How Much Does It Really Cost to Replace Your Makeup Bag?

Imagine losing your makeup bag…not the tiny touch-up kit you stow away at the bottom of your everyday carry-all—we’re talking about the mother load that lives on your bathroom counter or vanity.

Yep, let the anxiety sink in.

On top of losing all the time it took to curate your selection of tried-and-true beauty picks, you also lost a good chunk of money. How much exactly? In a completely unscientific research survey, we voyaged inside seven women’s makeup bags to find out the results. The average cost of a makeup bag (not including the bag itself) of a working professional is about $413.58. Although you may think you only need one mascara, one foundation or one of each staple item, the reason why the cost of beauty racks up is because there are multiples of items, like lipsticks and eye shadows. As the season changes, so does your makeup, apparently.

What else? The brave owners of these bags ranged in race, age and lifestyles but, surprisingly enough, their choice in beauty brands were quite similar. Interestingly, it seemed as if the younger the owner got, the more expensive her products were and the bigger her collection was, too. These budding professionals actually prefer MAC and Nars to CoverGirl and Rimmel—though L’Oréal remains a drug-store favorite. The number of prestige brands—the ones of high-fashion association (Dior! Armani! Burberry!)—were also limited. Generally, most women spend more on skin care and getting that perfect glow than lip products. 

But don’t just take our word for it, take a glance inside these very diverse bags yourself!

Who: Tess Zolly
What: Social Media Editor 
Eye Products: 8
Skin Products: 7
Lip Products: 0
Total: 15
Total Cost: $411.99

“I’ll happily binge on drug-store mascara, skin care, lipsticks or gloss. When it comes to makeup, shadows and highlighters, glitter and sparkle can just go so wrong. There’s a time to splurge, and if you’re after a realistic glow and zero creasing, this is that time, and NARS Copacabana is your best friend.” 

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer, $44; Glossier Boy Brow, $16; Mac Eye Shadow in All that Glitters, $16; Mac Eye Shadow in Sable, $16; Mac Eye Shadow in Embark, $16; Nars Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow – Andromeda, $29; Caudalie Polyphenol C15 SPF20 Anti-Wrinkle Protect Fluid, $44; Urban Decay Perversion Mascara, $22; Nars Matte Multiple – Vientiane, $39; Nars The Multiple – Copacabana, $39; Nars Illuminator – Orgasm, $30; Nars Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner, $25, Physicians Formula Eye Booster 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner + Serum, $11.99; Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer, $29; Nars Pore Refining Primer, $35

Who: Noelia Murphy
What: Senior Segment Producer, Film
Eye Products: 5
Skin Products: 4
Lip Products: 8
Total: 17
Total Cost: $381.96

“There’s no rhyme or reason to my makeup purchases. I do a lot of impulse buying of pretty lip colors! There’s a fair amount of aspirational purchases as well. Like, oh, this cool eye color palette will be the one that will make all the difference. Now that I have a toddler I have less time in the morning, so tinted moisturizer and lip balm/lip gloss is about all I can manage these days!”

Stowaway Cheek & Lip Rouge, $15; Tarte Colored Clay CC Undereye Corrector, $24; Estée Lauder Little Black Primer, $24; Stowaway Radiant Complexion Beauty Balm, $22; Dior Addict Lip Glow, $33; Sugar Berrry Tinted Lip Treatment Sunscreen SPF 15, $24; L’Oréal Colour Riche Dual Effects in Rose Nude, $9.99; L’Oréal Colour Riche Glossy Balm, $7.99; Stowaway Creme Lipstick in Fig, $15; Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy Liquid Lip Potion, $30; Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara, $23; Peter Thomas Roth Instant Mineral SPF 45, $30; Mac 252 Large Shader Brush, $32; Pati Dubroff Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil, $17.99; L’Oréal Brow Stylist Scuptor, $9.99; Marc Jacobs Lip Lock Moisture Balm, $24; Nars x Steven Klein Provoke Killer Shine Lip Gloss, $40

Who: Kendall Fisher
What: Writer
Eye Products: 12
Skin Products: 11
Lip Products: 0
Total: 23
Total Cost: $568.94

“I can only use designer products that are in the more expensive realm because I have really sensitive skin. So I typically shop for higher-end products when it comes to BB creams, foundation and mineral powder—those always do the trick for me! I am OK with using middle-range products for blush and bronzer because I’m continuously switching up colors depending on the season (I like a brighter blush for summer and spring and a more peachy tone for winter and fall).  As for eye shadows and highlighters, I’m always looking around, but I tend to shift toward Urban Decay as I know they will last longer and not smudge. Overall, I have the same skin regiment—BB cream, mineral powder, blush and soft liner—so it’s easy for me to shop for exactly what I need for my day-to-day look!”

Urban Decay Naked2 Eyeshadow Palette, $54; Too Faced Natural Eyes, $36; Sephora Collection MicroSmooth Baked Scuplting Contour Trio, $21; Urban Decay Afterglow 8-Hour Powder Blush, $26; Sephora Collection Colorful Eyeshadow in Secret Boudoir, $10; Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Beware, $19; Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Fireball, $19; Marc Jacobs Beauty Brow Tamer Grooming Gel, $24; Marc Jacobs Beauty O!Mega Lash Volumizing Mascara, $26; ilashcare Volume Up Coating Mascara, $20; Cover FX Natural Finish Oil Free Foundation, $40; Bobbi Brown BB Cream SPF 35, $46; Sephora Collection Colorful Face Powders – Blush, Bronze, Highlight, & Contour in Heated!, $14; Sephora Collection Bright Future Color Correctors, $14; Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation, $36; Mac Prep + Prime Fix+, $22; Mac 128 Split Fibre Cheek Brush, $35; Sephora Collection Classic Multitasker Brush #45, $7; J.Cat Beauty Perfect Brow Duo Pencil, $3.99; Mac 231 Small Shader Brush, $20; Sephora Collection Classic Must Have Angled Liner Brush, $14; Ofra Brush #20, $29.95; Stila #4 Precision Eyeliner Brush, $32

Who: Sara Kitnick
What: Writer/Reporter
Eye Products: 3
Skin Products: 3
Lip Products: 1
Total: 7
Total Cost: $209.95

“Once I find a product I like, I become obsessed and will only use that product until someone somehow convinces me otherwise. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a designer brand or not, I just care about how it feels and how long it lasts. I have really sensitive skin and it can be dry, which is why I love the Laura Mercier foundation; it’s really hydrating and has great coverage. The Topix brow fibers may just be the best brow product I’ve ever used…I hate a penciled-in eyebrow, and before I found topix, that was me. The fibers attach to the eyebrow hairs for a really natural look. I am also in love with the Nars highlighter because it’s long lasting and not drying.”

Make Up For Ever ARTIST PLEXI-GLOSS Lip Lacquer—Light Rose #201, $19; Younique Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes Set: Gel & Fibers, $29; Toppik Brow Building Fibers Set, $19.95; MAC Refined Golden Bronzing Powder, $26; Nars Eye Paint – Porto Venere, $25; Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch Base, $38; Laura Mercier Crème Smooth Foundation—Warm Ivory, $53

Who: Charlotte Marsalese
What: Style Intern
Eye Products: 7
Skin Products: 9
Lip Products: 3
Total: 19
Total Cost: $514.74

“My list of favorite ‘holy grail’ products is made up of both drug store and high-end brands that I use every day. It’s always fun to try out new products, but when I find something that works for my skin I usually stick with it regardless of the brand name—it’s all about whatever works best for you!”

Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer – Medium Deep, $30; Nars Orgasm Blush, $30; MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural Powder, $32; MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot—Vintage Selection, $22; Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder, $38; Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray, $14; Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencil—Stark Naked, $20; Urban Decay Vice Lipstick—Liar, $17; Maybelline Define-A-Lash Mascara, $8.25; Lancome Hypnose Drama, $27.50; Benefit Cosmetics Roller Lash Curling & Lifting Mascara, $24; Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer, $29; Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz, $21; Jan Marini Physical Protectant Broad Spectrum Tinted Sun Screen, $51; Kylie Lip Kit—Candy K Matte Liquid Lipstick & Pencil Liner, $29; Stila Eyes Are the Window Shadow Palette—Mind Palette, $49; IT Ulta Airbrush Soft Focus Blush Brush #113, $24; Ecotools Domed Bronzer Brush, $9.99; Sephora Collection Natural Resources: Everyday Eye Brush Set, $39 

Who: Gabi Duncan
What: E! Shows Writer
Eye Products: 7
Skin Products: 11
Lip Products: 6
Total: 24
Total Cost: $576.46

“I definitely have a mix of high-end and drugstore products in my collection. I’ll splurge on face products, like foundation, powder and concealer, because I know they will look great on my skin, and the drugstore has very limited options for darker skin tones. I also don’t experiment too much when it comes to makeup. Once I find something I love, like MAC Studio Fix, I’ll repurchase it until the end of time. For products like lipstick and mascara, I don’t mind saving a little money with a trip to CVS because I honestly don’t notice much of a difference in quality. In fact, I prefer my L’Oreal mascara to a lot of the more expensive brands I’ve used in the past!”

Dior Star Fluid Foundation SPF 30, $50; Tarte Tartelette Amazonian Clay Matte Eyeshadow Palette, $ 45; Too Faced Primed & Poreless Skin Smoothing Face Primer, $30; Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder, $38; NYX Cosmetics Matte FInsih Makeup Setting Spray, $7.99; Josie Maran Argan Enlightenment Illuminizer, $26; Benefit Gimme Brow Eyebrow Gel, $24; MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot—Quite Natural, $22; Bobbi Brown Lip Balm, $22; Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo—Ebony, $23; MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation—NW45, $27; MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural—Dark Deep, $32; MAC Mineralize Blush—Love Thing, $27; Benefit They’re Real! Lengthening Mascara, $24; Urban Decay Naked Basics Eyeshadow Palette, $29; MAC Studio Finish Concealer Duo—NW45/NW50, $30; MAC Powdered Blush—Raizin, $30; MAC Mineralize Skinfinish—Soft & Gentle, $32; Colour Pop Ultra Matte Lip—Avenue, $6; Colour Pop Ultra Matte Lip—More Better, $6; Colour Pop Ultra Matte Lip—Highball, $6; Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner, $22; L’Oreal Infallible Matte-Matic Liner, $8.99; L’Oreal Colour Riche Lip Liner—Always Red, $8.48

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