Mascara, moisturizer, lipstick, toner, cleanser, blush, concealer—the list of products to pack for a week away can seem daunting. How will all these products fit into our most compact makeup bag? Will the moisturizer even make it through TSA?
To help lessen the stress of holiday travel, the Verily editors are sharing some of our coveted beauty bag tips and tricks. Here’s what never leaves our side, at home or away.
Lilly, Associate Style Editor
- Perfume in Spare Contacts Case: My favorite scent is of course in a giant perfume bottle, so instead of packing it in my carry-on and potentially getting it confiscated or having it spill all over my clothes, I squirt some into a spare contact lens case. Warning: Make sure NOT to use the same case for contact use in the future—or else face a day of endless eye burning.
- Berry Lip Tint: I always bring my Alima Pure organic lip tint in blackberry because it looks natural but still has some drama. I like a berry-hued lip tint instead of bright red lipstick because it’s much more versatile for the various holiday occasions.
- Blush Stick: I like to bring my cream blush stick by Trèstique rather than my powder blush and brush because of the risk of my powder blush cracking during my commute (and packing a brush is a pain). Trèstique’s cream blush stick is the smoothest I’ve ever used, and it looks super-natural.
- Skin Brightening Pads: I can usually anticipate an irregular sleep schedule during the holidays due to a full house of siblings, nieces, and nephews—so to maintain a refreshed glowing face for all the family pictures, I use Sonage Glow To Go pads.
- Concealer: Because a zit would pop up over the holiday. It’s better to be safe than sorry! I use e.l.f. concealer—it’s cheap and effective.
- Tweezers: I always try to do my pre-vacation tweezing ritual so that I don’t have to worry about tweezing during my trip. But just in case, I always pack my trusty tweezers. Revlon tweezers are my favorite, hands down.
Sophie, Headlines Editor
- Hand Sanitizer: I’m not particularly a germophobe, but I love regularly spritzing my hands with Dr. Bronner’s Lavender Organic Hand Sanitizer when I travel because as well as killing germs, it smells refreshing and relaxing.
- Concealer: Neat and compact and so easy to pack, Clinique Airbrush Concealer is my desert island product that I take everywhere with me. It’s a lovely light, natural-looking concealer that covers up tired circles under eyes as well as redness and spots really effectively.
- Lip Tint: I love the subtle, barely there color of Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Lip Protectant—the fact that it’s also super moisturizing means that it kills two birds with one stone. A quick swipe of this helps me feel more human in an instant.
- Towelettes: If I’m going for a short trip, I much prefer taking an easy small pack of Acure argan oil cleansing towelettes rather than a bottle of cleaner with the potential to leak. These are made with natural ingredients and are 100 percent biodegradable, lovely, and refreshing, and you can use them to clean your face or body.
- Stretchy Hair Ties: When I’m traveling I like to be able to tie my hair up and out of my face quickly and easily, and I love ribbon hair ties because they feel a bit prettier than your average elastic band, and they don’t tend to pull your hair as much.
- Mini Mascara: I love the idea behind Stowaway Cosmetics—that we hardly ever finish our makeup before it’s past its prime, so it’s less wasteful to buy smaller-size products. It’s particularly helpful to have a small mascara, not only for travel purposes but also because if I have a bigger tube, I’m always tempted to keep using it long after I should, which is potentially unhealthy and just a bit gross.
Megan, Articles Editor
- Facial Spray: My skin does not like airplanes! The second I get off a plane, I can just feel my face reeling from the weird air pressure, so keeping my skin hydrated is essential. Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herb, and Rosewater is amazing. I use it every day, but when traveling, it’s extra necessary.
- Roll-On Perfume: This is a no-brainer. No one wants to carry around a heavy perfume bottle. Clinique makes one called Happy.
- Product Containers: Muji has the best travel-size everything. The store literally has every size of tiny bottles, which makes travel organization much more uniform-looking and easy. I off-load anything from toner to shampoo into these.
- Primer: Prime Time by Bare Minerals is available in a small size for traveling and is probably the best primer I’ve tried. It’s clear, which I prefer to tinted CC and BB creams. It doesn’t feel heavy on your skin, and it definitely prolongs my makeup.
- Hair Savers: I’ve used a lot of different hair oil brands, but Moroccanoil treatment, while a tad pricey, is the best, in my opinion. I use this all the time on my hair, but I do find that if I use it and then blow-dry my hair, my hair will stay fresher longer, which is good when on the go. Moroccanoil hair spray is also amazing (and smells really good). I use it kind of like preventative dry shampoo. A little spritz of hair spray definitely fights off greasy hair.
- Zit Zapper: I have tried a million and a half products for acne (both over-the-counter and prescription), and Clean & Clear Persa-Gel 10 is probably the single best I’ve ever used. Especially when traveling, no one wants to deal with a rogue pimple, and this cream can pretty much erase it overnight. It can be drying, so I make sure to use moisturizer with it.
Krizia, Lifestyle Editor
- Concealer: I have very acne-prone skin, and I’m at a point in life where I can invest in the best skin products I can afford, so I do. NARS Mini Concealer is smooth and creamy, and a little bit goes a long way. I can use it to cover up constant redness and pimples that inevitably pop up on the plane (yep, my skin is so sensitive that they pop not after but during travel). It’s so versatile that I often use it without foundation.
- Foundation: A few pumps of NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation in a Muji 10g cream pot can last me a good ten days at sea. NARS foundation is oil-free and disappears into my skin at the same time that it gives amazing coverage. It doesn’t cause me to break out, even after transcontinental flights. And it’s the longest-wearing (sixteen hours) and most natural-looking foundation I’ve ever used.
- Liquid Liner: Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner is great if you have oily lids like me, or you find your liner smudging into your lids or dripping down the corners of your eyes after a few hours (or after a good cry). This liner is your holy grail—it doesn’t budge. I don’t travel with mascara, eye shadow, or eye primer because, well, I’m lazy. So I depend on a good liner for a slightly more defined eye than my natural.
- Bronzer: I discovered Caudalie Mineral Bronzing Powder in a pharmacy when I lived in Barcelona, and I’ve never looked back. It’s great for lazy-girl contouring. It takes me thirty seconds to brush it on my cheekbones, hairline, and jawline and poof it onto each eyelid, and I look like I just came from a brief, but effective, lounge in the sun. Plus, it gives my oily skin—which gets even oilier in transit—a nice matte finish.
- Natural Lip Color: Going with a “my lips but better” lip color is the best bet for a minimalist packer. Mine happens to be a Chanel lipstick in a warm plum shade called “Grace” that I treasure because it was the first lipstick I ever bought, and I got it in Paris nearly two years ago. It’s perfect for those with warm medium skin tones. This particular shade has been discontinued, but you can find a duplicate here.
- Effaclar Duo: In general I prefer European-made cosmetics, but for acne control, I use French company La Roche-Posay’s U.S. line. Its U.S.-made version of Effaclar Duo contains 5.5 percent benzoyl peroxide, which zaps zits within a day.
Mary Rose, Culture Editor
- Travel-Size Moisturizer: CeraVe face moisturizer provides good hydration and light SPF, which is perfect for me. This super-basic staple is a must-pack item, and its regular bottle size will pass through TSA.
- Compact: L’Oréal True Match is super-blendable. All it takes is a couple swipes, and I’ve managed to get the benefits of both a light foundation and powder—plus SPF 17 protection.
- Mascara: Maybelline Great Lash is a good drugstore find. It’s cheap, small, and produces comparable results to most top-shelf mascaras, in my book.
- Nail Polish: I prefer a single bottle of nail polish in a never-fail shade for any occasion, such as Sally Hansen’s Complete Salon Manicure in Pink Pong. No base coat or topcoat required with this one.
- Travel-Size Styling Products: Aveda Phomollient Styling Foam and Aveda Light Elements Texturizing Creme. When traveling, I can use any shampoo or conditioner provided at my location, but it’s the styling products that I can’t mess around with. I have to pack my go-tos, and thankfully even the styling foam comes in a cute travel size.
- Lip Gloss: I use a versatile light color of Lancôme Juicy Tube, Magic Spell. Moisture plus shine equals awesome. It looks good as a dab over color or on its own.
Photo Credit: Zitona