What makes a palette good for traveling?

For me, I like something where I can see at least 3-6 color combinations that are somewhat different from each other. I also like something that’s fairly slim and compact but with enough substance that the packaging will protect the contents.!

— Christine
We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

Compare Any Two Swatches

Curious how two shades compare to each other? Type in the shades below to get instant side-by-side swatches!

We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

20 Comments

Comments that do not adhere to our comment policy may be removed. Discussion and debate are highly encouraged but we expect community members to participate respectfully. Please keep discussion on-topic, and if you have general feedback, a product review request, an off-topic question, or need technical support, please contact us!

Please help us streamline the comments' section and be more efficient: double-check the post above for more basic information like pricing, availability, and so on to make sure your question wasn't answered already. Comments alerting us to typos or small errors in the post are appreciated (!) but will typically be removed after errors are fixed (unless a response is needed).

We appreciate enthusiasm for new releases but ask readers to please hold questions regarding if/when a review will be posted as we can't commit to or guarantee product reviews. We don't want to set expectations and then disappoint readers as even products that are swatched don't always end up being reviewed due to time constraints and changes in priorities! Thank you for understanding!

Comments on this post are closed.

For me I’m super picky about what shades i like to have so most palette i like arer not 100% travel frindly which is why i like to build my Z palettes so much.

That said I a palette for me MUST have a matte highlight and crease colour and it’s nice to have a black. The shades after that I feel is more of a personal preference. 😉

But my take and go ones are: Eve Pearl THE EYE PALETTE – Ultimate (small and exactly what I like shade wise), Smashbox travel exposure palettes (the size alone makes these purse friendly), and the Kat Von D Shade + Light Eye Contour Palette (because it can work for sooo many matte looks).

I am a frequent traveler and what I look for depends on business vs. pleasure and also where I am going.

For business travel, I typically choose neutrals with a mix of mattes and shimmer. If I am bringing an eyeshadow-only palette, some favorites include my MAC Nordstrom Neutrals and Too Faced Natural Eye. Usually, though, I grab an all in one palette, however, so I don’t need to worry about grabbing blush and bronzer etc. and I can economize on space. I had the Bare Minerals Magic Act palette and loved it, but gave it to my Mom to take with her on vacation. I still have a few others. I have one from Tarte from a few years ago (purple packaging, six shadows, 2 blushes) as well as Urban Decay Shattered. Right now, I am enjoying the Urban Decay Naked on the Run palette. All of the face products work for my medium complexion and very little thought goes into packing. I grab the Naked on the Run palette and I already have enough eyeshadows to do some basic eye looks, an eyeliner (easily refillable), a nice lip gloss, mascara, plus a bronzer and blush and one eyeshadow that I use as a highlighter. All I need to do is grab my primer, foundation, setting powder, eyeshadow primer, and my brushes. For brushes, I bring a travel brush set from Sigma (with a few extra brushes added in) that I keep ready to go in its holder.

For pleasure travel, it depends. I generally bring a BB cream and then I like to bring a palette with more options. Once again, MAC Nordstrom Naturals is a great pick, as is Chocolate Bar. When I went to South America last year, I took only the Chocolate Bar palette and I was very happy with it and brought the same palette with me for a 10 day trip to LA. I also really like my UD Naked Smoky palette at the moment. I brought it with me when I visited my brother for the weekend. Basically, I look for palettes that give me lots of options for both daytime and nighttime looks. I generally choose palettes with 12-15 shades. I need a mix of shimmers and mattes in various shade ranges. My favorite palettes have to have a matte highlighting option as well as a shimmer highlight, a midtone matte for my crease, a deep matte for smokier looks as well as 2 good lid shade options and a midtone shimmery brown. Overall, I prefer warm palettes, but a mix is good. I will throw in a few blush options and a separate bronzer.

It has to be able to create at least 3 solid looks. It has to have a sturdy, compact case. My favorite palette for this is Too Faced A La Mode. It’s got good base colors and highlights as well as crease colors, a smoky shade, and a pop of bright pink.

Unless there is an event where I have a specific look in mind, I’m not all that picky. If I have a nice range of neutrals, both shade & finish, I’m set… That said, packaging becomes the most important feature. It has to be sleek in size/shape, and sturdy. I typically just toss all my UD Naked palettes into a bag, although I can really get by with any one, even the Basics (as long as I have my go-to hoghlight shade).

It needs to contain enough colors to do several different looks with. Plus it helps when it’s a sturdy palette, too. No matter how much I love the colors in a palette, if the packaging is flimsy and prone to breaking I won’t take it with me when traveling.

Has to have at least one transition color, complimentary crease shade, and more than one lid shade for me to choose from. Most of all it cannot be bulky at all. Slim is definitely the way to go. Brand isn’t important, but quality and practicality is.

Definitely the shape and size. When I start to travel for business, I will need to take a palette that will allow to me to make “pretty” look for business and possibly going out after. For pleasure , I tend to like a bit more color. For now, my favorite travel palettes include last year’s MUFE artist palette ( the smaller one) , Lorac UNZIPPED /Unzipped Gold , MUFE nudes you need , and old faithful the Naked 1 palette

It has GOT to have versatility and flexibility in terms of what I can do with it. Must have a good, satin-matte highlighter, a perfect as possible transition shade, with a solid performing black or very deep brown. Plus, a it must have sturdy, travel-friendly housing to protect the palette from breaking.

It depends on the trip.

The bare minimum is three neutral shades. If I’m just going for one or two nights and know that the whole trip is casual, I have a NYX 3 shade palette that is perfect.

If it’s a longer trip, or includes a fancy occasion, I want some color and sparkle. I like to also have three shades of purple. My hazel eyes look great with khaki green and copper so I like to have those in the mix. And I like to have the option of a few pops of color.

Usually the original Naked and the UD ammo palette cover my needs.

I recently rediscovered two ELF Little Black Book palettes hiding in the back of a drawer. I’m going to depot, rearrange and combine the rwo into one perfect travel palette. It’s small, holds a lot of colors and the cover is padded which helps protect the shadows.

It depends on the type of trip. For overnights or casual weekends, I like a full face palette with several eyeshadows and a blush or two with reasonably sturdy packaging, and a mirror. I really like the UD Naked on the Run. It’s a bit bulky, but it has a large mirror, and it will hold a lipgloss and a couple eyeliners, or certain lip crayons/pencils and travel mascaras. LORAC Pro to Go Eye/.Cheek Palette is great if space is limited. There’s no mirror, but it can be folded up quite small, or folded wide and very slim, which is versatile for packing. BareMinerals Magic Act is another great one. UD Naked Basic is also wonderful, as it exremely compact yet has a decent mirror. I can do my eyes, contour, highlight and brows with it.

For longer trips, I like color variety and sturdy packaging. I almost always take my UD Naked Basics. I’ll usually also pack either Too Faced Chocolate Bar or Semisweet. They have a great color variety that will coordinate with anything I wear, they’re not too huge, the tins are sturdy and travel well, and they have good sized mirrors. The Too Faced Cat Eyes Palette is another one I like for travel: It’s compact, versatile, housed in a tin, and has a mirror. I’ll also pack my Tarte Pin-Up blush palette, as it has a good shade variety and the padded packaging travels well.

I rarely fly, so I just check out current regulations and size restrictions when I do and adjust accordingly.

For me it depends on the occasion. Something small and neutral like the Naked2 Basics palette is great for work travel, while if I were going on a holiday where I was going to have a lot of different looks, something like a MAC palette would work better as I could customize and also have a wider shade selection.

As some others have commented, the purpose of the travel and the length of the trip are determining factors but, for the most part, I’m happiest travelling with my original Naked palette (great neutral shades from light to dark AND it’s replaceable if it gets lost or damaged and that’s important to me). If I want a bit of colour, I’ll also pack one or two bright shadows or perhaps a quad of other colours or I’ll bring a bright eyeliner or 2. For a full face palette, I’d also reach for UD’s Naked on the Run (it’s on sale now at Sephora – folks should take advantage of the value). I wish more companies would latch onto this concept, as they did with the “naked” eyeshadow palette idea because having eye, cheek and lip products all in one small palette is just so convenient, whether you’re travelling a lot or taking weekend jaunts to the cottage or you want something to take to the gym so you can do your makeup after an early morning workout and before work. I’d really love to see more palettes like that.

For a travel palette, I want something slim yet sturdy, with a dependable clasp/closure. It also has to have a mirror because sometimes you can’t find one around. A small brush or applicator is a bonus. Eye shadows — about five small ones that range from light to dark, one blush, one bronzer/contour shade, an eye liner pencil, and a lip gloss or crayon. Yep, I’m picky!

A palette that can work by itself. So it needs to include one or more medium transition shades, highlighters and deep shades for lining or outer corner. When I travel I also pick palettes that don’t cause excessive fallout: it’s more of a problem when I don’t have all my tools on hand to fix it.

I don’t think I actually have a great palette to travel with yet, there’s always shades that I need that aren’t included. Personally, I’d like to be able to create a couple of neutral shaded looks, a few colourful ones, maybe with pastels or a nice purple, and some nice dramatic ones for night. I cool toned frost highlight colour, a deep black matte and a cool toned matte medium grey/brown colour are essential for me. I also need a good variation of finishes; mattes, frosts, satins, maybe a duochrome or two. 9 colours in a sturdy palette seem perfect to me.

I like a really good mix of colours and neutrals when I am travelling. Unfortunately I do tend to take, probably (definitely) too many eye shadow palettes with me. If I am not taking my Vice 2 because it is bulky, I take my Naked 1, Guerlain’s Les Gris (for blues), EL’s Film Noir (for greys) and the Rebel for greens. Oh dear!

My two big things are size of the talent and likelihood of using all the shades contained in it. Right now my two favorite palettes for travel or the Lorac Satisfying Toffee Crunch palette and the Lorac Nude Skinny palette. They both have a mirror, and both have shades that can be combined beautifully. When I travel, I pop one of those in my makeup bag and then maybe five or so other makeup items (mascara, concealer, etc.), and I’m set.

The more compact the better for me. I hate bulk. I’m happy with four or five neutral eyeshadows as long as there is a variety of colours and finishes (although more shimmer than matte/satin is fine). I’m not that fussy really so there are a lot of quads/quints out there that work for me. My trusty Suqqu Blend Colour Eyeshadow palette in 10 Kozuecha gets the most love though.

If we’re talking a face palette then again I want it to be small. Two blushes: one warm and one cool plus a light-toned, fairly pigmented highlighter is all I’m looking for in addition to the eyeshadow. No lip products please (I’m not faffing with a lip brush thank you very much)! I use a lip brush only when absolutely necessary!

I use my Z Palette filled with Rouge Bunny Rouge matte neutral eyeshadows, Makeup Geek neutral foiled eyeshadows and two Makeup Geek blushes when I travel. I like that I can customize it- sometimes I might switch-out one of the neutral eyeshadows for a bright one or the satin peach blush for a shimmery coral etc. I don’t have the specific product names but I’ve not changed it recently so I must be pretty happy with what I put in. 🙂

We try to approve comments within 24 hours (and reply to them within 72 hours) but can sometimes get behind and appreciate your patience! 🙂 If you have general feedback, product review requests, off-topic questions, or need technical support, please contact us directly. Thank you for your patience!