer Potion that came with the Smoked palette. Not the most used items in my makeup bag, but still travel essentials nonetheless.

Main Compartment: Everything Else

All my bulkier items went into the main compartment, and were neatly packed in to ensure minimal movement and therefore minimal breakage whilst in transit. Australis’s Finishing Powder was the only face powder I brought, and it truly came in handy for keeping the oilies at bay in the humid weather. I also took with me a little MAC quad containing only two eyeshadows – Ricepaper and Woodwinked. These served as backup eyeshadows in shades that the Smoked palette didn’t provide, but only Ricepaper was really used. I had planned to purchase more single shadows when overseas but came back empty handed thanks to my indecisive mind. Next along is a whooooole lotta fake eyelashes. I used the packaging from a 4-pack of Ardell’s Demi Wispies to store them, and had a wide variety of different styles for different looks. My Brow Kit from Sleek was another true essential that I brought, as I cannot leave the house without my brows done. And finally, my three Bobbi Brown faves – the Cream Shadow in Bronze Sugar and the Gel Eyeliners in Black Ink and Sepia Ink. These items go with me EVERYWHERE, and are my go-to everyday eye products.

Lippies Pouch

I LOVE my lip products. I think a good lip colour can pull a look together and create a statement in itself. That’s why I always have to travel with a separate bag jam-packed full of different lipsticks. This time, as I expected to experience both summer and winter, I had to be prepared with a wide variety of colours. My most used of the bunch had to be my Revlon Balm Stains as they’re pigmented, comfortable to wear, and easy to apply. I have raved on about them countless times, but to me, they make the perfect travelling lip arsenal.


Brush Roll

I used Sigma’s Brush Roll to store all my brushes, and I brought a range of mostly Sigma, Real Techniques and Ecotools brushes. There were enough to avoid having to regularly wash them, but not so many that they didn’t all get used. The brushes were placed in its pouches according to its function. From left to right – eyeliner, foundation, concealer, under-eye concealer/blending smaller base areas, foundation, bronzer, powder, blush, contour, eyeshadow blending, inner corner and browbone highlighting, eyeliner smudging, cream shadow, base shadow, and eyebrows.


I hope you had a very merry Christmas and Happy New Year for tomorrow. Stay safe, and I’ll see you in 2014!

Therese x

Scents and Studying: Jo Malone’s Lime, Basil & Mandarin


With final exams looming next week, I’ve retreated to my room aka “the study cave” – and I’m missing out on the beautiful weather outside.
To console myself, however, I’ve taken to burning my favourite candle day in and day out. My lovely housemate gifted me this Jo Malone Lime, Basil and Mandarin candle for my birthday a few months back. This was in the depths of winter – where I didn’t find I liked it so much.

The citrus and spice of the candle lacks a certain kind of warmth that I crave when it’s cold out, but on a warmer day it brings a comforting freshness and subtle sweetness to a room. It’s perfect to work to, and the citrus notes are full of life.

Jo Malone doesn’t come cheap, but when this runs out, I might have to purchase another. And one more in the Nectarine Blossom and Peach which I’ve been dying to try forever!

I sense an unhealthy spending habit coming on.

Would You Rather (Beauty Edition) Tag

I had so much fun doing the last tag, I decided to give another one a go! I’ve definitely caught tag fever.

1. Would you rather lose all of your mascaras, eyeliners, lipsticks, and lipglosses or lose all of your palettes and eyeshadows?

Definitely palettes and eyeshadows. A good quality eyeliner makes an excellent cream shadow guys!

2. Would you rather chop off all your hair or never be able to cut it again?

You know what, I think going bald would be the winner here. You could just wear a wig every day, plus imagine how much money you’d save on hair products!

3. Would you rather have a coral cheek or a pink cheek

Coral cheek all the way. It just suits my skintone much better, and I feel like it goes with way more looks.

4. If you had $1000 to spend, would you rather buy clothes or makeup?

I’m gonna have to go with clothes for this one. I don’t think I’d know how to spend that much on makeup even if I wanted to! With makeup, it’s enough to have good quality versatile basics. For example, you may only need one matte dark brown eyeshadow, but you could definitely do with more than one white mini skirt! Clothing is just much more variable, and with both classics and trendy pieces, $1000 would go in a flash!

5. Would you rather apply lipstick as eyeliner, or eyeliner as lipstick?

Oh god…lipstick as eyeliner? Ew!! No way.

6. Would you rather only shop at MAC or Sephora?

Even though there isn’t a Sephora in Australia, I’d choose it over MAC. I’ve been to one or two overseas, and they have quite a few brands I really like. MAC on the other hand is really hit or miss for me, I’ve tried enough dissapointing products from them to turn me off the brand.

7. Would you rather only use one eyeshadow colour or one lip colour for the rest of your life?

Only one eyeshadow! Some kind of shimmery rich shimmery chocolate brown – that way you can wear it sheer during the day or pack it on for an evening look. Plus, again, you can work on your eye looks with some eyeliners! I could not imagine having to choose just one lip colour…I get a headache just thinking about it.

8. Would you rather wear winter clothes in summer or summer clothes in winter?

It depends on the restrictions of this questions. I often wear my ‘summer’ clothes in winter – just whack on stockings, a pair of boots and a cute jacket, and you’re good to go. However, if it’s summer/winter clothes and nothing else, I’d have to opt for the other choice. I’d rather sweat my balls off than be constantly ill and cold all winter!

9. Would you rather have dark nails or bright nails all year round?

Definitely going to go with the bright nails for this one! I don’t restrict my nail polish choice to seasons, and in fact neon shades are a particular favourite of mine in the winter. I feel like they pop more, especially if you’re wearing dark clothing, and they also make you feel more happy!

10. Would you rather give up your favourite lip product or your favourite eye product?

This is a hard one! I can’t even pick my single favourite lip or eye product of all time, let alone decide if I could live without it. Either way, there are always dupes out there so I don’t think I’d be all too fussed.

11. Would you rather only be able to wear your hair in a ponytail or a messy bun?

As much as I love both those styles,  I’ll have to pick a ponytail. Ponytails are quite versatile as you can make them look sleek or messy, and messy buns hardly stay in place for me anyway (unless if i stick in a dozen bobby pins).

12. Would your rather never be able to paint your nails again or never use lipgloss?

I never use lipgloss anyway, so I don’t even have to think about this one!

13. Would you rather shave your eyebrows and have none at all or sharpie them in everyday?

Sharpie! Sharpie sharpie sharpie!!! You can get some fine tip sharpies nowadays, in a variety of colours (including dark brown), so I don’t think it would be too hard to draw on a semi-decent pair. Definitely could NOT live a life without brows on my face!

14. Would you rather live without makeup or nail polish?

This one’s a given – nail polish for sure! Once I graduate and start working, I probably won’t be able to wear nail polish anyway for hygiene reasons. But no makeup for the rest of my life? HELL no!!

Therese x

Beauty on a Budget: I ❤ Drugstore Makeup Tag

I’m a stingy Asian and an unemployed full-time student. I’m also a makeup hoarder, so all in all I feel like this tag was made for me.

Here we go!


1. What is your favourite drugstore makeup brand?

Maybelline wins overall for their quality, value for money, and consistency with all types of products. Rimmel’s been really stepping up their game recently, so they come a close second!

2. What are your favourite face, cheek and lip products?

Face: I would ordinarily pick Collection’s Lasting Perfection Concealer or Sleek’s Contour Kit, but since neither of them are readily available in Australia, I feel like that would be a little mean. So instead, I picked Maybelline’s Superstay 24 hour foundation. While I love a LOT of drugstore foundations for everyday wear, this is the only one that I choose for events and nights out. It has a gorgeous finish, lasts well even on my oily skin, is comfortable to wear and photographs beautifully. I have about 5 bottles of this at the moment in various shades and differing levels of emptiness, and I will definitely be repurchasing. I used to be an avid Revlon Colourstay user as many others are, but now I can’t fathom how I let myself put that paint-smelling heavy-feeling thick gross substance on my face.

I’ve got a bonus one for you Aussies – Australis’ Ready Set Go Finishing Powder. I’ve been using it for about 3 years and it is SERIOUSLY good.

Cheek: I never intended on being a cheek product snob, but almost all my most used blushes and bronzers are from high-end brands. Bourjois’ Delice de Soleil Bronzing Powder is the one exception. It’s a great everyday bronzer with a nice texture, and it leaves you with natural radiant tan. I’m not too picky when it comes to bronzers – as long as it’s not too orange, I can make it work – but what sets this one apart is the fantastic packaging, the delicious smell, and simply how effortlessly it enhances your complexion.

Lip: My most used lip product has got to be Maybelline’s Baby Lips Pink Glow in Pink Blast. It’s extremely moisturising and also gives your lips a gorgeous flush of lips. I find that the colour brightens my face up while still being very natural, and I now use it more often than my old fave Nivea ! Revlon’s Just Kissable Balm Stains come second, and I also love all the Rimmel lipsticks (particularly the ones from the Kate Moss ranges).

3. Least favorite product?

I tend to always read reviews before purchasing something new (upvote for makeupalley!), but once when browsing the Essence stand, I decided to take a chance on their ‘I Love Rock Gloss Eye Pencil’. When I swatched it in the store, it came out as a seriously pigmented dark dark black with a beautiful glossy finish. Plus it was dirt cheap. However the first time I applied it, it was running down my face within half an hour – not something I had expected from an eyeliner was described as being long-lasting. Granted, I have fairly oily lids, but it was by no means a warm day, and I wasn’t doing anything strenuous. I might give it another go in my waterline or as an eyeshadow base, as I’ve read in a few reviews that people have had better luck using it that way. And if it still doesn’t work for me, at least it’s only 3 bucks down the drain!

4. What is the best makeup bargain?

I’m not too sure what this question is getting at, but for a truly inexpensive makeup brand, Essence really delivers when it comes to value for money. For  Aussies, Face of Australia is another good one to check out.

As for sales, it’s always good to scour Priceline, Target, Kmart and Big W for their offers. If I spy a 50% off or BOGO deal, I jump on that bandwagon like a fat kid jumps on cake. Recently, I’ve also been really into shopping for cosmetics from Chemist Warehouse. It seems like Maybelline, Rimmel Revlon and is ALWAYS 50% off there, so I highly recommend you ignore the ostentatious signs and pop in to have a look!

5. What is your favourite underdog product? (Something you love that often gets overlooked?)

Bourjois does these amaaaazing eyeliners that have been my favourites for years, and that I’ve repurchased countless times. There’s a couple of really decent high end eyeliners in my stash, and these blow them out of the water. I have no idea how they have never been a YouTube craze.

I’m talking about the ‘Regard Effet Metallise’ line of metallic liners, and the two shades that I’ve bought over and over again are 52 Brun Inoxydable (a rich chocolate bronzey-brown) and 53 Feuille de Cuivre (a pale rosey copper). These eyeliners are seriously smooth, creamy and pigmented, they smudge beautifully, and once they stay on, they stay on. They’re also extremely versatile – I’ve used them as eyeliners, on my waterline, and as cream shadows. The Feuille de Cuivre shade in particular is really unique, and it’s the kind of colour that makeup junkies would go ga-ga over. You would too, so you should probably go out and buy one right now.

I also love the bright blue for a pop of colour during the summer.

6. A drugstore product that is overpriced?

Everything from Revlon. Everything from L’oreal. Everything from Physician Formula. Everything from Max Factor. Everything that’s not on sale. Girl on a budget here!

7. Show your best drugstore dupe(s)!!

Physician Formula’s Bronze Booster in Medium-Dark is a good dupe for the famous and well-loved Nars Laguna. It’s a little more matte, but the base shade is very similar.

Australis’ Colour Inject Lipstick in Honky Tonk is the same peachy creamsicle shade as Burberry’s Lip Cover in Devon Sunset. Even the formulas are the same – creamy and moisturising with medium-high pigmentation.

Bourjois’ little pot eyeshadow in 08 Beige Rose looks incredibly similar to Mac’s Ricepaper. They’re both gorgeous highlight shades that impart more of a sheen than a shimmer, and I love to use them for my browbone. Ricepaper has a more yellow-y tone, but on the skin they look pretty much identical. Even the level of pigmentation is the same.

8. Drugstore product that isn’t worth the hype?

If you look above at question two, I’ve already expressed my dislike of the worldwide favourite Revlon Colourstay foundation. So instead, I’m going to talk about another much loved product that has gotten a whole lot of hype in the past year.

Maybelline’s Colour Tattos. Before you try to hunt me down and gut me like a fish, let me explain myself. The first cream shadows I really tried were the long wear cream shadows from Bobbi Brown. They were my first love, and they have spoiled me for all other cream shadows. Don’t get me wrong, the colour tattoos are decent products, especially given their price, but I find the formula so much more difficult to work with than Bobbi Brown’s. They’re not as buttery smooth, aren’t as easy to blend, and feel kind of weird and tacky for some time after I apply it. I think they’re much more suited as bases than cream shadows, especially on my oily lids. My colour tatoos are also feeling all dried up after a few months, whereas my BB cream shadow is two years old and just as smooth as ever! Maybelline do some excellent bright and vibrant colours though, an area in which Bobbi Brown is lacking.

Therese x

Apple and Cinnamon Iced Tea

The sun is out, the weather is warming up, and I’ve developed an obsession with making my own iced tea.

This recipe came to be when I was spontaneously inspired to brew a big jug of flavoured iced tea, and I had to make do with what was already in my kitchen. There was no diced fruit, no fruit syrups, no mint…but what I did have was apple juice. And given that apple and cinnamon is one of my favourite food combinations, it was naturally the first idea that popped into my head.

I have since made this over again three times. I love having a jug of it sitting in the fridge, waiting to consumed whenever I fancy. My recommendation is to make it at night so there’s time for the flavours to infuse and the tea to chill, and it’ll be ready for you to drink the next day



  • 2 teabags (I like to use English Breakfast or Traditional Afternoon tea)
  • 1.5 L water, boiled
  • 2 tbsps honey
  • 250 mL apple juice
  • 1.5 tbsps cinnamon (amount varies depending on your taste – I personally LOVE a strong cinnamon flavour)
  • Ice cubes


Put the teabags into a large jug and pour in your freshly boiled water. Leave to steep for 15 minutes, then remove teabags.

Stir in the honey until dissolved.

You have two options now – you can put the cinnamon straight in and stir vigorously, or you can first mix it with a little of the hot water. Either way, you will probably still up with some cinnamon sludge at the bottom of the jug after a few hours of sitting around. I don’t really mind it, but if that grosses you out, use cinnamon sticks instead.

Pour in your apple juice, mix thoroughly once more, then place in the fridge overnight to chill.

When you’re ready to drink, pour into a glass and top with several cubes of ice. Or if you like, you can do what I did and use a completely unnecessary novelty tumbler (only #3 at Kmart guys). Call me crazy, but it just makes the whole summer drink experience that much better.

Therese x