This post has been sponsored by the PRIMP Network. All opinions are my own.
I love packing light – whenever and wherever I travel. In fact it’s almost a fun little game for me to try and narrow down my belongings to just the essentials and fit everything inside the smallest bag possible. During my last week-long trip to Mexico for example, I managed to pack so light that I brought only a single carry-on!
When it comes to beauty though, I’ll sometimes hit a crossroads. On the one end I’ll be thinking ‘let’s try to take my already minimal makeup routine, even more minimal‘ and on the other end, I’ll be thinking ‘what better time to experiment with a new look and new makeup than while on vacation?’ In the end though, practically always wins, and my travel beauty kit will boil down to just these essentials…
The first thing I toss in my travel beauty bag is a basic dark brown brow pencil. The smaller the nib left, the better. Lately, it’s been my all-time favorite drugstore brow pencil – Essence Eyebrow Designer Pencil. Bonus – it comes with a handy little brow brush, right on the cap.
It would be amazing if I could get away with using the brow pencil as an eyeliner too, but I just can’t live without a black eyeliner – like my all-time favorite from Kat Von D, in the darkest shade ‘Trooper’. Since my minimal travel makeup list limits the number of looks I can create, this is the one key item that I always make sure to bring along to provide some versatility. For example, for everyday looks I’ll use it to draw a thin line in and just above my lash line. But when I’m in the mood to go all out with the ‘war paint’, I’ll use it to create a bold, dramatic cat eye.
No matter the eye look, I’ll always pack a dramatic, volumizing and lengthening mascara to bring even more attention to the eyes (my favorite part to highlight). Thankfully, I managed to snag a little travel sized tube of my current HG mascara – Lancome’s Monsieur Big – in a recent Glossybox. A few swipes of that and I’m all set. That is, assuming my face is in good shape…
But if not, I’ll make sure to pack Erborian‘s CC creme just in case. It also helps that it’s multi-tasking, and covers my face sunscreen, morning moisturizer, and foundation, all in one. Of course, the coverage is light, so I’ll also pack a full-coverage concealer like the Amazing Cosmetics Concealer (in their super-convenient mini-sized tubes), and use it to cover random blemishes or dark circles. If I’m for whatever reason wanting a more flawless look, for say, an evening out, I’ll mix a little of the concealer with my BB/CC cream to transform it into more of a medium coverage foundation.
For pops of color on the rest of the face – eyes, cheeks, and lips – I rely on multi-sticks. I’ll typically grab two – one shimmery, off-white one to use as a highlight and eye shadow, and a deep burgundy to use as blush, eye crease color, and lip color. My two favorites are the Boomstick Glimmer and Boomstick Color sticks by Cindy Joseph, which are compact, super easy to apply, and pack loads of moisturizing and skin-loving ingredients.
I’ll typically use traveling as an opportunity to use up all those samples from beauty subscription boxes that I’ve been hoarding. (Of course, I always try them out at least one night before leaving for a trip, just to make sure that my skin agrees with everything.) Bonus if they’re multi-tasking, like Marcelle’s New-Age LumiPower 3-in-1 Moisturizer and Vasanti’s BrightenUp! exfoliating face cleanser.
Just in case I ever find myself in that dreaded situation where an annoying, random zit pops up out of nowhere, one particular product that I’ll make sure to bring along is Zapzyt’s Acne Treatment Gel. This stuff is super strong, and works super fast using 10% benzoyl peroxide, only without irritating the skin. I’ll put a little dab over a pimple and the cream will help reduce its size and the redness overnight, so that I can continue on with my near makeup-free routine come morning. I typically won’t bring along the entire tube – instead, I’ll put a little into a tiny plastic container, and then pop that into my bag.
For the bod, I first and foremost bring along a sunscreen – arguably the #1 essential, for any type of traveling or adventuring. However, if I’m flying and can’t pack a full-sized bottle due to restrictions for carry-ons, I’ll just buy one when I land. Next, I’ll toss in a few shower sheets (aka full body wipes that help cleanse and deodorize). You never know when they’ll come in handy – from freshening up after a long plane ride, or getting back from a trek through the jungle. Also to stay fresh, I’ll also bring along one of my favorite all-natural deos from Meow Meow Tweet – their packaging is compact and perfect for travel (not to mention, adorable).
And lastly, whenever I go somewhere new, I like to pick out one random scent from my huge perfume sample collection and make that sort of the ‘signature’ scent of my trip, so that whenever I catch a whiff of it after the trip, it’ll re-awaken all the memories of that experience. For example, I wore Flowerbomb on my first trip to visit my brother in LA, and now every time I smell it, it takes me back that summer and the drives along the coast, and grabbing burgers and shakes late night downtown.
Hair care is usually pretty simple as well. Most hotels provide shampoo and conditioner so I don’t always bring my own. But if I do, I’ll grab a duo of sampled-size bottles out of my tub of leftover Glossybox and Birchbox samples.
Nails & Tools
Finally, the tools. For those times I’m doing my makeup in front of a wide open hotel window and notice a stray hair on some part of my face that it just doesn’t belong, I’ll make sure to always have my tweezers handy. When it comes to nail care, typically I’ll do my manis and pedis a few days prior, and in the process, I’ll cut my nails down pretty short. But just in case things go haywire, I’ll bring a small file and a few single-use nail polish remover wipes.
So that’s everything in my travel beauty kit! Surprisingly, all the items manage to fit inside one large makeup bag, including all the liquids (which I’ll keep grouped together in a zip-lock bag, to prevent leaks and also for TSA checks). There’s also enough product to last me a good week. I’m sure there are ways to cut my kit down even further – like scraping off some of the cream formulas and storing them in a contact lens case – but I’m not quite at that stage in the game…yet… 🙂
SHOP THE POST
What beauty essentials are number one on your packing checklist?