What’s in her makeup bag?

Written by Leslie Means

Written By:  Leslie Means

For 7 years (actually, more like since age 13) I’ve worn makeup.  Not every day (as my friends would vouch) but during the important dates. 

I recall wearing bright red lipstick to school, dark eye liner on my upper lids and plenty of foundation during my “on air” days.  It’s probably the reason why I’ve heard comments like…

“Leslie, when you actually get ready, you look nice.  But when you don’t attempt, well – you look rough.”


Yes, that was a comment made by my dear sis, Linds.  (OK – she didn’t use those exact words, but that’s what she meant.)

And in her defense, she’s right.  For so long people saw me with SO.MUCH.MAKEUP – they got used to it.  And then they probably shuddered a bit when they saw me “naked” (my face, not my body) at Target.

Since leaving the TV world in late 2010, my makeup routine has lightened up – a lot.  Since I spend half of my week at home in front of this lovely computer, I’m lucky to find time for a shower, let alone my makeup bag.  And honestly, I love EVERY.SECOND.OF.IT.

I thought I would share my latest makeup routine with you.  If you’re snoopy like me ~ you just might be interested.  Follow the numbers below to see what I MUST.HAVE.DAILY ~ and the few items I can usually live without.

(FYI – these are numbered at random and everything in this bag was purchased at Target.) 

1.  Cute Make-Up bag.  This is a must.  Every so often I dump out my old bag to replace it with something fun. 

2.  Eye liner/sharpener.  I only wear this now on “special occasions.”  I can’t stand liquid liner – pencil is a must.  I like to have thin lines on the upper lid only – with a little “cat eye” on the ends.  This is one step I LOVE leaving out most days.

3.  Mascara ~ waterproof (for the hot days and a time when I’m guarantee to cry) and non-waterproof; (usually when I want to wash my face quickly at night).  I have both LashBlast (CoverGirl) and the Colossal Volume Express (Maybelline) in my bag right now.  Both are fine; they were probably on sale when purchased.  I try to wear *some* mascara most every day.

4.  CoverGirl foundation/blemish concealer.  I’ve worn the same foundation since I was 13.  I KNOW!  It’s time to change as my skin is starting to need more coverage.  I just…can’t.  I mean, I want to, but I don’t want to spend the money.  Help is needed here PLEASE!! 

5.  Eye lash curler used before #3.  Yes.  I won’t get rid of him.

6.  Sponge for sad #4.

7.  Eye Shadow.  I have about 8 different kinds.  I LOVE Maybelline color tattoo and Revlon Beyond Natural.  Both are creme shadows and can be applied in a snap.  I think these are great for hot summer days ~ especially when eye liner is NOT worn.  (Otherwise, the liner tends to run with this brand of shadow).

8.  Face lotion.  I have a cheap brand in my bag now and I really don’t like it.  It doesn’t have sunscreen in it, which means I have to put sunscreen on first – THEN my face lotion.  Should have looked closely at the label before buying.

9.  CoverGirl compact/powder.  Nice to use as a “finish” when I’m ready to roll.  Again, sad to say I’ve used the same brand for 17 years.  🙁  Think I should change it up. 

10.  Make-up brushes.  One for my eyes, one for powder, one for eye-brows.  Usually try to purchase new brushes every few months.

11.  Last but not least, bronzer.  I buy the cheap stuff seems to work just as well as the pricey stuff.  NYC – Smooth Skin Bronzing Face Powder.

P.S. ~ I have a HUGE bag of lipsticks, gloss, etc.  Mostly they are from my TV days, but I still love to wear lipstick when I can.  I personally think it can add a lot of spunk to any old style.

What is in YOUR makeup bag?  Have anything you can’t live without?  And what the heck should I use for a new foundation?  I’m getting wrinkles, dark spots, etc – and I need a good cover up!


About the author

Leslie Means

Leslie is the co-founder and owner of Her View From She is also a former news anchor, published children’s book author, weekly columnist, and has several published short stories as well.

She is married to a very patient man. Together they have two pretty fantastic little girls ages 8 and 6 and one little dude born March 2017!

When she’s not sharing too much personal information online and in the newspaper – you’ll find Leslie somewhere in Nebraska hanging out with family and friends. There’s also a 75% chance at any given time, you’ll spot her in the aisles at Target.


  • You are not alone! I still use the same cover up (Cover Girl) from 8th grade… and yeah, that was a *long* time ago! I’ll be curious to see the suggestions you get from others… 🙂

    • In my bag, I have Mary Kay and bare minerals. I NEVER leave the house without makeup. Growing up in AZ, I was the only white girl and I got sunburned. The kids sang “Heather–the albino reindeer had a shiny nose…” you know the tune. Since then, I always have at least foundation on. When I was being induced with of my babies, I made time to put make up before going to the hospital. 🙂

      • LOL – Heather. Sorry about your reindeer song – but that made me laugh! I’ve never tried the bare minerals or Mary Kay. I’m 30 – it’s time to make a change.

  • Leslie,
    I don’t know if you will remember me or not, but when you where on N.T.V. I once sent you some samples of our wonderful Mary Kay Products. We do have many products that have the sun screens already in them. If you would like to try any of the products, I have samples. Just let me know either by e-mail or 308-238-3124. We bought a house here in Kearney in mid March, so we have been in the moving process. I hope I can help you out.

    I also want you to know I really enjoy reading your thoughts in the Kearney Hub as well as on this web sight. I especially liked the one in the Hub about Dancing in the Rain!

    Thanks for your many talents!
    Rhonda Kathol
    4730 Ave. E
    Kearney, NE 68847

  • I buy cheap everthing except for my foundation. I use Estee Lauder. I use Estee Lauder Double Wear light during the summer and Estee Lauder Double Wear during the winter. It seems to take less and last longer then the cheap stuff. (I don’t have to use concealer) I have worn this since I was in my early 20’s I’m 36 now. I have changed types but never brands. I’ve tried cheaper brands in the last few years thinking maybe I could save the $36.00, it never works I love the coverage and the feel. I couldn’t live without my Estee Lauder Foundation. I always buy during gift with purchase time (twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring, sometimes it is during the same time as Goodwill days at Herberger’sand you can get 10% off) you get a mascara, a lipgloss, sometimes a cleaner, wrinkle cream or eye shawdow and always a new make-up bag. I hope that this helps you.

    • Leslie – I forgot to mention if you go to the Estee Lauder counter they will match you skin color with the foundation the suits you and give you a sample (I think it’s a 10 day sample). If it doesn’t work they will help you find the right kind, with the right coverage for you. I can’t tell you hope much I love my foundation.

  • Make sure your foundation and/or powder has SUN PROTECTION!!! This should be your number one priority! Trust me…you will regret it by the time you are 40 if you don’t use makeup with an SPF!! The dark spots that are already visible on your face are only the tip of the ice burg. You want to prevent the sun damage lingering BELOW the surface from making it’s way TO the surface! sun screen. sun screen. sun screen. The earlier you start an anti-aging regime, the better your skin will look after 40. Why don’t you come to USave Pharmacy and we can take a look at that skin in the DermaView machine??? We can blog about it! 🙂

  • Leslie, I’m also with you. I’m horrible about makeup! I just have some cheap-o stuff… and I keep changing from one cheapie to another. It is time to grow up and get some ‘big girl’ make up here at my house. 🙂

  • Sanae – I think I need to do that! When I was 7 months preggo with Ella – my whole family took a vacation to South Carolina. We stayed at a beach house all week – which meant I was in the sun pretty much 24/7 WITHOUT sunscreen!! I came back with two huge dark spots and a mustache. I can still see them over 4 years later. 🙁 boo.

  • I love my Clinique powder foundation that contains SPF. Also a must-have for me is eye lid primer. I would’ve never said that a year ago, but I tried it and am HOOKED! It makes my eyeliner and eye shadow last all day long. I also love love love my eye shadow by Urban Decay (Sephora). When it comes to mascara though good old’ Maybelline is better than any more expensive ones I have tried! I also love Burt’s Nees tinted chap stick for just a hint of color and a soft and not sticky feel.

  • I totally need eye lid primer!! I can spend hours and hours in Sephora!! I made my son go in there with me when he was 13. Talk about looking like a fish out of water….he couldn’t wait to get out of there! He said it smelled weird. Boys!

  • I use L’oreal True Match foundation (it has an SPF 17 sunscreen in it). It’s a lighter foundation so to cover up any serious dark spots, blemishes, bags under my eyes I use Tarte Smooth Operator Waterproof concealer. It is the best concealer I have ever used, and I have tried A LOT of products. I have days where I use that and a finishing powder and go with out foundation all together.
    I got it at Sephora, I LOVE that place!

    For face lotion I recently discovered Neutrogena Healthy Skin Firming Cream (it has an SPF 15 in it) and I really love it! It really has made my skin more firm.

    I have to 2nd what Sanae said about sun protection! It’s so very important!
    I have oh so many freckles that love to show up after I’ve been in the sun, so sometime in my early-mid 20’s on I have always used at least a face lotion with some sort of SPF. I also have very sensitive, fair skin (some foundation/concealer/powder products don’t make a shade light enough for me). I try to protect my skin as much as possible and try to correct/not worsen the sun damage I do have.

    I also really like the Almay eyeliner for green eyes, it really does make my eye color even more green than using a black liner (which I use for more dramatic or dressier night out type make up) Almay has a line for every eye color with eye shadows and stuff too. The eye liner stays on for most of the day and doesn’t irritate my sensitive eyes.

  • I use Avon’s “Smooth Minerals” they have it compressed, which i prefer, and loose powder. It’s great everyday coverage that is buildable to hide the spots that need it most. Also, the best thing about shopping with Avon is if you get the wrong shade or don’t like the product you can return it for your money or a new item! I’m personally horrible about picking the right shade out in the store so I now buy all my makeup from Avon, except my mascara.

  • I forgot to mention my web sight where you can go to look what Mary Kay has to offer. We have SPF in many of the products and we have lots of samples to get you the right thing for your particular skin type. Sanae is so right. One must take care of her skin now, because there is no turning back the clock. Just go to If I can help anyone out, I would be very glad to do so.

  • I recently purchased a newer foundation from Clinique. I’m an older (50) mom of a busy 9 year old girl, and my makeup routine must be fast and easy. This foundation is great for oily or even t-zoned gals like myself. Can’t think of the name, but I know it has “matte” in the title. Really good coverage and very little shine at the end of the day. AND, it doesn’t melt away even in this heat! Also, check out Youtube for makeup tutorials. There is a gal there, emilynoel83, who is a morning newscaster in IL, I think…anyhow, she can speak without saying “like” or “ummm” every 5 seconds, and she has lots of great makeup tips.