There are thousands of cosmetics companies in America and hundreds of categories of products, so it’s natural to become a little overwhelmed. Finding the mascara that’s perfect for your lashes can become a side job, while perfecting your red lipstick application can turn into a never-ending project. With the daunting amount of options out there, sometimes it’s best to think about getting back to the basics – a simpler time when your bathroom cabinet wasn’t so stuffed that it caused an avalanche every time you reached for the toothpaste.
To make life easy for you, we’ve put together a list of the only 10 must-have beauty products that your makeup bag needs at any given time. Whether the bag is a staple that doesn’t move from your counter or you’re picking it up and traveling with it every day, these 10 items are the only ones you absolutely need day to day. Take a look through our picks for makeup bag must-haves and tell us if you’ve got a product you can’t live without in the comments below!
These are 10 makeup bag must-haves!
Tinted Moisturizer with SPF: No matter the season, you should be wearing SPF, and if it can come in a product you already use you'll be more likely to wear it. Tinted moisturizer will hydrate your face while giving it a bit of a glow while the SPF will protect you from harmful rays.
(Clinique Moisture Surge Tinted Moisturizer with SPF, $27, Clinique.com)
Concealer: Whether it's to cover up a blemish or dark circles under your eyes, concealer is an absolute must in your makeup bag. You never know when your skin will turn on you overnight, so be prepared for acne and undereye bags with a concealer that's about one shade lighter than your skin tone.
(L'Oreal True Match Crayon Concealer, $7.59, Target.com)
Lip Balm: Whether you're the kind of girl who rocks a bold lip or you prefer a nude look, lip balm is essential for keeping your pout moisturized (because nobody likes dry lips).
(Nivea Lip Balm, $2.49, Target.com)
Cheek and Lip Stain: Double duty products are your best friend when figuring out how to maximize the space in your makeup bag, which is why we love a good staining product. The ability to get cheek and lip color that works on your skin tone and saves you time is way underrated.
(Benefit Benetint, $30, BenefitCosmetics.com)
Mascara: While we don't recommend always carrying waterproof mascara in your bag, we do advise you to make sure you've got a good mascara that works on your lashes. Nothing can make you look more wide-eyed and polished than a good swipe of the wand.
(CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Mascara, $7, Target.com)
Liquid Eyeliner: When paired with mascara, liquid liner can make your eyes unforgettable. Waterproof liner tends to be best, and we suggest liquid because it's easy to apply and lasts longer than a reglar pencil liner.
(Urban Decay Waterproof 24/7 Liquid Liner, $19, Sephora.com)
Oil Blotting Sheets: Now that the weather is getting warmer, oil blotting sheets are more necessary than ever. Touch up your skin throughout the day and avoid looking too shiny with the blot of a paper.
(Bobbi Brown Oil Blotting Papers, $10, Macys.com)
Makeup Remover Wipes: Perfectly applied makeup is wonderful, but getting it off your face so your skin can breathe at night is even better. Keep makeup remover wipes in your bag for when you don't have a sink or you need to fix something through the application process.
(Neutrogena Makeup Remover Wipes, $4.99, Target.com)
Hair Ties: If you're trying to keep your hair out of your face while applying makeup or you're rushing out the door trying to avoid a bad hair day, a hair tie will save you.
(Hair Tie Twistband, $5, Twistband.com)
Nail File: While it's not technically makeup, the thought of scratching your skin or eyeball because of a jagged nail that could've been filed were there a file available is horrifying. Keep a nail file in your bag to avoid a rough situation.
(Nail File, $8, Sephora.com)