What's In Our Makeup Bag: 12 Beauty Must-Haves Under $55

You asked, we answered. From shimmery highlighter to bold lipstick, here's everything we're loving from our tried-and-true beauty routines that give us—and will give you—a flawless look every time.

Various makeup powders and three makeup brushes.

Start With a Beautiful Base

Every makeup routine starts with a good primer. After you've washed your face, apply the hydrating Too Faced Hangover face primer. (It's so good, you can skip the moisturizer.) Next, we recommend the BareMinerals BarePro foundation. Its long-lasting liquid formula comes in 30 shades, is lightweight, and has a natural matte finish that doesn't look or feel cakey. For a little extra coverage, use the Burt's Bees concealer—that's made from almost all natural ingredients—on blemishes and dark under-eye circles. Now it's time to highlight your favorite features. We're obsessing over the Stila Heaven's Hue highlighter for its transfer-resistant formula that gives your skin a soft glow all day long. Make sure you set your face with the Lancome Translucence loose powder, and then top off your base with a nice contour. The Anastasia Beverly Hills palette earned a 5-star rating from our shop editors. It has six shades of highlight and contour powders (sand, vanilla, banana, java, fawn, and havana) that are easy to blend for a flawless look. Beauty tip: For fair-to-medium complexions, try mixing havana and java for your contour in the summer when your skin is tan. In the winter, java and fawn blend beautifully to match your natural skin tone.

Complete the Look With Eyes & Lips

After you've perfected your base, make your eyes and lips pop with some of our favorite beauty finds. Begin by shaping and filling in your brows with the waterproof Chanel eyebrow pencil (available in six shades). Use the pencil side to get the perfect color and shape, then use the spooley brush to groom and define. Before applying eyeshadow, we recommend putting a dab (seriously, you don't need much) of Urban Decay eyeshadow primer on your finger and rubbing it into each lid to keep your makeup in place and crease-free for 24 hours. A small bottle goes a long way—I've had mine for two years—which makes the price totally worth it! Whether you gravitate toward neutrals or want to wow your date with a smoky eye, the Naked3 palette will be your go-to. It has every shade you need—from shimmery pinks to dark browns—to create natural or dramatic looks and everything in between; it even comes with its own application brush. As for eyeliner, our shop editors swear by this $7 liquid liner by Maybelline New York. Its felt-tip is flexible, easy to use, and gives you full control so you can get crisp, even lines every time. If you want long, voluminous lashes that can withstand your killer workouts, the Tarte lifted mascara is just what you need to finish off the eyes. It's vegan, sweatproof, and waterproof—what's not to love? Last but not least, don't forget to color your lips. This Milani matte lipstick comes in a variety of hues, from subtle nude to bold purple, to complement your style—and it's only $5.