What's in my makeup bag...

Deborah's makeup favourites

Deborah's makeup favourites

Test-driving makeup and skincare is part of my job here at Chatelaine. But for all of the hundreds of new powders, lotions and potions that land on my desk every year, only a few find their place in my makeup bag. Who’s kidding who More realistically, the short list inevitably lands in one overstuffed pocket of my purse for ongoing testing. Some come and go. They make the cut at my desk, then they hit the handbag to be tried for an ongoing basis. Some items get tossed quickly. They have to feel high-end (even if they’re not) and they have to be easy-to-use since I’m often applying while in the car on my way to work – don’t worry, my husband is usually the one doing the morning drive.

As time goes on, some of these short-listed cosmetics and creams stick around, making themselves at home amidst my notebook, cell, George Costanza-like wallet and sunglasses. For the record, these are my current go-to items crowded into the makeup bag that’s wedged into my purse:

1. Biotherm Lift Makeup SPF15 is sheer and creamy, but offers enough coverage for the days when I’m feeling like my lack of sleep or my two kids have gotten the better of me. I can even mix a dab of moisturizer into it on the days when my skin is feeling particularly parched.

2. MAC powder blush in Spice: It’s just this side of nude so its effect is super-natural and chic. It contours cheekbones like nobody’s business. (Sometimes I dust a little of this on my eyelids if I’m on my way to an after-work event and I don’t have the time or inclination to do eyeshadow.)

3. NARS blush in Orgasm. The brand nailed it with this colour. We have to think the name has something to do with its cult status, too. It’s rosy with a titch of bronze undertone: pretty, natural, glowy and always a quick pick-me-up. (Both the powder and the cream formula are amazing, and I use both depending on my mood or what I grab first.)

4. Lancôme’s L’Extreme Mascara gives great definition to my lashes and volume, too. It goes on easily – no clumping or lumping, ever – and you can layer on another coat or two if you want a va-va-voom effect.

5. Clinique Superbalm Moisturizing Gloss in Guava and Lancome Juicy tube in Bobole: Both are roughly the same delicate, pinkish-coral shade that makes my lips look dressed but not too done. (I like their darker shades too, but generally I wear a lighter shade on a day-to-day basis.)

6. Revlon’s ColorStay Eyeshadow Quad: They come in great colour combos so you can go low-key or high-drama, smoky eyed if you wish. (Smudge some of the darkest shade in the lineup for a sexy lined look.)

7. Cargo Eyelighter: It’s amazing how a smudge of this white powder (applied as a sponge-tipped pencil) on the inner corner or your eyes makes your eyes twinkle and gives you an immediately more refreshed look.

8. OPI Coney Island Cotton Candy: I’m always on the lookout for the ideal almost-naked nail colour, and this has long been my “regular” shade at the nail bar.

9. G uerlain Parure Compact Foundation: I fell in love with the packaging of this face powder: gilded and gorgeous like a piece of sculpture, so had to give it a whirl. A light brushing of the silky stuff on my forehead, nose, and chin nixes shine and fills in any unevenness in my complexion without looking cakey. It’s very elegant and slips easily my tiniest evening bag, too.

10. Zoya Hurry Up Speed Dry Drops: Because there is no possible way that I can manage not messing up a manicure. It’s my impatience, yes, but also the fact that I’m usually doing something else while I’m painting my nails. So the drops are a godsend. And they don’t seem to diminish the luster of the enamel.

So there you have it. So much for a short list. My purse weighs a ton I admit, I feel prepared.

– Deborah Fulsang