Makeup-Bag Stalking: What We Schlep

This article was last updated on April 16, 2022

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We’re always curious about what other women carry in their makeup bags. Sure, it’s voyeuristic. But, if there’s one thing we’ve learned from working in beauty, it’s that there’s little knowledge as valuable as what another makeup lover swears by. 

So, we decided to turn that curiosity on each other. After all, each of us in the beauty department has a very different philosophy about what products one needs to get through the day. And, likewise, we all have very different strategies for makeup-bag packing, from a simple three-lipstick situation to a pouch full of everything one could ever need.

Scroll through to peek at what we’re schlepping around in our makeup bags. For some of us, admitting that we carry upward of 10 products per day wasn’t all that easy to admit, but hey — if you love something, carry it around in your purse. Or, however that saying goes. 


Megan McIntyre, beauty director

Philosophy: “Be prepared…for your makeup to completely melt down and make you look like a rabid raccoon.”

Strategy: “Since I am the Murphy’s law of humanity, I know that something is ALWAYS going to go wrong with my makeup game — be it smudged mascara, flat hair, zombie skin, or a surprise zit popping up after lunch. My bag is stocked with quick fixes to remedy any and all types of emergencies — and a Teddy pencil, because there’s nothing that bronze miracle can’t make better.”

Hurraw! Pitta Balm, $4.29, available at Hurraw!; Almay Oil Free Makeup Eraser Sticks, $3.59, available at Ulta; Three Custom Color Light Clarifier Eye Pencil, $16.50, available at Three Custom Color; MAC Eye Kohl, $16, available at MAC; Hourglass Hidden Corrective Concealer, $32, available at Sephora; Living Proof FullThickening Mousse, $26, available at Sephora; Pinch Provisions Hot Mess Minimergency Kit, $16, available at Pinch Provisions; SpaRitual Fluent Extra Strength Conditioning Lacquer Remover Cloths, $7, available at; Emi Jay Custom Set Of 3 Solid Hair Ties, $5.99, available at Emi Jay; RMS Beauty Buriti Bronzer, $28, available at Spirit Beauty Lounge; Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow, $22, available at Benefit.


Tara Rasmus, associate beauty editor

Philosophy: “A lipstick for every occasion.”

Strategy: “I always have a lipstick wardrobe on me — who knows what kind of mood will strike on a given day? This spring, I’m into rorange (our new, made-up word for ‘red orange’), lilac, and classic cherry shades, which all perfectly complement spring outfits.”

Revlon Super Lustrous Matte Lipstick in Really Red, $7.29, available at Walgreens; Armour Beauty Lip Gloss in Purple Rain, $21, available at Armour Beauty; Kevyn Aucoin The Matte Lip Color in Timeless, $33, available at Nordstrom.


Gabrielle Korn, assistant beauty editor

Philosophy: “Be prepared for anything — including the need to completely redo your entire face at any given moment.”

Strategy: “I bring all the makeup I’m wearing that day, plus things for maintenance, like powder, lip balm, a split-end sealer… and a couple of lipstick options, just in case. I fully acknowledge that this is extremely excessive. Please don’t judge me.”

NARS Brow Gel in Oural, $19.80, available at Nordstrom; Embryolisse Radiant Eye, $45, available at Embryolisse; Tarte BB Tinted Treatment, $34, available at Tarte; KérastaseTouche Perfection, $35, available at Kérastase; Kevyn Aucoin The Celestial Powder in Candlelight, $44, available at Beauty Bar; Bite Beauty Deconstructed Rose Lipstick in Grandifolia, $28, available at Sephora; Dolce & Gabbana Passion Eye Mascara in Terra 2, available at Sephora; Illamasqua Glamore Lipstick in Soaked, $30.02, available at Illamasqua; It Cosmetics Eyelift In A Tube, $29, available at It Cosmetics; Make Up For Ever 124 Powder Kabuki Brush, $52, available at Sephora; Make Up For Ever HD Pressed Powder, $36, available at Sephora; Malin + Goetz Lip Moisturizer, $12, available at Malin + Goetz; Japonesque Velvet Touch Blush, $22, available at Ulta.


Maria Del Russo, beauty writer

Philosophy: “Start with your base — the rest will follow.”

Strategy: “I always have my foundation,concealer, blush, and a brow brush on me and then swap out my eyes and lips depending on the day.”

Philosophy Hope In A Jar Foundation, $39, available at Ulta; NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, $29, available at Sephora; Physicians Formula Nude Glow Powder, $8.99, available at Ulta; Antonym Baked Blush, $35, available at Antonym; Sonia Kashuk Core Tools Spoolie Brush, $1.99, available at Target; By TerryBaume De Rose, $60, available at Barneys New York; Jane Iredale Golden Girl Eye Shadow Triple, $28, available at Jane Iredale.


Dianna Mazzone, beauty intern 

Philosophy: “Less is more (except when it comes to lip products).”

Strategy: “My makeup bag is small but mighty — it’s a carefully curated collection of beauty pick-me-ups to get me through the day.”

Chanel Rouge Allure Lipstick 97 Incandescente, $35, available at Chanel; Anastasia Beverly HillsBrow Wiz Mechanical Brow Pencil, $21, available at Nordstrom; Korres Lip Butter in Mango, $12, available at Korres; Giorgio Armani Rouge Ecstasy Lipstick in 501 Dolce, $34, available at Nordstrom; Clinique Chubby Stick Shadow for Eyes in Lots o’Latte, $17, available at Sephora; Revlon PhotoReady Cream Blush in Pinched, $12.99, available at

Illustrated by Sydney Hass

Click HERE to read more from Refinery29.

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