Beauty + Makeup

Guest Post: 6 Makeup Bag Essentials

Kara from Politics of Pretty wants to share her essential makeup bag items for days when she needs a touch up at work.  Because who doesn’t want to stroll into Happy Hour looking fresh as a daisy?

I used to carry a heavy makeup bag in my work tote. Why? I had an excuse for each and every makeup product in there. “Maybe I’ll need that today” or “in case I go out for drinks after work” … you get the idea.

I’m making an effort to pare down my on-the-go makeup bag. Since auditing my makeup pouch, I’ve been able to rely on just a handful of products and it’s made a huge difference in daily routine. Whether you’re going from desk to drinks or just like to keep a few products in your cubicle for midday touch-ups, here are my favorite products I like to keep in my makeup bag that are easy on the wallet and busy lifestyle.

  • Almay Oil Free Makeup Eraser Sticks – I keep these at my desk for mascara/eyeliner smudges. These cotton swabs are already soaked with eye makeup remover formula. It totally beats using a tissue or paper towel. You can scoop up a pack for $5 at Target.
  • Stila Stay All Day Lip Liner – Rather than stuffing multiple tubes of lipstick and gloss in my work tote I’ve found that touching up my lips with a long-lasting lip liner is much easier and takes up less space in my bag. I love this lip liner in the shade Pink Moscato, a dark pink/nude. It has a creamy finish so I can wear it alone or with clear lip gloss on top.
  • Honest Beauty Magic Balm – This is the ultimate multi-purpose balm that I use to soothe chapped lips midday, highlight cheekbones and even tame hair flyaways. This formula is a blend of organic fruit and botanical oils. With windy winter days in full force, this product has been a lifesaver for taming static hair.
  • Glossier Wowder – Transluscent powder has never worked for me, or my complexion. I guess you could say I stopped caring about that midday touch-up… until I took a chance on Glossier Wowder. What I love about this loose pigment is that it effectively cuts out shine, sets makeup and doesn’t look cakey. If you scoop up the powder and brush, you save $7. Don’t feel obligated to buy the brush though, as long as you have a trusty powder brush at home you should be good to go. If you’re new to Glossier, you can get 20% off your first order and free shipping when you spend $30 or more through my rep link here.
  • Bumble and Bumble Prêt-à-Powder – I’m an avid support of dry shampoo and if I were to recommend just one to keep in your makeup bag at all times, then it would be this. I usually shake the powder on my hands and then massage into my roots. I also like using this for added texture if I need to throw my hair into a ponytail or braid. It has a refreshing scent—not too overpowering and because it’s a powder, you don’t have to be concerned about bothering colleagues with a loud spray. You can scoop up the mini size for just $13.
  • Dry hands make me cringe so I like to buy multiples of L’Occitane hand creams so I never run out. I never have to worry about any greasy residue and the formula absorbs very quickly. My personal favorite scent is cherry blossom.

I like to keep all my on-the-go beauty products in my trusty pink Glossier pouch. It’s proven to be durable (I’ve been carrying mine for over two years) and I love the rosy, bubble-wrapped packaging. In my experience, any time I’ve made a Glossier purchase, it’s arrived in that signature pink pouch so I never pay extra for it. If you’re not a Glossier fan then I recommend scooping up a clear makeup pouch like this one so you can easily find your products.

{image found here; this post generates commission for the author}



  1. Gj says:

    Homegirl Kara is so bought by the industry

    February 16, 2018/Reply
    • Kara says:

      Yup, I made a whopping $16 off this post. Let me take you to Panera.

      February 16, 2018/Reply
  2. Kate says:

    While I love hearing about what’s in people’s makeup bags, this read a bit too much like a glossier ad, especially with the inclusion of her rep link.

    February 16, 2018/Reply
    • Kara says:

      Hi Kate, I appreciate your feedback.I genuinely love Glossier products and I’ve paid out of pocket for every single product I own. I’m very transparent about my affiliate partnership in posts so readers are informed and can make their own decision if they choose to purchase. I wouldn’t promote a product I don’t believe in. I became a Glossier rep less than a year ago so I encourage you to check out my blog and see multiple posts I’ve written about the brand prior to ever making $1 off it.

      February 16, 2018/Reply
  3. Jennifer says:

    This is a non-Glossier comment . . . I expected to see oil blotting papers somewhere in here, but you don’t need to carry them anyway. Toilet seat covers do the job just fine – I read this in Cosmopolitan years ago. Don’t use the cover on the toilet seat first 🙂

    February 17, 2018/Reply
  4. Dawn says:

    Chiming to nicely say, as a long time reader, I was also surprised to see this guest post. Since Abra doesn’t rep other brands, I guess I expected that she would take a similar approach with guest posts. Whether Kara does or doesn’t make money off this post, I don’t care. But it’s not what I expected to see on the blog.

    February 19, 2018/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I know Kara well, and have since she started blogging. I think there’s some confusion about what it means to “rep” for a brand. A traditional sponsorship tells you what to say and what products to promote. Kara loved these products so she took the additional step to become a rep for them. The cart didn’t lead the horse as it does with so many sponsored posts.

      It’s a bit different when you’re a full time beauty blogger. Kara buys most of her product, but she’s on lists that send her products to try. IF she really loves it, she writes about it. I don’t consider her advice any less impartial than mine, and I often ask her what she’s using or to find me a dupe of something really expensive so I can share it on this blog. I trust her advice, and I’m really surprised to this response.

      February 19, 2018/Reply
  5. Angela says:

    The universe keeps telling me to try Glossier. I haven’t made the plunge yet…I imagine I will soon enough. I enjoyed the guest post and am excited to explore her blog.

    February 19, 2018/Reply