Iā€™m Kristel. I vlog. I blog. Professional makeup artist based in Manila. 300 hours training in Make Up For Ever Academy, Seoul, South Korea. I live makeup, you have no idea.

Texas Haul: Travel Essentials

Oh I just know everyone's excited about this: Shopping results!

Ever since reading up on Eula's Celeteque Hydration Traveler's Basics review, I got hooked on using travel sets as a way to sample a brand or at least, get products in quantities that I can use up before expiry. I absolutely hate buying full-size when I know nothing about the brand. It feels like a sunk cost that's way too deep for my liking.

Now let me just say, I went on vacation with a pretty long wish list. I went home feeling morose at the thought of not filling out my wish list but when I got home, I realized I got a huge amount of stuff. I took this for granted and allowed myself to feel sad only because I had too long of a wish list in the first place.

My Ridiculous, Over-Achieving Wish List

On top of that, these were the worst of my lemmings from my fellow beauty bloggers' raves and I failed to consider that many of them were quite expensive to haul up in one go. With a little bit of effort on my part, I convinced myself to forget about the list and be smug about my awesome (for me) haul!

I've chopped up my haul into four categories: Travel Essentials, Tools, Makeup & Skincare and $1 Items. I don't know what order to post these yet but I have decided to go with my favoritest category first: Travel Essentials!

My Travel Essentials

Here's What I Got:

Shiseido Aqua Label Whitening (Blue), Moisturizing (Red). JPY 840 per set.

This has got to be one of the craziest purchases I've ever made. At JPY 840, (exchanging at approximately USD 10 per JPY 1000 in Fa So La shop, Narita Airport) these Shiseido travel sets are less than USD 10 each. I don't know how fast you do math but let it sink in for a while...

THAT'S AROUND PHP 400 for a Shiseido travel kit. You can't get Php 400 signature travel sets here!!! They are usually in the Php 1500 - Php 4000 range for 3-6 products of similar sizes. OMG!!!!!

I was spazzing out so badly and my father was already encouraging me to buy ten of each variant- reverse psychology at its most dangerous. I found this on our very first layover so I held off on hoarding as I was trying to allocate my allowance towards my wish list. I now truly wish I got at least 2 of each.

Caudalie Favorites Set, USD 32 + tax.

I've spotted a few raves on the Caudalie Beauty Elixir back when I was in my Bioderma research phase, but when I went to Sephora, I couldn't immediately spot it. It was buried behind the Caudalie Beauty Waters and lotions and other such DISTRACTIONS. Searching high and low, I was able to spot this baby which, yay, had the CBE in it.

CBE is sort of a wonder toner that's recommended for use not just during your 1-2-3 skincare regimen, but to be reapplied anytime during the day as well. I chose the Favorites Set over just the full-size CBE because I have a good feeling that there is GOLD to be unearthed from this brand. It is French skincare after all.

Sephora Face and Eye Travel Tool Kit, USD 32 + tax.

We travel almost every Christmas (not always) and maybe a few random times if there's a special occasion, so I never really thought it was worth my money to invest in a travel-size brush kit.

However, with my recent obsession of shrinking my toiletries bag, I find my everyday brushes too bulky. My alternate brushes are Sephora brushes so I know their quality to be decent enough. I'm kind of kicking myself over the head for not thinking of Charm brushes, which could be way cheaper.

Still, the selection of brushes in here is perfect for the kind of makeup I do. I spotted an anti-bacterial set at USD 40-ish and come to think of it, that's even more perfect for travelling. However, at USD 32, the Face and Eye costs a little more than I'm willing to pay for. MAC travel brush sets are at USD 40-60 so I'm not even going there.

Travalo Pure, USD 10 + tax

Travalo was something I avoided buying because I found it too expensive. However, the JML "brandless" atomizer I got was only good for about twenty sprays while the supposed remaining thirty leaked through the bottom like a bad stomach flu. Storing it upside down did nothing. I'm hoping the most professional-looking option in my scouting mission doesn't give me this headache.


US sales tax is 8.25%. I can't wait to do posts on the skincare sets! I'm kind of fighting it, but this blog is starting to lean a little more towards skincare than I expected. You do need good skin to wear makeup well.

Overall, I AM SO HAPPY WITH EVERYTHING! The Shiseido Aqua Label has got to be my favorite, given the price and my trust rating of the brand. I'm kind of over my list now and will probably discipline myself to pick up one or two at a time. I'm not really happy with signature shopping as I'd rather go to the dollar store or small tiangges and get more mileage for my money.

Do you like travel/trial kits? What brand is your favorite?

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