Have you ever been rummaging through your makeup bag, but you’re not able to find what you’re looking for? That’s probably because your bag is filled to the brim with all the makeup you have, not all the makeup you need. It’s time to take a cue from professional makeup artists and fill your bag with makeup essentials that will get the job done and keep you from having to search through a million products to find what you’re looking for. 

The first step is to ask yourself, “What’s in my makeup bag?”. The answer to this question may surprise you. We bet that half of the products in your bag you never use. So, it’s time to get rid of those unused items and put back only the essentials. Start with this list to see what products makeup artists consider to be must-haves.

what's in my makeup bag


Makeup Essentials

Makeup artists need to have a variety of products in their makeup kits to ensure they have the right colors for their client’s skin tone. The type of look the client is going for will also affect what products the makeup artist will need. 

However, when putting together your own makeup bag, there’s no need to have the variety of options that a makeup artist must have – just one or two of each will do. Here’s a list of what to put in your makeup bag based on what makeup artists have in their own bags.


Your skin is your first stop in applying your makeup. There is a wide variety of products you can use to make your skin even and smooth, but here are the products that makeup artists find are the most important. Each of these products plays a key role in creating a good base for the rest of your makeup application:

  • Primer
  • Concealer
  • Foundation


Makeup artists typically have each of the following products in their bags:

  • Blush
  • Bronzer
  • Highlighter

While it’s useful for makeup artists to have all three, you don’t need each of these cheek products in your bag at all times. Find the one that works best for you, and that’s the only one you need!


Makeup artists tend to have many different types of eye makeup products as well as various shades. Similarly, you should also have a couple different types of eye products. Each of these products helps to really highlight your eyes (and brows) and make them pop:

  • Eyeliner
  • Eyeshadow
  • Mascara
  • Eyebrow brush/pencil


When it comes to things to have in your makeup bag, the last essential category is lips. People tend to over-purchase lip makeup. The key is to keep it simple and limit your selection to one or two items in each category:

  • Lip liner
  • Lipstick
  • Lip Gloss


Now that you’ve answered the question, “What makeup should I have in my makeup bag?”, it’s time to move on to what makeup tools are also essential. From brushes to cleaners to the right mirror, the tools you have in your makeup bag are just as important as the makeup. While brush cleaner may be more important for makeup artists, each of the following items are essential for your makeup bag:

  • Brushes
  • Sponges
  • Wipes
  • Brush cleaner
  • Q-tips
  • Mirror

A well-lit mirror is what every makeup artist should have in their kit. A clear, magnified reflection is key. And on top of that, lighting is essential to getting a precise makeup application. So why not combine both? Make sure you have a great mirror with LED lights to help you apply your makeup perfectly every time.