Aug 1, 2023

10 Steps to Simplify Makeup and Skincare for Travel


Packing for travel can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to figuring out how to take makeup and skincare. After investing a small fortune into your daily beauty routine, you want to make sure you have everything you need and that it will arrive safely. Your skin and hair might go into shock if you used hotel soap and shampoo, so it is important to have all your necessary products on hand to look and feel your best while away.

Leslie Peck is a local makeup artist, aesthetician and lash artist with almost two decades of experience. She has worked 11 seasons of NYC Fashion Week as well as several beauty shoots while living in New York City. Leslie also has experience in TV, film, print and celebrity makeup in Los Angeles. She specializes in bridal makeup and skincare education and was featured on the front page of the Wall Street Journal in 2007.

1. MAKE A LIST Write out a list of the outfits you are packing so that you can plan to bring the correct products. Always look ahead at the weather. It may be extremely different than what you are coming from and will require different moisturizers, cleansers, primers and setting sprays. You may want a variety of eyeshadow and lipstick options to change up your look from day to day.

2. ALWAYS PLAN TO CARRY ON MAKEUP AND SKINCARE Although it is much easier to check a bag and throw all your full-sized products in, if you master the art of packing to carry on, you will always have what you need if your luggage gets lost. There is also the risk of things getting broken when the bags are tossed onto the plane. If you keep a travel bag of products ready to go, packing for an overnight trip or a weeklong stay will be stress free.

3. USE A PADDED MAKEUP BAG Find a padded makeup bag that will fit well into your suitcase without being too bulky. Padding will protect your favorite products and ensure they arrive to your destination in one piece. Place cotton pads or paper towels inside your compacts to protect shadows, blush and any pressed powders.

4. TRANSFER LIQUIDS INTO SMALLER CONTAINERS Instead of taking your bottle of makeup remover, opt for travel-sized makeup wipes. Purchase travel-sized containers, and pare down anything that is too big and heavy. Make sure to follow all TSA guidelines when packing. You don’t want to have your essential products taken at security and then have to spend precious vacation time trying to find what you need while on your trip. All of your liquids must be less than three ounces and in a quart-sized Ziplock bag. This includes makeup, skincare and hair products.

5. INVEST IN MULTI-USE PRODUCTS Not everything can be multi-use, but there are so many great products on the market that serve multiple purposes. Find a blush palette that can also be used to contour and use as eye shadow. Instead of taking four different lip liners and lipsticks, pack the lip liners to fill in the whole lip and finish the lip with a lip balm or gloss. Instead of packing a foundation and SPF and moisturizer, take a tinted moisturizer that has SPF in it.

6. USE PALETTES Find palettes that are compact and have colors you like and use. They will take up less space than individual eye shadows and blushes. Taking a palette that is oversized with 30 different eyeshadow options is a waste of space and the reality is you will likely use only four of those shades. Choose according to what you will actually use for the outfits you are taking and that fits into the space you have.

7. TRAVEL-SIZED PRODUCTS Whenever your favorite products offer travel size, buy them! Not all cosmetic lines offer smaller versions, but from time to time they will. If you see a “starter” set of skincare or promo travel-sized makeup brush set during the holidays, stock up and set them aside for your next trip. You can always use travel-sized bottles and containers to put your product into when you can’t find smaller options.

8. CLEAN MAKEUP BRUSHES BEFORE YOU TRAVEL Always clean your brushes before a trip. There is nothing worse than arriving to a clean hotel room or Airbnb to open your makeup bag with dirty brushes full of last month’s makeup. It is important to do this the night before you leave. Lay out your makeup brushes and decide exactly what you will need to take. Shampoo them with mild soap and rinse until they are clean. Lay your brushes out on a towel with the head of the brush hanging over the counter’s edge so that the air can dry the brush all the way around it. You do not want to pack slightly wet brushes. They will be dry and ready to go the next morning when you pack.

9. ORGANIZE AND MINIMIZE Before you pack everything into your makeup bag, lay it out and make sure you are not taking more than you need. Over-packing product adds weight and takes up space you might need to bring home a purchase from your trip. Only take items necessary. Group products, take out anything you don’t need and pack each group into Ziplock bags to guard against spills and leaks.

10. ALWAYS TRAVEL WITH A MAKEUP REFRESHER SPRAY There are several sprays to choose from to use while applying makeup. Most of these sprays have multiple uses. They hydrate the skin before makeup, set powders after application and can be used as a final step once all makeup is on to create long lasting wear. Always have a hydration spray on hand to freshen your skin and makeup after a long day of traveling. Recycled air in cars and on planes can dehydrate the skin quickly.