What’s Inside Your Makeup Bag

Here’s proof that you need only a few essential products to put your best face forward.


From a shimmery eyeshadow you wear just once a year to multiple tubes of lipstick in varying shades of red, it’s easy to have an overstuffed makeup bag. The good news: It’s simpler than you think to streamline your cosmetics. Your first step is to toss any products that are old or expired.

“I go through my makeup every six months,” says Orlando makeup artist Jillian Caro. “If it has a weird smell, is starting to separate, or seems clumpy and chunky, it’s time to toss it.” Another indicator? If you can’t remember when you bought it. Most makeup lasts up to a year. Pressed powders and creams tend to last the longest, whereas mascara should be changed out about every three months.

Once you’ve freed up some space, strategically add new products. “Anything multipurpose is my go-to,” explains Caro. “For example, opt for a cheek stain that can also be used on the lips and eyelids or a foundation infused with SPF 50 so you don’t need to carry around sunblock too.” Below, check out nine double-duty products that will simplify your beauty routine and make you feel gorgeous:

  1. Clear mascara does more than just separate lashes: It works as an eyebrow gel and a base for waterproof mascara (making removal a breeze). It even helps to tame flyaway hairs. Maybelline New York Great Lash Clear Mascara, $7.40. At drugstores.
  2. The curved brush of this volumizing mascara also is designed to lift, so there’s no need for an eyelash curler. L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Curved Brush Mascara, $8.95. At drugstores.
  3. This tube is your complexion’s new BFF since it’s a full-coverage foundation, anti-aging serum, and sunscreen. IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream with SPF 50+, $39.50. itcosmetics.com
  4. “The mini size is perfect when downsizing your makeup bag,” says Caro of this bronzing powder designed to give you an all-over glow (and thanks to its matte finish, it also can be used for contouring). Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Matte Bronzer Travel Size Mini, $17. benefitcosmetics.com
  5. The wider base of this makeup sponge can be used on larger sections of the face while its pointed tip is ideal for harder-to-reach areas such as under the eye and around the nose and mouth, allowing you to seamlessly apply foundation, concealer, bronzer, blush and powder. The Original Beautyblender Makeup Sponge, $20. beautyblender.com
  6. “Since it’s double-ended, it eliminates the need to carry extra brushes,” explains Caro of this handy beauty tool. “It’s helpful for sculpting with bronzer, applying highlighter or blush, and dusting off extra powder.” Huda Beauty Bake & Blend Face Brush, $26. hudabeauty.com
  7. No bigger than a tube of lip balm, this cheek tint can also be used on eyes and lips. Glossier Cloud Paint, $18. glossier.com
  8. Create a number of different looks, from a sleek cat eye to smoky lids, with this dual-ended product that has creamy shadow on one side and liner on the other. Tarte Quick Stick Waterproof Shadow & Liner, $25.
  9. Replace individual eye shadows and compacts with this convenient all-in-one beauty palette. Charlotte Tilbury Look of Love—Instant Look in a Palette, $75. charlottetilbury.com


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