Since I regularly started carrying a few smaller bags, I have also streamlined my makeup bag. I gravitate toward larger handbags that could easily double as luggage, and test their max capacity. I carry everything in my bag: a large camera, change of shoes, overstuffed wallet, small children. My makeup bag is/was no different. I used to carry half of my train case with me! The great thing about downsizing from time to time is that it keeps me disciplined. I only carry the essentials – and that’s more than enough. What are my essentials? Here’s what made my cut:

makeup bag essentials

(mouse over to see product details and where to buy)

Whether I’m starting from scratch or touching up throughout a long day, I always have what I need on hand. If I am wearing a specific look, I’ll add a couple of products to the bag just for touch ups. In order to avoid bulk, the trick is to employ multi-purpose products. My brow kit comes with a tinted wax, shadow (which can double as eyeliner), mini tweezers and two mini brushes – all in one handy kit. My favorite lip product is meant to double as a cheek color, which can be applied with just your fingertips (no brush necessary). Mascara and a concealer/highlighter duo wake up tired eyes, while the concealer end also hides blemishes. Primer and skinfinish powder even out skintone and keep the shine to a minimum; blotting papers soak up excess oil throughout the day. As for Burt’s Bees, I’m just addicted to it.
What’s in your makeup bag?

Love Love,
Keiko Lynn

p.s. My makeup bag and cute little birdy mirror are both from Grr Feisty:)

  1. Archives says: September 7, 201012:11 am

    i, too, keep the basics in my purse…never know when you'll need to touch up :)

  2. Amber Rose says: September 7, 201012:26 am

    I really need to downsize my makeup collection and "essentials". I just know that the moment I throw something away, I'll need it. Sigh.

    Anyhow, hope you're having a good week. Do me a favor and do something really touristy for me tomorrow? That way a piece of me can be in New York during my theatre class.

    Love Always,
    Amber Rose :)

  3. Rachael says: September 7, 201012:48 am

    Love this post! Burts bees is so great, I've been using it forever. I did a post on my makeup bag not too long ago…check it out!

  4. Secondhand Smash says: September 7, 20101:05 am

    The only 2 things I carry with me are face powder and lip gloss. Now I feel like I should carry more…!

  5. Collette Osuna says: September 7, 20101:35 am

    I need to cut back on what I carry after reading this….you are right, as long as you have the essentials, theres really no need for seven shaded of eyeshadow!!! lol

    Love your birdy mirror too!

    Statements in Fashion

  6. libys11 says: September 7, 20101:36 am

    i carry a lip gloss, carmex and an elf concealer as well.

  7. Jen says: September 7, 20101:39 am

    Great post! Keeping a smaller make-up bag is definitely a good idea.

  8. bestie says: September 7, 20101:42 am

    Ahh I wish I could limit my "essentials" to just a few things… but I literally carry around a make-up bag full to the brim with everything I could need in a day. I never know when I might need touch-ups (I work as a news reporter) so I just lug around everything to be sure, including about 7 make-up brushes, 5 lip products and a whole lot of eyeshadow. Haha

  9. b. says: September 7, 20103:09 am

    My bag is makeup light ~ just lipgloss and concealer for touch ups. Mind you, if I am going away that means I need to pack up everything and then it is a different story!

    I need to invest in a good base for my eyes though… My eyeliner keeps smudging!

    Do you have any suggestions besides MAC Keiko? {I am too poor for MAC atm!!}

    bonita of Depict This!

  10. genevieve, sandbox romance says: September 7, 20103:09 am

    I'm utterly lost when it comes to makeup (case in point: do blotting papers remove makeup, or only shiny-ness?), but I LOVE your makeup case! So cute!!

  11. Bucca says: September 7, 20103:37 am

    Mine varies depending on where I am going but my standards are:

    Christian Dior – Skin Flash
    Mac – Bronzer
    Laura Mercier – Mineral powder
    Christian Dior – mascara
    and of course Lucas' PawPaw ointment (lip balm amoung other things)

  12. Merv says: September 7, 20103:53 am

    Do you apply primer throughout the day? Do you apply it over your powder?

    The thing that concerns me most are eyeboogies and pale lips so I always have lipstain and black honey lipstick with me.

  13. Lulu says: September 7, 20104:15 am

    hmm, well i only have a little tiny pouch in my purse for makeup (because i know i'd bring my entire makeup kit if i could haha) but i always carry mascara, eyeliner, powder blush and miniature blush brush, foundation, face powder and miniature powder brush. ohh and lip gloss. and the various essentials for a specific look (different eyeshadow shades or eyeliner colors or lippy if i need them) just like you said. =P

  14. blackdahliadesigns says: September 7, 20106:06 am

    I LIVE by badgal lash! You should check out benefit's Erase Paste for concealer. It is absolutely fantastic and I have yet to find a black circle or a red spot it won't cover. I've also been caught using it as eyeshadow primer in a pinch..definitely worth the little chunk of change (since it lasts foreverrr)

  15. Ginta says: September 7, 20107:40 am

    I feel I walk naked in comparison with you! I have only a lipstick and Burt's Bees Lip Balm (I'm addicted, too!) in my makeup bag with me! And now I'm wondering if I can actually call it a makeup bag?! :)

  16. torie kai. says: September 7, 20108:05 am

    mine's easy: rose balm and eyeliner.

    i love grrfeisty! roxy is adorable!!

  17. faye lu says: September 7, 201010:27 am

    i recently posted "crazy bag lady" – i'm a complete minimalist when it comes to makeup and only carry the essentials: powder and lipgloss. great makeup should last all day/night. love your blog xo

  18. CINTANTYA says: September 7, 201010:54 am

    i love ur blog! so inspiring

  19. ...on the brink of something beautiful says: September 7, 20101:43 pm

    i lovelovelove berts bees!!

  20. Stephanie says: September 7, 20104:38 pm

    I always have to many [not important] things in my make-up bag & the things I really need are often at home!

    I think I should work on that! ;D

  21. Skyler says: September 7, 201010:22 pm

    oh I just had to take a picture. Visuals are always much more fun.

  22. like--a--movie says: September 8, 20104:03 am

    your entries are so clean, concise, & detailed!

  23. Di says: September 8, 20109:42 am

    Hilariously, I have a photo I took of my makeup bag about a year ago

    Yee gads! I now pretty much only carry my burts bees and the lipstick I am wearing to top it up. I am going through a lazy phase.


  24. Claire Kiefer says: September 8, 201010:00 am

    I love benefit too! And I'm the same way about carrying makeup–I want most of it with me! My essentials include Dior Airflash foundation (makes your skin look like a doll's), Smashbox photo finish primer (YES! notice you love it too!), Stila smudgepot (which I use for eyeliner), a Clinique powder compact, Cover Girl original blush in soft mink (I SWEAR by it), and I switch it up with my mascaras . . . currently using Buxom by Bare Essentials, which is great in that it doesn't clump AT ALL but it also doesn't give me quite the dramatic lashes that I want. :)

    Love this post!

  25. Ana Rolka says: September 8, 201012:52 pm

    Oh, dear. The only makeup I keep in my purse is lipstick and, of course, Burt's Bees. I use my darkened sleep-mode cellphone screen as a mirror. Maybe it's time to change that….

  26. Sophie Fish says: September 8, 20109:37 pm

    You've answered a curious question I wanted to ask you. Because I've got blemished skin I'm starting to use and carrying makeup thanks to MAC, my ally.
    But still I have a huge problem: I think I not apllying my foundation the right way!!! I feel like I have a mask on my face and I'm using the right color!!!
    Can you give me a help on a next Makeup Monday please?

  27. What Ner is saying says: September 9, 20101:39 am

    Your make up bag is really cute! What kind is it?

  28. Lulu and the Locket says: September 9, 20109:55 am

    well aren't you a cutie, such a gorge blog! Hello to you from over the pond! x

  29. hueys says: September 9, 20101:16 pm

    I'm too messy too keep my cosmetics in a small pouch to bring out =p

    I only select a few essentials and dump it in the innerzip of m handbag =p

  30. Sarah says: September 9, 20105:29 pm

    Mmm I love Burt's Bees. Next time I buy some eye shadow, I might have to try that brow kit.

    : ) Thank you for sharing your makeup bag essentials with me!


  31. Natural Make overs says: September 10, 20109:23 am

    All your make up collections are simply superb …usually i too carry my beauty stuffs with me …it will be easy for me to give a touch up whenever i need it …
    i gonna get a make up bag like urs so that it will reduce my luggage too..

  32. Leah says: September 12, 201010:44 pm

    What color of the Cheekie do you have?

  33. Beautifully Pure says: September 15, 20103:35 am

    Oh cool!! I love this post!! It's so cool to see another fashion blogger that also loves make up! I don't know how, but I can never seem to find any, which bothers me since I love experimenting with make up.

    I really like seeing what's in your make up bag. I need to get a compact and little pouch for make up – I have to say that is a brilliant idea! I usually just use the zipper pocket of my bags, but the idea of having a pouch is much better! Thanks!

    ~ Katie

  34. ~3iNnA~ says: September 23, 20107:22 pm

    What's in my makeup bag…blotting paper, carmex or chapstick, lipgloss and eyeliner.