How to pack your makeup bag

When it comes to daily life, I’m a big believer in convenience and practicality, combined with a healthy dose of prettiness. I never buy dresses or skirts without pockets for example, or a bag (no matter how small) without a zip up compartment. My makeup bag reflects this, as I hate nothing more than carrying extra stuff around with me – so I thought I’d share how I put it together!


Let’s get the unglamorous essentials out of the way first. Money – you should always have an emergency stash of money in your makeup bag. For tipping, an unexpected empty Oyster card or a Big Issue you actually want to buy. First Aid – I always have plasters, antacids and paracetamol. You, or someone you know will undoubtedly need one at some point! Nail File – this one should be self explanatory, as should a Hair Tie. Anyway, now for the more interesting stuff:

Hand Cream – You really should carry hand cream at all times. I love this Dexeryl stuff by Pierre Fabre, it’s a really cheap, plain emollient for eczema but it sinks into the skin without any greasiness whatsoever, and doesn’t smell, making it perfect for an everyday cream.

Deodorant – Especially if like me, you don’t use anti-perspirant! This Weleda Sage Deodorant is amazing at eliminating any smell. I use a salt deodorant in the morning that works really well most of the time, but it’s never going to stand up to a 35 degree tube carriage or running to a meeting you’re late for.

Concealer – You know that point where there isn’t enough left in your concealer tube to properly cover things up in the morning, but you can still get a bit out of it? I use these semi-empty tubes in my makeup bag to top up throughout the day. You don’t need a thick layer when you’ve already applied, so it’s perfect for refreshing your look after lunch or before a date. I use NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer because it’s simply the best I’ve ever tried.

Blotting Paper – These work better than powder for refreshing your makeup and getting rid of shine. I am utterly obsessed with them, and these DHC ones are only £4! An absolute handbag essential, your friends will love you for them too. Amazingly, they don’t disturb your makeup at all, even if you’re wearing full contour/highlight/blush.

Hand Sanitizer – It’s nice to have, even if it doesn’t kill as many germs as people think. I really like the Merci Handy gels, and they have about a million scents/colours to choose from!

Lip Balm – Everyone has a preference, and you should never be without yours. I adore this Hurraw Coconut Lip Balm because it melts onto the lips instantly and leaves a lovely sheen of nourishment. Make sure your fave is in your makeup bag at all times!

Caudalie Beauty Elixir – There are a million facial mists out there, but this Beauty Elixir is my new favourite. The scent is bewilderingly refreshing and unlike anything I’ve smelled before, and your skin really does feel incredibly good after using it. The herbal mixture restores radiance and helps set makeup, so it really is the perfect mist for your handbag. Plus I don’t know any other facial sprays that come in a 30ml handbag size!

Perfume – These little perfume atomisers are amazing – you fill it by pumping directly out of your perfume bottle so the scent doesn’t degrade by coming into contact with air. This is perfect if, like me your perfume is bloody expensive.

Your Lipstick – This is a really good habit to get into: when you finish applying your makeup (I assume everyone else does their lips last too?) just pop your lip product directly into your makeup bag. As soon as you’ve put it on, go to your bag, take out yesterday’s and put today’s in. One of the easiest ways to refresh your makeup is to reapply your lipstick, so this really is essential.

This is how I pack it. You’re less likely to want easy access to hand cream, deodorant or a nail file as you need privacy or a few minutes to use these. So put them on the bottom, and fit everything else on top, depending on how often/much you’ll use them. My makeup bag has these perfectly sized pockets that all the small stuff slots into as well.


As you can see, I’ve packed quite a lot in to this little bag. It’s an Oliver Bonas makeup bag, and while I think this lovely design is probably sold out by now, they always have loads of them with the same shape and different cute prints. I really love this shape of bag because you can pack loads in without it looking like it’s about to explode. I have one of their washbags too (just a bigger version of this shape) and they are SO practical. Check them out on the Oliver Bonas website here – link

What do you keep in your makeup bag? Anything I’m missing?


2 thoughts on “How to pack your makeup bag

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.