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work makeup

The Perfectly Curated Work Makeup Bag

I’m tooting my own horn here a little, but I think I’ve managed to 100% nail my perfect every day makeup/work makeup products that are easy to carry, easy to do your makeup with on the go and make you look sophisticated for the workplace. I’m going to jump right in to the details of what I think is the perfectly curated work makeup bag and we’ll go in the order of application. Please keep in mind that any and all of my product picks are all based on my skin type/concern – dry skin, discoloration and hyperpigmentation issues.

work makeup

The Perfectly Curated Work Makeup Bag – Base

work makeup

Primer – I have a small mini size of the Too Faced Hangover Primer. I wrote a blog post about how this was a stupid product and nothing more than a glorified moisturizer. Turns out, my makeup has looked suspiciously good every time I’ve worn this. At first I refused to give this any credit, but it most likely is due to this primer. I’m going to buy the full size to test that theory out once and for all. BUT. Apart from that one, the other primer I use is the Hard Candy Cooling Coconut water stick. That stick is touted as a brilliant product for the summer because of the cooling properties, but honesty, it is a life savior for the winter. The instant shot of hydration it gives is exactly what I need in the mornings. Plus the stick format basically makes it a no-brainer to carry along on your morning work commute. It makes for a great base for makeup application. I will say this – as far as extending the longevity of your makeup  goes, I don’t think this product is the one for that purpose. Plus I don’t have oily skin so I can’t test the longevity factor much anyway. There is one product down the list that I will mention that I know helps to extend my makeup wear time undoubtedly.

work makeup

Foundation – So to give you a little background, my commute to work is an hour and a half long and involves three transport segments – bus, train, bus. Needless to say I have plenty of time to do my makeup. But, the most important thing for me is that all the makeup I carry be compact, lightweight and spill proof. And work beautifully of course. And when it comes to foundation, there was really one that stood out and fit the bill – The L’Oreal cushion foundation. I’ve done a whole blog post gushing about this gem, so please feel free to check that out here.  But to summarize, this gives me the most perfect finish – super natural, but damn good coverage aka perfect for work. Plus, it’s a cushion format – so no spillage, no messing around with beauty blenders and what not.

work makeup

Concealer – This one was the easiest decision ever. My go-to work makeup, interview makeup look always involves the BareMinerals Bareskin Serum Concealer. Again, I’ve done a proper in-depth review in a blog post which you could refer to if you’d like. This concealer is perfect for work because it looks supremely natural on the skin, maintains the dewy look (I don’t think I could wear something like Tarte Shape Tape to work – I’d feel overly made up if you know what I mean). This concealer is light yet also gives the BEST kind of coverage to the point where I’ve kinda worn it as a foundation too on some occasions. So my point is, it’s natural yet gives just the right coverage. I don’t say coverage lightly because I do have very noticeable hyperpigmentation on the skin – so I do need good coverage to cover those blemishes up. This concealer does a great job. It lasts really well, doesn’t settle, crease or do anything funny basically. It’s a complete gem.

Powder – My powder choices for work makeup always alternate between the Wet n Wild Photofocus powder and the Rimmel Stay Matte powder. Both of these are great, superbly affordable powders that are easily available at the drugstore. Between the two, I would say I prefer the Rimmel Stay Matte. I think that the Photofocus powder doesn’t have much longevity on my skin – I might have to test this out with other primer/foundation combinations. But yes, between the two, I definitely prefer the Rimmel one. Although, they’re both good – almost every one in the online beauty community raves about both of these. And they’re pressed – which is an obvious choice because you cannot be fussing around with loose powders on the go.

The Perfectly Curated Work Makeup Bag – Eyes

work makeup

Eyeshadow – The only palette I ever use for my work makeup is the ELF Mad for Matte Eyeshadow Palette. There are so many pros about this palette: It has a beautiful sleek design – it is super thin and has a mirror – so that works perfectly for doing makeup on the go. The shades in it are absolutely brilliant – there are a bunch of neutrals with just the right addition of cool, warm, dark smoky shades to take you from day to night looks easily. And the quality is unbelievably great – so pigmented and most of all, these are some of the most longest lasting shadows I have experienced even without a primer. I don’t want to apply/carry a separate primer on the train so it is imperative that I have shadows that will last from 8-5 without even needing a primer and this palette is just that. So all in all, if there was a perfect every day palette for the woman on the go – this would be (is) it. And I don’t have to tell you the best part do I? ELF is a super affordable brand – this palette retails only for $10!
P.S. I do apologize that the pic above isn’t the best representation. The sunlight is washing out the colors a little bit. The true colors can be seen in the first pic.

work makeup

Mascara – This one is another no-brainer – my favorite mascara of life regardless of the time of day or occasion is the L’Oreal Lash Paradise. I have absolutely no desire to use anything else and I don’t see that changing any time soon (I do use my other mascaras just to have some variety and not let them dry up and go to waste though). I’m sorry for being a broken record here, but you’ll find a detailed blog post on this mascara too. You might realize a theme here – I do singular reviews on things that I think deserve a whole blog post to themselves. All my picks here are absolute faves and most of them have been properly reviewed in dedicated blog posts. Anyway, back to the mascara – doesn’t flake AT ALL – even at the end of a 10 hour day, is SUPER VOLUMIZING, gives AMAZING LENGTH and CURL. And is AFFORDABLE. There’s literally nothing else I could want.

work makeup

Eyebrows – My eyebrow routine is very consistent – I always use the ABH Brow Wiz first to fill the brows and then set them with either the Benefit Gimme Brow or the Essence Make Me Brow.

Eyeliner – I neither have the time nor the opportunity to fuss around with liquid liner in the mornings. I can’t do a liquid line in a moving vehicle – I’ve just accepted that I’m not that talented. Hell I can barely do one even if I had my hand in an iron grip for stability.  Anyway, so most days  I’m only doing a mascara and one shadow type of look. But if I do want to wear eyeliner, it’s usually a pencil one and currently I’m using the Marc Jacobs Highliner in Blacquer because I got it as a Sephora birthday sample, so the mini is the perfect thing to throw in my bag. The formula is good – it’s creamy, pigmented and stays put. However, if I were buying one myself, I’d probably get one from the drugstore because I know Milani, Maybelline, L’Oreal, Essence, NYX and Rimmel (and other brands possibly) all do some AMAZING liners so I don’t think a high end eyeliner is worth the splurge.

The Perfectly Curated Work Makeup Bag – Cheeks

work makeup

Blush – The Essence Satin Touch Blush in Satin Coral the only blush I’ve been wearing to work for at least the past 1 month straight. Here’s why it’s the perfect blush –
1. It is soo thin and slim, it slides right in to my makeup bag and takes barely any space.
2. It is plastic – so easy to carry and no fear of shattering an expensive glass packaging in case I drop it (which I haven’t yet).
3. It is supremely affordable – it’s literally like $3.
4. THE COLOR – the color is beautiful and perfect! It is such a gorgeous nude and initially I thought it wouldn’t show up on my brown skin, but it does! It shows up so well, looks flawless and I just can’t seem to put it down.
5. Let’s not forget the pretty embossing shall we.
6. It blends beautifully and lasts all day.
7. So, when I say it is the perfect blush, I really do mean it’s the perfect blush.

work makeup

Highlighter – I’m never contouring at like 7 am for work makeup obviously. Sometimes, even highlighter is optional. But if I do want to wear highlighter, I prefer wearing a cream highlighter, so that it looks natural and not overdone like many powder highlighters can look. The one and only cream highlighter that lives in my makeup bag is the Marc Jacobs Glowstick Glistening Illuminator. There is only shade and it’s called universal glow. I’ve done a full review of it also, so please check that out here. To give you a snippet, it’s a gorgeous cream highlighter that blends beautifully on the skin and leaves the most natural finish. It is not overly dewy or powdery. The longevity isn’t super super high, but again, remember that this a cream so it is not meant to be a long wearing product. They called this universal glow and I totally agree. It is actually a very universal color (as universal as one color can be) that would suit a lot of skin tones I imagine.

The Perfectly Curated Work Makeup Bag – Lips

Lip Balm – If I’m just in a tinted lip balm kinda mood, my go to is the Nivea Fruit Shine Strawberry lip balm. It gives the look of the most juiciest succulent lips ever, has a lovely strawberry ish red tint and is actually pretty well moisturizing. And of course, it’s affordable.

Lipstick – This is one thing that can change constantly every day or every week. At least currently, I am LOVING the BareMinerals Gen Nude matte liquid lipstick formula. The colors in the range are gorgeous and I love this formula to death. It is super long lasting, but ultra comfortable because it is a hybrid between a moussey and a typical liquid formula. It wears off beautifully and doesn’t parch your lips along the day. Honestly one of my all time Top 5 faves.

The Perfectly Curated Work Makeup Bag – Finish

work makeup

Setting Spray – And to give the final touch, I’ll use a quick mist of any setting spray that I like. Currently the one I’m using is the Wet n Wild Photofocus setting spray. It is a nice small ish bottle, again, very affordable, the mist is a beautiful fine spray and the setting spray itself DOES actually make your makeup last longer.

There you go loves! Those are my picks for makeup that I like to wear on an every day basis, to an interview, to work or anywhere else really. If you’re going somewhere straight from work, I’d say add false lashes, sharpen that winged liner, intensify the highlight and switch out your lippie for whatever you want and you’ve now gone straight from desk to drinks. Hope this post helps even one of you to pick some products for your every day wear. Please feel free to let me know if I missed something or what your favorite work makeup picks are – let’s chat down in the comments. Have a wonderful weekend my loooves.

Stay beautiful,



affordable makeupbeautyeveryday makeupmakeupwork makeup

Neha • October 27, 2017

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