Three kikay kits, three life situations: Here are a few of the essentials I can't live without!

As #adulting rears its ugly head, I attend a more diversified set of events. From the casual meetups with friends and low-key backstage work commitments, to the more dressy blog events and formal wedding parties, I put effort into looking good. I’ve noticed that I do very different faces for each of these events, so I tend to edit my kit accordingly. If you find yourself scrambling to do different looks with just a single kit, consider adapting this method of keeping three kinds of kikay kits.

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Pang-milk tea sa kanto, aka The Spartan Kit

The last time I left the house sans makeup and toothbrushing, I unexpectedly saw a friend in Macao Imperial who was in a very talkative mood. I was in such a panic, I didn’t know what to hide first! My bed hair, my non-existent brows, the dark circles that sat under my eyes, or my stank breath? I couldn’t just run away as preparing my milk tea order took time, and I became a hostage to my own insecurities for that whole period.

I swore, never again!

So now whenever I leave the house, I make sure to put some effort into how I look and ensure that I can confidently meet people in case of another chance encounter. This doesn’t always mean wearing all the makeup, but it does mean being honest with the face I see in the mirror and enhancing features that make me feel good about myself.  

The Spartan Kit is very personal, as it involves you cherry-picking cosmetics depending on your priorities. Mine contains just three things: a creamy lipstick that can double as blush, a concealer that can double as foundation, and a sword-tip eyebrow pencil in a small pouch. I took cues from Kim’s 5- and 10-minute FOTD tutorial here. You can also get inspo from the rest of the PV team’s 3-product kits!

Work-mode face, aka The Daily Kit

When I go out for my job of putting makeup on people, my main concern is that I’ll be very busy and out longer - which means I’m less likely to do full retouches and more prone to looking haggard. This is my equivalent of everyone else’s 9-5! For these occasions, my focus is on oil control and lip touch-ups. I rarely bother packing cheek or eye products as I get red throughout the day anyway, and any eye makeup is just too much trouble to retouch!

My Daily Kit contains about seven things. Taking out concealer from the Spartan Kit, I add hydrating toner (for the cracks in my foundation,) oil control film, lip balm because moisture on my lips have a notoriously short shelf life, and pressed powder. When I go full matte on the foundation, I am fine with a translucent pressed powder to retouch with – Shiseido Baby Powder is a fave! On sheer foundation days, I know I will need more coverage in my touch-ups so I pick up a colored powdered, such as the MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation.

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Polished and perfect, aka The Glam Kit

A fuller face of makeup is more high maintenance. Even though event days are shorter than work days, more makeup means the difference between faded and fresh application is more pronounced, so I pack a bigger kit accordingly. I also give myself more time to prepare because I don’t want to be immortalized in photos with crooked falsies

My Glam Kit contains the Daily Kit plus: an empty contact lens case with fresh solution, hand sanitizer, lash glue, black eyeliner, concealer or matte liquid foundation, face cream, makeup wipes for worst-case-scenario foundation cracking, and highlighter.

My skin gets really dull and dry, so if I want to look glam, that’s my top issue to address. This is why I have everything to recreate my face base, if I have to, including the skincare for proper prep. I also like to carry black eyeliner because I feel like a faded tightline looks haggard. If you have different beauty concerns, I’m sure your kit will look much more different!

It’s funny how small my kits turned out to be, but these have been curated after almost a decade of doing my makeup in different setups. I’ve learned that things like eyeshadow palettes may be comforting but ultimately pointless for my makeup application and style - just my personal preference. I’ll sometimes add blush or a solo eyeshadow if the mood strikes me, but only things that can be reapplied with the hands.

Do you have different versions of kikay kits? What are your non-negotiables and packing strategies? Let us know in the comments!