Elise Minton, Executive Beauty Editor
Pinkish-Nude Lipstick: Bobbi Brown Luxe Lip Color in Pale Mauve ($35) is a favorite.
Powder: I’m never without it. I get so shiny throughout the day. And, rather than using a sponge or powder puff, I keep a full-sized brush like Sonia Kashuk Powder Brush ($12) in my makeup bag to soak up excess oil.
Eyeliner: I also have to have a good black pencil eyeliner on me at all times. Usually, it’s Guerlain The Eye Pencil in Black Jack ($31).
Brittany Burhop, Senior Editor
SPF: I’m never without SPF, and this little Avene Ultra-Light Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+ Face ($24) is the perfect purse option. It delivers a matte finish like no other and doesn’t leave behind a yucky white residue.
Fragrance: My mom always says, “You never know where your day might take you,” which is why I make sure to keep a fragrance with me at all times. A little spritz can instantly lighten my mood and make me feel put-together. Right now I’m loving NEST Citrine Rollerball ($25)—it’s refreshing, zesty, feminine and great for summer, but you could definitely wear it year-round.
Anything for Lips: Whether it’s a balm, gloss, oil or classic lipstick, my bag always has a few options. My current go-to is YSL Volupté Tint-In-Oil ($32), which replaces tacky gloss with a silky oil for high-impact shine. And it tastes good!
Dry Shampoo: This amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo–Travel Size ($19) is hands down one of my favorite purse items because it comes in handy at the most crucial times. Whether I’m running around town and my hair gets a little sweaty, or I meet my fiancé for an impromptu date night after work and my strands need a volume boost, it saves the day!
Do-Everything Balm: Having something like Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant ($22) on hand is just smart beauty if you ask me. I can tame my brows and unruly frizz in a pinch, keep my lips hydrated and also tend to any dry skin patches that might pop up.
Danielle Fontana, Editorial Assistant
Lip Balm: I have a serious case of dry lips, and unfortunately not even the most expensive lipstick can make cracked lips look good, so I always have one or two heavy-duty lip balms on hand to swipe whenever I feel like they’re getting dry. Lately, I’ve been loving Lano Banana Bam Lip Sheen 3-in-1 ($17) for a serious dose of hydration and the most delicious scent.
Eye Shadow Sticks: My makeup routine would shatter into pieces without this staple. If I don’t have enough time in the morning to finish my eye makeup or if I need to amp up my look to meet someone after work, I always have one of these in my bag in a neutral shade. My current favorite is Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon in Amber Haze ($27)—I apply at my desk and blend with my fingers for a quick touch of glam whenever I need it.
Powder: My face gets oily rather quickly, so I always have a medium-to-heavy coverage pressed powder on hand for quick touch-ups throughout the day. My go-to has been Chanel Double Perfection Lumiere Longwear Foundation ($55). I seriously can’t say enough good things about it and it’s lasted me for about six months without hitting the pan.
Hand Lotion: I can’t function properly when my hands are dry (I keep a tube on my nightstand, too), so I always have one in my purse and at my desk. The star of my current rotation, Fresh Seaberry Nourishing Hand Cream ($23) smells like a dream and gives me back silky smooth hands in record time. Nothing makes me feel less feminine than dry hands!
Lipstick: Doesn’t everyone? I always keep two or three lipsticks in my makeup bag (a nude, pink and a pop of color like a red or fuschia) so I’m always ready for a touch-up no matter what I’m wearing that day. I also keep a neutral gloss on hand like Dior Addict Ultra-Gloss ($30) in a light hue to make a matte lipstick look a little more flirty.
Liz Ritter, Executive Managing Editor
SPF: Colorescience Sunforgettable Mineral Sunscreen Brush ($57) is a no-brainer for reapplying sunscreen during the day. Plus, it erases oily spots and makes my makeup look a lot better.
Lip Treatment: I just started using Tata Harper Be Smitten Lip Treatment ($29) last week and I have no idea how I survived so long without it in my life. It’s creamy, hydrating and provides a perfect pop of color that works well on everyone.
Hydration Spray: The small Avène Thermal Spring Water ($9) fits perfectly in my makeup bag and does pretty much everything—cools me down on a hot day, sets makeup and helps refresh it midday.
Skin Emergency Cream: These tiny Rescue Serum Concentrate packettes ($80 for 30) are the smartest on-the-go skin care ever and literally changed the way I pack for travel. They help with redness, hydration, discoloration, everything.
Carolyn Hsu, Digital Managing Editor
Lip Balm: No surprise here, a lip balm is a must, but I’m not carrying around just any ol’ chapstick! Maybelline New York Baby Lips Glow Lip Balm ($5) is super hydrating like all the Baby Lips predecessors but also has pH pigments that give my lips a really nice pink glow. Perfect for the no-makeup, makeup look and less than $5.
SPF: Sunscreen is a staple in my bag year-round because my beauty editor training has ingrained in my brain that sunscreen is truly the one product you can never, ever forget. Lancôme Bienfait UV 50+ ($39) has broad-spectrum SPF 50+ protection and is light enough to wear even in the sweltering heat. It’s fast-absorbing, doesn’t leave behind a white residue, and as a plus, even mattifies skin.
Highlighter: A good illuminator makes such a big difference and this new Elizabeth Arden Bold Illuminating Highlighter ($25) gives off a gorgeous shimmery glow that adds instant radiance and definition over makeup or a bare face. I love that the product is so small that it easily fits in any bag and can be applied with a finger in seconds.
Eye Cream: I never carried an eye cream around before I got my hands on Olay Eyes Ultimate Eye Cream ($30), but now tapping this around my eyes throughout the day is my newest addiction. I love that it hydrates and depuffs while adding a bit of brightness to my skin.
Foundation: For me, carrying around some kind of concealer or foundation is a must because I always need a touch-up during the day. W3ll People Narcissist Foundation Stick ($29) works double-duty to provide coverage without ever looking caked on, and works just as well concentrated in certain areas or over my entire face.
Tatiana Bido, Special Projects Editor
Powder: I use Lorac POREfection Baked Perfecting Powder ($33) for touch-ups throughout the day or sometimes when I want less coverage I’ll use it as my base just to even out my skin. It has a really great airbrush finish and feels super light on my skin.
Lip Balm: I always keep a lip balm in my bag for days I just need to swatch on a sheer color. Maybelline Baby Lips in Peach Kiss ($5) is one of my favorites because it gives just a hint of color while keeping my lips dewy and hydrated.
Blush: Make Up For Ever HD Blush in 225 Peachy Pink ($26) is a staple in my bag. I love it because I can use just my fingers to blend it onto my cheeks for a natural finish and rosy glow.
Brow Pencil: My Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Caramel ($21) is a life saver. This thin pencil is so easy to grab on the go and the color is lighter than my brown brows so it helps my brows look polished but not overdone.
Lipstick: My biggest must-have is a pinky taupe lippie like Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips in Very Victoria ($32), which has a creamy and luminous formula (yet is still matte) and gives me the perfect partially nude lip with a rosy-pink tint.
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