Edited by Maria Nichol

For this month’s Beauty Thread, our Business Development Manager Abbey talks us through her makeup bag essentials. 


For someone who loves beauty, I go hard for skincare vs makeup, but I’m here to share what’s in my makeup bag in the spirit of our September Backstage Beauty edit. First and foremost, I have three rules for my makeup bag because let’s face it, you have to carry it around and you can’t bring EVERYTHING you own:


1) K.I.S.S: Keep It Simple Stupid

2) Use Travel Size 

3) Transitional Products Are Most Versatile

So I’m going to build my makeup bag reveal around these rules:

1. K.I.S.S 

You need to figure out your essentials/basics. My non-negotiables are:


You have to keep your lips nourished and protected, ALWAYS! Whatever works for you, some people like flavoured lip balms like the Sport FX Lip Balm in Coconut. For me, I go for unscented with SPF protection.


I am obsessed with hand cream. I recommend Nursem for sensitive hands, and my current favourite is the Malin+Goetz Bergamot Hand Treatment. My favourite hand sanitiser is from Merci Handy, their fruity flavours are delectable!




You need to ensure that you have something available to correct a smudge so I have always had the DHC oil infused cotton swabs which I use sparingly. For a more sustainable alternative, I’ve found a brand called LAST SWAB, who make reusable cotton swabs in basic or beauty. The beauty one works on correcting a smudged eye in a flash, it comes in a handy travel case too! Face Halo Makeup Remover Pad is also a perfect alternative.


 I found my favourite four years ago from Aurelia. They are known for their Botanical Cream Deodorant and a little goes a very long way. It’s aluminium-free and changes from a cream to powder, rather than typical deodorants clogging up everything, this one absorbs very easily. 



This is essential! A nude lipstick is not only smart but practical and gives you a sophisticated look in those unexpected moments when you have to refine your look. 

2) Travel size

This is incredibly key as I tend to want to fit more items in my bag so I try to include accessible sized products:


IGK’s First Class Charcoal Detox Dry shampoo works well with my hair which is prone to going greasy very quickly! Go for dry shampoos that work with your hair needs, for example, Batiste has a solid range for all needs. We have the VOLUME Dry Shampoo available on the Beauty Counter in a travel size!


The Orgasm Blush is compact and honestly, this is such a plus for me as I’m always reaching for it: the perfect transitional product for a day to an evening look. 


In terms of NARS lipsticks, I’m a die-hard fan and have so many lip crayons, Powermatte lip pigments, lip liners all from NARS and I also throw in some Charlotte Tilbury and Tom Ford too. I do love a dark lip but the crayons are just the perfect size to slip into your bag. I like to give myself three options, as you can never quite know what the mood is going to be: a power lip or a soft romantic look? Always be prepared people!


This is the MVP of CCs. I’ve tried many and this one gives me an excellent no-make makeup look. I like the natural look and CC just helps lift my natural colour a little and gives a smooth finish. 


 If you know you know. Enough said. 


3) Transitional

You always need to include products that either multi-task or are accessible for a day and evening look.


This month we have a new brand called ZAO Makeup (pronounced Zz-OW, basically the principles of Zen and Tao are brought together). Their liners can be used on the eyes and the lips, which is pretty cool, and the autumn plum and green shades are great for transforming a day look into something dark and sultry. I also literally own half the Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon eyes crayons and usually select a dark and light colour so you can either use it to top up or build into a smokey eye. 




Finally, fragrance is in a league of its own in my book. Perfume is the best story-teller and completes your look. The key is to not overdo it – don’t spritz yourself silly, but choose a fragrance that empowers and represents you, and use sparingly. I always carry little vials of Floral Street’s  Mini Discovery Set which is perfect for the makeup bag. I am a fan of niche fragrances and layering, and my favourites have to be Commodity (gender-neutral) and Clean Reserve. This brand is all about layering fragrances and it is so fun to curate your own fragrance. Well, we can all agree that beauty is about curating your own voice!