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What’s in My Makeup Bag

Who doesn't love a good before and after photo? My goal is always a simple one when it comes to makeup—look glam, not garish.

Finding reliable makeup products is something that takes time as well as trial and error. I’ve always loved makeup and am lucky to have been able to sample many products through my pageant years and beyond.

My goal is always a simple one when it comes to makeup—look glam, not garish. And after consistent searching, I’ve settled on some must-have items that range from high-end to drugstore finds that I always keep in my makeup bag.


Foundation is tricky to find, as skin type, skin color and age all come into play when picking a product. Personally, I prefer a full coverage, finished look. After lots of sampling and testing, I landed on Tarte’s Face Tape Coverage Vegan Foundation. At $40.00, it’s a bit of an investment, but one bottle will last you a few months depending on your level of use.

For application, I sometimes use a foundation brush, but my preferred way to apply my foundation is with these makeup sponges.


We’ve all had our share of zits or circles under our eyes—hello, parenting toddlers. While I also love Tarte’s Face Tape concealer, I’ve found that COVERGIRL TruBlend concealer is comparable in quality and a much cheaper option! A win-win.


My Miss Indiana days taught me the power of lashes cannot be underestimated. Lashes can take a look from simple to bold in seconds, make your eyes pop from a distance and help you stand out in a photo.

These Ardell False Eyelashes are not only affordable but also provide drama without going overboard (no one wants spider lashes). Pair with KISS Clear Strip Lash Adhesive to lock and load your look for the day.

For mascara, I love Tarte's Maneater Mascara in black. It is long-lasting and the brush helps avoid clumps!


When it comes to eyeshadow, I’ve found that name brands tend to offer the best color and lasting effects. I like having versatile products that allow me to go from day to night without having to purchase multiple palettes, making this Urban Decay Mini Naked3 the perfect all-in-one option. A little goes a long way and it lasts FOREVER, making it well worth the price.


I’m a firm believer that your eyeliner should be as immovable as your values—ha! To create an all-day, polished look, I like to use Maybelline New York liquid eyeliner pen. I think it’s easier to create the classic winged liner look with a felt tip liner rather than a brush tip, making this pen great for a bold cat eye.

Finishing Spray

I often have to go straight from work to other functions, so it is important for my makeup to look fresh all day. Urban Decay makes a great setting spray that has become my go-to on a long day.


Next to lashes, lipstick is one of my favorite products. And at $8.66, you can’t beat MAYBELLINE New York’s Super Stay Ink Crayon Lipstick. Their pink beige color option is one of my absolute favorites and compliments a variety of clothing colors and styles.

Unsure of how to navigate eating and drinking while wearing lipstick? Stop by my lipstick etiquette blog for plenty of tips!

Lip gloss

You can’t forget the finishing touch—lip gloss! Nothing makes me feel more polished of feminine than a good gloss application, and I love the lasting shine that BUXOM Plump Shot provides. It’s a pricier gloss, but one I’ve relied on and found worth the investment.

Makeup bag

Last but not least, you can’t forget a good makeup bag. This makeup bag from Amazon is not only affordable and spacious, but also cute and comes in a variety of colors.

Makeup bag must-haves with products listed

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XO, Susan


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