How to Pack Makeup for Travel

July 3, 2024

Celine Makeup Bag | How to Pack Makeup for Travel

As the founder of En Route to Rêverie travel atelier, it is safe to say I have mastered how to pack. One thing I am always packing with great care and efficiency are my beauty products. I am someone who doesn’t want to be without my favorite makeup for travel. And I think we should be able to maintain our beauty routine even when away from home 

I so often am sharing packing lists and often get asked for advice on packing so today I am diving more in-depth to how I travel with my makeup.

So if you need some packing tips for how to best pack your makeup for travel, this post should help you! Because let’s be real, we all want to look great in our vacation photos, am I right!? 

How To Pack Makeup For Travel

If you’d like even more packing help, don’t miss my Packing and Travel Hacks to Swear By and my Must-Haves for International Travel. And you can of course feel free to ask any questions in the Comments below.

Buy Minis

There’s really no need to be bringing full size products on a trip in my opinion. I buy minis of all my favorite go-to beauty products for both makeup and skincare so I am never without my favorite products but am not having to bring full size items with me.

Travel sized products should be your go-tos when packing makeup for travel. Sephora has an amazing selection of Minis to shop.

A few favorite minis I always, always travel with? This Saie primer I can’t be without + the Charlotte Tillbury Flawless Filter I love to layer over it before I apply my beloved Erborian BB Cream and/or my favorite Armani Luminous Foundation , the best One/Size setting spray that makes makeup last all day on long travel days spent out exploring, this bronzer/highlighter duo that does double duty, my favorite little contour stick, my favorite cream blush (+ this powder blush that layers well over it!), one of my go-to lip combos of this liner + lipstick, my favorite setting powder and this little eyeshadow palette that’s versatile. 

I even have travel size products of my favorite fragrances to bring on the road with me!

Keep Things Organized

I don’t want to waste vacation time rooting around trying to find various things so I am hyper organized with my makeup and skincare. Everything goes in a designated organizer or pouch.

Read on below for all my favorite makeup organizers!

Be Aware of Flight Regulations

If you’re planning not to check luggage you’ll need to be more judicious with how you pack your makeup. Remember that the TSA rules at airports in the U.S. still require all liquids be under 3oz. 

And if you’re traveling internationally, consider where you are flying out of, too. For example, flying out of the UK all of your carry on liquids must fit into one small clear plastic bag and everything must be under 100ml. 

Don’t risk having to lose your expensive makeup and skincare by not being prepared. I’ve seen many a passenger have their beauty products tossed in the trash at airport security!

Prioritize Multi-Purpose Products

To ensure you’re not overpacking and adding too much weight to your suitcase, prioritize bringing multi-purpose products such as items that work for both cheeks and lips. I particularly like this Ilia Blush + Highlighter + Lip do-it-all stick. So good for travel! 

Use refillable containers

You may want to consider buying refillable containers for some of your favorite liquid makeup products like your primer or liquid highlighter or foundation. I personally don’t like re-filling them so I usually opt for the travel sizes I buy on Sephora instead. But it is of course more sustainable to use refillable containers so definitely worth doing if you’re up for it!

Make a Check List

After forgetting key things like mascara or eyeliner or setting spray one too many times, I created a little check list for myself on my iPhone in Notes that includes all the products I need to pack and don’t ever want to be without. This could include other makeup-adjacent items you use daily like a chaffing stick or contact lens solution, too. 

Consider Duplicates

With the amount I travel I actually have duplicates of many of my favorite items. I keep them in a travel cosmetic case that then is prepared for my travels without much thought or effort. I’ve found it really helpful to avoid being without items I always have to have on hand. 

Travel Makeup Organizers

Travel Makeup Organizers

My sanity while on the road is only as good as my organization. Travel makeup organizers are key to ensuring you keep things in one place and have everything handy. The below are all ones I own and keep on hand for my various trips. 

Cuyana Cosmetic Cases

My favorite travel makeup bags for over a decade now are made by Cuyana! They are beautiful, hold a lot and even can be monogrammed. (They remain a favorite gift of mine to give as such!)

I use the smaller one for my base products (primer, foundation, concealer, etc.) and the big one for everything else. I like that the bigger case has an interior pocket that’s perfect for Q-tips, bobby pins, etc. 

Away Toiletry Bag

For short trips where I don’t need as many makeup products, I’ll reach for just one case and I recently got this Away Toiletries case and really like its size and functionality.

Away makes all my luggage (I’ve been loyal to them for 10+ years) and they also have loads of handy travel accessories I recommend you browse.

Truffle Clarity Cases

The leak proof, TSA-approved Truffle Clarity Cases are absolutely essential as liquids bags. They are easy to clean if you have any issues with leaking. 

I personally always bring a small clarity case with me in my carry on and it includes some makeup to touch up when I land in Europe after a red-eye. I also stash Lumify eye drops in there, a mini of my favorite in-flight face mask, my favorite facial mist that helps dehydrated skin, hand sanitizer, blotting sheets and a small hair brush, too. 

Makeup Brush Case

I am so glad I started using these brush cases to carry my makeup brushes. They now no longer get lost in my cosmetic cases and it is a bit more sanitary, too. And they help me save space in my cosmetics cases. They are under $10 and as they don’t fit more than a couple brushes, I would recommend you buy more than one.  For longer trips I pack two of them.

If you’d prefer a more all in one, upscale case that also holds makeup brushes, consider this one by Cuyana.

packing makeup for travel

I hope this post was helpful to you as you plan to pack makeup for your next trip! Do you have any tips you swear by when packing your makeup for travel? I’d love to hear them!

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