What’s (Always) In My Makeup Bag?

everyday makeup staples1

I always love these sorts of “what’s in my makeup bag” type posts so I thought I would do a variation and show you my staples that always have a place in my makeup routine.  These are the first products I reach for every time I do my makeup.  I don’t always go for a full face and use everything shown here, but I’ll most often choose a subset of these items to perk up my skin and eyes.  Along with each product I’ve given a mini-review as well 🙂


Smashbox Photo Finish Primer (Original).  I used to be very wary of silicone based primers after the Light version of this product caused me to break out.  I decided to give this one a go because the pores around the center of my face had started to show a bit more through foundation.  It definitely smooths out my skin and helps concealer sit better over blemishes.  I like to dot a pea sized amount through the center of my face and blend outwards.

Bobbi Brown Stick Foundation (1, Warm Ivory).  This is the first foundation I’ve repurchased since the bareMinerals Matte I wore in high school!  I’ve heard wonderful things about Bobbi Brown foundations, and I liked the idea of having a very full coverage foundation on hand.  A la Wayne Goss, I thought it could be sheered out with a Beauty Blender and double as concealer.  It’s not the best for spot concealing, but for larger areas it works wonderfully.  It’s also super convenient for travel and quick to apply in the morning.  No foundation fingers!

MAC Pro Longwear Concealer (NW20).  Great coverage and absolutely AMAZING staying power!  This is one of the very few under eye concealers I’ve tried to date that doesn’t crease as the day goes on.  I also love using this as an all over lid primer if I’m in a rush.  A bonus for those living in hot, humid climates: if blended out as a foundation it manages to stay on through all kinds of sweaty situations (read: inland Florida summers with 107% humidity and no breeze).

Kevyn Aucoin The Sensual Skin Enhancer (SX05).  There’s a definite learning curve to this product but after some practice it really can cover anything.  The jar is tiny but it will last you forever if used as a concealer, and just shy of forever if used as a foundation.  It’s seriously pigmented and you need the tiniest amount.  Think of it like an OCC Lip Tar.  But for your whole face.

Laura Mercier Loose Translucent Setting Powder.  I used to reserve this for flash photo events and bridal makeup, but I brought it out again and now I remember why I bought this in the first place!  It leaves an absolutely beautiful finish to the skin and doesn’t look heavy for setting the undereye area.  If I use a light hand I find I can lock in my base and still avoid that dry, tight feeling I’ve been getting from my usual powder.  It has a moderate amount of shine control so for the very oily skinned this may not be the best pick.  (For that I’d recommend MAC Pressed Blot Powder, which contains kaolin clay and controls shine like nothing else I’ve ever tried.)

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NARS Powder Blush (Madly).  The use of this was inspired by two YouTube videos: a video on Lisa Eldrige’s YouTube channel with guest artist Mary Greenwell and one by Ruth Crilly on amodelrecommends.  Mary Greenwell applied a slightly darker blush on a very fair skinned model almost as a contour to lower the appearance of her hairline.  Ruth Crilly applied a Clarins product as a not-quite-bronzer, not-quite-contour, all over way to add life and color.  I apply it the same way I would a bronzer and it gives a lovely warmth that I can’t quite describe.  I would highly recommend giving this a try if you have a hard time finding a light enough bronzer shade that won’t look muddy or orange.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush (Blissful).  I feel like Tipsy gets all the love in the online community, but Blissful is quite possibly my favorite blush of all time.  Very pigmented, easy to blend, and a perfect balance of coral and pink.  And can we please just take a moment to appreciate the brilliance of the packaging?  If you didn’t know already, you can easily pop the magnetized pan out of it’s home and add it to whatever palette you desire.  No messy depotting and it’s a nice space saving option for travel.


Bobbi Brown Longwear Gel Eyeliner (Ink).  Another cult favorite product I wanted to put to the test.  This one definitely makes the cut for me!  I like to use it for both lining my upper lashline and as a tightliner.  Once it sets it actually stays put without transfering to my bottom waterline, which was my pet peeve with every other liner I had already tried for tightlining.  Very black, very longwearing, doesn’t irritate my eyes, and the pot will last you a long time even with daily use.

L’Oreal Lash Out Butterfly Mascara (Very Black).  I might have a new all time favorite mascara.  I love building up my lashes on the outer corners for a more winged look and the wand on this makes it so easy!  I’ve only used it for a few days, but so far no smudging or flaking to report.

Anastasia Perfect Brow Pencil (Taupe).  Excellent color match and great staying power.  I prefer a softer look for my brows so I’ve always gone for this over the Brow Wiz.  The spooley is also the best I’ve come across.  I like it so much I actually salvaged the one from my last pencil and put it on a little wooden handle to turn it into one I can keep!

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Brushes & Tools

Beauty Blender.  Everyone and their mother has talked about this so I’ll keep it brief. It’s the fastest way I’ve found to flawlessly blend in my foundation in the morning, and the pointed end of the egg allows you to get into the tighter corners of the face.  I have multiples of this so I can use it on others as well!

Shiseido Eyelash Curler.   Let’s face it: most of us have lashes that need some perking up in the morning!  Previously I’ve gone through a few of the ever popular Shu Uemura lash curlers, but I find that I reach for this more since I’ve brought it home.  It opens slightly wider which makes it easier to capture every lash on the first try, and the slightly less curved shape seems to fit my eye better.

Sigma E15 Flat Liner Brush.  My go to for quick and easy tightlining, and the occasional dab of liner on the outer half of my lid.  Great quality brush and quite affordable.  Gel eyeliners like the one I use tend to gunk up brushes quickly, but with religious spot cleaning it has held up well under almost daily use.

MAC 168 Angled Blush Brush.  Perfect for precision blush application.  It’s just dense and small enough to deposit color where you want it, but also fluffy enough around the edges to help it blend smoothly.

RealTechniques Blush Brush.  I have two of these beauties because I use them so much!  I love them for bronzer or my NARS Madly blush as well as all over setting powder.  A soft, fluffy, and affordable pick.  (not pictured)

RealTechniques Setting Brush.  I also have two of these brushes; one for setting under the eyes and another for powder highlight.  Very versatile and the perfect size for smaller areas of powder application.

I hope you enjoyed that peek into my makeup routine and it wasn’t too long winded!  Since they’re my favorites I have a lot to say about these products.

What are some of your everyday makeup staples?  Share in the comments!


1 thought on “What’s (Always) In My Makeup Bag?

  1. Pingback: Empties No. 1 | BellaRose Makeup

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