I’m sure it would surprise no one that I’m not exactly a beauty product minimalist. I try not to have a ton of products lying around that I don’t really use, but at the same time, I love mixing it up and trying different things—variety is the spice of life, right? 

That being said, I recently started a consulting job that has me commuting to an office most days a week, and let me tell you, that work bag gets heavy FAST. At the same time, my commute is sweaty, and the work day is long, so heading off to work with just a lip balm is, um, not adequate. So, as a solution, I’ve gotten smarter about packing a makeup bag with products that can do double- or even triple-duty to refresh the ol’ mug when my makeup has melted or the dreaded 3 pm dark circles manage to reappear. Read on to discover the products that have become my workday saviors, and let me know: which beauty products are YOUR secret weapons?

featured image by laura c. beauty

Brow Contour Pro by Benefit Cosmetics

The beauty equivalent of one of those clicky pens with multiple ink colors that we all had in elementary school, this brow pen includes two shades to fill and shape brows, plus an edge definer and a highlighter. Recently, I’ve been appreciating how much groomed brows make a difference in how put-together I look, so refreshing my arches (and waking up my eyes with a bit of the highlighter) make a big difference during the afternoon slump. 

Bobbi Brown Primer Plus Hydrating 3-in-1 Setting Spray

A face mist that primes, sets makeup, AND refreshes…it’s the anti-subway-humidity secret weapon of my dreams. 

Shisheido Kajal Ink Artist Shadow, Liner and Brow

Another genius eye stick, this soft pencil can be blended onto lids as eyeshadow, slicked on as opaque eyeliner, or sketched onto brows to shape and define. 

Bio Bronzer Stick by W3LL PEOPLE

I used to be afraid of cream bronzer, but not anymore. I love that this rich, warm shade has a bit of rosiness, so it can be used as allover bronzer, contour, blush, or eyeshadow. 

Seraphine Botanicals Rose Butter

I love a monochromatic makeup look, but I think it works best when products are sheer and a little glossy. This moisturizing sick from Seraphine Botanicals is the perfect texture to blend onto cheeks, lips and even eyes (try a bit in the crease) for a naturally rosy finish. 

Master Mixer by RMS Beauty

I’ve been obsessed with this rose gold highlighter for a long time. Worn alone, it adds the perfect subtle-yet-noticeable highlight to eyes, cheeks and the Cupid’s bow, but it can also be used over lipstick to make lips appear fuller, or it can be mixed with other cream products to create a whole new sheer, shimmery shade. 

Marvelous Matte Créme Foundation by Lilah B.

I know everyone’s obsessed with tinted moisturizers, BB creams and the rest of their sheer brethren, but I’d like to make the case for cream foundation. These thicker, more pigmented formulas are actually super-versatile: apply all over for full coverage, with a wet sponge for sheerer coverage, dab on with a finger to cover blemishes, mix a bit with a highlighter (like the Master Mixer on the last slide) to create a custom eye brightened, or put a bit in the palm of your hand and mix with your moisturizer to create a watercolor wash of color. Can your BB cream do all that?!

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