minimalist makeup

One of my goals for 2013 is to become more of a minimalist. Throughout my life, this has never been the case. I love collecting things and as my mom says, I tend to leave a trail of stuff behind me wherever I go. My cluttered nature is definitely not something I'm proud of, so I've promised myself that this year is the time to change.

An international move definitely encouraged the process of minimizing my possessions. Before we moved, I hosted a makeup and clothing giveaway/swap, where I bagged up all my extra products in personalized ziplocs and handed them off to my friends. We dropped off at least 10 bags of clothing at charity stores, sold or gave away most of our furniture, recycled anything recyclable, and tossed what was left. Apart from the small carload of possessions we brought with us to Madison, everything we own now fits into a 6'x12' storage locker. It might sound like a silly thing to take pride in, but I'm really proud of this.

I think part of the key of making a change to your personality lies in knowing your weakest areas. My hoarding tendencies have always run the most rampant when it comes to beauty products. To be fair, doing makeup is part of my job, and it's important for me to have products that cater to the needs of many skin types and occasions. However, since I will be travelling far to most of my clients this year, even my pro kit needs to be minimized in order to fit in my carryon luggage.

When I pack my pro kit now, it's only with the best quality products that I know I can depend on to shine in photos, and to last through rain and shine during a portrait session, or throughout the long hours, laughter and tears of a wedding day. I'll be doing a post on how I create long-lasting makeup looks for clients next week, but today I'd like to get back to basics and tell you about my personal makeup kit.

Throughout our fairly frequent travels this year, I've finally found a mix of products that I'm happy with. I've also worked out how to whittle it down when needed. Now, I realize that for many people this first selection is by no means minimal, but it's all relative and for me, it is. So, if I can only pack a medium-sized makeup bag, here's what I bring:


Shu Uemura eyelash curler  The best of the best, gets really close to your lashline and creates a lasting curl.
Smashbox Photo Finish Primer (travel size)  The perfect base for the rest of your makeup, with a silky finish.
Yves Rocher Radiant Glow Fluid Foundation  Great for creating an extra glow when applied to cheekbones.
Chanel VitalumiΓ¨re Aqua foundation in 10 Beige The perfect foundation for those who seek a lightweight formula that covers redness and blotchiness.
Bobbi Brown Illuminating Bronzing Powder in 7 Bahama  Apply lightly with a big, fluffy brush to give yourself a boost of colour when you need it.
MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Lightscapade  I use this all over my face to set my foundation. I prefer the luminous finish to a matte finish any day.
NARS blush in Orgasm The perfect blush for glowing cheeks
MAC Eye Brow pencil in Lingering The best pencil I've found for filling in brows
Lancome Effacernes Waterproof undereye concealer in Porcelain Light yet waterproof, this concealer is specially formulated to conceal undereye circles.
Anastasia Tinted Brow Gel in Caramel  Awesome for setting brows.
L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara (curved brush) My favourite drugstore mascara.
Chanel Longlasting eyeliner in Ebene  Great for tightlining and regular lining alike. 
MAC Prep + Prime Eye in Medium If you want your eyeshadow to last more than an hour or two, using this product as a base is a must.
MAC Eyeshadow in Sketch  Can be used with a slanted brush as eyeliner, or with a fluffier brush to create a plum smoky eye.
MAC Lipstick in Viva Glam I  Every makeup kit needs a great red lipstick.
MAC Lipstick in Costa Chic  It's always great to have a bright, fun colour too, and this coral shade is my preferred hue.
NARS lip gloss in Chihuahua This is, without a doubt, my favourite lip gloss of all time. It's just the perfect colour for so many different people.

If I can only choose 10 or less items, I would narrow it down to these items:


Top four items would be these:


And if I could only choose one item, it would be the red lipstick. Red lips can give you a jolt of confidence in a moment's notice. Wear it at full strength for maximum impact, or blotted mostly off like a stain.


I'd love to know, if you could only choose one product, what would it be?