Last updated on October 25th, 2018
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It’s summer! Which means it is officially travel season!
And what does that mean? We’ll have to pack, of course!
With the airlines being annoying and charging us for checked luggage, (which seem to have a 92% chance of landing on the other side of the planet anyway,) and regulations limiting how much of what we can bring, packing is getting tricky. It’s not like the old days anymore. When I went on family vacations as a kid, my entire family of four would jam everything into one 70 pound suitcase and send it on it’s way.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out my post on writing pristine packing lists. It has some great tips to make sure you feel organized and calm during the packing process so nothing gets left behind.
Today, I’m showing you my must have products for travel. We’ll also talk about how to narrow down to the bare minimum while still having everything you need for any beauty situation. Ready for easy travel beauty? Click to read on!
Packing light is so simple yet so difficult
My goal when I travel is to pack as lightly as possible. C’mon, who wants to be lugging 50 pounds of extra stuff around? Not me. But being a makeup lover, it’s so hard because I just want to take everything. If your inner monologue sounds something like this: What if I really want to wear green glittery eyeshadow? I’ll just take this big palette. It has everything. Stop right there!
I don’t know about you, but I have never once woken up on vacation and kicked myself for leaving behind my green glittery eyeshadow. Most of the time, I just want to throw on my eyebrows and get out to explore my destination. Oftentimes, I end up not even wearing what minimal makeup I packed simply because I’ve got better things to do than play with makeup.
With this in mind, I pack the most minimal makeup I can, but still enough to do a reasonably full face when I’m feeling fancy. This makeup collection may or may not be enough if you are going to wedding, and definitely not enough for a costume party, but how many trips actually have those events on the itinerary? Probably not many.
Cover FX CC Cream Time Release Tinted Treatment in G Light-Med
For the face, I definitely recommend choosing something with SPF when traveling.
The Cover FX CC Cream is my favorite. It provides a solid medium coverage, and blends into the skin beautifully. It has one of the highest SPF ratings I have seen in a makeup product, which is always nice. When traveling, look for something that blends well using your fingers. Ditching your Beauty Blender saves more space than you’d think!
Update: This product has been discontinued.
Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer in Light Neutral
This concealer is another one that blends easily with your fingers. Win! It has a thin consistency, (so it’s not cakey,) yet the coverage is amazing. If you need more coverage, you can always build it up, but starting with a small amount ensures that things don’t get too messy since we aren’t using brushes today.
For a natural look, try to keep the concealer in the smallest area possible– no need to do the whole triangle-shaped highlight right now. On the flip side, a thin yet pigmented concealer is the perfect multi-tasker for concealing and highlighting.
Urban Decay Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer >> Purchase at Sephora
L’Oréal True Match Super Blendable Powder in W2
Powder is a must for me on trips. This one comes with a sponge applicator for easy, on-the-go touchups.
I tend to get oily, and I find that this pressed powder is the best for controlling my five o’clock shine. Use whatever powder works for you, but try to stick to pressed powders rather than loose. I took a loose powder on an airplane once. It wasn’t pretty.
L’Oréal True Match Super Blendable Powder >> Purchase on Amazon
Sephora Bronzed and Blushing Face Palette
Space saving is always a top priority when traveling, (at least for me,) so I always look for multi-tasking products. This matte blush and bronzer trio is great because you can mix and match the shades to create custom colors for face or eyes. You also have the option to wear it matte or top it with the highlighter to give it some shimmer. You can literally create any look.
This particular palette was limited edition, but there are many great ones out there. The E.l.f Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder in Fiji is my top alternative.
E.l.f. Contouring Blush & Bronzer in Fiji >> Purchase at Elfcosmetics.com
L’Oréal True Match Lumi Powder Glow Illuminator in Rose
Highlighter is one of those things I will never skip. It can take a full-face look to the next level, or add a bit of something extra to a very minimal makeup look.
I picked this one because it has a good mix of different colors and textures that I can use as cheekbone highlights, brow bone and inner corner highlights, or an allover glow. Plus, the two darker pink shades could also make great all-over lid shades. Just throw your bronzer in your crease and you have a full eye look. Another great multi-tasker.
L’Oréal True Match Lumi Powder Glow Illuminator in Rose >> Purchase on Amazon
Maybelline Brow Define + Fill Duo in Deep Brown
This product is a multi-tasker in itself, but you can still get creative with it! When you’re traveling, chances are you will be warm, and the last thing you want is your eyebrows dripping down your face. I just like a pencil in general since I find it easier to use than a pomade, but if you’re a powder gal, this will also work for you. With this product, I feel secure in knowing that when I get off Splash Mountain, my eyebrows will be right where they belong… raised high up in terror on my forehead.
If you’ve been keeping up, you know that I have a tendency to use brow powders as eyeshadows. So of course I will be using the powder end to deepen my outer corner and crease. You should do it too; the little sponge applicator is calling you. Travel makeup doesn’t get any better than this little thing.
Maybelline Brow Define + Fill Duo >> Purchase on Amazon
Nars Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base
I’m skipping face primer for the sake of simplicity, but eyelid primer is something I can’t go without. Even when I’m not wearing eyeshadow, I smear a bit of this on my lids to prevent the oil from collecting and making my eyes burn. Yes, that is a problem for me. Think about your necessities, and leave behind things that you can live without. For me, that’s usually face primer, (unless I have a sample; more on that below.) What is it for you?
Nars Pro-Prime Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base >> Purchase at Sephora
Sephora Retractable Eyeliner in Waterproof Black
It’s always a good idea to keep a creamy black eyeliner on hand. This one lasts for a long time in the waterline, and also features a smudger and sharpener on the end to add to the versatility. For this look, I just applied it to my waterline and blended it with the smudger, but you could also smudge it onto your upper lash line or use it as a smoky eyeshadow base. Use it anywhere you need to deepen colors, really. The possibilities are endless.
Sephora Retractable Eyeliner in Waterproof Black >> Purchase at Sephora
Maybelline Color Tattoo in Creamy Beige
This is the only eyeshadow I take with me on trips. It is a neutral shade that adds a bit of definition to the lids with minimal effort and no brushes. I tend to get carried away with eyeshadow and it ends up taking me forever.
If this is my only option, then I don’t have to worry about wasting time or space for eyeshadow. Color Tattoos last forever, and when combined with my Nars eyeshadow base, this stuff is basically bulletproof- perfect for long days of fun.
Maybelline Color Tattoo in Creamy Beige >> Purchase on Amazon
Urban Decay Perversion Mascara in Black
I am not super picky about mascara, but I do like this one, plus I happen to have it in a tiny sample size tube, so it takes up even less space! When traveling, try to gather up as many samples and mini-sizes of products as possible. The smaller, the better.
Urban Decay Perversion Mascara >> Purchase at Sephora
Hack alert: Before I go on trips, especially short ones where I want to pack especially light, I make a pit stop at Sephora. For what, you ask? We all know they’re pretty liberal with the samples. I’ll just go in and ask for samples of things like mattifying primer, concealer, or anything else they can squeeze into the little sample jar. I have a tiny amount of product to take with me, plus I get to keep the container for future trips! They’re great little things.
I used all of the products above, plus one of two lip products, which I’ll talk about in a bit, to create the full face, natural look above.
What you need & what you don’t
You only need two lip colors for a typical trip. That’s right, two. Not ten, not five, but two. One for daytime natural, and one for nighttime glam. I chose a mauve and a purple because that’s what I’m into right now, but you can bring whatever colors you like.
Choose one color that you are comfortable wearing everyday, (something you would wear when doing errands around town,) and a more glamorous evening color that you would wear out to a fancy dinner. If your everyday color is bright red, and your fancy dinner color is Anastasia “Paint,” (electric blue, for those who don’t know,) then go for it, just make sure you have those two categories covered.
Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in “Patina” and “Chianti”
When I’m traveling, I pretty much want my makeup to take care of itself. Basically, I want to put it on in the morning, and forget about it; I don’t want to have to be worrying about smudges, running, greasiness, or any other makeup catastrophes. That’s why I always use long-wearing liquid lipsticks when I’m traveling.
That way, when I’m wandering around nibbling on churros, ice cream bars, and sipping lemonade, getting lipstick on my chin isn’t a worry. Also, my BF prefers it when I don’t leave behind a ring of lipstick on our shared straw, so there’s that.
Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Patina & Chianti >> Purchase at Sephora
The brushes (or lack thereof)
Now, you must be wondering about the subject of brushes, since I have barely uttered the word so far. I chose much of this makeup for the reason that it is “finger makeup.” There is no way I’m packing my Beauty Blender, only to waste time washing it, during a five day trip. I can live without it for that long. Instead, I chose a CC cream that blends well with my fingers. Same with my sole eyeshadow; just pop it on with the fingers.
If you can manage your entire face with your fingers, then all power to you, but I’m not a fan of cream blushes and bronzers, so I decided to make an exception. I am taking miniature blush and angled bronzer brushes that I got in some random Walmart holiday set, (I’m not sure what they are, but they were cheap and that’s what matters.)
My lack of brushes further lightens my load, and just makes the whole makeup process simpler. I think this is totally the way to go when it comes to travel makeup packing. Give yourself a challenge: how few brushes can you survive with?
It’s not travel makeup without a travel makeup bag
And it all fits compactly in the adorable little bag. Perfecto.
I used to be a major over-packer, like seriously, I would bring my whole house with me if I could. Of course, this meant I packed way more makeup than I needed as well. In order to prevent the I-have-the-space-so-I’m-gonna-fill-it mentality, I picked a bag that I felt could hold all of the products I really need, and then let the space do the deciding. It it doesn’t fit, it ain’t going. It worked, since I have everything I need sealed snugly in this compact bag.
I recommend hunting down a small-to-medium sized travel makeup bag that you love so much that you couldn’t stand to leave home without it. This bag measures in at 8 inches long at the base and 6.5 inches tall at the peak of the dome, and it is flat when empty. I think this is a reasonably sized makeup bag for a typical vacation that will prevent you from overpacking while still giving you the space you need.
UPDATE 1/25/17: The bag pictured above is no longer available, but I’ve got a new favorite anyway. I’ve been using the JIARUO Multi-Function Organizer, and I’m loving it! It’s super lightweight and packable, it comes with a brush organizer, it’s amazingly inexpensive, and it comes in a ton of fun patterns. I find it the perfect size where I can carry a trip’s worth of makeup comfortably without going over board.
JIARUO Multi-Function Organizer >> Purchase on Amazon
That’s all for today!
I hope you enjoyed taking a peek into my travel makeup bag, and I hope you got some useful tips that will help you prepare for your next awesome vacation!
If you liked this post, you’ll love this one –> How to Write A Foolproof Travel Packing List
I’d love to see what’s in you makeup bag. Comment below!
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Till next time. ♥︎
FTC-This post is not sponsored by any of the brands mentioned. I purchase all products myself. All opinions are my own. Some links may be affiliated.