Inside My Makeup Bag

This week I shared styling tips for wavy hair, how I simplified my skin care, and today I want to wrap up Beauty Week with makeup. I thought we could look inside my makeup bag.

It’s a small collection because I do makeup the same way I do clothes: I have a few things that I love to use.

In my makeup bag:

1. Creamy Concealer by Bobbi Brown

2. Skin Foundation SPF 15 by Bobbi Brown

3. Old mascara wand for an eyebrow brush

4. Voluminous Mascara by Loreal – this is really great

5. Burt’s Bees lip gloss

6. Eye shadow by Urban Decay (color “Sin”) – it lasts all day. Urban Decay is known for eye shadow. (I avoid the glittery ones though.)

7. Cheek stain by Tarte – this is like a gel stick not a powder.

8. Lipstick by Bobbi Brown (Treatment Lip Shine SPF 15 in “Raspberry Pink”)

9. Tweezerman tweezers

What is your favorite makeup purchase?
About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. I love my Bobbi Brown creamy concealer and lip balm. If I could buy nothing else…I’d always splurge for those. Life changing products :)

  2. I also use and love Loreal Voluminous mascara. To make sure I remember to replace it every three months, I write the date I bought it on the tube with sharpie.

    • What a great idea about writing the date with a Sharpie. I have always heard you need to switch out mascara every three months, but wasn’t always (ok never) diligent to do so. Until….about a month ago I went to the eye doctor for a routine check and after my exam he asked me how old my mascara was (which at that time it was actually only about three months old). When I told him and asked why he said, “I can tell your mascara is getting old. When mascara gets old, it starts to get sandy, breaks down, clumps. It starts bacteria and basically starts to form mold. You really don’t want that on your eyes. Switch it every 2 to 3 months.” Needless to say, I switched out my mascara ;)
      Kat´s last post…Fish are friends not food….

  3. Favorite make up purchase was actually a non-purchase: learning to love my natural beauty to avoid unnecessary chemicals! Natural facial cleanser, mineral make-up for dark circles and the occasional spot treatment, organic mascara (Physician’s Formula – favorite actual purchase), and Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm (doubles as blush if I need it). And therein is the contents of my make up bag :-)

  4. I don’t wear make-up being a natural beauty ;-) but I do like Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Ultimate Moisture Daycream. Maybe it’ll keep the wrinkles at bay and I won’t need to trowel on the foundation to fill them for a few more years!
    lovelygrey´s last post…Imperfect Attention – And Where That Leads!

  5. I also love the Burt’s Bees lip shimmers–in Watermelon. That’s pretty much all I use for lip color (I also use a neutral-colored lip pencil before applying the lip tint).
    Joy´s last post…Book List for 2012

  6. I love Burt’s Bees basic chap stick, that stuff works wonders! I also adore Rimmel’s volume mascara with the curved brush.

  7. I’m in a transition stage with my makeup right now, so this is such a timely post. I used to be an all MAC girl, but now I’m loving NARS Orgasm blush. Do you ever do eyeliner? I’m not completely happy with mine. I would also be interested to know if anyone has a favorite classic red lipstick– I’m on the hunt!

    • I noticed that there was no eyeliner on the list, too. I am looking for a good eyeliner product, too.

    • Bonnie – I have a red lipstick that I just love and you might like it, too, because it’s Nars. It’s called Cruella and it’s a chubby pencil. It’s stays so well and is a great shade of red.

      For something a little less dramatic, I like Clinique’s Angel red.
      laura @ hollywood housewife´s last post…2011 year in review

    • Bonnie, I agree about red lipstick. It’s hard to find one without an orange tint that is truly red. But I found it! Selma Hayak has a line called Nuance and it is sold at CVS (maybe other places I haven’t found too). The Lip Quad comes with 4 colors in cool or warm tones. Mine is the warm and I love the red in it! Okay, maybe it’s not a true lipstick…it’s a bit of a gloss, is applied with a brush but is the BEST red I’ve found yet.

      • Oh, thanks, Heather! Excited to check it out!

      • I was shopping for one @ Ulta just before Xmas and the only one I liked was Napoleon Perdis in Aphrodite. I have fair skin with pink undertones & this cool red was very, very nice.

  8. Dr. Denese SPF 30 Day Cream is amazing. Moisturizer, tint, and high SPF. No shine, no chalkiness, no blemishes. Normal skin in a tube.
    Jeannine´s last post…Visit Elizabeth

  9. My favorite makeup purchases are 1) Lorac Natural Performance foundation (not all-natural by any means, but it has fewer chemicals than many other liquid foundations and gives great natural-looking coverage), 2) Tarte Cheek Stain, and 3) L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes (best mascara I have ever used–wish I could find a natural option that performs as well!)

  10. I really love this concealer called amazing. I’ve gotten it at ultra, it’s like $28 for the smallest little tube, I don’t use it everyday but it’s good for special occasions. And I love my maybeline BIG mascara. Everything else I like switch up. Thanks for sharing!
    Jennifer Spadaro´s last post…Silencing your DIY noise

  11. I loved this post! I love my good ol’ $3 Bonnie bell Cappucino lip gloss. It has never failed me for casual everyday wear or even as a nude shimmer on bare lips for evening time. It’s perfect.

  12. Stila Illuminating tinted moisturizer. Great glow.

  13. I love this series! I would like some eyeliner ideas as well, I am not excited about any so far.

    I use clear mascara on my eyebrows because I love my fuller eyebrows but don’t want even a hint of bushy.

    I have used and loved Loreal Voluminous mascara for years, it really did make my my lashes voluminous and it’s easy to remove. But, in the past couple years it’s gotten really messy/clumpy.
    So now I use Full n Soft by Mabelline. I like that I can put one layer or many layers and it doesn’t clump.

    Also I tried the Tinte a couple years ago and it’s AWESOME, makes your skin dewey and pretty. But, always BUT, it just didn’t last long, a few hours. I don’t use foundation so perhaps it would work better if I did. I use Bare Minerals blush now, it’s good.

    Recently I got a Dior sampler. I don’t know the prices but the eye shadows are awesome, very smooth and long lasting.

  14. This is inspiring me to try the Bobbi Brown products. Like others, I love the Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm. I also have a very light make-up bag (and closet) and it’s great. Never really knew how to use anything more than the basics, anyway.´s last post…The big reveal–Not!Our one wall at a time approach to renovation

  15. I’m so happy to see that others share my huge love for Loreal Voluminous! I’ve tried everything and it is truly the best.
    laura @ hollywood housewife´s last post…2011 year in review

  16. By far my best makeup purchase: Trish McEvoy Lash Curling Mascara. It doesn’t run or come off and give you raccoon eyes. Instead it coats the lashes & comes off in threads. If I cheap out or quit buying every other stitch of makeup, I’ll still buy this!!
    Eliza´s last post…The Great Apron Project Begins

  17. Bonnie: re: eyeliner
    I use a flat sharp edge brush and dark eyeshadow (whatever I have on hand). Just dampen the brush a bit, dab it in the eyeshadow, apply and it sets. I haven’t used a pencil in years.

    Re: red lipstick
    Trish McEvoy’s Paris Red is great
    Eliza´s last post…The Great Apron Project Begins

  18. Honestly, I think it’s my medicated Chapstick.

    It heals chapped lips in a snap and makes the perfect base for whatever lip color I use.
    Juliette´s last post…It Was Very Merry + Air Dry White Clay

  19. I’m surprised no one’s come up with any vegan/cruelty free product recommendations. For example, most conventional mascaras use pig fetus (sorry to be gross, but it’s what’s going on your eyes!). Also, the chemicals are pretty scary…we ban mercury from everything, exCEPT our lipstick! I didn’t realize what a big deal it was until I kissed my baby boy and he broke out in a rash from the lipstick.

    Tarte has a ton of vegan/natural cosmetics (their mascara is amazing!). So does ELF, surprisingly.

    LOVE Urban Decay’s eye shadows, still trying to find a natural alternative that works just as well!
    Kelly Cone´s last post…A First

  20. I’m a faithful reader and really love your blog, but I’m just having a hard time believing that’s ALL the makeup that you keep. I have a very similar collection that I use on a regular basis (if I bother to do anything at all), but I have a small bag with some eye shadow, brow powder, a couple of favorite lipsticks, and a few other things that rarely see the light of day but I keep around because some occasions call for a little more than every day, no? I only bother with it a couple of times a year and I personally would love to toss all that stuff, but it’s just too expensive and when I want to look really nice, I’d rather keep my good stuff on hand than go out and buy some cheap stuff just to get by. (And I know they say to toss out your makeup every couple of months, but who really does that?) So really, that’s it? Never a little white eyeliner to brighten the corner of your eyes? A little shimmer to shine at a Christmas party (like Bare Mineral’s Clear Radiance, I love that stuff)? Ok, I need to go clean out my makeup drawer.

    • That’s everything but a foundation brush that missed the picture. For special events I apply a little more than usual because the eye shadow is shimmery and I don’t wear lipstick every day.

      My makeup lasts at least a year before I need to replace it when it runs out, except mascara which lasts a few months. As long as you clean your makeup brushes and don’t share, it lasts a lot longer.

  21. A few years ago I splurged on a pair of Tweezerman tweezers, appalled that I was spending $20 on such a “silly” thing. But they are fabulous! I also recently invested about $8 in a Tweezerman lash separator. Unlike every other lash separator I’ve ever seen, the tines are made of metal. This way, I can wear any mascara I want and use the lash separator to get the right look.
    Cate´s last post…December 2011 Goal Review

  22. Quite by accident, I purchased a (powder) blush that happened to be just absolutely perfect for my skin tone. Made by pixi – in stock at Target – in a shade called Pick Up Pink. It is a bubblegum pink – something I would NEVER have picked out. But the color transformed into a completely natural glow on me and is so flattering that I can’t see myself choosing anything else.
    I love Bobbi Brown products (can confirm Rachel’s choice of BB concealer – it is perfect) but have found Estee Lauder foundations have better colors/shades for me.

  23. I’m reading a little further through the comments and I see a lot of mascara talk… I have very light brows and lashes and I actually get my lashes tinted every couple of months. It not too pricey, about $15 plus tip and I have them tinted a deep shade of black. My blue eyes really come out after I get it done. My aesthetician does a far better and more natural looking job than I could ever do with mascara. It never runs, never has to be taken off, it lasts for weeks, and I never have to buy mascara. The only downside is that it doesn’t volumize my lashes, but I don’t really need that, so it doesn’t bother me any. So if you want to ditch the mascara, that’s a option.

    • I help my friend tint her lashes every few weeks, but I still use mascara myself (mostly because that’s what I’ve always done, but also because I like the extra fullness.)

  24. I loved this week’s topic! Thanks for posting! Makeup/skincare is the place where I allow myself to spend a bit more on the pricier things. Mainly because I find that you get what you pay for rings true in this arena. I like to keep it simple but treat myself to the good stuff. I am currently loving Origins mascara (full story), Origins Vitazing which is a tinted moisturizer, Origins underwear for eyelids (I use for eyeshadow because it has a bit of color and shine) and Origins Smileage plus for lips (gives a bit of color while softening my lips). My whole routine is 3 minutes!
    Mel@MySunshine´s last post…Sunday Scoop- Christmas Edition

  25. vermontmommy says:

    I don’t wear a lot of make up.

    I use the same blush you use and I also have a powder by Mineral Fusion blush- it came in a little pack at Whole Foods with a clear liquid lip gloss and a mascara.

    Clinique Chubby Stick in super strawberry. It is very glossy but does not last long and then the same BB lip stick you have. :)

    I purchased but rarely use the Bobbi Brown Eye Liner. I must say I am not very coordinated to put it on. It is only for nights out with my girlfriends or dates with my hubby…a handful times a year. I also have an ELF brand one thinking the stick would be easier to use than the one with the brush.

    Mascara- Great Lash

    I don’t wear foundation or cover up. I did buy a concealer at the BB counter. Again, I don’t really use it. I knew I would not but got carried away. I would probably have already have tossed it but the price of it has kept me from tossing it. I use it a few times a year.

    I need an eye shadow and will look for the one you mentioned. I had tried a few buy found they did not stay on as well as I had hoped.

    I do have the tweezers and a brow brush along with an eye lash curler.

  26. About six months ago I threw out over 100 nail varnishes ( I bite my nails ) and about sixty other pieces of dying, unused make-up. I wear so little these days, just enough to make me sparkle a little. Your bag looks very much like mine- love it.
    Tasmanian Minimalist´s last post…This Moment Courtesy of

  27. I’m in transition too. I love my Laura mercier tinted moisturizer and haven’t found something that comes close. Clinique lash power ( tubing mascara) and concealer. MAC powder, cream blush, eyeshadow in gleam, pencil in buried treasure. On the look out for more natural products but for now this is it. It seems that the natural products I’ve come in contact with either have strong unappealing fragrances or have dry textures. Still looking though and interested in suggestions

  28. No powder? I’m intrigued. As at the ripe age of 36, my skin has definitely changed & I think powder is no longer working for me. Anyone else noticed how dry and artifical powder looks?

    • Bare minerals powder is pretty good stuff, but I’m going for a moisturized look instead of matte.

      • Yea, the Bare Minerals is tricky. I have never worn foundation but theirs’ makes my skin look BEAUTiful!! Only every wrinkle I never thought of having shows up. I look like a bulldog ……. with gorgeous skin ……. even with just the powder. Moisturized is a better look.
        I will have to try Loreal’s Voluminous again, it just didn’t work for me recently but used to work super great.
        Thanks for the post!

  29. i only wear makeup a handful of times a year, so my makeup bag looks similar – i’m in the process of replacing things with zuii organics ( – it’s an australian company, and most of their stuff is made from dried and ground flowers. let’s just say it might be more expensive than i’m used to, but it’s a massive step up from avon… ;)

  30. I’m in need of a new concealer, so I’ll try BB based on your recommendation, Rachel. Tell me, how do you apply it… brush or fingertips? over or under your foundation?

    • A few dots with the small brush, then smear it around. (There must be a more technical terms for that.) Under foundation.

      • Thanks for that info. I recently purchased the BB concealer, but couldn’t get it on correctly! It was making the wrinkles look worse and not covering up!

  31. I also am a Burt’s Bees fan! I really like Mac eyeshadow. I love variety so whenever I run out, I go to the Mac counter and ask for one recommendation for day (to wear at the office) and one for night. It keeps it interesting, but still simple as I only have two to choose from! I’m trying to move toward more natural makeup and have had good luck with the lines at Whole Foods.
    Jenny Childers´s last post…"Wear the old coat, buy the new book"*

  32. Katie @ imperfect people says:

    I love voluminous too! I have tried every mascara and it is the best!
    Katie @ imperfect people´s last post…Starting over

  33. I’m using Rimmel London’s volume plus length mascara right now and I love it!
    …maybe because Zooey Deschanel is the face of it
    …or maybe because I wear minimal makeup and prefer making one statement a day: EYELASHES! hehehe.
    Christine´s last post…mirror-rorrim

  34. In my make-up bag I carry 6 go to items: powder blush, day lipstick & night (dressier) lipstick, Burt’s Bees lip balm, eyebrow pencil (eyebrows have lightened so I darken and shape a little) and tweezers.

    I don’t wear a foundation, but I’ve been thinking about trying one with a moisturizer.

    Normally I go without at home, but I feel naked if I go out the door without my lipstick. It’s my go to item for sure. I use Revlon — I had tried one with organic ingredients and had an irritating response. So I went back to a name brand.

    Bobbi Brown sounds good. I like the way she demonstrates her products. She’s makes it so simple to understand.

  35. I am all for simplified skin care. One summer my husband and I went travelling with backpacks for three weeks and I just took one lip gloss as my make up. It was so liberating that I have given up using anything else since. Just one lip gloss lives in my make up bag! It’s so liberating!

  36. I don’t wear much makeup these days. No longer in the 9 to 5 workforce world.

    But I do use Neutrogena Ageless Intensives Tone Correcting Tinted Moisture. It gives my face a glow and feels silky.
    Donna´s last post…“New Hobby” Giveaway

  37. I forgot to ask….

    Has anyone tried the lash regrowth products? I have been thinking about trying one.

    Thanks for any information you have.
    Donna´s last post…“New Hobby” Giveaway

  38. Where do you buy your products? Online or at a store?

  39. Donna

    About lash regrowth product give a chance to CASTOR OIL (Ricinus communis). Just add a drop to your fingers and smear on lashes.

    It will work :)

  40. I have a lightweight makeup kit — just foundation, powder, blush, shadow, mascara. I carry a rosy/plummy lip gloss in my purse. I always hate to see a bin full of all kinds of everything — how do ladies stand to have to rummage through that every day?
    Lori´s last post…When Mom Takes a Powder

  41. My best discovery was natural make-up! Especially the pure mineral foundation, which doesn’t make my skin greasy – my fave is Everyday Minerals. Their brushes are super too.
    Another fave is German make-up brand Benecos. Great quality and colors and low prices.

  42. I wear make up only few times a month so my best buy has been a loose powder foundation (happens to be Maybelline). Previously the foundations I had in lotion turned rancid before I was able to use even half of the tube.
    Leena´s last post…Happy happy New Year!

  43. Can you tell us more about tinting lashes? I have blonde eyelashes, too, and I had no idea you could tint at home. Do you get tinting done at a regular hair salon? Curious….
    Ellen´s last post…Feeding a friend…

    • We use a product she bought in Hungary. I don’t know if it’s even available in the states.

  44. Jennifer G says:

    I love the Bobbi Brown products. I use the concealer, correcter and the foundation and have stuck with these for years. I bounce around with lipstick. I would love to go back to a good drug store brand with good colors and staying power. As far as eyelashes go, I have used Latisse (I work in Dermatology) it works great as long as you use it, once you stop your lashes go back to their normal length. It’s prescription and will run you $90 for a bottle that will last 2-3 months

  45. Swear by my Bobbie Brown bronzer! Funny, I have never tried any of there other products!

  46. I’ve been wearing Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey for about half of my life. Flattering, not drying like some lipsticks, lasts a long time. I’ve recently discovered Hard Candy Lash Ink, which might be a possibility for those who have decent lashes but just need some color – my eyelashes are blond, so I love this stuff. Lasts 3-4 days after applying. Probably not as good as professional tinting but cheap and easy at home.

    Have been on the market for a blush for a while, so thinking about trying the Tarte stain. Thanks!

    • I like Lash Ink too. I need to blot my lashes when I apply it to make it look natural, though. Black Honey is great but expensive. I’ve been looking for a substitute for a long time.

  47. Yowzer! I guess I wear a lot more makeup than most of these posters – And I didn’t think I wore a lot…! Plus, a lot of skin care steps. I swear by great skin care.

    Most of my makeup is Bare Minerals. It stays on so well. And I wear Mary Kay lipsticks and Bare Mineral lip glosses. Being a lipstick girl, I’ve tried others and keep coming back to these. I’ve got an arsenal of colors and mix and match to suit my outfit. Lately I’ve enjoyed the Mary Kay tinted lip balms. Just enough color to run out the door, with SPF, and a sheer gloss if needed.

    Y’all have recommended some things I will try, however, I have used the Bobbie Brown concealer and it was not good for me. It’s always one of the top rated, but for some reason, a terrible match for me. Too heavy and cakey.

    The gel blush would be nice to try. I’ve been using Bare Minerals and love it’s staying power, but a dewey look might be better, especially during the winter. And I use their eye liner wet and then soften the edges a little. I’m not faithful to any one mascara and will try some of your choices.

    Overplucked my eyebrows in the 70’s, so don’t have more than a stray or two each month to yank out. But, I’m going to buy some of the tweezermans at your recommendation.

    Fun post. Thanks!

    Amy´s last post…Letting Go

  48. I wear very little makeup on just the few days a week I go out, but on the the products I love is Avon’s Magix. It is a face perfector, like a primer. It is not a moisturizer, has no tint, but does have SPF in it. It reduces the appearance of wrinkles, shine and pores. You can wear it alone or under makeup. I love it!
    Successful Woman’s Resource Center´s last post…50 tips for busy moms

  49. Wow. I don’t wear any makeup ever. I guess I’m all alone in this group.

  50. Alexandria says:

    I also don’t wear make up hardly ever BUT love love love Cover Girl Lipsticks Lipgloss. Just gives that hint of color and shine. That and a little eyeliner (just stick with the traditional Kohl pencil) is about the most I ever wear. I think I like the CG lip gloss because it really looks natural, but a little bit of glossy color can do wonders.

    I like seeing recommendations in the more natural category (less is more?). So I will have to try some of these suggestions. Thanks!

  51. I’m new to your blog and loved this post. it reminded me to declutter my own makeup bag. I don’t really have a favourite item but am still looking for the perfect concealer. I’m an Avon rep. and use mainly that brand, but I also love Clinique, which is expensive here in Australia. While in the U.S. last year, I stocked up on a few Clinique items as they were half the price of what I’d pay here.

  52. Rachel,

    Thank you so much for this series of posts. While what you wrote wasn’t shocking or new to me, you inspired me to simplify my concept of a beauty routine this week; I decluttered my makeup bag and shower rack of everything I thought I should be using and left only the simple pieces I actually use — shampoo and conditioner bars, moisturizing soap, baby oil, and cosmetics that rely more on tools (eyelash curler, tweezers, brow brush, powder brush) than on products (lip gloss, concealer, bronzing powder).

    You’re the best.
    Lissa´s last post…Resolved

  53. Becca Beach Tint. I bought the Peach toned one, but the Raspberry and Strawberry shades are beautiful, too. It blends beautifully, works on both cheeks and lips, lasts through sweat and humidity and tastes pretty good. I just really love it. Best blush I’ve bought, considering I’m a cream/gel blush-hound. I also like Nars The Multiple, but it’s less dewy.
    anj´s last post…JapanBump Finds: “Carnivore girls”; schoolgirl dates for hire and virtual travel