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Travel makeup presents quite the dilemma.
If you pack too little, then you won’t have everything you need. But if you pack too much, then you’ll end up kicking yourself because now you have all this stuff to carry around.
It’s a no-win situation, really.
Fortunately, it is very possible to have everything you need in just a very small capsule of items. If you’re curious about how to establish your own daily makeup capsule, CLICK HERE and I’ll show you how!
These the products that I absolutely cannot live without when I’m away from home. I’ve taken this little collection, (plus a few other things, let’s be real,) everywhere I’ve traveled recently, and it has never let me down.
Space is a luxury when traveling, and these are the products that give me the “most bang for my buck,” so to speak. If you need help figuring out precisely what you should pack for your next business trip or weekend getaway, read on!
*UPDATED 2019: Some of my specific product recommendations have changed since I’ve tried new products, but this is still exactly how I pack makeup for short getaways! I’ll keep this post updated whenever I find new products that I think you should know about!
If you haven’t already, definitely check out my post all about the E.l.f. Makeup Remover Pen. Trust me, you’ll want to see it. It’s right here >> E.l.f. Makeup Remover Pen Review + Uses
Makeup disasters happen at home, and they happen even more away from home. With the E.l.f. Makeup Remover Pen, you’ll never have to worry about crooked eyeliner, mascara smudges, migrating lipstick, or cakey concealer. Not to mention a dribbling, makeup remover soaked Q-tip on vacation ever again. That’s a lot of benefits if you ask me.
E.l.f. Makeup Remover Pen >> |ELF COSMETICS|
This is such a simple concept, and yet it is so underutilized. While double-ended brushes aren’t the most practical at home, (if anyone has figured out a great way to store them, please let me know,) they make the perfect travel companions.
Instead of carrying eight regular brushes, I can instead pack three or four versatile double ended brushes.
I typically go for two double-ended eye brushes and one or two double ended face brushes. I enjoy having an assortment of eye brushes so that I can easily apply my limited eyeshadows in multiple ways. So the next time you buy an Anastasia Beverly Hills eyeshadow palette, save the brush!
Ecotools Boho Luxe Duo Make Up Brush Set >> |AMAZON|
Dirty makeup brushes are gross, and not to mention frustrating as heck when you need to do your makeup but your brushes are wet and out of commission.
A daily brush cleaning spray is a lifesaver when you’re short on time and when you don’t have all of your brushes near by. A quick spritz makes it easy to switch colors without muddy-ing your look, or spreading yesterday’s bacteria all over your face.
Sephora Collection Dry Clean Instant Dry Brush Cleaner Spray >> |SEPHORA|
E.l.f. Daily Brush Cleaner >> |ELF COSMETICS|
Thanks to airline luggage fees, I think everyone’s main travel goal these days is to cram everything they own into a carry-on. It’s a great idea. Unfortunately, this limits your liquid product carrying capacity.
To conserve valuable space in your one quart-sized baggie, I suggest trying to pack as many non-liquid toiletries and makeup as you can.
Foundations are rather large and take up a lot of real estate in the baggie. I choose stick foundation instead so that I can leave it in my regular makeup bag and not worry about it. (Other swaps include shampoo bars instead of shampoo, a bar of soap instead of liquid body wash, etc., but that’s besides the point.)
Another plus is that stick foundations are unlikely to make a huge mess in your bag, and they’re awesome for slipping into your purse for mid-day touchups.
Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Stick Foundation >> |SEPHORA|
L’Oréal Infallible Longwear Shaping Foundation >> |AMAZON| |TARGET|
Like a stick foundation, a powder foundation can hang around in your general makeup bag. That’s already a plus.
By packing a powder foundation, I eliminate the need for two products: liquid foundation and setting powder. I get oily, and so I can’t wear liquid foundation without setting it down with powder. When I just want a bit of natural looking coverage, I buff powder foundation into my skin on its own. If I need extra coverage, then I can layer it lightly over my stick foundation for a full coverage look.
bareMinerals BAREPRO Performance Wear Powder Foundation >> |SEPHORA|
Maybelline Super Stay Full Coverage Powder Foundation >> |AMAZON| |TARGET|
*Note – I have a MAC powder foundation pictured, but it’s just what I have right now. I’m currently using it up, but it’s not my favorite and I won’t be repurchasing.
Unless I’m going to a special event, it’s not necessary for me to have both pinky blush and a separate bronzer on my trips. Neutral blushes are a perfect compromise. Use either of the colors individually, or mix them to create the perfect natural cheek color. I even give my hairline and jaw a light dusting, and it never looks too pink.
I like this palette from e.l.f., but there are tons of options out there. Once you travel with one or two neutral blushes, you’ll forever wonder why you made things so complicated in the past.
E.l.f. Matte Blush Duo in Soft & Subtle >> |ELF COSMETICS|
You can do just about anything with the right matte shadows.
Of course, I use it as eyeshadow, but it’s also great for filling in my eyebrows if I want a more natural look. Choose cool shades as I have, and you have a contour powder, too.
I like this particular palette because the shade range goes from very light to very dark, and so I can create any kind of look, from super natural to super dramatic. Most of the time I don’t even pack eyeliner, and I’ll just use the deepest shade with a liner brush for definition.
Urban Decay Naked 2 Basics >> |SEPHORA|
My poor lips get awfully dry when traveling. And all the liquid lipstick I glob on doesn’t help.
Tinted lip balms are moisturizing and they’re easy to apply. Many of them have a surprising amount of color payoff too. I toss several of these in bag for comfy, hassle free color that’s easy to apply without a mirror. A lot of the time, this is all I’ll end up wearing for the whole trip.
Occasionally I’ll use these as blushes, too, if I’m feeling frisky.
Almay Smart Shade Butter Kiss Lipstick >> |AMAZON|
Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Colour Balm >> |SEPHORA| |ULTA|
Okay, so this one is a little strange. Yes, pictured above is a Sephora Liquid Makeup Remover, a category of product that I denounced for travel in a previous section. Let’s get past what’s in the bottle, and focus on the adorable little bottle itself.
Tiny bottles are your friends. Fill them with hair products, lotions, face soap, you name it.
We ask know about those rubberized travel toiletry bottles. While they are great for shampoo and conditioner, they aren’t so great for specialized products.
Tiny bottles like the makeup remover bottle above are super easy to collect if you’re looking out for them. I acquired this little beauty from a Sephora point reward. I also have a teeny bottle that came filled with Smashbox Primer Oil in an Ipsy bag. I now use that for my on-the-go Argan oil.
*UPDATE: Since originally creating this post, I have invested in some mini glass bottles from Amazon. They come in all sorts of sizes and types.
Glass Bottles with Eye Dropper, 10 mL >> |AMAZON|
Set w/ Spray Bottles, 2 oz, and Roller Balls 10 mL >> |AMAZON|
That’s all for today!
Like this post? Check out this one for more goodness >> Adaptable Travel Makeup + Easy Travel Makeup Routine
If you find this post interesting, informative, or just plain entertaining, tell me about it in the comments below. And don’t forget, sharing is caring. Share this post!
Till next time. ♥︎
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FTC- Not sponsored. I purchase all products myself. All opinions are my own. Some links may be affiliated.
Now I know what to do with those dang double ended brushes. They’re such a pain to store so I hardly use them even when I do really like them. Thanks for the great idea!
Glad I could be of service, Karry! I keep my double-sided brushes around exclusively for travel. They just live in my travel makeup bag all snug and ready for my next adventure! Thanks for reading 🙂 xo
Spray on brush cleaner is a must have when I travel. I learned that the hard way, haha when I used a brush for a super dark color, then I had to wash it and I couldn’t use it until the next day after it dried. Now I carry brush cleaner wherever the brushes go.
Funny enough, I never used to believe in brush cleaning sprays, but now I can’t travel without it. It’s the nitpickiness in me about mixing colors on my face because of a dirty brush. Thanks so much for reading! 🙂 xo
Good stuff here. This is a very unique list and everything is chosen for a reason and not just “because I like this product.” Definitely will share. Kudos 🙂
Thank you so much, Helena! I’m glad you find this useful 🙂 xo
Love this!! Sometimes you don’t know what to take in your travel kit when you have so many products at hand to choose from. This definitely gives me a good list of ideas of what to bring on my next vacation!
Eloise Wren says
Lip butters are my go to when I’m going on holiday, I end up having to keep them in the fridge though!
That’s a really good idea, I never thought of that! But then again, pretty much anywhere I vacation is colder than where I live, so I don’t really have a melting problem, lol. Thanks so much for reading. 🙂