What's In Her Bag? A 24-year-old beauty writer with a surprisingly minimalist beauty routine.

Mamamia’s What’s In Her Bag series asks Aussie women to give us a look at their everyday beauty routines. Kind of like a sex diary but with beauty. So… not like a sex diary at all. We discover what women are putting on their faces, how much of their hard-earned cash goes towards beauty, and what works for their busy lives. There’s no right or wrong, just real beauty from real women. This week, a 24-year-old writer shows us what’s in her bag.

Name: Jess.

Age: 24.

Job: Lifestyle writer and editorial assistant.

Biggest skin concern: Dullness, and that wretched ‘dry’ feeling you get when you don’t moisturise enough.

Want more helpful beauty advice? Check out this day to night makeup tutorial below. Post continues after audio.

Video by MMC

AM skincare routine.

My skincare (and beauty) ethos is based on Holly Wainwright’s ‘I don’t list’ principle. Pretty much, there’s a short list of the things I do, and a lot of things I just can’t be bothered with because it personally doesn’t bring me joy. This includes things like: using more than one serum, face masks, jade rolling and using conditioner on my hair. Granted, I am very lucky to have pretty decent, non-sensitive skin, but I did struggle with cystic clumps of acne at 21.

Rant over, back to skincare. Most days I go a bit heavy with the snooze button so this is the quick five-minute AM routine I’ve almost perfected.

I start my mornings with a quick cleanse of Avene’s Micellar water on a cotton pad, which I rinse off with water. You don’t have to, but I don’t like the feeling of leaving cleanser on my face. I then pat in five or six drops of Cleau de Peau’s Essential Refining Essence, which was a very generous gift from my cousin who lives in Japan and works for the brand, but any sort of mist/essence/hydrating toner would do. I like the Mario Badescu Witch Hazel and Rosewater Toner as well.

For serum, I’m using the NuFace Lifter Infusion Serum, which is expensive but also offers a heavy hit of Vitamin C and hyaluronic acid. It leaves my skin notably brighter and really hydrated and I’ve been using this bottle for over a year, maybe nearly two. You literally only need three to four drops per application. I also love Avene’s DermAbsolu Recontouring Serum and use with the Avene DermAbsolu Refining Day Cream. It’s a sumptuous and rich cream that sinks in quickly but leaves your face feeling plump and hydrated. My skin is pretty dehydrated and my pet peeves are moisturisers that ‘don’t do anything’ and seem to disappear second you rub them in. Finally, for SPF, it’s a Cancer Council facial sunscreen.


Avène Micellar Water, $34.95.

Avène Micellar Water
Image: Chemist Warehouse.

Cle De Peau Essential Refining Essence, $165.90.

Cleau de Peau's Essential Refining Essence

Mario Badescu Witch Hazel and Rosewater Toner, $21.

Mario Badescu, Witch Hazel and Rosewater Toner
Image: Mecca.

NuFACE Lifter Infusion Serum, $129.

NuFace, Lifter Infusion Serum
Image: Mecca.

Avène DermAbsolu Recontouring Serum, $74.99.

Avene's DermAbsolu Recontouring Serum
Image: Adore Beauty.

Avène DermAbsolu Defining Day Cream, $73.95.

Avene, DermAbsolu Refining Day Cream
Image: Adore Beauty.

Cancer Council Day Wear Water Resistant SPF 50+, $13.

CANCER COUNCIL Face & Body Moisturiser Water-resistant SPF50+ Invisible
Image: Priceline.

PM skincare routine.

jessica wang
Image: Supplied/Jessica Wang.

I have a confession: I know most beauty enthusiasts say they could be Charlie Sheen levels of drunk but they'll still take their makeup off before they go to sleep... surely this is a lie. Sometimes (maybe two to three times a month, but still) I'm kind of tired and end up sleeping with my mascara still intact. I know it's gross and AWFUL for your skin (it really is) but for the love of concealer, sometimes I just can't be bothered.

However, on the majority of nights when I'm not self-sabotaging my face, I'll take off my waterproof mascara with the La Roche Posay Respectissime Waterproof Eye Make-Up Remover and cleanse my face in the shower with a flannel and the Trilogy Cream Cleanser. The flannel is important, because it traps the heat from the hot water and gives you a bit of a 'steam facial'.

When I remember to do so, I'll also use Alpha-H Liquid Gold, generally two to three times a week, or I'll tone with my Cleau de Peau Essential Refining Essence. Then, I pat in a few drops of the Philosophy When Hope Is Not Enough facial oil. It's light but uber hydrating, and I follow up with the Nivea Q10 + C Energy Night Sleep Cream to seal everything in.


LA ROCHE-POSAY Respectissime Waterproof Eye Make-Up Remover, $21.99.

La Roche Posay, Respectissime Waterproof Eye Make-Up Remover
Image: Chemist Warehouse.

Trilogy Cream Cleanser, $22.95.

Trilogy Cream Cleanser
Image: Priceline.

Alpha-H Liquid Gold, $59.95.

Alpha H, Liquid Gold
Image: Adore Beauty.

Cle De Peau Essential Refining Essence, $165.90.

Cleau de Peau's Essential Refining Essence

PHILOSOPHY When Hope Is Not Enough, $62.

PHILOSOPHY When Hope Is Not Enough facial oil
Image: Mecca.

NIVEA Q10 + C Energy Night Sleep Cream, $23.99.

Nivea Q10 + C Energy Night Sleep Cream
Image: Chemist Warehouse.

Everyday makeup routine.

We aspire to have Jess' level of makeup organisation. Image: Supplied/Jessica Wang.

On most days, I'm happy with a BB cream, however I also love the Nars Soft Matte Complete Concealer in Macadamia, which I'll apply liberally to my under-eye area, the 'red bits' around my nose and on any blemishes. I then set everything in with the Chanel Healthy Glow Sheer Powder Spf 15.

It's then a quick application of contour, blush, brows and mascara. I'm fanatical about curling my lashes with my trusty Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler, which I follow up with the Isehan Kiss Me Heroine Make Long and Curl Mascara a.k.a the Best Mascara Ever. You can buy it off eBay, but I ask obliging friends who are going to Japan (or China) to pick me up a tube.

For lips, I like a pinky nude or bright red lippie, but I'm pretty bad at touching up my makeup (can you tell?), so it's generally just a lip balm. However, I've found my forever red lipstick in the Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain in 01 Always Red. It's only $19, and it's the most striking, blue-based red, with a velvet-finish. It instantly makes your teeth look whiter; it's lasted through burgers and three-course dinners; and gives me over 12 hours of wear. Leigh Campbell has even complimented me on it.

NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer, $46.

Nars Soft Matte Complete Concealer in Macadamia
Image: Mecca.

Chanel Healthy Glow Sheer Powder SPF 15, $86.

Chanel Healthy Glow Sheer Powder Spf 15
Image: Myer.

MAC Powder Blush, $42.

MAC Powder Blush in Film Noir
Image: MAC.

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow Contour Palette, $97.

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow contour palette
Image: Charlotte Tilbury.

Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil, $52.

Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil
Image: Mecca.

Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler, $33.

Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler
Image: David Jones.

Isehan Kiss Me Heroine Make Long and Curl Mascara, $26.95.

Image: eBay.

Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain in 01 Always Red, $19.

Image: Sephora.

Hair care, body and fragrance.

Every two to three days, I'll wash my hair with the Pantene micellar shampoo. I skip conditioner completely, mostly because I'm lazy, but also I don't find I need the extra hydration. However, if my hair is feeling dry, I'll tame it with the Loreal Botanicals Fresh Care Safflower Rich Infusion Masque. I have typical straight, thick Asian hair, so maintenance-wise, I can get by with a minimalist approach.


I'm not really a hot tools kind of person (read: lazy), but I love any styling product that promises me volume. My favourites include the Klorane Dry Shampoo, Marc Anthony Dream Big Volume Volumizing Super Powder and the Schwarzkoph Osis+ Dry Texture Spray.

When it comes to body care, I love a thorough exfoliation. In my opinion, everybody should own a pair of exfoliation gloves. They're so effective at scrubbing off dry skin and are super cheap. I use them with whatever body wash or bar of soap my roommate and I have on rotation. At the moment, it's a bar of Dr Bronner's All-in-One Citrus Pure-Castille Bar Soap. Side note: How underrated is soap? It's plastic-free and lasts ages. We should all be using more soap.

Fragrance is one thing I don't own a lot of. I think I have skin that absorbs perfume because no matter how much I put on, I don't think people can smell it on me and I can't either. Either that or I've been skunking my entire team for the past two years and they've all been too polite to tell me otherwise. I love the perfume oils from Aussie brand The Ayu. Their 'Rose' and 'White Oudh' scents are consistent compliment-winners and just as pungent as a traditional perfume.

Pantene Micellar Shampoo, $12.99.

Pantene Micellair shampoo
Image: Chemist Warehouse.

L'Oreal Botanicals Fresh Care Safflower Rich Infusion Masque, $17.99.

Loreal Botanicals Fresh Care Saffkiwer Rich Infusion Masque
Image: Priceline.

Klorane Dry Shampoo, $14.99.

Klorane Dry Shampoo
Image: Chemist Warehouse.

Marc Anthony Dream Big Volume Volumizing Super Powder, $19.

marc anthony.
Image: Coles.

Schwarzkopf Osis+ Dry Texture Spray, $29.95.

Schwarzkoph Osis+ Dry Texture Spray
Image: Oz Hair and Beauty.

Dr Bronner's All-in-One Citrus Pure-Castile Bar Soap, $8.95.

Dr Bronner's All-in-One Citrus Pure-Castille Bar Soap
Image: Dr Bronners.

The Ayu Smoking Rose and White Oudh, $60 each.

The Ayu 'Rose' and 'White Oudh' Perfume Oils
Image: The Ayu.

Jess' Spendy: Le Labo Rose 31.

If my bank account would let me, I would exclusively wear Le Labo fragrances. They're expensive but they last forever - I've had mine for three-plus years and I'm very liberal with my fragrance application. The scents are so unique and expertly blended, and they're also unisex. Go into your nearest Mecca Cosmetica and give them a whiff. You'll know what I mean.

Funny story... I was on holiday in Paris in 2016 when I accidentally also bought a bottle of Le Labo Vanille 44 (it's one of the brand's city exclusive fragrances you can only buy in the city they're named after). I must have had a stroke in the Parisian department store because I somehow left the shop with a bottle. Maybe the conversion rate was better and that's how I justified the purchase? Financial train wreck aside, it smells all levels of divine - it's a warm, spicy, sexy vanilla that's not at all sweet.

Le Labo Rose 31, 50ml for $280.

Le Labo, Rose 31
Image: Mecca.

Jess' Savey: Cancer Council Face Day Wear BB Cream in Medium Tint.

This is a recent discovery, and just in time for summer. I'll use this by itself as my SPF and base, and if I'm having an outdoorsy day, I'll also layer it on top of my 50+ SPF. It has a subtle scent that's refreshing, not annoying, and the coverage is pretty decent. It also leaves your skin with a delightfully dewy glow and you can almost always find it cheaper on sale at a chemist.

Cancer Council Face Day Wear BB Cream in Medium Tint, $17.99.

CANCER COUNCIL Face Day Wear BB Cream SPF 50+ Medium Tint
Image: Priceline.

Mamamia's What's In Her Bag series drops every Wednesday. Want to share your beauty routine? Easy, just send us your What's In Her Bag story to [email protected]

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