4 handbag makeup essentials

Editor’s note:  You’ll always find the most basic of makeup supplies in my handbag so I’m always interested to hear what is in others. Today Styling You reader Melissa Natale-Imbesi shares her essentials.

If it were not for the endless supply of receipts, tissues, Matchbox cars and Barbie dolls, I think I would cram as much make up into my handbag as humanly possible.

This is neither practical nor, quite frankly, possible as I am often harbouring enough bits and bobs to clean, entertain and feed an entire kindergarten.

I have recently whittled my clutter-compartment down to four essential items that are in my handbag at ALL times. These items will see you through all manner of emergencies – from unexpected drinks after work to an impromptu lunch date.

Handbag makeup essentials

Here are my 4 handbag makeup essentials:

Concealer  If I had to choose a numero uno – this would be it. If you’ve done a fair job of your base in the morning, all your really need to freshen up your skin is a bit of spot concealing.  Choosing a palette with a little mirror is handy, as is one with a few different colours for mixing and matching. My favourite at the moment is the NP Set Concealer Set  (1) – the packaging is slim, includes five shades, has a mirror and a handy little brush for precise application.

Lips  Nothing can give your face instant life like a lovely lip colour. My handbag recommendation would be the Revlon Kissable Balm Stains (2) – these are genius. This product is hydrating and extremely buildable, so can give either a subtle wash of colour or va-va-voom lips. I make mine pull double duty and blend it into my cheeks for a bit of a pick me up when required. If you’ve got room, chuck two in – a nude shade (try the peachy-hued Charm) and a brighter one (deep, hot pink like Smitten).

Eyeliner An eyeliner can instantly glam-you-up in either a polished or smoky, sexy way. I am LOVING Essence Stays-Put-No-Matter-What waterproof eyeliners (3) at the moment. They stay put forever and are like, $2.50 – one in each colour, please. Black is timeless, so I’d go with that for the handbag. Running a slick of black over your top lash line looks great with a pop of colour on the lips, or if you want to play up your eyes try lining your waterline and smudging some black under your bottom lash line. A liner with a smudge attachment works best for this, such as Cover Girl Liquiline Blast.

Powder  This one is handy if you are prone to a bit of shine.  Running a quick lick of powder over your t-zone can make your skin look brand new again. I love Rimmel Stay Matte Powder (4) in Translucent. No room for a brush? Pack a couple of little make up remover rounds in your bag and gently press onto the skin.  This trick also works a treat for setting concealer touch ups. Napoleon Perdis Camera Finish (Look 2 for my pale skin) is great and also provides extra coverage if needed.

So, there you have it!  These four products mix and match beautifully and can elevate your look in a matter of minutes.

Are you a handbag make up hoarder? Do you think you could survive with just these items?

Melissa Imbesi Melissa Natale-Imbesi is a video editor and aspiring writer living in Melbourne with her husband and two children.  She has a borderline unhealthy obsession with make-up and her hobbies include self-sabotage and gin & tonic.

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  • Julie

    Thankyou Melissa, I will check out those Revlon kissables as I like a lip ‘crayon’ – I’m currently carrying two around, a nude and a brighter orange one and my lip balm, and would like to try something new – thanks for the tip xx

  • Anna Franklin

    I’ll be checking out that concealer set. I carry lipstick ‘de jour’, L’oreal la touche magique Perfect Match concealer pen, Clinique powder compact, label rubbed off!!. I do keep a bit of a stash in the work drawer with eye shadow and perfume samples from the delicious Jo Malone. Think I’ll add an eyeliner after this post as that really makes a difference from work time to going out. Great post, thanks ladies!

  • Sitdownmummy.com

    Cool post Melissa. I LOVE the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains and wear them to work every day. My sis-inlaw sent me two from Melbourne and I got addicted and now have 5 floating around the handbags. They are so wearable, the colours so fun, and a good price range for a little treat. Honey is my favourite colour. I just have to keep them away from Miss 2 who thinks they are fun crayons! oops. Katy

    • Melissa

      Thanks Katy. In fairness to Miss 2, they do look like crayons. I just hope for your sake she doesn’t ever take to the walls with them, they last forever! Thanks for reading. x

  • The Plumbette

    I love this list but I would exchange the eye liner for mascara. I can never do a good smokey eye. That Napolean concealer looks like a winner with the mirror included.

    • Melissa

      Thank you…..the concealer really is great. It’s a nice, creamy consistency and the green shade is handy for counteracting redness. Target and Big W have a great range of NP Set. x

  • Rosina

    As a busy working mum, I’ll take all the tips I can get. Will definitely try to lighten the load in my handbag, may even reduce the physio bills!!! Inspirational, would love to hear more

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Fabulous Rosina … and yes, good luck with lightening the load!

    • Melissa

      Thanks Rosina! Just think, all that saving on physio bills you can buy yourself a Revlon Balmstain in every colour. x

  • Kelly

    Yes I am a total handbag make-up hoarder! I have blush (+ brush), foundation, concealer (+ brush), mascara, 5 x lipstick/glosses & lip pencil. Though I am to the point I am sick of lugging a heavy bag around so I am about to cull everything. This is a great post … at just the right time! Thanks for the tips.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Good luck with the cull – I swing from overload to just gloss and powder!

    • Melissa

      You are a professional, Kelly!! It’s a bit of a security thing having all that stuff on hand all the time I think. I love my make up too – it’s very hard choosing your favourites. x

  • Lisa Mckenzie

    I only keep lipstick and lipgloss in my handbag and all the other sorts of things you will find in a womans bag like tissues,sunnies,mints and wallet etc etc.
    I do love that Rimmel Stay matte though it is in my makeup bag and I will try those eyeliners at $2.50 a pop you can’t go wrong ,can you? Thankyou for sharing Melissa.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Great tips from Melissa!

    • Melissa

      Thanks Lisa….yes, Stay Matte is awesome! Another great thing about the eyeliners (aside from the price) is that the lids stay on really well when tossed around in your bag amongst the other stuff. x

      • Lisa Mckenzie

        That’s good to know thankyou x

  • Karen McFarlane

    I love reading about everyone’s must-have items. A great little piece yet again Melissa.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Glad you enjoyed Melissa’s work!

    • Melissa

      Thanks Karen…I loved writing it! xx

  • PrincessEatsPeaSoup

    Love Revlon Kissable. I bought one and then I bought three. And thanks for the eyeliner tip too because I was just on the hunt for new eyeliner and since they are such an economic purchase…

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      I’ll be checking out that eyeliner too!

    • Melissa

      They’re so great, aren’t they? Every now and then Priceline have 2 for 1 on Revlon and I have my eye on the darkest shade, Adore and the orange one, Rendezvous.

  • Row

    I recently bought one of those revlon crayons but couldn’t stand the smell, it may just be my sensitive pregnant nose though

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      I’ve just gone to smell mine now – hadn’t thought about it before now but yes, I think it’s probably heightened by your pregnancy.

    • Melissa

      It does have quite a strong smell, Row – very minty. I remember those smell-sensitive days very well! Good luck with your pregnancy. x

  • http://www.mdkaos.blogspot.com/ Mummaducka

    I only have lipstick and gloss in my handbag, and elizabeth arden’s 8 hour cream for an emergency. that’s it, it’s always worked for me.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      It’s always about what works for you!

    • Guest

      Elizabeth Arden 8 hr Cream is great, isn’t it? From lips to cuticles, it’s fab! x

    • Melissa

      I love 8 hr cream too, it’s so wonderful for everything! You have your cosmetic-packing skills down to a fine art. x