What's in my makeup bag?

Makeup bag: Cath Kidston
I actually originally wrote one of these posts about 6 months ago and never got around to posting it up. One of the reasons was that a few weeks after writing it I changed my foundation, and then my brushes, and then my blusher and before I knew it nearly every part of my makeup routine was changed! So I decided to give it another go today.
I've had a few requests for makeup posts over the years (and gulp, makeup videos), but the honest truth? I'm just not that great at makeup. Yeah I manage to put it on every day but I'm not really brilliant at applying it. But I do really enjoy reading makeup reviews and I enjoy buying makeup, and over the last few months I've kinda been on a one-woman mission to get my makeup bag as great as it can be (without reason and budget!) and I think I'm finally reaching a point where I am happy to recommend nearly everything I'm currently using. It's taken a lot of time and a lot of money, but I can honestly say that most of these products are the ones I'm going to stick with, at least for a while.
I took all these photos in natural light and I haven't done any kind of editing to them (you could argue that I probably should have done!). I also took them in my pajamas with "morning after the night before" hair, so apologies for that. Oh and one final disclaimer, I was planning on washing my brushes before I did those post, but I completely forgot to do it last night, so here are my dirty brushes in all their glory. Mmmm.
Okay, let's go.
This photo represents the majority of what is in my makeup bag and what I use on a daily basis. I tend to keep it pretty simple and applying this takes me all of about 10-15 minutes in the morning. So first off, base.
Foundation:  MAC Studio Fix Fluid in NC15
When it comes to foundation, I've always found one that I liked and stuck to it for years. Bad idea. This is why for about 10 years I've been wearing way too dark foundation. Turns out I'm only a NC15- MAC's second-lightest shade. I tried this foundation out in MAC about a month ago and it is absolutely gorgeous. Nothing has ever made my skin look so flawless. I apply it with a Sigma F80 brush. I don't have particularly bad skin but I like a matte finish and full coverage, and Studio Fix really ticks those boxes for me.
I decided to spare you the trauma of my makeup-free face, so here it is with just foundation. Oh and I'm not super into skincare, but I will tell you that I start out with Boots No7 Beautiful Skin Day Cream for Normal/Oily skin. I was having problems with an oily t-zone and dry cheeks (combination skin is brill isn't it?) and this has really sorted it out. I've also just bought the night cream but only tried it once so far.
Next up, other facey bits.
Concealer: Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer in Shade 3
Yeah I don't really know much about concealer. This was cheap, had good reviews and it does the job. I apply it with my fingers.
Eyebrows: Rimmel Brow Pencil in Dark Brown
Another thing I don't really pay much attention to. I had my eyebrows threaded yesterday (I have them done every 3-4 weeks because they grow like hedges) so I just draw them in.
Blusher: MAC Creme Blend Blush in Brit Wit
Mmm I love this blusher. When I was getting my foundation the girl tried it on me and it was just gorgeous. It's almost a brown colour but I much prefer it to a proper pink, and it's so creamy. I apply it with a MAC 168.
Powder: MAC Select Sheered Pressed Powder in NC15
I'm undecided on this powder yet. I don't think I've yet to see it justify its price but maybe I'm just doing it wrong. I bought it to see how it worked with my foundation and it's a big compact so should last me a while, but I'm not 100% convinced it's any better than a Rimmel Matte powder at the moment. Applied with a Real Techniques Powder Brush which is lovely.
Starting to look a bit more like me now! Finally, eyes! Eye makeup for me is a big deal. I hate to have to be reapplying it all day because it's smudged or worn off. I've also found since having such a gorgeous foundation base, smudged or messy eyemakeup really ruins the illusion! I'm really happy with what I'm using at the moment though.
Pencil liner: Soap and Glory Smoulder Kohl in Superblack
I read amazing reviews of this and searched far and wide to get it. My local Boots didn't have it and it was sold out online, but I finally managed to grab one at Boots in the centre of Manchester a few weeks ago. Generally, I really like it. It's very soft so I've had a few breakage incidents, but look, there's a sharpener on the lid! Genius! I have tried a lot of black pencil liners over the years. I used to spend so much money on Urban Decay 24/7 liners but in the end I realised they really weren't worth the money, but I'm still deciding on this one. For £5 though, it's a much better offering.
Liquid Liner: MAC Liquid Last In Point Black
I cannot rave about this eyeliner enough. I wore MAC Fluidline for a while but was never overly impressed- it always seemed more grey than black and gave me major oily-eyelid stamp (you oily-skinned girls know what I'm talking about!). So I moved to Loreal which I adored- super-black, not oily stamp and lasted all day long. But then, weirdly, when I changed foundations, the stamping and running and general smudging started to happen. No matter how much primer or powder or whatever I did. So I did some research and came across this. And it is AMAZING. I'm talking lasts all day, I'm talking lasts all day even when you've been crying. It's awesome. Yeah it's not the easiest of brushes to use (this was reason alone why this is not a video post!) and it does need some drying time, and it is a tiny little tube but 100% worth the money. It's awesome.
Mascara: Maybelline Pocket Rocket
I always love Maybelline mascaras and this is actually really, really good. I like a lot of volume and it's perfect for that. Definitely a great high street choice.

And that is generally my every-day face (with a dash of lipstick which I will go onto next). Most of the products last me pretty much all day (I'm trying to avoid touch-ups!) and I'm really happy with almost everything I'm using. My makeup routine of foundation-blusher-pencil liner/liquid liner/mascara hasn't changed much over the years but I'm happy I'm using great products for that formula!

Here are some other bits and bobs that I sometimes use.
Lipstick: MAC Pure Zen/ Revlon Matte Really Red
If I'm wearing lipstick it's usually a pinky nude or red. These are my favourites. Pure Zen is the lipstick I'm wearing above and it's perfect for every day. Really Red is my hands-down favourite red lipstick. If I'm wearing red lipstick on my blog, it will be this. It's a gorgeous bright, blue-toned red and I love the matte finish. I'm on the hunt for another one as a backup. I also use a Sephora Retracting Lip brush which I adore (so much so that whenever I think I've lost it I have a meltdown. I've never had a lip brush like it) and Rimmel Lip Liner, which I haven't photographed.

Eyeshadow Palettes: Urban Decay Smoked, Urban Decay Naked, MUA Undressed Palette
I have a thing for makeup palettes. I think I have 7 Urban Decay palettes. But of them all, these are the ones I use the most. The MUA palette was £3 and is a great alternative to Naked when I'd rather save Naked for a special occasion (I am that tight) and Smoked is perfect for an evening Smokey eye. I resisted the Naked Palette for ages because I knew I had all the colours in my other UD palettes but I'm glad I caved because it's awesome. I also have a collection of eyeshadow brushes (which I won't go through- the ones in the bottom picture are my most-used) and of course Urban Decay Primer Potion. I follow Youtube tutorials for all my eyeshadow looks!
Contour Kit: Sleek Face Form in Light
I've not really gotten the hang of this yet, but it does reside in my makeup bag so I guess it does count! I need some practice with this as I don't wear bronzer and highlighter every day. I use the Real Techniques Blush Brush for this.

So that is what I use on my face! As I said I am absolutely no makeup expert and I'm probably doing loads of things wrong, but this is what works for me! Please let me know if you have any recommendations or questions!

Charlotte x


  1. Lovely post Charlotte - I'm an NC15 girl too ;) I swear by the UD Naked pallette (I have NYC too) but loving that MUA one as a travel alternative!

    Rosie x | Every Word Handwritten

  2. Oh gosh aren't Urban Decay palettes just the greatest?! I have a couple of makeup tips for you if you are interested... Your foundation is super awesome but no foundation looks perfect until you blend it down your neck. So once your almost done applying it and there is only a little bit of product left just blend it down a little bit. It will make it look super seamless and gorgeous :) Also if you are going to use bronzer and highlighter I recommend getting a separate brush for them. (The bronzer is still going to be on the brush so when you highlight, bronzer will be all over and not highlighter). I really like a fantailed brush for highlighter because it doesn't apply too much and just dusts it on!

  3. I have both Naked palettes and love them so much. They're just so useful! Traveling with them is the best because there are so many looks in one. Also, I need to find that Revlon Really Red lipstick because it always looks so pretty on you. And I agree about Maybelline mascaras. They're so good at a great price.


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