How to Pack the Perfect Makeup Bag

This is a bit of a different post for me, but today I'm going to be talking about how to pack your makeup bag like a total pro! I've got ideas for makeup bags for any occasion. I always pack products I know I can trust to work for me and I bear in mind where I'm going and what I'm doing; so if I'm off on a beach holiday, I'll leave the dewy foundation at home, and if I'm flying off on a short city break then I'll try and go for as many two-in-one products as possible and minimal liquids. It's also important to pack shades that are going to work together and that you know you'll actually wear. Let's have a look inside the makeup bags!

The 'Always in Your Handbag' Edit

There are a few products it's worth keeping in your handbag 'just in case'. Sometimes your alarm doesn't go off, sometimes you spontaneously head out for drinks after work and want to freshen up. This is the makeup bag for those times! It's just a few products so won't take up too much space in your handbag but you'll thank yourself immensely when you need to reach for this little pouch (mine is from Glossier, by the way and you can get your hands on these with selected products or separately here). 

Clinique Chubby in the Nude Foundation Stick (Grandest Golden Neutral) | £24 | review | This is a lovely foundation in itself, as it looks very natural without being overly dewy, giving coverage without being thick (though sadly it isn't the most long-wearing). It's quick and easy to apply by swiping on and blending out with a buffing brush for a seamless finish. However it's also  in here because it's fantastic for touch-ups. When the clock hits 5pm and my makeup has been sat on my face for a good 10-11 hours and I'm going straight out somewhere, then this is perfect. It's great on any of those patches where your makeup has rubbed off (I pretty much always rest my chin in my hand when I'm thinking so my base disappears there pretty quickly!)

Nars Soft Matte Complete Concealer (Ginger) | £23 | I love this concealer because it's so quick and easy to apply. Even dabbed on carelessly with the fingers, it still seems to look seamless! It says 'matte' but it's nothing drying in the slightest. It gives great coverage without feeling thick or heavy on the skin, plus works both under the eyes and on blemishes. It doesn't crease under my eyes and is very long-wearing in general.

YSL Touche Eclat (4.5 Luminous Sand) | £25.50 | This is amazing for touch-ups! You often don't realise how dark under your eyes looks by the end of the day until you put a bit of concealer on. This is great because it's a highlighting pen that instantly makes you look more awake. You can also use it to highlight the rest of the face.

MAC Mineralise Skinfinish Natural (Medium Dark) | £24.50 | This is a lightweight, natural powder that will never leave your skin looking caky or powdery. It isn't overly matte but sets my makeup and gets rid of shine. It actually has quite a radiant finish that makes it almost traceless.

By Terry Ombre Blackstar in Bronze Moon | £29 | Ok, so this is a very expensive eyeshadow, but I have definitely got my use out of it... It's a stunning bronze shade with an almost dewy shimmer that makes it look incredibly multifaceted once blended out. Because it's a stick, you can also use this to line underneath the eyes. It's very long-wearing and doesn't crease or go greasy. I've honestly worn this swimming before and it was still intact afterwards!

Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara | £7.99 | You'll be seeing a lot of this mascara in this post! It's just my favourite because it gives so much length and really curls my lashes. It also adds some volume without being at all thick or clumpy. It doesn't smudge or flake on me either.

Lancome Juicy Shaker in Vanilla Pop | £19.50 | This is such a quick, easy all-in-one product to keep in your handbag just in case. It's a very lightweight lip oil that gives a glossy finish and a sheer wash of berry colour. It's great to keep something like this in your bag just in case you end up in a mad rush one morning and don't have time to carefully line your lips or put on a matte formula.

The Post-Gym Edit

The concept with this mix of products is looking pulled-together in a few minutes! If you go to the gym before work then obviously you want to look nice for the day but the longer you take with makeup, the more you're cutting into your workout time, plus it's just a pain lugging around a proper makeup bag! 

Bobbi Brown Corrector (Peach) | £19.50 | I always apply my corrector before my base for a more natural look and this is such a quick and easy step to banish those dark circles without having to cake on a heavy concealer. The peachy colour counteracts the blueish tone found under the eyes.

Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser (St. Moritz) | £30 | review | This is one of my all-time favourite base products. It's hydrating without being greasy or looking shiny on the skin. It evens out my skin tone and makes it look like a better version of itself, whilst also feeling incredibly lightweight. It has such a naturally radiant finish but lasts really well on my skin.

Maybelline Age Rewind Eraser Eye Concealer (Nude) | £7.99 | This comes in a frustratingly limited shade selection, however luckily one of them works for me. It has a lightweight, almost fluffy texture, giving an impressive amount of coverage and brightening under my eyes. It never looks caky and that controversial applicator means it practically blends itself out.

BeautyBlender Bubble* | £16 | I've not gone too much into tools for this post but for this look, all you need is one of these, so I wanted to mention it. This makeup sponge is unique in that it's so flexible and has a lot of movement, meaning it can be bounced across the skin with minimal effort. There are more affordable options but they're always a lot more dense, which essentially defeats the purpose of this tool for me! It's amazing when used slightly damp for both concealer and applying the tinted moisturiser, ensuring everything looks seamless and natural.

Bite Beauty Multistick in Brioche | $24 | This is a fab little two-in-one cheek and lip colour. I blends onto the skin beautifully directly on top of your tinted moisturiser to give a flush of colour. It has an opaque matte finish when applied to the lips. It's a really classy plummy tone that just looks so pulled-together with minimal effort.

Glossier Boy Brow in Brown | $16 | This is my favourite brow gel, adding a natural hint of colour and holding my brow hairs in place without feeling crispy or looking thick. It gives a decent amount of volume to sparse brows and if yours are relatively symmetrical or have recently been shaped then you can definitely use this on its own.

By Terry Ombre Blackstar in Bronze Moon | £29 | This product is in the mix again because it just helps you nail that whole 'pulled together in 5 minutes' vibe. 

Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara | £7.99 | This will help lift your lashes from the first coat, making your eyes stand out with minimal effort.

The Beach Holiday Edit

When it comes to beach holidays, my makeup has to be both long-lasting and sure to keep my face as shine-free as possible. It's important for me to have some low-maintenance products I can use during the day, as well as being able to dial things up for dinner and drinks in the evening. It's also nice to wear something bright and summery! This makeup bag is from Alphabet Bags.

Hylamide Matte 12 Primer* | £23 | This is a solid favourite of mine to keep my face shine-free and to ensure my base stays in place all day or night. It has an almost gel-like texture but doesn't feel at all slippery on the skin. It doesn't have a dry texture but mattes down the skin, leaving it soft and satin in finish.

Cover FX BB Gel Mattifying Anti-Blemish Treatment* (Golden Medium Deep) | £35 | review | I really hope this isn't being discontinued because I struggled to find a link online! It's my favourite summertime base because it evens out the skin tone amazingly well, giving a flawless finish whilst still being so lightweight. It doesn't suffocate the skin in the heat or have a drying finish but it's amazingly heat-proof!

Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer (Medium Neutral) | £19 | review | I love this concealer - it's very lightweight in texture but has a good full coverage. It works under the eyes and on blemishes and I can always trust it to stay in place, even in the hot weather.

MAC Mineralise Skinfinish Natural (Medium Dark) | £24.50 | Of course this has to come with me to ensure my face stays shine-free in the most natural way possible.

ColourPop Super Shock Cheek Highlighter in Candyman | $8 | I love a cream highlighter to give a sun kissed look. It's dewy but not at all greasy and has great pigmentation (I just blend it out with my fingers). This is a gorgeous golden tone that gives the skin a bronzed finish, which is perfect for a holiday makeup look when I have a bit of a tan.

Clinique Cheek Pop Blush in Ginger | £17 | I love love love this formula! It has the very slightest sheen and the perfect level of pigmentation that's not over-the-top and doesn't leave you looking like a clown. It blends beautifully without going patchy and has amazing longevity. The colour itself is this sort of vibrant orange-coral that's perfect for summer.

Urban Decay Beached Bronzer in Bronzed | £22 | This was an absolute favourite of mine last year! It's a gorgeously warm tone that adds a natural hint of colour to my skin. The formula is matte but incredibly smooth so blends on the skin with very little effort.

Maybelline Colour Tattoo in On and On Bronze | £5.99 | This is an old favourite I've finally repurchased! It's honestly indestructible and will last in the heat for hours and hours with no creasing. The colour is a slightly cool-toned bronze that has an amazing shimmer once applied. You can also take a thin brush and use it as a liner.

Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner in Black Amethyst* | £14.50 | I'm a long-time fan of the liquid eyeliner Stila do but I'm a recent convert to the crayon version. It's probably the most pigmented eyeliner in this kind of formula that I've ever tried and, true to form for Stila, it doesn't smudge or transfer all day long. This is especially amazing for tight-lining in order to make your lashes look nice and full.

NYX Micro Brow Pencil in Espresso | £8 | This is my current favourite brow pencil and is just as good as the more expensive offering from Anastasia. It's small and precise, plus you don't have to sharpen it and it comes with a great spooly to brush out your brows for a natural look. The formula gives a natural brow and is completely smudge-proof. The colours are realistic and are neither too warm nor too ashy.

Maybelline Lash Sensational Waterproof Mascara | £8.99 | We're switching it up from Lash Sensational...to Lash Sensational Waterproof! It's very similar to the original but is slightly more crispy. It means that no matter how shiny you get in the heat there's no transfer, which is important to me because mascara often 'melts' in the sun and irritates my eyes! However this one doesn't. You can even go for a swim in this without this streaming down your face. 

MAC Matte Lipstick in Tropic Tonic | £16.50 | In the tube this doesn't look like anything I'd ever wear but against all odds, I still picked it up, and actually I used it so much last summer! This is one of MAC's good matte shades and has a creamy application and a long-lasting finish. In terms of colour, it's a vibrant coral that pairs perfectly with Ginger Pop on the cheeks.

The City Break Edit 

When I'm on a city break, I'm usually taking hand luggage only so I want as many options as possible in the least amount of space! It's also really important to have long-lasting products that only need a bit of a touch-up by the evening because usually you're walking around all day and you'll have maybe an hour of downtime between getting in from the day and heading out for the evening (during which time, it's nice to have a nap!)

Soap & Glory One Heck of a Blot Primer | £10 | This is probably my favourite primer because it's somehow quite hydrating whilst keeping the shine at bay. It leaves my skin very smooth and even, so my base applies nicely over the top and also stops it moving around on my face during a long day.

L'Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation (106 Sun Beige) | £13.95 | review | I recently re-purchased this from the eBay seller I get all of my US-only drugstore makeup from and it's just so great! It gives a good medium-full coverage but doesn't look or feel heavy. It has a semi-matte finish that's luminous as opposed to drying on the skin and lasts incredibly well (there's barely any need to powder, even by the end of the day).

Kat Von D Lock It Creme Concealer (Medium Neutral 29) | £20 | review | I recently picked this up in a shade darker than the one I first tried, which is a great all-over shade for me as we head into the summer months. I has quite a thick texture, and though it doesn't feel or look heavy on the skin, I do tend to reserve it for times when I need a completely flawless look and want to ensure it stays that way for as long as possible. This can be used on blemishes and under the eyes for maximum coverage - I find it's best applied with a dampened BeautyBlender.

Becca x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Face Collection Palette | £48 | review | Sorry to mention this because it's no longer available, but I have to be honest about the products I actually use, plus they have brought this back a few times, so who knows! In the meantime, Champagne Pop and Prosecco Pop can be bought here individually and there will be a new Limited Edition palette with Chrissy Teigen out soon that looks like it'll serve a similar purpose. This just gives me so many options in a small space and I get use out of the entire palette. Also, the main colours I wear on the lips and cheeks are either warm brown nudes or more pink tones and this covers both bases. This contains a champagne gold highlighter with peach undertones and a true gold colour, both of which are in the incredible Becca formula that's so smooth in texture but looks incredibly intense and dewy once applied. There are two Mineral blushes, which is a sort of luminous matte formula, in the warm terracotta brown nude Amaretto and the vibrant warm pink Pamplemousse. There's one Luminous blush that has an amazing shimmer, which is Rose Spritz, a peachy-pink with a golden sheen. They're incredibly pigmented and really last on my skin.

Make Up For Ever Pro Bronze Fusion in 30M Sienna | £28.50 | This is now my all-time favourite bronzer! It just has the most amazing, unique texture. Although it's a matte formula, the finish isn't at all powdery and it honestly looks so natural on the skin. The slightly reddish tone means it warms the skin whilst also adding some definition. The formula is foolproof to apply and so long-wearing.

Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream Eyeshadow in 12 Golden Copper | £17 | For a city break, I pretty much always pack a cream eyeshadow because they're so long-lasting and mean you can be done in just a few seconds and a bit of finger-blending. Or alternatively you can use it to dial up a plain matte look from the daytime - just pat a bit of this in the centre of the lid. I absolutely love this one from Make Up For Ever - the formula is so blend-able but sets down and lasts really well. The shade is a beautiful warm golden copper shimmer without too much visible glitter.

Eyeshadow Pans: Makeup Geek Shimma Shimma, MAC Woodwinked, Anastasia Beverly Hills Red EarthAnastasia Beverly Hills Cognac | £4.95 - £10 per pan | review | Even if you don't own any Anastasia shadows, I thoroughly recommend picking up one of these empty quads because they fit any brand's pans and so are really handy for travel. I don't want to get too in depth here because I've linked a full review but essentially I've got a complete evening eye look in here. There's a champagne shimmer for inner-corner highlighting, a golden-bronze shimmer for the lid, a pink-brown matte to use in the crease and a deep red-brown shimmer which can be used on the outer part of the lid and taken along the lower lash line.

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Liner in Intense Black | £14.50 | This is my favourite for winged liner because it's so precise, pigmented and long-wearing (it never smudges or transfers). It's a great way to quickly take your eyeshadow look from day to night.

Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara | £7.99 | Because this is a great option for day or night, I pack it for city breaks too. 

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade in Granite | £15 | This gives a bolder look, however it's still daytime-appropriate when applied lightly with a precise angled brush. It's seriously long-wearing and never seems to smudge so it's what I'd recommend when you know you'll be having a pretty long day.

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Petal | £20 | This is my daytime option because it's nourishing and surprisingly pigmented, giving the lips a glossy finish. The shade is a warm pink-nude.

Huda Beauty Liquid Matte in Trendsetter | £18 | For an evening option I have a matte liquid lipstick. I love how long-wearing, non-drying and pigmented this formula is and the shade itself is a deep warm-toned brown. 

The Weekend Away Edit 

This one does what it says on the tin! When I'm away for the weekend I tend to pack as lightly as possible but I do still want a few options because I'm usually out and about, both during the daytime and the evening. I also tend to pack my favourite, tried and tested products that I can always rely on to work for me.

Glossier Priming Moisturiser | $25 | If I'm trying  to pack lightly in a smaller weekend bag then this is a great two-in-one. It's moisturising without leaving my skin greasy but also ensures my base 'sticks' to my face, giving a nice, even surface.

Nars Sheer Glow Foundation (Stromboli) | £32 | review | This is my favourite foundation because it's natural enough for the day but also provides enough coverage for evening wear. It has a satin finish, giving the skin a shine-free glow. It lasts incredibly well on my skin and never looks heavy or caky, yet gives that 'perfect' finish.

Nars Soft Matte Complete Concealer (Ginger) | £23 | As it's such a great all-rounder, I tend to pack this again when I go away for the weekend.

Becca x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Face Collection Palette | £48 | review | Again, I pack this to give me as many possibilities as possible in a handy compact.

Make Up For Ever Pro Bronze Fusion in 30M Sienna | £28.50 | This bronzer ticks all the boxes for me, so I also take it when I go away for the weekend.

Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick in Taupe | £ | I love this cream eyeshadow for priming. It's that perfect tone to go under all of the shades in my palette. It evens out the skin tone on my lids, ensuring the colours really pop. Although it blends with ease when first applied, it dries down and doesn't crease, helping the eye look to last longer.

Eyeshadow Pans: Makeup GeekMAC & Anastasia Beverly Hills | £4.95 - £10 per pan | review | Again, I won't go into the details on these because I've done an in-depth review (the shade names are in the swatches below) but this is pretty much my everyday palette. They're all warm tones because that's what tends to suit me best and this palette (which again, fits all of the brands I own) is from Morphe. I have both everyday and smoky colours in here so I can do one wash for the day if I'm in a rush or a full-on smoky eye at night.

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Scorch | £15.50 | These are so creamy but last incredibly well and have intense colour payoff. This is a golden shimmer with bronzed undertones.

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Liner in Intense Black | £14.50 | Because this is my favourite, it's always what I pack.

NYX Micro Brow Pencil in Espresso | £8 | This is such a quick and easy option that really helps add some definition.

Glossier Boy Brow in Brown | $16 | I love this to set the brows on its own or teamed with a pencil like the NYX.

Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara | £7.99 | Surprise, surprise! This is my pick for little weekend breaks as well. 

ColourPop Matte Lippie Stick in Brink | $5 | The lip colour that just always works! Although billed as 'matte' this has a pretty creamy texture and a very slight sheen once applied. It's very comfortable but still long-lasting. The colour is a mauve-pinky-brown nude that just always works.

Ofra Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Miami Fever | £11 | This is one of my go-to evening shades so I usually pack it just in case I end up out for dinner or drinks (or both, hopefully...) It's a warm orange-red tone that looks nice and summery. It's nothing too drying and although it transfers a little, it's still long-lasting (as promised).

Which products make it into your makeup bag?

Don't forget to follow me on:

Enter here for a chance to win a huge beauty haul for my 3rd blog birthday :)

Disclosure - products marked * were sent to me for consideration however all opinions remain my own. 


  1. The Wanderlust makeup bag is so cute! All of these products sound amazing, especially for travel. I have a feeling that I'm going to be parting with a lot of money very soon xx Nikita

    BLOG//Jasmine Loves

  2. I always have Maybelline lash sensational in my makeup bag! It's one of my favourite mascaras! I also love the Nars tinted moisturiser! I loved this post Jasmine xx


    1. I can just always rely on both of these products :) xx

  3. Tropic Tonic is beautiful!!! I must admit that I neglect the Becca/Jaclyn palette a lot. I'll have to dig it out.

    Really brilliant post, Jasmine! xx

    Beautylymin| LuxurySkincareGiveaway

  4. Love those shadow shades, need them in my collection!

    Lotte | www.lottebeautybox.blogspot.co.uk

  5. Lovely post!! Definitely taking a page out of your book for the beach holiday edit...we're going on a beach holiday at the end of summer for a few weeks and I definitely need some reliable products with me!


    1. I find beach holidays the hardest as you have to have stuff for the evening but also products suitable for the day! xx

  6. Hey Jasmine, this is such a great post! With regards to the Hylamide Matte Primer, do you find that it works best applied underneath your makeup, or on top as it suggests on the website?

    1. Personally I just use it as a normal primer :) for over makeup a setting spray is better as it doesn't disrupt your makeup (like Urban Decay De-Slick) xx

  7. Thank you for these great tips!! Tough choosing only the essentials

    Candice | Beauty Candy Loves

  8. I always have concealer in my bag, the Soap and Glory Kick Ass One is perfect because it has a powder and mirror in it too! I'm a massive overpacker of lip products but at least they don't take up too much room!

    Danielle's Beauty Blog

  9. This is such an amazing, in-depth post on makeup bag for every occasions! Love it, Jasmine and thank you! I wear very little makeup when I am away from home and the first thing that I always omit it foundation, I usually only use concealer. The ones that are must-haves for me are, mascara, eyebrow, eyeliner, blush and lipstick.

  10. this is such a useful post! I'm going on holiday to Berlin in July and I'm already planning what makeup I'll take with me! I dont want to pack anything heavy so I imagine I'll have a lot of bright picks like your beach holiday edit :)


  11. I really want to try the new NARS Concealer. In my handbag I always ensure I have a powder brush, a fuller coverage pressed powder, blush and lipstick.


  12. I should probably start carrying around a dedicated travel makeup bag because I tend to just throw whatever product in my bag... and forget about it. I have a bagillion of those glossier bags so now I finally have a good use for them lol. It also seems like the perfect excuse to try a foundation stick ;)

    Mili | Sharmtoaster

  13. I love how detailed your posts are Jasmine, you could have easily have split this into loads of posts but I love that this is all in one place. Definitely going to save it as I spot so many favourites in there (NARS concealer!) and so many I want to try (Clinique Ginger Pop).

    The Makeup Directory

  14. Beautiful post and fantastic products! This really helps give good ideas on what to pack for each occasion :) xo Kelly http://happypandabeautyblog.blogspot.com/

  15. Your make-up bag is literally goals, I love so many of those items.

    Lauren x Huggled

  16. Wow, amazing post. You have picked so many amazing products. I don't go away often so I'd find it so difficult to decide on what products to put in my makeup bag!

    Alice | alicemaysnell

    1. I think the fact I go away quite a lot had helped me get my routine *down*! xx

  17. Such a great post...you've put so much work into it too. Thank you for all these great packing tips. I love the NARS concealer too - feels weightless on the skin and packs a punch. And yes, Lash Sensational is the best mascara all round. xxx

  18. Totally needed this post! I have so much, that when it comes to downsizing, I never know where to start xx
    Alice Anne // Annie Writes Beauty

  19. I love taking stick foundations when I need to pack a makeup bag because they are so easy to use!

    Danielle xx

    1. There's always one in my handbag these days! xx

  20. How gorgeous is that bright MAC lipstick! x

  21. Such a good post Jasmine! I need to actually think about wear i'm going and what I'm doing when I pack my makeup bad. Because I normally just back everything I love haha xx


  22. I think I'll have to give in and try Lash Sensational if its as good as it sounds. I wish BECCAx Jaclyn Hill were still in stock! :(

    Mischa xxxxx

  23. Thank you for your comments - I really hope you enjoyed this post as it was a bit different for me :) xx

  24. Omg wow so many amazing products. I love the Maybelline Lash sensational too, and I agree with the Mac mineralise powder it never goes cakey. On days when I don't feel like wearing makeup I just use that. Gorgeous post xx


Thank you for your comment - I read and appreciate every single one :)

There's no need to spam - I will check out your blog if you leave a click-able link under a genuine comment!

If you have a question please check back for my reply or tweet me @jasminetalksblg


© Jasmine Talks Beauty | All rights reserved.
Blog Layout Created by pipdig