The Perfect Travel Makeup Bag


I LOVE packing. It might sound weird but, as soon as I know I’m going to travel, I get so excited I almost immediately start making a checklist of what I’m going to need. Besides, it reduces panic over packing. Because, let’s face it: nobody needs a 20 eyeshadow palette, 3 blushes or 7 lipstick for a five days trip.

1. Primer. Usually, when I’m away I put on makeup in the morning for the day and if I go out at night I never have time to start over, so I just add something to what is already on my face. To make sure that the makeup – especially foundation – does stay on my face, I use a primer. This time I’m taking with me Kiehl’s Micro Blur Skin Perfector, which blurs imperfections and large pores. Since it is classified as liquid, and I will travel on a plane, I will decant it in a smaller pot.

2. Base. BB cream, tinted moisturizer, foundation…whatever you like. I personally like to take foundation with me. Make Up For Ever HD Foundation is being decanted in a pot and it’s going into the makeup bag! I like the finish and the coverage that this gives plus it lasts a long time on my face.

3. Concealer. Dark circles, redness, spots…take one that is good for everything. Nars Creamy Radiant is perfect for this.

4. Powder. Again, something to help the makeup stay put all day. Favor compacts – loose powders can be messy and they have bulkier packaging. I’m taking Guerlain Les Voilettes Translucent Compact Powder (in 03 Medium) with me. It almost gives a airbrushed effect without adding coverage.

5. Cheeks. I’m going to be honest: I’m not a huge fan of blushes, so it’s the first thing I cut back on. Instead, I use a matte bronzer – to contour lightly bringing it upwards to actually bronze a little –  and a highlighter. These days, compacts that contain both contouring powder and highlighter are quite popular. They are multi-tasking – as you’ll see later -, perfect for traveling and they usually have a mirror, which is a plus. The one I’m bringing with me is the Sleek Face Contour Kit. It’s not my favourite at all: it feels chalky, doesn’t last long and the highlighter is too shimmery. Anyway, it’ll do for this trip because it’s compact and I can touch up those two without starting over. If you want something more luxurious Charlotte Tilbury does a beautiful Bronze and Glow compact.

6. Eye Primer. I you have oily eyelids, you feel me. I always need to put this on before eyeshadow, it’s not up for discussion. So, Urban Decay Primer Potion is coming with me.

5. Eyeshadow. For this step I suggest bringing something quick and easy to apply and blend like a cream eyeshadow. I’m taking Maybelline Colour Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze. It’s a cream eyeshadow, easy to put on with fingers, so you won’t need too many brushes. It’s got a beautiful wearable shade that you can also wear on its own. Then if I want to intensify it I can use the bronzer from the contour kit in the crease and the highlighter in the inner part of my eyes. Boom!

6. Eyeliner. I don’t usually go for crazy winged lines so I’m totally happy with a simple long lasting black pencil like Clarins Waterproof Eye Pencil  in black to outline my eyes a bit for a night time look.

7. Mascara. Because…duh, it’s mascara! I’m taking the one I hauled last week: Clinique High Impact Waterproof.

8. Lip Products. All I need is a lip gloss/ balm in a my lips-but-better shade. I have a YSL Volupté Sheer Candy in Goyave Sorbet that moisturizes and gives a nice colour to my lives. Perfect.

Some more tips:

– Ask yourself “Honestly, for which occasions will I put makeup on? Casual days? Is there an event I need to go to? Will I have time to touch it up?”. I, for instance, am pretty sure that I will put makeup on in the morning and I will visit some family and friends, so I don’t want to look overdone. It will be very casual. I won’t be going to any event. I will probably have some time to touch up my makeup before going out to dinner with friends, but nothing fancy.

– Look for multitasking products. As mentioned above, bronzer and highlighter can also be used as eyesadows. A cream blush can be used for lips, and viceversa a lipstick can work as blusher.

– Plan to take few versatile shades. Like you would do with clothes, bring less products but all wearable with each other.

– Bring with you your trusty ones. It’s not time to try a new foundation that might end up being the wrong shade or a new lipstick that might not be as long wearing as it promises. I like to collect all the products in my travel makeup bag a few days before leaving and I start using them together then. This way, if something doesn’t work I can always switch up for something else.

– Compact packaging is key. At the moment I’m really loving using MUFE HD Microfinish Powder (note: I have the old packaging), but it’s too bulky and very inconvenient to travel with. Instead I will carry with me another one which has a slimmer packaging and zero loose powder flying around.


3 thoughts on “The Perfect Travel Makeup Bag

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