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What's In My Makeup Bag: Beauty Blogger Shannon


I’m going to take a second to give myself a little pat on the back. You see, I’m currently in NYC with my family, and it was kind of an emergency trip. That means I had to really consolidate my makeup regimen (I would never sacrifice my skincare products), and like the responsible adult I am (insert sarcasm here), I waited until 3:00 a.m. to pack everything.

But maybe that’s a good thing! It means I took only my favorites and essentials, no extra bulk… or, that in my delirious state I packed whatever I could grab. I’ll stick with the former. With that said, it's important that every collegiette know her essential cosmetics; that way, you know you can always look great on the go with the help of only a few key products. Check out the ones I can't live without!


When I got a hold of bareMinerals Pure Brightening Serum Foundation ($29), I was ready to start a revolution. I only use about two to three drops to cover my whole face, and that’s kind of astounding since I’m not lacking in the acne scar department. Just shake it up to combine the ingredients and blend with a dense, short-bristled brush! I have the matching brush made by bareMinerals, but to be honest, I packed it because it's smaller than my regular foundation brush.

I use a mix of Bare Nude 09 and Bare Sand 12 because I’m in that awkward in-between shade. Sigh.

Tools shown: bareMinerals Perfecting Face Brush ($28)


This may be to much info, but I’m kind of a sweaty gal; I could break a sweat putting together a bowl of cereal. Ergo, I depend on a good powder to keep everything in place, and I love Chanel’s Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Colour SPF 15 pressed powder ($57.50) in N°30. It has a great formula that blends seamlessly, so you can easily layer on for more coverage.

I also brought with me Urban Decay’s Naked Skin Ultra Definition Loose Finishing Powder ($34) in Naked Medium Light.  Why two powders? I like to use this loose powder on the center of my face, such as the center of my forehead, nose, chin, and under my eyes. It helps create super subtle contouring because this powder is a smidge lighter than the Chanel and a bit more luminous.

Tools shown: It Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Wand Ball Brush ($48)


Speaking of contouring, let me introduce you to my Fab Four!

I don’t know if I would look the same without them. OK, I probably would, but I definitely depend on these products to give my face more dimension and glow. I start by sweeping bronzer on the outskirts of my face: the hollow of my cheeks, sides of my temples, under my jawline, and sides of my nose. Basic stuff. Then I highlight my cheekbones, temple, bridge of nose, cupid’s bow, and the center of my chin. My trick is to take the blush--which is a little dark to use as a traditional blush--and nestle that color into the hollow of my cheeks and side of my temples.  Your natural tan has some redness to it, so this is how I fake my tan! By blending a ruddy red into your bronzer, you can get a more naturally tanned look!

Tools shown: It Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Mega Fat Fan Brush ($48); Laura Mercier Fan Powder Brush ($30)

Eye Make-up

I was really conservative when it came to packing eyeshadows.  I took one palette, two cream shadows, two eyeliners, and only three mascaras (that’s scarce for me).

I love this Guerlain Écrin 6 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette in Place Vendôme ($90) because I can create endless looks with it. My favorite? A reverse smoky eye! Basically I put the taupe color on my top lids and line my upper lashes in the dark navy. Then I focus on my lower lash line and blend the dark navy from the outer to inner corner. I like to make the vibrant blue my accent color by using it on the inner half of my lower lash line.  If you're interested in this look, let me know in the comments below and maybe I'll do a tutorial to show everyone (eep)!

I only have one word for you concerning Origins GinZing Brightening Cream Eye Shadow ($18.50): long-lasting. This stuff is not playing games.  I have it in Coffee Buzz, and once, in my rush to get my make-up on, I accidentally got it on my contacts... it stayed there all day. I'm not saying you should put it on your contacts, of course, but if you want a creaseless, waterproof eyeshadow, this is it. To go with it, I packed my NARS Eye Paint in Baalbek ($25) because I love using the burnished gold color for a cat eye!

My two eyeliners are Cargo's Swimmables Eye Pencil in Grey Lake ($18) and Urban Decay's 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Goldmine ($20). I love slate gray eyeliners instead of a harsh black for summer, and the gold is fun to play with on the lower waterline.

On to mascara! I can't live without mascara. Seriously, I live by this motto:

I use:

Why so many? Well, I definitely think that making strong eye contact can make a great first impression and make you more confident, so why not give your lashes a lil’ lovin’?

Tools shown: Laura Mercier Flat Eye Liner Brush ($25); Charlotte Tilbury Eye Blender Brush (£25); Bobbi Brown Eyelash Curler ($18)


My everyday look is basically mascara and lipstick.  If you thought I have too much mascara, you don’t want to see my lipstick collection.  This is just a fraction of it! (I know I have a problem, but I’m happy with my problem.) Here are some of my favorites that I brought with me on my trip:

Changing up your lipstick can make you look sophisticated, sexy, laid-back, etc. Basically, invest in good lipstick, collegiettes!

I hope I didn’t overwhelm you, but I’m not a beauty junkie for no reason! My momma sometimes shakes her head at the stuff I buy, but I just tell myself a new lipstick is just four lattes to give up – that's compromise, right?

Carrie Bradshaw, a.k.a. SJP, once said, “I like my money right where I can see it.. hanging in my closet.”

I say, “I like my money right where I can see it… sitting in my makeup bag.”

Which of these products would you add to your make-up essentials list--and are there any amazing products that we missed? Sound off below!

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