Makeup Bag Makeover: Keep This, Not That

September 16, 2010

"Having a well-stocked makeup bag doesn't require a massive amount of products," says Karli Atzman, makeup expert from Mario Tricoci Hair Salons & Day Spas. "You really just need a combination of practical everyday basics and versatile makeup items that can change your look from day to evening."

Rules for Your Cosmetics Bag


  • Anything one year and older. It isn't as fresh and won't apply as cleanly or last as long as newer products. Plus, used cosmetics carry more bacteria, particularly mascara, and should be changed out regularly.
  • Multiples. Keeping a favorite gloss handy at work or in your purse is one thing; keeping a collection of colors stashed in a drawer is another entirely. Focus on the colors you use most and remove anything else.
  • The Unusables. Hate cream blushes because you think they're difficult to apply? Then why can't you part with the two jars sitting in your makeup bag? It's time to let go. Find the tools that work for you and ditch the ones that don't. Other items to toss include brow pencils, sponge tip applicators and white eye pencils; there are more effective products available to achieve your desired result.

    Karli says every woman should have three types of makeup bags: a full kit for home, an emergency kit for when you're in a rush, and a touch-up bag for a quick refresh.

    Your Complete Kit:

  • Must haves: Foundation; pressed powder; concealer; blush, bronzer and brow filler
  • For the eyes: An all over eye shadow in two shades - one matte and one with a sheen or shimmer; a highlighter color and a crease color; a good eyeliner, and mascara.
  • Finishing touches: One neutral lipstick and lip pencil for day, and one lipstick and pencil for evening
  • The tools: Sharpener; eyelash curler; duster for powder, bronzer and blush; eye shadow brush; beauty blender sponge, and a liner brush.
  • Emergency Kit: This is your "I-only-have-five-minutes-to-put-my-face-on kit", which should include a concealer, mascara, blush, lip gloss, a glide liner, and brow filler.

    Just a Touch Up: Keep this super-streamlined bag for the big meeting or the after work party. All you need to include is a favorite lip gloss, blush and mascara.

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