Organising Your Makeup Bag.


Why is it that whenever you desperately need lip balm, or a hair tie – you have nothing of value in your day to day makeup bag except 6 lipsticks in various shades of bright fuchsia? This situation happened to me a few times before I realised how important it was to have your most needed items in your handbag, especially if your days are busy and you spend a lot of time on the move.
Your daily makeup should be quite small but contain a few items that you can’t really live without – it’s likely to be very different for everyone so don’t feel the need to carry around powder and hand cream if you’ve never felt the need for them before.

Have a ponder over what you use daily – do you really need two or three lip products or is a lip balm and a more evening suitable shade of lipstick enough? I always take Sisley Lip Balm * with me for touch ups throughout the day and I usually have a brighter lip product on hand should I need to slick it on to spruce up my makeup, Topshop Lip Crayon in Clueless * if you’re wondering. I usually stuff my makeup bag full of samples, like this REN Hand and Body cream. I always like to have a hand cream to… hand because I hate the feeling of my hands feeling dry (one of the worst feelings). Whilst lugging a huge tube around with you may be a little excessive, a sample size or 50ml number will do you fine.
Another sample size product I have lurking in the bottom of my on-the-go bag of essentials is the Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir Body Creme *, a lovely scented cream that I use like a perfume for a subtle scent should I need it. I don’t have to worry about the bottle smashing or any leaks. Perfume samples are usually pretty easy to get hold of and give you a chance to test a few new scents in real life situations (ie not strolling around Boots), I usually have a few testers slipped in my makeup bag just in case.

I don’t tend to top up my makeup throughout the day, I usually use fuss-free products that are long-wearing but I do like to carry concealer and powder so I have them there. My concealer of choice at the moment is the Jouer Age Repairing Brightener *, perfect for those spontaneous all day drinking sessions. Just me? Moving on, Bobbi Browns Sheer Pressed Powder is another winner in my books, it doesn’t cake and just sets the makeup and takes away any shine.

So while that’s a little peep in to my makeup bag, it’s important you’re realistic when it comes to keeping yours downsized. Switch it up every few weeks, it gives you a chance to try new products and means things are neat and tidy. Try to avoid liquids and loose powders, anything that can be easily spilt is a nightmare. Throw in a nail file, a hair tie and a few hair pins and you’re set.
What do you keep in your daily makeup bag?

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7 February, 2013
  • Verena @

    I love this post! I try to keep the makeup I carry around as minimal as possible, I usually take concealer, mascara, eyeliner, a lip balm and either a lippy or a revlon lip butter! Sadly though, I throw these in the little pocket in my bag, and they always end up rattling around my bag freely. This is just because I can’t find a makeup bag small enough for me! They’re all almost as big as my bag itself, which I hate. I need to get one of those travelo things so that I can bring my perfume with me, they sound perfect.

  • Leanne

    I find using samples in your day to day makeup bag is a great way to use them up. (reminds me I need to do another project samples post) I always make sure I have a lip balm, nail file, hair band and kirby grips for sure. There have been too many times when I have been without and, if Im honest, it caused me stress! I need to file that broken nail / give my lips some attention / Sort my mess of a barnet out! 🙂

    Leanne @ Leanne-Marie | Beauty, fashion & lifestyle. x x

  • Kirsten

    Great post! I usually have a ton of hair pins, my eight hour cream, eight hour lipstick and my LRP spf 50 sunblock stick. Depending on my day I might throw in my mascara, eye-liner and sometimes my Avéne thermal spray – it really is a lifesaver! Oh, and of course a pocket mirror.

  • Maddy Cane

    I love this post, my makeup bag is usually such a mess and has the weirdest things in it! I am going to go and sort it out now! xxx

  • Kate

    I actually did this the other day, because I was sick of rifling through thirty different bottles of nails inc polishes just to find a lip balm!
    Great post!

  • Amy W. Hemmingway

    I’m quite proud that my handbag make up is always organised. However, I normally just tend to take a blotting powder, a powder foundation, a liquid eyeliner pen, and the lipstick/lipliner I’m wearing that day 🙂 | I’m having a Celine giveaway!

  • Katie

    Great post, mines always filled with a ridiculous amount of lip products!

    Love the make up bag too 🙂

    Katie xo

  • Catherine

    Hehe why is it that makeup bags always become flooded with lip products? I cleaned mine out the other day and was quite embarrassed at how many shades I kept it there. Oops!


  • Hearts&Crosses

    This was a great post, and I love your make up bag it’s gorgeous


  • Paris Alma

    I usually find about 5 different pink lipsticks before being able to find a lipbalm I was after! Definitely need to streamline my make-up bag 🙂

    Paris Alma

  • Belinda

    You’ve given me a great idea to carry about my hand cream and use an old sample pot. Not keen on the idea lugging about a huge tub in my bag!

  • Abby

    I’m taking notes from this post! I seem to carry around a lot of makeup in my handbag when I never really touch up. Your makeup bag is too cute! xxx

  • kassie

    I usually only carry a couple things in my makeup bag but then when I really need something I don’t have it and I think, God why didn’t I put that in my makeup back. I’ll have to reorganize my makeup back. thanks

  • Amber

    I have been thinking a lot about this lately. I really need to organize the products I carry with me in my bag! I mean, are a bottle of nail polish remover, 4 nail polishes, and a bottle of Mario Badescu toner really necessary products to carry all day?!

  • Chris @ My Fashion Trendencies

    Where is your makeup bag from?

  • Tiggy

    I love your make up bag! Thanks for asking Chris haha ^^

  • Hannah Cagney & Lace

    Great post Kate – you raise a seriously good point about carrying around the everyday essentials in your make-up bag! There’s usually a couple of lipsticks in my handbag and that’s about it. I’ll definitely be taking a leaf out of your book.

    Hannah – Check out my Neom candle giveaway on

  • Lizzy Knight

    Lovely post, can I ask where your makeup bag is from? So nice! x x

  • lovely post! but I usually keep tons of makeup bcs I usually makeup on the train or subway, to save time at home ^^” So even if I decide to have a drink at the very last minute I can touch up everything :))) I agree with you about bobby pins, hair tie, perfumes and nail file! then I add a little bottle of water, lipstick, powder, blush, mascara, concealer, foundation, a black pencil and a tiny shadows palette! for this purpose, I love to use essence products (but not lonly) bcs they have practical packagings plus if they break they dont cost a lot!
    I also use fakeup (benefit) bcs you dont need to blend a lot
    shiseido hydraliquid (for the pack too)
    guerlain lipstick (that one with mirror…)
    and tons of other stuff 🙂

    maybe I’ll made a post like yours and tag you :))

  • Cheryl

    I really like posts like these 🙂 they give me new ideas on how to update my daily beauty bag 🙂

  • Good post. I also prepare emergency makeup bag in my office.

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  • Réanne Gareau

    This is a great post!! In my bag.. I have hand lotion, some carmex lip balm, one lipstick, a couple hair ties, some bobby pins, a hand held mirror.. I really like your idea of the perfum samples…. never thought of that one! 😀