How do you pack your makeup when you travel?

If I take any freestyle eyeshadow palettes, I put a layer of bubblewrap between the lid and the eyeshadows (or foam or paper towel). Then I wrap the palettes in a shirt or sweater. I keep powders in one makeup bag, and then eyeliners and brushes in another. Liquids/creams go in a quart-sized plastic bag for air travel, otherwise a separate makeup bag.

— Christine


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Nancy T Avatar

I seriously *need* to take a page from your book, Christine, should I ever take a flight somewhere again! Especially the bubble wrap or foam placed between the lid and product with powder products, because that is quite ingenious, really.

For air travel, I’ve always put all my cosmetics and other toiletries in one of those shoulder carry on bags that zips up, with all the actual makeup in a padded cosmetics bag or smaller traincase. Things have changed so much with air travel in the 13 years since I last flew, so I know people don’t bring as much onboard as before. Back then, it was your handbag/purse, and a bag you could fit under your seat, plus a small one in the overhead compartment.

Mariella Avatar

I kept a sheet of that thin “paper foam” that came with something I ordered, hoping it was thin enough to fit into those Stila Eyes are the Window palettes but they won’t close even with that inside. However, one of them survived a 3 week trip to India packed in my big suitcase placed where it was protected by my clothes. I’ve kept the plastic inserts that came with my Chanel quads and MAC mineralize eye and cheek products and use those (if I can find them) when I’m travelling. Beyond that, I try to take my powder products in my carry on and pack everything else nestled securely in among my clothes.

Julia Avatar

I have a couple of Vera Bradley cosmetics bags that I use – I feel like their being quilted helps cushion my stuff, and they have a vinyl lining so I can wipe out any eyshadow dust, etc. I try to just bring sturdy palettes so I don’t worry, and they always go in my carry on.

AB Avatar

Just one small/medium makeup bag into which all except for liquids and primers fit; for those I use ziploc bags. The largest palette I ever bring is Viseart minx 6-colors, which has a tight lid and plastic cover between pans and lid,so it fits in the bag without size or breakage issues. I travel a lot, and so far this has all worked ok for me.

Sarah Avatar

I try and bring just one or two cardboard palettes (viseart minis). They’re wrapped in bubble wrap or facecloth and go in ziplock bag.

Foundation goes in contact lens case. Every thing else goes in makeup bag. I try and travel with cream formulas the most.

Lesley Avatar

Contact lens cases also work for eye cream, concealer, shadow primer, zit cream, anything you don’t need too much of. A laundry marker works well for labeling them.

Anne Avatar

I have the Sephora Collection Weekender Bag that keeps everything nice and snug and is big enough for anything I would want to travel will makeup-wise (I have a separate bag for skincare even if there’s room as I don’t want to get face wash all over a lipstick if something implodes in transit) and it’s worked great for me for years.

Shannon. N Avatar

I haven’t flown in 10 years, and back then, I was not wearing makeup. So I have ZERO clue on how to fly with makeup!!

I like to take a mini leather train case whenever I travel, it has a bigger bottom. That can fit my Medium Z palette comfortably. So I pack everything I need makeup wise down there.
And in the top compartment, I keep all of my brushes, hair ties, hand sanitizer, Hair clips etc!

I find that works for me!!

Eileen Avatar

I put a thIn sheet of foam (from the craft store) inside my palettes, but I also place a rubber band around the palettes to make sure they don’t pop open if jostled. I travel very light when it comes to cosmetics unless I’m traveling to attend a special event. Usually, I just take my foundation, a good palette or two (this past year I traveled with Tom Ford’s Warm and Cool palettes), a couple lipsticks, mascara, pencil eyeliner and a few brushes. Everything gets lumped together in a baggy except for foundation which goes in a separate baggy and the brushes which go in a brush roll.

Genevieve Avatar

That’s a good idea of using bubble wrap or paper towel Christine! I use a small suitcase (one that you could carry onto an aeroplane) and pack it with my make up treasures using zip lock bags. For car travel, this is fine. If I was actually going on a plane I would have to make sure that larger items would be in the main suitcase as per the security precautions these days.

DVa Avatar

I travel a lot for work and generally travel carry-on. Even when it’s a longer trip and I check a bag I never put my absolute essentials in my suitcase (all it takes is one lost luggage situation for you to learn). My makeup goes in a makeup bag, small shampoos/conditioners (gel/liquids) in another TSA approved clear case, makeup brushes in a roll case and any essentials I need come with me, plus one alternate outfit, just in case.
This way nothing gets broken or lost. I suggest never checking makeup if you can avoid it.

MacKenzie G. Avatar

I haven’t been on a plane in a few years and I wasn’t wearing makeup then so I can’t speak for air travel. But whenever I pack to take a Greyhound or drive somewhere I bundle my palettes up with my clothes, the rest of my makeup gets stuffed into a makeup bag, and all my brushes go in a baggie. If I’m going somewhere for a while (like visiting home for a week or more) I pack more makeup in baggies.

Silvia Avatar

Lotions for hair, shampoo/conditioner, spf, lotions or creams for all over body, items such as toothpaste and even makeup brushes I will place all in zip locks just in case they brake or explode during travel in a suitcase but foundation, eyeshadow, blush, eyesbrow little kit, highlighter/contour (i think I would leave it at home preferably) and lipsticks I carry always with me. When traveling I’d like to make it as simple as possible so carry a few eyeshadow and lipsticks it’s when I need to dress up for example for a wedding then it can become complicated since I’ll need to carry the fancy heeled shoes, dressy dress, jewelry otherwise I try to make practical still casual and pretty but minimal and comfy since we will be walking a marathon hubby and I and let the adventure begin!

bibi Avatar

Having had my luggage arrive days later than myself quite often I always pack my makeup, basic toiletries, a pair of pjs, and a full change of clothes in my carry on. Plus, my carry on is less likely to get as tossed about (resulting in breakage) as my checked luggage.
I have a hanging toiletries bag from LLBean that ain’t purty but it’s sturdy & practical with a bazillion pockets to stash all the sample packets of things I might need. I have one of those roll up make bags from a friends who used to sell Mary Kay that has 5 different compartments – all makeup & brushes go into it. After that all liquids & creams go into a quart sized ziploc bag. Anything in a palette or clamshell gets a rubber band around it.

Bee Avatar

I just place it in my toiletry or make up bag. I don’t do anything special- I pack travel friendly products that I know will hold up during travel.

Cindy S Avatar

Now that we are retired, we travel a lot, and I’ve finally found out how to pack my make-up. It used to be put in a toilet bag which was so bulky in my suitcase. So I decided to make customized cotton bags. I measured my hairbrushes and made a bag for all the ones I like to have with me and did the same for my make-up brushes. I also made a bag to keep my cheek powders and highlighters together. I usually take 2 palettes with me and stuff these between clothes, None have ever broken this way. If we are just traveling for a few days and I only have a carry on case, I bring many face cream samples with me and not my bulky jars. Whenever I go into Sephora or other beauty shop, I ask for different samples, they come in handy when travelling! Perfume is sprayed into a travel 2oz plastic spray bottle. Whatevers left, finally goes in my toilet bag which is much lighter and flat! Hope this helps others.

Joy Avatar

I travel a lot! I pack everything in hanging cosmetic bags. Then I can just hang them up wherever I go and have a clear, organized view of all my make up and beauty supplies. I keep them all in my carry on because I would be devastated if anything got broken or lost.

Beverly Avatar

Minimally but still with my whole face! I try to only bring one of each type of item – one lipstick, one blush, one shadow palette etc – but I’m usually just going for the weekend. If I bring multiples it’s only lipstick or highlighter (one for day one for night).

But I keep it in a Cinnamoroll lunchbox. Originally it was an actual child’s lunchbox from Japan that I impulse bought from a girl secondhand. It’s one of those insulated ones so it’s padded and I feel like it keeps the makeup from getting too hot. If I could find the Lisa Frank one I used to have I might mix it up now and then.

Rachel Avatar

I bring very minimal makeup when I travel and everything goes in my carry on. I’ve never had any issues with things getting damaged since I’m the only person handling my bag.

MoMerrell Avatar

I love deluxe or mini products for traveling. I have plenty mini lipsticks so I’ll bring more of them than I would full size because of the size so about 8 of them. I bring deluxe size mascara and eyeliner, small highlighters and single blushes. For eyeshadow I bring one small (6 or less) palette and my Too Faced Semi-Sweet chocolate or one sized like it. I’ll never bring a bigger one in case it’s damaged or shattered.

I bring one brush for each (eye, brow, highlighter, blush). I bring my inexpensive but still good foundation/concealor (in case it’s damaged or lost- I’d rather lose a $10 bottle vs a $50 bottle). I bring wedge sponges that I can toss. Makeup remover pads ( I use the Almay ones), A few que-tips, a few oval cotton pads I use for makeup removal and I put my Josie maran argan infinity oil in a tiny travel jar, enough for my travel time. I also bring a few different sample sizes of perfume as I have many. LOL.

I have a flexible makeup caboodle that when full stays upright and aside from my makeup I out my toothpaste, tooth brush, bobby pins, etc. in there too. It holds A LOT and keeps everything safe.

Emilie Avatar

I never do anything special to secure my makeup because I always like to take it in my carry-on! It ensures I wouldn’t lose anything expensive or hard to replace should my checked baggage get lost (I’m always so anxious about checking bags…), and I can make sure it’s not thrown around because I’ll always be carrying it and I know to be careful. No broken powders! I tend to also take my liquid products in my carry-on because most products are well below the TSA size limit, but I don’t mind sticking them in checked luggage to avoid potential hassle because I know they can’t break. I usually like to carry my brush roll as well just because the brushes are expensive and I would really hate to lose them… I came close once but thankfully my luggage was found. Oh, the stresses of air travel!

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