How to Pack Makeup and Skincare for Travel: 8 Tips I Swear By

post featured image

After years of traveling regularly to both domestic and international destinations, I feel like I’ve finally nailed down the perfect way to pack. Trust me, I’m not someone who is a “light packer” by any means, but with some strategic tweaks and planning ahead, you really can make the most of your luggage space.

While packing clothes is relatively straightforward (packing cubes should be your best friend), I have found that corralling beauty products into a small bag is a particularly challenging task.

I don’t know about you but I have quite a few makeup, skincare, and hair finds that I love, so picking and choosing which can come along with me is always tough. And don’t even get me started on traveling with just a carry-on bag, when things only get more challenging.

To help you jet off on your next vacation with ease, I’m sharing exactly how to pack makeup for travel. I’m also including all of my go-to tips and tricks for packing skincare and hair products/tools as well!

Makeup and Skincare Packing Tips

Invest in proper toiletry bags.

First things first, starting with proper toiletry bags will set you up for success. Be sure to use something that’s roomy enough to house all of your essentials, yet isn’t bulky or heavy. Some people swear by padded makeup bags when packing more delicate items, like eyeshadow palettes and bronzers, but I haven’t had any issues with standard toiletry bags.

I rotate through a variety of bags when packing, but I personally prefer those that are clear. The see-through design makes it much easier to spot exactly which product you’re looking for, so there’s no need to go digging through everything.

This is the exact bag I have and love (pictured below) and it’s under $25 from Amazon! If you’d prefer something with specific compartments for makeup, this is a good option.

toiletry bags for travel

Pack travel-sized products in your carry-on bag.

This should go without saying but it’s such a necessary step if you’re looking to make the most of the space you have. I feel like travel-sized products have come a long way in recent years, with many of my favorite beauty brands now making mini options that I can tote along on trips. Sephora has just about everything I personally need in smaller sizes, but drugstores are another spot you can find travel-friendly toiletries.

Also, if a specific product you want isn’t available in a travel sized option, use travel bottles instead. These are easy to squeeze products in and out of (shampoo, conditioner, sunscreen, etc.) and I appreciate that they come with a clear toiletry case.

When it comes to strategic packing, I always think it’s wise to put your travel-sized toiletries in your carry-on bag. In the (unfortunate) event that your luggage gets lost or you’re majorly delayed, it’s nice to know that you have all of your essentials within an arms reach. If you must bring along full-sized toiletries, add those to your checked bag and bring along a smaller version in your carry-on.

Pack as many multi-purpose products as possible.

This tip is easier said than done, but I challenge you to reach for more multi-purpose products when you pack. You might be pleasantly surprised by how little you really need! Some ways to do this:

– Pack a leave-in conditioner/anti-frizz cream rather than multiple hair products

– Reach for a makeup stick that works on lips and cheeks

– Consider packing a 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner

– Use this cult-favorite skincare product to double as a moisturizer, mask, and hand cream

– Bring one sunscreen that you can use on both your face and your body

– Opt for a lip product that you can apply for overnight and daytime wear

– Pick one lotion that you can use on both your hands and your body

Plan your makeup looks ahead of time.

When jetting off on lengthier trips (like a big getaway to Europe), I think it can be particularly helpful to plan out your makeup looks ahead of time. I’d recommend doing this in combination with outfit planning, which will also help you make the most out of your luggage space.

Consider what makeup you really need to pack: That red lipstick you never wear? It can stay at home. Instead of taking up precious space with items you undoubtedly won’t use as part of your makeup routine, leave it behind so you have more room for the essentials.

If you know your trip will consist of fancy dinners and happy hours, pack your best foundation, highlighter, and blush. Plan to spend most of your time adventuring or lounging by the pool? You might just need to bring some tinted moisturizer and a tube of mascara.

Save room with travel gadgets.

Every well-versed traveler has an arsenal of gadgets that they can’t take a trip without—and I’m no exception. Over the years, I have tried and tested a handful of travel gadgets. Some of them were total flops while others have proven to be quite handy.

From toiletry bottles to silicone makeup brush covers, there are many accessories that can make packing a breeze. One of my favorites to date? This LED makeup bag/mirror duo. With three flat (and roomy!) compartments to stash makeup and a designated spot for a light up mirror, I can easily fit all of my must-haves into one organized spot. The best part is that it’s actually amazing to use while getting ready for the day, whether you’re in a hotel or a house rental.

I’m sharing a video on how I pack this specific bag below, and I’m also linking a handful of other gadgets I have and love!

Watch Here: How I Pack Makeup for Travel

LED makeup mirror and travel case

Utilize hotel toiletries when possible.

Before you roll your eyes at this tip, hear me out. I’m totally guilty of wanting to bring along all of my own toiletries when I travel, but sometimes things just don’t fit and you need to choose what you’re willing to sacrifice.

If you’re in this boat, ditch all the items that you can easily get upon arrival, some of which your hotel might be able to provide. Things like shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and toothpaste are typically available from a concierge. Worst case scenario, these can all be found in an airport or drugstore once you get to your destination.

p.s. Many boutique hotels list the exact products they use in their hotels, so be sure to check their website if you’re curious!

Separate your makeup from skincare and hair care.

Smart travelers always consider the ease of things upon arrival. To ensure that you don’t have to go searching for each product you packed, store your makeup, skincare, and hair care items separately. Don’t have that much room? Combine your hair care with skincare and keep your makeup on its own.

Not only will this help you stay more organized but it’s also a great way to simplify your “getting ready” process—that way there’s more time for the fun things!

Pack mini hair tools and products.

Last but certainly not least, invest in travel-sized hair tools that you can bring along on your trips. I am picky about what hair dryer I use, and honestly, the options at most hotels just disappoint.

I’m a big fan of this auto-dual voltage hair dryer, which is lightweight yet powerful. It’s easy to toss into your suitcase and it doesn’t take up much space. Another must-have in my book is this dual voltage curling iron. It’s so affordable (under $30!) and creates curls that will last for days. Another way to save some room is by opting for a flat iron rather than a curling iron—you can curl and straighten your hair with one!

Leave a Comment

Form Below

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.