This summer has seen me on the road more than usual. By the end of this month, I’ll have taken planes, trains, and automobiles to get around California. I’ve been trying to curb my overpacking excesses and I think I’ve finally nailed my travel makeup and toiletries.
On the other hand, there is no one true Liz’s travel makeup bag. First of all, there are two: a small one for makeup and a slightly larger one for toiletries. Second, while some things are travel staples, other things get switched up depending on what I’m doing on my travels. This weekend, I’m going to Southern California for a quidditch series, a going away party at a margarita bar, and Disneyland. Three very different activities and outfits, which call for three different looks.
My Travel Makeup Bag
I use an Ipsy bag for my makeup when I travel. Not only do I have so many that I need to make use of them, but they’re small enough that they force me not to overpack. Also, this one I got in May is so cute! Look at those passport stamps. Who wouldn’t travel with this?
Glossier Stretch Concealer
I don’t have very many specific products I have to bring, but Glossier Stretch Concealer goes with me everywhere. It is my hands down favorite and I never want to be without it.
A duo fiber face brush
Specifically, my e.l.f. small stipple brush. My fingers are good enough for applying this under my eyes, but I prefer a brush if I’m going to use this on my face.
A neutral powder blush + any small blush brush
As much as I love liquid and cream blushes, powders are easier to travel with, even if that means bringing a brush for it. I just got Tarte’s Paaarty blush in my July Sephora Play! box, but in the past I’ve taken my Essence Satin Love blush with me. At 2.99, it’s a steal, but the packaging breaks easily so I prefer traveling with something a little sturdier. I got this blush brush ages ago in an Ipsy bag and it does its job just fine, but anything that size will do.
Swipe on and go for when you’re on the go. This Milk highlighter stick I got from Birchbox has seen better days, but it’s so ridiculously easy to use.
A mini mascara
I switch back and forth between Essence Make Me Brow and Glossier Boy Brow. Boy Brow has a thicker formula makes my eyebrows look more fluffy, while Make Me Brow’s gel formula and tiny fibers make my brows look darker and thicker. Both control my brows (untouched since this April and I’m never gonna wax them again!) equally well, but one is $3 and one is $16.
I do have a mini eyeshadow palette I like traveling with, but that means packing brushes to go along with it, and I didn’t feel like that this time around. Instead, I packed two cream eyeshadows to match the outfits I packed: Glossier Lidstar in Lily (sheer lilac with blue + violet shimmer) and Colourpop Super Shock Shadow in Kaepop (a warm pearlized gold), which is sadly discontinued. This category gets switched up the most, but anything small that I can apply and blend out with my fingers makes the cut.
You need, at most, three lipsticks when you travel. A matte lip, a gloss, and a sheer lip balm.
Bring this for staying power. I prefer bullet formulas or pencils, but you do you. This Sephora Lipstories (only 8 bucks!!!) in Labyrinth City is a deep rose color that feels like nothing but stays in place.
Glosses are great because you can wear them on their own or use them on top of something matte. The Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb is one of my favorites, but any your-lips-but-better shade will do. Nyx Butter Gloss is my other favorite formula.
Tinted or flavored or both, anything you can keep on your lips to protect and hydrate them is good. Rose Balm Dot Com is an unexpected favorite of mine, but I always seem to have a Burt’s Bees Red Dahlia floating around in my purse when I need more a deeper tint.
My Travel Hair/Body/Skincare Bag
I got this slightly larger L monogrammed from my sister. I’ve slowly turned into one of those people with an intensive skincare routine, but I don’t have the time or the space for that when I travel.
Step 1: Cleanser
My favorite cleanser is half the size of my face, so it has to stay home. Instead, I’ve been using this sample size of Philosophy’s Purity Made Simple. But really, almost any sample in my stash will do.
Step 2: Toner
Pixi Glow Tonic To-Go is the biggest thing in this bag but it is worth every inch of real estate. Glow Tonic is my favorite toner, but as I learned last month, the mini size is a clumsy spill waiting to happen. These pre-soaked pads, on the other hand, are foolproof.
Step 3: Serum
Step 4: Moisturizer
Anyone with a beauty box subscription is probably drowning in these. Since I have so many options, I go with whatever will suit that trip’s needs best. Since I’ll be sending a lot of time in the sun this weekend, this hydrating water-gel formula fits those needs best.
Step 5: Lip mask
Call me extra, but I always pack either this Laniege lip mask I got with Ipsy points or my lavender Bite agave lip mask when I travel. Not only do I have pretty dry lips, but they’re a small luxury while I’m away. It’s important to feel comfortable when you’re away from the comforts of home.
The boring stuff
Mini toothbrush + toothpaste
I think I got this toothbrush at Target? Anyway, it’s small and folds up even smaller, so it’s a winner.
I’m a Southern European gal. I can shave right before I leave for a trip, but 5 o’clock leg shadow is real and it is not spectacular.
Hair + body wash
Would I normally use the same stuff on my hair as my body? No. But do I want to be bothered with yet another bottle when I travel? Also no. This Davines hair and body wash I got in my last Birchbox does the trick, along with this conditioner mini I also got from Birchbox.
Stuff I definitely did not forget:
I’m not picky about any of these categories, but they are important and I never leave home without them.
I buy this stuff in bulk from Target whenever it’s on sale. Big cans of the spray on kind for the body, stick sunscreen for my face and neck.
Deodorant + hair brush
Honestly, I just chuck whichever of these I’m currently using into my bag after I use it on the morning I leave home.