What to Pack in Your Makeup Bag When Traveling

Makeup Bag
Makeup Bag

Getting ready to travel again? Whether you’re heading out on a long, action-packed trip or jetting off for a quick weekend away, you’ve got to prepare your cosmetics bag. Even if you don’t have your trip completely scheduled so you aren’t sure what looks you’ll need, there are some guaranteed makeup selections you’ll want to have ready to go. Here’s our guide for what to pack in your makeup bag when traveling. 

Cover the Basics First

Less is more when you’re carrying your belongings with you on a trip, so be honest with yourself as you consider: what makeup do you really wear every day? You’ll want to have each of those items with you. That might just be a quick dab of mascara and lip gloss, or maybe you never leave the house without your trusty set of eyelash strips and bold, glittery eyeshadow. Whatever you use on a typical day, you’ll want to add to your makeup bag. Don’t scrimp on what you really wear; the last thing you want is to have to squeeze in a last-minute trip to find the right brand of mascara. 

Also, remember that health and beauty are connected. Your normal routines get disrupted when you’re traveling, so you need to take extra care to prioritize healthy habits. And that can start with how you pack your makeup bag. It’s important to choose health-conscious products, but it’s even more important to use your makeup routine to care for yourself. If you’re going to a sunnier and drier environment than you’re used to, make sure to pack your sunscreen and moisturizer. If you’re heading somewhere chilly, don’t forget your chapstick. Makeup isn’t just for your look; it’s also for your health, especially when you’re on the go. 

Consider the Possibilities

Although it’s generally wise to pack the basic makeup that you wear every day, it isn’t necessarily the best strategy in every circumstance. So before you just sweep your makeup drawer into your bag, consider the possibilities. Are you doing some high-adventure activities? Waterproof mascara may be the way to go. Is this a business trip with long hours? You’ll probably want a good setting spray to keep your look fresh all day. 

Besides making sure you have enough of your basics to get you through your trip with plenty of extra just in case, there are other factors to consider. Most importantly — if you lost this makeup, how costly would it be to replace it? You may not need to worry about it if you’re planning a staycation, but if you typically wear more expensive makeup and you’re going on a longer or more adventurous trip, it may be better to temporarily replace your regular brands with less expensive drugstore options. You’ll want to test them out beforehand to see what you can live with, but it can be wise to make compromises so you’re ready for anything.

Be Strategic About What You Really Need

When you’re traveling, it can be tempting to over-pack, but it’s best to focus on what you really need. You probably don’t need your entire eyeshadow pallet with ten shades; instead, consider choosing one all-purpose shade. There are travel-sized versions of your favorite products that you can substitute as well. 

This doesn’t mean that you have to be completely boring with your choices: why not mix and match a little bit of neutral and a little bit of bold for enough different looks to give you some options without bringing more than you need? Doubling up is also a great idea: you can get tinted lip balm rather than bringing lipstick. There are also tons of multi-use products to consider — and applicators.

It’s All About the Application

Of course, the products you have with you are important, but your makeup bag isn’t complete without the tools to apply it. You’ll probably need to put on your makeup in different mirror situations than you’re used to, so it’s essential to have face makeup brushes you can trust. We recommend quality powder brushes, ideally a matching set so you have all your bases covered. 

And then at the end of the night, you’re going to focus on de-application. Bring a small but trusty makeup remover, like a set of a few disposable wipes or a nice non-alcoholic spray in a bottle that’ll pass through airport clearance if you’re flying.

Choose Your Bag Well

We’re focusing on what to put IN your bag, but it’s also important to consider what bag you’re using for traveling. You want to maximize your space with an appropriately sized bag, and you may also want to consider “depotting” your makeup, which means taking products from their original containers and transferring the right amount into a smaller container that travels more easily. Be careful to bring enough of each type of makeup to cover the whole trip, and it’s often a good policy to overestimate so you won’t run out. 

Love Your Look, Love Your Trip

Let’s be real: Being satisfied with your appearance (in your memories and photos) will affect how satisfied you are with your travels. So, loving your look is a big part of loving your trip. Make sure you have everything covered with your makeup bag so you can focus on loving your trip.

You want to make your journey memorable, soaking up the destinations you’re visiting, the experiences you’re having, and the memories you’re making — not worrying about your makeup game. So let’s get you stocked and ready for the most exciting adventure or the most relaxing staycation. With these tips, you can sate your wanderlust without worrying about your makeup bag. Happy travels!

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