Back to School Makeup: Your Makeup Bag


Allegro Sketch Artist Purse Kit ($4.99) from Target

Back to School Makeup Bags: What do you need?

Now, I know all of us aren’t going back to school in the next few weeks, but I hope that some of the suggestions and advice below are useful for those who carry makeup bags or touch-up kits with them no matter where life takes them!

OIL BLOTTING SHEETS. There are several different brands out there, but my favorite is Clean & Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets ($5.99 for 50 sheets). I’m have normal-to-dry skin, but I always find that a blotting sheet can help makeup look fresher after five or six hours of wear. MAC Blot Powder/Pressed ($22.00) is also helpful with blotting and absorbing excess oil throughout the day.

CONCEALER. Keep a tube or pot of concealer in your makeup bag for quick touch-ups or to conceal that pimple that’s just waiting to strike. If your eyeliner has smudged, a little concealer on top will help camouflage and blend it out better than just using your finger. You may find that you don’t wear foundation to school most days, but a little concealer on hand helps combat any surprises that pop-up (ha, ha) during the day. Or if the cutest boy/girl in the school asks you out for a malt at the ice cream shoppe. (What, they don’t do that any more? Well, a girl can dream.)

FAVORITE LIPSTICK/LIPGLOSS. Either carry the lip products you’ve chosen to worn for the day or one or two lip products that you know work well for you. I like carrying around a single lipgloss in a flattering, semi-sheer shade with lots of peach/gold and maybe a bit of pink in it, because I know it’s a shade that brightens my face but is minimal and natural (Cle de Peau #2 Lip Gloss at $48, for those curious). Lip balm is also a nice thing to keep in your bag!

More must-haves and some tips!

ROLLERBALL PERFUME. This is such a genius concept, because it makes perfume more accessible, affordable, and portable. There are numerous scents on the market, with prices that range from $10 to $30. Of course, if you’re not into perfume, this is obviously a product you’d skip!

ACCESSORIES. For the really prepared beauty buff, keeping a pair of tweezers, hair ties, cotton pads/swabs, and the like are all small but useful items to have on hand. I love Tweezerman’s Mini Slant Tweezers ($15.00) — of which I must have five or six of now.  Oh, and a compact mirror!

TO GO SUNSCREEN. Oh, fancy! For those who have longer days and split time indoors and outdoors, I like the towelettes because they’re easy to store when you’re not a regular on the athletic track (if you were, then I would assume you’d be touting around bottles of sunscreen with the rest of your gear!). I actually keep a can of spray sunscreen in my bag, LOL!

MAKEUP OR NO MAKEUP? I don’t personally carry any makeup with me beyond a lipgloss or lipstick. It really depends on your needs/wants. If I’m wearing makeup, I don’t need to carry mascara, eyeliner, eyeshadow, bronzer, blush, etc. in my bag — what I put on before I leave the house I expect to last until I come home! However, if perhaps I was more of the no-makeup variety at school but wanted to be able to step things up if I hung out with friends or went to the mall after class, then I’d be more inclined to keep some makeup essentials like mascara, eyeliner, and a blusher. If you choose a cream blush, you can also have it double as a lip color, too! Whatever makeup you bring along, look for durable packaging.

When putting together your makeup bag, here are some questions worth asking yourself…

  • Is this a color/shade/product I can wear no matter what? No matter whether I’m wearing a black shirt, jeans, or a green tank?
  • Is this a double- or triple-duty product? Is it multi-tasking?
  • Will the packaging get scratched? Will that upset me?
  • Will it leak or is it easily broken? (Nobody wants to clean up a messy makeup bag.)
  • How heavy is it?
  • Will I really use this during the day?

What do you keep in your makeup bag? Just essentials or do you have the whole traincase in there? (No shame in that game!)