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How much is your make-up bag worth?


If you emptied the contents of your make-up bag, and tallied up the cost of every single item (right down to that old blusher brush you have to root for at the bottom), how much would it be worth?

According to a recent survey by beauty retailer Escentual.com, it could be a lot more than you think. They calculated that the average cost of a British woman’s make-up bag (including the bag itself) is £172 - which means unless you’re carting a very fancy smartphone, iPad or laptop around with you on the daily commute, it’s one of the most expensive things you’ll take out of the house with you on a regular basis.

A bit alarmed by the statistic, we decided to put the survey to the test by calculating the cost of our own make-up bags. To try and get a (slightly) more accurate sample, we didn’t just ask our beauty team who test the best of the best products on a daily basis, but a selection of the Stylist team. Were we spending more, or less than the survey suggested? Read on for the results…

Alex Fullerton, Fashion Director

Alex says:

" I always used to put my make-up before leaving the house, but now I get up super-early I can’t so I take my make-up bag with me to the office. My look is all about lashes so I need mascara and eyeliner. Concealer, foundation and a bit of a cream blush make my skin look less tired"


Ombre Essentielle Soft Touch Eye shadow in Fauve, £22, Chanel (houseoffraser.co.uk).

Thoroughly Therapeutic Honey & Grapeseed Oil Hand Crème, £9.99, Burt’s Bees (burtsbees.co.uk).

Compact Silver Vintage Mirror, Approx £10.

Illegal length mascara in Black, £8.49, Maybelline (boots.co.uk).

Dream Creamy Foundation in Nude, £7.99, Maybelline ([blushcosmetics.com)].

Airbrush concealer in Neutral Fair, £17, Clinique (Clinique.co.uk).

Crème blend Blush in Something Special,£17.50, MAC (maccosmetics.co.uk).

Cosmetic Pouch, £240, Louis Vuitton (louisvuitton.co.uk).

Slant Tweezer in Green, £12, Tweezerman (beautybay.com).

Double Wear Stay-in-Place Eye Pencil in Onyx, £16,Estee Lauder (esteelauder.co.uk).

TOTAL = £360.97

Mollie McGuigan, Deputy Editor, Emerald Street

Mollie says:

"A few years ago, I left my make-up bag on a plane and never saw it again. It was the catalyst for change: now my make-up bag only contains what I need for the day. I love colour and have far too much of it, so the contents of my make-up bag changes every day. The bag, unfortunately, doesn’t."


Neon Blusher brush, £8, Models Own (asos.com).

Plantscription Anti-ageing concealer in Light, £16, Origins (origins.co.uk).

Lip Colour Shine in Insidious,£36, Tom Ford (harveynichols.com).

Metallic Liquid Liner in black, £4.79, Barry M (boots.com).

Thick Fast mascara in Black, £10, Soap & Glory (soapandglory.com).

Le Prisme Blush in shade 1,£29.50, Givenchy (houseoffraser.co.uk).

Lipstick in Lady Danger,£15, Mac (maccosmetics.co.uk).

Make Up Bag, approx £19, Graham and Greene (grahamandgreen.co.uk).

TOTAL = £138.29

Joanna McGarry, Beauty Director

Jo says:

"I change what’s in my make-up bag every day, adding something new on a daily basis until, by the end of the week I’m carry half a stone of make-up in my bag, and it’s straining to shut. And yet I believe these are my absolute daily essentials that I’ll need to take me from breakfast meetings, to launches and evening events. But, really, as long as I’ve got a selection of red lipsticks, my eyebrow gel and my face powder everything else can stay in flux. "


Rouge d'Armani lipstick in Pink 501, £25, Giorgio Armani (selfridges.com).

Lip Colour Shine in Bear, £36, Tom Ford (harveynichols.com).

Summer Pleasures Passion Duo Gloss Fusion Lipstick in Sensual, £25, Dolce & Gabbana (harrods.com).

Blusher brush 1, £28.50,Illamasqua (illamasqua.com).

Plushglass in Ample Pink, £17, Mac (maccosmetics.co.uk).

Touche Éclat Complexion Highlighter in shade 1 ,£25, YSL (yslbeauty.co.uk).

Stylo Yeux Long-Lasting Eyeliner in Noir Intense, £19, Chanel (houseoffraser.co.uk).

Silver tweezers, £3.75, Muji (muji.eu).

Technakohl Liner in Graphblack, £14, Mac (maccosmetics.co.uk).

Lip liner in 42 Bois Des Indes,£18,Guerlain (harrods.com).

Clump Defy Volumising Mascara, £10.99, Maybelline (boots.com).

Tinted Eye Brightener in Bisque, £19.50, Bobbi Brown (bobbibrown.co.uk).

Pure-Fume Absolute, £21,Aveda, (johnlewis.com).

187 Duo Fibre Brush, £32.50, Mac (maccosmetics.co.uk).

Stay all day liquid lipstick in Beso, £15, Stila ([stila.co.uk).

Fake Up Concealer in Light available April 2013,£18.50, Benefit (benefitcosmetics.co.uk).

Clinical Lash & Brow Enhancing Serum, £85, Prevage (johnlewis.com).

Hair pins in Blonde, £6, Hershesons (hershesons.com).

Crème cheek colour in Oleander, £18.50, Laura Mercier (spacenk.com).

Weightless Lip Crème in Modern Love, £19, Beaute (love-makeup.co.uk).

Soft Cosmetic Sponge Wedges, £4, Boots (boots.com).

Make Up Bag, approx £30, Bare Minerals (bareminerals.co.uk).

TOTAL = £464.24

Anita Bhagwandas, Beauty Assistant

Anita says:

"I need to have a full kit in my bag, because, full disclosure, I'm one of those people who does their make-up on the bus! I generally have a neutral eye and a strong lipstick, and my make-up bag is definitely far too small. I often find random lipsticks rolling about without lids that have coated everything I own in delightful cherry red. I am not a make-up bag hero, I'm sorry. I'd feel like a fraud if it wasn't for the fact that all these products were genuinely ace."


Hand Cream, £21, Bobbi Brown (bobbibrown.co.uk).

Long-Wear Eye Pencil in Jet Black, £17.50 (bobbibrown.co.uk).

Brightening Finishing Powder in Brightening Nudes, £40, Bobbi Brown (bobbibrown.co.uk).

Pot Rouge for Lips and Cheeks in Blushed Rose, £18, Bobbi Brown (bobbibrown.co.uk).

Cocoa Butter Formula Swivel Stick,£6.49, Palmer’s (feelunique.com).

Eyes to Kill eye shadow in 015,£26,Giorgio Armani (selfridges.com).

Lipstick in Flirtatious Flapper, £8, Morgana Cryptoria (rowdydow.co.uk).

High Impact mascara in Black, £16, Clinique (Clinique.co.uk]).

Sheer Concealer in No.05, £26, Burberry (burberry.com).

Precision Brow Pencil in Basic Brown,£19, Kevyn Aucoin (spacenk.com).

Superstay 14 Lipstick in Continuous Cranberry, £6, Maybelline (superdrug.com).

Joss Make Up Bag, £250, Anya Hindmarch (matchesfashion.com).

Gold vintage comb ,approx £5

TOTAL = £458.99

Anna Fielding, Editor stylist.co.uk and Emerald Street

Anna says:

“I am rubbish at putting on my make-up first thing in the morning, so I tend to keep a strong lip colour or two and some sort of dark eye make-up in my bag at all times so I can decide between a smoky eye or a bold lip as needed. For less ‘done’ days I go for a lip-and-cheek tint. I’m also a big highlighter fan as I have very round cheeks with no visible bone structure.”


Cath Kidston makeup bag approx. £10 (cathkidston.co.uk).

Vintage mirror approx. £10

Feeling Younger Skin Tint, £12, Lush (lush.co.uk).

All over shimmer luminiser in Rose Gold, £16, Stila (stila.co.uk).

Instant Light Blush in 01, £19, Clarins (clarins.co.uk).

Daywear B.B Anti-Oxidant Beauty Benefit Cream, £32, Estee Lauder (esteelauder.co.uk).

Cream Colour in Rosehip, £22, Inika (inikacosmetics.co.uk).

Eyelash Daily Conditioner, £28,Rapidsheild (boots.co.uk).

Foundation brush, £7, Topshop (topshop.com).

Wonder Perfect Mascara in Black, £20, Clarins (clarins.co.uk).

Reverse lip liner, £15, DuWop (beautybay.com).

Lip Maestro in 503, £25, Giorgio Armani (armanibeauty.co.uk).

Skin Illusion Natural Radiance Foundation in Ivory, £24, Clarins (clarins.co.uk).

Eyeliner Stylo in Atlantic, £19,Nars (narscosmetics.co.uk).

Colour eyebrow fixer in Light, £14.63, Diego Dalla Palma (diegodallapalma.com).

Classic Cream Lipstick in Delicious, £24, Dolce and Gabbana (harrods.com)

TOTAL = £297.63

How much is your make-up bag worth? Tweet us @StylistMagazine with the hashtag #makeupbag

Photography and credits: Razna Khatun

Words: Lauren Smith



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