The Perfect Workweek Makeup Bag

HSN beauty expert and studio owner Nikol Johnson Sanchez gives the spill.

Nikol Johnson Sanchez spent 15 years as a model for Ford in New York and Miami before transitioning into the beauty world, noticing the opportunity for limitless creativity. She became a licensed aesthetician in 2000 and later travelled the country as a national trainer for Dr. Dennis Gross and regional sales manager for YonKa Paris.

Seeing a void in the market for fresh and natural bridal hair and makeup, Nikol opened Fresh Beauty Studio in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in 2006. It’s since been featured in The Knot and Martha Stewart Weddings and has given her the opportunity to work with big names like Bobbi Brown, Laura Mercier and Chanel. However, her biggest claim to fame is her role as on-air expert for HSN’s Beauty Report, where she tests new products and shares her best-kept secrets and tips with viewers. She does the same on her hit YouTube series, demonstrating everything from 5-minute makeup for moms to online dating looks.

Nikol also knows a thing or two about creating the perfect workweek cosmetics bag. According to her, it will help you feel just as good about the way you look as an amazing outfit.  

“It’s really important to have a few staples in case you’re dragged into a last-minute meeting or an impromptu happy hour. Adding cheek color or an extra coat of mascara can make you look like you’ve had 12 hours of rest when you’ve only had two,” says Nikol. “It’s your little arsenal of power products that keep you looking your best.”

Here, she outlines the five items you need to stash in yours.

From the Ivanka Trump Collection: The Mercer Cosmetic Case Trio.

Tinted Moisturizer

This allows you to feel like you’re not wearing tons of makeup to work and gives you hydration, SPF and an even skin tone. I like one by Ever skincare because it has a chemical-free SPF 32, is filled with hyaluronic acids, hydrates the skin and has a really great consistency. It’s not as thin as most tinted moisturizers, but it’s not heavy either, so you don’t feel like you’re putting on a mask.


You should have a concealer for those late nights—whether it be having a couple of cocktails too many or just working overtime at the computer. You can use it as a spot treatment on your blemishes, dark circles and pigmentation or smooth it out to create your own foundation. I recommend Bobbi Brown’s brightening concealer that illuminates or Ever’s peachy corrector that takes out the blues and grays in the skin.


Mascara is going to open up the eyes and give you just enough depth to make you look awake. Even if you have nothing on your face, wearing mascara pulls your look together. I love Chanel’s Le Volume Mascara because it has such a wonderful, creamy, rich texture and gives lots of lash volume. L’Oreal’s Voluminous is a really great, accessible drugstore option.

3-in-1 Palette

A versatile palette with blush, bronzer and highlighter makes it easy for you during the workweek. In one compact, you can add brightness to your skin and get a little highlight. You can use the highlighter on your lids if you don’t have any eyeshadow and you want to touch up before grabbing a cocktail. If you’re commuting and don’t have a mirror, start at the tip of your ear with bronzer and go straight down in a line. Then, just smile to find the apples of your cheeks for blush. Benefit Cosmetic’s has Fine-One-One, sheer brightening color for cheeks and lips. You stripe it down the face and there’s nothing to think about.

Creamy Lipstick

Wearing color on your lip, whether a nude or a pink that brings freshness to your face, is really key. You don’t want to wear a power lip that’s red, unless it’s your signature color. You want something to look natural and I recommend doing a creamy lipstick rather than a matte one. It’s going to give you a highlighted look where you look rested and healthy. For a great neutral, try Chanel’s Rouge Coco Boy or moisturizing Daylight.


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