details: what’s in my makeup bag?


I really like finding out what is in people’s bags and makeup bags–it can be so telling, and so instructive–so I’m going to show you the current contents of mine.

I carry my various cosmetic bits in this great Korean pencil case, which is partially obscured by the Visine but which reads ‘things I like to do?’, which things include, ‘listening to pop music?’, ‘shaping up myself?’, ‘fulfill my dreams?’, ‘making a good shape?’.

Compact and thought-provoking.

The things in the bag are not as relevant as the categories of the things: sunscreen, lip balm, lip tint and/or lipstick, eye cream, moisturizer…the items rotate but the categories are consistently represented.

What’s inside:

Maybelline Color Whisper in Cherry on Top – a bright pop of pink, effortless to apply, fairly moisturizing formula. Also doubles as a cheek tint. I think these and the Revlon Balmstains are my favorite of the sheer tints every brand seems to have come out with recently. Actually there would usually be a Revlon Balmstain in my bag…but it has proven that it cannot be trusted (the cap fell off). [I used to carry eyeliners but they have been likewise banished. Anyone making an eyeliner with a screw cap yet?]

Ole Henriksen Vitamin C sunscreen – trying to ingest, apply, and generally incorporate more Vitamin C. I just throw in whatever sunscreen samples I have on hand, but this is a particularly nice one.

e.l.f. Nourishing Cuticle Pen – amazing use of $1. I love this thing. I have several strategically placed throughout my environment.

Visine – for dry eyes or for taking down redness in the face.

nail clippers – these have proven useful in so many non-cosmetic circumstances, I always carry some in my bag.

Kiehl’s Lip Balm – OK, not great, but OK, and can double as an all-purpose ointment when needed.

Clinique Even Better dark spot corrector – what is this even doing in here? I don’t think this is working as well as the other products I have for the purpose, but…I’ll use up the sample.

Caudelie Premier Cru eye cream – really nice! Too expensive to tempt me in the full size, but nice.

Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate oil (decanted) – I put this on intensely dry patches of skin as needed, when moisturizer won’t cut it.

Kiss My Face ginger & mango lip balm, Nivea Olive Oil & Lemon lip balm – love them, as I’ve mentioned. Maybe it seems like there are a lot of lip balms here…that is true. I cannot argue with that.

MAC lipstick in Hug Me – a lovely pink nude that is my most worn MAC lipstick.

Oh, usually there is a hair tie and a hair pin in there as well.

Not much, right? You are wondering maybe where is the mascara, where the concealer? Where is all the makeup?

I make temporary additions if some event calls for them but really there is nothing that needs solving in the mid-day life of my face that cannot be solved with these items.


into: lip balm

the stash
the stash


Ah. Lip balm. I have a thing for lip balm.

I love all formulas; waxes, ointments, creams, butters, oils…

I clearly don’t need any more lip balm, but I like to have options (options, options, everywhere) and I always want to try something new (and lip balms are a great way to reach the free shipping threshold…).

Some standouts:

Dior Crème de rose – the latest and most luxurious addition to the stash. Expensive but loving it. After all, nothing is too good for my lips, is how it goes in my mind.

Boots No. 7 Protect and Perfect lip cream – creamy and entirely non-oily, this feels like putting moisturizer on your lips, a lot like the much more expensive Clinique All About Lips, but I think better (and cheaper). In this same vein, many eye creams make great lip conditioners, and some inexpensive eye creams are cheaper than expensive lip conditioners…

L’Occitane shea butter – great multi-purpose skin conditioner. Especially long-lasting effects. This is one I keep by the bed.

Kiss My Face ginger and mango – this flavor is a favorite. I have a powerful affinity toward ginger. This is an especially buttery/soft and smooth stick formula that is great for winter, when a tiny bit of tugging can mean a cracked lip. The Yes to Carrots balm has a similar consistency, and neither is as waxy or firm as the standard Burt’s Bees.

Smith’s Rosebud Salve – it’s basically petroleum jelly with a nice fragrance (I also like the minted rose but do not like the Brambleberry), but I love petroleum jelly, and these ointment-like balms. I forgot to put Vaseline in the picture, but I use it all the time. These products don’t condition but sometimes protection is all that is needed. Aquaphor also good for this. I don’t find the Kiehl’s balm to be much different. I would also put the Murad lip care and  Elizabeth Arden 8 hour cream in this category, though they are more nourishing and long-lasting than a plain petroleum jelly. They can all also be used to add shine to eyebrows, lashes, eyelids, cheekbones… versatility.

Nuxe Rêve de Miel lip balm – thick, entirely unique texture that requires a lot of working in, but conditions wonderfully. Expensive but…if you are obsessed with lip balm you will understand how one comes to own these things.

Dr. Lipp nipple balm – basically medical grade lanolin (which I also got some of, not pictured, and which, aside from smelling medicinal, works great), which is protecting and healing. Great for cracked, chapped situations. Note that it is extremely thick. The Molton Brown and Laura Mercier lip treatments (both nice if you can find them on sale…too expensive if not) are somewhere between Carmex and this in consistency.

Carmex – I am virtually never without Carmex. Smells medicinal, I know, and is possibly causing my addiction to lip balm…but I don’t care.

Nivea Olive Oil & Lemon lip care – this is a great stick formula. The texture is a lot like the pai bergamot lip balm, a hard oil that melts on contact and leaves a very thin slick on the lips. No tugging on the lips like with waxy formulas (the Mario Badescu lip balm is the same texture, but the scent is an awful species of herbal). I also like this kind of packaging a lot, and find it much cleaner than the standard chapstick tube. Sidenote that I don’t like the new Nivea lip butters at all, and find the flavors cheap and synthetic.

Korres lip butters – if you can find them on sale and choose a flavor you like (I don’t like a lot of them), the texture is gorgeous, and the tints are high quality (not patchy, surprising color payoff). This is the only product called a lip butter that I actually think is similar in texture to butter. These are superior, though, because they are less oily than butter (which I suppose you could use, but it would be a little Handmaiden’s Tale). I like the guava and wild rose flavors.

I’m really liking the cheapo Wet ‘n Wild juicy lip balm I just got, too. Actually one of the better tinted options I’ve used, though the pricier MAC lip conditioner is also excellent (Oh, they seem to have discontinued the tinted ones…fools).