How does your makeup routine change when you go on vacation?

If it’s a really short trip and I don’t have a good palette to test (something that seems high quality/from a reliable brand), then I’ll usually wear products I’ve already tested (and that’s unusual, haha!).

— Christine


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Joyce Avatar

I’ll include short trips also πŸ™‚ but I just pack what I think I’ll really use, so typically to-go, natural, everyday makeup.

But when I’m away, I typically don’t feel like doing makeup anyway, ha!

For a VACATION, which I never go on sadly, I would probably pack everyday + special occasion makeup just in case πŸ™‚

Shannon. N Avatar

being from cold, Ontario, I usually go on vacation to warmer places, either more out west of Canada, or down to the states.

To sum it up in one word: it becomes lighter and more easy!!

I’ll pack a good mattifying primer, a full coverage concealer which I’ll use as “foundation” by dotting it under my eyes and on my cheeks, a good pressed mattifying powder, a cheek palette (I have two from QUO that have a bronzer, blush, and highlight that I ADORE for travel!!) or just a cream blush and a colourpop highlight.

For eyes i’d just pack eye primer, a glittery/shimmery brown or bronze cream shadow that I can wear as a one and done shadow. MAYBE a matte brown for a crease shade if I’m feeling inspired. πŸ˜› Waterproof mascara. And a bright eye pencil or two!

Brows would just be a tinted brow gel.

and lips would be all bright, hot, juicy pinks, reds, and oranges!!! Because nothing screams vacation to me like a bright hot lip!!! πŸ˜€

Deborah S. Avatar

My computer is misbehaving so hope this hasn’t already posted. No matter how long I am going to be gone, my travel makeup needs to be a pared down amount. I take my favorite skin care products, base products (moisturizer, concealer, powder, etc.) and then I think about what clothes I am taking and what, if any, events I will be attending. I make my eye shadow, blush and lip product choices once I have evaluated those factors. The other major caveat is that if my daughter is going to be going with me then we each pick a different eye shadow palette, blushes and lip products so that doubles our choices. I love travelling and will go anywhere at the drop of a hat so I have my makeup up packing down pat!

Nancy T Avatar

Did someone say vacation? Because I really need one of those! My last overnight trip out of town was over 3 years ago. I brought a bit much for a 3 1/2 day trip. Next time I’d pare it down to one good palette or 2 quads, 1 blush (maybe 2?), 2 lipsticks, a lipgloss, a highlight, and all the standard basics necessary for a polished look, and definitely: tweezers and my light up makeup mirror!

Erica Avatar

What’s this thing you call vacation? Lol. My makeup routine doesn’t change too much other than I bring a palette or quad that works for day or night and maybe I wear a BB cream instead of a full coverage foundation since I want a little more convenience! Otherwise I bring a day lipstick and a night lipstick. A mascara, eyeliner and powder. And a blush that can go with any look!

Agona Avatar

I’m leaving for vacation this Sunday!! I’m packing tried and true favorites/HGs rather than new purchases that I’m still experimenting with or testing out, since vacations are filled with dates/date nights. πŸ˜€

AB Avatar

I always look at a trip — business or vacation — as a chance to change things up; for business trips, it’s a way to counter the drudgery of the travel itself. For vacations generally I’ll go lighter in tone and overall much less makeup; I’ll likely bring the most streamlined set of core items but add a shimmery something or a fresher, brighter color than I may have worn in awhile. Depending on the trip — if an indulgent or a longer trip — I’ll be sure to bring very best skincare items I can.

Mariella Avatar

It really depends on where and also when I’m going. Somewhere like NYC in July is a very different story from NYC in November. If I’m going somewhere hot and steamy, I’ll include stuff that will stay put – non-greasy sunscreen to start with (if it’s part of a primer or CC cream, so much the better), and then a reliable primer for eyes and eyeshadows that look light and “cool” – it’s probably not the time for dark, smoky shadows that are going to smear and look a mess. Same goes for liners, etc. And I will take a good, mattifying pressed powder (easier to travel with than loose). Face – no matter where and when, I take one powder blush. In cooler climates, I just take a variation of what I wear at home. I try to take at most 2 e/s palettes and 2 or maybe 3 liners (one neutral like Sephora Diving in Malaysia or Cappucino and one or 2 colours). Still just one blush but 2 or 3 lipsticks and, always, a lip balm no matter the time of year or destination (one with SPF like Jack Black or Harry’s). I’m sure there’s more but this seems like a long post already.

Nichele Avatar

The point of a vacation, in my eyes, is to experience a part of the world you may never have been and may never will be again. So, I would rather spend my time exploring and experiencing the place I’m vacationing at and will not waste time doing my hair or makeup in the hotel room. IF I want to wear anything I will bring a foundation, mascara and lip gloss. The only place I bring ALL of my makeup to is Vegas. πŸ™‚

Isa Avatar

My makeup is totally boring when I’m not home. I’ll just pop a blush and a contour and a shimmery light eyeshadow into a magnetic palette and wear the same makeup everyday. Only 1 lip colour too. My base doesn’t change, so I’ll bring concealer and primer and translucent powder, although I would bring a pressed one instead of the loose one I use when at home.

Anne Avatar

I simplify and take basics, things I know will work in the least amount of time. It helps me to write things down first (as I visualize my routine), and then pack.

Sarah Avatar

I never get to go on vacations, but when I travel overnight I go all out. I pack a Pan-Am bag FULL of my essentials for a full face, including my brushes. Seriously. The Pan-Am bag becomes luggage in of itself!

My friends make fun of me for it but I tell them you can’t put a limit on fierce.

Montrese Avatar

I don’t wear nearly as much makeup on vacation unless I am going out to a club or some other event. I usually pack 1 full coverage foundation, concealer, a translucent powder, a foundation powder, 1 pair of lashes, mascara, a highlight product (or 2 lol), and a couple of lip glosses… I don’t wear eyeshadow or liner on vacation lol

Rachel R. Avatar

I don’t go on vacation very often. When I do, I stick to a single item of each product (except for lipsticks and eyeliners; I usually take a few of each of those). I stick to a single eyeshadow palette for the trip (usually one of my Too Faced Chocolate palettes). I tend to go more simple and neutral looks, so my makeup will go with any outfit. Simple, neutral makeup is also easier to do if we’re staying in our pickup camper, which tends to have limited space and not the greatest lighting. I usually don’t bother to do my eyebrows, unless I know a fancy dinner or event is involved.

I’m more likely to do 2-4 day trips, though the above still applies. I may switch out to a face palette (Naked on the Run is a favorite) instead of a big eye palette and separate blush and highlighter. I take more samples rather than full sized products, as well.

Zoe Avatar

When I travel, I try to simplify:
I try not to bring brushes that need washing and focus on mostly cream formulas.
Or, products that have applicators attached.
I also opt for multitaskers and tend to not bring my highest quality stuff, so if my luggage gets lost It’s not as hard of a blow.

Sample Tavel Makeup Assortment:
– 1 foundation
– 1 stick or cream concealer that can be blended with fingers
– 1-2 cream blushes
– 1 cream highlighter
– 1 brow pencil
– 1-3 cream eyeshadows
– 1-5 lip colors, especially ones that can be worn as blush
– 1 eyeliner
– 1 mascara
– 1 eyelash curler (if the trip is 1+ week)

Glenda Avatar

I try to keep it simple (basically neutrals) so I only take 1 smallish palette and one/two blushes tops. I may change it up by adding color to lips – taking 5-6 lipsticks and that’ll be my color.

Sheila King Avatar

Most of the time my vacation includes a flight, so space (and liquids) are limited. I use powder foundation and powder concealer over my moisturizer w/sunscreen. My face palette has a bronzer, blush, highlighter and eyeshadows that double as brow powders & eyeliners. Have to have my lip balm for the flight and an everyday nude lipstick/lipgloss. I ALWAYS carry my small 10x lighted mirror and MAC travel brush set!

Grace Avatar

Hi Everyone!

I’ve never left a comment before but have long been enjoying Temptalia – one of the main reasons being because of the insightful questions Christine asks. Discussions like these about the role of makeup in our lives reveal so much nuance and variance among makeup users, and even gives credence to its being a genuinely creative, functional, emotional and even intellectual part of our lives. Thank you for creating a space that inspires this!

As for makeup as part of vacation? Honestly, I am endlessly passionate about makeup & have a reasonable collection. But in my day to day life I don’t wear it much (currently not going out much, walking my dog, & otherwise trying to stay on top of day-to-day tasks, so I find putting on makeup just adds time to my day – THESE days. This may change, and I hope it does).

So often, weekends, road trips (for a couple of days), & otherwise any vacation I take are actually the times when I factor in “makeup” time & really make an effort to enjoy the makeup I’ve collected. I do rely on my favorites of course (tried & true foundation, or concealer, for example). But I also enjoy testing out new items that I may not get to get creative with any other time (a metallic turqoise eyeshadow look for example).

So when it comes to packing, I don’t overladen myself too much & have learned to pare it down to basics & multi- mtasking items for the most part. But then I plan my shades and extras the same way I plan my wardrobe – around the “type” of trip it is (is it urban? tropical? desert, where a bohemian color palette might really stand out?). Then I’ll think about my wardrobe and pack makeup that I feel compliments it.

The reason for this is that “vacation” for me means time & space to:

–get creative
–explore different parts of my personality I don’t always have a chance to explore
–take pictures (typically I sight-see, and there is always lots of picture-taking happening & I want to look extra nice in those memories)
–simply be a girl (in the sense that I get to play dress up & enjoy makeup in ways I don’t get to everday. I wear the same jeans & flip flops & a comfy T with no makeup everyday to run errands, for example!)

I guess as I’m thinking about this, lifestyle, context, and where a person might be in life influence what “vacation” means to us, and what we choose to do with our time if and when we get to go on one. I did go on a week-long retreat once where my sole objective was simply to get quiet internally and be myself by myself and I chose not to bring along any makeup. In this context this was actually freeing and allowed me more time and emotional space to simply beand focus on other things that are important to me.

Sorry if I gave too much detail. I really enjoyed the question!

Silvia Avatar

I don’t travel much these days but then we live in S. California and we go out lots. We used to travel more actually when our two kids were younger sometimes with them (and blessed to have my brother and sis in law as babysitters when traveling alone). We are helping pay their universities so is a bit more tight (ok. a lot!) but so worth it! I used to carry those cream foundations which I found didn’t like much and now use them to tan my pair of milk colored legs over some lotion. I’d like to take a small eye palette for day time and something brighter for night. Blush is a must! And mascara. A light foundation touch followed by powder and would leave bronzer home since I’ll get red/burned on any outing. Also lipstick palettes are handy to me to choose lighter brighter during the daytime, more nude for a dressy look at night with a bright red, berry or coral lipstic which to me screams vacation. A rose can go a long way also. Planning to go to England not sure when but sometime soon. Yeyhhhh!

Lesley Avatar

I am lucky to be able to travel a lot. If I am going to a city, I don’t change my make-up at all and I take whatever I have been using at home. If we are going to a resort type of place, it will be the same except that I won’t take full coverage foundation. What changes most is skin care. I used to bring along samples of cleansers, moisturizers and other treatments but I learned the hard way that it’s best to use products my skin is used to. The only exception is treatment for breakouts. Flying is really hard on my skin and I always break out a few days after a flight. Hopefully I have a sample of a treatment around so I don’t have to waste space on a large tube of something.

Bon Bon Avatar

On my way from Florida to NYC right now. I packed bare minimal. Instead of having my open stash I have my immediate go to’s. For a full face of course tho.

Genevieve Avatar

When planning for a longer trip, I co-ordinate which eye shadow palettes I will be taking to what I will mostly be wearing: a neutral palette (UD Naked 1) plus a few quads/quints to provide some colours – usually blues and greens.
I take whatever favourite foundation I have, plus only one mascara, brow kit, blush, powder so I am not overloading my makeup bag and can find things easily. Lipsticks are tricky – but I generally take 4-5 of them.

bibi Avatar

Vacation usually involves international air travel for me so lightweight & TSA approved sets the agenda!
Multitasking & non liquids are preferred. No glass bottles of any kind.
I have a DIY depotted MUFE palette for travel that contains my powders- MAC Nylon (does double duty as an eyeshadow & highlighter), a pressed setting powder, a blush (a shade that I can use on my eye crease as well as cheeks), & a nude matte base color eyeshadow.
After that-
CdP Silky Cream foundation- it’s in a tiny plastic tube & requires nothing but my fingers to apply
IT Bye Bye Concealer- it’s in a tiny plastic tube & requires nothing but my fingers to apply
Travel size blush brush
Travel size eyeshadow brushes (3)
Elizabeth Arden’s Smoky powder pencil in black
Armani Eyes to Kill mascara or Cle de Peau Perfect mascara- no primer or lash curler necessary with these, no time for misbehaving mascara when abroad
ABH Clear brow gel- used for both brows and to give my lashes a little oomph
Brow pencil with a spoolie on one end
2 lippys, one in a nude neutral for daytime & one in a metallic or shimmery shade for nights out
A 2oz tube of tube of Embryolisse- does double duty as a moisturizer & make up remover
Face cleaner wipes- perfect for travel!

Stacy Avatar

It’s been over a decade since I went on just a travel-for-it’s-own-sake “Vacation.” Rather, for the last several years, the majority of my trips away from home have revolved around some kind of event: A wedding, a family reunion, a conference, a big fancy party of some kind, that sort of thing. A few extra days away would be worked around it, but the event or special occasion itself would be the core of it. So most of my planned makeup routine would be planned around whatever that event was; how formal, glamorous, festive, businesslike, or casual it was; and whatever outfit I would plan to wear for it. Any makeup for the other days would just kind of… fall in, I guess. With better-than-average odds that I wouldn’t bother with it at all. Which now that I think abut it, isn’t much different than it is at home, other than having to pack for it! LOL!

As for the packing itself: Most of the time now, I’ll just grab the “emergency beauty bag” I keep at my boyfriend’s apartment, because it’s already stocked with my favorite basic and multi-task makeup products, small sizes of my usual toiletries, etc. Then a separate smaller case would be devoted to whatever makeup I have planned for the specific special event. Packing tends to turn me into an anxious, overwhelmed wreck as it is. So doing it that way keeps me from either forgetting half of what I need, or over-packing to the point where I can’t find anything once I get where I’m going, and I just throw up my hands and skip it (please tell me I’m not the only one who has experienced that? Someone? Anyone? Oy vey….)

Kelly Avatar

I simplify it massively, I take the bare minimum, which; consists of: brow stuff, mascara, blush and lippy, maybe highlight that I can use on my eyelids if I feel it. I tan reasonably well and, weirdly, my redness evens out so I don’t need much.

Donya Avatar

I haven’t taken any long trips in a while so for me, I settle on a couple eye looks and a foundation choice for the few days. The big change is LESS BRUSHES. Which is also less fun.

Brittany Avatar

I try to bring as few products as possible while still bringing at least enough to do a simple full face if I want to. I’ll bring my makeup bag I normally have in my purse, which has stuff for brows, mascara, and some lipsticks. I’ll also bring an eye palette like KVD Shade and Light Eye with a few brushes, a pressed powder foundation, a blush, a highlighter, and some brushes to apply them.

Chris Avatar

I take a train case that LancΓ΄me had one Holiday as an item for purchase @ Bon Ton. That bag holds everything I need — my brushes which are in a separate bag, travel sized versions of makeup remover and toner, cotton balls to last the trip, eyelash curler, travel sized versions of the nightly skin care from all those GWP bags, travel sized UD or Lancome Drama Liqui Pencils — the basics — black, navy brown, gray, travel sized versions of mascara, mascara primer & eyeshadow primer, foundation, concealer, blushes — if sample size available I take or else use regular size, same with highlighter, one or two small palettes of eyeshadow — Naked Basics is good for this or a 5 pan from LancΓ΄me. Lipsticks are usually in my purse. Finally if I have some sample perfume sprays or a rollerball, I add that to the bag.

Shannob Avatar

My carry-on/makeup bag is always packed and ready to go. All the products in there are all samples I’ve collected over the years – everything from skincare and shampoo to mascara and eyeshadows to bronzer and highlighter – so that I don’t have to add hardly anything from my at-home collection. If I had to pack my makeup each trip, my carry-on would be the size of a large suitcase!! The sample sizes keeps my carry-on relatively small.

Shannon Avatar

My carry-on/makeup bag is always packed and ready to go. All the products in there are all samples I’ve collected over the years – everything from skincare and shampoo to mascara and eyeshadows to bronzer and highlighter – so that I don’t have to add hardly anything from my at-home collection. If I had to pack my makeup each trip, my carry-on would be the size of a large suitcase!! The sample sizes keeps my carry-on relatively small.

Sallyc Avatar

I used to take my full routine makeup products on vacation and waste precious vacation time perfecting my look. After several vacations to Hawaii, I felt overly made up and out of place. I pared my make up down to sunscreen, powder foundation, cream blush, Olay eyes, which is is a non irritating eye concealer, Mac shroom, lip pencil and Chanel lip gloss. Takes 5-10 minutes to complete and I look natural without looking overly makeup. I wear bright turquoise progressive glasses to offset the no eye makeup. This makeup look does well at the beach or hiking in Canada. I feel so carefree!

MoMerrell Avatar

My lips are always the main focus on vacation so I bring one neutral palette or two small ones and a variety of lip colors and that’s all that matters lol is that my lips are bold and poppin!

Emilie Avatar

If I’m on vacation at home for a long period of time (such as the month-long winter break; I’m a college student), I’ll often take it as an opportunity to have more fun doing creative looks, since it’s not something I really have time for during school. If I’m on a shorter vacation, though, I tend to keep it super simple and quick, because I’m eager to get out and enjoy wherever I am! πŸ™‚

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