I have an overly large stash of makeup, and it goes without saying that I can’t take it all with me. But I do like to keep a basic stash of essentials in my purse for beauty emergencies, and I don’t always carry a large purse, so what are my most important things to keep around? Here’s my list of must-haves:
In terms of getting the most bang for your buck regarding space in your purse, you can’t go wrong with a palette that includes EVERYTHING. Right now, that palette for me is Urban Decay’s Shattered face case. (There’s also the Anarchy face case if you prefer something bolder.) It’s got two levels, one with eye shadow and a travel-sized eyeliner (this one comes with Zero, but if you have other travel-sized eyeliners, you can swap them out), and the other with two blushes and a highlighter. It also houses a full-sized Super-Saturated Gloss Pencil. (Again, you can swap in any shade you want. This one came with Lovechild.) This face case is roughly the size of my iPhone, though twice as thick.
The bare minimum of tools: I carry with me the double-ended brush from my Vice palette because it has a shadow brush on one end and a crease brush on the other. I also have a retractable lip brush from Sephora (because who wants goopy stuff smeared all over the inside of your bag?) and a travel-sized blush/powder brush.
I save the deluxe sample-sized versions of things I get with my orders or with palettes/gift sets because they're handy, even if I have full-sized ones already. This is all UD stuff: their Supercurl mascara (travel-size is also available for sale), De-Slick in a Tube (mattifying/oil control gel - no longer available though), and their Primer Potion (this happens to be their new anti-aging one).
I also scour the travel-sized stuff available at Ulta and Sephora, because I don't always want or need the full-sized versions. This is a teeny-tiny Dr. Feelgood by BeneFit which I would probably never use up if I bought the full-sized one. It's a nice face balm - I don't think it controls oil/mattifies as well as De-Slick, but it leaves your skin feeling really nice.
Rosebud Salve is just kind of amazing for any sort of skin ailment. I get chapped lips really easily, and Rosebud Salve always works. But you can use it anywhere. (There's also a tube version, which is probably more sanitary, though you get less product.)
Lastly... yes, eye drops. Aside from the stated purpose of removing eye redness, eye drops are also a much better mixing medium for applying eyeshadows wet or as eyeliner, in that it makes the makeup last longer than if you just used regular water.
And all of it (except the face case) fits into my cute little makeup bag from Ipsy (another good source for deluxe/travel-sized products), and then I have pretty much everything I need.
PS - You'll notice that I did not include any foundation or concealer. That's because when I'm in a hurry, that's my last priority - I can usually get away with not wearing it because my skin is generally clear. If I really need to, I'll throw in my powder foundation compact (I like BeneFit's Hello Flawless!) but usually? I don't care about it as much. (I know that's not the case for everyone.)