Monday, December 3, 2012

What's in Lola's Secret Travel Makeup Case?

When I was recently asked which of my brushes I have been taking with me when I travel lately- I said that I would post pictures of them. The more I pondered my stash, the more that I thought that I should just reveal what's inside my travel makeup case- which is really all the more relevant since I am out of town as I type these words. The makeup case itself is a generous houndstooth-laden GWP valise-style case given to me during a Dior event at Sephora a few years ago, and it has proven to be quite convenient indeed.
This case actually fits a surprising amount of stuff- much to my delight!
Underneath all of the goodies there is actually a generously sized zipper compartment that is affixed to the lid with snaps, and since it is removable- it is all the more user friendly. All of the items that are shown here were actually stowed away in the zipper compartment- a well thought-out feature that prevents them from rattling around in the case itself. Before getting into the details of the contents, I must preface it by saying that at first blush (pun intended) there may appear to be no rhyme or reason to my choices. However, there is some method to my madness. The obvious omission of many of my favorite items is not without some thought. I basically broke what I took with me into two categories: 1) things that I am testing out, and 2) things that I am either, a) trying to make a dent in, or b) just think that I need to use more often (and may have been neglecting lately). One of the hazards of beauty blogging is that one can easily amass a ridiculously large stash, and then subsequently end up neglecting much of it. Silly consequence, I know.

The items stored in the zipper pocket are tools, a mirror, an eyeshadow palette, and a perfume oil. 

From left to right:

1) Tweezerman magnifying mirror (suction back to adhere to a large mirror or window). I think the magnification is 10x, and trust me when I tell you that one has no business evaluating pores, pimples, or anything else found on the face with this degree of magnification because it is very easy to lose perspective and literally make a mountain out of a mole hill. Really beware if you have a penchant for picking and plucking- it is very easy to become obsessive about, well literally nothing! I usually have it affixed to my master bathroom mirror which is flooded with natural light from the adjacent window-- this does me no favors in making skin discoveries that can never again be unseen. My sister and husband both discovered my mirror, and subsequently cursed me for their trip down the rabbit hole. BEWARE, just sayin'!

2) Brushes- The brushes themselves are housed within a small rectangular pouch (you can barely see it right now because they are sitting on top of it in this picture) that I ransacked from a one of those Trish McEvoy Makeup Planners that was a hand-me-down from my mom. It has velcro backing that made it adhere to the inside of the planner, but it in no way impedes its performance in the Dior case. Truthfully, I did not put a great deal of thought into the 12 brushes that I selected for this trip. I grabbed some of the brushes that I really enjoy using, and just went with it. I go home with enough frequency that I am forever changing my traveling stash. 

Left to right: Hakuhodo G527 Powder Brush D (reviewed here), Hakuhodo 210 Blush Brush (reviewed here), Hakuhodo K014 Brow Comb Brush, Hakuhodo Kokutan Eye Shadow Brush M (reviewed here), Hakuhodo G5515BkSL, Hakuhodo K005 Eyeshadow Brush Round and Flat (reviewed here), MAC 211, MAC 208, MAC 226, MAC 316 (very old lip brush made in France), Tweezerman Lash Comb (reviewed here), Eco Tools blender brush, and Eco Tools crease brush (both of the Eco Tools brushes are from the mini eye brush kit). 

3) Artestile Nail File, Nail Clippers, and Tweezers (reviews forthcoming). These are gorgeous handcrafted Italian tools that are simply divine.

4) Tweezerman Cynthia Rowley FileMate nail file (reviewed here). This is an awesome nail file- it works very well, and features a charming design. 

5) MAC 15 Pan Pro Palette filled with MAC and Rouge Bunny Rouge eye shadows. It is buried underneath the Artestile tools, Eco Tools, and Tweezerman tools. This palette is just so convenient for traveling, and the slim profile makes it fit beautifully in the zipper pouch without taking up much space at all.

6) Kai Perfume Oil (reviewed here). I am addicted to this lovely scent! I literally take it with me wherever I go.
While you may be proud of me- because it may appear as though I used a measure of self-restraint in my choices, I need to come clean in the spirit of full disclosure-- my makeup bag that I carry with me is stuffed to the brim with all manner of lippies (lipsticks, lip glosses and lip balms). Yes, I have a problem- what of it?!

Top left compartment

1) Chanel Joues Contraste in Narcisse (yes, that Narcisse #44-- which is the stuff legends are made of). It really is that good. It is the US version- though I also own the Euro version as well. Don't get me started on how much it bothers me that it was discontinued in the US). Chanel really knows how to make a mean blush!

2) Rodin Olio Lusso Luxury Lip Balm (reviewed here). Pure unadulterated bliss!

3) Susan Thompson Cosmetics Mim's the Word Liquid Blush sample size (reviewed here). I wanted to use up my sample, but I use my full size bottle all of the time. BEST. BLUSH. EVER! Enter to win  a full Size Mim's the Word Liquid Blush HERE!!

4) Le Métier de Beauté Nail Lacquer Two in One Base & Top Coat. Very nice stuff, indeed.

Middle left compartment:

1) Covergirl Clump Crusher Mascara (review forthcoming). So far, I'm really loving it!

2) Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Black Ink. A classic. I have a pile of them, but Black Ink is by far my favorite.

3) MAC Mineralize Eye Shadow in Fresh Green Mix from the Electroflash Collection (LE, and long ago discontinued). This is the only MAC Mineralize Eye Shadow that I have tried that I didn't have a horrible allergic reaction to. It is a melange of greens that mix to a lovely shade of olive on one side, and a lovely bright yellow-toned green on the other. It's gorgeous and buttery soft with great pigmentation.

4) MAC Paint Pots in Painterly and Constructivist. I use the former as a base, but the latter is such a gorgeous brown that I wear it as a stand alone shadow with a winged liner!

Bottom left compartment:

1) NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer in Alaska (reviewed here). I love this tinted moisturizer, and as a tinted moisturizer kind of girl I simply don't throw around the word love.

2) Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Makeup Base S Lavender Pink. I love KGD products, and this is a definite hit.

3) Giorgio Armani Maestro Foundation (review forthcoming). I know I still haven't reviewed this- primarily because I still need to sort through my mixed feelings about it. There are aspects that I love about it, but an equal number that I don't care for. Once I finish pondering it, I promise to reveal what I find to be the good, the bad, and the ugly.

4) Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer. This is what a primer should be! I love this stuff passionately!

5) Giorgio Armani Maestro Eraser Concealer (review forthcoming). The jury is still out on this one as well. Once I have cogent things to say about it- I will say them. Until then, I will continue to use it to determine how I really feel about it.

6) MAC Select Moisture Cover (NW 20)- though in MAC-speak I tend to be more of an NC20. I love this stuff- it works well, keeps my under eye area relatively hydrated, and it conceals as it is supposed to.

Top right compartment:

1) MAC Eye Kohl in Rosemary & Thyme and Powersurge (reviewed here). These are both lovely, but I really love Powersurge-- it's a gorgeous shade that makes my hazel eyes pop!

2) Le Métier de Beauté Dualistic Eye Pencil in Tamarack (reviewed here). GORGEOUS!

3) MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Eyes 0L (black). Once it sets it won't budge. I have been using this 0L for years!

4) Covergirl Liquilineblast eye liner in Black (review forthcoming). Quite a big surprise. A drugstore eye liner that rivals luxury brands in quality. I love it!

5) MAKE UP FOR EVER Sharpener. OK, it sharpens things as it is supposed to. I like it, but I don't give it much thought as long as it doesn't chew up what it's sharpening.

Middle right compartment:

1) Burberry Lip Mist in Field Rose No. 213 and Lip Mist in Pink Heather No. 210 (reviews forthcoming). These have captured my heart in every possible way.

2) Hourglass Femme Rouge Velvet Crème Lipstick in Edition (review forthcoming). FABULOUS PRODUCT and a GORGEOUS color!

3) Giorgio Armani Rouge D'Armani Lipsticks in Beige 103 (reviewed here and here) and Pink 501 (review forthcoming). The Rouge D'Armani Lipstick formula might just be my very favorite luxury department store brand. This is a phenomenal formula.

4) Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Royallieu 58 (reviewed here). I love this pale pink shade, and am a big fan of the Rouge Coco Shine formula, in general.

Bottom right compartment:

1) MAC Pink Treat Cremestick Liner. This is a very nice creamy formula that really feels nice and stays put.

2) Guerlain Kiss Kiss Gloss in Figue Plaisir 866 (review forthcoming). Just a delightful formula, and a gorgeous color.

3) MAC Kissable Lipcolour in Woo Me. I wish that MAC made the Kissable Lipcolours part of their permanent range of products- it is one of their very best formulas in my opinion. It is a hybrid lipstick/lip gloss formula with beautifully saturated pigmented colors. Woo Me is a lovely nude.

4) Chantecaille Brilliant Gloss in Love (reviewed here). This is an astounding formula- who cares that this is a fairly dupable sheer pink gloss- it's hard to find a better formula lip gloss out there at any price point. Next on my list: Charm. And no, it hasn't a thing to do with Angelina Jolie in either instance. 

5) Giorgio Armani Gloss D'Armani Pink 507 (review forthcoming). Gorgeous color, gorgeous formula. Armani really has figured out how to make perfect lip glosses and lipsticks.

What do you carry with you when you travel?


  1. This is all fantastic, thank you!

    I am so jealous of that houndstooth case. Looks really handy & perfect for travelling.

    Do you find the Artestile tweezers better than Tweezerman? I find my Tweezerman doesn't grab smaller hairs & was thinking about getting Anastasia's tweezers, having heard good things -- so am curious about the Artestile.

    I am still slowly, AGONISINGLY narrowing down my cart at Hakuhodo, so I was wondering what your thoughts are on the G5515. I have it in my cart right now, but am wary of the horse hair -- I have quite sensitive skin. Do you find this one pokey at all?

    Thanks again for doing this post! :>

    1. You are so welcome, Toby! I'm glad that you liked the post. The Houndstooth case really is perfect for traveling, but it isn't super high quality either. It's good a serviceable, but it does feel a bit more like GWP case than one that you would actually buy. I imagine after a bit more use that it might become a bit ratty.

      I haven't used the Artestile products long enough yet to determine whether I think that they are better than Tweezerman. My first observations are that they feel amazing while holding them because of the way that they are shaped. They are definitely beautifully made. They seem to have no problem grabbing smaller hairs, but then they are brand new-- so the real test will be whether or not they still do after I have used them for a while. So far, I am very impressed by everything that I have tried from them. I haven't tried Anastasia's tweezers, but have heard good things about them.

      OMG, do I ever know the feeling of agonizing over what is in my Hakuhodo cart-- I have been there many times! I love my G5515- I also have the G5514. The horse hair isn't at all scratchy- for me at least. My eyes are pretty sensitive, and I have never had a problem with any of their horse hair brushes being rough and scratchy. In terms of pokey-- even though the brush is tapered to a point- I find mine to be very gentle on the skin. I don't imagine that they have changed it in any way since I bought mine about a year ago.

      Let me know what you end up ordering from Hakuhodo! ;)

    2. Thanks for the info on the Artestile products & the G5515!

      I have these in my cart from Hakuhodo right now:

      J5523 - blending
      K007 - lining, pinpoint concealing
      G538 - concealing
      G5515 - inner corner, smudging out liner
      G5529 - soft blending
      G521 - tightlining
      K005 - lining
      G515 - laydown, & because a lot of people seem to like it (I'm a sheeple, baaa!)

      I currently have a laydown brush & blush brush that I like, & I don't use foundation or powder, so am okay on those. Any thoughts? :X

    3. You are so welcome, Toby- it is absolutely my pleasure to help in any way that I can! My thoughts: WHAT AN AMAZING SELECTION OF HAKUHODOS!!!!!!!! I'm drooling over your list! I'm quite curious about the J Line since I don't have a single brush from that series! Keep me posted on what you end up ultimately getting!!!!!!

    4. I grabbed all of those, plus a brow brush (K015). :) This is by far the largest purchase I've ever made online, so I'm feeling a little bit green right now, haha! Hopefully I will receive the package quickly & without hassle. Thanks for all of your help -- I really appreciate it! & I will definitely let you know my thoughts once I receive it all.

      (Still regretting not grabbing a Kokutan or S-line brush -- but I know, as clumsy as I am, I'd chip the handles on an S-line brush immediately, & as for the Kokutan, maybe next time!)

    5. I think that you will be deliriously happy with your purchases, Toby! Have no fear-- Hakuhodo has outstanding customer service, and if you ever have a problem email them and Marty will help you. The customer service is legendary, and is precisely what one comes to expect from Hakuhodo. The S line and Kokutan lines are both outstanding-- and I love all of mine. Just make your list of the brushes that you like so that you can mull it over for a while before placing another order. It is very easy to fall way down the Hakuhodo rabbit hole-- so I urge you to take a really good inventory of all of your brushes (including what you just ordered) before placing your next order. It's really easy to get caught up in the rapture of Hakuhodo fever (and then end up with a crazy credit card bill :) Not that I would know from first hand experience- LOL!!!!!

    6. I'm hoping to go to Japan at some point in the next couple years -- so the plan is to mull things over & then buy some Haku, Chiku, Suqqu etc. when I can see them in person. Of course, that's the PLAN... always subject to change. ;)

      Thanks so much for all your patience & kindness!

    7. Oh, Toby- that sounds like a spectacular plan!! No need to thank me-- I'm thrilled to help, and love interacting with you! :-)

  2. Wowie. This case is amazing and all the products herein. Do you have a method for selecting the products for trips based on looks or favorites? I have a hefty Mandarina Duck case and I tend to just throw things in there (like 5 foundations, 4 lipliners and forgetting eyebrow product) and then end up using only a few things. I also notice skincare goes out the window when I travel because I get lazy and tired.

    1. Thanks, Bellyhead!! I'm glad that you like it! My method for selecting what I take is somewhat haphazard- I sort of choose based upon my mood. On this particular trip I did a combination of some favorites, some things that I am testing out to review, and other things that I am just trying to use up. Surprisingly I don't pack with looks in mind generally speaking- but I do try to pick colors that will be compatible in case I decide to do something more daring. Like you, I don't always use what I take-- but I am on a mission to use up (or at least make a dent in some of my stash-- so I do find some motivation to branch out and use more things because of this desire. I'm pretty diligent about using my skincare when I travel-- and right now I am testing a new line so I am being especially good to be consistent. Even when I am tired and unmotivated I force myself to get up and wash my face-- some days it takes way for effort though!! xoxox

  3. I love the Dior GWP case! I've never run across one of this design. It reminds me of a mini/flat train case. I love that is had compartments to keep your things organized. Any idea what brand out there might make a similar designed cosmetic bag that is of better quality?

    1. Hi Jennifer--

      It really is a pretty cool case to travel with. Truth be told, I hadn't really used it much other than as a place to store backup products and samples. However, on a whim I switched over to it about a month ago, and really couldn't be more delighted-- everything is easy to see and access.

      I hadn't seen anything like it until the other day online- I saw a couple from Bobbi Brown. That said, I have seen neither in person so I can't in any way vouch for their quality or whether they are ultimately as user-friendly as one might like. Here are the links:

      The first one differs quite a bit with respect to the interior layout, and the second doesn't show pictures of the interior at all. While I have seen neither in person, they do seem to be available at a lot of the Nordstrom locations-- so it might be worth checking out in person. Thanks for stopping by! :)

  4. I am absolutely in love with that makeup bag. Like I need it in my life as of yesterday. Do you know where I could purchase that or one like it? I like that its a full zip open, regular cosmetic bags do nothing for my brushes.

    1. Hey Rachel!

      Yeah, it's pretty cool-- and so incredibly user friendly! The full zip open access is really helpful!! It's super nice to really be able to see what you are carrying at a glance!

      I found two online at Nordstrom, but haven't actually seen either in person-- so I have no idea if they are great or not.

      They might be worth checking out in person to see if they are what you want.


    2. meh, those are really nice, but way too expensive. Something like this I'm probably going to go the ebay route. I found 3 that are pretty nice that are under $30. Can't always buy the most expensive of everything =)

    3. I hear you! Your price range is certainly far more sane!! Check places like Target first to see if they have anything cute that fits the bill! Also check discounters like Marshall's and Ross-- you might turn up something high quality at a good price!

  5. You're very well prepared.
    I take sample packs and the bare basics when I travel: sunscreen, powder, concealer, eye primer, two lip products, two eyeshadows, a few brushes, and facial care and personal care items.

    1. Hi Iris,

      Well, I do try to travel with what I think that I might need or use. You have a much more practical approach than I do-- mine sometimes looks as though I grabbed everything but the kitchen sink!! What I carry with be can be a little crazy :-) That said, if I am testing things, shooting pictures, and swatching while I'm out-of-town then I really am carrying far more than I would were it simply for personal use. :-) Thanks for stopping by! xx

  6. Oooh you have such lovely travel picks--this is pretty much my idea of the perfect travel case...except maybe with more khaki, plum, and taupe shadows :P But everything else is fab! Burberry Lip Mists?? Oh you KNOW I love it!! And that Kai oil (and deodorant) is haunting me. Not sure why my lazy butt has yet to check it out yet but I have a feeling it will become my new favorite scent once I actually try it :P

    1. Thanks, my darling Becca! Actually in the MAC 15 pan eyeshadow palette there are some taupes, I think a khaki- no plums though. Lots of neutrals from MAC and Rouge Bunny Rouge! Yup Burberry Lip Mists there-- the only one I forgot at home was Blueberry. The Kai Oil is divine-- I can't wait for you to try it! The Kai Deodorant is still my daily go to-- though I do periodically use others as well, but it is still BY FAR my very favorite! xoxox <3

    2. BTW, sweet Becca-- you are largely responsible for my irrational obsession with Burberry! LOL :D

  7. Wow!! I need you to pack for me. That case is fabulous.
    Do you believe that I swapped away my new Narcisse? I opened it and smelled it and that was it. I couldn't keep it. I left it open in an empty room for a week too and it was still too strongly fragranced for me.

    1. I tried to do a sensible job of packing this case, but like I said the makeup bag in my purse is ridiculously over stuffed with lippies! The case itself really has proven to be a winner. Do you hear me crying that you traded away Narcisse?! I would have traded you nearly anything in my stash for that!!!!! :( I definitely can see why all of that Rose scent would have been too strongly fragranced for you! Definitely stay clear of Burberry lipsticks for that reason!

  8. Love the houndstooth case! And oh my, are you organized! A far cry from my messy makeup bag ;)

    1. Hi CrowsfeetCupcakesAndCellulite!

      Thanks for stopping by! I'm glad that you like the case-- it has turned out to be a fantastic travel case. While I really tried to make the contents a well edited selection-- I really showed no discretion whatsoever in my purse stash since I managed to pack a metric ton of various lipsticks, lip glosses, and lip balms!!!

      Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

  9. This is an ultra modern make up case. good work. :)

  10. Really love the look and practicality of this case and am looking for one similar, i was just wondering if you could state the approx. measurements of the case? thanks x

    1. Hi there! This particular travel case is about 9"H x 12"W x 3"D. It was a Dior gift with purchase that I received years ago, but I imagine that you will be able to find something like it. Happy New Year!


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