6 Things Every Makeup Bag Needs

6 Things Every Makeup Bag Needs

As women we know there are certain staples we need. In the closet it’s the perfect little black dress, the comfortable pair of heels, proper business attire, jeans and the perfect trench coat. In the bathroom you need a good moisturizer, cleanser and toner to keep your skin looking smooth and glowing. Yet despite knowing the importance of basics to help you keep your life in order, most of us forget one of our most used tools. Our makeup bag.

From the moment we hit 13 and become an official teenager we begin collecting and experimenting with different shades of eyeshadow, eyeliner and lipstick. We exchange cheap beauty products for pricier ones and then go back to the what works best for us. What we end up with is an over-packed and bulging makeup bag that has more garbage in it than actual makeup - not to mention all the expired products in there. 

But why?

Well besides our desire to never throw anything out just in case it comes back in fashion or you find a use for it. In short - you don’t know what you absolutely need, so you keep it all.

The question is, do you need it all?

Here is our list for the top 6 things you must have in your makeup bag.


I’ve heard plenty of women tell me they just aren’t the type to use concealer and, after I’ve taken a moment to pick my jaw up off the floor, I school them on the importance of concealer. First and most importantly, the life of today’s woman is super hectic. Whether or not kids are part of your daily life, there is still the long work day that seemingly never ends, familial obligations, friends, hobbies and goals for the future. That means you’re not getting the sleep you need, which is where your concealer stick will become your new best friend.

Dark circles that tell the world you’re not getting enough sleep can easily be concealed with this tinted stick. And blemishes that signal it’s your time of the month or highlight that sugar binge you went on last week, can be as good as gone with concealer.

Find a brand you trust and can afford and toss it in your new & improved makeup bag.

Dual-Brush Mascara

The eyes are the window to the soul, or so they say, which is why we collectively spend millions of dollars each year on tubes that promise to lengthen, enhance, fatten and plump our lashes.

The important thing to remember when it comes to mascara is that more is better and I don’t mean buying those oversized wands that fool you into thinking that heft will transfer to your eyelashes. Nope, what I mean is that you want a mascara that does what you do—multitask. Add a mascara that offers up a two sided brush, one that separates and de-clumps, and another to perform the magic.

Mascara is a must for all makeup bags. A few dabs of concealer and a swipe of mascara can do wonders on those days you’re running too late to put on a full face.


Tinted SPF

It shouldn’t be a secret that all of us—men too—need to be mindful of the damage too much sun exposure can do to our skin. Dry and leathery skin are best case scenarios when skin cancer is always an option so one of the first things that should go into your makeup bag is a tinted SPF.

It’s the perfect go to product when you’re headed out for a run, errands or any other activity that might not require full blown makeup.

Eyeshadow Palette

This is one of the makeup bag items that leaves women feeling confused and overwhelmed which is why you currently have six different eyeshadows in your makeup bag. Don’t waste money on cheap, single shadows that only have one purpose.

You want—again—a palette that can multitask that same way you do every single day. Your palette should be able to give you a light and natural daytime look and a evening smoky eye, plus whatever else strikes your fancy. Find a palette with at least six colors that meet most of your needs. That way you can feel better about splurging on that teal shadow you’ll only ever wear once.

Face Powder

How many times have you glimpsed at your reflection in the mirror only to find your forehead, cheeks or T-zone a shiny mess? If you had a loose powder in your makeup bag it wouldn’t be a problem. Just dip your brush and sweep it across your face to get rid of shine without caking additional makeup on your face throughout the day.

Don’t confuse this powder with what’s in your compact, unless you use a loose translucent powder. This can be used throughout the day and it won’t settle into wrinkles and other deep lines on your face and neck.


Proper Tools

Do you still use those little applicator pads that come with your eyeshadow? Do you apply blush with a brush that was meant for eye contouring? If so, chances are good that your makeup bag is missing its toolkit.

Of course the most effective tool is your fingers but if that feels a little bit too much like afternoon arts & crafts you’ll need brushes. Some people will tell you that you only need a firm brush for wet makeup (primer, foundation) and a bigger fluffy brush for the dry makeup (shadow, blush, bronzer). That is certainly one way to go but only if you’re willing to clean between eyes and cheeks.

If you are perpetually behind schedule get a compact but plentiful brush kit that includes a firm brush for your wet makeup needs, one for eyeshadow application and one for blush, powder and bronzer. Be sure to clean your brushes regularly and keep them stores properly, not just sitting in your bag to collect dust and other debris.

Armed with these items is a great place to start and help you pick up products you need instead of the latest craze.

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