Beauty School: How To Build (And Maintain!) The Perfect Makeup Bag


“My makeup bag is a huge mess. Do you have any advice on keeping everything neat and organized so I always know where to find it?”

First thing is first. Clear the clutter. My rule of thumb:

3-6 months: toss your mascara
6-8 months: toss your concealer, cleanser, cream foundation, liquid foundation, and moisturizer
1 year: toss your blush, eyeshadow, lipgloss, lipstick, loose powder, pressed powder, shimmer powder and toner
18 months: toss your eye and lip pencils

Now, start from scratch. Invest in a good quality makeup bag, preferably one with lining in case there are any unexpected spills en route.

My number one tip is to look for product that serves dual purposes. This will help to eliminate the number of items needed daily, and in term limit the clutter. A few of my favorites:

1) A lip and cheek stain
2) A tinted moisturizer
3) A highlighting crème that can double as eyeshadow for a dewy and fresh look
4) A brow kit containing colors that can double as eyeshadow
5) A double ended lip balm and lip stick

Then try to keep to the basics. Add one universally flattering eyeliner pencil, one clear waxy lip pencil (so that it will match with all of your lip shades) and a great mascara. Include blotting papers to absorb shine, Q-tips which can act as great smudgers but also are helpful in removing makeup and makeup removing wipes.

If you’re going somewhere special, throw in a colored shadow or bold lip color, but otherwise keep the bag to the basics. This will help prevent overcrowding.

If you’re really disorganized, look for bags with pockets, so you can sort smaller items like lipglosses and eye pencils to the side.


Jemma Kidd is a world-renowned makeup artist who has painted the faces of Naomi Campbell and Jerry Hall, and now she’s here to solve all of your beauty dilemmas. Not only does she have two makeup lines of her own — Jemma Kidd Make Up School and JK Jemma Kidd — she’s also worked with Max Factor, Rimmel, and Stila. Yes, she’s a total beauty guru. Have a question for Jemma? Email it to info@styleite.com!

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