What’s In My Travel Makeup Bag?


You know, the thing with travel makeup bags is that most of what’s inside are fixed costs, or rather, weight.

You need only a few pumps of foundation to last you a week, few swipes of blush, mere millimeters from eyeliner pencils, 0.5% of mascara, and extremely light dabs of lipstick that make almost no difference in height.

Foundation may be transferred into a little makeshift jar, if you insist, but that would quickly deteriorate the quality of the product, and who would take apart a blush or break into half a pencil? Mascara is impossible to modify for travel. Lol. It also makes no sense to transfer lipstick into a separate palette unless you’re bringing a lot of colors, in which case immediately translates into ‘bringing more than necessary’. We probably really only need 3 shades, unless you’re a MUA.

So for the most part, the amount of makeup we bring for a 4-day or 4-week trip is the same. Agree? I know you do! 😀

Let’s look at what I brought for my 5D4N Okinawa Trip 2012.

1. Makeup bag: I got this from Diesel at KL Premium Outlet. It cost RM120, I think. It’s expensive, but the quality is really good! Waterproof, sturdy, yet light. And the little birdcages print is so cute! This pouch is actually detached from the hanging toiletry bag with 2 more compartments.

2. Urban Decay Naked Palette: Every girl’s must-have in their travel makeup bag, seriously! I brought Naked on my 7-day Taiwan trip too. Other palettes with neutrals will do, but I rely on Naked the most. The neutral shades I use most are Virgin, Naked, Buck, Darkhorse. I used Virgin and Sin a lot more before MUG Shimma Shimma came into the picture.

3. Z Palette with 23 eyeshadows: What?! Need so many for what?! I didn’t know there’re 23 eyeshadows in my Z Palette until I just counted. Lol. I usually have my most used or newest (to try out) eyeshadows in the Z Palette for easy access. I’m going to get the smaller, squared Z Palette so that I can force myself to bring half of these next time I travel. In here are eyeshadows from MAC, Makeup Geek, NYX, Sugarpill, L’Oreal, Kat Von D.

4. MAC Lustre Lipstick in See Sheer: I LOVE See Sheer! It’s a pretty, coral, that brightens up my skin instantly.

5. Revlon Colorburst in Blush: Hmmmm I find this so-so only. It tends to slide off easily.

6. MAC Studio Fix Foundation NC25: I didn’t use this but brought it along in case I don’t have time to stipple liquid foundation on in the morning. Luckily I managed time for my Bourjois 123 Perfect Foundation every morning!

7. MAC Blot Powder Light: One of my daily essentials! Used to set makeup and control oil, in a way. I’ve panned out my MAC Blot Powder Pressed!

8. MAC Beauty Powder Too Chic: I have thrown away/put aside all other highlighters ever since I got MAC Beauty Powder in Too Chic. Looks exceptionally stunning yet natural on yellow-toned skin. It makes me look like I have cheekbones! :O

9. Bourjois Youth Extension Flower Perfection Foundation: I brought this along with Bourjois 123 Perfect Foundation as I wanted to test out the latter, but was afraid I’d hate it. Turns out I loved the 123 so much I have completely stopped using Flower Perfection.

10. Bourjois 123 Perfect Foundation: OMG. I cannot tell you enough how much I am in LOVE with this foundation!!! I have not reviewed it because I want to fully test it out, like whether it oxidizes, whether it causes any breakouts on my sensitive skin, oily control issues, etc. But till now, I have not found a single thing I dislike about it, honestly. Unlike its predecessors like Bourjois Youth Extension Flower Perfection Foundation and Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation, the Bourjois 123 Perfect Foundation is not as highly reviewed. I don’t know why, but this is the PERFECT FOUNDATION for my imperfections. Super love!

11. NYC Sunny Bronzer: I chose to bring NYC Sunny instead of MAC Gold-Go-Lightly because Sunny’s less pigmented and a lot easier to control. You cannot afford to make too many mistakes (for makeup) when traveling with a tour group because set off time is not as flexible.

12. Milani Baked Blush Luminoso: My cheapest and most favorite blush! It looks pink when the rest of your makeup looks nice with a pink blush, peach when the rest of your makeup looks nice with a peach blush.

13. Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Liner Black Ink: I like Black Ink very much but it’s drying out really fast. I’ve used it to almost the same remaining amount as MAC Fluidline Blacktrack but Bobbi Brown’s Black Ink is still performing quite okie. Much less creamy, but not as flaky and dry like Blacktrack towards its last days.

14. Bourjois Liner Glitter Fizz: This is by far my favorite colored liquid eyeliner! Even MAC ones cannot compare. MAC Liquidlast in Inky was disastrous.

15. Lioele Artist Auto Eyebrow Pencil: Groom and define eyebrows quickly and easily! Jen from frmheadtotoe uses 03 Grey Black; Juli from bunbunmakeuptips uses 01 Natural Brown. :)

16. Clio Brush Eyeliner Kill Black: Best black eyeliner I have ever used. Great sharp tip that makes control a breeze.

17. Pupa Multiplay Eyeliner 02: Gorgeous, gorgeous eyeliner that may turn out to appear green, blue, turquoise, grey, depending on the eyeshadow used. So very versatile and surprising!

18. Bourjois Contour Clubbing 45 Blue Remix: This was a random buy and it turned out to be one of my top pencil eyeliners. I don’t use it often enough though, as the bright blue is quite a statement maker. Check out a makeup look here. But I do like the quality of this pencil very much.


Tip from Bun Bun: I realized that there was less smudging from eyeliner and mascara when in Okinawa, because of the cooler temperature and lower humidity levels. So don’t believe 100% when bloggers in other countries say a certain product is 100% smudgeproof because Singapore’s weather is entirely different. Believe that it worked for them, but don’t blindly believe that it will alleviate all your smudging woes.


19. Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler: Fits the curve of my eye perfectly. Doesn’t pinch my eyelids like other eyelash curlers do. Even Shiseido’s cannot compare.

20. Mascara guard: I don’t usually use this but the L’Oreal Ultra Volume Collagene Mascara forced me to. It’s an extra effort but I do like the thick, volumized lash effect the L’Oreal mascara gives so much that the effort is negligible.

21. Brush holder/protector: This brush holder is a great way to carry your brushes around. Normal foldable brush cases or pouches never impressed me as the brushes would either slip out of the slots, or have their bristles squashed, or are too fragile themselves to provide any protection. And the best part is if you use The Brush Guard on MAC 217, the guard will not move! So 217 remains in shape all the time. 😀

In the slots are brushes from MAC, Loewe-Cornell, Essence of Beauty, Makeup Geek, SASA, elf.

This brush holder is hard core, man. Review coming up!

22. Face brushes: Oh yes, the downside of the above mentioned brush holder is that the slots are tight enough for at most two eyeshadow brushes. To fit two mascaras into a slot, I actually cut the middle stitches. So for face brushes, I just put them into my Strawberry Shortcake case.

23. Sonia Kashuk Hidden Agenda Concealer: Yes! I’m still using it!

24. Too Faced Retractable Kabuki: This is what I use to blend bronzer and blush. Love that it’s retractable for hygiene purposes and that it’s pink. 😀 I would use it to apply face powders like MAC Studio Fix too.


As for skincare, I don’t really bother transferring into smaller bottles or jars unless the original bottle is super bulky. I don’t transfer skincare because I have sensitive skin and don’t want unsterilized bottles to affect the formula. As for hair and body care, it really depends!

So these are what I brought TO Japan. Also check out my makeup haul FROM Japan!

How about you? How much makeup do you bring on a trip? Do you pack as light as possible or do you just chuck everything into your luggage? 


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About Bun Bun

Hello! My name is Juli and Bun Bun is my alter-ego. I blog to share my love for makeup, how to apply it, and what works or what doesn’t work, all from an Asian perspective.

My first makeup product was a shimmery light blue lipstick which I proudly wore all over my eyelids and lips. It cost $2.50, felt like $250, and made me feel like a million bucks.

Throughout this blog you will see Bun Bun in different poses.

Instead of using numbers (3/5, 4/5) or alphabets (B+, A+) to rate products, I put Bun Bun in different positions and expressions to represent the rating given to the product after a review.

In Bun-O-Meter, the first on the list would mean a 5/5 rating and the last one a 1/5 rating.

You can always refer to the sidebar any time you don’t understand what Bun Bun’s pose means.

I hope you enjoy reading my makeup and beauty posts as much as I did writing them.

Talk to you soon! =)


Juli & Bun Bun

  • BooBooNinja

    I adore Too Chic too. I’ve considered getting a back up but I don’t know if that’s foolish, since 1) I’m new to highlighters and something I like more may come out before I finish my current one; 2) MAC may repromote it later on; and 3) I don’t like accumulating more stuff than I need.

    • BunBunMakeupTips

       @BooBooNinja I haven’t thought about getting a backup even though I love it a lot! There’s so much in the pan, I’ve hardly made a dent. I agree with your Point #1, I don’t usually repurchase coz I always want to try new things. Very few things make me pledge loyalty – Monistat Chafing Powder-Gel being the first that comes to mind.
      As for #3, hahaha… I don’t mind. =P

  • BooBooNinja

    Does the Sonia Kashuk concealer ever crease on you? I have a natural crease under my eyes and I’m always concerned a creamy concealer will crease on me. I considered purchasing it last weekend, when I was in the States, but I didn’t because I’m just tired of getting something that doesn’t work yet again. Sounds pessimistic, but my search feels so wasteful!

    • BunBunMakeupTips

       @BooBooNinja A little. But I always pat MAC Blot Powder over it. Throughout the day it does crease, so I’ll just gently swipe the area to ‘reblend’ and it’ll be okie. It does crease a lot less than other more greasy-textured concealers.

  • shusheshe

    Wow…that’s a lot for 5 day trip.  I generally bring a lot less, especially if it’s a pleasure trip and not a business trip.  For me, it’d be a BB Cream, pressed powder, one or two cream eyeshadows in a neutral colours (one dark and one light), pencil eyeliner/felt tip ink eyeliner, eyebrow pencil, a mini-sized NARS multiple blush and that’ll be it for me.

    • BunBunMakeupTips

       @shusheshe Yea yea, it’s a bit overboard but I couldn’t bring myself to bring less eyeshadows considering the Z palette allowed me to fit that many inside. Fixed weight anyway! Heh.
      But I’d bring less on a business trip compared to leisure though. You get to be yourself and express more on leisure, no?

  • annedreshfield

    Wow, that’s quite a lot of stuff for five days! I usually travel with less stuff, but it seems like it all accumulates, doesn’t it? More and more, I’ve become annoyed with makeup companies who have interesting or unconventional packaging for the products — usually that makes it harder to pack! So annoying. I usually take whatever I can carry without much trouble. :) 

    • BunBunMakeupTips

       @annedreshfield I aim to bring less the next time I travel! My next destination should be to Phuket with friends, so there’s gonna be less sight seeing and more activities… And it’s gonna be a lot of sun and sand so the most important thing will be SUNSCREEN!
      You’re spot on about the packaging part! Those blush boxes from Benefit are really annoying. So bulky and unnecessary! I like products that maximize space. UD Naked is pretty okie. Slim and sleek. What products do you have that have really silly packaging?

      • annedreshfield

         @BunBunMakeupTips Yes! Benefit blush boxes are SO bulky. I’ve been annoyed with UD’s Primer Potion, though I recently switched to NARS’ primer and the packaging is much better (UD’s wasn’t THAT bad, it just wasn’t as space-friendly as, say, a mascara). I hate figuring out how to pack eyelash curlers! Also, single eyeshadows take up too much room in my opinion…I’d much rather bring a (slim) palette than try to stuff 5 or so singles or quads into my bag. 

        • BunBunMakeupTips

           @annedreshfield Exactly, that’s why I use the Z palette.. it’s kind of a double-edged sword though coz I end up bringing more since I tell myself ‘what’s one more eyeshadow in the palette?’. lol. Eyeshadow curler… I just throw it into the bag.

        • annedreshfield

           @BunBunMakeupTips I could see the Z palette being soooo dangerous for me! lol.

  • jessicka

    I haven’t gone on any long trips since getting into makeup, but the last time I went out of town for the weekend I just brought BB cream, eye shadow primer, eyeliner, mascara, and brow powder (plus angled brush). I am going to Tokyo for two weeks in August though, so I’ve been trying to figure out what to pack beauty wise (and clothing wise too, but that’s even more overwhelming, lol!). I don’t want to overpack and drag a bunch of stuff with me that I won’t end up using, but I don’t want to leave something behind and sorely miss it, either. This is why I started thinking about it two months in advance 😛

    • BunBunMakeupTips

       @jessicka Two months!!! LOL!
      I think each country has its own ‘makeup culture’, for Asian countries like Japan, Taiwan, Korea, they tend to emphasize a lot more on the ‘natural’ look, at most with false lashes. For Tokyo though, it’s very different from Okinawa, which is more like Taiwan than the rest of Japan. I believe Tokyo is more flamboyant, more colorful!
      And yes! I think it’s gonna be a headache (or a lot of fun, depending on how you look at it) to pack clothing for Tokyo! If I were going to Tokyo, I’d bring really loud and bright clothing! =D

      • jessicka

         @BunBunMakeupTips I get the same impressions about Tokyo style that you do! I see all these photos of their fashion and I don’t want to look like a frumpy tourist when I get there XD I think my main issue is deciding how much to pack because I’m definitely going shopping hahaha

  • Sharlynn Jia lin Ng

    Awesome stuff! I’m buying one Naked palette for my birthday this year! And a bunch of other make up stuffs later this year hopefully (stuff you cant get in spore, thats what I’m looking forward to^^) Totally lusting for the z palette, Id love to de-pot some of my shadows because the casing is just bulky. I think the cleo eyeliner is just like the dolly wink and peripera ones, same type of brush tip, im using peripera right now, its so damn amazing, easy to make wings!
    Can’t wait for your review of the brush case, it looks so sturdy! I need brush guards soon…grrr…like all your picks! Thanks for sharing and I’ve been loving bourjois foundation! Must blog about it soon! :)
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  • Sharlynn Jia lin Ng

    Awesome stuff! I’m buying one Naked palette for my birthday this year! And a bunch of other make up stuffs later this year hopefully (stuff you cant get in spore, thats what I’m looking forward to^^) Totally lusting for the z palette, Id love to de-pot some of my shadows because the casing is just bulky. I think the cleo eyeliner is just like the dolly wink and peripera ones, same type of brush tip, im using peripera right now, its so damn amazing, easy to make wings!
    Can’t wait for your review of the brush case, it looks so sturdy! I need brush guards soon…grrr…like all your picks! Thanks for sharing and I’ve been loving bourjois foundation! Must blog about it soon! :)

  • NatashaP

    I’m planning a trip to Beijing in August and have no idea what to bring.  I live in Southern California where the weather is pretty mild and dry — and I suspect it will be warmer and more humid in that part of China in August.  I always end up bringing a kitchen sink of products whenever I travel b/c I can never make up my mind about what I’m going to wear so i just bring some of everything.  Am drooling over the new Urban Decay Smoked palette, but it has yet to make it to our local stores….any suggestions?

  • joostharmsen

    I have a younger sister… and she loves makeup… so i will show her this post… thanks keep up the good work :)

  • Sixteeninchstilettos

    Where did you get your NYC bronzer ? :)

  • Sixteeninchstilettos

    Where did you get your NYC bronzer ? :) does Singapore sell the NYC brand ? :)