back to basics with stowaway.

January 16, 2018

This post is sponsored by Stowaway, a right-sized cosmetics company.

It doesn’t happen very often, but every once in a while, I like being told what to do. There are some things that I just don’t want to think about too hard. Some things that I’d rather have someone else work out for me. Makeup is one of those things. 

If you’ve been reading for awhile, you know that I’m not generally much of a makeup person. I wear mascara on lots of days, I wear cheek color when I can manage to put it on before work in the morning. I occasionally add a spot of color to my lips. But even in the midst of this relative makeup minimalism, I still like to be prepared should the occasion for something more crop up. When I have a meeting or a photo shoot or on a random Tuesday, it’s nice to have a small tool kit of cosmetics to help me feel polished. Figuring out what those essentials should be is something I’m grateful to delegate to someone else.

Enter Stowaway. When they first came on the scene, Stowaway felt like the answer to my unspoken makeup prayers. I was attracted to the diminutive sizes and minimalist design, yes, but also to the idea that they were solving a problem. Stowaway’s products are developed in response to the fact that the cosmetics industry typically sells makeup in sizes too large to ever reasonably finish before their expiration date, and too bulky to reasonably store or carry around with you. The women-run business found an answer to this problem in smaller sizes (and slashed prices).
Stowaway’s customizable Every Day Kit includes just six basic products: BB creamconcealera lip & cheek rougelipstickeyeliner, and mascara. I don’t use all of it every day, but it’s awfully helpful to know I have it around just in case. And yes, as I’ve mentioned before, all six of those neat little packages really do fit perfectly in the palm of my hand. If you’re someone who likes to go beyond the basics, Stowaway has you covered there too. They have eye palettes the size of a credit card, and bronzer, and powder, and blush, are all available in the same smart sizes designed to reduce waste.

If you’re interested in trying out an Every Day Kit, you’re in luck. With every purchase of an Every Day Kit, Stowaway is offering Reading My Tea Leaves readers an additional three of their very favorite products: An additional cheek and lip rougelipstick, and an eye palette of your choice. Now you’ll really have everything you might need. You can start building your kit, right this way. (There’s no expiration date on this offer. Sorry guys! This offer will expire on January 31, 2018. Stowaway is currently only able to ship to addresses in the US.)

This post was sponsored by Stowaway. All opinions are my own.  Thanks for supporting the brands that support Reading My Tea Leaves.

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  • Reply Julia January 16, 2018 at 10:01 am

    I love this concept, as I am still working through the lipstick I bought eight years ago for my wedding. Does lipstick go bad? The color is probably way out of style now. Anyways, I have been looking into alternatives for makeup and am intrigued. Do you know how this fares on the EWG?

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE January 16, 2018 at 10:06 am

      Hi Julia! Ha! Yes! These guys aren’t on EWG, but they are EU-compliant and cruelty-free, and because they’re small, they don’t need to have the same kinds of preservatives that a lot of more conventional cosmetics have. So: still makeup, and not made from beet-juice alone, but something I feel good about using. Hope that helps!

    • Reply Julie January 16, 2018 at 1:15 pm

      Hey Julia, that’s a great question! I’m Julie Stowaway’s co-founder. We’ve given a lot of thought to the EWG and if we can afford their payments and licensing fee structure. Just to be considered it is a $500 upfront cost and then it ranges upwards with different price structures and options (including a percentage of sales):

      “Costs for participation vary widely, generally ranging from hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars per year based on factors such as: company size and stage of development, pricing structure options (some of which may include a royalty percentage fee on licensed product sales), number and sales of EWG VERIFIED™ products, and related considerations. Typical fees include an application fee, an evaluation fee (if applicable), and a trademark usage royalty or annual flat fee. The EWG VERIFIED™ license agreements generally are for an initial term of three years and include standard licensing provisions, including with respect to quality control.”

      So as much as we’d love to have that EWG logo one reason we stick to EU compliant standards as they are clear, straight forward, have a comprehensive banned ingredient list that is science backed by every country in the European Union (some very strict indeed) and do not ask brands to pay verification and loyalty fees.

      • Reply Liv January 16, 2018 at 1:46 pm

        Wow- this is so good to know- thank you!

      • Reply Julia January 16, 2018 at 2:10 pm

        Ah, I had no idea EWG was a buy-in label, like “organic”. How frustrating! I will have to learn more about EU compliant, but that sounds great. The fact that you are able to have this conversation gives me confidence in the quality of your product! Thank you.

  • Reply Melody January 16, 2018 at 10:40 am

    Wow. This is an incredibly generous offer. So happy there isn’t an expiration date on this offer as I’m currently on a no-buy challenge for the month of January. I will definitely make a purchase once that time frame is up.
    After using the products how do you like them? What is your favorite product of the bunch?

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE January 16, 2018 at 10:43 am

      I know it! I love the cheek & lip rouge. It’s so easy to blend and…versatile! (Their eyeliner is also kind of magically easy to apply.)

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE January 16, 2018 at 12:40 pm

      Hi Melody! Sorry to be the bearer of disappointing news, but Stowaway decided they needed to put a cap on the offer! It’s good through January 31, 2018.

  • Reply Madeleine January 16, 2018 at 12:24 pm

    What a lovely offer! How do you like their BB Cream? I’m on the serious hunt for a new one and I’ve been debating trying Stowaways!

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE January 16, 2018 at 12:26 pm

      I like it! It’s really the only one I’ve ever used, so I don’t have a big range of experience but it’s been great for me!

      • Reply Leslie January 16, 2018 at 3:00 pm

        Same here! I haven’t really used foundation since trying it in high school but I love the BB cream from Stowaway. I got it last time Erin mentioned them and haven’t regretted for a second.

        • Reply Madeleine January 16, 2018 at 4:14 pm

          Thanks so much for the feedback!

  • Reply Sarah F January 16, 2018 at 2:01 pm

    This will be perfect for my gym/overnight bag! Just purchased the set! Thank you for a great offer and I love the idea of smaller products. I to have lipstick from my wedding….11 years ago. Yikes! Time to toss.

  • Reply Sarah EM January 16, 2018 at 2:11 pm

    I was introduced to Stowaway by you last year, Erin, and got some of their products. While I love the size, value and lack of preservatives, not all of the products work well for me. I’m not much of a lipstick person, but they do have some great shades that go on well and are perfect for those who only use it every once in a while. Good alternative to the full size buy that stays unused in your drawer for years. The eye shadow is very pigmented, so for other fair skinned people, you might want to keep that in mind and steer clear if that’s not your style!

  • Reply Reba January 16, 2018 at 8:55 pm

    Not much of a make-up person, but I poked around on their site and I *love* that they have a recycling policy, and that they take it seriously enough to put it right on their masthead.

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE January 16, 2018 at 9:01 pm


  • Reply Brooke January 17, 2018 at 9:15 am

    I started using Stowaway a few years ago — maybe the first time you mentioned it here, Erin? I know I was for sure using it in 2015. Anyway — I still haven’t made it through their blush or lip tint. The BB cream turned me on to other BB creams and now I use one that’s better suited for my skin. The mascara really irritated my eyes for some reason so I had to stop using that. but all in all, i have been pleased with the product and recommend it to nearly everyone.

  • Reply MissEm January 17, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    I like stowaway – especially their concealer! I only wish the brand was sold at Sephora bc free shipping to canada and combining shipments with other brands is often a tipping point for me. But I still top up on stowaway cheek tint and the concealer when I’m visiting the States!

  • Reply Annie January 18, 2018 at 11:04 am

    Erin, which rouge & lip colors do you use? I’m a fellow fair girl and love the classic look you’ve got going 🙂

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE January 18, 2018 at 11:18 am

      i have the peony and the muted plum!

  • Reply Emma January 18, 2018 at 4:08 pm

    Well, after years of looking at Stowaway I’ve finally placed my order – ready to have grown-up makeup at last! So thrilled with this offer and excited to try it out!

  • Reply Anima January 22, 2018 at 10:31 am

    I ordered from them – But it came with only the basic everyday Kit – The additional products offered were simply not there –

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE January 22, 2018 at 3:59 pm

      Hmm. Did you add them to your cart? If you run into trouble, definitely contact customer service! They’ll help you out!


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