How To Travel Light With Makeup

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How To Pack Light

Summer is here, and so is the season for travel. In this post, you’ll learn tips and tricks for how to travel light with your makeup. A lot of places are opening back up, so you likely may have some travel plans of your own- anything from weekend road trips, beach trips, trips to visit family, to possibly even weeklong vacations out of state. I myself will be taking a road trip to Southern California with the family for a little getaway this July. I tend to over-pack even if we will only be gone for a couple of days, from clothes to makeup. It’s probably because I like having options, but most of the time I end up using maybe at most half of the products I bring along when it comes to makeup.

So, for this trip, I only want to bring the products I know I will be using, just the necessities. Since I know I’m not alone when it comes to overpacking, in this post we are sharing some great tips, that I will be following myself, on how to travel light with your makeup bag in a minimal way. I will be sharing some of my favorite tips and suggestions as well as some great tips Ashley shared in a previous packing guide.

The most helpful and very first tip, one that I always follow and Ashley also mentioned, is to make a list of what items/products you need to pack. Keep in mind what you will be doing on your trip to help you decide what kind of outfits to choose as well as what kind of makeup products you will need. If you already know exactly what colors/shades of makeup products (eyeshadows, lipstick, etc…) you want to take or even just the types of colors, make sure to write them down so you don’t forget once you are packing.

We will be mainly doing activities outside in the daytime so I will be taking light products and more natural shades, but I will also take some shades that will work for evening/nighttime makeup as well in case we go out for dinner.

How to travel light with makeup: What do you need?

Base makeup: Pack your must-have face products, just the necessary items and only one of each. Three items in total- a foundation, concealer, and a setting powder if you use one.

How to travel light with makeup Tip #1: Since it is summertime, choose lightweight products. If you must wear base makeup, go for either a tinted moisturizer or lightweight/sheer, foundation. A lightweight concealer would be great as well, you could even just use concealer to just apply on the areas that need it and skip foundation. I suggest taking a tinted setting powder, this way you could just apply a light dusting of this by itself instead of foundation to give you just a touch of coverage without being heavy and also help control excess oils for daytime wear.

If you plan on wearing a good amount of makeup outside, I highly recommend packing a setting mist to help your makeup stay in place and prolong its wear. Also, it would be a good idea to pack a facial mist that you can carry in your purse so you can mist yourself throughout the day for a burst of hydration and freshen up your makeup.

Image of hot pink makup bag with spilled out makeup on a table top. All Red Apple Lipstick products from eyeshadows, Primer, Blushes/Bronzer brush applicators and mascara shown.

Blush & Bronzer– Bronzer is a must-have for me, especially for summer vacations, I always pack a favorite. My favorite at the moment is Red Apple Lipstick’s Sundrop Bronzer, it’s the perfect natural-looking color that can even be worn just by itself for a minimal makeup look, I highly recommend it. For Blush, pack no more than two. Pick one or two blushes that are shades that can go with any look, perhaps a more natural-looking one for daytime, and maybe also your favorite blush for evening makeup. Gotta Glow and Tango will be the ones I pack for my trip.

Image of Sundrop  Bronzer and two Blushes by Red Apple Lipstick, Gotta Glow and Tango

Gotta Glow and Tango Blushes and Sundrop Bronzer by Red Apple Lipstick

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

Eyeshadow: This is really up to you when it comes to how many eyeshadows to bring with you. I always end up taking multiple palettes because I want to have plenty of options, but as I said in the beginning, I end up not using them. A full Z-Palette is a great option since it does not take much space to pack and holds up to 9 eyeshadows. You could even take two Z-Palettes, one with daytime and one with evening shades if you like to have plenty of options when it comes to your eyeshadows. I will most likely end up packing two of these.

Image of custom z palette with Red Apple Lipstick's 9 New Matte Eyeshadows and Prime Time Eyeshadow primer

9 New Matte Eyeshadows and Prime Time Eyeshadow Primer by Red Apple Lipstick

How to travel light with makeup Tip #2: If you want to just take one palette, I highly recommend the New Mattes palette. This will take you from daytime to nighttime, from natural to more dramatic looks, with just this one palette. It has all the shades you would need for multiple looks; it even has a couple of dark shades that can be used for eyeliner. And don’t forget to pack the Prime Time Eye Shadow Primer to help your shadows last all day.

Eyeliner: I usually always take an eyeliner in case I need it, most of the time I only end up using it maybe once though. However, when I do pack one, I always grab a black one since it goes with everything. Charcoal is also a great option because it’s not as dark and works well for day and nightwear.

Image of Black and Charcoal eyeliner pencils by Red Apple Lipstick

Featured are Black and Charcoal Eyeliner Pencils by Red Apple Lipstick

Ashley’s Tip: A great way to save space is to make sure one of the eyeshadows you pack can double as an eyeliner. We suggest Black Magic, Espresso, Chocolate Martini, and/or Hello Darkness.

Mascara: I’m a Mascara girl, so this is a must-pack for sure. You can always just apply mascara, a little bronzer, and a lip gloss for a quick put-together look. Pick your favorite mascara (or two at most) and make sure to pack it.

Image of The Lash Project Mascara tube by Red Apple Lipstick on a table table top

The Lash Project Mascara by Red Apple Lipstick

Tip (from Ashley and I): Make sure to pack a makeup remover along with your regular face wash. Something like a cleansing balm or oil cleanser is a great choice as these are gentler and great at removing eye makeup. Makeup wipes, or water wipes, are great as well plus they can be used for more than just removing makeup.

Lip Care: We highly recommend taking along the Rallye Balm and Exfoliate Stick with you. This duo will keep your lips looking healthy, moisturized, and prepped for any lip product. Plus, the Exfoliate Stick is so easy and quick to use.

Image of Exfoliate Stick in it's Red Apple Lipstick package and Rallye Balm with the bullet twisted up and the cap laying next to it on a table top

Exfoliate Stick and Rallye Balm by Red Apple Lipstick

Ashley’s Tip: If you forget to pack the exfoliate stick and need to exfoliate your lips, try using sugar from a sugar packet. You can find complimentary sugar packets at most hotels, just mix with a little bit of balm and you’re set.

Lipstick/Lipgloss: Keeping in mind what sort of activities you will be doing and the outfits you have chosen, pick 2 or 3 favorite lipsticks or/and lip glosses that will go great with multiple looks.

Image of an assortment of 3 Red Apple Lipstick lipstick tubes with the bullet with the caps lined up at the tops of the tubes along with 2 Lip Glosses by Red Apple lipstick.

Assortment of Lipstick and Lip Gloss by Red Apple Lipstick

How to travel light with makeup Tip #3: A good idea when choosing lipsticks is to pick one nude shade, one shade for daytime (perhaps a fun brighter color), and one shade for evening/nighttime wear. For a lip gloss, bring a clear one and a nude shade one, these will go with any look and with any lipstick. Ashley had made a great suggestion, for those who like to have several options, to pack multiple lipstick sample pods instead of a single tube. This way you save room but still have plenty of color choices.

Lip Liner: I do not always use a lip liner so this one is optional for me. However, I know this would be considered a necessity for many so this has to be included in the list. If I were to pack one, I would pick one that would work with pretty much any lipstick color to not pack more than one.

Image of Red Apple Lipstick Natural Lip Liner pencil laying on a table top with the cap off and laying next to it

Natural Lip Liner by Red Apple Lipstick

How to travel light with makeup Tip #4: Choose a neutral color lip liner, a neutral nude shade will work with just about any lipstick shade you may use. This way you only have to pack one lip liner instead of multiples to work with whatever lip color you are taking along with you. We recommend Natural lip liner, it’s the perfect shade with just a little bit of pink and a little bit of brown that will coordinate with most lipsticks because it will match your base lip color.

Brushes: Brushes are an absolute must-have. Make sure to pack all the ones you know you will need to apply your makeup; I usually pack at least one set of face brushes and at least 2 sets of eye brushes since I tend to use more of those. Ashley had also mentioned that she usually packs 2 of each brush so that she can rotate them out, having one set always clean for the next use. This is a great tip and I second it!

Image of an assortment of makeup application brushes by Red Apple Lipstick

Assortment of Makeup applicator brushes by Red Apple Lipstick

Ashley’s 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 a travel-size liquid soap that works well. These can usually be found at Target in their travel size product section.

If you are planning a trip where you will be traveling on a plane, make sure to pack all your liquid products in the bag that you are checking in. If you are only taking a carry-on bag, however, make sure you are following TSA rules when it comes to packing your liquid-based products, such as your skincare and makeup. Currently, you are allowed to bring only one quart-sized bag filled with your liquid products which are limited to only travel size containers of no more than 3.4 ounces. So, make sure to do your research when it comes to packing for travel by plane.

Make sure to check out Ashley’s tips on this, and all of her tips and suggestions on how to travel light with makeup by clicking here.

Image of hot pink makup bag with spilled out makeup on a table top. All Red Apple Lipstick products from eyeshadows, Primer, Blushes/Bronzer brush applicators and mascara shown.

Share in the comments your tips on how you like to travel light with makeup when going on vacation. What are your must-have products to take along with you? Let us know if you have any travel plans for this summer, we would love to hear!

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. How can I minimize my makeup for traveling?

One of the best ways to minimize your makeup is by only taking what you know you will use. Do not take more than the necessities. Limit the number of eyeshadows you pack, try taking just one palette that has a good selection of shades that will work for both daytime and evening looks. Choose products that can be used for multiple purposes. Eyeshadows can be used as eyeliner and brow powder, while lipstick can also be used as a cream blush.

2. How do you pack makeup when traveling?

A great way to save space when packing is to bring with you travel sizes of your products if possible. Another great tip is to use tape to secure the lids/tops and prevent them from accidentally opening. You can also secure your liquid products by putting them in Ziploc bags, that way if they happen to leak, the product won’t be all over the place. Make sure your makeup bag is packed safely and securely, you could buy a makeup bag that is padded or you could simply pack your makeup bag in the middle of your bag/suitcase and pad it with your clothing.

3. How much makeup can I fly with?

You can pack as much makeup as you like in bags/suitcases that will be checked, just make sure they are packed securely so nothing breaks or leaks. If you are traveling with just a carry-on, then you must comply with TSA rules and regulations. When it comes to makeup products in solid or powder form, there are no limitations on quantity or size so you can take as much as you like of those. However, when it comes to makeup products (skincare and body care as well) in liquid, cream, gel, and lotion form, they must be in smaller size containers, no more than 3.4 ounces in size. You are allowed to take as many travel-sized products that you can fit into one quart-sized, clear, Ziploc bag.

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