3 Days In Italy: How I Got My Kit There & A Full Breakdown Of What I Brought
I normally do not do destination weddings because of how stressful they are and how much work is involved, but when my long time client Mabel Lee (Founder/CEO of Velour Lashes) asked me to come to Italy for her wedding on Lake Como I said yes right away. Mabel’s style is chic and elegant, and I knew the wedding was going to be a beautiful addition to my bridal book (which i’m in the process of completely overhauling) so the timing was perfect. I’m going to run through what I brought, how I packed it all, and why I decided to bring what I did with me to Italy.
I will discuss the ins and outs of booking destination weddings and give you a better idea of what the scheduling and process was for this wedding in a video that will be out later this week.
Carry on or checked luggage?
For this trip the idea was to bring what was 100% necessary for the bride with me in my carry on so if everything was lost, I would still be able to get the job done. The rest was packed in my checked luggage. In the case that anything was taken from my carry on before boarding, I also made sure to pack some sort of duplicate of my essentials in my checked bag just in case.
It is important to tightly pack everything so nothing gets tossed around in both your checked luggage and carry on. Ziploc bags are a lifesaver, as are the clear bags from Zuca (I even put my Makeup Light in one). Use your clothes to fill in any of the gaps in your luggage so nothing moves around. Bubble wrap for certain items is also not a bad idea either. Here is a photo of everything I brought in my carry on so you can get an idea, i’ll go in to detail in just a sec.
I prefer a hard shell for my checked baggage and a soft shell for my carry on. The soft shell makes it a bit easier to maneuver in those over head compartments.
Also before I go on any further, a huge shoutout to my work wife Ashley Readings for all of her guidance with getting my kit there in one piece. Ashley travels for work wayyyy more than I do and just knows things about this, so she is the real MVP of this post. Her work is amazing and she is also a bridal updo queen so go and follow her if you don’t already.
My carry on bag is from Timbuk2 (Ashley told me to get this bag and I LOVE IT). It is the Copilot Luggage Roller in a small size.
Here it is partially packed up:
My checked luggage was actually my husband’s carry on from Hayes - I don’t love it, but it was free and it did the job (I also forgot to take a picture of it but it was rammed with my checked makeup and a few items of clothing).
Liquids and Gels aka the 311 Liquid Rule
Before I start - I’m Canadian so i’ll be talking in millilitres not ounces (sorry you’ll have to convert on your own). You should also know that you need wayyyyy less of everything in your kit than you think to work a single wedding. Take comfort in this when you are packing your carry on.
Always read your allowances for carry on luggage before you start packing and take note of what 100ml (3.4 oz) of product actually looks like. You can’t have any liquids/creams/gels bigger than this in your carry on. Stock up on smaller containers to depot your products and only bring what is necessary. Trust me you will be fine and you will make it work!! Also if you think something is going to leak, it probably will so wrap it up before you travel!
Here’s what I packed for my liquids and gels:
FACE ATELIER ULTRA FOUNDATION in shade #6 20ml (the pro size is perfect for travel) : I knew what all the bridesmaids looked like before hand (#6 was right in the middle considering everyone’s skin tone) and this shade would be perfect to mix in with the Cinema Secrets/Mac Face & Body in case I needed to change the consistency of what I was using.
SKINDINAVIA SETTING SPRAY Oil Control 20ml : A bridal makeup essential for me, not to mention the forecast called for warmer temperatures for the wedding date so this was a must pack. You can try to downsize the normal size setting spray but be warned the liquid itself is not the prettiest in a clear bottle.
SIAN RICHARDS 4K LONGWEAR CREAM depotted into a Vueset : I had to cover a tattoo on the bride’s back so this had to get there. I will be doing a separate post on this but just know this stuff is a miracle product. Once on the skin it does not move or transfer. It was AMAZING!!! I could also have used it for concealer/foundation if need be.
WELEDA SKIN FOOD downsized into an aluminum 5ml container : It was all about the glow and perfect natural looking skin for the bride. This product does it all and very little is needed. 5ml of this product is more than enough for a few faces.
EMBRYOLISSE LAIT CREME CONCENTRATE downsized into an aluminum 5ml container : moisturizer, makeup remover, primer - packed this for its versatility and because most people are going to have extremely dehydrated skin from the flight.
MAC FACE AND BODY FOUNDATION depotted into a 12ml PET cylinder bottle from MUJI in shades C1, C3, and C6: The bride loved this foundation for her trial. It is buildable, lets the skin breathe, and has a dewy finish. I can also mix it with a little Cinema Secrets to colour adjust or thicken up.
SEPHORA LIP PRIMER: I totally should have depotted this into a smaller container but I threw it in last minute to fill up the little space I had left. I love to use regular lipsticks for bridal and primer underneath gives some extra wear time and doesn’t dry out the lips.
ELIZABETH ARDEN 8 HOUR CREAM depotted into a 10ml container: The direction for the bridesmaids was natural and radiant - mixing a little of this with lipstick is comfortable and gives a gorgeous colour. Bonus - great to put on dehydrated lips before the lipstick goes on.
BENEFIT WATTS UP CREAM HIGHLIGHTER depotted into a 5ml container: I really love this product, it works on a number of skin tones, it dries to a powder finish but still looks creamy on the skin and you can use it on the eyes. The glow was everything for this wedding so it was definitely an essential.
CINEMA SECRETS FOUNDATION depotted into a Vueset Palette : I have every skin tone covered here, this foundation doubles as concealer and it is waterproof. Perfect for bridal and perfect for a hot day in Italy.
RCMA CREAM BLUSH: I’m all about soft layers of colour for bridal makeup and you know I love this stuff. It also doubles as lipstick.
MAC PREP AND PRIME 24 HR EXTEND EYE BASE: Another essential for bridal makeup (and long days on set) and it works on every skin tone.
VELOUR LATEX FREE LASH GLUE: They brought the lashes, I brought the glue. This glue is my favourite - the lashes will not move and you can cry your face off without worrying about a thing.
L’OREAL VOLUMINOUS CARBON BLACK MASCARA: Also doubles as liquid eyeliner if need be!
I also packed all of the hair extensions that I prepped in small Ziploc bags.
Here is what I packed in the rest of my carry on:
MAKE UP FOR EVER ARTIST FACE COLOR SCULPTING POWDER in S112, S116, S118
RCMA NO COLOR POWDER: A one stop shop to set anything and everything!
MAC BLOT POWDER in Medium/Dark, Dark: I knew everyone’s skin tone going into the booking so I only brought what was necessary.
MAC MINERALIZE POWDER in Medium/Dark, Dark, Soft & Gentle
MAC STUDIO FIX in C4: Brought this for the bride in case I needed to do a quick touch up that involved quickly building up some coverage.
MAC BLUSH in Melba, Lovecloud, Gleeful, Sweets for my Sweet, Cheeky Bits
MAC EYESHADOW PALETTES in Semi Sweet x9 and Dusky Rose x9 : Small packaging, matte and shimmer shades, and perfect for travel. I didn’t need to bring much more than these two palettes to be honest.
ANASTASIA BROW PRIMER: I’m just obsessed with it and need to bring it everywhere.
NUDESTIX MAGNETIC MATTE LINER in Night and Chocolate (black and dark brown): A new obsession and a product that is not really a cream or a liquid so you can get away with it in your carry on. You can use this on the lid, as a liner, in the waterline, and it doesn’t budge. The colour goes on strong and is workable. I will be buying more.
URBAN DECAY 24/7 WATERLINE PENCIL in Rail and Legend : I really didn’t need to bring these but I know they work and my client likes them so I threw them in!
MAC LIPLINER in Subculture, Stripdown, Whirl: Simple nudes, easy to work with and they look great on different skin tones. A no brainer to pack.
ANASTASIA BROW WIZ PENCILS in Granite, Ebony, Medium Brown : The best prow pencils on the market, another no brainer.
MARC JACOBS EYESHADOW PALETTES in Glambition and Scandalust: The bride was very particular on the natural shade I used on her eyes and the taupe shadow from the Glambition palette was perfect. I didn’t need the Scandalust palette (left) and could have left it at home.
MAC EXTRA DIMENSION SHADOW in Sweet Heat: You can use this wet or dry for a reflective look on the lids. It was the perfect colour during the trial to add some glow over the Marc Jacobs Shadow.
URBAN DECAY SHADOW IN BLACKOUT: I love working with this shadow and it’s nice and dark to use for a quick smokey eye.
BOBBI BROWN UNIVERSITY LIP PALETTE: I bought 3 of these a while back and they contain the perfect combination of lip colours for everything. If you can’t find this palette try to create something like it on your own in a Vueset!
L’ANGE DUAL VOLTAGE 1 1/4” CURLING WAND: I knew all of the hairstyles I was creating ahead of time for this wedding and I could do it all with a flat iron and this curling wand. I do not have dual voltage irons and did not trust using a voltage converter so this was the best plan and it worked out perfectly. I had no issues with any of my hot tools.
MASON PEARSON SMALL BRUSH: The best thing ever and I can’t work without it, it’s ridiculously priced but i’ve used it every single day since I purchased it!
EVO TEASING BRUSH : My other teasing combs have metal spikes at the end of them so they had to go in my checked baggage and you need to tease for a wedding, so this was the perfect brush to bring.
ROUND BOAR BRISTLE BRUSH: Again, knowing the styles you are doing before travelling is helpful. I was only going to be blowdrying some longer bangs so this brush was the perfect size and I only needed one. Any decent quality boar bristle brush will do the trick.
EVO PADDLE BRUSH: This brush is fantastic for brushing through the hair and smoothing out hairstyles. The brides second hair style was an old Hollywood wave, this brush can make that happen.
ASSORTED HAIR PINS in a container from Amazon: All of the pins/elastics I needed (and more) I could fit in this little box. I packed my entire pin box in my checked luggage but it wasn’t all that necessary based on what I packed in here.
I also managed to pack one panel of The Makeup Light with the suction and clamp attachments. They went into a clear Zuca bag and that was that! I had no issues using the light internationally and it was a lifesaver for the evening look.
Here is what got checked in my baggage and made is safely to Italy:
L’OREAL MAGIC ROOT COVER UP in Medium Brown, Dark Brown: I was doing a lot of ponytails and updo’s for this wedding. This is great for filling in thin spots around the hairline.
OLIVE OIL EDGE CONTROL GEL depotted into a small acrylic screw top case from MUJI: I was working with asian hair which can have a lot of fly aways/baby hairs around the face. A good edge control gel works wonders to control that on thicker hair.
PUFF.ME VOLUMIZING POWDER in regular, light: Volumizing powders are essential for providing texture and hold in the hair, especially on hair that is slippery and can’t hold a pin.
KENRA VOLUME SPRAY: Just an all around amazing hairspray. This holds and can be easily brushed through the hair, it also has great humidity resistance.
KENRA AIR GRIP SPRAY: This clogged on me half way through the wedding but it is so good for creating volume and hold with teasing.
KENRA DRY OIL CONDITIONING MIST: Great for frizzy dry hair that needs to looks sleek but not greasy.
KMS HAIR PLAY TEXTURE SPRAY: Considering I was switching the bride’s hairstyle from up to down and also re-curling, I needed a spray that would allow me to do this without flaking. I also used this to give me texture and hold while curling the bridesmaids hair.
JOICO HAIR SHAKE: The best for creating texture in the hair.
MIXED CHICKS HAIR SILK: Always good to bring a serum especially for hair that might be dried out from hotel shampoos, sun, etc.
KMS MOIST REPAIR LEAVE IN CONDITIONER downsized into a 50ml spray bottle: On the spot conditioning for dry ends.
Also packed: teasing comb, carbon comb, regular wide toothed plastic comb, L’ange 1” curling wand, empty spray bottle for water.
WELEDA SKIN FOOD/EMBRYOLISSE depotted into a 15ml aluminum container: I packed enough in my carry on, this was a ‘just in case’.
BIODERMA MAKEUP REMOVER: I ran out of space in my carry on liquids and I figured I could use the Embryolisse as a makeup remover if I needed it.
CINEMA SECRETS BRUSH CLEANER: Always pack extra so your brushes get cleaned no matter what.
SKINDANAVIA SETTING SPRAY Oil Control 118ml : This was wayyyy to much to pack but I didn’t have anything smaller
FACE ATELIER ULTRA FOUNDATION in #7, #8 20ml : This is always my go to foundation - it’s definitely a security blanket. I brought deeper shades so I could quickly mix something up if any of the girls were tanned.
MAC FACE & BODY depotted into an 18ml PE Bottle from MUJI: Packed so I would have extra (even though what I brought in my carry on was more than enough!).
SHU UEMURA EYELASH CURLER: I wasn’t sure if this was allowed on.
MAC MATTE GEL: In hindsight this should have been packed in my carry on but I took a gamble considering most of the bridal party had normal/dry skin.
AVENE SOOTHING EYE CONTOUR CREAM: Totally should have packed this in my carry on. Travel, late nights, drinking…. makes the eye area difficult to work on sometimes.
70% ALCOHOL depotted into a 30ml spray bottle: I wasn’t sure if this was going to be allowed in my carry on and I didn’t want to risk it. It’s also easy to pick up at local grocery stores/pharmacies, so I didn’t stress.
MEHRON SKIN PREP downsized to a 10ml dropper bottle: Another thing I probably should have brought on carry on because it ended up being extremely hot and humid in Italy.
RCMA FOUNDATION THINNER downsized to a 10ml dropper bottle: This makes life easier and makes applying the RCMA foundation a breeze.
STAINLESS STEEL CONTAINER: Should have been in my carry on.
EYE DROPS: Also should have been in my carry on.
NUDESTIX SHARPENER: What was I thinking not putting this in my carry on either!!
I also brought two small packages of makeup wipes, the Sephora Pro Warm Palette and my stainless steel palette.
This is the last grouping of products (I PROMISE) and these things were pretty much the just in case, cover my bases, security blanket things I brought….which I did not use.
RCMA FOUNDATION PALETTES VK10, VK11, KJB: Can’t leave home without them!
MAC CONCEAL AND CORRECT PALETTES depotted into a Vueset
SIAN RICHARDS 4K LONGWEAR CREME PALETTES in Essence, Ether: Post about this is coming I promise.
CUSTOM NUDE LIP PALETTE
KRYOLAN DERMA COLOR PALETTE: This was my backup for the Sian Richards stuff which I definitely did not need.
BOBBI BROWN GEL LINER in Black: We weren't doing any liquid liner for this wedding but you just never know!
NYX MATTE LIQUID LINER: I wasn’t sure if I would have to pull out a fast liquid liner in the dark with precision (it has happened before) so this would have been useful for that type of situation.
That is everything makeup related I brought! I hope this was helpful for anyone travelling with their kit. It is way more stressful than it seems and it’s really just about working with less and repackaging some of your kit into smaller containers. It also helps to work with products that are multi purpose (and this goes for just regular life as a makeup artist as well). As far as the electricity situation goes I brought The Makeup Light and that is dual voltage so it worked like a charm. All of my hot tools were dual voltage and I used the hair dryer from the hotel so I didn’t have to pack my own. I brought one travel adapter and a power bar designed for European countries that also worked amazingly well. If there are any more questions, ask away and i’ll have a video out by the end of the week (or early next week) with more of the inside scoop on this wedding and how things went down!
Main photo by Roberta Facchini Photography