What should be in my travel makeup bag? Your 14-item checklist!

Look stunning your entire trip—business or pleasure. The right travel makeup bag is a must for looking great on-your-toes. Touch up in an instant. Look fresh and fabulous in every travel photo, whether family portrait or selfie on-the-go. Everything you need is in 14 makeup kit essentials.

Travel Tips for Toiletries

If you’re flying, use two separate makeup bags—one for dry products and the other for creams and fluids. Breeze through that TSA line with these travel makeup bag tips:

For all Travel:

  • Consider putting all products in smaller travel toiletry bottles and containers. They save space and are often lighter than the commercial packaging.
  • A travel toiletry bag (or travel organizer) will limit what you bring and is a convenient way to keep everything together. There’s no pecking through your suitcase. Some toiletry bags have hangers, to attach to a door or hook.
  • Some travel toiletry bottles come in kits that are TSA approved. No guesswork involved.

In your purse -  h ere are our must-haves that you probably don’t want in the overhead bin:

  • Lip balm – Chapped lips are a problem well-known to frequent flyers.
  • Eyeliner – Even if you can’t redo your eyeshadow, a little freshening of eyeliner goes a long way.
  • Mascara – Make yourself look more open-eyed and well-rested with a travel-sized tube of mascara.
  • Eye cream – It’s amazing how weary eyes can look after a long day.
  • Luminizer or highlighter – A small luminizer or highlighter in any travel-friendly form can be used on cheeks and eyelids to perk up your glow.

If checking a bag :

  • Place all liquids, creams and gels in a gallon-sized resealable bag. The increase in air pressure can make tubes and containers burst.
  • Make sure that no liquid products are full. Even the ones that say “travel size” can burst open mid-flight. Open new products and get rid of a small amount. Don’t start your trip with shampoo-soaked luggage!

Carry-on checks:

  • Liquids, creams, gels, and pastes must fit into containers that are 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item.
  • All containers must fit into one quart-sized clear bag—regardless of how many ounces each container has.
  • If you only have a carry-on, stick to necessities such as shampoo, conditioner, facial scrub, moisturizer (with an SPF 15+), and toothpaste. Products in a normal-sized tube, like lip balm and mascara, do not need to be bagged. Small tubes of eye cream may also fly under the radar.
  • Always double check the TSA’s list of prohibited items before you fly.

We know you have your own makeup routine. But, here are a few must have items for your travel makeup kit:

  1. Concealer - Redeye flights, time changes, and sleeping in unfamiliar beds can leave bags under your eyes. Concealer is a must have for looking your best. Pro tips for undereye concealer: Use a makeup sponge to apply concealer evenly and avoid the caked-on look. For a natural, fresh look – Mix a bit of concealer in with eye cream or lotion to help rehydrate and ease lines, especially after a flight. Hydration for lines – Look for color-correcting concealers or palletes. For hiding dark circles – Orange and green are the most common color correctors for undereye circles. Pro tip: If you get plain black tea on the plane, ask for a second bag. After steeping, put it aside. Before landing, put the bags on your eyes, lay back, and let them sit for 5-10 minutes. The caffeine helps reduce puffiness and adds a boost of antioxidants.

  2. BB Cream/Sunscreen Prevent sunburns now and wrinkles in the future. Whether you plan on exploring the deserts of Africa or the glaciers of Greenland, bring a BB cream or tinted moisturizer with sunscreen. BB creams are a moisturizing lotion, treatment, and foundation all built into one little tube. Most have sunscreen, but be sure to check. It is a great way to cut down on beauty essentials. If you’re running low on space, store BB cream in your bag and opt for a sunscreen stick on-hand.
  3. Skincare travel makeup kit: intensive body repair treatmentTraveling doesn’t mean taking a break from your skincare routine. Bring a travel sized moisturizer that helps your skin type and the climate you are visiting. You can use toiletry containers to take just the right amount. Consider facial moisturizers that hydrate and treat, so you only need one product. Don’t forget your body. If your skin is very dry, consider a heavier crème. Crepe Erase’s Intensive Body Repair Treatment hydrates crepey skin and helps visibly repair aging skin.
  4. Lip Balm Adding a little color to your lips can make your smile shine brighter, but lipstick can dry out your lush lips. This is especially true for matte lipstick or the temptation of extended wear lipstick. Keep your lips lovely and supple by opting for a tinted lip balm. Use a lip balm with SPF for added sun protection. If you absolutely must have that full-color pucker, choose a gloss or a lipstick that boasts its moisture-rich properties. Pro tip: Carry a couple lipliners in the bolder colors you want. Use them to fill lips and apply lip balm over to reduce the bulk of your makeup bag. Use a darker lipliner to line and fill the corners, then apply lip balm, and finally fill in with a slightly lighter color to create the appearance of fuller lips.
  5. Waterproof Mascara A must for any photo, mascara lengthens eyelashes and defines your eyes. Never get caught with raccoon eyes again. Whether snorkeling or splashed while lounging by the pool, have your bases covered with a hardy waterproof mascara.
  6. Eyeliner Pencil Applied correctly, eyeliner shapes, defines and makes eyes appear bigger. To distract from undereye bags and circles, use a darker liner just on the upper lid. Try a cat-eye for a powerful flare. To widen eyes, apply eyeliner just to the outside corners and blend towards the nose. Replace black for brown eyeliner for a younger and more versatile day-night look. Lighter colors will open the eye, like a grey or taupe. For a subtler effect, blend the line with eyeshadow. Pro tip: Did you know you can also use your eyeliner pencil to substitute for other makeup? A brown eyeliner pencil can work as a brow pencil to define your eyebrows. Give your lips a little extra pop using your eyeliner as a lipliner. Keep a white or light pencil to open and brighten eyes as an inside liner on the lower lid or on the top lash line. Also use the light color in the inner corner of eyes to brighten, below the arch of your eyebrows for structure, and just above your cupid’s bow for a more pronounced pout.
  7. Eyeshadow travel makeup kitA simple three-color eyeshadow pallete saves space and gives plenty of options. Most three-color palletes include a light base or highlighter, a medium for blending and shadowing, and a dark color for eyeline definition or drama. Four-color pallates are also a great, versatile choice. Stay away from bright colors and opt for neutral colors that will go well with everything you pack. Pro tip: Blend colors to create new shades. Only use the darkest color for liner or the corners of your eyes for day looks. For the evening, or more dramatic, occasions, use the darkest color in the crease and blend up for a fully defined look. Make it heavier and thicker at the outside edges for almond-shaped eyes. Fill in the corners for rounder eyes.
  8. Blush and Powder Bringing blush or a bronzer is a great way to add vitality and contour the face. If you use caked powder compacts, protect them from breakage. Place a cotton ball between the makeup and lid to keep the powder compacts from breaking. Alternately, get a cream blush, color stick, or liquid tint. Pro tip: If you’re packing blush, choose a color that can also work as an eyeshadow. Warm browns, bornzers, or natural colors can be dusted just under the jawline, under the cheekbone, and at the forehead’s hairline to help contour your face. Pinks, peaches, and shimmers look fabulous dusted over the apples of your cheeks, brow bone, and over the eyelids.
  9. Makeup Applicators travel makeup kitYou can’t forget your makeup toolkit. But, cramming all those specialized brushes in a cosmetic bag takes up valuable space and can damage the bristles. Sponges can get dirty. Keep the number of brushes and sponges you bring at a minimum. Use Q-tips and your fingers to apply makeup whenever possible. At most you should have four brushes: mini blush/contour brush, one thick and one defining eyeshadow brush, and a thin brush for eyeliner. Save space by getting a dual head eyeshadow brush and opting for a pencil, stick, or felt-tip eyeliner.
  10. Cleanser and Makeup Remover Taking off makeup and travel-gathered grit is non-negotiable. Hotel soaps are often too harsh, stripping your skin. Ideally, aim for a face wash that will remove makeup, too. But, if you just cannot do without, bring a travel pack of makeup wipes rather than liquid remover.
  11. Blow Out Styling Crème Use a multipurpose hair product to cut down on space in your luggage. Blow Out Styling Crème on wet hair works as a leave-in conditioner to get rid of nasty knots and tangles. Use it on dry hair as an anti-frizz serum.
  12. Nail File and Clippers When you’re on a trip, little inconveniences can really get you down. Don’t let chipped nails put a damper on your trip. An emery board takes up no space. Keep a nail file and clipper handy. Pro tip: Get a gel or shellac manicure for trips. They last up to two weeks and are not as permanent as acrylics.
  13. Tweezers Whether you need to pluck your eyebrows or remove a splinter, tweezers are a lifesaver on any trip.

Small Mirror A small mirror is perfect to freshen-up makeup. To save on space and avoid broken mirrors, use your cellphone camera as a substitute. Now that your travel makeup kit is packed, you’re ready to take on the world.