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As Seen on TV: 5 Multi-Purpose Makeup Basics for a Skinnier Makeup Bag, on The Marilyn Denis Show

De-cluttering your bulging makeup bag
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As well as the winter-skincare segment on "The Marilyn Denis Show," I did a makeup-bag make-under: five makeup basics you need to keep in your bag. We're not really talking "touch-up kit," but rather the bag you throw into your purse or keep at your desk for those hurried prep times. And believe it or not, makeup hoarders, you can get pretty much any look with just five makeup items, especially if you cleverly make multi-purpose choices. Brushes don't count! *grin*

A liquid or creamy formula is better for under eyes. A stick concealer could look cakey over fine lines and wrinkles, but is aces for covering redness, including blemishes. Joe Fresh Beauty Duo Concealer, $8, is liquid + stick, and counts as one item. Or try Stila One Step Foundation, $57, which has enough coverage to function as concealer and foundation, and dries to a powder-like finish. Launching next month, Lise Watier 12 Hours Glam Flawless Complexion Foundation and Concealer Duo, $45, is a tube of foundation with concealer in the mirrored cap. I didn't include powder or mineral foundation in the segment, but if you need those, just think multipurpose with your other items so you can keep your makeup bag five-item skinny.

Trios and quads are obvs better choices than single shadows, and give you makeup options from fresh to dramatic. Sally Hansen Natural Beauty Inspired by Carmindy Instant Definition Eye Shadow Palettes, $12 each, and L'Oreal Paris Wear Infinity Quads, $10.95 each, include instructions on where to apply each shade. L'Oreal's quad in Earthscape also doubles as brow powder for brunettes, redheads and blondes. A customizeable palette lets you assemble your favourite shades. MAC is genius for such things, and they have makeup pros on hand for advice. Canadian company Annabelle also does make-your-own-combos ($22.25 total) very well -- I showed the compact and shadows in Vanilla Chilla, Gold Digger, Metallic Meltdown and Bronzed Idol. And a compact palette that includes cheek colour is another space saver; Clinique Pretty in Prints Milly Palette, $43 (available in February), fits and leaves room for an eye pencil for addicts like me.

Yes, you want one in your little bag in case you have to do your makeup in the back of a cab or discreetly at the office. I vote volume because these give big impact with little effort. CoverGirl LashBlast Fusion Mascara, $9.49; L'Oreal Paris Extra-Volume Collagen Mascara, $10.49; Rimmel The Max Volume Flash Mascara $7.

Multi-purpose, multi-purpose. Smashbox Cream Cheek Duo in Blushing/Peony, $30, can be used on cheeks and lips, plus it has two shades. Stila One-Step Primecolor, $29, and NARS The Multiple, $46, can be used on lids as well as cheeks and lips.

Yup. More multi-taskers. A tinted balm is a must-have + colour for lips that tend toward dryness; the right shade could work on cheeks, too. (Same for lipstick -- in a pinch, your pink, coral, berry or red makes a pretty blush.) Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm, $7.99, is new; it comes out next month. Benefit Benetint Pocket Pal, $25, puts a flush in cheeks and a bitten-lip hue + gloss finish on lips. The Hard Candy Plexi Gloss, $4.95, is really just a nod to gloss addicts -- I'll always like gloss because it makes a face look younger, and this sweet, sheer pink is pretty on its own or over lipstick.

Watch the full segment on; thanks so much to lovely Farah from the Ben Barry Agency for being ok with a five-minute face cut to three :-). Thanks also to Pistachio for the pretty Apple & Bee cosmetics bags. And thanks to Marilyn Denis Show producer Claudia, who had her own reasons for suggesting this segment. *grin*