Beauty Editor Kristen Vinakmens Shares Her Beauty Secrets

The best fast-fix beauty products you need in your handbag.
Michelle Villett
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The best fast-fix beauty products you need in your handbag.

My handbag feels like it weighs 50 pounds. That's because I tend to lug around about 30 different beauty products at any given time (and a good 40 percent of them are probably various lip glosses, balms, stains and lipsticks). Despite this, when a beauty emergency inevitably strikes—like my nail polish chips or my eyeshadow disappears—I have just the thing that will help! Except that it's at home.

See, it's all in the preparation. I'm not bad now at packing for the airplane, but after chatting with my fellow beauty editor friend Kristen Vinakmens, I see the need for a handbag beauty overhaul. There are so many good prodz out there that I haven't been using! I hit up KV (she's worked at ELLE Canada, FLARE and Glow) for some tips on fast-fix, double-duty, 2- and 3-in-1 products. Listen and learn!

First, meet Kristen:


And here are her tips...

The worst-ever red carpet mishap (don't let this happen to you!)

BEAUTY EDITOR: What's the worst celebrity beauty mishap you've seen, and how could it have been avoided?

Kristen Vinakmens: The “reverse-panda” effect where someone (I’m looking at you, Kim Kardashian) wears a too-light under-eye concealer that only highlights any problems around the eyes.


This could easily be fixed [by bringing] a simple mirrored compact to check the makeup in natural light (as it could have looked “normal” in her bathroom) and a multi-hued concealer compact such as Lise Watier Portfolio Professional Corrector along with a makeup sponge to fix egregious colour-matching errors.


Kristen's top 2-in-1 and 3-in-1 products

BEAUTY EDITOR: What are your favourite 2-in-1 (or 3-in-1, or more!) products and why?

Kristen Vinakmens: NARS The Multiple is a classic multi-tasker.

You can use it for eyes as shadow, cheeks as blush or highlighter, and for lips as lipstick. You can also use it on your body to highlight collarbones or ahem, cleavage.


Some lip stains can leave lips feeling parched, but Revlon Just Bitten Lip Stain + Balm includes a colour stain and a moisturizing lip balm in one so your lips never dry out.

For a super-fast mani, Sally Hansen’s Complete Salon Manicure can’t be beat.


It includes a base coat, colour and top coat in one bottle, plus a nail strengthener and growth treatment infused in the polish.


For fragrance, sometimes a scented body lotion is all you need since it has a high concentration of perfume oil. I love Guerlain Shalimar Parfum Initial Delicate Body Lotion, which has an ambery floral scent with a hint of vanilla.


Kristen's fave fast-fix beauty products

BEAUTY EDITOR: We're seeing a lot of products lately that promise instant results (in five minutes or less!) and can be stored in your purse for beauty emergencies. Which "instant-fix" products do you love?

Kristen Vinakmens: For hair, John Frieda Full Repair Touch Up Flyaway Tamer.


It's a nourishing serum in a mascara-like tube—and a godsend for smoothing frizzies that seem to magically appear after you leave the house looking perfectly coiffed. [Buy it here for $15.99— offers free shipping in Canada with no minimum order!]

[Editor's note: You'll need a larger-sized handbag for this one... or you can leave it on your desk at work.] For skin, I’ll spritz on Benefit Ultra Radiance Facial Re-Hydrating Mist midday to freshen my makeup and moisturize my skin.


The soft cucumber scent is also a great pick-me-up.

I’m loving the new cream eyeshadows that make doing your eyes a cinch. My fave is CoverGirl’s Intense ShadowBlast, which has a built-in primer for long-wearing, crease-proof shadow.


Just sweep on the product over lids and into the crease and you’re good to go.

I’m also notorious for layering different mascaras to get multi-dimensional lashes. But Maybelline New York Volum' Express The Falsies Flared Mascara does it all.

The spoon-shaped brush curls and fans out lashes, while the formula builds mega-volume. A couple of coats, and I’m done.


Kristen's best double-duty product tips

BEAUTY EDITOR: At an Oscar de la Renta show, makeup artist Gucci Westman used lipstick as blush. What do you think are the best non-traditional uses for favourite beauty products in a pinch?

Kristen Vinakmens: I love using a clear mascara for grooming unruly brows.


Hair conditioner makes a great shaving cream—it moisturizes and prevents nicks and cuts while you shave.


Lip balm is great for taming brows and moisturizing ragged cuticles.


Vaseline works for everything from smoothing rough elbows and heels to a great lip moisturizer and eye makeup remover.


You can also swipe it on your eyelids to create an eye gloss. [Buy it for just $1.99 here— has free shipping in Canada with no minimum order!]

Concealer is great for priming your lips for a nude lipcolour since it cancels out the red/pink tones.


And sometimes, a concealer is all you need to get your perfect nude lip shade.

Thanks KV! Now, over to you guys:

Have you ever had a beauty emergency where you wished you'd had the right product in your bag?
Which fast-fix products do YOU swear by?
Do you use some beauty products for, um, unconventional purposes?