Curating the Perfect Makeup Bag

So – quick backstory. I filmed a super fun, and dare I say really helpful, makeup tutorial a few weeks ago and I couldn’t wait to share it. And then, on December 28th, my external hard drive just died. Might sound familiar. Back in June of last year my entire computer crashed. Long story short (and 100% my fault, well sort of) I lost everything. All of my photos + video, blog admin + personal important documents, etc. from the past three years. All gone within 15 minutes. I swore that would never happen to me again so I bought TWO external hard drives and backed both of them up everyday with Time Machine and then every other day, I would drop all files from my computer on to one of the drives for extra protection. Well, that 2nd drive died and I lost everything on it. Unfortunately, the other drive with the backup didn’t have the video files (because I’m an idiot). Yup, talk about a loss.

So anyways, there will be no video today…but I still have some fun thoughts about makeup, beauty + finding the best products for you – so who’s ready to dig in?!

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Here’s the deal.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m no expert when it comes to makeup. Most days, I wear none at all and when I do decide to leave the house or get a little glam, I still tend to keep things pretty basic. While I don’t have the major skills or talents to rock a contour or totally change my eyebrows, I’ve come to develop a list of must have products that I just can’t live without.

Not only are these items that I use on the daily but they’re products that have been tested and made the rounds of my makeup bag. I’m definitely a creature of habit so when I find something I like, I don’t like to shy away from that. I’m all about trying new things but when it comes to the basics for my everyday makeup routine, you gotta just use what you know – right?

I love mixing higher end products like NARS and DIOR with budget friendly finds from Target or CVS. Use what works for you and your skin and don’t feel pressure to break the bank.


What’s In My Makeup Bag

NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer: About 99.9% of the time, you will not find me in a foundation. I live for this glowing tinted moisturizer because it’s the perfect amount of super lightweight coverage to keep you looking fresh and lively no matter how natural you want to keep things. I typically dab on a few dots, blend and add a little mascara or bronzer for a casual vibe. There are so many shades and a little something for everyone. They even have a velvet matter formula that I also keep in rotation.

NARS Velvet Matte Foundation Stick: Another NARS find and so worth the $40. When I do decide to wear foundation, this lightweight foundation stick is my go-to. You can decide how heavy or light you want the coverage to be simply by the amount you swipe on. It’s not too heavy in texture and gives you that dewy matte look.

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer: Okay, last NARS pick and then we break into the more budget friendly finds. Honestly, when it comes to the base of my makeup, I do tend to spend a little more money on those products. I personally just think the higher priced items have better quality. Anyways, this concealer has been the only conealer I’ve ever used and I am still obsessed. Sure, I’ve tried others but this one is so creamy and lightweight and I keep a few different shades around depending on the coverage I want (under eyes, as a highlighter, etc.).

NYX Professional Makeup Matte Bronzer: For under $10, I don’t think you can find a better bronzer. I used to use the NARS Laguna bronzer but ran out and had to get something last minute for a trip and have been hooked ever since. It’s got great coverage, adds just the right amount of bronze and goes on a great matte finish. LOVE this stuff.

L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Original Mascara: Best. Mascara. Ever. If you’re looking for something to add a touch of natural glam to your lashes, this is for you. For under $6, you won’t be disappointed by the application of my favorite mascara ever. I literally buy in bulk just in case I ever run out!

NYX Professional Makeup Tinted Brow Mascara: Again, I’m no brow expert. I just don’t understand how these girls can transform their eyebrows! For me, I keep it simple and just apply a few swipes of this tinted brow mascara and it instantly gives me a cleaner look. I always go a few shades darker than my natural hair color because I love the darker look. I also love how simple to use this product is and is great for traveling or keeping your clutch for a late night touch up.


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And that’s it. Those are my must-haves I can’t live without. I swap out lipsticks, eyeshadows and highlighters depending on my mood but these are the items that I keep in heavy rotation.  If you’re interested in other products or would be interested in seeing more tutorials and videos, please let me know if the comments. And if you have any products you swear by that I should try – let me know!


Photos by Shelby Gordon Photography


  1. 1.10.18
    Tabitha said:

    Great post! I admire your quick impromptu skills. When something happens that I didn’t intend, I just yell “Plot Twist!” and think of something different quick. You have great makeup tips and that red lip looks amazing on you.


  2. 1.11.18
    Ceecee said:

    You should try BLACK UP two way cake powder foundation.

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