Whenever we travel we always tell ourselves, "only pack what you need!", "try to not overpack!", but of course we always go overboard. There is something about trying to be a minimalist and only taking what you will need that fails every time. I feel like most of us get caught up in the what-ifs and just in case rare moments that will most likely never occur, and before you know it your suitcase is over the 50-pound limit. Do you know what section of your suitcase probably carries the most weight... your cosmetics bag. Unless you are someone who has nailed down your go-to makeup look and that's the only look you wear, an over-expansive travel makeup collection is not your problem. For my people who love wearing makeup and switching up their looks depending on outfit and occasion, packing light is the ultimate struggle. Of course, we want to go all out on vacation and look and feel our best, but we most definitely want to save the stress of unpacking our suitcase at the airport or being charged an extra fee. I am going to be sharing with you packing tips to condense your cosmetics and show you how you can get the most out of your makeup products. Less is always more. Scroll to get started!
Travel Size bottles
Stating the obvious here, but travel-size bottles will be your best friend. Hit up your local Target or drug store and head straight to the travel section. They typically all sell a variety of travel-size bottles or even travel sets that come with an assortment of jars and bottles in a resealable bag. Go ahead and put all your lotions, face/body wash, exfoliating scrubs, etc. in squeeze bottles. You can even pick up spray bottles and add in your favorite face mist or even micellar water. These plastic bottles should all come in a 3oz size (perfect for a carry-on) and are usually about 99 cents. This is an easy and inexpensive way to downsize your products and keep your bag light.
Travel Size Products
This is also very much stating the obvious, but you can also find some of your favorite products sold in a travel size. Most brands offer a mini size of their best-selling products, making it easy and convenient for traveling or just sampling a product. If you need cosmetics, Sephora is a great place to check out. They sell travel-size perfume and cosmetics, usually located within their check outlines. You can probably stock your whole makeup bag from their check-out line with mini concealers, powder, eye and face palettes, and lipsticks. If you need hair care and bath and body products, Target or the drug store is the spot. Here you can find just about anything such as; shampoo and conditioner, hair spray, soaps, toothpaste, and just about everything else you need.
When it comes to skincare you do not want to skip out on steps of your routine to save space. The last thing we need is for our skin to freak out and not be looking its best on vacation. Go ahead and pack your daily skin routine. If you have large bottles and jars (especially if they are glass) I recommend downsizing them into a smaller container that is plastic just to take on your trip. That will save space and prevent anything glass from breaking. If you are big on face masks, maybe try to keep it to a minimum a bring a sheet mask. They are easy to slide in a bag and take up virtually zero space.
When it comes to packing your makeup, your most versatile products are key! Try and pack products that have multiple uses, so you can get the most of your makeup without having to pack a million products. You also have the option of buying empty palettes and customizing them with your favorites products. There are a lot of brands that sell empty palettes and pans so you can take small samples of your cream products and fit them in the same palette as your powder products. This is a great option if you have multiple makeup palettes you like to use, but do not want to carry them all. I talk about condensing makeup in this post, make sure to read it if you're interested and learning more on how to use these products do and where to buy them.
When it comes to makeup brushes, I am the type of person who will use one brush for everything... or at least try to. If you are someone who uses a lot of cream makeup, use your foundation brush for all of your cream products. Cream bronzer, blush, highlight, and your foundation can all use the same brush. When it comes to concealer you can have the option of using a concealer brush or using your finger, depending on your preference. Have one brush on hand for all your face powders (setting powder, bronzer, blush, and highlight). For the eyes, I think 3-4 brushes max will get the job done. Limit it to a crease brush, a flat shading brush for the lid, and a liner brush. That should have you covered for your eye looks. Of course, you will need to pack your eyelash curler. I find this keeps things simple, but you're still able to create your makeup look. If you have concerns about product residue left on the brush and colors all blending, simply wipe the excess off on a tissue or you can bring a travel-size quick brush cleaner.
A set of face brushes, that are my go-to, that make applying all my makeup simple with limited tools easy, is the Real Techniques sets. I love the Real Techniques everyday essentials set. Their brushes are of amazing quality for an affordable price and can be found at Ulta and Target. Their expert face brush is my absolute favorite and I use it for all my cream products.
This is the makeup/ skincare bag I am currently using. You can get a good makeup bag anywhere, but this is one from Glossier is cute and I treated myself to it. It more of a splurge for a makeup bag considering you can get one at Target for $10, but it was worth it. This bag is spacious and has a ton of pockets, you can even fit full-size skincare in here. Some of my other favorite bags to use for travel are the Zuca zip pouches or a packing cube. You can easily put all products in and the bag itself is condensed and easy to arrange in a suitcase or duffle bag.
* I have also used the bubble wrap pouches that Glossier sends you with your order and love those as well for packing.
Let's start with essentials; foundation, concealer, mascara, and setting powder. Those three products are a definite lock for your makeup bag unless you decide to skip foundation. When it comes to your cheek and eye products, I recommend going for a multi-use palette. Look through your collection and see what you have that you can get the most out of. Something that will have your cheek products and few eyeshadows shades is going to be ideal. The eyeshadows can be used on the eyes, as a liner and to even fill in your brows. The cheek products such as blush, bronzer, and highlight can be utilized for the face and the eyes depending on what makeup look you are creating. I will personally be carrying the E.L.F xx Jen Atkin palette. This is a great eye and cheek palette that you can create everyday and glam looks with. It also has more slim packaging, which is great because we do not want super bulky packaging while traveling.
I reviewed the E.L.F xx Jen Atkin beauty edit. If you are interested in learning more about the collection click here.
If you are someone like myself, you probably love cream makeup products. I love wearing cream makeup products and layer my powders over top, for more longevity. I highly recommend the Milk Makeup minis. They sell cream cheek products in mini stick form for $18. The Uoma beauty contour stick is also a great choice, it is a double-ended highlight and contour stick, and the packaging isn't too bulky. If you already have your favorites on hand and aren't in the market to try something new, you can always take some of your product and put it into a sample jar. You can find sample jars on amazon for really inexpensive but, if you are friendly with your local MAC or blue mercury, next time you stop in for a purchase you can ask for a few sample containers. They may give it to you they may not, you didn't hear it from me.
When it comes to lipstick try and keep it to 1-2 options. I recommend going with your everyday shade and throwing in a bold lip color too. If you are not a lipstick person at all, chapstick shall do!
What is in my travel makeup bag
Here is a list of everything that is currently in my travel makeup. All these products are extremely travel friendly, except blur ad set powder ( Its a bulky container, cant win them all)
Glossier Color Slide ( they no longer sell this product)
There you have it, an inside look in my travel makeup and some of my go to packing tips for cosmetics. What is in your travel cosmetics bag? What are some of your favorite packing tips. Let me know in the comments! Make sure to check out my last blog post here.
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