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7 Beauty Bag Essentials for the Girl on the Go


Girl on the go - Anne Hathaway in Devil Wears Prada
Photo Source: 1, 2

Now that school has started back up, most of us are probably already feeling the detrimental effects of late nights (you know, at the library), early mornings and the seemingly never-ending cycle of assignments and exams. With so many different commitments, and stress levels at a permanent high, who really wants to spend all that time in the morning getting ready when you could be getting an extra fifteen minutes of sleep instead?!

Luckily, there are tons of time-saving beauty products and tips that will keep you looking fab and fresh-faced while still allowing you to hit that snooze button for the third time:

1. Concealer/Highlighter Pen

Eye Highlighter Pens
Splurge: Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat; Save:  Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Double Face Perfector

Didn’t get enough sleep? No worries; a few swipes of an eye brightening pink-based highlighter pen will make your eye bags a thing of the past.

Use it on your cheekbones, tip of your nose, around your lips and under eyebrows to really brighten your face. You can also use this as a cover up under your foundation. Since it’s small, you shouldn’t have any problem fitting it in your bag, easily allowing for touch ups throughout the day as needed.

2. Dry Shampoo:

Dry Shampoo
Splurge: Oscar Blandi; Save: Batiste

For me, dry shampoo is one of those beauty items that really is an essential. Save a ton of time in the morning and opt out of washing your hair; instead, spray dry shampoo on your roots and tousle to get refreshed, cleaner-feeling hair in seconds. This is especially great if your hair is like mine – long, thick and dry – since washing/drying takes forever and constant washing and use of heat products will make your hair even drier. (Plus, I swear dry shampoo makes my second-day hair look even better than it does freshly washed.)

Check out this post on the best dry shampoos for a more in-depth look at dry shampoo and some of your different brand options. (If you happen to live near a store like TJ Maxx or Marshall’s, you might want to check their beauty section for some huge savings – the TJ Maxx in my hometown usually has a ton of Oscar Blandi in stock for 50% off!)

3.  White Eyeliner

White Eyeliner
Splurge: NARS Larger than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner; Save: E.L.F. Essential Eye Widener

Instantly awaken your tired eyes by using white eyeliner along the inner corners of your eyes. This will widen and brighten your eyes, making it look like you’re well-rested and alert, even if you really aren’t!

4. Brow Kit:

Eyebrow Makeup Kits
Splurge: Urban Decay Brow Box; Save: Revlon Brow Fantasy Pencil & Gel

Okay, so the first few times you attempt to do your brows, it probably won’t be a “time saver,” but it gets much easier and quicker – promise! Well-shaped brows will seriously transform your face and make you look more alert and put together – you might even find that structured brows eliminate the need for a lot of the eye makeup you’re used to wearing.

Even if you don’t want – or need – to spend any extra time filling in your brows with a powder or pencil, a gel or wax is still a super convenient product to have at your disposal, just in case your brows are being particularly unruly!

5. Tinted Moisturizer:

Tinted Moisturizer
Splurge: Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20; Save: CoverGirl CG Smoothers SPF 15

Try switching your foundation for a tinted moisturizer with SPF: you’ll moisturize, even out your skin tone, protect yourself from sun damage and cover imperfections, all with one product! 

Tinted moisturizers are generally easier and faster to apply and blend than are most heavier foundations, and if you usually wear moisturizer and sunscreen under your foundation anyway, you’ll be able to skip some steps. (Alternatively, you can try pre-mixing a bit of your moisturizer with your liquid foundation to get a similar effect.) Tinted moisturizers look natural and feel like you aren’t wearing any makeup at all, so they’re perfect for days when you don’t want to walk around feeling like you’ve got a face full of product.

6. All-in-one Makeup

All-in-1 makeup sticks
Splurge: NARS The Multiple; Save: E.L.F. Essentials All Over Color Stick

Applying blush, and lip product, and eye product can be a huge time waster. If you’re dead set on wearing it all, try investing in an all-in-one product that can be used many different ways and save yourself a little time. These sticks should be applied with your fingers and used over foundation as a blush, eyeshadow, eyeshadow base, highlighter/bronzer (depending on which color you choose) and even as a lip color.

7. Makeup Remover Towelettes

Makeup remover wipes
Splurge: MAC Wipes; Save: Pond’s Exfoliating Clean-Sweep Towelettes

You should never be going to bed with your makeup still on – but hey, we all know that some nights you’d rather just fall into bed and not have to bother with your normal face cleansing routine. Makeup remover towelettes are super easy to use and will save you tons of time and energy at the end of an especially long and stressful day. Some towelettes also act as exfoliators, which will cut out even more time from your beauty routine.

Anything to add?

What are your favorite time-saving beauty products and tips? Anything we missed? Any other suggestions as to how to fake looking totally refreshed and well-rested? We want to hear from you in the comments section!

Posted on on September 28, 2011 / Filed Under: Beauty & Hair / Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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22 Responses to “7 Beauty Bag Essentials for the Girl on the Go”

  1. 1
    September 28th, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    Great article! White eyeliner is such a lifesaver, and it really makes the whites of your eyes pop. It’s my go-to for the ‘Zooey doe-eye’ effect. ;)

  2. 2
    September 28th, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    Not fair-you can’t post a pic of Anne Hathaway with an article about beauty essentials-she need none! : )

    But does the Maybelline highlighter really work as well as Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat?

    This is a fabulous article btw-I’m going to purchase 2 things off this list – the elf cheapie and the Yves (I think-I’ve been on teh fence about it for almost a year!).

  3. 3
    September 28th, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    I always have a small tin of vaseline that I use to put on my lips and dot on my cheek bones for a dewy look.

  4. 4
    September 28th, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    Just wondering- does the white eyeliner thing work for people of dark complexions? I’m pretty dark and I think if I pop white eyeliner on it would look more costumey than brightening up my eyes…help!

  5. 5
    September 28th, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    The picture from The Devil Wears Prada is enough to make me watch this movie tonight! Ugh, I wish I had the time!

  6. 6
    September 28th, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    white eyeliner is the best. although i love the eye bright eyeliner from benefit. i think it’s called that. it’s not exactly white, it’s a sort of pinkish so it looks more natural for my eyes and it really makes me look more awake. which is important if i want to look like i’m not falling asleep in lectures. :p

  7. 7
    September 28th, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    FOR TAL:

    If you have a darker complexion, you might want to try a nude eye liner. It still makes your eyes pop, without it looking too harsh! :)

  8. 8
    September 28th, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    I so have to try dry shampoo. My second day hair is just blah but I hate the thought of washing/drying/styling all over again, so I’ll usually just ponytail or bun it.

  9. 9
    September 29th, 2011 at 12:21 am

    Seriously love the splurge or save options!!

  10. 10
    September 29th, 2011 at 1:32 am

    White eyeliner is definitely a beauty routine staple for me – also, when it comes to foundation I like Revlon 2 step complexion – it’s in a compact and is smooth like a liquid foundation but dries as a powder! I’d love to try out a good tinted moisturizer, maybe I’ll splurge and go for the Laura Mercier one featured above.

    Thank you! This post came at the perfect time for me – this week my workload is seeeeriously picking up.

  11. 11
    September 29th, 2011 at 9:50 am

    Those are definitely ideal choices for beauty on-the-go. To add, I usually carry a small spray bottle of rosewater to freshen up with midday. It smells lovely and is a healthy alternative to mass market perfume.

  12. 12
    September 29th, 2011 at 11:09 am

    Great article! Instead of dry shampoo I brush baby powder on my roots and bangs to absorb any oil, then spray my favourite body spray on my hair brush and give my hair a quick comb to add extra scent. Works like a charm!

  13. 13
    September 29th, 2011 at 11:20 am

    Great post! I use all of these:) I would also recommend carrying blotting wipes to touch up if you’re oily and powder to set your makeup. Oh, and Mac Fix+ is an amazing refresher for girls on the go, especially when it’s hot out.

  14. 14
    September 30th, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    great article!
    I always like to have a cover girl pressed powder(has a mirror in the compact) and travel brush for touchups. Also, my favorite clinique eyeliner (with sharpener built in to the cap) and lipbalm

  15. 15
    October 1st, 2011 at 2:59 am

    tai! you can use a beige one instead of the white :)! a beige one will fit you great! the elf one is not pure white, its shimery pearl you could try it! or “cottage cheese” nyx jumbo pencil its not as white as the “milk” one.

  16. 16
    October 1st, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    I LOVE everything you said about being “brow” ready. I started using a brow pencil 3 years ago and am obsessed. I’m currently using the Revlon Brow Fantasy Pencil and Gel and am in love. Most people say don’t leave the house without mascara. I say forgot the mascara and focus on the brows!

  17. 17
    October 2nd, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    This is great! When it’s hot, it’s impossible not to get sweaty walking to class, making touch ups a necessity! It’s nice to know just a few key products that can make a big difference.

  18. 18
    October 3rd, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    I swear by Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer…I have been using it for a year. its pricy but its a good investment. It is high quality and last you forever compare to cheaper product

    Makeup wipes are also good to clean dirt on clothes.

  19. 19
    October 4th, 2011 at 7:41 am

    Loved this post! I’m currently on vacation right now and am always on the go. Currently, I’m cursing my morning routine, because it takes me forever to get ready in the morning lest I just deal with awful bed head hair. I am immediately going to invest in an all-in-one product and some dry shampoo asap! It’s something I knew I should’ve brought, but skipped buying because I was too busy buying other useless things. Ugh!

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