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7 Makeup Bag Must-Haves

posted: 04/14/15
by: Susan Wagner
7 Makeup Bag Must-Haves
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Stock your bag with these important items.
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When you're the mom, morning can be the hardest part of the day. Trying to get the kids up and fed and ready for school or daycare or playgroup leaves little -- if any -- time to put yourself together. But with the right tools in your makeup bag, you can pull together a five-minute face that will leave you looking fresh and well-rested, no matter how frazzled and sleep-deprived you might be. Here's what you need and how to use it.

Eye Cream
In your 20s, eye cream is one of those things you think of as a luxury, rather than a must-have. But if you wait until you need an eye cream, you've waited too long. Mamas who are up all night with wee babies should look for an eye cream that manages dark circles and puffiness as well as fighting the signs of aging. We like Olay Regenerist Eye Drema-Pod Anti Aging Triple Response System, which does what department store brands do, but at a drugstore price. Pro tip: pat, don't rub, eye cream on with your ring finger, to prevent pulling delicate eye area skin. And to give it time to sink in, apply, then brush your teeth, then finish the rest of your face. (Olay Regenerist Eye Drema-Pod Anti Aging Triple Response System, $24 at Amazon)

Tinted Moisturizer with SPF
Late nights got your skin looking uneven and sad? A tinted moisturizer can save you. Lighter than a foundation, this single step will protect and perfect your skin. We like Laura Mercier's tinted moisturizer because it's super light weight and has an SPF of 20, which is perfect for a normal day of running around. Smooth it on in the morning and you're ready to face the day. Pro tip: if you're going to be outside late in the day, reapply your moisturizer to guarantee proper SPF coverage. And for long stretches of sun exposure, add a hat. (Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20, $42 at Sephora)

Lip Gloss
There's no need for a full face of makeup for the school run -- but you also don't want to look like you just rolled out of bed. A quick slick of lip gloss and some great sunglasses will hide a multitude of sins (or a week's worth of sleepless nights). Clinique's Long Last Glosswear has the added benefit of an SPF of 15 -- and you know how we feel about the sunscreen. Available in 18 shades, for every skintone and mood. (Clinique Long Last Glosswear, $14)

Blush
Perk up your face with a swipe of blush; apply it either to the apples of your cheeks or the top of the cheekbone. Keep it light and natural; you want to look healthy and rested, not made up. We love the idea of a blush that adjusts to your skin tone; no extra fuss and muss, just dust it on and go. Stila's Custom Color Blush takes the guesswork out of makeup; just dust it on and it adjusts to the perfect shade for your skintone. Don't be daunted by the bright pink in the compact -- we promise that this will look perfect on your face. (Stila Custom Color Blush, $20 at Sephora)

Mascara
Some days it takes more than just tinted moisturizer and lip gloss to get you ready to face the day. Perk up tired eyes with a coat of black mascara; opt for a long-wear formula that will outlast the kids. We like Clinique's Lash Power Mascara Long Wearing Formula because it stays on all day but doesn't require any special remover to take off. Pro tip: to avoid raccoon eyes, coat your top lashes only; hold the brush right at the root and wiggle it a bit, then pull it through your lashes to cover the entire lash. One coat is all you need for everyday. (Clinique Lash Power Mascara Long Wearing Formula, $16.50)

Cleanser
The most important part of the five-minute face isn't what you've put on in the morning, but how you're taking it off at night. Never sleep in your makeup, even if you're only wearing tinted moisturizer; take five minutes every night and get all the day's debris off your sking. You'll be glad you did. To streamline your bedtime routine, opt for a cleanser that doubles as a makeup remover and eliminate an entire step (and a whole box of product). Neutrogena's Fresh Foaming Cleanser is ideal for all skin types; it will leave your skin clean and makeup free without stripping or overdrying. (Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser, $6.50)

Night Cream
After you wash your face, apply a gentle moisturizer, to give your skin a chance to heal and recover while you sleep. We like Aveeno Positively Ageless Night Cream because it is suitable for a variety of skin types. This hypoallergenic, noncomedogenic, and dermatologist tested is lightweight and will help you wake up with vibrant skin. (Aveeno Positively Ageless Night Cream, $18.99)