travel makeup

Travel Makeup: What I Brought And What I Wore

Published in: Daily Beauty

travel makeup

Because I get a kick out of seeing what other people bring on their trips (I guess I’m just a voyeur like that!), here’s all the makeup stuff I brought on mine.


Everything in this picture here fit in my MAC Mia Moretti bag.

For the record, the trip was about three full days (I know, I brought a lot), and this was all under the assumption that it was going to be hot and muggy in New Orleans, which it was.

Actually, that doesn’t come remotely close to describing just how hot and muggy it really was. I was covered in a layer of sweat pretty much the entire time.

travel makeup

So that was everything I brought, but this is everything I actually wore…


travel makeup

So I didn’t use everything I brought.

The lesson I learned? I could have left most of the eyeshadows and lipsticks at home…but a girl’s gotta have options, you know?

At least that’s what I told myself as I stuffed things in the bag, LOL!

Overpacking. It’s a problem. 🙂


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  1. VijiiS says:

    I’m planning to move to Japan non-permanently so I’ve been doing the mega version of travel makeup packing. I’m trying to get inspired, because I really, really should not bring everything.
    VijiiS recently posted … Guess Who’s Back!

  2. Summer says:

    I love that you brought 9 lippies for 3 days…that’s how I know we’re makeup family, lol. I have to travel 1 weekend out of every month, and every month I look at my makeup stash and I’m like “This is month I will pack sensibly!”. Five years of this monthly self direction……still hasn’t happened!!

    • yelena says:

      love that you brought 9 lippies for 3 days…that’s how I “know we’re makeup family, lol. ”

      ^^^ THIS!

      I recently went to NYC and packed about the same amount of makeup. I didn’t use ANY of the eyeshadows, so I’m leaving them next time altogether. I did use my lippies tho 😀
      next time it will be:
      brow filler+ eyeliner + mascara + blush + gloss. THE END. 😀
      (or so I say)

  3. Lulle says:

    When I travel I usually try to bring ONE eyeshadow palette that offers a good variety of shades and finishes. But I tend to pack a ton of lippies, lol!
    Lulle recently posted … Anti-aging and anti-blemish effects in one single skincare product?

  4. Brwnfruit says:

    I’d probably keep it simple with a few cream eyeshadows, cream blush, brow pencil and mascara, I’m not a lipgloss girl, so I don’t have any. I might skip lips altogether because I wouldn’t want to risk melting my lipsticks.

  5. Jen says:

    I love the contact lens case suggestion – what a great idea! I’m going to borrow that one for my trips. I admit to being a makeup minimalist when traveling. I’ve realized I don’t need as much as I think. I take: concealer, Bobbi Brown foundation stick (chopped off and in a little container; doesn’t leak!), MAC Soba, MAC Brule, a Maybelline wind-up dark brown eyeliner (no sharpener necessary), mascara, Anastasia’s brow shadows & clear gel, Clinique’s cheek pop blush in Ginger, and Clinique’s lipstick in Pink Beach. That’s it, each day and every day. It’s totally fine for vacation!!

    • Karen says:

      I got the idea from one of the gals here in the comments! Use a Sharpie to write the name of the product on the case. That helps too! 🙂

      • Maggie says:

        OMG! I didn’t actually think you would use my tip! How cool!

        What do you think about the Clinique Superbalm Lip Treatment? I’ve had my eye on that for a while.

  6. Chelsea says:

    Such a fun read!

  7. Jaa says:

    We sound so much alike! I think we overpack all the time. It’s better to have more than less in my opinion. LOL I also dispense products into contact lens cases. Saves so much space! 🙂

  8. Eesha says:

    You sounded so much similar Karen.. even when I travel for work, I always feel that I over pack 😀 😉

  9. Rhia says:

    I tend to overpack also, especially with the cosmetics/toiletries. I keep telling myself “you never know” and almost always use less than half of what I actually brought. I’ll be challenging myself for my trip next month, so we’ll see how that goes.

  10. Cyndi says:

    How did your makeup hold out in all that humidity?? It’s pretty humid where I live so I’m always looking for makeup that’ll last through these hot and muggy summer months

  11. Bella says:

    At least you only packed one blush!! I go nowhere with my Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush palette and a couple of cream blushes LOL. Further more lip options are a must, but eyeshadows I can usuallu take a couple of crayons or creams and be done. Maaaayyyyyybe one wee palette…LOL! I also always take Chanel les Beiges B30 as my powder. On low makeup days I use it for coverage all over my face.

  12. Stephanie says:

    Lady, I’m trying to pack for a WEEK and I don’t have space for that much! Only bringing a carry on though. I’m thinking my Too Faced Return of the Sexy palette, three lip products, and powder foundation (which I’m liking as much lately… Sigh).

  13. Stephanie says:

    NOT liking, sorry, not used to commenting by phone.

  14. Vanessa says:

    Meh, make up is pretty small, it’s ok to have options 🙂

  15. Ghah! Brilliant use of that empty contact lens case 😀 Thanks for letting us peek inside your travel make-up bag. I always try to pack light by bringing solid single base products that I can wear on a daily basis and just a couple of eyeshadows colors to mix things up with every day.
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Review | Bioderma Sensibio AR Anti-Redness Care

  16. Meg says:

    I just love seeing what other people pack and how they pack it! I’ll definitely be using your trick of packing liquids in a spare contact lens case. I know I have plenty of those! Thanks so much for sharing!!

  17. Kelly B. says:

    I just came back from traveling as well and I deliberately left most of what I thought I would need, at home 😀 I literally only took a BB cream, eyebrow gel, and pressed powder! But I did save a lot of space-and time getting ready in the morning!
    Kelly B. recently posted … Wanderlust: Postcards from Western Pennsylvania

  18. Carolyn says:

    Hi Karen, I’m like you and love to see what other people are bringing with them. When I’m planning a trip, usually home to visit family, I start making notes of the clothes, jewelry, makeup, hair products and perfume I tend to reach for most. Then when I’m packing, I usually pack those things first then add on if I feel like I need anything else, which is pretty much always.
    I’m a makeup artist but usually just as a hobby now, so when I’m home my mom and sisters always want me to do their makeup and go through their skincare stuff and update everything. More than once I’ve come home with less makeup than I started because they wanted to keep something.

  19. Elizabeth says:

    Every time I go on leave I wind up taking a huge container full of makeup. my little sister has become quite the little makeup junkie, so although I usually don’t wear most of it, she does. She likes go give me makeovers that Usually results in me looking like a clown.

  20. Fancie says:

    You almost made me want that bag. It really fits a lot of stuff! I know for most people this may seem excessive for 3 days but this is pretty much how I pack my makeup so I completely understand. I bring damn near everything but the kitchen sink. Hell I’d pack that too if it could fit in my makeup bag lol. The next trip I’m definitely going to pack lighter because I usually don’t use everything either. Especially when it comes to eyeshadows and lippies. But like you mentioned, a girls gotta have options! Better to have and not need than need and not have right?
    Fancie recently posted … What’s your best budget beauty buy?

  21. Meghan says:

    The MAC Monster’s Bride palette is one of my favourites of all time! It’s such an easy, go-to palette & I also love it for travel.

  22. Tatiana says:

    I’ve learned that my DH does not have patience for more than a 5 to 10 minute makeup session when we’re on vacation. And since we’re squeezed into a hotel room together, there’s really now way to hide the process from him. I have learned to limit myself to one eyeshadow palette (the smaller the better) and maybe one extra single that coordinates with it. Even if I’m traveling for a week or more my lippies are narrowed down to one clear balm (that I can wear over night), one red lipstick, one pinkish color and one sheer. Muji makes pretty good leakproof travel bottles that come in all sizes and multiple materials. I think they might have something that would work well with serum type foundations. I hate when stuff leaks in my luggage. I now seal everything with parafilm as I’m packing and I put a few cut strips into a snack sized ziplock for sealing things up on the return trip home.

  23. Bex D says:

    I was on holiday in Cornwall last week and all I ended up wearing was mascara, a touch of concealer under my eyes and some eyeliner. I did, however take most of my make-up away with me ‘just in case’!

  24. It is all about the options. And, no matter how light I pack, I never wear everything.

  25. Pamela Haddad says:

    You do love your lipsticks, huh? That’s funny! I packed the bare minimum for my Lebanon and NY trips this year, actually the same for each. So I didn’t bring my contouring stuff. What I wish I would have remembered was blotting paper, cuz it was SO humid in both places. Live and learn.

  26. Ericca says:

    I stopped bringing makeup on beach trips but when I brought makeup on trips like city trips I would bring enough for a makeup team on a Photoshoot.

  27. Rachel R. says:

    Ugh. It’s so hard to edit the old makeup bag. Actually, I have the same issue with clothes. lol I keep going, “What if we end up going somewhere fancy for dinner (even if that wasn’t planned for our casual weekend)? What if it rains? What if I get bored with brown eyeshadow? But this lipstick matches this shirt EXACTLY.” *sigh*

  28. Gloria says:

    That looks and sounds about right! Using spare contact lens cases is such a genius travel hack. Next time I travel I’ll do that!

    Almost 1/3 of my suitcase was beauty products last week when I traveled to Romania. BUT I had a good reason! I was tasked to do my sister’s bridal makeup so you know I needed to have options just in case!

    On the plus side I learned that my sister’s mother-in-law is a hair dresser so I was able to give all the hair products to someone who would actually use them!
    Gloria recently posted … How I feel after a blow out

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