3 Makeup Packing Tips To Fit More Fun in Your Life

Published in: Beauty Tips, Makeup Tips/How To

Dr. Bronner's All-One Magic Soap

I can always count on one thing when I travel. I’m definitely going to learn something new — meet new people, try new foods, figure out new ways to squeeze even more makeup in my carry-on bag.


After all, necessity is the mother of invention. 🙂

Here are three travel makeup tips I’ve picked up along the way.

1. Slice it up! (I’ll take it.)

Dr. Bronner's All-One Magic Soap

Dr. Bronner’s All-One Magic Soap is also a great brush cleanser

If there are any bars of soap/moisturizer/other products you use every day, cut off a small piece to pack in your bag. That way you don’t have to bring the whole thing.

Honestly, I can’t believe this one only occurred to me a few days ago! It hit me while I was looking at my bar of Dr. Bronner’s All-One Soap, which I use every night to clean my makeup brushes.

I was thinking, “I don’t want to bring this whole thing…” So I sliced a small wedge off the end.

BAM! Instant travel size.

2. Brush up on your streamlining

Two Brush Makeup Tutorial

I used just two makeup brushes for this look

I am totally guilty of overpacking brushes. I always like to be over-prepared instead of underprepared, and they’re just so small that I figure they can’t weigh a lot or take up much room. Might as well bring more.

It’s true. Two or three of them don’t take up much room, but 10?

Yeah, they start to add up…

But it turns out you really don’t need that many makeup brushes when you travel.

Last May El Hub and I drove up to Redding, a town about four hours north of the Bay Area, to visit family, and I didn’t realize until we got there that I’d forgotten all of my brushes back home!

For more travel makeup tips, don’t miss 3 Lessons Learned About Travel: Perfecting the Art of Packing.

I stopped by a MAC counter and picked up two emergency brushes, and they worked out perfectly the whole trip.

For this trip down to San Diego, I sort of compromised… Less than 10 brushes but more than two (baby steps!). I brought 1) a Burberry Angled Brush, 2) a MAC 217 Blending Brush, 3) a MAC 239 Eye Shader Brush, 4) a MAC 224 Tapered Blending Brush, 5) a MAC 188 Small Duo Fibre Face Brush and 6) a MAC 109 Small Contour Brush.


3. Save some room for goodies

Another reason not to overpack? — having more room to bring back goodies from your trip.

I love bringing mementos, magnets, makeup, t-shirts and other treasures back with me when I travel, ya know, because it’s nice to have a sweet reminder of the trip.

kiko make up milano k in front of store

The Kiko Makeup Milano store in Milan

When you pack, think about leaving yourself enough room to bring back a couple t-shirts or a pair of jeans… Think about how cute they’ll be, and resist the temptation to overstuff. 🙂

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 17 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. illy ariffin says:

    I am so happy that I bump into your blog 🙂 We share the same passion!

    Will definitely come again to check out your blog and I like your writing style 🙂

    Come and check out my blog too if you have the time <3

  2. Gowthami says:

    Great tips karen.. 🙂 I follow the first tip always..
    Gowthami recently posted … Review and Swatch:Maybelline Baby Lips in Coral Flush

  3. Great tips Karen! I generally carry travel sized bottles of skin care/shampoo, conditioner that I save up from beauty boxes – saves a lot of space!
    Ankita@corallista recently posted … Avene Three-step Skin Care for Acne-prone skin (Press Note)

  4. Shreya says:

    I always over pack my makeup brushes ….. Great tips …Thanks a lot for sharing with us ….

  5. Aida says:

    Hey, what do you know, I’ve been using the same exact bar soap to clean my brushes for almost a year (and I barely made a little valley in it!!). We travel all the time (business related) and I still over pack makeup, but it’s worth it to me, it gives me plenty to play with while being stuck all day (sometimes) in a fancy hotel room ;). I hope you’re having fun :).

  6. Icaria says:

    Cutting the soap! Love!!!
    Icaria recently posted … Instagram Silliness, Vol. 2

  7. Elle says:

    Cutting soap – brilliant. I also love the Dr. Bronner’s bar – my brushes always had a weird smell after washing (and drying!) them, but this soap has completely wiped that out. Thanks and enjoy the rest of your trip!

  8. Rachel says:

    I like to collect t-shirts from different places (yes I dress like a skater boy, but not all the time!) so that last tip is brilliant

  9. Danielle says:

    Haha I am also guilty of overpacking brushes. When I pack for a trip, I realize how many brushes I use day to day!
    Danielle recently posted … Ipsy July 2013

  10. Wow wonderful tips for traveling!

    Our Mac 217 brush is to survive in any fair place, love it too, I’m waiting for my order from sephora Brazil.

    I agree with you Karen, do we need to invent things that never knew you could. Such a discovery was incredible.

    Ja anoteis his brushes, and wrote the tips that are really worth very little space left over in time to bring treats or sweets.

    Woe to all the Kiko Milan, rocked the look, this gorgeous too, imagine how many things bought, I still want the custom palettes.

    Loved everything as always, very entertaining!

    dear Kisses
    thatiane gomes recently posted … Lapis de boca: Hard Candy X Mary Kay

  11. Jacque says:

    I also love Dr. Bronner’s soap for cleaning my brushes. My favorite scents are the almond and peppermint!

  12. barbara says:

    I have a spare Pampered Chef apple corer that I use to make small samples out of my soaps – works great!

  13. Iris says:

    Great tips. I brought along only two brushes for my Vancouver a couple years back trip. I’ll have to be creative for my upcoming trip to H.K.

  14. Gretchen says:

    I just wanted to let you know that I enjoy reading beauty blogs but there weren’t any that were my “go to” that I went out of my way on flipboard to read until I found yours. I find that while reading your valuable reviews I am giggling like a little kid and from time to time an occasional outburst. I also find myself checking your blog daily to see if there are any new posts.I love how your blog in informational but you keep it from being boringly informative by adding your humorous touches. So the point of this comment is to say thanks for your hard work and keep it up.

  15. Liz says:

    What lipstick are you wearing..thanks

  16. Jen Mathews says:

    I’m about to pack for BlogHer, so these are great tips to keep in mind. I always over-pack! Will you be at BlogHer?
    Jen Mathews recently posted … Makeup Wars! Best Purple Polish

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