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College is starting up again soon, so I’ll be busy!  This means I often do my makeup in between activities.  Between work and a night out, between class and an important meeting, or between a workout and a study group meeting, I’ve probably applied mascara using the mirror of every public restroom on campus.

I don’t like carrying tons of cosmetics around in my bag, so I’ve figured out exactly how to effortlessly pack and apply my makeup without a magnified mirror and my entire makeup collection.  Here are my tips!

1.  Cosmetic bag

Pick a bag that’s small enough to fit in a tote or backpack, but long enough to accommodate makeup brushes.  I like zippered bags as opposed to velcro or snap closures because they keep everything safe and secure.  This pink one is from Forever 21.  Don’t splurge on a cosmetic bag: makeup has a tendency to spill or leak, so pick a bag that you can afford to replace.

There are several essentials that should make up the bulk of the contents of your makeup bag.  Don’t waste space filling it with colorful eye shadow palettes that you only wear every once in a while.  Try to find products in miniature versions.  Benefit Cosmetics has lots of fun-sized cosmetics.

2. Mascara

Benefit’s They’re Real! mascara is one of my favorites, and it’s available in a mini version.  The brush makes this mascara spectacular, and thankfully it is the same size as the brush in the regular version!

3.  Tan, gold, or bronze eye shadow crayon

Rather than packing an eye shadow palette and brushes, choose a shadow crayon in a neutral tone.  Apply it on-the-go and blend it in with a fingertip or cotton swab.  This Pixi crayon is available at Target in a beautiful gold color.  It’s highly pigmented, so you can apply a little or a lot depending on the look you want.

4.  Eyeliner pen, crayon, or pencil

I prefer liquid eyeliner because it allows for precise, thin lines.  Pictured is my favorite brand, Maybelline Master Precise by Eyestudio.  If you like a smokey eye or are afraid of liquid liner (it’s not that hard!  I promise!  I once was scared, too!), then go with a crayon or pencil.

5.  Cream foundation

I adore Benefit’s Some Kind-a Gorgeous foundation faker compact.  It comes in a mini version and is a cinch to apply with your fingertips.  It doesn’t leave your skin greasy or overly matte, and it blends well with your natural skin tone.  Don’t pack liquid or powder foundation in your cosmetic bag unless it comes in a soft plastic tube, and remember to pack the necessary tools (foam triangles, etc) to apply it.

6.  Tinted lip gloss

For soft, pretty lips, tinted lip gloss or balm is where it’s at.  I like Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter because it provides a hint of color without drying out your lips, and it’s not sticky at all.

Other Items

I recommend packing these items in your cosmetic bag as well because you never know when you’ll need them.

  • cotton swabs
  • travel-size package of makeup or baby wipes
  • safety pins
  • bobby pins
  • hair elastics
  • hand lotion

What is your favorite essential on-the-go makeup product?

Where is the strangest place you’ve put on makeup?  Mine would probably be on a crowded Megabus to Chicago.  My seatmate did not look pleased. 😉

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