This week, alongside a full-time job, a few freelance gigs, and, of course, my own personal blog, I'll begin post-graduate studies for Digital Media Marketing at George Brown. It's been a couple of years since completing my undergrad, and despite occasionally wondering how I'm going to make it through the next 8 months, I'm actually quite excited for this adventure and for the opportunities that will hopefully come from it.

But I'm not entering this year naively; I understand how much heart, hustle, and preparation I'll need in order to make it out alive, let alone on top. Already anticipating 12-hour days, I thought it best to assemble a kit of beauty essentials that will not only allow for touch-ups throughout the day but also, in the extreme case, will contain everything I need in order to remove my makeup completely and start fresh.


For the large part, my on-the-go skincare regime consists of products I can use to help boost my pre-existing makeup, however as I previously mentioned there are select occasions in which I want to simply remove my look and start fresh. For times like these, I turn to the Face Off Cloth($13 CAD), which is a face towel that has the ability to remove makeup, even stubborn waterproof mascara, with the simple addition of water. The only downside is that the cloth needs to be washed and hung to dry after each use, but I've found it best to simply bring an empty plastic bag with me to store it in until I can wash it once I'm back home. And given that I'm only removing my full face maybe once or twice a week, this is much more convenient than lugging around a bottle of cleanser.

On the days when I do remove my makeup the Arbonne Clear Future Mattifying Acne Treatment Lotion($38 CAD) comes in a lot of handy, but it's also become a favourite for mid-day touch-ups as well. With the seasons changing my skin goes through some serious turmoil – I'm talking sudden and unwelcome dry patches and breakouts – but the Arbonne Clear Future Mattifying Acne Treatment Lotion can be applied throughout the day without affecting my makeup or leaving my skin with a shiny appearance. I also love that it contains salicylic acid to fight and minimize those pesky breakouts. When I have less time to re-hydrate I opt for a few spritzes of the Shiseido Ibuki Quick Fix Mist($25 CAD). Again, this mist can be applied without ruining my existing makeup, but can also come in handy to refresh my look anytime my skin looks a bit dry or powdery.

Finally, I keep the Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil($25 CAD) and the Kérastase Elixir Ultime Serum Solide($39 CAD) on hand to keep my lips and tips in check all day long. The Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil feels ultra-luxurious on my lips, keeping them forever hydrated, while the Kérastase Elixir Ultime Serum Solide instantly tames frizz and adds a beautiful and healthy sheen to my locks. 


In terms of makeup, I tried to bring together only the most travel-friendly, multi-purpose products I own in an attempt to save space, although they are sure to be updated from month to month based on my latest obsession. As of late, that's largely been the Kevin Aucoin The Sensual Skin Enhancer, which is one of those do-everything products that once you own you never stray from.  It's most commonly used as a super pigmented concealer, but can also be combined with the Arbonne Clear Future Mattifying Acne Treatment Lotion to create a foundation on the days when I re-do my entire look. And given it's lasting power and resistance to transferring I can forget about packing a powder completely. In order to add a little 'something-something' to my complexion, I've included the Make Up For Ever Pro Sculpting Face Palette($45 CAD) in shade 30, which contains four ultra-blendable creams that highlight, contour, shimmer, and color. These creams can be used to either update my look from day to night or can be used to contour and correct my complexion after applying my make-shift Kevin Aucoin foundation. Either way, this palette is sure to bring some life back into my skin.

I've also included a few of my daily must-haves: the blinc Eyebrow Mousse($24 CAD), Make Up For Ever Aqua XL Eye Pencil in M-10($21 CAD) and Make Up For Ever Excessive Lash($25 CAD). Together these products work to enhance my favourite feature, my eyes, and can instantly elevate my look from 'girl next door' to 'yung boss lady'. I like to run the blinc Eyebrow Mousse through my brows anytime I feel they are getting unruly or aren't bold enough. The mousse not only tames the brow hairs but also helps to tint the skin beneath, instantly filling in sparse areas. I then line my eyes using the Make Up For Ever Aqua XL Eye Pencil in M-10 and blend it out slightly before the pencil dries using my fingertips for an un-done, smudged out effect. Finish with a few coats of the Make Up For Ever Excessive Lash to both the upper and lower lashes and eyes have been instantly upgraded from student to sex-kitten. 

Finishing off my kit is, of course, a bold lipstick. Although I anticipate this changing monthly, if not weekly, for the first week of school it's MAC Lipstick in Dubonnet($21 CAD), a deepened claret with an amplified creme finish. I chose this lipstick above all else because of its supreme versatility. Given the fact I don't always know where I'll end the night I wanted to include a lipstick that could work with any outfit and for any occasion. For the moment, Dubonnet seems to fit the bill rather perfectly.

When all are carefully packed into my embossed black leather Make Up For Ever bag, I feel proud that I've taken one additional step to hopefully minimize the insanity I am about to endure.

Do you carry a kit of beauty essentials with you to school/work?
Let me know what products it contains in the comment section below.