How to travel with foundation

I travel regularly for work, and I’ve realized that about 1/3 of my luggage is makeup and beauty products. I have a lot of bottles and tubes, and I realized that foundation takes up a lot of space.


The Make Up For Ever Mat Velvet+ foundation is probably the smallest bottle of foundation I currently own. It is much smaller than the palm of my hand… but still, who needs to bring a full bottle of foundation? I’m not going to use it up even if I go away for a month or so.  Isn’t there a better way to travel with foundation?


I considered squeeze tubes and jars which are sold in the travel section.  But I still thought they were too big!

As I was browsing the 100 yen store, I saw these small tubes. They are used to store soy sauce to put into bentos. They are tiny, cheap (I bought 8 for $1), and they don’t leak.  Score!


This is how I have been traveling with foundations. Each tube lasts me well over 2 weeks!


Do you have any tips when you travel? Please let me know!

xoxo, K

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The result of 3 years abroad…

During the 3 years that I lived abroad, I bought a lot of stuff each time I came back to Japan. Many Japanese things are available in China and in Indonesia, but since I wasn’t able to get stuff sent to me, I always bought certain things each time I was in Japan. Now that I’m back in Japan, I realize that I have hoarded a lot of stuff… and I’m not talking about makeup!

This is a picture of a shelf in my bathroom. I have a TON of cotton that I brought abroad!  You can see 2 rows of 3-4 bags each in this picture, but there are actually 2 more rows behind them.  Each bag contains a box of cotton, which is about 1.5 months’ worth.  That is more than 2 years’ worth of cotton!
This is another shelf in my bathroom. You can see multiple refill pouches of lotion, toothbrushes, contact lens solution, and razors.  These are also things which I brought abroad with me.
Like many other beauty lovers, I have more eyeshadows and blushes than I can use, and many of the colors are very similar. However, the amount of skin care backups that you can see in these pictures is excessive! These are all staples in my skin care routine, but still… Hopefully I’ll be able to get through these soon!
xoxo, K
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How to pack skin care and makeup for traveling

As you may know, I used to travel extensively for work. I’ve had a few trips when I was home for only 2 days before going on another business trip!  There are a few things I learned during this time which has helped me a lot when it comes to packing skin care and makeup.

How can you pack without forgetting things? How can you know how much skin care products you should bring? How can you bring just enough makeup – not too much and not too little?
Read on to learn my tips and tricks!

1. I have a packing list
This is a list of everything I pack when I go away. This list has everything from my passport, to my cellphone charger (which I tend to forget), to clothes.  EVERYTHING.

I’m pretty good about clothes. As long as I have “clothes”, “underwear”, “socks”, “bras” on the list, I won’t forget anything. I usually make a separate packing list for the actual clothes I’m going to bring, to ensure that I don’t bring too much or too little.

This list is tailored to my own needs, so it has a lot of things that you probably won’t need. For example, steel-toed shoes are on the list since I need them for work.  This list is something I’ve written down in a small notepad I bring everywhere with me. As my needs change, I have changed things on this list.

2. I have a list of things not yet in my suitcase
I always pack on the weekend prior to my departure date.  This gives me enough time to buy something if I need it before the trip.

However, if I pack that much in advance, there are a lot of things that I can’t yet put into my suitcase.  For example, I’ll use my toothbrush until the morning that I leave.  I need a way to remember what I haven’t packed yet.

See the yellow post-it on the picture above?  That is everything which I have not yet put into my suitcase. I write down everything that I haven’t packed yet so that I remember to pack them on the morning of the flight, such as my laptop and glasses.  I cross things off as I put them into by bag.

I’m usually in a rush in the morning before my flight. This post-it note has helped me so many times!

3. I know how much shampoo/shower gel/makeup remover I need to bring

This is an excerpt from the notebook I mentioned above. It shows how much cleanser, toner, shampoo, etc that I need to bring with me.
For example, if I’m going on a 5-day trip, I know I need to bring 4ml * 5days = 20ml of shampoo with me. On the other hand, if I’m going on a month long trip, I need to bring 150ml of shampoo.
This helps me not overpack and still not run out of things that I need.

You might think I’m OCD to make a list like this.  I’ve been on month-long business trips to developing nations.  Things like having nice shampoo or cleanser to use really made a difference in relieving the stress I got, both from working in a new place and not being able to do things for fun.

If you are going somewhere where you know you can buy things that you need, you wouldn’t need a list like this. However, there are many times where you don’t know which brands you should buy, or even where you should buy it!

You might want to know how I figured out how much of each thing I need. I filled several travel-sized bottles with these things, and kept track of how many days it took to use them up.  I was careful to use the “normal” amount, and not skimp on anything. You can see from the notes above – I used a 125 ml bottle of contact lens solution in 35 days = 3.3 ml/day.

All of my skin care stuff goes into this bag from Muji.  The hook on top is very convenient to hang from towel hangers and the like.

4. I know I have just enough makeup
This bag, also from Muji, has all the makeup I need.  If you’ve seen my “rotating makeup” post, you’ll know that I am very good at selecting enough products that I can make different looks and not be bored for 2-3 weeks.

Before I go on my trip, I will pack this bag, and try using ONLY the products from this bag for 2-3 days. This helps me in 2 ways.

First, I’ll notice if there is anything that I need which I have forgotten.  I’ve forgotten to pack things like foundation, and also things like tweezers and scissors which I only use every few days, but that I need to bring on a longer trip.

Second, I’ll notice if there are products which I haven’t touched.  When I do my makeup, I typically dump everything out of this bag onto a table, and put things back into the bag as I use them.  Anything that is remaining on the table when I finish my makeup hasn’t been used.  I notice when the same things remain on the table.  This way, I’ll know if 5 lipsticks is too many for me (yes, it is), or if 8 eyeshadows is too many for me (no, it’s not).  For example, I noticed before my last trip that my highlighter was always left on the table. I realized that the blush I was bringing was so shimmery that I didn’t need a highlighter, and I decided not to bring it on my trip.

That’s about it for makeup and skin care.  Some typical travel tips just don’t work for me, such as bringing things that are dual purpose (I would rather bring two small things).

Remember what you learned from each trip, and try to find what works best for you!

xoxo, K

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Skin Care While Traveling!

I’ve gotten some requests to share what I bring with me when I’m traveling!

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you’ll know that I used to travel a LOT for work!  I used to travel for months at a time, but this time I’ll share what I bring with me for a week’s travel!  This might help you if you are going on a short vacation!

Top row, from left: Toner (Clinique), Toner (HadaLabo), Retinol cream (Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti Wrinkle), Shampoo, Conditioner, Angels on Bare Skin
Lower row, from left: Moisturizer, Facial Wash, Body Wash, Makeup Remover

Razor, Scissors, facial net (you MUST make your facial wash bubbly with this!!!!), two types of cotton, dental floss, tape (to close up my bottles), nail clippers
Not shown: toothbrush, toothpaste, contact lens stuff

Not must haves, but I like bringing tea and bath bombs with me if I am traveling within Japan.
I usually also bring a sheet mask with me, but this time I brought some Crest White Strips.
I get asked a lot how do I know how much shampoo/moisturizer/makeup remover/etc to bring.  I know I don’t like lugging around extra!
I’m an engineer, so I’ve figured out exactly how much I use every day.  I multiply the usage by the number of days I’m traveling to get the total usage, and then I’ll put it in an empty bottle.
For example, if I use approx 4 ml of shampoo a day and I’ll be gone for a week, I need a bottle which holds about 28ml of product.  I’ll usually find a 30 ml bottle and fill it with my normal shampoo!
Lodging is expensive in Japan, but you can find lots of teeny hotel rooms like this one:
This is literally the size of the room, but there is a separate shower/toilet and a desk.
They are called “business hotels” and will be somewhere between $60-$100 a night.
I’ve stayed in many rooms like this one in many cities including my recent trip to London.  I like to walk around when I’m in a new city instead of staying at the hotel, so as long as I’ve got a bed, a shower, a toilet, and an internet connection, I’m happy!
Here are a few snacks I picked up:
and an Ekiben (a bento to eat on the train):
Happy traveling!
xoxo, K
PS:  I’m looking for a good home for my Sleek Storm Palette.
I’ve found a home, thanks!!!!
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TAG: What I look like right now

I was tagged by the lovely M and Crystal to do this heart-stopping tag.


I’m at Kansai Airport in Osaka, waiting for my flight… so here we go:


I travel a lot for work, and this is my basic travel attire. I’m lucky that I work for a company that does not require me to wear business attire while traveling.

Navy blue polo shirt
Black hoodie
Puma Slip On Shoes

I know a lot of people say not to travel in jeans, but I really don’t mind.
Here’s my face:
Skinfood mushroom BB Cream (thanks Wuzzy!)
concealer & loose powder
eyebrows penciled in lightly
Estee Lauder Crystal Baby Lipstick (ALMOST my HG… if it didn’t smell like rose water…)

I like the Skinfood mushroom BB cream that Wuzzy sent me a sample of, but I do need to wear concealer and powder to hide the redness around my nose. BRTC seems to have better coverage.
Paperdollrevenge mentioned that my eyebrow color is light – as you can see, in this lighting, my hair color is quite light as well.
EOTD is a basic neutral eye using Kate Gradical Eyes in BR-3 (I think), black eyeshadow in the outer corner, eyeliner, mascara primer, and mascara.
I think I want to try a new eyeliner because my Kate gel eyeliner seems to be wearing off easier than it used to. My GR-1 (an olive green color) is OK, but the BR-3 (black with blue glitter) wears off pretty quickly… no idea why.

Sorry M, no “haul pose” since I did not buy anything at the airport, even food…

I was going to buy the Dior 5-color palette I’ve been lemming, but they are $60 at the duty free when they are $56 at (which doesn’t ship to Japan).

I promise I’ll take a “haul pose” pic in Guam!!!!

Some people have asked what I put in my plastic baggie to carry on to the plane.
A: Perfume (Dior Addict 2) – nice smells relax me on the plane

B: Sunblock (Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF 70) – the UV rays are strong in an airplane!! Yes, this is smaller than 3.3 fl oz (100ml). It is 3 fl oz (88ml). Of course I’ve checked.
C: ear plugs and eye mask – I’m on a 3.5 hr flight arriving in Guam at 2 AM. I need sleep. I love these ear plugs with strings so that I don’t lose them. I have like 3 pairs on me at anytime. I even use them at work.
D: toothbrush
E: makeup remover – I don’t like the makeup remover sheets that are sold here. I don’t think that they contain enough liquid to remove my makeup gently.
F: Chapstick – with SPF 15. Again, to protect my lips. I like how this smells citrus-y. However, I do not think that it keeps my lips moist.
G: moisturizer – this is from a swap with Linda
H: contact lens case & lens – I wear hard contacts most of the time. I’m not wearing them on the flight, but I do not like to pack them separately for fear of losing them.
I & J: Tylenol – for emergency use. One of them is nighttime tylenol. I’m not sure why I packed a different amount of daytime/nighttime pills. I like to stock up on medicine when I’m in the US because Japanese medicine is around 50% less effective (due to belief that strong medicine does harm to your body).
K: Lipstick – Estee Lauder Crystal Baby Lipstick (what I’m wearing today)
L: Skinfood BB cream
M: vaseline – yes, I wear vaseline on my lips. It is also good as an emergency moisturizer. It’s greasy, but it lasts the longest.
N: Lipgloss – I think this is a Canmake lipgloss, but I’ve had it so long that all the printing has worn off
O: disposable contacts – 1-day Acuvue Define. The ones that make your eyes look bigger. I wear disposable contacts when I’m traveling overnight.
P: Toothpaste
Q: eye drops – Rohto Z Phi. As LadyL says, “it’s like your eyes are on crack.”
As you can see, I pack a lot of stuff in my baggie. Most of it is either for my lips or for my eyes, since those are the two things I really need to take care of.
As for makeup & skin care that I bring in my luggage, I will show that in a separate post!
xoxo, K
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