It’s a phenomenon known only really to the female half of the species…the innate compulsion to want to know what’s in someone’s purse or makeup bag. As though it’s some window into the psyche of your fellow females, as though their life can be distilled down into the material objects that they carry with them on a regular basis. I’m sure there are infinite sociological and psychological explanations and implications for this phenomenon…but realistically I’m usually just a little bit snoopy, and blatantly curious. So when a friend of mine asked to take a look through the makeup bag that I lug around with me in the various incarnations of my daily handbag, I was less than hesitant to oblige…I actually found it to be an interesting exercise.
Just in case you’re interested, here’s the run down (and the corresponding rationale) of what’s in my makeup bag.
#1 – The fresh sugar tinted lip balm lineup: Yes guys & dolls, the whole lineup of the tints (there’s only four, calm down). These absolutely substitute as lipstick for me on a regular basis and are ideal for treatment and moisture while delivering the perfect wash of colour at the same time. A bit of an indulgence, but one that I have made countless times. (Sephora, $22.50 each)
#2 – Chanel Matte Luminous Powder Makeup & Retractable Blush Brush from Sephora: In a shade that’s just dark enough to be “corrective” as opposed to “translucent”, this powder is what’s been sitting in my makeup bag for a fair amount of time. It’s particularly helpful for touchups, and can even be used with a damp touch as an impromptu concealer. The brush is great because you can keep the bristles contained so that you don’t have anything getting on the brush…and you don’t have powder flying all over your bag. (Powder from Holt Renfrew, $63, Brush from Sephora, $22)
#3 – Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Concealer: Re-application of a full face of makeup is usually not in the cards mid-afternoon, but on the days when my skin in misbehaving I’m always glad that this little compact is in my bag. Considering it’s a fairly dry concealer it often doesn’t require setting with a powder, so it’s a quick step. (Sephora, $28)
#4 – Cream Blusher: As a fairly pale person, blush is one of those things that I have a distinct tendency to touch-up on a regular basis. The need to look the opposite of drained and lifeless is quickly corrected by a swipe of blusher on the cheeks. Cream to powder finishes are usually my go-to, but whatever floats your boat. My favourites are from Merle Norman and Bobbi Brown. (Bobbi Brown at Sephora, $24)
#5 – Miniature Mascara & Eyelash Curlers: Really it’s whatever sample size I’ve recently acquired, or something that caught my eye in line at Sephora. Often times a quick curl and a swipe of mascara can really do the trick in terms of opening up your eyes and making you look more awake. Since eye contact is such a large part of how we communicate, might as well keep them looking fresh and lovely. (Diorshow Best in Show Duo at Sephora, $20)
#6 - Bobby Pins & a J.Crew Hairclip: Ponytails and I only recently started getting along, so throwing my hair up in a bun has always been a go-to solution (remnants of the large number of hours I spent in a ballet class when I was younger I suppose). The claw clips from J.Crew are also indestructible and the tortoise shell colouring helps it to hide in my har. Self-explanatory lifesavers really I suppose. (J.Crew Clip, $14)
#7 – Hand Sanitizer: The world is not the cleanest of places. Occasionally my inner germaphobe kicks in and this is necessary for those times when washing one’s hands is just not an option. (Bath & Body Works Pocketbac, $1.50)
#8 – Tide-to-Go: Many of us are clumsy, or have accident or spill-prone friends. While absolutely not a substitution for washing and spot-treating, it can be helpful to have on hand.
#9 - Travalo: Newest addition to my bag, and something that I’m still on the fence about but love the idea of too much to nix it completely. Essentially a pocket perfume atomizer that’s incredibly simple to fill and reuse. (Shoppers, $10)
So…what do you deem to be your essentials? What makes the cut to be a part of your makeup bag?