How To Pack Light: A Minimal Makeup Guide


’Tis the season for travel. Summer is here, and you likely have travel plans — anything from weekend camping trips to weeklong vacations. I recently took a trip to Washington state and wanted to challenge myself ONLY to bring a carry-onPacking a single carry-on is a bit difficult for me because I tend to be an “always be prepared” kind of person aka I pack all the things. I picked up some valuable tips along the way and would like to share them with you now.

I start by creating a checklist of the items I need to pack. Then write down the exact colors I want to bring. All while keeping in mind the outfits and activities planned.

Lipstick/Lipgloss: Pack your favorite of either of these or both, making sure to choose multifunctional colors. Consider the outfits you’re bringing, the season, and activities you’ll be doing.

TIP: If you’re like me and enjoy having color options pack several lipstick sample pods instead of a single tube. You can still save room while having color options. Win-win! In this case, if I wanted to pack a lipgloss, I may choose Sun Sparkles since it goes on clear and works well with every lipstick.

Rallye Balm + Exfoliate Stick: I always bring full sizes of these two when I pack. They are everyday must-haves.

TIP: If you forget to pack the exfoliate stick and need to exfoliate your lips try using sugar from a sugar packet. You can mix it with a little bit of balm. You can find complimentary sugar packets at most hotels

Eyeshadow: How many eyeshadows you bring is totally up to you. A full Z-Palette fits in my cosmetic bag, and this is an area where I don’t like to be frugal. That said a twosie holder fits two eyeshadows and is a great space saver.

TIP: When it comes to the twosie eyeshadow holders, I like to bring one light shadow and then one medium or darker shadow. I’d likely pack Porcelain and Brownie Points

Blush + Bronzer- For me Blush and Bronzer are optional, so I don’t typically pack them. That said if you’re a blush and bronzer fan, this is your reminder not to forget them when packing.

TIP: You can always choose to use your lipstick as a cream blush instead. Using lipstick as blush saves on the number of products you’ll pack.

Mascara: Mascara is a non-negotiable for me, so this is always something I make sure to pack.

TIP: Don’t forget to bring some makeup wipes or eye-makeup remover. I like water wipes since I can use them for more than just removing makeup.

Eyeliner: For me, eyeliner is another optional item to pack. I prefer using eyeshadows, so I don’t need to bring a sharpener, BUT if I choose to pack a lip liner instead of lipstick, I’d need a sharpener anyway, and in that case, I might pack an eyeliner. Charcoal is a great option. Not as dark as the black, so it works well for day and night wear.

TIP: The eyeliner pencils are fantastic, and if you prefer them, then grab your favorite and pack it. That said a great way to save space is to make sure one of the eyeshadows you pack can double as an eyeliner. I suggest Black Magic, Espresso, or Chocolate Martini

Lip Liner: Lip Liner is also an optional packing item for me. Most of the time, I don’t pack one. That said as mentioned above a Lip Liner could be used as an all-over lip color so you could skip lipstick this way and pack a liner instead. If I were to go this route, I’d pack Barely Pink.

TIP: The pencils being soft means that they’re delicate and could break if your sharpener is dull. One way around this is to place the liner in the fridge for a little bit. If where you’re staying at has a fridge GREAT and if not you could also try putting it on ice for a bit.

Brushes: I never skip out on my brushes, and usually I’ll pack two of each. That way I can rotate the brushes out. One set will always be clean for the next use.

TIP: Makeup remover wipes can be used to spot clean your brushes on the fly. If you need to deep clean your brushes while traveling, Dr. Bronners has travel size liquid soap that works well.

I also picked up a couple of other tips from this last trip. Some you may already know, but I thought it would be good to share anyway.

For starters, if you’re looking online for packing tips, make sure the post you’re reading is not outdated as TSA rules change. As of this post, make sure your liquid-based items are in a clear TSA approved quart-sized bag.

Speaking of liquid-based items, depending on the amount of time you’re gone, you can try to get sample sizes of some of your skincare items. Some retailers offer travel sizes for purchase, and some others offer sample sizes for purchase. So make a list of the things you need to bring and see if you can’t find travel or sample sizes.

This packing light challenge was great for stimulating my mind and allowed me to get creative with my packing choices. Would I do it again? Probably, but it would depend on where I was going. I’d love to know if you’re a minimal packer or a bring all the bags kind of traveler? Let me know in the comments below and cheers to your summer adventures.

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  1. ladenalaha says:

    I have actually purchased duplicate stitch of most of the things I use regularly. Put them in a bag and have them ready so I don’t have to pack what I use everyday. It’s ready to go whenever I am. When I get home from trip I always make sure I refill everything before I pack it away so I don’t have to worry when I go to the next time.

    1. Ashley Teague says:

      ooo that’s a great tip! Thank you for sharing 😀 <3

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