Packing for a trip is a big challenge nowadays, with airlines restricting the number of bags, the weight of bags, and even charging per bag in some cases. One trick I’ve learned to help keep things lighter (and allow more room for other stuff) is to bring a very basic makeup kit, instead of bringing every eyeshadow, lipstick, and mascara I own (and then some).
It sounds like it might be a task, but if you think about it, it’s totally not. When you pack, you’re not bringing your entire closet; you know what outfits you’ll be wearing, what your color palette will be, and what your plans are. That means that you can severely trim down your makeup collection without sacrificing your look, because you’ll know what you need to create your various looks.
Here’s what I’ve decided to bring.
The shot on the left shows you everything in my bag, which is a smaller The Sak purse I use as a travel makeup bag. The second is everything just dumped out.
And here it is all nice and organized so I can outline everything I’m bringing for you.
Here’s what’s in the bag, starting on the far left, top row:
- Double Mirror
- Jane Oil-Free Pressed Powder
- Ulta Powder Bronzer
- Cosmetic Wedges
- 2 Sonia Kashuk Eyeshadow Palettes (Perfectly Neutral & Sweet Nothings)
- Travel Cetaphil Moisturizer
- 3 VS Beauty Rush Lip Glosses (Cup Quake, Iced Tease, & Minty Shine)
- 3 Revlon Just Bitten Lipstains (Frenzy, Flame & Desire)
- NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Monte Carlo
- L’Oreal Infallible Never Fail Lipcolour (Linda’s Beige)
- Burt’s Bees Replenishing Lip Balm
- Neutrogena 3-in-1 Concealer for Eyes
- L’Oreal Studio Secrets Secret No.2 Anti-Dull Skin Primer
- Revlon ColorStay Brow Enhancer
- 2 Rimmel Exaggerate Waterproof Eye Definers (Sable & Black)
- Urban Decay Glitter Eyeliner
- L’Oreal Voluminous Waterproof Mascara
- Covergirl Lashblast Fusion Water Resistant
- Double-Sided Nail File/Smoother
- NARS The Multiple (Orgasm)
- L’Oreal HIP Concentrated Eyeshadow Duo (Mischief)
- No-Name Kabuki Brush
- No-Name Retractable Lipliner
- Stretchy Hair Band
- Sonia Kashuk Fluffy Eye Shadow Brush
- Bath & Body Works Eyeshadow Applicator Brush
- Sonia Kashuk Large Crease Brush
- Timeless Concealer Brush
- Sonia Kashuk Large Angled Brush
Listed out, it still seems like it’s a lot, and while I could take away some of the items, I’m not 100% sure what our plans entail, so I wanted to be sure I could create both a more natural look and a dramatic look. However, I was able to cut a lot out because I packed smart. Let’s take a closer look, shall we?
What I Left Out
Normally, I use an eyeshadow primer. But both eyeshadow palettes have a primer, which means I didn’t have to bring an extra one. I’ve opted to only bring two eyeliners and a single lip liner, and all 3 are retractable pencils, which means no sharpener. The eyeliners also both have attached snudgers, which means I was able to cut that tool out too.
I opted to just bring the NARS Multiple in Orgasm instead of 2 or 3 different blushes, which is a great color that works for all looks. Plus I can use it as a lipstick too.
I opted for lip stains and glosses that can be easily layered for a variety of looks, instead of bringing tons of lipsticks. I even cleaned out my purse of all lip-related items so that I didn’t have duplicates. I then pulled the Just Bitten Desire and the Burt’s Bees from my makeup bag and stuck them in my purse so I’d have some color for the trip. No duplicates and less than 5 lip-related items in my purse is a huge win!
Instead of bringing a bottle of makeup remover, I brought wipes and a 3oz bottle of face wash (both of which are in a separate plastic baggie in case of leakage). Wipes are a bit more portable, and 3oz of face wash is more than enough for 5 days.
I don’t regularly wear foundation so I left it out, though I did bring the primer, which helps even me out and adds a nice glow for nighttime.
The shadow palettes have a good variety of neutral colors that will work with everything and can be blended nicely, though I added the black from HIP in case I wanted some major drama.
And yes, I realize I’m bringing two mascaras, but Voluminous is perfect for dramatic nighttime looks and I won’t travel without a good daytime mascara, so yea.
In terms of brushes, I’m probably over-bringing with the 6 I have, but I couldn’t leave them at home because I do use them all every time I do a full look. I did actually leave 3 brushes at home that weren’t necessary.
My two “novelty” items are the glitter eyeliner and the deep red lip cream. I don’t wear glitter that often, but I figured, hell, I’m going to Vegas, I can add a little sparkle if I want 😉 I added the deep red lip cream in case I want some extra drama one night. Largely though, I’m planning on rocking neutrals, because that’s easier and works with all the outfits I’ve got packed.
Because there was so much room left in the bag, I tossed in a selection of Band-Aids and blister protectors as well as my tweezers. There was still plenty of room.
For the 5 days we’ll be gone, I certainly didn’t need to bring my whole lot of makeup, and this pared down kit gives me the ability to create a variety of looks without a ton of products.
So the next time you plan a trip, think about the following:
- What makeup/tools can I absolutely not live without?
- What are the plans for the trip? Will things be casual, or do I need to be able to create a more dramatic look?
- What is the minimum amount of makeup I need, based on my outfit colors, to create a basic and a dramatic look?
- Are there any tools I can eliminate by not bringing certain types of items?
- Are there any “novelty” type items I want to bring?
- What can I pull out of my purse to avoid duplicates?