So I’ve been traveling a bunch lately and instead of unpacking and repacking my beloved makeup, I’ve been keeping it in my travel case and realized that the contents are actually my absolute favorite pieces of makeup!

I tried to find palettes and travel sizes to keep things more compact for travel but then realized, palettes make putting on makeup super easy and fast for everyday life too!

In this post I’m sharing every single piece of makeup currently in my makeup bag, all from my all time fave – Sephora.  You probably already know how picky I am so trust me, these pieces are the best of the best.  I even included a bonus skincare section because the new clean skincare I’ve been using is uh-mazing!

Keep reading to learn more about what’s in my makeup bag and I hope you enjoy!

What’s In My Makeup Bag

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Makeup Bag

First things first, all the cute makeup I’m going to talk about needs a good home and this travel makeup bag is so. good.  So many compartments, so easy to organize, so easy to carry along.

Rownyeon Mini Train Case


Brush Sets

These adorable travel sets from Sephora are so good!  Affordable, effective, and come in the cutest cases.  The face set includes a blush brush, bronzer brush, contour brush, and highlight brush.  The shadow set includes an all-over shadow brush, crease brush, smudge brush, and liner brush.  I have only been using these sets lately and love!

I also will always be obsessed with a beauty blender – it is my favorite way to put on foundation and concealer and to blend out contour.  Make sure to get the sponge damp and squeeze out the excess water before “bouncing” onto your face 🙂

Uncomplicated Brush Set | Ready in 5 Eye Brush Set | Beauty Blender

Tinted Moisturizer and Foundation

For daytime or when I just want super light coverage, I go with a tinted moisturizer.  My two current faves are Supergoop’s CC Cream Daily Correct Broad Spectrum SPF 35 Sunscreen and IT Cosmetics’ Oil-Free Matte CC Cream with SPF 40.  I love that these have sunscreen, can be applied like a moisturizer with my fingers, and immediately cancel out the redness in my skin.

For nighttime or when I want a fuller coverage (though I swear, this foundation feels soooo light and breathable) I go with Laura Mercier’s Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Foundation.  When I was shopping around Sephora last, I wanted to try a new foundation and the sales gal told me that this one is the go-to choice for every employee at her store.  And dang, she was right – of all the foundations I’ve tried in my life (like probably 30? 50?!) this is the beeeeeest.

IT Cosmetics CC Cream Oil-Free Matte with SPF 40 | Supergoop! CC Cream Daily Correct Broad Spectrum SPF 35 Sunscreen | Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Foundation


I read here that Kim Kardashian’s makeup artist likes to use this concealer on her so yeah, sold.  Love love love the Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Ultra Longwear Concealer and I use it in an upside down triangle shape under my eyes, I dot it near the inner corners of my eyes, swipe down the bridge of my nose, another small upside down triangle on my forehead, and a small triangle on my chin.  Then I blend blend blend with my beauty blender, and it gives the most gorgeous glow highlighting all the areas I want to draw light to 🙂

Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Ultra Longwear Concealer


Contouring Palette

I don’t usually highlight/contour during the day but for nighttime, date night, vacation, pictures, etc. I looooooooove to contour!!!!  I watched a You Tube video to learn how, I do it super fast and not perfect and it still gets the job done so if you are wanting to try contouring but scared that you don’t know how, just try – it will be fine 🙂

The travel size contour palette from Smashbox is legit perfection.  It is super tiny and portable but it has the only 3 shades you need!  A light colored powder that you can use to highlight, a taupe colored powder to contour, and a bronzer.

I take the contour brush from my brush set and dip it in the contour powder, then I lightly dust under my cheekbones, my jaw line, my hairline at my forehead, and then one swipe down each side of my nose.  By creating these shadows, it brings dimension back to your face and it just looks so good!  I then blend with my trusty beauty blender.

If I want some extra coverage, I take the highlight brush from my set and lightly set under my eyes/bridge of my nose, and if I am in the mood for bronzer I take the bronzer brush and use the bronzer color right above where I applied the contour.  (Or, sometimes if I skip the contour I will just use the bronzer instead, depends on my mood).

Smashbox Step-by-Step Contour Kit

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I have worn Nars blush for years and years and don’t get me wrong, it is basically the best blush out there but I like trying new things and this dreamy Hourglass blush is a new fave.  They have a few different shades but I’ve been using Mood Exposure.  It is a really soft plum color and it is mixed with this gorgeous glowy highlighter and it is so dang pretty.  I swirl onto the apples of my cheeks with the blush brush from my brush set.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Mood Exposure

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Setting Powder + Highlight

I adore the Lawless setting powder.  I prefer the Brightening shade because it gives a really soft airblush glow and I dust this all over my face after I’ve finished the rest of my makeup.  Lawless is a non-toxic beauty line and I love that the ingredients are cleaner and non-disrupting to hormones.

Aaaaaand then on the other end of the spectrum we have this MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Double Gleam which is the prettiest highlighter I have ever seen.  But, I can’t imagine it is great for your skin and I just need to throw it away and use my other fave highlighter which is Lawless Lucid Skin Highlighter.  Just trying to keep it real here and share truly exactly what is in my makeup bag lol.

(To use the highlighter, I dust at the tops of my cheekbones and then all the way down the bridge of my nose.)

Lawless Seal the Deal Loose Setting Powder in Brightening | MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Double Gleam | Lawless Lucid Skin Highlighter

Eyeshadow Palettes

Charlotte Tilbury palettes are pretty much the last eyeshadows you will ever need to buy.  Each palette comes with 4 pretty shades that COORDINATE with each other, taking the guess work out of how the heck to put eyeshadow on.  They even have directions directly on the bottom of the palette explaining which shadow should be used for what.  The formula is so blendable and easy to apply, no primer needed.

For daytime, I love the Exaggereyes palette.  It makes your eyes look bigger and so beautiful – the colors include an ivory-cream, a rose-gold, a red-brown, and a translucent sparkle.

For nighttime or when I want more drama, I am obsessed with the Uptown Girl palette.  It is a smokier look without being too dark and the colors include a champagne, an oyster, a smokey gray and a blush pink sparkle 🙂

I use my travel eyeshadow brush set to apply: the top left color of the palette goes on with the all-over shadow brush and I put all over lid up towards brow bone.  The top right color is the crease shade and I sweep that along my crease with the crease brush.  The bottom right color is the liner shade and I use my angled liner brush to line my lower lash line (I use liquid liner on top lash line but you could use this color on top too!).  And finally, the bottom left color is the sparkle and I dot that on with my finger at the inner corners of my eyes and a little bit on the inner lid corner of my lid.  SO EASY.

Charlotte Tilbury Luxury Eyeshadow Palette in Exaggereyes | Charlotte Tilbury Luxury Eyeshadow Palette in Uptown Girl


I quickly fill in my brows with the holy grail of brow products, Anastasia’s Brow Wiz.  I use the pencil side to make a few hair-like strokes to fill in any gaps in my brows and add fullness, and then I blend in so it looks natural with the spoolie side.

Anastasia Brow Wiz

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Liquid Liner

I usually like whatever liquid liner I have on hand – I feel like many are pretty similar but the one I’ve been using lately and loving is Sex Kitten Liquid Liner by Tarte.  I only use this on my upper lash line – that dark lash line combined with a good mascara gives you that fake lashes look without having to get extensions 😉

Tarte Sex Kitten Liquid Liner

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Best Mascara Ever

While Too Faced’s Better Than Sex mascara is one of the most gorgeous amazing mascaras ever and I do still wear it occasionally, I can’t stop reaching for the Marc Jacobs Beauty Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara.  I get asked all the time if I have extensions and I swear this mascara is partly to thank!  I like the mini size 🙂

Marc Jacobs Beauty Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara

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Ultimate Lip Liner + Gloss Combo

I loooooooove a good nude or baby pink lip gloss and you would think it would be easy to find, but I am so picky about finding the perfect shade.  Hourglass Unreal High Shine Volumizing Lip Gloss in Provoke (mauve nude) and Enchant (soft pink) are possibly my favorite lip glosses ever.

They aren’t super sticky and don’t leave your lips feeling all waxy, and the gloss actually lasts a really long time before fading.  Love.

So, you might think it is weird to wear a lip liner with just a gloss and not lipstick but I really like it!  This particular lip liner is such a natural color that it just enhances my lip shape, and when topped with gloss it looks finished and beautiful 🙂

Hourglass Unreal High Shine Volumizing Lip Gloss in Provoke | Hourglass Unreal High Shine Volumizing Lip Gloss in Enchant| Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Lip Liner in Pillow Talk


Bonus: Current Fave CLEAN Skincare

I wanted to try out Tatcha skincare – it has clean ingredients and is supposed to be fabulous, so I bought a travel size kit.  Not only has it been awesome for travel, but I love the products so much I’ve been using them everyday.  I have the Tatcha Starter Ritual Set – Balancing for Normal to Oily Skin.  It includes: Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil, The Rice Polish: Deep, The Essence, and The Water Cream.

I also got the Violet-C Brightening Serum and use a couple times a week for extra glowy skin 😉

Tatcha Starter Ritual Set – Balancing for Normal to Oily Skin | Tatcha Violet-C Brightening Serum

There you have it!  Every single item that is in my makeup bag 🙂  I hope you enjoyed reading!  If you have any questions or favorites of your own you’d like to share, I’d love to hear from you!

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XOXO, Nicole


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