The makeup minis I always keep in my bag

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I’ve never been a person who keeps much in the way of cosmetics in my purse. I’ve usually got a tinted lip balm on me, maybe, but that’s about it. But all that changed in July when I was out on tour, and often found that, by evening—after a long afternoon of riding on a bus and killing time at the venue while the kids loaded in and sound checked—my makeup had all slid off my face and I looked like a big marshmallow. To combat this effect, I start with this Ilia mascara, which doesn’t get all crunchy when I apply it over mascara that’s been on my lashes for hours. It also volumizes nicely, and can I also just say that it is SO MUCH easier to use mascara when it’s in a mini version? You can really get at all the angles in a way that you can’t with a regular-sized one.

I’m not a big eyeshadow person, but I do love this one from Laura Mercier: it’s a nice, natural shade, it’s so, so easy to apply, and it stays put even in the August heat. I also like this very slightly shimmery hue, called Strapless, but unfortunately, it doesn’t come in mini size.

Here’s my current favorite tinted lip balm: it’s super-emollient, and the right, berryish-sheer shade for summer. Also—and this is key—I can accurately apply it without requiring a mirror.

This Sephora brand eyeliner pencil is about the length of a golf pencil—so handy—and it’s such a nice, rich brown.

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31 Thoughts on The makeup minis I always keep in my bag
    Kris
    24 Aug 2022
    9:18am

    Kim, Happy Birthday! If you’re an Insider with Sephora, that Laura Mercier Strapless shadow in mini size is one of the birthday gifts!

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    anastasia Christou
    22 Aug 2022
    7:39pm

    I like minis too – less bacteria and I feel like I can actually use the item until the end LOL Im buying new stuff all the time!
    Does the ILIA mascara stay put? im suddenly getting my mascara run on my right eye …everyday?! what is going on? droop eye

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      Kim
      23 Aug 2022
      1:19pm

      I can personally vouch for the Ilia min. It stays on all day, but washing it off at night is not chore like some mascaras. It’s perfect for big, fluffy lashes.

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    Dawn
    22 Aug 2022
    5:11pm

    I love mini sizes of things.  Recently, I had to cancel a vacation at the very last minute (the night before my early morning flight) and I had just sprung for the Tata Harper travel-sized skincare set I wanted to try (the “Clarifying” version of everything).  I unpacked all of the mini containers, put them in my bathroom and used them up over the week I had planned to be at the beach.  It cheered me up a little bit.

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      Dawn
      22 Aug 2022
      5:14pm

      P.S. A shout out to Delta Airlines, who fully refunded me for my canceled flight. I was pleasantly surprised.

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      Jax
      22 Aug 2022
      11:32pm

      I always confuse Tata Harper with the Tatcha brand — which I just got a nice birthday mini package of from Sephora. So can’t wait to try those out (rice wash cleanser, skin cream, one-use primer sample) or save them for a weekend sometime soon-ish, I hope.

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    D.Morgendorffer
    22 Aug 2022
    2:29pm

    To my surprise, the breakout star of summer beauty for me is E11ement hypochlorous acid face spray, which is available in mini size. The way the dad in My Big Fat Greek Wedding is about Windex is the way I’m now about hypochlorous acid spray. Rosacea, weird dermatitis due to weather changes, random hormonal acne, whatever the problem, hypochlorous acid calms things down. I really wish I’d known about this type of product years ago.

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      Emmy B
      23 Aug 2022
      9:45am

      Thanks so much for these rosacea recommendations! My husband developed it within the last few years and it has been my mission to find the magic product(s) to calm everything down. Unfortunately it’s been a ton of trial and error, and we now have a fully-stocked medicine cabinet of expensive rosacea products that promised the world and didn’t do anything. I’m ordering this hypochlorous acid spray now!
      Rosacea sufferers, any other holy grail products that make a huge difference?
      Thanks so much!!

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        Kris
        24 Aug 2022
        9:17am

        When I got diagnosed at age 38, I was started on doxycycline. For flareups of the papules, he gave me a tinted topical sulfa preparation stocked in the office. Cleared up the bumps so quickly! My Dermatologist then retired and my new Derm stopped the Doxycycline so now I find topical sulfa in the grocery store medication aisle but be careful as high concentrations like mine- 10% can cause significant dryness. The brand I use is DelaCruz- a topical sulfa ointment from Mexico. I live in Austin so easy to find here and I’m not allergic to sulfa. Of course, clear all of this with your husband’s dermatologist!

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        C.D.
        24 Aug 2022
        11:20am

        Switching to Vanicream gentle facial cleanser made a big difference in my rosacea. Also, my dermatologist prescribed nightly use of Azelaic Acid Gel 15%, which tamped down the redness. But what really helped reduce breakouts and all that angry redness was a prescription for anti-viral Ivermectin cream (brand name Soolantra). It took several weeks to see results, but now I rarely need to use any prescription meds any more. Also, the only facial moisturizer my skin is happy about is CeraVe PM facial moisturizing lotion.

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          Jenny
          27 Sep 2022
          2:16am

          An inexpensive way to buy topical ivermectin is to buy horse paste (on Amazon) and dilute it with a bland moisturizer 1:1 to make a soolantra dupe.

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        Lori
        24 Aug 2022
        4:34am

        Yes! La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Face Cleanser (available on Amazon) has helped me so much — it’s extremely soothing. (-:

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        Cora
        24 Aug 2022
        5:04am

        La Roche Posay AR Intense is the best thing ever, it calms my skin down like nothing else. Sunscreen is important, I really like COSRX Aloe Soothing Sunscream.

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      Lori
      24 Aug 2022
      4:31am

      Oh my gosh, cannot tell you the rabbit hole I just went down looking into hypochlorous acid solutions! Turns out they can seemingly deal with everything (lol): skin issues, medical-grade disinfection, eye problems, etc. Excited to learn of these products as a rosacea tool! On the rosacea front, must share that the one thing I’ve tried that actually helps, and that I now use daily, is La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Face Cleanser. Bought a bottle about four years ago b/c my derm-rec’d (unhelpful) product was out of stock – – and this stuff has made a huge difference; it’s incredibly calming and de-reddening.

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      DeeSea
      23 Aug 2022
      12:05am

      I so agree! I’ve been using the Tower 28 SOS line for about 6 weeks, and my rosacea has been soooooo calm. I’ve heard that it’s great for eczema too.

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        ab
        23 Aug 2022
        1:21am

        It’s also good for sweaty body parts until you can properly wash them ( ideal for camping).

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      Hannah
      23 Aug 2022
      3:37am

      Ooh, will be trying some of these suggestions! Rosacea is the pits.

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        D.Morgendorffer
        23 Aug 2022
        11:59am

        Emmy B, the products I have used for years for rosacea include Avene thermal water, Avene tolerance extreme emulsion, Avene tolerance extreme cleansing lotion, and as a fallback, Aquanil cleanser. LaRoche-Posay has their own equivalent product line called, Toleriane. In a MacGyver emergency, your husband can calm his skin by washing it with a homemade oatmeal solution (add a cup of boiling water to 2 tbsp of oatmeal, cool, then strain, and let it chill a bit in the refrigerator before using. This cleanser is good up to 24 hours in the refrigerator. Then, you need to make a fresh batch.) Finally, his finding a non-irritating sunscreen can be very useful because skin under-protected from the sun can be a trigger for rosaceans. I myself, like so many, like Elta MD. Hope this of some help to your husband.

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          Emmy B
          23 Aug 2022
          10:48pm

          Oh wow, thank you so much for this!!

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    cw
    22 Aug 2022
    9:23am

    I sometimes think of all the makeup choices one has as one grows older––lips are the most difficult. My natural lip color is so faded now––ghost lips––that I feel I should be trying brighter colors (and makeup people––Sephora in particular––always want to put me in BROWN which I find a little insulting because my younger, natural lip color was NEVER BROWN), but brighter colors seem to age my lips even more. In the recent months when I’ve actually had to “go somewhere” and needed to look like someone who doesn’t still wear sweats all the time I find I put on lip color, wear it around the house for a few minutes, then remove it all before I walk out the door because it seems so “off.” And I would like to point out that if I were an aging MAN my fading natural lip color would never ever ever enter into any conversation. (sigh) All to say the KosaSport Lip Balm might be just the thing.

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      Jo
      22 Aug 2022
      8:07pm

      I’m really into the Kosas lip oil in Dip which is a “pearly nude.” I also like the Fenty lip glosses.

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      Another Rebecca
      22 Aug 2022
      8:50pm

      I know what you mean about vanishing lips. I’m pale and cool in tone, and the Kosasport Lip Balm in Rush is the exact color of my natural lips and is not shiny, so it reads as lips and not as lip product. It’s also moisturizing and minty. I’m a fan.

      I hope one of their colors matches your lip tone.

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      Cora
      23 Aug 2022
      5:49am

      I’m on my third KosaSport Lip Balm in Flow. It’s just so good. Looks natural, tastes very slightly of mint.

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      Mouse
      22 Aug 2022
      12:34pm

      Much the same here. At the risk of being that person on the bandwagon, you might try Burts Bees Red Dahlia. It matches my lip color well and you can use a little or more, etc. Very natural but more-ish for many people.

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        Jax
        22 Aug 2022
        11:29pm

        Love the Burts Bees tinted balms. Just the thing to add before a video call.

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    DeeSea
    22 Aug 2022
    10:52am

    I love this post because I love a good mini. My favorite minis are the itty bitty samples of FitGlow Lip Serum that they frequently include as gifts in their orders. It also happens to be my very favorite lip product of all time, so I find them doubly delightful.

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    Joannawnyc
    22 Aug 2022
    11:07am

    I ADORE minis and agree about mini v. full-size mascara–I only buy the mini size now.

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    AKGB
    22 Aug 2022
    11:26am

    Love mascara minis! I use them up before they dry out. As for lips, I buy these by the handful and keep them in every bag and pocket -https://www.niveausa.com/products/blackberry-lip-care-721400228530079.html – there are other colors, but the blackberry is a really close dupe for the Clinique Black Honey that I still love but haven’t felt like shelling out for lately.

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      Kirinleaf
      22 Aug 2022
      9:17pm

      Thank you for this lip balm tip! Off to investigate availability in my country…

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    Ali
    22 Aug 2022
    11:32am

    Strapless by Laura Mercier IS available as a mini, just not for purchase. If you are a Sephora Beauty Insider, you can choose a Laura Mercier set for your free birthday gift—it has a mini Strapless eye stick and a mini translucent powder!

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      liz
      22 Aug 2022
      12:10pm

      Good to know.
      Since the pandemic (precisely 2021), I sadly no longer qualify.

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About

Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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