8 Essentials Every Makeup Bag Should Have
Just like how your dresser or that lone chair in your room turns into a catchall for knick-knacks or your dry cleaning pile, the same can happen with your makeup bag. If you reached down to the bottom of your makeup bag, how old would the products be? Do you even use them anymore? It can be hard to decipher what you need and what you can toss, so we’ve mapped out the essentials for you. Whether you're planning to clear out your whole collection and start fresh or just want to fill in the holes, these are the eight staples that will get you through every occasion.
Whether you’re running errands or heading out on a date night, a tinted moisturizer gives just the right amount of coverage without looking overdone. Use it all over to cancel out redness and even your skin tone fast.
Splurge: IT Cosmetics Anti-Aging Armour Skin-Perfecting Beauty Fluid SPF 50+
This super lightweight formula feels like it disappears under your fingers while you blend it in, yet all the little imperfections and redness are covered when you’re done. Plus, it has an SPF 50+ to protect you from UV rays every time you wear it.
To buy: $38; sephora.com.
Steal: Pacifica Alight BB Cream
This light, glowy formula not only covers spots and redness, but it also primes and illuminates for a long-lasting, natural finish.
To buy: $14; target.com.
Concealer is the miracle product of beauty. It brightens you up, hides the most annoying imperfections, and helps you look awake even if you’re running on a few hours of sleep. You can also use it as a primer on eyelids and lips.
Splurge: Clé De Peau Concealer Broad Spectrum SPF 25
The go-to among celebrities and makeup artists alike, this concealer has the perfect tacky-yet-smooth consistency that covers up even the darkest under-eye circles or discoloration without looking cakey.
To buy: $70; nordstrom.com.
Steal: Maybelline Fit Me Concealer
This lightweight liquid is easy to apply, but sets after a few minutes and locks into place. Plus, it’s super hydrating so it won’t fall into fine lines.
To buy: $7; ulta.com.
While applying too much of it can give you clown cheeks, just a touch of blush is one of the easiest and fastest ways to bring life and youth back to the face. A quick swirl on the apples of your cheeks is all you need.
Splurge: Nars Blush in Orgasm
A favorite among many, this powder blush is the perfect blend of peach and pink with a subtle hint of shimmer. It works on all skin tones and takes a lot to overdo it.
To buy: $30; sephora.com.
Steal: Milani Baked Blush in Dolce Pink
This bright pink powder is a perfect blend of matte and shimmer shades. It’s baked on terracotta tiles in the sun, which creates a rich pigment that melts into skin.
To buy: $8; target.com.
Whenever you’re feeling tired, you can count on mascara to wake up your eyes for you. Just remember to think of your lashes as rays of sun—you want the rays to go all the way around, so don’t forget to coat your bottom lashes.
Splurge: Benefit Cosmetics Roller Lash Curling & Lifting Mascara
Inspired by hair rollers, this wand grabs onto lashes to lift, separate, and curl. And it sets in seconds, so it lasts without crumbling away.
To buy: $24; sephora.com.
Steal: CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Mascara
The silicone bristles are perfectly separated to define and lengthen each lash individually, so you won't be left with too much clump.
To buy: $7; target.com.
While you can create a multitude of looks with eyeliner, even just softly dabbing it between your lashes can make them look fuller while defining your eyes for a more prominent, youthful look.
Splurge: Clinique Quickliner for Eyes
The precise tip on this pencil makes it so easy to use. The soft formula allows it to glide on easily without tugging. It can also be smudged for a smokier finish.
To buy: $17.50; sephora.com.
Steal: Maybelline Eyestudio Master Precise Skinny Gel Pencil
The skinny tip on this gel pencil lets it get into tight spaces or create a precise cat-eye with ease. Plus, the silky smooth formula glides on and stays put.
To buy: $8; ulta.com.
A bright lip can instantly help you look pulled together, and it's the quickest way to fix a dull complexion.
Splurge: Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick
Looking for a particular color? This line has it. From black to hunter green, you can create any mood with these hues. The lipstick is also loaded with skin-nourishing vitamins and oils to keep your smile healthy and hydrated.
To buy: $26; sephora.com.
Steal: Maybelline Color Sensational Vivids Lipcolor
The super creamy formula molds to lips and keeps them hydrated, so they never look cracked or dried out—even in the brightest hues.
To buy: $8; ulta.com.
A full, fluffy pair of brows is not only on-trend, but it also gives a very fresh-faced appearance. For the most natural look, always start applying at the end of your brow first, and then move in towards the middle.
Splurge: Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz
The small tip on this pencil helps make filling in your brows way less intimidating, as it’s practically foolproof. It comes in 10 shades, so you're sure to find just the right match. Draw on tiny, hair-like strokes, then brush through with the spoolie on the other end.
To buy: $21; sephora.com.
Steal: L’Oréal Paris Brow Stylist Definer
The fine tip is creamy enough to glide on color without having to tug, but it also won’t budge with sweat and oil. Apply small strokes, then brush through with the included spoolie.
To buy: $8; ulta.com.
Switch up your look from day to night or office to party with the simple addition of eyeshadow. Whether it’s a smoky eye or a simple gold shimmer, it can elevate your look in a pinch.
Splurge: Urban Decay Naked Palette
This palette has every neutral color you need to create your look. From black to beige, and from matte to shimmer, it has you covered. The formulas are ultra creamy and smooth, yet magically still stay in place.
To buy: $54; sephora.com.
Steal: NYX Warm Neutrals Ultimate Shadow Palette
With 16 shades, you can create a multitude of looks without cluttering your makeup bag. Whether you choose matte or shimmer, these neutral shades can be mixed and matched to flatter all skin tones.
To buy: $18; ulta.com.