I am obsessed with reading makeup posts, especially if/when the featured products are affordable. I am pretty cheap when it comes to makeup, and am rarely sold on the merits of expensive goop and sparkles. If most of that crap just clogs your pores anyway, why not clog them and save a few bucks? However, I have been known to spend a small fortune on skin care. Maybe I’ll do a future post on that.

Despite being a tight wad, I still (like most women) want to look good when I head out my front door. So for fun, I threw together my own “what’s in my makeup bag?” post, so I can share some of my old favorites with you.

Eyeliner: I have tried a lot of different eyeliners. I even went to Bloomingdale’s and bought that Bobbi Brown eyeliner in a tub with the matching $30 application brush the woman at the counter insisted I MUST have. I loved it at first, but it was high maintenance and got all dry and flaky. I should have probably tried adding water or something. Instead, I got pissed, threw the brush in the corner, and now I don’t use it.

Every girl needs a good dark brown/black eyeliner. Can’t create the ever-mysterious smokey eyed look without it!

My favorite liner is cheap and works as well as any of the more expensive ones I have crossed paths with. It’s Revlon ColorStay Eyeliner in Black Brown.

Shadow: I like matte eyeshadow (a.k.a. NO shimmer). Shimmer is nice for going out in Vegas on New Year’s Eve. Otherwise, I like neutral matte colors. My all time favorites are Revlon’s ColorStay 12-Hour Eyeshadow Quads. I have found that they work very well, and go on sale at drug stores like CVS all the time. Our local Bed Bath & Beyond has a beauty section, so I use my 20% off coupons.

I also use the dark brown shadow to fill in my eyebrows. I noticed my eyebrows are getting thinner as I race toward 30, which makes me sad, but at least I can fake it.

Mascara: When I’m broke, I buy Maybelline Great Lash in the pink tube. But, it’s nice to splurge on decent mascara. Even a cheap bastard like me knows that. That’s why I buy any necessary Lancome products when it’s free gift/bonus time. Their free gifts always include a small tube of mascara, and it just so happens to be my favorite, Lancome Definicils High Definition Mascara.

Foundation: I used to love Lancome’s foundation for dry skin, but sadly, they discontinued it. So I tried a few others, and settled on Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Foundation recommended by my wedding makeup artist. You can get it at Sephora. I use it under my eyes, and to cover up some of the freckles on my cheeks. It works well enough. I have been itching to try other foundations, but I’m too frugal (read: lazy) to branch out. Maybe one day…

Blush & Bronzer: My favorite blush is Nars Orgasm. I found it through a number of online recommendations. But you have to be careful and not go too crazy with the Orgasm πŸ™‚ It has a tendency to be kinda pink and sparkly. Wear too much out during the day, stand in natural sunlight, and you’re a disco ball…and not in a good way. Anyone tried any other shades of Nars blush? I’d be interested in experimenting with a new shade.

If I want to appear more “tanned” rather than “blushing” I use Bare Escentuals.

Powder: To finish everything off and prevent any unwanted shine, I powder my nose with Shiseido’s Powdery Foundation. This stuff is hardcore. It’s pretty heavy, but works amazingly well. I also use it to cover up zits, and press it around my eyes to set my eye makeup. When I look splotchy and tired, I use this, and it covers EVERYTHING.

Lips: I am not a big lipstick girl. I like lip gloss, but it can get gooey and my husband hates kissing me with it on. My miracle chapsticks are Burt’s Bees Medicated Lip Balm or no frills Carmex.

There you have it, folks. My makeup basics. I don’t always wear everything I listed. For example, on low maintenance days, I don’t wear eyeliner. But this is a really good sampling of what I have in my daily makeup bag.

Oh, and I also always use an eyelash curler. If I don’t curl my eyelashes, my little Asian eyes look smaller than they already are. And I don’t have a Shu Uemura curler or anything fancy. It’s from Walgreens or CVS and costs like $5, but it’s the best investment ever.

What about you? What’s in your makeup bag? Any must-have products you want to share with us?



  1. Reply

    Geek in Heels

    July 5, 2010

    Mac Liquidlast Liner in in Coco Bar (a dark brown). I would seriously cry if it were ever to be discontinued. It's the ONLY eyeliner I've ever tried β€” and I've tried practically every long-lasting liner out there β€” that NEVER smudges. In fact, you have to use a good eye makeup remover like Lancome Bi-Facil to get it off, because just washing your face won't do it! Sure it's a bit high-maintenance but knowing that my eyeliner will last is well worth it. I use it with the Mac 266 brush because the included brush applicator sucks…but I've gotten so good with the liquid liner + small angled brush combo that I can even blend!

    If I HAD to choose a pencil liner, I would choose the Revlon ColorStay too β€” it's my runner-up! In fact, I use it for my brows…I seriously think that the area around my eyes (including my brows) is extra-oily because I need extra-long-lasting and smudge-proof for both eyes and brow.

  2. Reply


    July 5, 2010

    Ooh great post! I am a recent convert to Armani foundation– ridiculously expensive but it is a *perfect* match to my skin color and the coverage is really lovely. For mascara, I am devoted to DiorShow which makes lashes so thick and pretty. I've been looking for a new pencil liner so I will definitely give the Revlon one a try.

    Would love a skincare post because I am hopeless in that area and I have no idea what to use!

  3. Reply

    Chic 'n Cheap Living

    July 5, 2010

    Thanks for the recs re: Revlon Colorstay!
    I love Bare Escentuals mineral foundation. It's light, but has decent coverage and doesn't make me break out.

  4. Reply

    Two Chicks Nest

    July 5, 2010

    Geek in Heels, I have the same oily eye problem! It's so annoying because the rest of my face is dry and with the oily eye area, nothing stays put. I recently bought Benefit's She-laq to seal my eyeliner. It works but it's one more annoying step. I'll have to try Mac Liquidlast Liner.

    Carly, thanks for linking your post on Twitter. I'm subscribing to your blog. It looks like fun πŸ™‚

  5. Reply


    July 5, 2010

    Totally, totally agree with the eyeliner rec. I use Bare Minerals powder foundation, bronzer, and blush. The colors match perfectly and if it ain't broke don't fix it, right? I have about 39430 eyeshadows so I'm definitely not loyal to any brand. But mascara? I've found something that I looove and hope is never discontinued: L'Oreal Double Extend Lash Extension Effect (wow long name). It creates little tube-like things on your lashes which makes it come off SO easily with just water! Love it.

    I've heard so many amazing things about NARS Orgasm that I just might have to pick some up!

  6. Reply

    Notes from the Fatty File

    July 5, 2010

    I am also a Revlon Color Stay girl when it comes to eyeliner. That stuff is awesome. My old roommate was a makeup artist and she told me to splurge on things like foundation but to go cheap on mascara because, save for the brush, they're all about the same.

  7. Reply

    honey my heart

    July 6, 2010

    i love maybelline expert wear eyeliner (2 pack for under $5) and clinique high impact mascara. i usually wait until clinique has their free gift w/ purchase, purchase some moisturizer, then happily use the free samples πŸ™‚

  8. Reply


    July 7, 2010

    @Geek in Heels: Oooh, that MAC liner sounds amazing. I've got to go check it out!
    @Maya: Armani Foundation sounds luxurious! It is so important to find the right shade. I think that's the hardest part of settling on the "perfect" foundation.
    @Chic 'n Cheap Living: I've been using Bare Escentuals FOREVER! Isn't it great? I just noticed on Sephora.com that they have so many new products out. Must try.
    @Two Chicks Nest: Happy to have you, dear πŸ™‚ I've had you in my reader for a loooong time! Love your blog.
    @Em: That mascara sounds divine. I'm going to look for it next time I go makeup shopping. And definitely check out Nars Orgasm. It's awesome.
    @Notes from the Fatty File: Someone once told me the same thing about mascara! That's why I wore Maybelline for SO long. It must be the brush and good advertising that gets me to keep trying new ones in the end.
    @honey my heart: Isn't free gift time the best? I am all over Lancome's bonus time!

  9. Reply


    July 13, 2010

    ooh love this post! and hi – i've been a lurker here and there but never made a comment (this is Margarita). love your blog πŸ™‚

    i agree with Maya – armani foundation is the BEST foundation i've ever tried. I don't wear foundation often, but every time I wear it I feel like my skin is glowing. For mascara I love Maybelline Define A Lash as much (and sometimes more) than the Dior Show I just bought.