Downsizing make-up - for travel and every day life

In my quest to organize my home and minimize my luggage I kind of killed two birds with one stone when I took a closer look at my make-up bag. Actually, I have been trying to reduce the amount of make-up that I keep for quite some time.

I will start with the most important rule: Avoid make-up sales like the plague! Yes I know, those tables with reduced price products are sooooo tempting! But you will just end up buying a lot of stuff because it's cheap and then not use half of it. Been there, done that...

Since at least 20 years I have been buying only eye shadows in magnetic palettes that can be combined according to whatever it is you actually need at the moment. Because let's face it: There are colors that you need all the time and others that you hardly ever use, so if you buy a fixed palette of eye shadows you often pay for the 1 or 2 colors you really use and the others go to waste.
I have also limited myself to 3 palettes. Been living with them for years and yes, it was enough.

A few years ago I bought these cute lipstick holders at an antiques / collectibles market in Honolulu.
They hold exactly 8 lipsticks (and some pencils) and the holes are rather small, so up to now I have only two brands that fit into them, MAC and Manhattan.


It's another great way to limit myself from buying endless amounts of lipsticks - actually, I am currently running an experiment: how long can I last without having to buy new lipstick? The answer: a very long time! I can't actually remember when I bought my last one...And there is still plenty - even though I wear lipstick every day.
My dirty secret: if I finish one of the MAC lipsticks, I empty the container completely and simply stick one of the other brand lipsticks that I still have into it.

There are people who like to melt lipsticks into small pans or palettes and while I think it's a cool idea, it's not for me because I don't like applying lipstick with a brush and I want to be able to put just the one color that I need into my handbag.
However I did an experiment with a cheap lipstick of which I had used about half the amount: I melted it into a small chapstick container. Worked great! So I also melted two more expensive lipsticks of the same color that came in really bulky packaging. Now they are much more handy.
The stickers are just a quick solution to distinguish the lipsticks from each other. Better labels will follow eventually. See how much space I saved?
One thing I noticed after using these lipsticks for some time is that it works a bit better for matte lipsticks than for shiny ones because they are firmer.

Oh, and while we are on the subject: An empty lipstick is not really "empty" - there is still a lot of product left! I used even smaller tubes for this - great for small handbags! Actually, the entire tube is half as big as a normal lipstick.


Recently I took several glass pots and transferred their contents into smaller plastic pots. Not only does it save space - but also weight!
This plastic container full of product weighs 21 grams, the empty glass pot is 49 grams! So I already saved some weight. It which might not seem like a lot, but if you have several pots, it adds up (another empty one I weighed was even 59 grams!).
There is only 1/3 left in the make-up bottle? Off we go, putting it into a tube! And even if the bottle was full, I would still put a little of it into a small tube to travel because I will never use this much even in a 2 weeks vacation (much less one performance) - and it's another heavy glass bottle less in my beauty bag.
Fake lashes come in these gigantic plastic boxes - I guess it makes sense for selling them. But not for storage and even less transportation. These little plastic containers used to hold beads and pearls. They offer more than enough space for my fake lashes.

I shortened my brushes with a normal pencil sharpener to make them fit nicely into my bag in which I also keep other items - now if they would only stop making mascara packaging so bulky!
Glitter lasts for a very long time and you only need a tiny amount every time - this pot will probably be all I need until my last performance at the age of about 105... So why carry around the "big" pot that I will not use much anyway because I am always afraid of knocking it over and spilling glitter over everything? A little tube is much handier and it only has a small hole.
Not make-up, but also in this bag: Hair accessories and safety pins - a dancer's best friend!
I keep most of my make-up in this bag, I only add lipstick, depending on what color I plan to wear.
I am not a big fan of blush, but if I need it, there is still plenty of space for it in here. Since I always carry pressed powder in my handbag I am not packing a second one.

I put the two red bags on top and I am ready to go! Actually, I usually don't unpack this make-up bag at all, I leave everything in it, so I don't have to pack it every time and it's neatly stored away.
Just close the zipper :-)
If I want to go really minimalistic for traveling but still have some protection I use a box - some of you have already seen this in my post about making bags. Since I was on a creative roll and had a lot of red adhesive paper, I covered the box with it.

Only one palette of basic color eye shadows, fewer brushes etc.
 Size of the box, compared to the bag.
Now I am very ready for my next trip!

Update: after writing this I started thinking about how saving space and weight in my handbag. Here is how:
Removed the pressed powder (about 2/3 full) and pressed it into a small metal pot. I plan to stick a little mirror into the cover as soon as I find one in the right size.

And I finally found a mascara that is good, cheap and small. What a great combination!