There comes a point with makeup where you realise that you have finally set your path. It may take years to get there, but finally noticing that you are buying the same staples for your makeup bag once you know what you like can be one of the most gratifying things ever. It saves countless hours spent in drugstores swatching lipsticks on the back of your hand, or grabbing something with the hope that it will look fantastic, only to realise later that you have wasted your money … and can't return the product.

So what gives? What should we be looking to invest our money in beauty-wise that will stand the test of time? 

The majority of people nowadays place focus around the eyes. These are their stand-out point, and there is a lot that can be done with them. The main essential that you will need to find is a brand of mascara that works for you. This may take a little trial and error; there are always new formulas and brushes on the market for you to try, but if you know that one particular combination works for you, stick with it. Obviously there are mascaras that are made specifically for different looks, such as ones which will give the appearance of false lashes rather than natural ones, but go with the style that you know will apply to you the majority of the time. The pro beauty supplies that you need for the rest of your eyes depend on your preference; whether it’s nude eyeshadows that you want to go for or vibrant colours, eyeliners or not - just make sure that you get a compact version rather than lots of little pots to save room. Beauty companies that let you make up your own eyeshadow palettes are the ones to look out for so you know that you’ll make use of every colour. 

It's not just the foundation that you use that you need to take into consideration. It's the type that you have gone for, thinking about whether it provides SPF coverage or not, if it's the right shade for you the majority of the time (if you tan in summer it won't be a match) and it's moisturising properties. When you find coverage that ticks all of these boxes, that's when it can become a staple for your bag. You don’t want to be carrying around a load of different ones - it can get messy if the lids every fall off, as well as being a big proportion of your space taken up. There are blushers available that usually come with a small brush in with the compact - Bourjois are a good example. It saves you from taking up valuable space with a bigger blush brush to apply it on with. 

Scrub, gloss and stick. That should be the rule that you are sticking to to keep your makeup bag staples down to a minimum. Scrubs can be homemade out of sugar and any edible oils that you have to keep the mixture moist, and popped into a little tub ready to get your lips ready for the application of gloss or lipstick - or both. Going for a shade which is wearable for a lot of occasions, be it professional or casual, is definitely the way forward. If you are taking up room with one-off shades that you know that you will only ever wear with certain outfits or in certain seasons, take them out and put them in your makeup display at home. 

This is a subject that is quite up in the air. Some people can get away with just carrying around a small pair of tweezers with them to nip at the flyaway strays that are getting in the way, while others require a little bit more. If you can get a hold of a compact brow kit such as Benefit’s Brow Zings, this will eliminate the need to carry a pencil, wax and filler along with you.

The Bag Itself
Go for a bag that reflects your personality; there are hundreds out there to choose from, so make sure you pick one that appeals. Go for the size that you want that suits your needs; there’s no point in investing in a makeup bag that won’t hold even half of your essentials, nevermind all of them. Get a bag that is made out of something that is suitable for your needs; if you know that you need something more durable than the traditional plastic, invest in canvas instead.

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