I’m heading to Baton Rouge and New Orleans this week. I need to decide pronto what to take with me because packing my travel bag can literally make or break my trip. That means not only styling fashion outfits but also locking down my key beauty essentials. When it comes to my beauty routine, I’ve never been what you would call low maintenance, but I do like to minimize my makeup and skincare so that it’s easy to fit everything that I need into my carry-on bag. I also have two rules: non-breakable and needs to last all day. Louisiana’s climate is no longer humid, and both cities already got their first taste of fall. However, with the cooler dip in the weather plus air travel comes other complexion concerns such as dehydration, redness and breakouts. Hmm, what to bring? Perhaps it’s time for a travel makeup refresh.
I decided to turn to Sephora to find the best travel-friendly options for my adventure. This month the beauty chain surprised it’s Beauty Insider members with a special 20% discount. I’ve been an avid Sephora customer for years, and I’m also a Rouge member which means that I can have free personal makeovers. It seemed a great opportunity for me to benefit you and myself by booking a session so that I could do a Q&A chat with one of their makeup artists about current trends, what essentials need to be stocked up on during sale period and what makeup makes sense to carry for a flawless look when traveling. This is not a sponsored ad, but I do want to acknowledge the fantastic team at Sephora Santa Monica. Not only did they help me to build a gorgeous beauty look for my trip, but they also offered some excellent tips for me to share with you. Warning - you are about to receive a crash course in makeup application because we wanted to walk you step-by-step through the process so that you can easily do this on your own for the future. Now, let’s dive into beauty must-haves, and I hope that you enjoy this travel makeup capsule look!
Analysis & Skin Pre-Prep
Air travel plus a different climate can play havoc with the skin especially when an individual is prone to redness and sensitivity such as me. My artist pointed out that taking steps to pre-prep the skin will ensure that your skin is nourished with protection and also that your makeup base is long-lasting. After having a lengthy discussion about my skin type concerns, it was decided that my face would benefit most from a customized blend of natural skincare products that offered anti-aging, anti-pollutant and luminosity. I especially liked the combination of products selected because I had a hormonal breakout on my chin that needed SOS care pronto. The products definitely delivered and my skin felt so lush from my mini-facial.
Makeup Artist Tip: Look for a preventative eye cream that contains hydrating nutrients and tightening peptides to stimulate collagen production while also minimizing fine lines and wrinkles. Use your palm to activate your eye cream. We all apply our skin care products on a daily basis using our hands but have you ever considered that your hands, specifically your plans and fingers, can make a difference to the performance of your products. Take a pea size amount of eye cream onto the palm and then use the ring finger of the other hand to lightly pat the cream under your eye moving from inner to outer corner. Follow that with gentle patting around the entirety of the orbital eye bone, to de-puff and further sink the product into the skin.
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Creating The Perfect Base
The next step was to create an even, uniform color to my complexion. Primer and foundation are life-changing in my book. Primer creates a protective barrier over the skin that seals in your prior skincare regimen. It also helps to balance the skin’s texture and tone for longer-lasting makeup wear. Best of all, there a variety of primers available so that you can customize this to your complexion. For me, that meant using a hydrating primer for my cheeks and forehead as well as a slightly pigmented correcting primer to neutralize and even out redness on my chin and around my nose. We popped a separate primer onto my eyelids and then to give the illusion of a natural glow, we also added an illuminating primer only to the forehead and outer cheeks for glow.
Once the primers set, I was ready for foundation. My makeup artist pointed out that you always want to ask yourself two questions: what is your skin type and what’s the occasion for the foundation? Mr. Z and I are going to be exploring different places daily and I don’t have the time or desire to keep touching up makeup. This meant that I needed an ultra long-lasting, oil-free foundation and I preferred one that had a natural finish.
Makeup Artist Tip: For a flawless base, pat your foundation onto the face rather than using sweeping strokes that move the foundation around. Then use a beauty blender sponge to “pat set”your base and create the illusion of a velvety smooth complexion. The technique is a complete game changer and I noticed the difference instantly.
No base is complete without concealer. My makeup artist pointed out that while highlighter makes you look pretty, it’s concealer that makes you look alive. Concealer is a product that you want to invest in carefully. The formulation needs to work with your complexion and your aging concerns such as fine lines around the eyes. Remember the goal is to minimize imperfections not draw attention to them. I loved the concealer that we selected. It was used sparingly under my eyes to minimize fine lines and my artist pro applied this product using her finger to pat the product around my under eye area.
The final step of the base process is to set the makeup with a setting powder so that the makeup doesn’t slip later in the day. The setting powder we used is one that I have already in my beauty kit. I’ve been using it for years and really like this one because the powder is very finely milled so that it doesn’t settle into fine lines. We applied a very light layer of powder only down the center of my face (forehead, nose, chin) using a fluffy setting brush. The best way to apply is to press and roll - don’t sweep the powder otherwise most of it will fall off the skin rather than setting in. If you want a guaranteed dose of setting then also add-on a setting spray such as the one that we used.
Makeup Artist Tip: Apply your concealer under the eyes, but don’t immediately set with powder. Instead, let the concealer warm into the skin so that it doesn’t settle into fine lines around the eyes. Complete the rest of your makeup look and then as a final step you will add a second coat of concealer just below the inner corners of your eyes. Avoid aging your eye area by setting concealer using the same brush that you used for the rest of your face - don’t dip the brush into the powder. Instead, use the previous powder remnants and apply with a rolling motion.
Faking perfect skin is the most important part of your beauty routine. I know that this seemed like a lot of steps, but in truth, the process goes rather fast. Once you nail this, the rest of your makeup application will be very easy.
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Contour, Bronze & Blush
Packing just got easier with the multi-tasking face kit that we selected for me. In fact, this palette is everything! First of all, this palette features three sculpting shades, two illuminators and a gradiated blush. I also love that this is great quality and sculpting powders look very natural because of the lack of warmth in the shades. To contour my face, we defined my cheeks and jawline using a fluffy brush dipped in all three shades. We then added the blush plus a combo of the illuminators to the high points of my cheeks.
Makeup Artist Tip: Contouring can take your look to the next level. Apply your contour powder in a figure 3 shape. Start at the forehead and temples using sweeping strokes upward, then shift your contouring to the hollows of your cheeks using downward strokes. Next, use downward strokes to sweep the powder along the sides of the face and along the edge of your jaw, towards your chin. A new trick I also learned is to sweep the contour along your jaw edge backward to under your earlobe. This makes your contouring seamless and very natural.
Eyes & Lips
If there is one holiday eyeshadow palette that you need, it’s this one. I will do a full review in the future, but suffice to say it’s the perfect palette to travel with. This beautiful palette has four magical, mood-enhancing eye looks and features 12 gorgeous shades. My makeup artists created this sumptuous day look using Love Eyes. #1 was applied to my entire lid. #3 was used to contour the socket and added under my lower eye rim. Then, she patted #2 shimmer on top of the lid. I’d wear this trio every day of my trip easily. For evening, I can either design a winged smoky eye using the Happy Eyes trio or create a fresh vibe using an entirely different look.
For the eyebrows, we worked with one of my all-time favorite brow powder and pencil combos and then also added a colored brow gel for definition. Everyone has been raving about this mascara too, so I finally broke down and invested in one because I didn’t want to feel left out. Just kidding, but it is a fabulous mascara and quite affordable considering the fantastic formulation.
Last but certainly not least, my lippie look was created using a combo of a lipstick pencil and a creamy formula lip gloss that delivers high-shine lip color.
Sephora Beauty Insiders Alert
But wait, there’s more. Sephora Beauty Insiders still have two more weekends to take advantage of the 20% holiday discount. In case you’re wondering what to invest in, I’ve created this guide of my all-time favorites. Read on lovelies.
Sephora Sale Dates
Rouge + VIB - November 9-12 20% RougeBonus & VibBonus
Beauty Insider - November 16-19 20% BiBonus
Eye Shadow Set
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