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Travel Makeup Bag: What To Pack

By Sara | August 23, 2016

Every traveler packs a little differently, but most travelers need some sort of travel makeup bag in their pack. We posted a robust packing list already, but didn’t delve into what female travelers should pack in a makeup bag. Packing light is hard, and I struggled to find posts on what to bring when I initially packed for my trip. Now, I travel with a small sized packing cube that I keep all of my “girl stuff” in, and know what my must-have items are. Here’s what I brought on my round-the-world adventure, and what I regretted not packing.

1. Ponds Face Cream

Keeping healthy skin is very important to me, and I’m sure to many other women. I’ve used Pond’s face cream for years and re-packaged a large tub of it into 100ml tubes for this trip. TSA compliant!

2. Norwex Face Towel

This was a christmas gift from my Mom and an item that I use every day. Norwex is a product line aimed reducing chemicals in the home. Their towels have microfibers in them, which pick up dirt much better than regular towels. In a pinch, you can even use these without soap; the fibers will grab the dirt from your face!

3. Vaseline or Chap Stick

I always carry some mini cocoa butter vaseline cubes with me, and they’re great for travel because of their size. Carmex lip balm also does the trick to keep lips from cracking, and both of these items are so small that you can easily fit them in a travel makeup bag.

4. Acne Remover

Particularly in hot climates, there isn’t a whole lot you can do to prevent breakouts. Though drinking enough water, eating well, and washing your face every day helps, sometimes skin just has a mind of its own. For breakout situations, I carry one small tube of Clean and Clear topical gel to put on my face at night. Though it’s a strong solution, it clears most problem areas up by the next morning.

5. Q-Tips

I didn’t bring q-tips initially and regretted it every time I had water in my ears after a shower. Luckily, they’re an incredibly common product and super cheap, so you can buy them pretty much anywhere. I put a handful in a plastic ziplock and keep them in my travel makeup bag.

6. Foot Exfoliator

This is another item that I neglected to bring and had a hard time finding later in a compact size. Travelers walk a lot, and there’s no helping the dirt and dead skin that’s bound to accumulate. Having a small exfoliator makes the hugest difference in how your feet feel, and makes the beach more fun!

7. Deodorant, Toothbrush, and Toothpaste

Obviously, please pack these.

8. Razor

The girls I’ve met while traveling all do this a bit differently. Some prefer to go au natural and just let their leg hair grow. Power to ya. I have a pet peeve of hair on my legs, so before the trip I began using the most generic razor brand possible. I’ve been able to find the same style razors around the world and keep a few in my travel makeup bag. This gets me through several months at a time, but everyone has their own preference. Find what works for you, whether it’s skipping shaving, buying disposables, or getting detachable blades.

9. Feminine Products

Again, everyone does this differently. In most countries, standard pads and tampons are easy to find, so I wouldn’t worry too much. I have met a few female travelers who swear by the Diva Cup, so if you don’t want to worry about finding products in another country, it may be worth looking into.

10. Small Travel Makeup Bag

There’s a reason I put this last. I stopped wearing makeup almost a year ago and really, you don’t need any to travel. However, there are still times where it’s nice to dress up a bit to go out, so having a few of the essentials in your travel makeup bag can be beneficial. The only products I brought with me were:

TLC Foundation – I like this foundation because it’s oil-free, doesn’t clog pores, and has light coverage

Bobbi Brown Concealer – I love all things Bobbi Brown, and all of the skin products that they make feel light and moisturizing. This corrector is good for under eye and problem spots.

Bobbi Brown Blush – Same as above, the blush from Bobbi Brown shows up very light and looks natural. The colors look much more vibrant in the case, so don’t be afraid of choosing a bright shade!

Maybelline Waterproof Mascara – I’ve used this mascara for years, and it’s great even when swimming.

NYX Nude Eye Palette – This palette rocks because you can choose a shade as light or as dark as you like and play with the palette to create different looks. I use the darker shades as eye liner as well, rather than carrying a pencil.

Lip Gloss – If you’re going to bring lip coverage, choose a darker shade. The lip balm from the list above works as a nude gloss, so I keep a darker lip gloss for when I want to dress up to go out.

With these six items I’ve been able to look ready for night out, a job interview, and every day exploring. Unless you’re a luxury or beauty traveler, makeup really isn’t a priority, and outside of the U.S and the U.K., girls don’t wear much, if any makeup anyways!

That’s It!

Travel quickly teaches that you don’t need much to feel well. Again, every traveler packs differently, and the most important thing to bring is what makes you feel the most comfortable and confident. My hope is that for those lost as to what to pack, this list will help make things easier, while keeping you feeling clean and pampered on the road.

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