Eyes · Highlighter · Lashes · Lips · Primer · Skin

My Travel Makeup Bag – Including My Wedding Makeup!

I had a hard time wrapping my head around how to pack

For those who don’t follow me on social media or know me in real life, I’m not sure how much information I have actually given about this on the blog. I am just home from the US where I was getting married and going on honeymoon! We had quite a trip – starting in Las Vegas where the wedding took place, we spent a few days there before himself and I hopped on a flight to San Francisco. We were there three days before renting a car and driving down to LA, making a pitstop in Yosemite National Park for two nights along the way. After a few days spent in Hollywood, we jetted to Cancun for a week to relax at an all-inclusive resort. I’m sorry if I just made you sick but I am jealous of myself – if that’s possible – the post-holiday blues are just setting in! If you’re the nosy type, you can take a peek at my Instagram where I uploaded some photos along the way.

So today I wanted to share with you what makeup I packed for the trip.This is only the makeup, obviously, so I haven’t included all the skin care and toiletries I brought. (I have a problem!) I tried to pack as lightly as possible because I did intend on absolutely raiding Sephora but at the same time, I was doing my own makeup on my wedding day so I needed to bear in mind all of the products I wanted and needed for that. I will do this in order of how I put these on my face as it seems most logical. I will link to any reviews I have already written on the products but if there is anything else you would like a more in-depth review of, let me know!

Also I did do quite a bit of makeup shopping over there and was thinking of showing it all in a YouTube video – let me know your thoughts on that!


Vegas is sunny. California is sunny. Cancun is sunny. So the first thing that was crucial for me to pack was sun screen. I obviously packed sun cream for my body separately but I’m only talking about makeup in this post so I have only included these two.
Firstly I have the Boots Soltan Once for Face in SPF50+ (€13.00). I recently read an article that states sun creams that claim to only need one application are completely bogus but if I’m out and about for the day, I will more than likely be wearing makeup so reapplication isn’t really possible. I find this moisturising, fast absorbing and a great protectant! I sat out in the sun on one of the sunny days we had in Ireland with this on and that evening found a bright red sunburnt streak on my forehead where obviously I had missed when applying this. Needless to say it taught me to be even more vigilant than I usually am. You can purchase it from Boots here.
The other item I picked up at the same time was the Boots Soltan BB Face SPF50+ (€8.50). I don’t wear BB creams or anything of the sort usually because I adore fuller coverage. I also find that a lot of BB creams I have encountered are far too dark for my porcelain complexion. When I swatched this in the store, I was pleasantly surprised by the light colour, despite it being labelled ‘Light/Medium‘. I thought this would be nice for days by the pool or beach when I didn’t want to look like a complete alien. I was going to be on my honeymoon so didn’t necessarily want to duck for cover if B decided to take a photo of me, simply because I wasn’t wearing makeup. I tried this before I left and several family members commented on how lovely my complexion looked. Again, this is obviously a BB cream so will not cover all of your imperfections but it made me look a damn sight better than when I was wearing nothing at all! You can also pick it up from Boots here.


For primers, I brought two. I generally wear two primers on any given day and I have a giant box of them (seriously, it’s worrying!) but they all fit into one of two categories – illuminating or pore-filling. I decided to narrow it down to one of each.
I am not entirely sure what made me pack the Bioderma Sebium Pore Refiner (€18.50). I received this at an event a year or so ago when Bioderma first launched in Ireland but I was never really crazy about it. To be honest, despite having a drawer full of primers, there isn’t a single one that I genuinely think fills my pores. Perhaps it’s a psychological thing but I still vigilantly apply one daily before makeup so I had to pack one. You can pick this up from McCabes Pharmacy here. Oh and please, tell me what pore filling primers actually work!
When it comes to illumination, I’ve already spoken at length about Mac Strobe Cream (€10.00) comparing it to the L’Oreal Lumi Magique and the Seventeen Skin Wow. Basically, the verdict is they all pretty much do the same job but I decided to bring Strobe Cream with my wedding makeup in mind. There is something about it being the most luxurious of the three that made me want to use it the morning of my wedding. Now THAT is purely psychological! You can buy it from Brown Thomas.


When it comes to base I only packed a single foundation and concealer. Yes, believe me, it was very difficult to do! I had to keep in mind the fact that I planned to pick up more in Sephora and could always panic-buy something in Walgreens if I really wanted to change it up.
I packed my Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation (€45.00) which I really am head over heels in love with. I already wrote a review about how crazy I was about it and how I decided it was definitely going to be my wedding foundation. In fact, I put it away in a drawer so that I couldn’t use it up before the wedding rolled around. With almost a full bottle left, I decided I would bring it and use it all holiday long so I would constantly have a fabulous complexion. I did a trial a little while ago with this and all of the other skin products I planned to use on the Big Day and my skin looked unlike it has ever looked before! You can see those photos on Instagram but all I’ll say is, you need this foundation. You can get it at Brown Thomas.
My decision to pack the Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer (€22.00) is another like the Mac Strobe Cream. I’ve compared it to the Collection Lasting Perfection one and think they’re pretty much the same deal but when it comes to my wedding makeup, I just like the idea of wearing the more expensive product. Think of that what you will. You can get that at Debenhams here.


When it comes to powders I decided to treat myself to the Mac Mineralize Skin Finish Natural in Light (€31.00). This is one of my all time favourite powders and I love the soft sheen it leaves that makes skin look healthy and glowy rather than cakey and flat. Saying that, I just cannot justify the price, especially at the rate that I go through powder so this really is just a treat product. When doing my trial on my skin products for the wedding, I remembered why I adore it so much. It really is a beauty. If you want to see it’s magical powers for yourself, you can pick it up at Brown Thomas.
I had planned on only bringing that powder until my amazing friend Lisa from Girl About Town gave me an incredible wedding gift in the form of the Guerlain Meteorites Pearls Powder in Light (€54.50). We had lengthy discussions at my hen party about how much Makeup Monster raves about this and Lisa remembered and decided to pick it up for me as a gift.  I can see exactly why it held in such high regard. Much like the Mineralize Skin Finish, it adds a glow to the skin. This is definitely more of a treat product but it can be purchased at Debenhams.

Highlight and Contour

For highlight and contour products, I definitely overpacked especially considering I planned to pick up a few other bits while I was away.
I brought my NYX Highlight and Contour Pro Palette (€25.25) as it houses three shades that I adore. The second shade over (that I’ve hit pan on) is a beautiful light colour for illuminating under the eyes. The third shade in the bottom row is my every day contour shade and works beautifully on my pale skin. The very first shade in the palette is a very reflective white pearlescent highlighter that is definitely one of those that you will see from space. While I could have left home without this, I felt like it was a safety blanket in case I wasn’t enamoured with the products I planned to buy over there. You can get this bad boy at Boots.
While in the contour category, I also packed my NYX High Definition Blush in Taupe (€7.75). This was my go-to contour shade before I picked up the palette and while I still love it, it is much more intense. Saying that, I still reach for it, even with my pale complexion but it takes a little more blending work. I fell into the habit of wearing the shade from the palette instead because it was more fool proof. However, for nights out and times that I really want to cut those cheekbones, I usually reach for this so I needed to bring it. It can be found at Cara Pharmacy.
I am still a highlighter obsessive so I had to bring my all time favourite highlight, the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Moonstone (€43). Others favour Opal or the infamous Champagne Pop but I think for pale skin girls, Moonstone is incredible. The formula of these is like nothing else; they melt into the skin and the sheen can be seen from space. If you like an extreme glow, this is a must have. It’s available from Space NK.


For blush, I settled on two and to be honest, it was easy to pick as these are standout favourites of mine.
Firstly I have the Illamasqua Powder Blush in Naked Rose (€29.95). This is a gorgeous rose pink that looks so pretty on pale skin. It has the perfect neutral undertone and is one of those blushes that just suits every makeup look. This is one of my favourites for a reason. You can buy it from the Illamasqua website.
The other blush I just had to pack was the Nars Blush in Deep Throat (€30.00). Several years ago when visiting the States I picked this up. I contemplated picking up the infamous Orgasm but side-by-side, Deep Throat just appealed to me more. It is a coral-peach with a sheen to it that adds a gorgeous glow to the skin. This is a foolproof product that lifts the complexion, making you look healthier with little danger of you applying too much. It blends itself and is a beautiful formula that is raved about for a reason. You can get it at Brown Thomas.


When it came to eyeshadow, the decision wasn’t too difficult. I simply packed my Makeup Geek eyeshadows (€6.60 each). I have already done a full post on them breaking down all the shades I have so I won’t go into detail here but this palette has everything. It has cool neutrals, warm neutrals, a stunning orange, some of my favourite reds as well as a few purples. Basically it contains any shade I would possibly reach for, no matter what look I chose to create. To be honest, I didn’t decide in advance what eyeshadow look I was going to wear on my Big Day. I decided to just wing it on the day and knew I would be safe with this. If you haven’t tried these shadows yet, where have you been? I buy mine on the Beauty Bay website.


For liner, I opted for two staples.
The first I went for was the Inglot AMC Eyeliner Gel in 77 Matte Black (€15.00). I wear this daily. I constantly rave about it. I honestly feel like I have little more to say about that I haven’t said already. It’s easy to use, waterproof, lasts all day, doesn’t smudge etc. It is my perfect eyeliner and I couldn’t live without it. You can get it from Inglot.
Realistically I could survive with just my Inglot but I had really been enjoying the L’Oreal Super Liner So Couture too. This is incredibly handy after applying false lashes when I want to even out my liner or darken the lash band. This was definitely a little bit of an overpack but I thought it might be handy for days I didn’t want to wear much makeup as I could just slick on a quick flick. I don’t usually like pen liners but the tip on this is flexible and really easy to use. I got this in a gift-with-purchase set before Christmas and it doesn’t seem to be available on the Boots website any more which is a shame but I found it on Amazon and it is still very affordable.


I also packed a heap tonne of eyelashes because that’s the sort of light packing I do.
These multipacks of Kiss lashes are really good value and the lashes are some of my favourites. I have the Wink and Flirt sets (€26.99 each for five pairs) which are both quite dramatic but look great for nights out etc. Being on holidays and on my honeymoon, in particular, I imagined I would want to dress up and look good quite a bit so these were a necessity in my eyes (or ON my eyes – weh weh!) I condensed them for ease of travel but thought it would be better to show you the difference in styles in this photo. You can get them at Boots.
I did a lot of research for the kind of lashes I wanted for my wedding day. I contemplated semi-permanent ones so I would have had them for the holiday too but in reality any experience I have had with them has been pretty negative. I haven’t been able to wear my precious Inglot liner as you can’t use any oil-based makeup removers. I find them difficult to keep clean as I always find they get covered in eyeshadow and they are never dramatic enough for my liking. If I were to get them as dramatic as I would want for a night time look, they would look insane during the day without make up on. However, I also worried about wearing a strip lash in case it were to lift during the day. I didn’t want to have to worry about nipping to the loo and tucking in the corners every time someone wanted to take a photo. So I settled for individuals. This set are the Eylure Lash Pro Individuals (around €21.00). They weren’t priced on the display and after I paid I was reeling after seeing the price but when I got home and opened them up, I realised there were two trays of them and several glues as well as a remover. The included glue is clear and unlike regular lash glue. It has quite strong fumes that make your eyes water but it dries quickly and feels more secure than your regular Duo so I felt confident about using these for my wedding. I picked these up in Superdrug.

Lip Liner

Lips is definitely a category where I overpacked. I really feel that even with only a few eyeshadows, you can really change up a look with a lip colour. I also have so many go-tos and favourites that it was too difficult to narrow down.
The first lip liner I packed was the Rimmel 1000 Kisses Lasting Finish in Cappuccino (€4.79). I am still obsessed with the brown lip trend and while I wouldn’t wear it for the wedding as I’m positive it will date in photographs, I knew I was sure to rock it at other times on the holiday. This is also great for deepening a nude lipstick and giving it a little more intensity. You can get it at Boots.
Next I decided on this Flormar Waterproof Lipliner in 206 (€3.95). I got this at an event but it made me realise that my extensive collection is severely lacking in dark reds. I brought a deep red lipstick so I wanted a liner to pair with it for a defined lip line. I can’t find a direct link to this colour but you can see a list of Flormar stockists here.
I had to bring my NYX Lip Pencil in Nude Beige to pair with my pale nude lipstick as they are a match made in heaven. This has such a grey tone to it that it makes lipsticks layered on top much cooler looking. I adore this pencil so didn’t feel right leaving without it. Again I can’t find a link to shop online but I have seen this on NYX stands in pharmacies.
I had to bring a very deep liner so settled for Mac Nightmoth (€17.00). I adore wearing this with a red lip, applying it only to the outer corners for an ombre effect. You can get it at Brown Thomas.
Finally I wanted a true my lips but better colour as I assumed that was what I would wear on the Big Day. I brought this Revlon Colourstay Lipliner in Nude (€8.69) which I adore for every day. You can get it at Boots. I did a huge post on my entire nude lip pencil collection which you can read here if you want more inspiration.


As far as lipsticks, again I was torn and ended up overpacking but really, I was away for almost an entire month so I think I did well narrowing it down to six.
My first pick was Mac‘s Twig (€20.00) which is a great neutral. I was hoping to fall in love with a shade over there that I would wear for the wedding but if that didn’t happen, I was happy with this one. I did a review on my Mac lipstick collection here and you can pick it up from Brown Thomas here.
I wanted to bring a red but rather than a classic one, I opted for a dark one as really that is what I gravitate towards more often. I settled on a favourite of mine which is the Wet n Wild MegaLast Lip Colour in Cinnamon Spice (€2.99). I planned to pair this with the Flormar liner or darken it with Nightmoth depending on my mood. There is a list of Wet n Wild stockists here.
I wanted to bring a long wearing nude as I was sure there would be some long days of tourist things and I didn’t want to worry about topping up my lipstick. This is the Sleek Makeup Matte Me in Birthday Suit (€6.99) and I am a huge fan of it. So much so that this was another one I thought could be in the running for my wedding lip.You can pick this up at Boots.
I had to bring my NYX High Voltage Lipstick in Stone (€7.75) as it is another favourite of mine. This is a pale nude but looks wonderful with the NYX Nude Beige liner so I brought this for days when I went darker with the eye and wanted to go easy on the lips. I have a full review of my NYX lip product collection here. You can get this at Boots.
Also from NYX (what? I’m a huge fan!) I brought the Lip Lingerie in the shade Embellishment (€9.25). This isn’t my favourite shade I own of these but it is an unusual dusky mauve and unlike the other colours I brought so I thought it was a good choice. Again, this is available at Boots.
Finally, I opted for a more classic brown-nude in the form of the Maybelline Colour Sensational Lipstick in Velvet Beige (€9.99). This is one of my most worn lipsticks in my entire collection and is one that has always slipped under the radar when I have blogged. It is a really flattering colour that always gets a lot of compliments and doesn’t wash me out. I adore this and will definitely have to consider picking up more shades in the formula in future. You can get this from Boots aswell.

So that’s the lot! And yes, it is a lot. Now that I’m home, I can admit that I definitely overpacked and didn’t reach for a lot of these products even once. Part of this was due to the fact that I bought things over there that I fell in love with! So again, let me know if you would rather see a video or blog post on my makeup haul.

Also, tell me, what one product could you not live without when going abroad?
Did you spot any of your favourites in my makeup bag?

Disclaimer: The Bioderma Pore Refiner and Flormar Lip Pencil were given to me as PR samples. I am under no obligation to mention them on my blog and it does not affect my opinion of the products in any way.
No affiliate links were used.


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