Not Martha

a peek inside my makeup bag

I always like seeing what is inside other people’s makeup bags. Here is what I carry with me in my purse, my regular makeup routine includes a few more products than this but these are the smaller items that I bring with me as a sort of security blanket. I rarely find myself reapplying makeup while I’m out but it calms my inner neurotic just knowing that I could if I needed to.

Covergirl Lash Perfection mascara in very black – I have tried lots of pricey mascaras and lots of drugstore mascaras and the Covergirl brand is the only one that doesn’t run or flake on me. If I’m running out the house and I only have time to apply one product I will chose mascara every time, my natural lashes are blond and invisible.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Tinted Brow Gel in Espresso – Along with my pale lashes I have pale eyebrows. My father is a redhead and I inherited the eyebrows but not the beautiful red hair to match. (Grumble.) I’ve never gotten the hang of filling in my eyebrows using a pencil or powder, I just don’t have the knack, but I can apply this eyebrow gel, it goes on like mascara. I apply it against the direction of my eyebrows, let it dry and then use a clean mascara brush to push everything back into place. Love it.

Tarte emphasEYES inner rim brightener – This light peach eyeliner is supposed to make you look more awake and draw attention up to the eyes and I swear it works. I truly never thought I’d be somebody who puts eyeliner on my waterline, when I was in high school that was something the bad girls did. After this I might just try it with colorful eyeliners.

Benefit Eye Bright – This is a pale pink crayon of light diffusing magic particles, or something like that. I have a few different products meant to be dabbed in the inner corners of the eyes, this is the one that is least likely to leak so its the one I bring with me. I love how these types of things make me look more awake when I’m applying them in my mirror but I honestly cannot tell if they make much of a difference out in the world.

Benefit Bad Gal waterproof eyeliner in very black – I find it easier to use a small slanted brush to apply eyeshadow as a liner but in the summer months I’ve been finding that the shadow flakes. Enter the waterproof eyeliner. I find it frustrating to apply but it’s been staying in place. This one comes with a spongey end so you can smudge the liner if you’d like.

Unknown concealer – Once all the lettering has worn off the tube it’s probably time to get a new one huh?

Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Instant Pefector – A lightweight and slightly tinted cream that does a great job of hiding the giant pores on my nose and chin. It’s expensive but one little tube lasts me many months. This is my third tube. I like it but I’m not convinced it stays on long enough to allow me to be really enthusiastic over it. I might try Benefit’s Porefessional next. I wish that these type of highly siliconed balms worked better. Or I with that the whipped foundations that feel the same had a bit less pigment in them and were less drying. Or something. Please, makeup world, create the perfect product for me!

MAC Creamsheen lipstick in Speak Louder – I love this bright pink color but I do find the formula a little drying. I don’t wear it daily but I do keep it with me in case I need to look a bit fancier than I feel.

Sephora retractable lip brush – I’m terrible at applying lipstick right from the tube so I take the time to use a lip brush. This retractable one stays tidy.

Tweezerman mini cuticle nippers – I talked about these earlier. I hate hangnails.

Muji tweezers – These are, you know, tweezers. I keep them with me just in case something sprouts. Have you noticed that the best light for observing your stray eyebrow hairs is when you’re sitting in a car looking into the visor mirror. I don’t pluck in the car but, still, it’s the best light.

Blotting Tissues – It seems to be getting harder to find plain blotting tissues that don’t have aloe or lavender powder or something. These are from Ulta.

Oversized button mirror – This is decorated with vintage wallpaper. I bought it at Urban Craft Uprising but I cannot remember who was selling them. I love it and will shed tears on the day that I inevitably step on it or run it over with my bicycle tire.

Not shown: My favorite lip balm (Blistex Herbal Answer, or my tragically dwindling supply of tiny tubes of untinted Prada balm) and lip gloss (MAC in Cultured).

· comments [34] · 07-23-2012 · categories:beauty ·

34 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Karen Moret Harrison // Jul 23, 2012 at 5:14 am

    I usually use a MAC Viva Glam lipstick, but just bought a Creamsheen. I like how it goes on, but agree that it seems drying.

    Thanks to you, I now carry Tweezerman nippers. I love them, but have to be careful not to go overboard on my nipping lest I do damage!

    I also use Anastasia eyebrow gel. Don’t you wish the brush was smaller? I think it’s too big for an eyebrow brush. At, the size of the brush is one of the biggest complaints in the reviews. I love the product but I seem to end up with it above my eyebrows. I’m willing to admit this could be a user problem…..

    I’m going to try the Tarte inner lid liner. I used to line my inner lid in blue (copying Princess Di). I don’t think I was a bad girl….

  • 2 julie.k. // Jul 23, 2012 at 6:06 am

    ooo, fun! Thanks for sharing! I will have to try that mascara. And yes, the car mirror is *always* the place I see awful stray brow hairs or even (gasp) a random chin hair.

  • 3 Abby // Jul 23, 2012 at 6:19 am

    I’m with you on the CoverGirl. I’ve been wearing it since I was 15, and no matter what other pricey brand I try I always come back to it! (Though I think they’ve discontinued my absolute favorite one; it was in a purple container, and I can’t find it any more.)

  • 4 Shannon // Jul 23, 2012 at 6:58 am

    Embrace the visor tweezing! I agree – the light is the best when I’m sitting in my car. At first I was too scared to pluck (what will passersby think?!) but now I’ve embraced it!

  • 5 Ellen // Jul 23, 2012 at 7:02 am

    What a fun post – thanks for sharing! Years ago, I learned the Cetaphil/baking soda exfoliation tip from you, and I still use it and recommend it.

  • 6 Nathalie // Jul 23, 2012 at 7:03 am

    I bought a mirror like the one you have as a gift once. I got it at:

    The aesthetic is a bit different, but I love all those beautiful origami papers she uses. Sometime to bookmark just in case yours breaks.

  • 7 Katie Lynn // Jul 23, 2012 at 7:30 am

    I agree with you on the mascara-drugstore brands are just as good as premiere brands! I used to LOVE 2000 calorie lashes from Max Factor and was bereft when the company pulled out of North America. I’m now using one of the Falsies, the red one (I think it’s called One by One).

    As for the blotting tissues, the Body Shop always has the ‘naked’ ones. But be careful, because the packaging is VERY SIMILAR to the naked ones with powder.

  • 8 Amy in StL // Jul 23, 2012 at 10:32 am

    I used to be a MAC girl all the way when it came to lipstick and gloss. NARS has changed me. Their larger than life glosses leave my lips more conditioned, and have enough pigment in them that I feel like I can use just those most of the time.

    I only carry lipgloss, lipbalm, mascara in my purse. My mascara of choice is Lancome Doll Lashes which seems to be the best for me.

  • 9 megan // Jul 23, 2012 at 10:40 am

    Karen – I do find the brush for the eyebrow gel too big, it’s frustrating. I also find that because it’s a spiral brush it acts differently when you lean it one way for the right eyebrow and the other way for the left eyebrow, not the best. That said, I haven’t tried any other brands.

    I didn’t know Princess Di used blue eyeliner! I just remember fashion magazines saying that white liner saying that it made your eyes look bigger which, yeah maybe if you’re only ever viewed from 20 feet away. That and the girls who skipped class (shocking!) lined their inner rims with black.

  • 10 megan // Jul 23, 2012 at 10:41 am

    Abby – Noooo! That might be the Lash Exact which had the smaller brush and I *loved* that one. Darn, it was so easy to apply.

  • 11 megan // Jul 23, 2012 at 10:42 am

    Ellen – I still do that! My daily exfoliation is taken care of my my Clarisonic (still love it, like cradle it gently/use it every day love).

  • 12 megan // Jul 23, 2012 at 10:42 am

    Thanks Nathalie!

  • 13 megan // Jul 23, 2012 at 10:43 am

    Thanks for all the recommendations everybody!

  • 14 j // Jul 23, 2012 at 11:02 am

    Oh boy, do I feel your pain on nonexistent brows. Especially with a brother and mother with thick lush hair. I’ve been using Smashbox Brow Tech To Go and it’s great. It has a retractable, smudgeable pencil on one end and a clear gel on the other. I’ve used it daily and it lasts over 9 months. Love!

    I love your makeup bag! Did you buy it or was it another one of your cool DIY projects? Details please!

    Thanks for the mascara recommendation. Your Tweezerman suggestion was great, btw.

  • 15 megan // Jul 23, 2012 at 11:28 am

    j – I found the little zipper bag at my natural foods market, it’s from Blue Q and it’s made from 95% post consumer materials (yay).

  • 16 Jen // Jul 23, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    I LOVE the Benefit PoreFessional…I never thought I would add another fussy primer product to my minimal routine but it works incredibly well on reducing my pores on my nose and chin.

  • 17 Jen // Jul 23, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    (different Jen from #16)

    If you like lining your eyes using a powder and a slanted brush, have you tried a cream or gel liner with the same kind of brush? They stay put really well. I’ve used the same pot of cream liner from clinique for the last 5 years ago (definitely longer than recommended, but I rarely wear makeup) and I liked it quite well. It stays put really well once set, and you can smudge it or get a sharply defined effect like liquid. Recently, I thought I should get a fresh pot and figured I’d give a drug store brand a try. I got a gel one from Maybelline. Similar results, but was a little too difficult to get off.

    I really liked Maybelline Full and Soft mascara, but they don’t seem to sell it in Toronto. I haven’t been able to buy it in years, but online, I see it still exists in the US.

  • 18 Pamela // Jul 23, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    I find if I use a nipper on a hangnail, more often than not it grows out a little and becomes a hangnail again. Does that make sense? Now I file them with a glass nail file (never use metal or paper any more). It’s a little awkward, but now they actually go away. The glass files work even better under water.

  • 19 megan // Jul 23, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    Jen #16 – Do you use it as a primer? Or alone? I would be using it alone for most days so I’m curious if it keeps up the pore-less effect.

  • 20 megan // Jul 23, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    Jen #17 – I have tried a cream liner in a pot but it was a drugstore one and the brush I had at the time wasn’t fine enough and I have yet to go back and try cream liner again. Thanks for reminding me!

  • 21 megan // Jul 23, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    Pamela – Maybe I’m fighting a losing battle! Thanks for the tip, I’ll try out a glass file (I like that it can be washed) and see if makes a difference.

  • 22 Karen Moret Harrison // Jul 24, 2012 at 6:38 am

    You can kind of see it in this picture:

    She also wore a much lighter blue. I adored her, and was sure we would be best friends if only we could meet.

  • 23 rokt // Jul 24, 2012 at 7:48 am

    Well, that worn off name concealer looks exactly like my Covergirl worn off name concealer. I think it looks cool, like I’m using some custom blended formula instead of a cheapy zit-coverer.

  • 24 Kathy // Jul 24, 2012 at 11:56 am

    Thanks for this post! I’m late to the whole makeup game, and it’s always so fun to see what products people use and love.

    If you’re looking to start with gel or cream eyeliner again and are looking for a really great, affordable brush, I highly recommend the Sonia Kashuk eyeliner brush (available, of course, at Target). I was an eyeliner dunce, but the brush makes it really easy, and the cost is much, much less than comparable brushes (smashbox, bobbi brown, etc.). Here it is online:

  • 25 Jen // Jul 24, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    I need stiff flat brush like this
    for my gel/cream liner.

    I find it impossibly to sweep a straight line across the base of my lashes like one would do with liquid liner or a fine tipped brush: the roots of my lashes don’t line up in a smooth curve. With a flat brush, I can comb the brush between the roots to create a smooth curve. Once I have that established, if I want it thicker, I build the line and extend a small wing with a fine point brush. The brushes that come with the pots of liner work for that.

  • 26 Carolyn J. // Jul 25, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    Check out your local Asian stores for blotting paper. I buy mine there for like $2 per pack.

  • 27 Natalie // Jul 26, 2012 at 9:26 am

    Love this post. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but I think Herbal Answer has been discontinued. Wah! If you know who still sells it let me know. My stash is running out…

  • 28 I love lists, Friday! – Shutterbean // Jul 27, 2012 at 12:00 am

    […] Don’t you just love looking into people’s makeup bags? […]

  • 29 Elise // Jul 27, 2012 at 8:21 am

    I want to try Benefit Porefession as well. I’m not usually one for primers, but I’ve heard good things about it. I really like Maybelline’s Stilleto liquid liner. It applies super easy and doesn’t fade throughout the day.

  • 30 Julie // Jul 27, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    I’m reminded that I need a makeup bag…

  • 31 makeup! // Jul 30, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    Definitely confirming that your concealer is CoverGirl. I have the same one, love it, but yeah the markings wear off quickly and completely — even for my tube that lives at home and never goes farther than my vanity. There should be a little round gray sticker on the bottom that tells you the shade — hopefully that hasn’t fallen off too.

    For lipstick that’s not drying, I love the Revlon lip butter whatever that everyone’s raving about. Also, cute quilted-looking tubes in the shade of that lipstick. I am such a sucker for color-coordinated packaging. Oh, and low-maintenance lip color.

  • 32 Cath // Aug 6, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Anastasia’s products are unmatched! And I love the BadGal line …

  • 33 Jamie // Jan 29, 2013 at 8:05 am

    I’d love to know, where is your makeup bag from?

  • 34 megan // Jan 29, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    Jamie – It’s a pencil bag from Blue Q. They are made from recycled materials. I’ve found them at places like Whole Foods and in a few boutiques. I love it.

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