10 Essentials for Every Makeup Bag

Whether your makeup bag is overflowing, or you’re “getting by” with lip balm and old mascara, you’re in need of a beauty bag reboot. Build a full makeup bag with only ten basics.

Makeup Bags 101

Shopping for makeup can be a bit overwhelming. With hundreds of products offering promising results, it can be tough to know where to begin, and even harder to know if you have more than you need. Truthfully, you don’t need drawers and drawers of makeup to look your best every day — a few simple products will do the trick! Whether you’d like to build a small stash of supplies, or you’re trying to clean out your inventory (because you don’t really need three blushes and seven lip balms), all you really need are these ten makeup bag basics.

The Basics


Foundation or a BB Cream

This is the base for your entire look. A good foundation will help to even your skin tone and cover blemishes to make you look virtually flawless. Depending on your skin type, you might not need a foundation; a BB cream might do the trick! BB creams, or “Beauty Balms”, are all-in-one multi-taskers that moisturize, even skin tone, and hide flaws. They’re lighter than a foundation, but if you already have fairly clear and even skin, then you won’t need the heaviness of a foundation. Tip: to find a shade that best suits your skin tone, test samples on your jawline in the daylight; a perfect match will blend right in.


Concealer is slightly thicker than a foundation, and is a great all-purpose tool for your makeup bag. This single piece of makeup is used to brighten your eyes and cover up small imperfections to help you look truly flawless. If you’re looking a little tired, concealer can help take your look from worn-out to wide-awake in a matter of seconds. And if your foundation didn’t quite cover a few dark spots or imperfections on your skin, a concealer will help to hide any marks or blemishes. Depending on your skin type, you might not always need a concealer, but when you do, you’ll be glad you have it.


Blush adds a pop of colour to your cheeks for a youthful, rosy glow. It should make you look slightly flushed, like you just finished some light exercise. Hint: if you look in the mirror and squint, you shouldn’t be able to see your blush. Blush comes in powder, gel and cream formulas to suit different skin types: powder blush is great for all skin types, but is best for oily skin; cream blush is rich and moisturizing, which makes it great for dry or aging skin; gel blush is best for oily to normal skin.

Eye Shadow Palette

The right eye shadow is key to making your eyes pop, and a palette will give you enough versatility to create looks for every occasion and season. If you’re only adding one palette to your makeup bag, reach for neutral colours that complement your eye colour. A single palette usually contains two, three or four shades, which is enough to create just about any look — from a subtle, natural style to a bold, smoky eye.


Though eye shadow can make your eyes pop, eyeliner will help to define your eyes to make them really stand out. Eyeliner comes in pencil, pen, liquid and gel formulas, but if you’re new to eyeliner, a pencil is your best bet. Pencil eyeliners are easy to use, and very versatile; you can use them to create a strong, defined line, or you can smudge your liner for a smoky style. If you’re only adding one eyeliner to your beauty bag, grab a neutral colour that will blend well with every eye shadow and your skin tone, like black or brown.

Eyelash Curler

If you’re not blessed with a natural curl in your eyelashes, an eyelash curler is your secret weapon. This little gadget quickly curls your lashes, which helps to open up your eyes to look wide-awake and refreshed. The difference between curled and straight eyelashes is noticeable, and even though it looks like an intimidating contraption, it’s really easy to use.
Tip: always curl your eyelashes before you apply mascara. Curling afterwards will clump your lashes together, and you might risk pulling a few out.


Mascara is an absolute must-have for any beauty bag. This single piece of makeup can make your eyelashes look darker, thicker, longer, and more defined. Even without eye shadow or eyeliner, mascara can single-handedly define your eyes and make them appear brighter. Mascara comes in different formulas and with different wands for different looks; some make your lashes appear fuller, some make your lashes look longer, and some do both.

Tinted Lip Balm

With a splash of colour and a touch of moisture, tinted lip balm is a true multi-tasker. This beauty bag basic is the brilliant blend of lipstick and lip balm, so you get the best of both worlds: the moisture of a balm, and colour of a lipstick without the commitment. Lipstick does give a strong pop of colour, but it eventually fades and bleeds, so if you don’t have the time to reapply throughout the day it can become more of a nuisance than a helper. A tinted lip balm is the perfect balance of colour and convenience: it gives your lips a hint of natural colour that’s easy to reapply throughout the day.

Lip Gloss

Like tinted lip balm, lip gloss adds a hint of sheer colour and moisture, but it also gives your lips a touch of shine, which helps make them look fuller. Lip gloss won’t give you the deep, rich colour of a lipstick, but it doesn’t take as much upkeep, and it’s easy to apply. Keep in mind, a little lip gloss goes a long way; too much shine can look juvenile, but the right amount will help you look effortlessly put together.

A Brush Set

A full bag of makeup is made more effective with the right brushes for each job. There are a number of different makeup brushes, but a basic brush set should include five or six. For a basic set, look for a powder brush, a blush brush, an eyeliner brush, an eye shadow brush, and a brow brush. These five brushes can help you apply your makeup with precision, and blend like a pro.

The Five-Minute Face

If you’d rather hit your snooze alarm than spend time applying makeup, we hear you! Sleep is valuable, and “beauty sleep” isn’t just a saying — getting enough sleep should be a vital part of your beauty routine. So go ahead, get a few extra minutes of sleep, because with the right tools you’ll only need a few minutes in front of the mirror to look polished and put together.
  1. Start with your foundation or BB cream. If you’re using a foundation, make sure to moisturize first. Blend it in with your fingers; the warmth from your fingers helps make your foundation or BB cream easier to blend.
  2. Curl your eyelashes and apply mascara to your top lashes. To apply your mascara, hold the wand at the base of your eyelashes, then gently zig-zag the wand as you swipe up. This will help to coat every lash while preventing them from sticking together.
  3. Next, dust some blush over the apples of your cheeks for a subtle rosy glow.
  4. Finish off with a tinted lip balm or a lip gloss.

Beauty Tips:

• Wash your brushes often with a mild shampoo and warm water
• Go through your bag every few months and toss anything that’s old. Bacteria can grow easily on makeup, which isn’t healthy for your skin
• Apply your foundation or BB cream with your fingers. It’s cleaner than re-using a sponge
• Take care of your skin! Always remove your makeup before bed, and make sure to moisturize
• Hydration and sleep help to keep your skin looking its best. Make sure to get enough of both!

Choosing the Right Neutrals for Your Skin Tone

Fair Skin +

Eye shadow: Champagne, brown-taupe, and light bronze Eyeliner: Brown or brown-black Mascara: Brown or brown-black Cheeks: Soft pink, light coral, and peach tones Lips: Light pink and sheer beige

Medium Skin +

Eye shadow: Brown-gold, chocolate brown, and peachy-beige Eyeliner: Brown-black or black Mascara: Brown-black or black Cheeks: Cool pink, dark peach, and rich pink Lips: Pinky-beige, warm honey, and tawny pinks

Dark Skin +

Eye shadow: Deep bronze, burgundy, and terracotta Eyeliner: Black Mascara: Black or blackest black Cheeks: Warm brown, deep fuchsia, and tangerine Lips: Chocolate browns, rosy brown, and caramel

Shop Related Products:

This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



Store details