The only eye makeup I took with me to NYC for a month.

(Mascara and lash curler not withstanding) was this:


The key player was the nude palette. All of us should have one. Find the right one and you’re set like Joan Jet.

The one I chose was from those Palette Queens at Benefit. It’s called the World Famous Neutrals palette in ‘Easiest Nudes Ever.’ (There are two other options in the range, which I’m not convinced I would not love more.) It costs $44 and is new on the scene. I was impressed. I also love their Brows a-go-go palette and their Cabana Glama palettes, since you asked. (And if you didn’t ask, I apologise.)

But then, Benefit always do cracking palettes. Terrific combinations, useful, easy to use products, nothing superfluous, except for perhaps the size of the actual cardboard box. Excellent for those who are tentative about trying new looks, because the colours are generally universally flattering, but also they include visual step-by-steps. This one has the steps and a mirror in the palette. What fun!

I chose this palette for travel because it has all I need for a variety of looks.

Specifically, ‘day’ and ‘night.’

It has two lovely cream eye shadows, one that’s a creamy pinky-rose shade (shade name: R.S.V.P)  and one that is a darker, browny-bronze shade (shade name: No Pressure!) both of which are perfect for:

A) priming the eyelid before powder shadow

B) ensuring there is no funny business in terms of creasing or rapid fading.

Then there are four  powder shadow shades. I mostly use the two brown ones, the innocuous, suits-everyone shade of light brown (shade name: Thanks a Latte), and the dark chocolate brown (shade name: Matte Espresso) that is terrific for drama, definition and using wet as a liner. Great for smudging into the lower lashline for a lived-in look, too.

There are also two very light shades, pink (shade name: Pinky Swear) and vanilla (shade name: Call My Bluff), for using in the centre of the eye  and under the brow bone and on the inner ‘V’ so that your eyes look VERY WIDE OPEN AND PRETTY. 


There was not one dingin’ occasion I couldn’t use this palette (with my favoured shadow brush for travel, the dual-ended Bobbi Brown eye shadow brush, which comes in her travel sets. But lots of brands do these – one end is thin and flat for liner, one is medium-sized brush for shading and blending).

My favourite day look was a wash of pinky-brown cream shadow up to the crease, and then pushing in a light taupe shadow, with some flesh-toned liner in the lower waterline with mascara, which was a cinch with this guy, and for night, cream shadow in a brown or bronze, just a touch further up than the crease for more excitement, then a dark brown shadow pushed into the lash line and blended up onto the lid about a cm, blended nicely of course. Some lower lash line biz, too. Then, as always, lots of mascara.

BUT, sometimes I get bored with just my browns and taupes and lattes and want something a bit more dazzly.

Which is why I included the small Becca Powder Shimmer in Damask (rose-bronze-gold) shadow you see in the picture, and also some gel liner (Lancome Ink Artliner in Black Carbon Ink.)

This allowed me to have the further options of either:

– A clean, precise winged liner (with a base of the R.S.V.P cream shadow all over the lid to keep it fresh)
– Some complementary eye interest to a red, pink or orange lipstick should I choose to sass such a thing, which I most certainly did. Flat or matte brown shadow with zingy lips can look a bit dull in my opinion. A bit of metallic spices things up. The great thing about No Pressure! as a cream shadow is that it has a hint of metallic sheen to it, so you already have a nice warm base in place even before adding bronze.

As a dame who generally overpacks, I gotta say, choose a killer palette to travel with, and chuck the rest. How many eye looks can you REALLY use on one trip? HOW MANY I SAID.


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