How to Pack Makeup for Travel Depending on Your Style!

How to Pack Makeup for Travel Depending on Your Style!

Traveling is always exciting, whether jet-setting across the globe or embarking on a weekend getaway. But if you love putting on makeup, there’s the backburner thought of whether or not your holy grail products will fit into your bag and meet the baggage requirements. 

Do you bring your entire collection or pare it down to the essentials? In this blog, let’s discuss how to pack makeup for travel based on your style, whether you’re the type to pack only a few products or your entire makeup collection.

How to Pack Makeup for Travel as a Maximalist

If you can’t bear to part ways with most of your makeup products and are always thinking, "What if I need this just in case?” you may be a maximalist. With some strategic planning, you can bring along all your favorite products without sacrificing space or organization.

Choose a Large Makeup Bag

First, invest in a spacious makeup bag to accommodate your entire collection. Look for one with multiple compartments to keep everything organized and easily accessible. Consider options with padded dividers or adjustable sections to customize the layout according to your needs.

Pick One That’s Leak-Proof and Has Multiple Compartments

Choose a leak-proof makeup bag to prevent spills and mishaps during travel. Look for bags made from durable and easy-to-clean materials like nylon or polyester. Multiple compartments will help you separate different products and prevent them from getting damaged. Consider bags with zippered pockets, mesh pouches, and brush holders to maximize organization.

Plan Your Makeup Looks

Before you start packing, plan your makeup for each day of your trip. This will help you determine which products are essential and which ones you can leave behind. To save space, consider versatile items that can be used for multiple looks. Create a checklist of products for each day and cross-reference it with your itinerary to ensure you have everything you need.

How to Pack Makeup for Travel as a Minimalist

If you prefer to travel light and keep things simple, a minimalist approach to packing makeup is the way to go. Focus on essential products and versatile options to streamline your routine without sacrificing style.

Assess Your Needs

Start by assessing your makeup needs based on the activities you have planned during your trip. Consider the climate, the duration of your stay, and any special events you'll be attending. Think about the makeup looks you'll want to create and choose products to help you achieve them with minimal effort.

Opt For a Makeup Bag That Doesn’t Take Up Much Space

Choose a compact makeup bag that only takes up a little space in your luggage. Look for one with a slim profile and minimalistic design to maximize space efficiency. Consider foldable or collapsible bags that can be easily stashed away when not in use.

Pack Multi-Purpose Products

Select multi-purpose products that can serve multiple functions. For example, a tinted moisturizer with SPF can double as both skincare and foundation, saving you space and time in your routine. Look for products with built-in applicators or packaging that make them easy to use on the go.

Leave Out Duplicates

“What if I need this?”

Chances are, you won’t. You don’t need to bring 5 different blushes on a short trip. And if you’re traveling for longer, packing less allows you to love each of your products more.  Stick to one of each essential product to keep your makeup bag light and streamlined. Choose versatile shades that you can mix and match to create different looks.

Save Room for Samples or Minis

Use sample-size or mini products when possible. These smaller versions take up less space and are perfect for travel. Many brands offer travel-size versions of their best-selling products, so watch for miniatures of your favorites.

Decant Your Products Into Smaller Packaging

Transfer your favorite products into travel-sized containers to save space and weight in your luggage. Invest in refillable bottles and jars that are TSA-approved for hassle-free travel. Label each container with the product name and use-by date to avoid confusion.

Organize Them Into Categories

Keep your makeup organized by categorizing products into groups such as face, eyes, lips, and tools. This will make it easier to find what you need and prevent items from getting lost or damaged. Consider using color-coded pouches or labels to categorize your products further.

Other Important Tips in Packing Makeup For Travel

Besides packing strategies based on your makeup style, here are some additional tips to ensure a smooth and stress-free travel experience for your cosmetics:

Consider the Weather

When selecting makeup products, consider the weather conditions at your destination. Opt for long-wearing and waterproof formulas in hot and humid climates and hydrating products in dry or cold weather. 

Pack an Emergency Kit

Prepare a small emergency kit with essential makeup items like concealer, mascara, and lipstick for quick touch-ups on the go. Keep it handy in your carry-on bag for easy access during travel. Sometimes (but we hope not), our check-in luggage gets lost along the way and it takes time for us to reunite with it again. So having a tiny makeup pouch with you at all times ensures you can retouch your makeup look and keep yourself looking fresh and put together.

Use a Hanging Toiletry Bag

Maximize counter space in hotel bathrooms by using a hanging toiletry bag to store your makeup. This will keep everything organized and easily accessible, saving you time and frustration during your stay. Look for bags with clear compartments or mesh pockets for visibility.

Seal Liquids with Plastic

To prevent leaks and spills during travel, seal liquid products with plastic wrap or resealable bags before packing them in your luggage. This extra layer of protection will give you peace of mind and keep your belongings safe. Double-bag any items that tend to leak, such as foundation or perfume.

Use a Contact Lens Case as a Travel Container

Empty contact lens cases can be repurposed to store small amounts of liquid or cream products like foundation or moisturizer. This compact and convenient solution is perfect for traveling light. Clean the cases thoroughly before use and ensure they are completely dry to avoid contamination.

Protect Powder Compacts with a Cotton Pad

Place a cotton pad or puff inside powder compacts to prevent them from breaking or crumbling during travel. This simple trick will help protect your favorite powders and keep them intact. Alternatively, wrap powder compacts in bubble wrap or tissue paper for added protection.

Keep Your Makeup, Skincare, and Haircare Separate

Keep your makeup, skincare, and haircare products separate in your luggage to avoid contamination and spills. Use designated bags or pouches for each category to stay organized and prevent messes. Consider investing in travel-size versions of your skincare and haircare essentials to save space.

3 Essential Travel Makeup Products You Need

Now that you have a packing strategy in place let's explore some essential travel makeup products that should be in every makeup lover's suitcase:

A Skincare Set

Sometimes, we need to sacrifice a thing or two in our skincare routine when we travel, but that isn’t always the case when you choose skincare sets. Usually, skincare sets already cover the essentials for every trip.SkinMedica’s Procedure 360 System includes everything you need to cleanse, tone, and hydrate your skin on the go. With travel-friendly sizes of their best-selling products, it's the perfect way to maintain your skincare routine on vacation.

Makeup Cleansing Wipes

Accidentally drew your eyeliner too far or just want to remove your makeup quickly? Makeup cleansing wipes are a necessity whenever you travel! You can also use it to spot clean your brushes, making it an amazing multi-use product. Check outObagi’s cleansing wipes which contain ingredients that are gentle on the skin but strong enough to remove the dirt on your face.

A Multipurpose Palette

Having one palette that does everything for you not only saves you space but also time to think about what makeup look you’re going for. If you don't have a specific face and eye palette yet, you don’t necessarily need to go out and buy one. You can get creative and look for an eyeshadow palette in your collection that has multiple colors, so you can use certain colors as bronzer, contour, and/or blush. 

Look atColorescience’s Eye & Brow Palette for example. It has multiple colors and shades that can be multi-purpose–the lightest shades can act as an all-over setting powder. There are varying browns of different undertones, so they can act as a contour if it matches your skin tone. With its compact design and handy applicator brush, it's also perfect for on-the-go touch-ups during your travels.


Packing makeup for travel doesn't have to be a daunting task. Whether you're a maximalist who loves to bring along your entire collection or a minimalist who prefers to travel light, there are strategies and tips to suit every style. By choosing the right products, organizing them efficiently, and taking precautions to protect them during travel, you can ensure your makeup stays intact and ready for use wherever your adventures take you. So pack your bags, take your favorite cosmetics, and get ready to explore the world in style!

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