A Makeup Trick to Travel Lighter

Published in: Makeup Tips/How To


For the chronic makeup over-packers out there, I feel your pain! Whenever I travel, my natural inclination is to bring everything and the kitchen sink (I blame it on my need to always feel prepared for anything).


But I’m always looking for ways to trim down my makeup bag because, really, am I going to spend 30 minutes in the morning blending three shades of brown into the crease?

Probably not.


I’ve learned that most of the stuff I end up bringing, I actually don’t use, so to stop myself from packing 15 pounds of makeup, now I dump out everything I want to bring on a towel…and then I just remove half of it.

That’s what I did when I packed my makeup to bring to Tahoe.

I realize that compared to die-hard makeup minimalists, I still brought quite a few things, but this is pretty darned streamlined for me, LOL!

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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  1. Chris25 says:

    What a great idea!
    Chris25 recently posted … The Met Opera Crystals and Pearl Pin

  2. I have a medium sized makeup bag, and everything that doesn’t fit in there is not allowed to come along. Of course I do conveniently forget lipsticks in my handbag and such, but it really helped slimming things down.
    LindaLibraLoca recently posted … My diet and exercise routine – 6 months postpartum update

  3. Agata says:

    I have the same problem, I always bring too much makeup with me and never use it. I will use your trick next time I have to travel! Hope you’re having fun. Did you get your PSL??
    Agata recently posted … Play! By Sephora September Box

  4. Tatiana says:

    I try to do a similar thing. I usually repack my travel makeup bag for each trip, so everything comes out. I try to limit myself to one or two pencil liners, one mascara, one brow gel, one cream shadow base, one eye palette, one CC cream and a sample pot of my favorite (at the time) foundation. Since I carry my lipstick in my purse I limit myself to one balm and two to three colors. I love when I can find a smaller size lippie to bring along, like the Bite beauty minis that they create for the holidays or Tom Fords Boys.
    We went overseas once and my daughter’s suitcase was overweight. I couldn’t figure out what she packed, until I was in her hotel room bathroom and saw that she packed an entire train case full of makeup. That thing must have weighed a good ten pounds by itself. Ever since then, I’ve been trying to be a minimalist.

  5. Becky says:

    That’s a good way of doing it! I’m useless at packing light when it comes to makeup! I’ve got a few trips coming up- eyeshadow-wise I’m only using my Anastasia Modern Renaissance when I travel as it’s got so many bases covered!
    Becky recently posted … A little luxury – Charlotte Tilbury The Glamour Muse Palette

  6. Jessica says:

    I have a case that I take everywhere with a little bit more (ok a lot more) than I need and then I just throw whatever eyeshadow palette I am wearing for the day in my bag.

    It is unconfirmed whether I am also carrying 7 lippies and 2 lipglosses separately……….
    Jessica recently posted … The Rockefeller Center Cranberry Bog

  7. yele says:

    a lot of the times when i travel i think i’m going to have way more time to do my makeup than i actually have. I like to think that i will have more time to play with more makeup, or that new palette that I’ve been meaning to play with. so…. i have started emptying out my makeup bag, . and packing my makeup bag with things that I used to get ready that day. as i use each product , I pack it because i know I’ll use it. when i’m done, i throw in one or two bright lippies for a night out and voila! light and effective makeup bag 😉

  8. Kate & Zena says:

    I have this problem sometimes, especially when I know I have an event I’ll have to be at – like the Special Olympics. I usually go to a look I’ve practiced now, and I only bring *that* looks makeup. Every other look (if I’m staying more than a day) *must* come from that look’s makeup. I’ve gotten quite crafty.

    Now, if only I could apply *that* sort of idea to my clothes…

  9. Rachel R. says:

    I feel you, Karen. Over-packing has always been a huge problem for me. My anxiety makes me feel like I need something for every possible contingency. I’ve been working the last couple years to really pare things down. My last trip, I took only a small makeup bag and a brush roll. I was so proud of myself for not take two or three huge eyeshadow palettes and 20 lipsticks. LOL

  10. Tracy says:

    Hey Karen,

    Would you mind giving us a quick post listing the products you packed for your Tahoe trip or maybe your current top 10-20 products? Love your blog – I’m like falling off my chair laughing at you half the time.


  11. illy junus says:

    I usually over pack too myself with makeup, but after having children and most of our vacation will be somewhere that have tons of activities, right now I only carry moisturizer, sunscreen, bb cream, eyeliner and lipbalm/lipgloss. That’s it.

  12. Kim says:

    I think I’m the most minimal of the minimalists (hee hee) but even I bring like 8 items. I think you pared down nicely.
    PS Before every trip, I dream that I forgot all my makeup/shampoo, etc and have to find a place to buy everything when I arrive. Every. time.

  13. Poppy says:

    Great post! I learnt my lesson after taking far too much on holiday this year and just being stressed because I could never find anything! I now try and use products that can double up like benefit hoola as a bronzer and eye shadow and their rose tint for lips and cheeks! Definitely will be cutting down going forward! Xxxx

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