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, 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 your 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."


TOTAL = £355.92

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."


TOTAL = £154.28

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. "


TOTAL = £521.68

Anita Bhagwandas, Beauty Assistant


Get a daily Stylist treat

Subscribe to our newsletter
Read our privacy policy

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."


TOTAL = £461.84

Anna Fielding, Editor, 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.”


TOTAL = £293.99

Words: Lauren Smith. Images: iStock / Razna Khatun