Budget-Friendly Makeup Bag Must-Haves

posted in: Beauty & Wellness

I work from home, but I am often traveling or spending the day zipping from segments to meetings to events in nearby New York City. Because I’m usually away from my home office for hours (or days) at a time, my purse is packed with things like a laptop, chargers, a notebook, water, a snack, etc. Not much room left for a makeup bag, but I like to have a few essentials with me so I can freshen up, or even get camera-ready for an unexpected segment in a pinch! Here are some of my budget-friendly makeup bag basics that go the distance.


Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs & Rosewater (4oz. & 2oz.)

I love carrying this rosewater face spray with me for three reasons. 1) It refreshes and hydrates my skin 2) the scent energizes me and lifts my spirits and 3) when I’m done with a TV segment and still have other commitments, I spritz it over my heavy TV makeup and blot with a tissue. It helps lighten the coverage of the makeup while keeping my skin looking fresh. I also love Badescu’s Facial Spray with Aloe, Cucumber and Green Tea if rosewater is not your thing. Get them here for $12 on Amazon.


Clear Eyes Maximum Redness Relief Eye Drops

Redness-relieving eye drops lubricate my eyes and remove redness if my eyes are feeling dry or scratchy after a flight or a long day in the city. Just a tiny drop makes me look much more awake and lively! You don’t want to over use eye drops, but these really do the trick when you need them. Get a pack of 3 here for $8.88 on Amazon.

PÜR 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Makeup Foundation with SPF 15

I know…$29.50 isn’t really budget-friendly, but because this product is so useful, it’s budget-friendly in my book. After all, it’s a foundation, face powder & sunscreen, all in one! And the SPF is extra important because I’ve developed this troublesome sensitivity to most sunscreens (they make my eyes burn). This mineral SPF works perfectly. This 4-in-1 product is also purported to function as a concealer, but for my age and skin type, I prefer to use something creamier. Get it here for $29.50 on Amazon. 

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circle Concealer 

This concealer is great for touching up when I’m out and about. It has its own applicator sponge and the tube is firm so it can’t be squished and release product all over your bag (ever had that happen with a soft squeeze tube??). The formula is creamy without being oily, and it really stays put. Get it here for $7.98 on Amazon. 

Ruby Kisses Staining Mood Gloss

budget friendly beauty

These creamy lip glosses are so long-lasting and pretty that I bought an extra set. Two of them are lip stains, one is clear and the other is a subtle opalescent shade. One for every purse/pocket! Get a set of 4 here on Amazon. 

L’Oréal Paris Makeup Infallible Never Fail Pencil Eyeliner

The perfect makeup bag eye liner, this pencil has great wear, never needs sharpening, and it has a little smudger on one end if you’re aiming for a smokey look. I keep this with me if an evening event or TV segment pops up while I’m out and about. Get it here for $7.57 on Amazon. 


Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion 

This lotion is a miracle. I can pat it on over makeup if my skin is feeling dry (even around my eyes!) and it’s a great cream to reduce dryness on hands, elbows, knees and heels.  If you’re cringing, trust me – it’s the ONE lotion I would use on my face and body. Here’s a link to the larger size if you already have a travel bottle!  Get 3-1oz. here for $8.58 on Amazon. 

Happy shopping!

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Trae Bodge is an accomplished lifestyle journalist and TV commentator who has specialized in smart shopping, personal finance, and retail for more than a decade. She has appeared on TV over 1,000 times; including Today Show, GMA3, NBC Nightly News, Inside Edition, and network affiliates nationwide. She has been named a Top Voice in Retail by LinkedIn, and her expert commentary has appeared in Forbes, USNews.com, Kiplinger, Yahoo Finance, and numerous others.