What’s in My Bag (Make Up Edition) + Last Minute Gift Ideas

whats in my bag including different makeup
What’s in my bag.

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind. I hope you are doing well in the midst of one of the busiest times of the year. Still, I am excited to share what’s in my bag. From beauty writing project deadlines and wrapping up the semester to shopping for Christmas and preparing for the new year.  I have two exciting collaborations to announce over the couple of months! December has been a flash thus far over here.

In response to this hectic schedule, I’ve been relying upon a set array of makeup favorites; these are the products who–thanks to their consistent performance and effortlessly long-wear profiles–earn valuable real estate in my handbag.

Kindly scroll on for a look at everything, along with some key winter style staples I’ve been loving and some last minute gift ideas that will ship out this week as well as the Bottom Line…

Base + face.

What’s in My Bag (Make Up Edition) + Last Minute Gift Ideas

// BASE + FACE //

First off, my handbag is handcrafted by my brother, Seth. It’s small enough to be light and low-profile yet roomy enough to hold everything I need for a day out. It includes Joey’s snacks and toys, not pictured). You can check out his entire inventory HERE.

In terms of foundation, the formula I’ve been reaching for most is the Clé de Peau Beauté Radiant Cream Foundation O50 (swatches of all shades HERE). Just a pea sized amount creates a flawless visage that still looks natural. Certain shades are difficult to find right now, so if you find yours, I suggest snapping it up. For days when I want to even my skin tone while adding mineral SPF 30 into the mix, I love the *Tower 28 Sunny Days Tinted Sunscreen Foundation in Point Dume (reviewed HERE), which provides medium coverage with a slightly glowy finish that has great lasting power, even when it’s warm and humid. To take care of darkness in the under eye region. Also, I use my Tom Ford Concealer in Golden, (all shades swatched HERE), which resists creasing with creamy full coverage.

Lately, I’ve been warming up, sculpting and flushing my complexion with the Sisley Phyto Touche Sun Glow Bronzer (Pricy? Yes, but once you try it, you’ll understand why…now is the perfect time to add it to your gift list), the neutral rosy beige *Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Blush (love that a glowing highlighter is built right into the center of the compact) and a sweep of the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Glow Setting Powder 5.5, which somehow simultaneously sets makeup, banishes shine and adds a filtered radiance. It’s for these reasons that it is perennially in my bag.

Whats in My Bag base and other face makeup swatch
Base and face swatches in direct sunlight.
top view of eye makeup in Whats in My Bag and a phone
For the Eyes.

// EYES //

For eyes, I’ve been bouncing between the smoky golden Charlotte Tilbury Dazzling Diamonds Palette, which has plenty of finely milled radiance and a holiday feel that feels just right this month and next and the , which is a softer array of pastel neutrals that glide on the eyes with fingertips and wear without creasing. I also always have my holy grail Tom Ford Golden Peach, which is currently on sale I might add (have you tried it yet?) and the Chantecaille Mermaid Eye Shadow in Copper, which I recently discovered and now will use forever. The shimmering bronze-meets-champagne shade is so quick and easy and is also on sale right now.

Feathery brows that stay in place all day are a reality with the genius REFY Brow Sculpt and I’m currently on my third consecutive tube of the LAWLESS One and Done Mascara,which demonstrates how much I love this clean formula, which creates a false lash effect that actually seems physically incapable of flaking or smudging while somehow still removing easily with soap and water.

eye makeup swatches in an arm from whats in my bag
Eye swatches in natural outdoor lighting.
woman's hand, cellphone, and makeup sharing in whats in my bag

// LIPS //

For lips, my purse holds my most prized pinky peach beige nude favorites; these include lipliners like the warm neutral Huda Beauty Lip Contour in Honey Beige, Lancome Lip Liner in Mars (I also adore Bronzelle and Ideal, which are in the same general color family) and Chantecaille Lip Definer in Tone, which is a very natural my lips but better shade and currently on sale.

In terms of lip color, I’ve been embracing the cool, slightly violet pink Tom Ford Pink Charade (I also currently also have my eyes on the neutral coral Insatiable). The hydrating pinky nude Tom Ford Sunlit Rosy Lip Balm (reviewed HERE and truly good!) and my Au Naturale LA Lip Stain, which is on my lips in some capacity every single day. From opacity and hydration to a fresh flush and strong lasting power, this color was a dream to create and even more thrilling to wear on the daily.


lips swatches from items from whats in my bag
Lip swatches in natural outdoor lighting.
a woman's hand showing watch, brush, and hair tie sharing in whats in my bag
Extra essentials.

// EXTRA ESSENTIALS – What’s in my bag //

Some other elements always with in arm’s reach/in my bag include some Sleep and Glow scrunchies (reviewed HERE), which hold and protect hair without leaving dents and my Apple Watch. I opted for a gold stainless steel case with a gold Milanese band and now cannot live without it. Also, I keep a tube of healing gel handy from my 111 Skin Reset Edit, which feature travel sizes of some of the best-selling formulations from this luxe skincare brand. I appreciate the warm and woodsy travel size of the Free People Lodge EDP, which has a sweet yet subtle burnt marshmallow note for which I go crazy. Finally, I’ve used my Surratt Artistique Cheek Brush everyday for the past six years. I keep two in rotation so my powder products and, ultimately, my cheeks are never without!

The following images reflect everything in action + keep reading for my last-minute gift list…

woman sitting in a bench
Embracing a tight low pony for second (or third!) day hair.
woman showing whats in my bag and makeup in her face
Eye look via a mix of the Charlotte Tilbury Dazzling Diamonds Palette and the Charlotte Tilbury Celestial Pearl Palette.
Style notes.


  • Faux fur bomber: I picked up this Sandro number in Paris a few years ago and while it’s obviously not available, I’ve made sure to link to a similar option.
  • Topshop Turtleneck: $25 and comes in two fantastic colors, this turtleneck is ribbed, slightly cropped and extra comfortable. Simply divine!
  • Frame Barrel Jeans: I have had my eye on these jeans for nearly a year and am so happy that I finally picked them up during Cyber Week. I am wearing a 26 and they fit as expected…high (but not too high) on the waist with a gentle and elongating barreled leg that crops at the ankles.
  • Nike Blazers: On heavy rotation always…these high tops always add some interest to an otherwise subdued outfit.
  • iPhone 13 Max Phone Case: I just got a new iPhone 13 and searched high and low for wallet type case that would not flap open (difficult for perpetual picture taking) and also keep my cards and money concealed. This ivory style the answer and it was under $30. I wholly recommend and love it so much, I even picked up a backup in mint green.
woman sitting on a bench and wearing pants, shirt, and brown jacket
Style notes.
woman wearing balk long sleeves
Au Natural LA Lip Stain on the lips.
Style notes.

// STYLE NOTES II // Polished and classic in neutrals galore.

  • Black Turtleneck: Everything looks elevated with the compliment of a timeless black turtleneck and this particularly one (which I’m wearing in a medium) is thin but opaque and on heavy rotation from fall to spring.
  • Anine Bing Pants: I picked these up in a small and appreciate how buttery soft and flexible the faux leather is. The elastic waistband is comfortable and forgiving and the slash pockets make these look like trousers, with the breeziness of a track pant. Highly recommended as a minimalist style must.
  • Dior Dioract sandals: I wear this luxurious splurge a few times a week…the lambskin is so soft and required absolutely no breaking in and they look good with everything from shorts and pants to skirts and dresses. Granted, I live in CA so the weather allows it. But even if you’re in freezing cold weather right now, come spring, you’ll wish you had a pair, too. Get them while you can!
  • White wool coat: For moments that call for a lush sweater-meets-coat, this style is ideal…cozy and warm and oh so effortless.
  • Square hoop earrings: I’ve received a lot of questions about these earrings and am happy to report that they are antique clip ons that I found on a trip a few months ago. That being said, for my pierced readers, I’ve found a perfect pair that captures the energy of my discovery.
woman wearing balk long sleeves and faux leather pants
Style notes.
woman wearing balk long sleeves and faux leather pants in brown
Last minute gift ideas…


I spent the last weekend shopping online and in-person for those I love and am excited about my finds. There’s nothing quite like finding the perfect item for someone and watching them enjoy it, no?

The window for arrival before Christmas is rapidly closing, but there’s still time and these are my top picks:

Agent Nateur holi (trinity) set

So, for the clean beauty lover in your life, the Agent Nateur holi (trinity) set is an excellent way to try the three most popular products (holi water, holi c and holi oil…I use the trio daily) in a travel sized set that is a lovely introduction to the brand. I also recommend the holi (stick) No 5 (I haven’t used any other deodorant in a full year) and the holi (bright) resurface glass face mask, which instantly and noticeably transforms skin (smaller pores, smoother skin and a serious glow) with every 20-minute application. I also take holi (mane) every single day and my hair, skin and nails and have never been better (read more about my routine HERE). The whole line is a testament to the fact that clean beauty can be luxurious and effective. Use AGENTRACHEL for 15% off site-wide.

Fresh Clean Tees

For the man in your life, I recommend Fresh Clean Tees. My husband and brother, both who have tried a lot of tees in their time say these are the best in terms of fit. Including feel and color ways. They have v neck and crew neck options as well as other great styles like henley’s and even socks.

Nordstrom Bliss Plush Throw

For your neighbors and co-workers, the Nordstrom Bliss Plush Throw is a dream. The ultra soft and warm fabric is velvety smooth and offset with tassels for a sophisticated flair. I picked up two in the teal foam shade (one for me, one for a neighbor) and it comes in ten hues in total, all which are still in stock. You also cannot go wrong with a Volspa candle…there six different fragrances and designer tins to match every decor and they’re guaranteed to arrive before Christmas.

Somewhere Haute Neoprene Tote

Also, for your friends, I suggest the Somewhere Haute Neoprene Tote; this is my dear friend Lauren’s small business. We met on IG years ago after connecting with a mutual love of Tom Ford lipsticks and pinky peach blushes. Also, her bags are super chic, versatile and hold a ton. I have purchased one for my mom, sister-in-law and close friend. They all love them as much as I do. Also, they’re Amazon Prime so you’ll get them well before the 25th. Some other gifts for girlfriends include anything Free People (forgiving sizing and timeless appeal) like this puffer vest and this seamless long sleeve shirt (wait, why don’t I have this yet??) and a classic pair of UGGS…the Mini II’s seem to be the hot gift of the season and were recently restocked at Nordstrom.


For kids, I can only share what I picked up for our 3-year old Joey Elle. She has no screen time (e.g., tablets, cell phones etc.) So, I’m always looking for products that will harness her creativity and keep her entertained in a more organic way. This includes this highly-rated, safe-for-all-ages springless pogo stick, this LCD drawing tablet (no blue light emissions) and a couple new Claris The Chicest Mouse in Paris books to add to her collection. Illustrated by a fashion artist, these books have have tons of style and a good takeaway message…Joey loves them and they always have me yearning to go back to Paris with every turn of the page.

Le Metier de Beaute Peau Vierge

Finally, for the beauty lover in your life, I recommend Le Metier de Beaute Peau Vierge (use BP30 for 30% off) and the Creme Fresh Tint (a sheer, glowing blush that looks good on all skin types) in especially Toujours, which I cannot stop wearing and the Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540 in the travel atomizers (my favorite way to carry and use this fragrance to which I’ve been devoted since 2015). They are currently on sale and I’m adding one to cart this minute!

–Shop the Gift Ideas–

Hope this list was abundantly helpful as you check off the remaining gifts on your list this week.

Wearing Tom Ford Pink Charade on the lips.
makeup in whats in my bag
Last look.

–Shop the Post–

Bottom Line: I hope you enjoyed this peek into what makeup is in my purse (and on my face). Also, I would love to know what caught your eye. Do tell!

Good things ahead, including my Best of 2021 video and a host of new product procurements. Also, Beauty Professor will be having its 10 Year Anniversary in early January…cannot wait to celebrate with you.

Stay strong, seek wisdom, much love, Merry Christmas and more soon,


–The Beauty Professor

**PR samples provided for review denoted by an asterisk (the rest purchased by me). However, as always, all of my opinions are expressly and unequivocally my own.  © 2012-21 Beauty Professor® All Rights Reserved. Do not copy, reprint or republish content and/or photos without author’s written permission.

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Comments (2)

  • Lauri Reply

    Hi. Love all your reviews etc. Do I spot a new dog?

    December 13, 2021 at 11:14 pm
  • Monica Herrera Reply

    I love it !!! I can’t never get enough of everything you share with us I loved it all thanks for sharing sending blessings and hugs

    December 15, 2021 at 3:57 am

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