How to Build A Capsule Makeup Collection

How To Build A Capsule Makeup Collection

If you follow me on my other social platforms you might know I temporarily moved to NYC aka. my favorite place ever!

The only downsize to the move is that I couldn’t bring my entire makeup collection with me, for obvious reasons. And that unfortunate circumstance led me to create a three-month capsule makeup collection.

It’s the same concept as a capsule wardrobe but with makeup. Nothing new or groundbreaking. But putting it together was an interesting experience.

I wanted to share said experience with you today and explain my thought process and logistics behind it. So, if you’re looking to downsize your collection or packing for a long trip, this post is perfect for you!

How to Build A Capsule Makeup Collection

The first step to starting a capsule collection is to be honest with yourself. What do you really need? And what do you love to use? You have to think about products that you use on the daily and also think about your look. Then you’ll successfully build a collection off of that.

You also have to be realistic about how much you want to fit into your capsule makeup collection. The whole point of this is to downsize the amount of products you have/use. And that will be a different amount for everyone.

Tip: If you’re only doing your capsule makeup collection for a few months, keep the weather in mind. That will ensure that your makeup looks its best.

Now, for my particular collection I wanted to have a lot of options. Not only because I love experimenting with different products but because I create content with the products.

My challenge was picking which products were relevant to my content but also relevant to my daily life. It was a struggle but I like to think I did a great job!

Complexion Products

How to Build A Capsule Makeup Collection

I’m a light coverage girl so I based my complexion products on my needs.

For primers I opted for travel sizes to help me save space and to finish them up quickly. I brought a glowy and a matte primer to have different options for my skin’s needs.

For foundation I picked three which might be a bit much but hear me out. I picked a tinted moisturizer for days when I want minimal makeup. I got a foundation with spf for the summer months that are coming. And I brought a foundation that’s a few shades darker that my current shade for when my face inevitably gets tanner. It’s a system people!

For concealer I picked two that are really light weight and ‘natural’ and one that’s medium coverage. I also brought different shades of concealer to mix and match with the different foundation shades.

I brought travel sized powders with me because they last me a really long time and I save a bunch of space. Both of these powders set the face great and they hold up well to the summer heat.

Cheek Products

This area of my collection was harder to condense because I had a lot of options. I also kept in mind that I was gonna be wearing this makeup during summer so I picked lightweight products that are long-lasting.

For bronzer I kept it simple and opted for a powder one and a cream one. That way I can layer them or wear them separately depending on my look.

I’m obsessed with blush atm, so I had to pick out a bunch of them! I got 5 different shades and most of them are creams because they’re easier to travel with. I also had to bring my one powder blush because I’m trying to use it up!

For highlighter I brought 3 completely different products. I brought one powder highlight that is natural but can be built up. I brought a cream highlighter that I can use by itself or layer. And I brought a face gloss to wear on natural days or to amp up the other 2 highlighters.

Eye Products

I think this was my hardest category because I love eye products and wanted to bring them all. But I will say I’m proud of how well I condensed my collection on this area!

I kept the brow products simple. I brought one pencil and one marker to get different effects. And I brought 2 different brow gels so that I wouldn’t get bored of just using one. (lol)

I only brought one eye primer that works well with everything. Also I’m trying to use it up, so I couldn’t leave it behind.

For eyeshadows I really condensed my collection. I brought one palette with all the neutrals I could ever need and one small palette with really fun colors. Simple as that.

For eyeliner I brought a liquid black liner and one brown retractable liner. I don’t wear much liner but it’s important to always have the basics. Of course, I also included a few colored liners because I really wanted to participate on the trend this summer.

For mascara I also kept it quite simple. I brought a really natural mascara and a voluminous one. If I’m wearing very little makeup I can go for the natural one and if I’m going for a more dramatic look I’ll go for the volumizing mascara.

Lip Products

Another hard category for me! I had to be very honest with myself and only pick colors and finishes that I knew I’d reach for every day. So basically a lot of neutrals and a few bright colors.

I picked 2 lip liners to bring with me. One nude and one red, to match the lip products I picked.

For my nudes I picked lippies that are sheer and easy to reapply. I also wanted them to be complimentary to any makeup look so I took that into consideration as well.

My colorful lippies are the opposite. I picked out a red and a terra-cotta because they’re basically the only bold colors I wear. I opted for a matte, long-lasting formula that was easy to use. I also picked colors that go with anything else I wear.

Lastly I picked out one lip gloss that can be worn on it’s own or on top of the other lip products in my collection. It’s a comfortable gloss that I wear daily and I couldn’t see myself without it.

I’ve been living with this collection for almost a month and I’m very pleased with it. I haven’t gotten bored of the products and I’m getting a good use out of them, which is the goal.

Putting together this capsule makeup collection was really challenging but a lot of fun!

Would you ever give the capsule makeup collection a try?

Thank you so much for reading!

Lots of love,

Isa ❤


  1. Julia

    I love this! I’m a newbie to makeup and we have a similar makeup style so I always find your videos helpful and informative. First time checking out the blog!
    I definitely don’t want to accumulate a big collection (for money and space constraints) so I love the idea of putting together a capsule collection.
    The key for me is going to be establishing important basics and also having a little extra wiggle room with items like lipstick and eyeshadow. That way I have opportunity to try out new looks and trends and don’t feel stifled because I only have two options.
    x julia

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Making It up

      That’s awesome! Welcome to the blog lovely 😊 I think that’s a great idea to keep yourself from getting bored! I’ll keep that in mind for next time


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