The Ideal Handbag Makeup Kit

Anna Sui

No matter how much makeup you put on in the morning, there’s always a time mid-day where you’ll be in need of a little touch up. Most women carry some type of makeup bag in their handbag but I think most of us can agree that sometimes it gets a bit out of control. I recently cleaned out my favorite handbag and found six lipsticks hidden in different pockets, including two of the same color.  This prompted me to think about what I really use in my travel makeup kit and what can easily be left behind.

PradaAnna Sui

Let your makeup bag take you from day to night with just a few products. 


The products that you carry in your bag depend on your morning ritual and your overall skin type. If you have dry skin, carrying a small tube of moisturizer can save your face from embarrassing flaking and peeling or if you have very oily skin, blotting papers, such as Tatcha Japanese Blotting Papers $12, will be your best friend. A compact powder has multiple uses is your handbag as it will often have a larger mirror, which is always helpful, and light-reflecting powder such as Too Faced's Absolutely Invisible Candlelight Powder $27 can not only combat migrating foundation but also add luminosity to the skin. If you’re having problems beyond shine or redness, you may want to reevaluate your morning routine as your makeup just isn’t doing its job. Additionally, a cream blush or bronzer such as NARS' The Multiple $39 is a versatile product that can come in handy when taking your look from day to night.


One of my biggest frustrations is when I don’t have time to change my makeup between day and night, so it’s imperative that you carry at least one game-changing product. I usually choose a lipstick. It’s a one-step way to lift your look from everyday to evening appropriate.


If you aren’t a fan of a bold lip, carrying a kohl eyeliner in your bag can give you an easy smoky eye with just the one product. I don’t recommend carrying mascara because most mascaras aren’t meant to be layered once they’ve dried. If you’re mascara obsessed, and need to touch up in the middle of the day, opt for Bobbi Brown’s Extreme Party Mascara $24 which is a softer formula meant to be layered.

If you're a super minimalist, a palette is absolutely your best bet. Try something like Laura Mercier's new Luxe Color Portfolifo $98, which includes two cheek colors, three eyeliners, six eyeshadows, and three brushes. Enough to completely change your look if the mood strikes. 

Images: IMAXtree