No matter how bulletproof your makeup is in the morning when you leave your house, chances are you’ll need a touch-up come 3 p.m. Not to mention that if you’re dashing out for drinks or dinner after work, it’s always nice to elevate your look a little. If you're tired of having to lug around a giant bag of cosmetics, then check out our keep-at-work kit. It's filled with makeup that does double — or triple! — duty and comes in formulas that are nearly impossible to spill or screw up.
Yes, you and your beautyblender make magic happen at home with your liquid foundation, but after a lunchtime gym session or a marathon meeting, who has time for all that? Also, the possibility of spilling viscous goop all over your desk drawer or keyboard is way more of a headache than it’s worth.
Portable foundation to the rescue! Clinique’s brilliant Chubby in the Nude Foundation stick ($24, Ulta) is just as portable as your average lipstick. This creamy formula provides sheer, buildable coverage and comes in a wide range of skin tones.
Another option is to try a cushion compact. The L’Oreal True Match Lumi Cushion Foundation ($16.99, CVS) has the buildability and feel of a liquid with the portability of a compact. This foundation also has a highlighting effect, giving you the dewy glow you crave.
The True Match line features an extensive range of hues to fit many skin tones, so you can find your perfect shade.
No kit would be complete without an all-around skin soother. Glossier Balm Dotcom ($12, glossier.com) is perfect for hydrating anywhere that needs some love. This thick balm is packed with good-for-you ingredients like beeswax, castor seed oil, rosemary extract and lanolin.
If foundation’s not your thing, especially in summer, but your face needs a midday wake up call, try Milk Makeup’s Cooling Water ($24, Sephora), a solid gel formula that cools on contact and contains sea water and caffeine to make you look a little bit more lively, similar to a hydrating mist but without the spillage factor. It can also be used as a primer under makeup if you do decide to go that route.
A face full of powder may not be the most comfortable in summer, especially if you’re not planning on doing a full-on makeup reapplication. Blotting papers sop up shine so your face doesn’t look like an oil slick without caking on layers of makeup. Budget beauties can try NYX Cosmetics Tea Tree Blotting Papers ($6 for 100 sheets, Drugstore.com), which treat oily skin with tea tree oil, or Green Tea Blotting Papers ($6 for 100 sheets, Drugstore.com), infused with green tea extract. For a more luxurious option, try Tatcha Aburatorigami Beauty Papers ($12 for 30 sheets, Sephora), which contain real gold flake.
A work makeup kit should be light on product but big on impact. Why pack separate color cosmetics when you can stash a multi-use product in your bag? Sonia Kashuk Dewy Luxe Lip and Cheek Balm ($9.99, Target) come in two summer-perfect shades: Enchanted, a shocking pink and Charmed, a bold coral. Environmentally conscious consumers can try RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek ($36, rmsbeauty.com), a jojoba-oil-infused beeswax balm that comes in 11 shades including Spell, a sophisticated nude, Beloved, a classic red and Illusive, a deep, sultry plum. Milk Makeup Lip + Cheek Stain ($24, Sephora) is a true multitasker. It comes in four flattering shades including the aptly named Perk, a sunny coral, and Rally, a sweet mauve, and is packed with moisturizers like avocado oil and mango butter, so your skin will look and feel great.
Eyes can be a bit trickier, but Nonie Crème Colour Prevails, available exclusively at Walgreens, has that all figured out with the Eye Design Shadow/Liner Duo ($12, Walgreens), a double-ended stick with shadow and eyeliner shades that work beautifully together, from a classic rose/black pairing to an edgier gunmetal grey/purple combo. The mechanical pencil means you don’t have to fuss with a sharpener, making it a perfect addition to your kit. Colour Prevails also makes the Lip Design Sheer Colour/Liner Duo ($12, Walgreens), a sheer lipstick with a matching liner.
Keep these goodies on hand for a fresh face in no time flat!