What’s in My Makeup Bag: My Minimalist Beauty Essentials

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I’ve shared how to create a capsule wardrobe for all seasons and how I pack in a carry-on, but I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about how to lighten up on beauty products, especially for travel. It’s taken me years of trial and error to pare down my products and simplify my routine, so I’m sharing my favorites below to spare you the research. The best part is that all of my essentials come in sizes that are 3.4 oz or smaller so I can just toss them in a clear pouch for travel and call it a day. Easy peasy.

minimalist makeup bagI will admit that while I do try to invest in clean (non-toxic) and plastic-free products, I give myself a hall pass for items like my favorite mascara that has many ingredients I have never heard of. My other disclaimer is that some of these products are on the pricier side, but I’ve found that I actually save money because I only buy a new product or two every season or so when I need a replacement instead of constantly buying lower-priced products. Fewer, better for the win!

Flawless Finish Powder Foundation

I love a dual purpose product and this silky formula functions as both a light foundation and a silky powder for a natural, but polished face. All lila b products are cruelty free and formulated without Parabens, Phthalates, or synthetic fragrance. I got this retractable foundation brush which is perfect for daily use or travel.

$48 Linked Here – lila b

Tinted Lip and Cheek Balm

Oh, how I live for a multitasking product and this one is my current favorite for that flushed, healthy, “no makeup look.” Made from plant-based ingredients, this creamy formula is easy to apply, buildable, and blend-able.

$34 Linked Here – ILIA

The Best Tinted SPF 50

The best sunscreen I have ever used hands down. I am a big whiner when it comes to greasy, sticky sunscreen, and it took me a lifetime to stumble upon this lightweight, fast absorbing version. I love that is is paraben-free, oil-free, and dermatologist tested, and I slather it on every morning for skin protection and a healthy (not shiny) glow.

$35 Linked Here – La Roche Posey

Eyebrow Grooming Gel

This brow tamer is a bit of a splurge but does double duty keeping brows in place and also stimulating growth. It comes in a tube made from recycled glass and is free of micro-plastics.

$45 Linked Here– La Bouche Rouge

High Volume Mascara

I’ve been a fan of tubular mascara for years and this one is hands down my favorite. No more smudgey raccoon eyes for this lady. Also, this formulation is vegan and free of Phthalates and Sulfates.

$33 Linked Here – Trish McEvoy

My morning routine is super simple. I apply a few pats of face oil followed by SPF and the powder foundation and then use a cheek lip tint and finish with a swipe of brow gel and mascara. Five minutes top. And especially when I travel I don’t really do my hair aside from a messy bun and this raw coconut cream to tame the frizz (also great for dry skin).

All-In-One Multi-Purpose Dry Oil

I used to be skeptical about face oil (I hate oily things on my skin!) but as I get older and my skin feels a bit more parched, I’ve discovered the joy of a good moisturizing face oil and become a convert. I love to smooth a few drops of this luxurious, botanical oil on every morning before my tinted SPF, and each night after washing my face. It makes me feel like a real fancy lady and bonus – you can use it on your hair, nails, or entire body.

$42 – Linked Here – Nuxe Paris

Full disclosure: In addition to the six products listed, I own only a handful more including this cruelty-free tinted lip and cheek balm. My rule is that if I want to try a new product I have to completely run out of a similar product, which keeps my limited drawer space clutter-free.

If you’re looking to switch up your beauty routine Credo Beauty is my number one source for discovering clean products and Axiology is one of the only brands I know of that offers 100% zero-waste packaging. My friend Cassie also just told me about the Jones Road Miracle Balm – a single product which she says has replaced her face oil, cream blush, eye shadow, and lip balm.

Have you discovered any multi-use or clean products you swear by? Please share in the comments below!

Photography Credit: Vivian Johnson Photography

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