You can do a day-to-night, or travel friendly, single makeup bag. But sometimes our daily lives are busy enough that compartmentalizing is crucial. Besides, who wants one over-full makeup bag? A great beauty hack is to keep two pre-loaded bags or makeup must haves. It's simple and fun. And you can change purses or throw them in a bag for day trips, overnights, or business flights no problem.
It always comes down to four parts and two thoughts summed up in color and lighting.
For daytime looks, you want to go lighter. Allow the daylight to do the work. For evening looks, smokey eyes or heavier lips can make you stand out in the dark. Below we have our tips for the perfect divide. You can definitely play with your look, but the toolkit is still a day-and-night difference.
For daytime looks, keep it on the simpler side. We aren’t saying to tone down your style. Just consider that everything looks brighter in daylight. If you are feeling dramatic, add a pop of brightness with a brighter tone of lipstick or a dash of colorful highlights to your eyes with an eyeliner or shadow. But don’t go too dark.
On-the-go bare essentials:
Pick two-in-one items that optimize your day look. Choose a two-in-one eyeliner, blush set, or lipstick. Consider using your brown eyeliner for eyebrows if it is a good color match. Foundations that finish as a powder are a perfect way to carry only one item.
Choose mini-products or stock your bags with samples for the easiest pick-me-ups without the bulk. If you are buying items at a beauty supply store or going to the hairdresser, ask if they have any samples available.
For hot weather or activities take a few no-worry makeup precautions:
That small clutch or mini-compartment just cannot fit it all. Here are a few tips for when you really cannot take it all with you—even the essentials:
BB or CC creams were designed by dermatologists for post-operative work. They are designed to multitask, caring for your skin while blurring imperfections. While there are buildable coverage BBs, many are sheerer than foundation.
If you want heavier coverage, go for a satin finish instead of a heavy matte for daytime.
Avoid heavy illumination. Shine is all the rage, but too much mica-looking magic in your day look can make you look overdone. Opt for a dewy look instead to get that glow. If you really want to use an illuminator all-over, pick a liquid, and blend it sparingly into foundation or directly applied to highlight.
Blotting papers are a terrific addition to a day bag. They keep shine down without taking up space. No caking on the foundation necessary. As opposed to powders (also an option), blotting papers don’t gather in fine lines or cake. After blotting, just touch up with concealer.
If you have oilier skin, choose a mattifying foundation or BB cream.
You can always layer in a little extra color or pick a fun splash of a lighter tones for accents. Simple paler base colors make for a clean look. Instead of fumbling with a lot of colors, pick a simple three- or four-color palette. It should have a highlight, medium all-over base, and a contouring color. Some Palettes even come with a dark shade that can replace eyeliner.
Color crazy? If you want a pop of color on your eyes for daytime, stay with pale, neutral lips. Glosses or nudes are perfect with a subtle, defining lip liner.
Eyeliner boredom? Eyeliner is not made from space. Instead of black, pick a dark brown, bronze, copper, gold, or something that will light up your eyes.
Avoid heavy colors, mattes, and dramatic contours in your daytime look. A subtle lighter peach, apricot, or pink is ideal. Very slight shimmers play with daylight, adding a charmingly youthful glow. You can also skip the blush all together and go for a single tinted highlighter. Apply to the apples and top of the cheek.
If you just have to contour, choose a shade darker than your foundation or lighter than your evening contour. A bronzer lightly dusted under the cheekbone and swept upward will provide delightful daytime shade.
Lighter is better for the daytime look. Tinted glosses, sheer cream lipsticks, and nudes (even mattes) perfect your daytime look. A slightly darker shade of lipliner will help define without breaking the natural beauty. For an extra sensuous look add a pop of gloss or glimmer over the top, focusing on the center pout.
Read my lips: If you want to go bolder, keep to a natural looking eyelid. Not to worry—you can still create a dramatic eye line and go for glorious lashes. A darker coral, brighter or cherrier red, or pop of playful pink can brighten up the day. Stay away from deep, darker hued night shades.
Evening looks take a little more oomph for ooh-la-la. You want to add a little emphasis to highlight your favorite features—instead of having them escape notice in the dark. You can use a little more illuminating makeup or go for the flatter matte that captures the drama in lower light. (Think glamour or silver screen diva.)
If the natural look is everything you need, there’s no need for extra drama. Simply create a slightly more night-friendly version. Use a palette a little darker with more contrast—like a pop of shimmer as highlight. Deepen your favorite lip color just a little. And add a little contour or extra color to your cheeks.
Going out in the evening can mean small clutches. Do your hair so that you don’t have to take a big round brush. A little comb or barrette is a good touch-up kit. Choose a smaller eye shadow palette that has a mirror for anywhere touch-ups. Set your makeup ahead of time, using primers or long-wear makeup, and leave foundation and powder at home. Multipurpose makeup, like a powder foundation can make for space-savers without sacrifice.
Samples are key, much like in your daytime bag. Minis aren’t always cheaper, but mini versions that come as bonuses or trial kits can save you money and space.
Keep your attention on the conversation. Avoid any distracting irritations, like:
Be ready for the unexpected.
Nighttime foundation can be a little more full-coverage than daytime. You can still choose a BB Cream, but focus on treatments or something that fills fine lines. You can do both with a foundation that features plumping hyaluronic acid. It’s not actually an acid, which replenishes and holds onto moisture.
Powder power? Powder can set makeup, but it’s not for everyone. Powders can cake in fine lines, creating an aged or caked look. Most foundations didn’t set well by themselves. Makeup technology has come a long way.
If you do decide powder is powerful to your look, use it where needed—around the t-zone or in high-shine areas. Or, consider a moisture-packed powder finish foundation or powder foundation in place of using both. You’ll save space and spare yourself bad makeup interactions.
Think candlelight. Adding a little drama with subtle or not-so-subtle highlights and contours is perfect for evening time and nights out. However, be sure to blend blend blend! Contour palettes need to compliment your natural tone. A contour palette that is too heavy will make you look gaunt and alien. The point is to highlight the ups and downplay the downsides of your natural beauty.
For an allover glow, add a small amount of liquid highlighter to your foundation.
Evening eye makeup can be a little bolder than daytime wear. Choose a palette that is few shades darker or entirely more colorful than your daytime palette.
For a simple application, simply use a little heavier liner and mascara than your day look. If using a lighter liner in the daytime, go black or add a sparkly liner on the inner and bottom lid. (You can also use a lighter liner as a line just above the dark line that hugs your lash line.) Then deepen the shadow in the contours.
Evenings out love a smoldering smokey eye. But, if you go big on the eye shadow, play down the lips. Choose a softer color with a good gloss instead.
Mascara can open eyes in the dark. Choose a lengthening mascara to keep on hand.
Even if you are contouring, a small blush of peach, pink, or rose helps freshen your look. A slight shimmer is a lovely touch. Avoid super dark or heavily pigmented shades—especially if you are wearing contour. If using contour, try a lighter blush with heavier shine to help amplify the apples of your cheek.
Don’t let your lips get lost in the dark. While avoiding simultaneous heavily done eyes and lips, you still want to have both well defined. Use a liner that is a shade darker than your nude-ranging lip color (it can be a darker nude) to define and a pop of gloss or shimmer.
Going darker or brighter is absolutely okay—and shine on! Save your boldest lip looks for the evening. If using a metallic or super shiny gloss, be sure to keep a complimentary base color on hand to increase your wear.
Get Ready, Set, Go! Set layers of lipstick with powder or blush (shine a plus!) applied over the base color. Use a single ply of tissue between the powder applicator and lips.
Fixed for time: Never rub your lips together to even out lipstick. It tends to smear over the lip line. Use a brush instead. With or without a brush, make lipstick last longer by defining lips with a lipliner. After lipliner, apply the same or a slightly lighter shade to fill in the lips beneath your lipstick.