12+ Essential Items for Your Makeup Bag

12+ Essential Items for Your Makeup Bag

Many of us already know what we carry in our makeup bag (or loosely in our purses) and know what is important to us. Recently, I chatted with Lisa Gibson, Hollywood Studio Makeup Artist and asked her what she carries in her makeup bag and what she recommends. Her list surprised me. Many of the items were already in my own makeup bag, but there were also some great suggestions to add.

I was expecting to get a list of hot new makeup trends, colors, products, etc. Oh, don’t get me wrong. She has suggestions for those, too, but that is a different article. Instead, Lisa provided a list of helpful tools for the “just in case” moments and items that are tried and true in her business as makeup artist having worked with the celebrities, especially in their times of need.

I got to thinking. Have I had some of the “emergencies” that she referenced in our chat? Well, yes, I probably have, but I would just take a trip to the store and take care of the problem. What if you could be prepared for the incident, keep your cool, and continue to look like a diva, without stopping to visit the store in the middle of an important event or appointment? In Los Angeles, that is essential!

So, without further adieu, let’s look at the list of items, tools, etc., that Lisa Gibson, Pro Glam Chick, recommends for that makeup bag. Now, don’t toss out your favorite makeup that is already in that bag, but if you have the room, consider adding some of these items.

  • 2 lip colors (day/night)

    If you are really organized, you may want to keep the one lip color in your “day” bag and the night lip color in your “evening” bag, but if that is too much work, you can keep two in your main cosmetic bag. For me, I actually use a tinted lip balm for my day color, so that I get some color and some moisturizer at the same time, then I carry a darker color for the evening look (one that has a gloss on one end, just in case). Also consider adding the lip liners to go with them, or a neutral color that will work with both colors.

  • vitamin E stick

    Lisa recommends that we carry a vitamin E stick that can be used to moisturize our lips and other dry spots that need some touch-up. A stick is less messy to carry than moisturizer that may get squished and leak out. However, there are also small containers of moisturizer that may suit your needs. Lisa suggested, for those who really want some serious on-the-spot moisturizer, to get vitamin E capsules and poke a hole in them (see safety pin, below) and spread the vitamin E on the skin.

  • safety pin

    The safety pin is for those emergencies (also poking the hole in those vitamine E capsules). An obvious emergency would be the loss of a button in a particular needed spot. A safety pin can take care of that situation until you get home. Another option is to carry a travel size sewing kit, but many times there is not enough time to sew that button back on and a quick trip to the ladies room with the safety pin will suffice. Also, with being so prepared, you may be there in the hour of need for a friend who has a button pop, and doesn’t have a safety pin.

  • powder compact

    The obvious thing, with a powder compact, is to touch up on that shine. However, the mirror is also essential to make sure you don’t have any lunch stuck in your teeth.

  • dental floss

    In case you truly do have some lunch traveling with you in your teeth, that dental floss comes in handy to take care of it right away.

  • sunscreen stick

    Hopefully, the foundation makeup that you are using, before you leave the house, has some SPF in it. Many do. However, carrying a sunscreen stick is a good idea, for touch-up, especially if you live in Southern California and other similar places, but it is good advice for anyone, anywhere, for good health.

  • nail clipper and nail files

    The nail clipper is definitely one of the essentials that I don’t leave home without, including in my bag. When you get that nasty hangnail or even a thread on your outfit, a nail clipper will take care of it. Also, when you snag a nail, you can get a better look, and lose less of your nail if you use a nail clipper on it rather than ripping it off (or chewing it off). The nail files are a good addition, to also smooth those nails. I have found that if I am limited on space, that I can take care of most nail snags with a nail clipper, alone, but, if you have the space, throwing in a travel size nail file may be helpful, as well, and the actual nail files are easier on your nails than the files that come with the clippers.

  • pack of tissue

    This is more of a purse thing than a cosmetic bag thing, but comes in handy if you need some help on touch-up makeup.

  • eye drops, if contact wearer

    The eye drops may only apply to contact wearers or those with sensitive eyes and likely these people are already carrying the drops. If you do have sensitive eyes that tend to burn, you may want to consider adding this to your bag.

  • Q tips, pointed

    Lisa had a great idea with the Q tips, and pointed ones, at that. They can take care of oopsies with mascara, lipstick, lip liner, and more. Another one of those tools that has many uses. Lisa shared how she used some waterproof mascara as “eye liner” for a celebrity about to go on stage, at the Oscars. In that case (and others), Lisa saved the day for the celebrity. Tools like Q tips can help you save your day, as well.

  • stick perfume and breath spray

    Unless you live in a place that bans perfume, you may want to consider carrying a perfume stick (to avoid leakage) or a fragrance atomizer that seals well, for those scent pick-me-up moments. Breath spray is also a nice addition.

  • concealer pencil

    For those uninvited blemish visits, have a little concealer pencil or stick available for a quick touch-up.

  • travel size vaseline

    I added this one to my list, after a radio interview that I did one time. Oh, thankfully it was a radio interview! I had lipstick on my teeth. Yuck! The photographer captured it in a photo (which was promptly destroyed!). Vaseline may not be for everyone, but if you find yourself in a position of frequent pictures, even the smart phone snapshots for Facebook and Instagram, you may want to have it, at least in your larger “day” bag. Smear a little vaseline on your teeth and the lipstick won’t go there! I know. It sounds gross, but it really isn’t that bad and I’d rather have the vaseline than the lipstick on the teeth during a video interview.

You may notice that many of these items are “pencils” and “sticks” which help to fit in your makeup bag. You can visit the travel section of any drug store and stock up on goodies for your makeup bag and purse. Now, if only purses could be the size that we need, without the strain on the shoulder! What I do, personally, is have a very small cosmetic bag, with the very minimum of essentials and then a bit larger cosmetic bag with additional items. I can throw the small cosmetic bag into the larger one as I’m on my way out the door. This works the same for purses. Ideally, you buy enough products for two cosmetic bags, your small one and your big one and grab the one that fits in the particular purse you are using that day or evening. You may need a “tiny version” for the special evening bag at that cocktail party.

There you have it, some ideas for the cosmetic bag. Stay tuned for articles on fun things like trendy purses, here on Chic Beauty Tips!

About the author: Deborah, talented in many areas, including a licensed manicurist, shares her love of beauty and health (having spent many hours under the tutelage of nutritionists and health care professionals, passing with flying colors/honors). Download the “Boost Your Energy” ebook (absolutely free!).

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