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  • Writer's pictureClaire

What's in the (makeup) bag?

For someone as beauty obsessed as I am, you'd think I have at least 35 products on me at all times. But believe it or not, I only have a few at any given time, and, frankly, most of them I forget to use. Not that they aren't worth using, I just suck at touch-ups. I'll throw my lip color of the day in my purse on the way out, never reapply throughout the day/night (even if I need to), come home, hang the bag up, and then promptly forget about the lip product in said bag. It won't be until some weeks later when I got to throw a new lip product in, realize the zipper pouch is full, reach in to discover about four or five lipsticks and glosses have accumulated. Ah, there you are, NARS Sex Machine, I've been wondering what happened to you. Lord help me if I decide to change what purse I'm using, then a lip product is at risk to be forgotten about for seasons at a time. (Wow, I'm kind of a dick to my lipsticks. Poor things.) I do, at least, have a pretty decently curated makeup pouch I keep in my work bag, and that is what I'll be talking about today.

Because of my inability to do touchups, I've worked hard to perfect my skincare and makeup routine in such a way my look will last all day. Thus, I've minimized how many products I need in my makeup bag. And in case you were wondering what my magic trick to lasting makeup is, it's eyeshadow primer, well-rounded products and a general disregard for giving a shit (translation: my makeup generally lasts about 6 hours and after that I just avoid mirrors and pretend everything is fine). So, let's get down to it. Here is what I keep in the makeup bag I take to work 5 days a week...

Firstly, I always keep a lip balm, if not a few, in my bag. This may be the one product in my bag I actually use regularly. While my balm of choice is constantly changing I am currently loving Glossier's Balm Dot Com. My other two standbys for on-the-go are Dior's Creme de Rose Smoothing Plumping Lip Balm & Vaseline's Lip Therapy in Rosy Lips. Fun side story about the Vaseline Balm; one chilly autumn night in Edinburgh, Scotland, I was trying to be a good sport and stay awake for a night of drinking with friends while nursing a nightmarish sinus infection. My lips were brutally chapped and to my dismay I had somehow managed to leave the house I was staying at without any lip balm. My host's sister saved my life (okay, just my chapped lips) by letting me have a swipe of balm from her tin of rosy salve-ation (lol get it?). The balm honestly rallied my tired body and I made it a few more hours before begging to home to my bottle of nyquil. I was beyond delighted when they started selling the tins of Rosy Lips here in the states and to this day, every time I use it I am instantly transported back to that night in Scotland - which sounds like it would be a bad thing, but I swear it makes me deliriously happy. Didn't think you were going to get a nostalgic tidbit with this post, did you? You're welcome. Anywho, moving right along.

Hand cream is essential. Spend one winter in Chicago and your hands will resemble those of a lobster boat Captain from Maine. (I actually don't know what the hands of a Mainer lobster boat captain look like, but I'm imagining they are weathered. If this is a blatant misconception, my apologies, blame the Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Original Hand Cream commercials.) If you follow me on instagram, you know I have a *slight* obsession with Byredo hand creams. However, for everyday, I usually reach for the Restorative Hand Cream by Epionce. The cream is rich but not greasy, and its light citrusy scent won't overpower your senses or compete with your perfume.

I like to have a compact mirror on me at all times so I can check around corners for bad guys. Kidding. Kind of. Once I didn't have a mirror on me, desperately needed to fish an eyelash out of my eye, and ended up using a car window. I somehow neglected to notice there was someone in the car. Needless to say, I've been much better about having a compact mirror on my person ever since. The one I've been carrying with me lately was a gift from my boyfriend's brother's girlfriend (that sounds more complicated than it is). She brought it back from Paris and when she presented it to me she declared she only gives gifts that are actually useful and I kind of love that idea. The mirror has been quite useful, so I'd call it a success.

Let's see if we can get through the rest of this post without me going on a tangent, shall we?

While I try hard to prime my face with serum & moisturizer and set my makeup so I don't have to do touch ups throughout the day, a nasty spot or blemish will always find a way to make itself known by lunchtime. So naturally I also carry concealer. I purchased the Wander Beauty Dualist Matte and Illuminating Concealer precisely to keep it in my makeup bag, figuring the two formulas would be the perfect savior to any skin situation that may arise throughout my workday, and I figured right. However, due to my sheer inability to touch up my makeup during the day, the stunning concealer is clearly being underutilized. I think I'm going to put it on my vanity where it belongs (and will get more use) and pop one of my half empty tubes of perfectly adequate but not vanity worthy alternatives in my bag instead (looking at you, travel size Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer). If I were better at mid-day touch ups, the Dualist concealer would truly be ideal not only due to it's dual formula but also its perfectly portable design. But alas, I am me and me is lazy AF.

For one reason or another I bought blotting papers a long time ago. I don't use them. They work fantastically, but I don't use them. I need them, my t-zone gets noticeably oily throughout the day, yet I don't use them. I mean, they are even fun to use in a disturbingly gross-yet-satisfying way, like Dr Pimple Popper's Instagram feed. Sure, pulling that piece of paper away and seeing it soiled with your face secretions may be off-putting, but how much better do you feel after?? Well, apparently not better enough to actually use them, Claire, clearly. Maybe I'll buy Glossier's Wow-der instead. I'm absolutely one of those suckers who can be lured to purchase with cute packing and a pun. (Shit, did I just give away my Achille's heel? Meh.)

So the answer to the question I asked earlier about tidbits is quite clearly: no, we cannot. Sorry not sorry.

While I'm not big on new year's resolutions (but rather making resolutions sporadically throughout the year as necessary), one of mine a few years back was to make an effort to actually use all the lip products I own (I have a lot). So far it's going much better than I'd expected. I can absolutely admit, however, once I buy a new lip color I become utterly obsessed with it and generally forget any and all colors before it exist, so it's not a perfect system. My current resolution to the former resolution is to not only wear my colors, but to also reapply them throughout the day because I suck at reapplication (see introductory paragraph).

Aaaaand that's it! Fairly simple for someone who has an entire blog dedicated to beauty and skincare, right? What do you have in your bag? Anything you think I should add to mine? Comment below to let me know!



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