What should I look for in an all-in-one makeup compact?

makeup compact
Consolidate your basics, so you have more run for fun stuff!

The anatomy of a makeup bag is fairly simple. If you're even just kind of into makeup, you probably have some combination of foundation, powder, eyeliner, mascara, eye shadow, cheek color, lip color and all your brushes and sponges. But even with just the basics, the average makeup bag can quickly get pretty hefty. If you change your hair color or go from day to night looks on a semi-regular basis, then you probably have quite a few color options for each of these departments, and if you need to tote all of that stuff around, you'll probably need a pack mule to accompany you. That's why we're grateful for the all-in-one compact. These handy combo compacts concentrate on the three main areas -- eyes, lips and cheeks -- meaning you'll still need to augment with your foundation and powder. But those colors are so specific to your skin tone, you'd probably want to do that anyways.

Many drugstore brands offer all-in-one makeup compacts, as do department store cosmetic counter brands, so you can find a wide array of color and quality options. Most tend to stay in the solid powder and cream realm, though a few do offer pots and tubes of lip and eye colors. If you generally stick to a simple palette, then one of the smaller compacts should work well for you. These typically have three or four shadow colors, a cheek color and a couple of lip color options, and the compact is small enough to fit snugly into a small makeup bag or the side pocket of your handbag. If you're a day into night girl-on-the-go, then you may want to invest in one of the compacts with a lot more eye color options. If space is an issue, you'll definitely want to choose one that has its own applicators and a mirror. And if you plan to carry yours in your purse, you may want to choose one with some sort of carrying case so that it doesn't pop open. At some point or another, most of us have been faced with the challenge of removing shimmery eye shadow remnants from our purse lining and wallets -- and that's never any fun.


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  • Anwar, Amna. "Need to Buy: All-in-One Makeup Palette." Beautyhigh.com. Aug. 24, 2012. http://beautyhigh.com/buy-allinone-makeup-palettes/