The 15 Things Every Woman Needs in Her Makeup Bag

Project Runway All Stars beauty guru Laura Geller spills her secrets. 

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Have you ever wondered what products a makeup artist has in her bag? Moreover, which of them you should steal for yourself? Laura Geller, the beauty pro on Project Runway All Stars, sat down with Marie Claire to reveal all—and give us the behind-the-scenes scoop. Take notes!

The 15 Products Every Woman Should Own

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Primer: "Primer is an absolute must for every makeup bag. Primers create the perfect canvas for makeup to last all day, while helping skin retain moisture, feel softer and look smoother. It creates a beautiful, even surface to allow foundation to glide onto skin and not sink into pores. My favorite product is Spackle Under Make-up Primer, our innovative under makeup primer that infuses good-for-you ingredients into an amazingly lightweight formula." Laura Geller Spackle Under Make-Up Primer, $32; laurageller.com. 

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Eyeliner: "A black liner on the top lash line will create the illusion of fuller, thicker lashes." Clinique Pretty Easy Liquid Eyelining Pen, $19.50; sephora.com.

Mascara: "Mascara is a must have. It will define your lashes and open up your eyes." Covergirl LashBlast Length Mascara, $7.99; covergirl.com.

Brow Shaper: "Eyebrows are such an expressive feature and can have a big effect on the overall look of your face, so it's essential to keep them well-shaped." Revlon Brow Fantasy, $8.99; ulta.com.

Hydrating Mist: "Whether you have oil-prone or dry skin, all women must moisturize. Most women apply moisturizer in the morning and think it's enough to last the day. But the skin needs constant hydration. A hydrating mist throughout the day will keep your skin dewy and refreshed." Urban Decay Chill Cooling and Hydrating Makeup Setting Spray, $30; sephora.com

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Highlighter: "Highlighter is the easiest way to create dimension and draw attention to your best features. Our Baked Gelato Swirl Illuminator in Gilded Honey is such a versatile highlighter. Use it on your cheeks, inner corners of your eyes to make them look brighter, and even on the Cupid's bow for an instant glow." Laura Geller Baked Gelato Swirl Illuminator, $26; laurageller.com.

Bronzer: "I've lived in New York most of my life, and while I love the changing seasons, I don't love how winter often brings dullness to my complexion. A bronzer is the best way to maintain a healthy, natural glow all year long." NARS Bronzing Powder, $39; nars.com.

Blush: "Always, always have blush! A soft pink blush flatters all skin tones and adds a soft, youthful flush of color to brighten your look." bareMinerals Blush, $20; sephora.com.

Concealer: "Concealer is a versatile product can be used to camouflage under-eye circles, hide dark spots and imperfections, and often, the best concealers can even be used as a foundation or in place of foundation." Maybelline Face Studio Master Conceal, $7.99; target.com.

Touch-up powder: "I'm a big believer makeup should just be refreshed, not re-applied, during the day. To maintain a flawless complexion, I use our Matte Maker Oil Blotting Powder to stay shine-free and always camera ready." Laura Geller Matte Maker Oil Blotting Powder, $24; laurageller.com.

Multi-Tasking Foundation: "Foundation is crucial to every makeup wardrobe. I often alternate between a powder and liquid foundation. Sometimes a gal needs to change her foundation during the year depending on the seasons and her changing skin needs." Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup, $38; sephora.com.

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Lip Color: "If you find yourself in a morning rush, apply lipstick and sunglasses and you are ready to go! I love our Iconic Baked Sculpting Lipstick,which are quick and easy to use. Not to mention they come in a range of great, easy-to-wear colors." Laura Geller Iconic Baked Sculpting Lipstick, $21; laurageller.com.

Double-Ended Brush: "You don't need a ton of tools, you just need the right tools. A versatile brush that can be used for all powders such as bronzers, highlighters and finishing powders is a great investment. Double-ended brushes provide versatility without taking up so much space in a bag. Plus, a good brush can last a lifetime." Kat Von D Shade + Light Contour Brush, $36; sephora.com

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Lip Liner: "Lip liner is an incredibly versatile product. Line to create fullness to lips or apply under a lip gloss to build long-wearing color payoff." tarte Tarteist Lip Crayon, $18; sephora.com.

Portable Mirror: "A must-have for travel. Instead of being at the mercy of the lighting in whatever room you're in, stick this mirror on a window for natural light, which is the best for doing your makeup." Sephora Collection Seeing Double Compact Mirror, $12; sephora.com.

And now, to pick the pro's brain...

Marie Claire: What are some makeup hacks we can do at home?

Laura Geller: One of my favorite tricks is using a luminous makeup primer AFTER you apply the rest of your makeup. That's right, I said after! I like to use our Spackle Tinted Under Make-up Primer in Champagne which contains light-reflecting pearls for a natural, beautiful glow—just apply a small dab on the high points of your cheekbones to add a subtle radiance and create the optical illusion of higher cheekbones.

MC: You've worked with countless celebrities. Have you ever learned a beauty tip from a celeb?

LG: When I first started out as makeup artist, I learned about the anatomy of the face from a famed Hollywood makeup man. I remember thinking, "what does this have anything to do with applying makeup?"—then, when I began applying contour and highlight on clients, it became obvious that having the understanding of one's bone structure truly helped strengthen my artistry skills.

MC: Who is your favorite person you've ever done makeup on? 

LG: I couldn't possibly choose a favorite! I adore all of my customers because each one inspires me. I'm so dedicated to innovating, not intimidating. Finding new, breakthrough products that help ALL women find a new or better way to update their makeup routine. I listen and I try to help please her in a way that surprises and delights—after all this is the fun behind beauty.

MC: What's the best beauty advice you've ever received?

LG: Always make sure your skin is free of any residue and that there are no oils on your skin, especially around your eyes. This ensures that your makeup goes on fresher and lasts longer. 

MC: What's your beauty mantra?

LG: My number 1 philosophy is that makeup is about enhancement. You don't need to be fully made up—you just need a little bit of enhancing! The ultimate look should be you, only better.

MC: If we looked in your beauty stash, what would we be surprised to find?

LG: Hershey's Kisses! They are a delicious and portable bite-size indulgence, the perfect treat to throw into a makeup bag for a pick-me-up any time.

MC: What beauty products could you not live without?

LG: Primer is essential! It helps makeup last longer by creating a barrier that prevents makeup from penetrating and absorbing into the skin, which causes it to disappear quickly. Essentially, taking 30 seconds to apply a primer could result in hours of extended wear. I'm also partial to our Balance-N-Brighten Color Correcting Foundation.

MC: Do you think there is a beauty mistake that all women commonly make?

LG: Beauty is driven by innovation—hundreds of new products come out every year, which can be so intimidating. Some of my customers feel pressured to always try the latest new products, but beauty is not one-size-fits all. It's very personal. Whether you are a woman wanting a natural, no-fuss look or prefer something bigger and bolder, always remember to use products that make you feel good and confident. If you do that, you can never make a mistake.  

MC: Help! I only have 5 minutes to get out the door in the morning. What's the quickest and best way to look put-together in that amount of time?

LG: First, lipstick is a must! I use it more like an accessory to whatever I am wearing that day and less like a makeup product. Lipstick is probably the only thing I am consistently changing in my makeup routine to whatever suits my mood and outfit.

For your skin, our Balance-n-Brighten Color Correcting Foundation offers an effortless yet flawless application. The color is incredibly forgiving and adjusts to match your skin tone. Just tap a brush across the product and swipe over the forehead, cheeks and chin to create a perfectly even yet luminous canvas.

And most importantly, what I call The 3 Es: eyeliner, eyelashes and eyebrows.  I never leave home without taking care of The 3 Es. For eyeliner, you should always start with a black liner on top of the lash line. Next up, eyelashes, which can be as simple as coating lashes with black mascara.  Finally, eyebrows. You should fill in brows with either a pencil or powder, whatever form you prefer. Brows help to draw attention to your eyes and frame the face.

MC: What do you think will be this spring's top beauty trends?

LG: Products with good-for-you ingredients that also provide a flawless finish will become a timeless trend. I'm excited for my launch of Double Take Baked Versatile Powder Foundation this Spring, which dips our baked pigments first in coconut oil and then in our proprietary complex of antioxidants for full, but weightless, coverage.

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