What's In Her Bag? An ICU nurse who works 12-hour shifts and uses a $10 Aldi serum.

Mamamia’s What’s In Her Bag series asks Aussie women to give us a look at their everyday beauty routines. Kind of like a sex diary but with beauty. So… not like a sex diary at all. We discover what women are putting on their faces, how much of their hard-earned cash goes towards beauty, and what works for their busy lives. There’s no right or wrong, just real beauty from real women. This week, a 25-year-old ICU nurse shows us what’s in her bag.

Name: Gabriella.

Age: 25.

Job: ICU nurse.

Skin Type: Dry.

Biggest skin concern: Dryness and hormonal chin breakouts.

Side note – we asked a makeup artist to teach us how to contour in under a minute. Check it out below, post continues after video.

Video by MMC

AM skincare routine.

My routine is very simple in the mornings as I’m a nurse who works 12-hour days in an Intensive Care Unit, so quick and easy is the name of the game. I cleanse with the Avene cleanser, add a spritz of Mario Badescu Aloe and Cucumber Hydrating Spray and finish with a QV day cream with SPF. Done.

Avene Cleanance Cleansing Gel, $24.95.

Avene Cleanance Cleansing Gel
Image: Avene.

Mario Badescu Facial Spray With Aloe, Cucumber And Green Tea, $10.

Mario Badescu Facial Spray With Aloe, Cucumber And Green Tea
Image: Mecca.

QV Face Moisturising Day Cream SPF 30+, $16.60.

QV Face Moisturising Day Cream SPF 30+
Image: Chemist Warehouse.

PM skincare routine.

Behold, Gabriella's impressive beauty stash. Image: Supplied.

This is where the magic happens. In the evening, I cleanse with a Face Halo to remove my makeup and a bit of my morning cleanser to grab the last bits of makeup. I then use either Alpha H Liquid Gold (approx. two to three times a week) – this step takes me from a solid 4.5/10 all the way to a 6/10 the next morning. I alternate the Alpha H with The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid Emulsion 2% to target those sneaky little lines near my eyes. I will usually have a rest day between these products to give my skin a break and allow my precious active ingredients to work.

After this, it’s onto my Mario Badescu spray followed by my very affordable $10 ALDI hyaluronic acid serum (is there anything they can't do?!). Hot tip, this product is even nicer fresh out of the fridge cold in summer! I lock this all in with either Weleda Skin Food (sparingly on my chin because it's hormonal breakout city down there) or the Lanolin Aussie Flyer mask once or twice a week used as a hydrating sleep mask. If I’m being particular bougie (or I’m trying to impress a Tinder date), I'll use the Glow Recipe Watermelon Sleep Mask – hydration is my skin's love language.

If I have a blemish, I'm a firm believer in the Benzac AC 5% Gel applied directly to the spot with a cotton bud, and the best bit is you can get it from any chemist! Lastly, as I'm a scaly lizard, I use the Frank Body Lip Scrub to make sure my lips are nice and smooth.

Face Halo Makeup Removing Pads 3 Pack, $30.

Face Halo Makeup Removing Pads 3 Pack
Image: Priceline.

Alpha H Liquid Gold, $59.95.

Alpha H Liquid Gold
Image: Alpha-H.

The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid Emulsion 2%, $17.90.

The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid Emulsion 2%
Image: Adore Beauty.

LACURA® Skin Science Revive Hyaluronic Gel, $9.99.

LACURA® Skin Science Revive Hyaluronic Gel
Image: ALDI.

Weleda Skin Food, $14.95.

Weleda Skin Food
Image: Weleda.

Lanolips Face Base The Aussie Flyer Leave-on Recovery Mask, $26.

Lanolips Face Base The Aussie Flyer Leave-on Recovery Mask
Image: Lanolips.

Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask, $69.

Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask
Image: Mecca.

Benzac AC Gel 5%, $19.30.

Benzac AC Gel 5%
Image: Chemist Warehouse.

Frank Body Lip Scrub, $14.95.

Frank Body Lip Scrub
Image: Frank Body.

Everyday makeup routine.

I don’t tend to use a primer day-to-day, usually I just use my day cream as a base. For my foundation, I use the IT Cosmetics Illuminating CC Cream (I want to be a dewy princess). If needed, I’ll blend a little bit of the Tarte Shape Tape Concealer under my eyes or over a spot with a beauty blender... what did we do before this miracle sponge?! This is all set in place with a very fine layer of the Hourglass Veil Translucent Setting Powder.

As for cheeks, I’m a big fan of the NARS Multiple cream stick in the shade Copacabana, or the MECCA Cheek Tint – this is super pigmented, so a tiny amount on the top of your finger to pat into the skin is plenty. I’ll then add a generous amount of Tarte Brow Gel to tame the beasts that are my eyebrows, followed by a healthy amount of Super Fan Lash Mascara in black by Smashbox (I’m a recovering lash extension addict).


If I’m feeling like I’d like to be that bit extra, I'll add a little bit of the Ciatè Dewy Stix Luminous Highlighting Balm on my cupid's bow and cheekbones. I’m a gloss or balm lady over lipstick any day, and I’m a BIG fan of the Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb in Fussy or the Frank Body Lip Balm. The last step is a good spritz of the MAC Fix Plus Setting Spray.

IT COSMETICS CC+ Cream Illumination SPF 50+, $61.

IT COSMETICS CC+ Cream Illumination SPF 50+
Image: Sephora.

Tarte Shape Tape Contour Concealer, $37.

Tarte Shape Tape Contour Concealer
Image: Sephora.

Hourglass Veil Translucent Setting Powder, $70.

Hourglass Veil Translucent Setting Powder
Image: Mecca.

NARS The Multiple, $60.

NARS The Multiple
Image: Mecca.

Mecca Cosmetica Hydra Cheek Tint and Illuminating Balm Duo, $45.

Mecca Cosmetica Hydra Cheek Tint and Illuminating Balm Duo

Tarte Busy Gal Brow Gel, $27.

Tarte Busy Gal Brow Gel
Image: Sephora.

Smashbox Super Fan Mascara, $29.

Smashbox Super Fan Mascara
Image: Mecca.

Ciatè London Dewy Stix Luminous Highlighting Balm, $38.

Ciatè London Dewy Stix Luminous Highlighting Balm
Image: Mecca.

Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer, $30.

Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb
Image: Sephora.

Frank Body Lip Balm, $11.95.

Frank Body Lip Balm
Image: Frank Body.

MAC Prep and Prime Fix Plus, $39.

MAC Prep and Prime Fix Plus
Image: MAC.

Hair care products and fragrance.

Kristin Ess products deliver! They're at Priceline, so you don't have to make your way to your hairdresser to buy product. I’m so here for her new shampoo and conditioner. I also love a good hairspray to keep my little baby hairs in check, I'll use any chemist brand. As for dry shampoo, I travel a lot and haven't always been able to take aerosols on the plane in cabin baggage. I really like the Lush No Drought Dry Shampoo.


Onto fragrance, I love Karen Walker B, but it's really hard to find. It smells like lollies, fresh fruit, musk and fresh flowers.

Kristin Ess The One Signature Shampoo and Conditioner, $18.99 each.

Kristin Ess The One Signature Shampoo
Image: Priceline.

Schwarzkopf Extra Care Super Styling Lacquer, $8.99.

Schwarzkopf Extra Care Super Styling Lacquer
Image: Chemist Warehouse.

LUSH No Drought Dry Shampoo, $8.95.

LUSH No Drought Dry Shampoo
Image: LUSH.

Karen Walker B 100ml, $165.12.

Karen Walker B 100ml
Image: Karen B.

Her Spendy.

Easily, my favourite expensive purchase is the Hourglass Ambient Light Palette. It makes you look glowy and immaculate, and I use it as a highlighter on my cheeks and cupid’s bow (which colour I choose depends on where I am in my fake tan cycle).

Hourglass Ambient® Lighting Palette, $98.

Hourglass Ambient® Lighting Palette
Image: Mecca.

Her Savey.

I love the Palmer's Natural Fusions Baobab & Neroli Body Oil. I’m very lazy with my body care and this hydrates me while I’m enjoying a bath. It's also normally on sale somewhere, so it's a winner.

Palmer's Natural Fusions Baobab & Neroli Body Oil, $12.99.

Palmer's Natural Fusions Baobab & Neroli Body Oil
Image: Priceline.

Mamamia's What's In Her Bag series drops every Wednesday. Want to share your beauty routine? Easy, just fill out this quick What's In Her Bag form.

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