There are plenty of days when I don't have time to finish my makeup at home (just had to hit snooze for 30 minutes) and am scrambling to dab on concealer at stoplights or finish my eyeliner in the parking lot of the place I'm going. I won't lie, I was putting mascara on while driving in slow traffic one day (I honestly can put on mascara perfectly without looking at a mirror), and suddenly a horn honked and startled me quite a bit. I just don't love horn honking. I looked in the direction of the noise, and an older man was angrily shaking his fist at me. He obviously didn't understand how skilled I am at maneuvering my vehicle while applying mascara. So, my little Houdini, I'm not suggesting you should apply makeup while driving, but for those days when you're rushed and need some beauty on the go, I suggest having an easily accessible bag of tricks. Check out the lovely items currently nestled in mine (yes, it might seem like a lot, but they all fit in one small bag, I promise):
Forever 21 makeup bag: Keep your makeup bag simple and washable. There have been so many times I've lost the top to a liner or broken a blush or powder in my bag, and what a mess that makes! I love that my little synthetic bag can easily be turned inside out and thrown in the washing machine. Side note: One day this particular bag peeked out of my purse and one of my good friends said, "Um, Liz, what is that sticking out of your purse?" She thought it was a pair of panties.
Benefit the Porefessional PRO Balm: Here's the deal—I bought this because the majority of people seem to love, if not worship it. Read the reviews on Sephora. Unfortunately, I'm not in agreement. Don't get me wrong, it's not bad. However, I've used other primers that were just as good. My beef with this one is that it claims to minimize the appearance of pores, and for me, it just doesn't. However, you can find one product that truly does do this from Clarins: Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch. This primer is absolute magic.
Kat Von D Lock-It Tattoo Foundation: This is another find from Casey Holmes. She's seriously my guru! This foundation is perfectly portable thanks to the no-mess pump dispenser. Long gone are the days of foundation getting bacteria in it or caking around the seal. Note: this foundation covers everything. In fact, wearing it alone can be a bit too heavy. I mix it with equal parts moisturizer or BB Cream.
Smashbox Halo Hydrating Perfecting Powder in Light: Wow. Wow. Wow! And no, I'm talking about the hefty $59 price. This magical potion makes your skin so smooth and luminous. You can buff it over foundation or wear it alone for light coverage. This is one of those high-end "treat" products, and when I'm not using it I go for my second favorite, NYX Stay Matte But Not Flat Powder Foundation. Slightly more affordable at $9.50, but I also hit pan on it after about a month of consistent usage.
Covergirl Simply Ageless Eye Corrector in 230: I'm not going to spend too much time talking about this wonderful concealer, because it was discontinued. I'm almost out and will soon begin the search for my next favorite.
Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Radiant Highlighting Concealer in Radiant. Talk about impressive! I previously used Neutrogena Healthy Skin Brightening Eye Perfector, which was OK, but Maybelline's version blows it out of the water. Just a couple of clicks provides coverage for both eyes, and yes--it really does cover, in addition to brighten! Neutrogena's version gave a subtle, brightening glow, but it didn't do much to mask dark circles. Not that you ever have those.
L'Oreal True Match Super-Blendable Crayon Concealer in Medium-Deep Neutral: Surprisingly, or not if you're a beauty fanatic like moi, I don't use this as a concealer, but as a cream contour. I just dab some on my finger then blend in where I want to contour. Easy, breezy, beautiful..L'Oreal? Yep.
Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Sin: Note that I specifically mentioned the color Sin, which is described as a "shimmering champagne." I've used the original, which is basically translucent, and it just doesn't help shadow adhere like this one. You can also wear this on its own and it's absolutely gorgeous. Don't let the "shimmering" dissuade you. Once you apply shadow, you won't even know it's there. Bonus: a little goes a long way. My tube, which I use daily, has lasted well over a year.
Anastasia Brow Wiz in Soft Brown: I love this brow pencil, but not the price ($21). You don't need to sharpen it, which saves a lot of time and effort. Plus, the small size of the pencil creates a fine, natural-looking brow. If I buy this again, I'll switch colors, because it's been looking a bit too warm. One of my biggest fears in life is having brows that look like Harold Zidler from Moulin Rouge. Sonia Kashuk makes my other favorite, much less expensive ($5.99) brow pencil, which I buy in Taupe 09. I believe this color can work for nearly anyone. It's the perfect ashy brown. I just wish it didn't require trimming!
NYX Slim Lip Pencil in Nude Beige or Nude Truffle: The day I discovered this lip liner I said "Hallelujah!" It's perfect. I honestly have not tried another liner since, because this one does it all for me. It comes in an array of gorgeous color, has decent staying power, and has the perfect consistency—not too creamy, and not too dry. And you can get it from Ulta
Aquaphor: You will never buy Vaseline again once you get a tube of this. It's incredible. It really does soothe burns, chapped lips, and irritated skin. I keep it in my makeup bag to prep my lips for gloss or lipstick, but it's also a must-have for me when I have a cold and my nose starts to get raw from excessive tissue blowing. Dabbing a bit on your nostrils provides so much comfort. And gets rid of unattractive dry skin flakes!
Lip Fusion Micro Collagen Lip Plump Color Shine in Flirt: This plumping gloss pairs beautifully with either of the two liners above for a full, nude, Kim Kardashian-esque pout. It doesn't burn or dry your lips out like Lip Venom, but the plumping effect is somewhat more subtle. I must admit that I got mine for a much discounted price from HauteLook.
Maybelline Color Sensational The Buffs in Truffle Tease: I love this line from Maybelline. They just recently brought out "The Buffs" shades, and the advertisement had me drooling. I'm a bit addicted to nude lipsticks and glosses. Truffle Tease might be my favorite satin (not matte, but not super glossy) nude lip color of all time.
Bare Minerals Pretty Amazing Lipcolor in Moxie: I'm high maintenance. I keep a nude lip shade and a bright shade in my to-go bag. I had never used these incredible lip colors from Bare minerals until my lovely friend Emma gave me this for Christmas. The concentrated pigmentation of this bright pink honestly shocked me, in addition to its brilliant staying power and velvety texture. If you don't love lipstick, but want something with more staying power than a gloss, get this!
Assorted brushes/shadow/liner: The whole purpose of a to-go bag is portability. There's not enough room for an arsenal of brushes. I keep a couple of basic shadow brushes and one blush/powder brush. In terms of liner, I truthfully rarely use it on the go. When I do, I use a rich dark brown such as Urban Dec The shadow I stock in the bag varies. The Urban Decay Naked Palette reigns as my ultimate favorite, but it definitely does not fit in this small bag! Instead, I rotate between a variety of smaller palettes, and my current pick is the Stila Vol. III Modernist Palette.