Packing a travel makeup bag can be tricky. Not only do you have to think about where you’re going, what you’re going to be doing and how long you’re going for, as you would when packing your clothes, but you have the added worry of travel regulations and risks of liquids leaking or palettes being squashed. There are two camps travellers fall into - the minimalist and the maximalist. The minimalist loves to travel light and keep things simple, whilst the maximalist doesn’t want to leave anything to chance and packs ready for all eventualities.
Whatever camp you’re in, whether you’re travelling with hand luggage only or taking a sizeable suitcase, it always pays to be prepared and plan what you’re going to take with you. Use this guide to help you pack makeup for travel.
How to pack your travel beauty essentials guide
The minimalist - you love to travel light
Travel for you is all about being easy and uncomplicated, but you want to look good. What you don’t want is to waste a second of your holiday at the airport, so you need a curated selection of your favourite beauty products in your travel makeup bag that will fit in your carry-on luggage.
1. Pre-pack your hand luggage liquids in a reusable airport bag
Let’s face it, getting through security can be stressful enough, especially if you’re travelling with the family in tow. The last thing you need is to be rummaging through your handbag and carry-on bag to make sure you have found all your makeup and liquids when you’re in the busy security queue. Take this stress completely away, by pre-packing your liquids bag in a TSA compliant reusable airport bag. This not only makes clearing security a breeze, but you’re doing your small bit for the planet by reducing the use of single-use plastics. See all our travel wash bags which feature a detachable TSA compliant liquid bag.
If you’re not sure what the current liquid allowances are, take a read of which beauty products you can fly with, so you are airport security ready.
Reusable clear liquid bag for hand luggage liquids - part of the Emma hanging 3 in 1 wash bag SHOP NOW >>
2. Pack multipurpose products
Streamline your usual makeup bag selection and take products that have multiuse. Lipsticks that can be used as a cream blusher, a palette of eyeshadows that can also be used as an eyeliner or a cream highlighter that can be used on eyes, cheeks and lips. Also, think about if you need to take both your foundation and concealer, and look for makeup products that have skincare benefits too. Our current favourite is The Ordinary Serum Foundation with SPF 15. This summer foundation is light but offers a medium coverage with a lightweight serum feel.
3. Decant your beauty travel essentials
For shorter trips or holidays that you know you won’t be needing all your makeup, decant essentials, such as serums, foundation, concealers and highlighters, into travel containers. This way you can bring your favourites with you on the go.
Tip: We love make-up artist, Gabriel de Santino’s great tip in a recent article in Byrdie.com. He suggests using contact lens cases to put your makeup liquids into. They’re small but can hold a lot of product and seal tightly shut!
4. Organise your makeup into categories
Organise your beauty products into categories to keep everything at hand. Our Amy 3 in 1 Makeup Wallet is the minimalist makeup travellers' dream. Use the clear travel pouch for your hand luggage liquids, pop the rest of your dry cosmetics in the floral bag and store makeup brushes and hair accessories in the mesh compartment. Simply detach each section as needed so you will always have just the perfect size makeup bag for your travels. Browse our collection of Travel Wash Bags with each one featuring a detachable TSA compliant clear liquid compartment.
The Maximalist - you love to take all your cosmetics with you
Picture the scene. Squashing every item of makeup and toiletries into your travel makeup bag and arranging and rearranging them as you struggle to zip it shut. Does this sound like you? It’s a moment we’ve all had and one that is ripe for accidentally breaking lids or cracking plastic bottles. If your makeup makes you happy then why sacrifice that on your holidays. Follow our top tips to make sure you have room for your full makeup arsenal no matter where you’re going or for how long.
1. Choose a large makeup bag with compartments
Trust us when we say a large travel wash bag with detachable compartments will transform the way you pack. You can keep your primers and base products in one section and your colour cosmetics safely stored in another. Having compartments not only gives you room to take everything you want but organises it so you know where to find everything. A large travel makeup bag will also keep all your precious products safe, which bring us nicely to our next point…
2. A leak-proof beauty bag is a must-have
We cannot stress enough how important it is to always travel with a leak-proof wash bag to make sure the inevitable spillages are safely contained. Nobody wants to arrive at a hotel to find foundation spilt all over your carefully packed clothes. Quality waterproof fabrics and reinforced seams add an essential layer of protection, so for total peace of mind, make sure you invest in only the best travel wash bag and cosmetic makeup bag.
3. Plan your makeup looks and make a checklist
Just like you might plan what outfits you want to take with you, having a rough idea of what fabulous looks you want to rock on your trip means you can pack exactly what needs to come away with you. That said, this is your holiday, so as well as your regular beauty essentials, you may also want to pack some of your luxurious lotions as well as some fun colourful makeup as well. To make sure you don’t forget anything, create a checklist so nothing gets left behind. Keep the list on your dressing table and check off the items as you pack them. Using a travel wash bag with clear compartments allows you to double check what’s packed, and what’s not!
Did you know? 59% of British women say their beauty routine helps them to feel relaxed. Why wouldn't you want to feel the same way when you're on holiday.
4. Keep it packed
The best way to ensure you never forget anything is to keep some items always packed in your beauty kit bag. Having a hanging travel wash bag or folding wash bag with compartments is great for this as you can keep travel sized products in one place ready to grab at a moments notice. Items such as makeup remover, cleansers and travel makeup brushes are perfect for storing in your bag at all times.
Are you a minimalist or maximalist type of beauty packer? Leave your answer in the comments box below. However many cosmetics you like to take with you on holiday, browse our travel makeup bag and travel wash bag collections and find the right combination for you. Happy holidays!