16 Beauty Products You Didn’t Know You Needed In Your Handbag 24/7

Everyone who carries a handbag that’s on the larger side knows the struggle of trying to keep it organized. It’s actually amazing that things can get so messy in such a small space. No matter how many pockets or pouches or spots there are for your items, it’s easy to lose the one thing you need to grab quickly or to stick your hand in there to grab your phone, only to find melted candy at the bottom of it (just me? No? Didn’t think so). All of this is to say one thing: you probably have a lot of junk in your bag that doesn’t need to be there… and what you do need is no where to be found. That brings me to my main point, which is that there are beauty products you need in your handbag all the time, even if you didn’t realize you do.

I know that, to a lot of people, carrying around a pouch stuffed with beauty products sounds crazy. I totally get that! Our handbags are often heavy enough as it is – why should you carry around a bunch of makeup on top of everything else you need? I used to feel that way too… but I also used to spend a lot of time wishing I had a certain item on me that I knew was sitting on my dresser at home. In some cases, I would even spend money to buy that item because I needed it in the moment. So, while “need” might be a slightly dramatic word here, I can promise you that, in the end, the heft of these products is worth carrying around, especially if you’re going to be out and about for more than a few hours.

If you want to start carrying around a mini version of your beauty routine, I’m excited to show you the ropes, and I also want to tell you to be picky. There are some makeup products that are super helpful to have on hand (like the ones below), and there are others you just don’t need. Foundation? You don’t need that. You’re not going to reapply that in the middle of the day unless you go swimming. Eye shadow palettes? Cute, but no. Setting powder? Eh. Not necessary. I’m going to show you items that you’ll actually use on the go instead of things that will sit there, collecting dust and probably breaking. Oh, and get yourself a cute travel makeup pouch to put everything in instead of stuffing these things into random pockets of your purse, or worse, letting them rattle around on the bottom of your bag. They’ll make a mess and probably get destroyed. So, here are 16 beauty products you didn’t know you needed in your handbag 24/7. 

1. A Good Lip Balm


Drunk Elephant Lippe, $22, Sephora

This sounds dramatic, but I literally feel anxious if I don’t have some sort of lip balm or chapstick on me when I leave my house. Everyone, guys and girls, should keep lip balm on them. It’s small and portable, and it’s a savior when you really need it. This option from Drunk Elephant is especially great. Not only is the packaging adorable, but it’s made with mongongo nut oil and avocado seed oil to keep your lips super soft and happy.


2. Brightening Stick


Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat, $42, Sephora

Whether you missed out on a lot of sleep the night before or just have a super long, stressful day ahead of you (or both), a brightening stick in your bag can make everything better… at least in terms of your skin. I recently took the plunge and splurged on this cult favorite YSL staple (I bought the “I Am Not A Morning Person” one because it’s adorable). When you feel like you need a nap, get this out of your bag, click the end, and use the super light formula on the inner corners of your eyes, around your nose, and underneath your brows for a nice little glow that makes you look more awake.


3. Clear Lip Liner


Pixi Beauty Lip Contour Liner Invisible Smudge Stopper, $12, Target

If you love to wear bright or dark lipstick, this is a must-have (if you don’t wear lipstick, feel free to skip this option). It’s an invisible liner that helps keep the color from bleeding and also fixes any smudges you might have. it goes on super easily and goes with any shade, since it’s literally clear. It’s a life-saver, especially after wearing lipstick for a few hours.


4. Hand Lotion


Korres Body Butter, $29, Sephora

I shudder at the thought of going out without hand lotion close by. I can’t stand the feeling of dry skin. I think everyone should have travel-size lotion on them at all times – it’s just nice to use throughout the day. There are obviously tons of options out there, but my personal favorite right now is this Korres Body Butter, which leaves skin super soft and hydrated. I love the Fig scent because it reminds me of summer evenings.


5. Basic Eyeliner


CoverGirl TruNaked Waterproof Eyeliner Duo, $8.99, Ulta

If you wear a lot of eye makeup, it’s unlikely that you’re going to touch up your eye shadow throughout the day – but it’s very likely that you’ll need to fix your liner. Even with the best primers, eyeliner can start to smudge after a while, and it’s nice to have a backup. This CoverGirl liner duo is EVERYTHING. I can’t say enough good things about it. It goes on smooth and so easily, and it has a more subtle side or a more intense side, which makes it great for going from daytime makeup to nighttime makeup without going home first.


6. Small Concealer


Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer, $25, Sephora

We generally don’t touch up face makeup throughout the day, but one thing everyone should have on hand is concealer. We’ve all had those moments where we realize a giant pimple has somehow sprouted on our face sometime after we left our house. If you want to cover it up, you need concealer. I’m borderline obsessed with Tarte’s Maracuja Creaseless Concealer. You only need a tiny bit, it’s very blendable, and it works like a dream.


7. Mascara Reviver


Urban Decay Mascara Resurrection, $16, Sephora

I would never carry mascara around with me because I’ll never fix my mascara during the day, and neither would most people. But if you have a long day or night ahead of you, I highly recommend Urban Decay’s ingenious mascara Resurrection. It brings your mascara back to life by softening it and fixing any clumps, as well as defining it. While you might not need this every single day, this is so great to have when you’re going from one thing to another and you want to make sure your makeup is on point.


8. Facial Mist


Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs, and Rosewater, $7, Nordstrom

One time I went out with my friends on a summer day and brought along a travel size version of this facial mist. After a few hours in the sun, I pulled it out to use, and they all made fun of me for being *bougie*… until they used it and realized it is amazing. Facial mist seems like a chore to carry around, but it’s worth it, especially during the warmer weather. Spray a little on, and it instantly refreshes and hydrates you without disturbing your makeup. I love this Mario Badescu one, which smells incredible and feels so, so wonderful.


9. Hair Ties


Invisbobble Hair Ring, $7.95 for pack of three, Ulta

You know those moments where you need a hair tie and you don’t have one? Those moments are THE WORST. That’s why you should always carry a hair tie with you. I highly recommend Invisibobble, which holds hair the best without leaving a crease, and never stretches out until you need it to. Plus, it’s easier to keep track of in a bag than those thin black hair ties.


10. A Blur Pencil


Nudestix Blur Pencil, $24, Sephora

I know a blur pencil sounds like concealer, but it isn’t the same thing. A blur pencil like this one masks “imperfections” and makes skin look a little more clear and matte. It’s basically for red spots or things you want to cover up without being obvious about. You can carry this and concealer for emergencies, or just one or the other. There are so many reasons I recommend this Nudestix one: the packaging is great (the tin has a little mirror), it includes a portable sharpener, and oh yeah, it really works.


11. Screen Cleaners


Well Kept Screen Cleansing Towels, $5.99, Stay Well Kept

This technically isn’t a beauty product, but I wanted to include it anyway because it’s awesome to have around. These screen cleaners can be used for your phone, tablet, or glasses to keep them clean and smudge-free – and in turn, get rid of the bacteria and oils all over the phone you’re about to press to your face.


12. A Multi-Use Product


Chosungah 22 Click Click Click Multi-Color Lip & Cheek Tint, $20, Sephora

Multi-use products are ideal for your handbag because you can use them a few different ways and they end up saving on space. Chosungah 22 makes this great multi-color clicking pencil in a few shades. You can use it for lip color, as a blush, or even as a subtle eye color. It’s perfect for touch-ups.


13. Oil Control Stick


Benefit The Porefessional License to Blot, $20, Ulta

If you have oily skin, you know the struggle of feeling like an oil slick a few hours into your day. That’s why you need something to blot it away. You could go for oil sheets, but right now I’m loving this Benefit oil control blotting stick. It’s so easy to use – just swipe it on your oily spots and watch your skin get more matte. It’s also really small and so easy to take anywhere.


14. An Essential Oil


Soul Sunday Aromatherapy Roller in Unicorn, $18, Urban Outfitters

I know this sounds weird, but hear me out, okay? This SoulSunday Unicorn Oil is amazing. It smells like peppermint and happiness. Put it on your temples and it almost instantly relieves a headache, or makes you feel less stressed out and more relaxed. It’s truly wonderful. I keep it with me at all times, and it’s such a nice treat in the middle of a busy day.


15. Beauty Balm


Honest Beauty Magic Balm, $18, Ulta

An intensely hydrating beauty balm should be a handbag staple because it can do so much. This one from Honest Beauty is wonderful – it’s small and portable, and so versatile. Use this as lip balm, or over a light color for a glossy look. You can use it on dry cuticles, dry patches on your face or the rest of your body. You can also rub a little onto the apples of your cheeks for a bit of a highlight. So good!


16. A Highlighter 


trèStiQue Perfect Multipurpose Highlight Stick, $34, Birchbox

Speaking of highlight, every beauty guru should be carrying around a highlighting stick. It’s honestly not the MOST necessary item to have with you at all times, but it is pretty great. Swipe it on your cheek bones, near your eyes, and under your jawline for a much-needed glow in the middle of a hectic day. This one has innovative packaging – the bottom is a smudge tool to blend, and it uses magnets to keep everything together, so there’s no chance of it coming open in your bag and destroying everything.

Which of these products is your favorite? What beauty products do you keep in your handbag? What did we forget to include? Let me know in the comments. 

You can follow the author, Jessica Booth, on Twitter or Instagram.


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