Author: susan

Makeup Bag Essentials

I bet you’ve heard of a capsule wardrobe…

you know, where you have a few key items of clothing that you mix and match together to create amazing outfits? It sounds great!

I tried it and I hated it! I like to have options and I hate ironing. I only iron when I literally have nothing left to wear and only owning a few items of clothes made that scenario happen waaaay more than I was happy with, so it defo wasn’t for me.

But when it comes to your makeup bag, too much choice can be overwhelming and a waste of money.

As I mentioned in my last blog, makeup has a shelf life and can go off. Companies are great at enticing you to buy their newly released makeup products and YouTube is full of people reviewing and hyping up the latest ‘must have’ eye shadow palette.

The reality is that we tend to stick to using the same few shades from our favourite palette and the rest just sit there, unused. It’s better to have a few key products that work well for you than a bulging makeup bag of expensive products that you never use.

In this month’s blog, I wanted to give you a guide to what I consider to be makeup bag essentials. Some of the products are great multi-taskers so I also want to share a few pro tips, to help you get as much use from them as possible. Let’s get started…..

Here are my top 10 makeup bag essentials:

Foundation – for the most natural finish go for a light or medium coverage and then apply concealer in areas needing more coverage
Concealer – creamy formulas are more hydrating for under eye areas. Can also be used as an eyelid primer, just set it with a small amount of setting powder
Translucent setting powder – this will help your makeup last longer. Even dry skin can use powder, just have a light touch
Blusher – Matte blushers can also be used as an eye shadow or as a crease colour. This really ties your makeup look together
Neutral toned eye shadow palette – look for a palette with a light, medium and dark matte shade, as well as a couple of lighter satin/shimmer shades. Darker eye shadows (brown, plum and black) can be pressed along lash line instead of eyeliner. Matte taupe and brown shades can also be used to fill in eyebrows
Eyelash curlers 
Mascara – dark brown is a great alternative to black for anyone with fair, grey or white hair
Eyebrow pencil – micro pencils with attached spoolie are ideal
Clear brow gel – brush through to keep eyebrows tidy and in place. Hairspray sprayed on to a spoolie and then combed through brows is a good alternative
Lipstick or lip gloss – a slick of lippy can instantly dress up a very minimal makeup look and give a boost to your mood. Pink or peachy lipsticks can also be used as blusher

Having these core products will allow you to create a range of looks from day to night. You also don’t need to spend a fortune, there are some great high street brands available. A few of my favs are NYX, Kiko, Maybelline and Revlon.

I hope you’ve found this useful. I’d love to hear about any products which are a perm fixture in your makeup bag.


Susan x

Posted by susan

Bug Busting!

Have you ever seen the video about the girl who found an insect living in her beauty blender?
It’s pretty shocking and although it’s an extreme case, beauty blenders and brushes are a breeding ground for bacteria. You are then wiping that bacteria over your face every time you apply your makeup. Disgusting right?

Did you know that you should deep clean your brushes and sponges every week?
Forget fancy tools that spin your brushes and expensive brush cleaning solutions, it’s actually really simple and inexpensive to do this properly. All you need is an antibacterial soap and the right technique.


For my own brushes, I use Dettol Antibacterial soap which is £1 from Home Bargains. Here’s what to do:

1. Using a running tap set to lukewarm, wet the brush bristles only (keep the rest of the brush out of the water)
2. Swirl the brush on the soap and work the soap right in between the bristles with your fingers

3. Rinse soap out of bristles under running tap. Water should run clean
4. If not repeat steps 1 to 3. For any brushes with a build-up of cream products such as foundation and concealer, you may need to repeat these steps a few times before they feel completely clean
5. Gently squeeze out excess water from bristles
6. Lay out a clean towel on the edge of a table/unit
7. Lay brushes flat on towel with the bristles hanging over the edge so they don’t lose their shape
8. Leave overnight to dry

Never use very hot water as this can melt the glue in the handle of the brush. Avoid completely immersing them  in water as it can damage the inside of the brush. Drying them flat will prevent water running down into the handle.


Beauty Blenders
It’s the same technique for beauty blenders and sponges:

1. Wet sponge under warm running water
2. Rub sponge onto surface of soap and massage the soap right into the sponge

3. Rinse and repeat
4. Rinse under clean running water and keep squeezing sponge until water runs clean and soap free
5. Sit on a clean towel and leave at least overnight to dry

Remember to also clean and clear out your make up bag on a regular basis. Give the inside of your makeup bag a wipe with a disinfectant wipe or spray.


Wine and cheese might get better with age, but mascara’s definitely do not!
Makeup has a shelf life, especially cream and liquid products. The packaging will give an indication on how long it can be safely kept for, but here’s a rough guide

• Mascaras – up to 6 months. You may find they start to dry up before then (the mascara will seem quite thick and may look lumpy when applied)

• Lip gloss – 6 months

• Cream products (blushers, eye shadows, foundation, lipsticks etc) – 1 to 2 years

• Lip liners and eyeliners – 3 years

• Powders can be kept for many years

So, go on, be brutal. Throw out those pencil eyeliners with missing lids, that old crusty mascara and the ancient lipsticks that you haven’t worn this decade. At least this will give you the perfect excuse to go makeup shopping when the isolation is lifted.

To help you get the shopping list drafted, in my next blog I’ll cover the essentials that everyone should have in their makeup bag. You honestly don’t need a lot; some products are fantastic multi-taskers.

Do you have any favourite makeup products that you can’t live without? If so, please share them in the comments below.

Be safe, be happy and get cleaning! x

Posted by susan