Quick Makeup Routine: 7 Beauty Bag Essentials

Always looking good means being prepared -- whether you’re at work, out on the town or just running errands. As a makeup artist, I’ve learned that a little bit can go a long way in giving your face a refreshed and healthy glow. While I can’t carry my giant roller-bag of beauty products with me everywhere I go, I can stash the absolute essentials in my purse. From concealer to facial tissues, here are the seven things I never leave the house without -- along with a few tricks for making them work magic.

Quick Makeup Routine Essential No. 1: Eyelash Curler

This device is a great investment because it lasts a long time. (Just replace the pads every three or four months.) It’s also a cinch to use, even for people who aren’t comfortable wearing eye makeup. The payoff: Curled lashes make your eyes look bigger, open and more awake.

Quick Makeup Routine Essential No. 2: Lip Gloss

This is a foolproof way to add some pop to your face and moisturize chapped lips. Go for something glossy with a slight hint of color.

Quick Makeup Routine Essential No. 3: Facial Tissues

Keeping a pack of tissues handy can save you from beauty blunders, like smudged mascara, and help you remove excess lotion or toner. You can also use them to wipe off sweat on a hot day or after a workout. Remember: Using your hands can spread dirt and clog pores, unless you’ve just washed them.

Quick Makeup Routine Essential No. 4: Facial Moisturizer or Spray Toner

It’s important to stay hydrated throughout the day, inside and out. Dab moisturizer -- don’t rub it in -- over dry spots, or spray a little toner on your face, to get a fresh, dewy look. Remove any excess by lightly patting your face with a facial tissue, which is gentle on delicate facial skin.

Quick Makeup Routine Essential No. 5: Concealer

The only way to cover dark circles, red spots and pimples, concealer is my No. 1 one must-have. In my opinion, it’s even more important than foundation. If your makeup job needs freshening up, start here: Apply a tiny bit of concealer on your fingertip and pat under the eye. It will brighten your whole face immediately.

Quick Makeup Routine Essential No. 6: Loose Powder

This helps set your foundation (if you’re wearing any) and even out skin tone. I like to dab off excess oil with a facial tissue and apply a bit of powder in the midafternoon or evening to freshen up; it helps soak up any oil that has accumulated throughout the day.

Quick Makeup Routine Essential No. 7: Eye Shadow

I always carry one compact with four or five shades of eye shadow, from dark to light. The lighter colors serve as a highlighter when you want to pump up your eyes, while the darkest ones act as eyeliner when you want to go from day to night.

Now that you’ve stocked up on these essentials, you have everything you need to look fresh all day and night. Here, my tips on freshening up and transforming your casual day makeup to something more eye-catching:

To Touch up Midday

If you want to freshen up after lunch or before a big meeting, the first step is to quickly clean off any oil or makeup that has run or melted into the creases around your eyes. Wrap a facial tissue around your index finger so it’s fully covered. Then, starting at the inner corner of each eye, work your finger around the bottom lashes to the outer edge, wiping out any loose or oily residue. Give your top eyelids a quick sweep too.

Next, refresh your makeup: Spritz your face with toner or apply moisturizer, add concealer and powder, and re-curl your eyelashes. You can also add a fresh coat of mascara if you have it with you.

If you wear lipstick, chances are you’ll need to reapply by midday. Here’s a trick for helping your color stay put and preventing it from bleeding off of your lips: Apply a coat of lipstick like normal, then take a facial tissue and pull it apart so that it’s just one-ply. Put that layer of tissue over your lips, and then over the tissue, dab a little bit of loose powder. The powder’s color won’t leak through the tissue, but it will help your lipstick set.

To Go From Day to Night

Headed straight to dinner after work? Give yourself a bolder look. The easiest way to do this is to play up your eyes with eyeliner or the darkest shadow in your eye shadow quad compact. With the eye shadow brush, carefully apply the shadow to your waterline, at the base of your bottom lashes. Dampen a facial tissue and quickly sweep under each eye to clean up any excess shadow that’s flaked off, and you’re good to go!

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by Lori Conte