If you’re tuned into the online world of beauty gurus, like James Charles and Michelle Phan,1 you may be tempted to accumulate plenty of makeup products in the pursuit of looking your best. However, this can leave you with an overflowing makeup bag that’s hard to organize.
When it comes to your beauty routine and skin care, sometimes less is more.
By going back to basics, you can simplify your makeup bag and organize it properly. In turn, your morning routine will be that much easier.
Below, we’ll review the essential products you should have in your makeup bag and offer a few ways that you can organize them strategically.
Essentials for Makeup Bags
Everyone has their own set of makeup staples. Here’s a makeup bag essentials list that you can pick and choose from to create your ideal setup.
Who doesn’t want flawless, radiant skin? One of the many gifts of makeup is that it can transform your complexion, even on your worst skin days.
Here are some products essentials for makeup bag that can give you the fresh look you’re searching for:
- Face primer – Face primer isn’t the most exciting beauty product on the market so it's easy to overlook. However, face primer can give your skin a smoother look and keep your makeup looking fresh all day. By adding this product to your list of essentials, you can spend less time on touch-ups throughout the day.
- Foundation – Foundation is truly the “foundation” of flawless skin. It can even your skin tone, brighten your complexion, and mask any imperfections. Depending on your skin type and coverage preference, you can choose a sheer, medium, or full coverage foundation. For example, this best-selling Westman Atelier Vital Skin Foundation Stick offers a luminous full coverage.
If you don’t already have a favorite foundation, many makeup artists would be happy to help you find your perfect match. Once you’ve found the right shade of foundation, you can enjoy flawless skin every day and the confidence that comes with it.
- Concealer – While foundation can give you a clean slate, sometimes you need a little extra coverage in certain areas. Whether you have dark circles under your eyes or the occasional blemish, a little concealer can do the trick. Like foundation, concealers come in a range of shades, formulas, and coverages.
- Bronzer – Having an even skin tone is one thing, but many people also want some color in their complexion. Bronzer can give you a sun-kissed glow without UV ray damage. If you’re advanced in your makeup application skills, you can even use bronzer to contour your face like the Kardashians.
- Highlighter – Highlighter is another staple product if you want a radiant face. It can give your face a luminescent glow and enhance the dimension of your complexion. Simply add a little highlighter to the tops of your cheeks, the forefront of your nose, below your eyebrows, and in your cupid’s bow.
- Blush – After concealing and contouring, you may want to add a bit of rosiness back to your cheeks. Blush can help you do just that.
Depending on your skin tone, certain shades of blush will compliment you better than others. If you’re looking for some inspiration, this Westman Atelier Baby Cheeks Blush Stick offers six different stunning shades. Once you’ve found your perfect shade, add a touch of it to your cheeks and enjoy your newfound healthy glow.
- Setting powder – After perfecting your makeup, the last thing you want is for it to fade off throughout the day. A setting powder can ensure that your makeup stays put. Some setting powders even prevent your skin from getting oily during the day or offer moisturizing benefits if you're prone to dry skin.
Once your face makeup is ready to go, it’s time to draw some attention to your beautiful eyes. They’re the window to your soul, after all.
Here are some essential eye makeup essentials to include in your makeup bag:
- Eye primer – Like face primer, eye primer gives your eyelids the perfect base for the rest of your eye look, whether you do a sultry smokey eye or something simpler. Primer will also keep your eye makeup from sliding off, getting smudged, or creasing throughout the day.
- Eyeshadow – The eyes may be the window to the soul, but they’re also the perfect canvas for your cosmetic creativity. Eyeshadows come in many different shades and finishes. While you can experiment with any color of the rainbow, a neutral eyeshadow palette should be on your list of essentials.
- Eyeliner – After dusting your eyelids with a shimmery shadow, the next step is to line them with a little eyeliner. Not only can eyeliner make your lashes look thicker, but it can also make your eyes pop, especially if you choose the right color. Black eyeliner is a go-to for many people, but brown, dark gray, and deep purple eyeliners can bring out the color of your eyes.
- Mascara – To finish off the eyes, you need a good mascara, like the luxurious Westman Atelier Eye Love You Mascara. Mascara may be the most essential product in your eye makeup routine. After all, mascara does wonders for your eyes by lengthening, thickening, and darkening your eyelashes. Adding a little mascara can instantly make you look more awake and put together, even if you opt for an otherwise minimal makeup get-up.
Next, you need to give your lips a little TLC. Here are some essential lip products you should always have on hand:
- Lip balm – No amount of lip gloss or lipstick can overcompensate for dry, cracked lips. Before you do anything else, start your lip routine with a hydrating lip balm, like this replenishing By Terry Baume de Rose. This way, your lips won’t get dry or chapped during the day.
- Lip gloss – Lip gloss can add a lovely sheen to your smile and polish off your entire look. As an added bonus, it’s easy to apply, even when you don’t have access to a mirror.
- Lipstick – Even if you don’t wear lipstick every day, having a little lip color or statement lipstick on hand is essential. A bold red or bright pink lipstick can serve as the focal point of your outfit.
After stocking your makeup bag with the essentials, you need the right tools to apply them.
Here are the basic beauty tools you need:
- Makeup brushes – High-quality makeup brushes can help you blend your favorite products like a pro. While high-quality brushes are a little costlier, they are well worth the investment. They will stand the test of time, especially if you clean them regularly and store them properly.
- A beauty blender – If you prefer using liquid face products, you may also want to add a beauty blender to your applicator arsenal.2 These strategically shaped sponges can give you a flawless finish, free of any streaks or lines.
Tips for Organizing Makeup Bag
Now that you know the essentials of a well-stocked makeup bag, let’s review some ways you can keep all of your beauty products organized, clean, and easy to find.
Choose the Right Makeup Bag
When looking for the ideal makeup bag, try to find one that:
- Is made of durable material – Since you're going to use your makeup bag daily, you should invest in one that will stay in good condition.
- Is easy to clean – Makeup can get messy. After a couple of weeks, your makeup bag will probably be covered in shimmery dust and debris. By choosing a cosmetic case that’s easy to clean, you can freshen it up faster and save yourself a lot of trouble.
- Has a separate compartment for brushes – After investing in high-quality makeup brushes, it's important to take good care of them. You can protect their bristles by storing them in a separate compartment within your makeup bag. This will also ensure that they’re easy to find.
Place Your Makeup Products Inside Strategically
Once you’ve chosen a makeup bag, you need to know how to place your makeup essentials inside of it properly. Here are some helpful organizational tips:
- Place larger products at the bottom of your makeup bag and smaller products on top
- Place cotton pads inside your makeup palettes if they have glass mirrors inside (this will keep them from shattering)
- Stack palettes and group together long, slender products (like eyeliner, mascara, lipstick, etc.)
You should also wipe down your products with a makeup wipe every so often and wash your brushes regularly.
By following these tips, you’ll always have a fresh, organized makeup bag ready to go.
Stylishly Store Your Must Haves in Makeup Bags
Organizing your makeup bag is an easy process once you know these helpful tips and tricks.
If you’re ready to treat yourself to a new makeup bag, look no further than the BÈIS travel makeup & cosmetic case. This case comes fully-equipped with a separate pocket for brushes, a removable brush holder, and a compact mirror. Best of all, it’s made of easy-to-clean, water-resistant material.
If you’re looking for more stylish travel accessories, BÈIS has plenty to choose from, ranging from our hardside suitcase sets to our convenient jewelry transport case. If you need any tips on how to pack jewelry, we can help you out with that too.
Perelli, Amanda. “The Top 15 Makeup and Beauty YouTubers in the World, Some of Whom Are Making Millions of Dollars.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 6 Aug. 2019, URL
Bakkila, Blake. “Is a Beautyblender Sponge Really Worth $20?!” Good Housekeeping, 18 Jan. 2019, URL