From Ann’s Desk: Makeup Bag Essentials 101

This is for all my makeup novices out there! When I started wearing makeup (not too long ago), I struggled with deciding what to put in that all-important makeup bag. It might seem simple at first, but there were some evenings where I would grab a drink after work and not want to wear the same office-appropriate outfit and lipstick. And what about mid-day touchups?!!

Here are my tips on how to decide what to pack in your makeup bag and what to leave at home:

Plan Ahead

If you know that you’re going out with the girls after work, then you know that you’re more likely to change your look from day to night. My best advice is to prepare! Opt for a neutral eye and then plan on carrying two lipsticks: one for the office and one for the club. If you follow the rest of my advice, you’ll have plenty of room for both lipstick tubes in your bag.

Focus on Favorites

Is that Diva shade by MAC your favorite go-to lipstick? Pack it! You are more likely to wear shades you feel your best in, so it’s a no-brainer to pack your favorite shade and palettes and build the rest of your arsenal around it.

Everyone Loves a Two-for-One

If space is an issue, try packing products that have multiple uses. I tend to like eye palettes that have three different shades in one compact like this MAC palette. That way, I can create the look I want without having to sacrifice space in my bag.

Swap Out Your Brushes

Let’s be honest…there’s only so much room in that makeup bag for all your favorite beauty products. An easy way to conserve space and bring your favorite items is to minimize and focus on versatility. Try this Elf travel brush kit! That way you can avoid damaging your full size brushes and only spend $5 on a travel set…this feels like winning to me!


Odds are you have a liquid and mineral foundation compact. One is used to make a smooth appearance and the other is meant to set your foundation properly. Instead of bring your liquid foundation, opt to bring your mineral powder and gently touch up any areas on your face that requires it. It will save you tons of room in your bag and will be much kinder to your skin since you’re not caking more heavy foundation on your face!

Have your own tips for packing your makeup bag? Be sure to share them in the comments section. 


  • These tips are great! I definitely hate carrying an overstuffed makeup bag. Sometimes, I use the lipstick in my bag as a little hint of blush or shadow to add a little color to a neutral look too!

    • That’s a great idea! Using the products we do have in our bag for multiple purposes is an excellent way to save space. Good thinking, Brittany W!

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