Traveling with Makeup: Tips & Tricks

What kind of trip is it?

What you might need for a trip will depend on where you’re going, what you’re doing, and how long you’re going for.  For instance, if you’re primarily going to be outdoors or underwater, perhaps you won’t need much, if any, but if you were going to a more formal occasion, you might want a full arsenal of your favorites.  Cold weather might dictate favoring certain products, while hot and humid weather will have you looking for your longer-wearing favorites.

What are you going to wear?

I like to decide what clothes I’m bringing first, and then I’ll assess what kind of makeup I’m likely to want to do with those clothes (plus, considering what I’ll be doing or where I’m going).  This helps me guide my choices and not bring everything and minimize bringing things I won’t use.  You can really plan out down to the last product, or you can simply come up with a rough outline, like whether you’ll wear mostly neutrals or you’ll need a more subdued lip color to pair with a really electric eye look you want to do.

Are you checking a bag, carrying on, or going by a less restrictive means of travel?

Depending on how you travel, you may need to be more minimalist or you really could bring everything but the kitchen sink (this always happens if I travel by car!).  When traveling with a carry-on, you’ll have to worry about meeting current liquid restrictions and fitting everything in a quart-sized bag, which can get challenging as it includes things like lotions, creams, gloss, mascara, foundation, and so on.  I admit that when I travel, I often impose on my husband’s quart-sized bag to get everything to fit!  Another option is to buy smaller, empty travel containers and take only the amount of moisturizer you might need or to put a week’s worth of foundation in a sample jar, rather than taking an entire bottle.  This is also a great idea for your favorite perfume; I usually try to grab sample sizes in my favorite scents when they’re available for free when you make a purchase at Nordstrom or Sephora.

How you travel may also determine how safely you need to pack your makeup, as checking a bag will require better padding and securing to minimize shifting in your luggage.  I like to put anything fragile sandwiched between softer items, rather than sitting on the sides of luggage, so if something sits on it, it doesn’t get the immediate impact and the clothes around it will help absorb that impact.  You can also lay foam, bubble wrap, or tissues over powder products (like a freestyle eyeshadow palette) to prevent movement and loosening while in transit.  You’ll want to avoid keeping too many glass containers next to each other, and if you have any pumps, a little tape can secure them in place so you don’t open your bag to a mess.  I also like to contain liquids in plastic bags if they’re larger (say a shampoo) or if I have several of them (so if one leaks, it’s not on your clothes).

How I Made My List

I traveled to Boston this past week for about four days for a family gathering, which I knew had a few semi-formal to formal events, so much of what I took was dictated by the four dresses I had planned.  I anticipated doing more neutral-to-warm-toned looks and didn’t expect to use much color, though I took some pops of color that played off colors in some of the dresses I had in the form of eyeshadow and eyeliner. I took more eyeshadow than I normally would, because I knew I was going to be doing my sister’s makeup as well, so I wanted to be able to give us both a variety of looks and finishes, and I also had a mega-sized palette that I felt like, “Might as well fill it!”  I always travel with my favorite cream eyeshadows, as they’re my go-to if I run low on time or end up with a very casual or lazy day, but I didn’t end up using them this trip.  They also work well as an eyeshadow base if desired.

Since I knew I was going for warmer looks, I took one warm-toned blush and one more neutral-toned blush, plus two highlighters that could be worn with either.  If I thought I might have a cool-toned look in the plans, then I’d also bring a plum or berry-hued blush, as that’s my go-to option for cool looks or use a neutral blush.

For lips, I wanted something light, mid-tone, bold, and subdued, and I always use lipgloss as a layering product to give me more lip color variations so I try to go for more dramatically different gloss shades (one that can lighten, one that can brighten, one that can darken, and one that I can wear alone).

When it comes to tools, I pack a few of the different sizes/types that I like, so I don’t have to worry about washing brushes while I’m away, and I can still use them as I would at home (which is typically one brush per color unless they’re really similar).  I actually forgot a pencil brush this trip, so I would add that (I ended up using an eyeliner brush for that function) normally!  If you don’t mind washing your brushes, I’d recommend a solid brush soap to manage the amount of liquids you have or taking a smaller amount of your go-to cleanser into a travel-sized container.

I packed all of my brushes and eyeliners in a medium makeup bag, and then I split any additional cylinder-shaped items between that bag and a second bag.  All of the other non-liquid makeup products fit into the other medium makeup bag.  I keep a third makeup bag for things like deodorant, cotton swabs, toothbrush, bandaids etc.  The large, freestyle eyeshadow palette I took with me fit perfectly within my purse, which I packed in my carry-on (I use a much larger bag on the travel days, then switch to my regular purse while I’m at my destination), and this helped to keep it protected.

See a full breakdown of what I took on a recent trip!

  • Make Up For Ever Artist Shadows
    • Row 1: I414, I318, S234, S228, I238, ME828, I838
    • Row 2: M546, S616, S556, M548, ME612, D562, D552
    • Row 3: M626, M536, D716, ME512, S506, ME654, D712
    • Row 4: I662, I628, ME554, ME304, D306, S404, I508

  • Tom Ford Medium Makeup Bag (I use two for makeup, I don’t think you can purchase these)




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This is really helpful. I tend to be more minimalist when I travel. I try to do the most with an eyeshadow palette. Not everyone would want to do this, but I plan my wardrobe for the trip around a color scheme so I can carry less makeup. For example, I might pack mostly green and brown outfits so I can carry my brown and neutral makeup. I bought little plastic jars to transfer creams and foundations in my bag (which is better than taking the full size bottle). To get around restrictions on liquid products, I take a solid shampoo bar with me. If I have it, I also take a solid lotion bar (Lush sells them).

I definitely do this, too, if I can! My hair isn’t too picky, and it’s rare I go for a long stint, so I usually make-do with the hotel’s shampoo/lotion/conditioner stuff.

I always love seeing what people bring for travels.

My rule of thumb when it comes to liquids on a plane is if it squeezes out, then it goes in the liquids bag. Otherwise, I just put everyting else like lipgloss or mascara in my make up bag.

I recently went on a trip too. I usually pack palettes to save space. I only pack things I really love and will use. This weekend I packed the saucebox x Batalash palette, It Cosmetics face palette that was just in the QVC TSV, UD Naked concealer, It Cosmetics powder, Benefit Rollarlash, It Cosmetics Tightline, Bare Esentuals Sophia lipgloss, my beauty blender, and a few Mally brushes

Yeah, TSA’s website actually calls out lipgloss and mascara to be put into the quart-sized bag, so I just do that 🙂

Thanks for sharing what you travel with – I love seeing what other people pack (it feels like snooping!). I see you skipped the eyelash curler, sometimes I leave mine at home too because it is such an awkward shape to pack. If anyone is in the market for a good travel makeup bag/case, I love and highly recommend the Laura Mercier Custom Artist Portfolio. It has firm sides and removable zip magnetic bags in 4 sizes, and a zip out page for brushes with a flap to protect the bristles. I have never had anything break while traveling with it! A little pricey ($90 ish, I think), but a joy to use.

I own that case and it safely holds all my makeup when traveling! I absolutely love it. I sometimes will remove one of the pouches and carry it in my purse for touch ups on the go..Expensive but so glad I brought it!

Sweet! Great travel kit! I could easily get along perfectly well with this for weeks! months! (of course, I would sub out the Parure for GA Lasting because of colour issuses)

I love seeing which products (and tools!) you end actually using out of your enormous collection! You clearly have some favorite formulas 🙂

When I pack makeup, I try to limit myself to items that I wouldn’t be too upset to lose or break, which means that I skew towards drugstore products (cheaper to replace!) and never bring any limited edition or discontinued favorites (though I’ll bring LE/discontinued items that I’m not particularly attached to). I also try to avoid fragile packaging and products, which means that I bring more creams and fewer powders. And I always end up overpacking – I like to be prepared!

It is funny, but since I carry everything on, I’m not worried about it at all. I’ve never had anything break on a trip (I used to travel quite a bit when I was in college, just going to and from home and school – once a month or more) yet. I have had one or two cleansers leak, but luckily, they’re travel-sized and only a little bit has leaked out!

I’m loving reading this. I’m always so curious to see what others take and what I can glean from tips of other travelling makeup lovers. We just got in half an hour ago from a weekend get-away by car which makes it so much easier (I just take EVERYTHING and don’t worry too much about damage). But when I travel by air and with all the restrictions concerning carry-on (items themselves but also the size allowances for carry on, which have recently been tightened on some carriers because of people jamming way too big cases into overhead), I always worry. I could kick myself for not keeping all of the plastic “bubble” protectors that came with my Chanel eyeshadow quads (I did find ONE, which I keep and shuffle around to protect whichever quad I might want to take) and I no longer take stuff that is “LE” – I figure if my Naked palette gets smashed, I can at least replace it but not so the 15th Anniversary or Mariposa quad or my Stila In the Light palette (which would be the perfect neutral travel palette except for Stila’s dubious fame for shattering shadows and the fact that I can’t replace this). Ditto some WnW palettes – apparently, they are very prone to crumbling. I recently got an IT Cosmetics purchase that came with a think foam sheet. I’d normally toss this but I’ve kept it to cut to size for my Stila Spirit Eyes are the Windows palette and even for my Naked on the Run palette. I hope it will offer some protection to the shadows. I have to say, though, that Naked on the Run, while not having my favourite eyeshadows, is a wonderful travel palette just because it has almost everything you need in one small space. Saves a ton of room and keeps things tidy (no “Where the heck did I put my mascara? Where’s my eyeliner?”)

I got a great Sonia Kashuk makeup bag from Target a while back. I have a similar one from ULTA (I think it’s the Trina brand). Both are similar “weekender” styles and the SK one has a brush flap with is nice. I find that using one of these plus a more traditional zip top makeup bag (I use a freebie from Clarins that holds a lot) and I can take all my stuff with most skin care and hair care stuff going into the Clarins bag (I decant a lot into travel sized bottles and also use points perk/GWP products to put into the bag). I am fussy about hair stuff and also body wash/lotion so I always take all my own stuff. I was able to get a LOT of Alterna CC Cream tubes when the Sephora SA heard I was cashing in points to have them to take on trips – she gave me about 6 rather than the 2 for which I was redeeming points – it was so lovely of her!)

Going by car is so dangerous. I packed SO MUCH STUFF when we went to Disneyland last year, since we drove. I’m better than I used to be, but it’s so freeing not to have those pesky liquid limitations!

The MUFE freestyle palettes actually come with a plastic sheet and foam insert, which are kind of annoying to get in and out, but they were very useful for traveling!

I’ve tried a few travel bags and more compartmentalized makeup bags for traveling, but I always go back to these medium bags. I think I take four times as many brushes as they have slots, haha. It’s also nice, because I can move them around to fit wherever there is space, so if I have to take one in my larger personal bag, I can, while keeping two in my carry-on luggage.

I never ever check my powder makeup. I will sometimes check things like foundation, but powder products are light. At a minimum, my eyeshadow will go in my purse if need be.

My travel musts…

* Sunscreen in EVERYTHING (foundation, powder, lip balm)
* Solids over liquids (makeup compacts, solid CC cream, stick concealer)
* All the great minis from beauty boxes
* Travel pack of makeup wipes (Costco’s are great)
* Coordinate liners with ONE versatile eyeshadow palette (I take Too Faced A la Mode with navy, dark green, and black liners for several different types of looks)
* Setting spray, setting spray, setting spray! (When you’re out of your lodgings for 10-12 hours at a time, it’s essential.)
* Blotting sheets, anti-shine powder, and tinted lip balm for purse

I keep lusting after Gracia every time I spot it, but I keep reminding myself I have several of the dupes (Irresistible, Glamourdaze). I am traveling somewhere very warm soon (in the 90s, dry, but no air conditioning!), and I am planning on leaving all my lipsticks at home — I don’t want them to melt or break!

I love this post Christine!!! I truly appreciate all your expert reviews but it’s sooo nice to see what you actually use. I just love these pictures, they’re gorgeous to look at!!!
Also: what will you do now Parure Gold is discontinued?

I’m actually at the point where I’m just trying to finish all the bottles I have open, LOL! So probably next will be Guerlain’s Parure de Lumiere or Lingerie de Peau. I think I have a little MUFE HD left, and since they just revamped that formula, I should probably finish it sooner rather than later.

I actually have three bottles of Parure Gold in 03, but these days I’m a little darker than 02 (I’ve been mixing 02 and 03 for awhile, but I can get away with just wearing 02 – if I wear only 03, it’s noticeably darker than my neck/chest). I’m trying to decide whether to track down and buy three more bottles of 02 to correspond with the 03s I have (Guerlain’s PR department sent me their remaining stock of Parure Gold that they had left when I asked whether it was discontinued, and they didn’t have 02, only 03s).

I tend to travel light when it comes to makeup. What I bring depends on where I am going. For a work trip I bring: primer (Estee Lauder Mattifying), foundation (MUFE HD except in summer, when I bring MUFE Mat Velvet +), concealer for my face and undereye, mascara (sample size), Setting Powder (Usually my hourglass palette, sometimes MAC MSFN), setting spray (small size, UD brand) Blush, maybe a touch of bronzer (Too Faced Sun Bunny),and one neutral eyeshadow palette. I put everything (except liquids) in a small makeup bag with room for my brushes (Vera Bradley Blush and Brush). I bring the bare minimum in terms of brushes.

If I am on vacation, I usually bring my moisturizer with SPF, Smashbox CC cream, a Powder Foundation (Tarte Amazonian Clay), 2 blush options, bronzer, 1-2 eyeshadow palettes, concealer mascara, and setting spray. I find that I like less makeup when I’m on vacation. Also, when I go on vacation in August, I will be bringing my new setting spray with SPF from coola to use on the go.

As far as other products, my hair is INCREDIBLY picky. I have to minimize the liquid makeup I bring in order to bring 3 different types of gel, shampoo and a couple of mini conditioners. As a curly headed girl, I can’t use just anything. It HAS to be my products or my hair will most likely look terrible.

I have to admit that my Naked on the Run pallet has been a lifesaver when packing for emergency trips (like a funeral) or a short beach trip where I won’t be wearing makeup 90% of the time, but it’s not my favorite. For a longer trip or a planned getaway I like to take one eyeshadow palette that can do neutral and dark looks, and a neutral lip and red lip, a single dark brown eyeliner and a neutral blush that I can wear with everything. For something formal like a wedding though all bets are off and I take everything lol.

PS I’m trying to figure out what the cream product in the white case under the TF eye creams is, possibly a colour pop product? It’s nice to see a post like this to see which products you really prefer and choose to use when you don’t have to test!

Grace, I find the Naked on the Run palette to be a great time and space and “thinking” saver too. As I said, it’s missing a lot of my favourite types of shadows but, in a pinch and for the convenience, I can live with it and it’s actually a lesson in “You really DO NOT need 20 lbs of makeup on a trip” (as much as I might miss certain colours, life hasn’t stopped because I didn’t have Inglot 419 or Nars Lhasa!). The bronzer isn’t geat for me and I’d have preferred something else in its place (a less orange bronzer or a setting powder or maybe 2 more shadows) but I guess the biggest issue with it is how to replace the mascara when it’s finished (easier with the liner, since a half-used UD, Gosh or Sephora liner will fit fine). I suppose I could fill the mascara slot with some eyeshadow brushes and take a separate mascara.

I don’t have Naked on the Run, but I do like all in one palettes a lot when I travel.

When I traveled in April (3 separate trips), rather than bring a separate setting powder, blush and bronzer, I brought my IT Cosmetics CC Radiance palette.

For a few trips, I brought a Bare Minerals all in one palette (from holiday 2014 – it had 6 neutral eyeshadows, two blushes and a highlight), but I gave it to my mom. She went to Europe in March and it was just perfect for her needs. I have so much makeup already, so I let her keep it. I also have a Tarte palette that is round (called Glow or something like that) with a bronzer, blush, highlight and 6 eyeshadows that is great for vacations. I do miss my other shadows, but honestly, that palette is small and has all I need for basic looks. I also like to throw in a cream shadow stick or two for an even simpler look.

I do as minimal as possible. I never put a full face on when I’m on vacation, mostly because I’ll be wearing sunglasses and/or stuffing my face whenever possible, so it’s tough to look glamorous even if I was dressed to the gills.

Ahh! 🙂 Vacation is really one of the few times where I can actually use any makeup I have, not just what I’m testing (though sometimes I take what I’m testing – depends if I can get away with having makeup that goes awry).

My, rule of thumb when I travel is: Would it bother me if it broke, got lost or was stolen? Needless to say, I travel light and would never bring my most expensive brushes. I have one pro-size Z pan with cream concealer, two powder foundations, cream foundation, cream blush, lipsticks, two powder blushes, brow color and wax, liner and a range of nude/neutral shadows. I carry liquid foundation in a cushion compact. I have a couple of zip cases and neoprene lens cases for pencils, mascaras, sharpeners, brow and liner pens, etc. The z palette is wrapped in bubble wrap. Small travel bottles or rollers for sunscreen, cleanser, shampoo, conditioner, hair product, spray, jojoba oil (does everything). It’s nice not to have an array of crap spread across the bathroom vanity.

I put anything really expensive in the safe at the hotel, if I’m worried about it (since I have a laptop/electronics as well!) – that has worked for me so far!

Your travel stash looks so nice! I really want to pick up some more of the high shimmer glosses (it’s my favourite formula though I only have bronzed heather). Any in particular for everyday sort of use you recommend?

I *really* want the Marc Jacobs intro(vert) eyeliner too – looks like exactly the kind of green I’m most drawn to and I love green, though the shipping price has put me off for ages.

If I’m traveling, it’s usually to visit family, so that makes it a lot easier to choose what to bring! I know that I’ll concentrate on my base because I want to look more natural and healthy to see my grandparents, and just bring a few basic shadows and cheek products. I’ll still bring bright lipstick, because I don’t feel like myself without it.

1. MUG latte, creme brulee, and cocoa bear because they go with everything, MUG cosmopolitan, and maybe 1 or two other lid shades.
2. ABH brow powder and clear brow gel.
3. Studio Fix fluid foundation, Maybelline Fit Me concealer in 10 Light and 15 Fair, some kind of primer, NYX transparent powder, MAC New Romance Blush, and Too Face Endless Summer bronzer. Also UD setting spray. This is where the bulk of products are.
4. MAC Relentlessly Red lipstick and like a tinted lip balm or something.
5. I usually bring most of my brushes: powder brush, e.l.f Studio face kabuki brush, setting brush, blush brush, angled brush for bronzer, lid brush, crease brush, larger fluffy crease brush, double ended brow brush, and lip brush for the red lipstick.

I don’t take a lot of make-up with me when I travel, or at least not a lot in my opinion 🙂 My holidays are usually very active and outdoorsy, so I tend to just bring my basics. And when I’m away for just a weekend or a long weekend I usually just bring my skin and lip basics and then enough eye make-up to do two or three different looks with.

Christine, do you know if there are any duochrome finishes in the make up forever eyeshadow line? I see so many beautiful metalics and shimmers, but I can’t tell by the naming system if there are any duochromes.

There are some, but they aren’t listed by any type of number/letter. I have swatched them all, so you can look for them in the Swatch Gallery as I really can’t remember the numbers offhand!

Thanks for the peek into your travel bag! I also love the Anastasia DipBrow Pomade. And just drooling over the Rouge G lippies and Tom Ford blush. I also pick out what I’m going to wear first, then figure out what makeup to bring. And I won’t bring anything that’s too expensive or LE, for fear of losing it or someone swiping it. And I put all liquids into ziplocs. For travel, Colour Pop is my choice – the shadows and blushes last, and are easily layered with powder products to last even longer or change colors. And it’s cheap, so if my baggage gets lost forever, it’s easier to replace

It is interesting how you and several others readers avoid taking anything LE/expensive! I always carry on, so it never really occurred to me to worry about anything expensive/LE. Perhaps because I also hide everything away in my hotel room? (I don’t get service during my stay, and I actually put my Chikuhodo brushes in the safe with my laptop, Kindle, etc.).

I’m always afraid I will forget a particular brush, and then I’ll have no way to apply the products I brought. I’m excited to have a pretty full collection of Colourpop eye shadows and cheek products for this reason. Fingers!

Oooh, that is a good point! I didn’t have a lot of space, so I couldn’t narrow it down to a few CPs, lol!

Nice example. I’m mentally saving this post for reference. My past few trips have been by car. Like you, forget it, just about everything goes! But, I had a disaster happen when traveling by plane once. Now,with the liquids rule,I get scared that they may confiscate my stuff . So, I generally check liquids,carryon powders and brushes. Tweezers and lash curlers get checked. I had my Anastasia tweezers taken in LAX in college. That hurts when your travelling and on a tight budget to start!

Love this post. I love that it was really representative of what you brought and had sone limited edition items that long time readers will know you love! Must dig out some of this stuff

Great products to bring! You brought my 3 favorite MAC brushes. Some of these products are on my wish list, like the Nars eye primer. You were in my area! I hope your visit was enjoyable 🙂

It was! 🙂 We visited a local dairy farm that my parents used to take me as a kid, and I got to pet a cow!

Very cool! There’s nothing like visiting childhood favorites. I miss my home state. But, I’m finding there is so much to do in this area.

I’ll be doing carry on over the holiday weekend & plan to try out a trick I just learned from Makeup & Beauty Blog. I am filling some contact lens cases with things I need in very small quantity like eye cream & lip scrub.

My go to has been eyeshadow sticks. I really the ones from Mally, but there are a lot of good ones. They seem to last really well on long days where we are outdoors.

Great post! And great timing as I’ll be doing a 5 day-er to Minneapolis in a few months. I’m nervous that I won’t be able to fit what I want to take into that one quart bag…. 🙁
Boston??!! You were in my neck of the woods!! I hope the trip was a blast Christine!


Thanks for the article. I’m going to Europe for two weeks and I’m having trouble deciding what to take. I don’t want to overpack but I want to be ready for anything.

Oh, perfect timing! I’m taking a vacation to NYC in a week and I’ve been thinking about my makeup a lot — best way to pack, what to bring, etc. Thanks for the helpful article, Christine!! 😀

Your MUFA collection here is GORGEOUS!!

Wow! I’m bookmarking this! This is sooo helpful and it’s a nice guideline–especially for formal occasions (like weddings). Here are some of my tips:

1. For small amounts of liquids (like primer or foundation) I decant in eye contacts lens containers or repurposed small containers. I’ve found tiny containers at Daiso for decanting as well. This saves a ton of room in that bag.
2. Sample packets/containers. I save these freebies and sometimes even buy these from Paula’s Choice website.
3. I switch to solids when possible–like a solid for moisturizer or a solid for soap. I’m going to have to try solid shampoo, conditioner, and toothpaste at some point.

Thanks so much for sharing your tips, Maggie! I want to bring solid brush cleanser next time and maybe pare down my number of brushes!

Wow – that’s like the amount I take when I travel. When I travel I tend to take mostly black pants and I match them with colourful tops. So I need to take my colour palettes with me. The Playlist, Guerlain’s Les Gris, Wonderful, EL Film Noir and sometimes UD Vice 2 and Naked 1. Plus a variety of brushes and lipsticks.

I love these types of posts. You have packing down to a science. I always want to overpack. I rarely fly, but when I do, I keep as much in my carry-on as possible. I always try to keep liquids to a minimum, even for road trips, since Oregon has a lot of altitude changes. I take samples of things as much as possible (skin care, primer, sunscreen, shampoo/conditioner) to cut down on bulk, and don’t have to worry if I forget a sample in a hotel. Naked on the Run is great for an overnight or weekend trip, or to grab when you suddenly have to go out of town. For longer trips, I like either the Too Faced Chocolate Bar or Semi-Sweet, because the tins are sturdy, and they have a ton of shades I can switch up. I can even do my brows and a little contouring with them. I take a few colors of eyeliner and lipsticks for pops of color. If I have a dressier event, I may take special makeup for that. I always make sure I have hair elastics and stretch-comb headbands for bad hair days or windy weather.

I have some travel-sized skincare (I usually go for MAC when it comes to cleansers, since they’re easy to get), but I need to do better in that area!

Aside from the obvious decanting and pre-made travel size/deluxe sample options (especially for things like foundation), I also rely on loose eyeshadows in sample baggies and cream eyeshadow in stick form to save space.

If I’m bringing anything pressed or any loose powder packed in a jar, I’d put a bit of cotton ball under the lid, as this usually helps minimize breakage (for pressed) and mess (for loose).

I also only bring the bare minimum when it comes to brushes (for eye brush, this means 3 brushes at most), and stick to travel-sized brushes whenever possible. Another reason for me to rely on cream products, actually: I can just forgo brushes altogether.

That being said, I’m a chronic overpacker. It doesn’t help that most of my trips tend to be for a few months, so I basically bring everything I don’t want to be without.

This is really helpful christine, i learned too that traveling with a lot of makeup isn’t the best idea haha, and sometimes you wont use everything you packed but its okay… i carry my lippies on my purse, (and when i arrive to the destination i put them on the makeup bag) eyeshadows, if i only bring one palette (i often reach for naked2 bc their packaging is quite useful for traveling) i put some cotton to prevent from breaking, same with blushes, i put foundations and liquids on a plastic bag if they explode or something, but almost everything goes on my makeup bag and the bag often placed between clothes to soften the impacts and movements.

Naked1 has been a go-to for me for traveling a lot, though these days I tend to take whatever formula I’ve been obsessing over lately for some variety.

The timing on this post is perfect seeing as I just got back from a business trip in Europe. I travel pretty regularly so I’m always curious to see how others travel with makeup. I think I’ve finally managed to avoid overpacking on products, but brushes are the bane of my existence. I’m always paranoid that the bristles are going to get damages in transit, but I also don’t have the room to carry a round brush caddy which I think, if space allowed, would be the best option.

Congrats on managing to pack just the right amount of products! 🙂 Have you tried a brush roll? You can roll or fold it as you need, and it’ll keep them in better shape than tossing in a bag.

Or you could buy brush guards!

Christine your travel tips are awesome! I hate packing, so I have a set of travel brushes that are just dedicated to my makeup bag. And then I am all about SAMPLES for everything (serum, moisturizer, foundation, powder, you name it). I rarely get samples for blush, so I will put in a Cheek Pop and then RMS Highlighter since it can’t spill and it’s in a pot. This gets rid of sample hoarding, and I get to try new things—a “vacation” from my regular routine!

Thanks, Lulu! Good idea to have a travel set of brushes 🙂

I started to collect some of the samples/travel sizes I have to put in a separate container to pull from in the future (though I hate traveling and do it as little as possible, lol).

Really nice travel stash! I went on vacation last year for 1 month to visit family in Egypt and I have to say I kept it *too* minimal. I had no colours for my eyes (all neutral eyeshadows, 1 black liner, black mascara) and only had some easy-to-wear and not-so-pigmented lip products, not one bolder lipstick. I learned though and next time I’ll be a little more prepared!

I loved seeing your travelling makeup. Great tips 🙂

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think Guerlain Parure Gold Foundation are now being Europe exclusive, and not discontinued? I still see it in some well-known Europe online retailers/department stores.

This is right up my alley! I travel quite frequently, and I eloped in Las Vegas last month (I did my own makeup and hair). On our wedding day, my soon-to-be husband told me to take a picture of the makeup I was using, which I thought was so sweet, haha! I’m glad I did. I brought a lot more on a trip than I usually would, and more “special” stuff. I never check any makeup with baggage. I don’t know if I ever have, I’ve just always brought the minimum (or max!) with me in a carry-on. The stuff I brought to Las Vegas was:
-Nars All Day Luminous foundation in Fiji (I get a lot of compliments when I wear this, it totally suits my oily skin)
-Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder palette
-Mac Ripe for Love LE blush
-MUFE HD cream blush sample in 410 (it’s my go-to shade, I’ll likely buy the full size) but I didn’t end up using on the day! Shoulda.
-Makeup Geek Vegas Lights palette
-MAC Vegas Volt lipstick
-Urban Decay Naked Basics palette
-Chanel Long Lasting concealer in B20
-Le Volume de Chanel waterproof mascara
-Bobbi Brown Tinted Under Eye Brightener in light peach
-MAC x Rick Baker the Monster’s Bride palette
-Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector (liquid) in opal (deluxe sample size)
-Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Crayon in Brown(out)
-MAC Paint Pot in Groundwork
-UD 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Smog and Roach
-Tarina Tarantino Eye Dream Hyperliner in Puppeteer
-UD Shadow in Stray Dog (didn’t end up using on the day)
-Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Kit in Sand
-Fake lashes (didn’t use! Ran out of time 😛 )
-Eyelash curler
-Benefit Dallas (also didn’t use on the day since the MAC blush I brought is my favourite)
Can’t really recall what brushes but I know there was a MAC 239 & 217, Beauty blender, Sigma powder brush and blending brush, can’t remember what blush brush.
My hair is also pretty easy going, and Las Vegas is a desert (apparently so is Yellowknife, where I’m from in Canada, because we get so little precipitation) so my hair was generally cooperative. I don’t use a lot of products, just a bit of oil on the ends. I always bring skincare and haircare samples with me while travelling. I had bought a Tata Harper skincare set that was great to bring, and I used the floral essence to set my makeup.

Usually I’m more minimalist travelling. An eye palette, maybe a blush or blush palette – or even something like the Lorac Pro To Go, which has both. A mascara, eyelash curler, base and skincare samples, and haircare samples. Maybe 3-4 brushes. That’s it!

I bet that didn’t even seem like that much when you packed it, but when you write it out, it looks a lot more! (At least, that’s what happened when I wrote this post, lol!)

I always want to bring makeup on trips, but I wear it like… never. It’s like, no one in this country has ever seen me or will ever see me again. Why dress up for them?

That said, I’m moving to Japan soon and need to do some serious thinking on what to bring.

I wear makeup for me, I guess, so I enjoy wearing it whether I’m sitting at home or going somewhere 🙂 If I was doing a lot of outdoor activities like hiking, I wouldn’t wear makeup, but I wouldn’t wear makeup for something like that if it was local or elsewhere. I think it just depends on your style!

I went pretty light, makeup wise, when we went down to Scottsdale this spring. I didn’t even bother with full foundation, just my Dr. Jart’s BB cream along with some Tarte setting powder and a Tarte blush. I took two lipsticks–one MLBB and the other a little bolder–and a couple of tinted lipbalms. For eyes, I took the Shaaanxo quad from Colourpop along with three UD 24/7 eyeliners–a black, brown and green– and some mascara. I made do with four brushes–powder, blush, shadow brush and blending brush. And, in the end, I didn’t even use each product. We were there for Spring Training and it was hotter than usual, so all I wore during the day I was sunscreen and a lip balm with SPF. I saved the make up for the evenings.

My guess is to be there for spring training you’re outdoors quite a bit? Because I could totally see not wearing much, if any, if you’re outdoors all day in AZ… even in spring, haha.

Hey there! I’ve been trying to figure out if the Colourpop Supershock Eyeshadows are considered enough of a cream/gel product to be required inside the quart-sized bag for your carry-on. What’s your past experience with this?

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