What’s In My Mystery Makeup Bag?

by | Jan 25, 2024

I took a little makeup bag with me on an overnight trip a couple of months ago and then when I got home again from my travels I forgot to unpack it. I only happened upon it by total fluke, the other week, when I went searching for one of those sticky clothes rollers in the top part of the wardrobe. And there it was, the makeup bag, like a relic from another time.

Resisting the urge to immediately open it up to see what treasures lay inside, I thought I’d go through it on film instead and kill two birds with one stone by doing a makeup video. Sort of like a makeup version of Ready Steady Cook! Could have been risky, seeing as though I had no idea what materials I’d be working with, but at the same time not because I do tend to be a creature of habit with my beauty looks. It wasn’t as though I was going to unzip the bag to find a bright blue glitter eyeshadow and sticky fuchsia lipgloss…

Lo and behold, it turned out to be all of the usual suspects required to create my signature “barely there” look – a look that is just a marginally more polished, enhanced and groomed face than my usual one. No dramatic transformation.

Imagine my joy, though, when I saw that the contents of the bag included a tube of what might well be one of my favourite makeup bases of all time. This stuff is simply supreme. Watch the video to see it in action – if you’re reading on email you’ll need to click here to open it in your browser.

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It’s the Kevyn Aucoin Stripped Nude Skin Tint. How this is so light in texture yet also so utterly creamy I have no idea; it also gives the most sophisticated blur-and-glow combination I’ve seen in a product so fresh-feeling. It glides on smoothly, gives just enough coverage to even out skintone and is the perfect product for people who want the dewy effects of a tinted moisturiser but not the excess slitheriness.

Kevyn Aucoin Stripped Nude Skin Tint currently has a few shades in the sale at Space NK* (they did have all of the shades on sale but I was too slow off the mark to nab mine, ST04) but you can see the full line-up at Sephora*.

I’ll be back with a proper review of the Skin Tint, including before and after photos because I know how much you like those. Especially when I zoom in and I haven’t remembered to check for rogue hairs on my face! I used the Bobbi Brown Full Coverage Brush (here*) to apply in the video but it does equally as well with fingertips and you probably waste less product…

My latest foundation review: Lancome Teint Idole Care & Glow

Other base products: the Rare Beauty Bronzing Stick (shade Happy Sol) is now standard issue in my makeup routine. I have three of them, so I didn’t actually miss the one that had been languishing in the dark for months. I was one of the first to mock the trend for drawing brown lines all over your face with contour sticks but – I surrender! – I’ll admit I’ve come around to the technique. Mainly because many of my favourite bronzing things now come in  stick form and that’s the most sensible way to apply them – just draw them on like a toddler with a chunky crayon.

The upside of this is that you get the colour precisely where you want and need it and it’s easier to follow the line of your cheekbone or wherever it is you’re trying to bronze/contour. (Draw onto the places the sun hits to bronze, draw into the shadow to contour.) Then you just take a brush and gently buff in, trying not to upset the foundation product below otherwise it goes all patchy.

Buy Rare Beauty Bronzer Stick, £25*

By the way – and I mention this in the video – all of these creams and sticks and balms are all very well and good until you use them over a very moisturising base that slides a bit, and then as soon as you try to buff it all together it all goes completely down the pan. You turn to the light to examine your perfectly blended contour to find that half of your foundation has disappeared.

There is something incredibly positive to say about old-skool powder bronzers and blushers and that is that not only can you just whisk them lightly across the skin without upsetting the perfectly applied layers beneath, they go some way to actually setting those underneath layers into place. Just as you’d use a translucent powder to set your nose, chin and forehead, the colourful bronzes and blushes help with longevity on the rest of the face. If that’s your bag and you even require longevity…

I also found my treasured Vieve Eye Wand in this bag – again we’re back onto cream products that you scribble on like an overgrown child, but bear with me. Because I cannot do without these Eye Wands – there are plenty out there from different brands but somehow the Coffee shade from Vieve is just spot on. Not too metallic, just the right depth of brown to create a sexy smoke, but not so deep that it’s frightening to the neighbours if you fail to blend it in properly.

Buy Vieve Eye Wands, £24*

It’s soft enough to blend out easily and beautifully so it’s unlikely you’d fail but you have to be relatively quick –  give it a minute and it’ll have stuck in place so solidly that you’ll need a proper eye makeup remover to get it off before bed. I like to use it to draw a shortish, stubby line from the outer corner of my eye towards the tip of my eyebrow (see the video for a demo, it’s about eleven minutes in) and then smudge it out. It cheats a little bit of an eye lift. I used to do this with an eyeliner and do a more precise little wedge shape, but in all honesty this way with the chunkier crayon takes half the time and achieves just about the same thing. The aim of the game is to bypass where your eye droops down at the corners (if you too have this problem) and make a little optical illusion that sees the eyes upturn themselves and look hugely more optimistic and jolly.


Mascara is good old Telescopic from L’Oreal. Never has a makeup product been repurchased so many times – by me, at least. It lengthens and separates and just makes lashes look very much better if you have fair and fine ones. This is not a “stripper lash” mascara nor is it really “fake lash effect”, unless you tend to opt for the very subtle ones (I haven’t worn them for years) but it makes a huge difference on me. And the best thing is that a) it sticks around pretty well yet b) removes easily with your normal cleansing balm or cream. No special remover required.

Buy Telescopic Mascara*

I finished off my look, if you could even call it that (I should rename it… Polishing-Up Routine) with a bit of lipliner (Rare Beauty*) and a lip oil balm from Ipsum.

Random muss of the hair, which is one of the delights of it being shorter (the more mussing the better) and then the low-key dolling-up was complete. Bit of an eye lift, lip definition sketched back in and a sheeny, sheer skin base that just looks like really excellent skin. A look that is totally my bag.

(I used the Beauty Pie angled cheek brush* to buff in the cheek products and the Charlotte Tilbury smudger brush on the eyes. If you watch the video and see my cheek mishap with the blusher and love the colour – and strength – then that is the Charlotte Tilbury matte blush in Peach Pop*. My cardigan is old Me + Em.)


  1. great article. This is what happens when a beautiful woman talks about beauty:)

  2. I am going to have to get my hands on the Kevyn Aucoin skin tint soon, I’ve heard great things about it!

    The Reluctant Blogger | thereluctantblogger.co.uk

    • Gorgeous! I am excited to try the Kevin Aucoin skin tint. Where is your make up bag from? I need a new one badley and i love that the whole top opens =)

      • It’s an old one from Beauty Pie x

  3. I absolutely love the KA skin tint ruth. Bought on your very brief first mention on instagram as i trust your recommendations! I immediately ordered a back up which i never do. Its the best but lightest finish and nothing else comes close.look forward to your more indepth review x

    • Thanks Kerry – it seems so subtle when you try to actually quantify what it is that it does but it works so well!


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