Maintaining a travel beauty routine requires a bit of planning, but for many of us it’s important. You want to look your best in your photos, so a bit of travel makeup might be necessary, but you also don’t want to carry a massive bag that’ll weigh you down.
I have been to 12 different countries within the last 12 months, and I assure you I looked fabulous in every single one of them. The trick was learning to minimize my makeup routine for travel, and making sure I was using the most travel-friendly makeup products. In this guide I want to help you find the routine that will work for you based on my own experience, but also taking into account that each one of us has different preferences!
We’ll start off with the best makeup products for travel! These are products that are small, sturdy, easy to pack, and fulfil multiple purposes. I even go through what I have in my travel beauty bag, so you can get an idea for the thought process behind packing your travel makeup.
Then I’ll give some preparation tips, so you can get in the right mindset before you travel. I also included repackaging advice that will allow you to make your regular products that much more travel-friendly!
Your Ultimate Travel Makeup Routine: Contents
17 Best Makeup and Beauty Products for Travel
You are sure to look like a million bucks getting these travel makeup products that are simple and multi-purpose.
1. Sephora Z Palette
The Z palette is the secret weapon for thousands of makeup artists, but it’s also super useful for anyone traveling. This empty palette is magnetized and it comes with little magnetic stickers as well, so you can create your own customized palette out of single eyeshadows and blushes.
You can choose a large one to carry literally all of your pan products, or you can opt for a smaller one just to carry a small selection of shadows and blushes. Later on in this article I give some suggestions on how you can remove makeup tins from bulky containers so you can put them in your Z palette.
There are endless ways of arranging products in a Z palette, so it’s great for just about anyone! Get a palette that’s the right size for you at Sephora!
2. Too Faced The Chocolate Bar Eyeshadow
This chocolate-scented eyeshadow palette will put a smile on your face every time you go to do your eye makeup. It’s a great travel makeup palette because it is small yet sturdy, has a built-in mirror, and is filled with totally wearable matte and metallic colors. With this palette you’re not restricted to one look during your whole vacation – you have a few makeup options!
I chose this palette because it also includes lighter glowy shades that can work beautifully as highlighters both for the eyes and the cheeks, as well as a few shades of brown and taupe that can work as eyebrow powder for many people. Any one of a number of darker shadows can also be applied as eyeliner! You can pick it up from Sephora.
3. Dose of Colors Baked Browns Eyeshadow Palette
If you’re willing to forego complex and varied eyeshadow looks, then a 5 or 6-shade palette will probably be a better choice. It’ll take up less space and still allow you to get a little glammed up when it’s necessary. Each one of us has a different go-go eyeshadow look, but rosy browns are super trendy right now, so I decided to suggest this palette.
You can do a quick, no-makeup look with it or get a little darker and sultrier. The shades are all matte, so you might want to carry a highlighter with you for brightening up the inner corners. Find it at Ulta!
4. MAC Cosmetics Mini MAC Lipstick
Lipsticks don’t really take up a ton of space, so you might be able to take a few colors with you without any problem. Personally, I only carry one full-sized lip color around, but then again, I’m a little boring.
MAC lipsticks are classics with a creamy texture and trendy matte finish. With the mini versions of all their most wearable shades you will have space for a bunch. This is a great choice if you really like to change your lip color up from day to day! Pick up 3 or 4 from Nordstrom!
5. Cover FX Pressed Mineral Foundation
If you have oily skin it can be great to have a pressed powder foundation on the road instead of a cream one. It won’t be any problem to carry in your carry-on, and it won’t require setting! This powder foundation from Cover FX is a quick one-step that’ll keep you looking matte and give your skin nice medium coverage. The formula is talc-free, super lightweight, and contains kaolin clay to absorb oils. Find your match from 38 shades at Ulta!
6. It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream with SPF 50+
If you have normal or dry skin, on the other hand, then this CC cream might be the best travel makeup option! Its coverage is on the higher side, but you can sheer it out with your moisturizer if necessary, and it has one of the most beautiful natural finishes!
It’ll cover imperfections without highlighting dry spots, and it can work well without being set with powder. It’s got some serious sun protection power, and the formula is super moisturizing so you might even be able to use it without face cream. You are sure to find a color match, since it comes in 12 colors at Sephora.
7. Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Longwear Foundation Stick SPF 21
If you prefer high coverage even while you travel, consider this stick foundation! It can double as your concealer if necessary, and the finish is matte enough that you probably won’t need to carry around a setting powder. You can skip the brushes or makeup sponges if you like, as this product is quite easy to blend with the fingers à la Pat McGrath. This formula will give you some sun protection, as well, for those sunny days when you’re out and about. Find your favorite of 25 shades at Nordstrom!
8. Simple Kind To Skin Cleansing Facial Wipes
If you’re really roughing it, makeup wipes are indispensable. You can use them to clean your face, your brushes, and even your hands in a pinch! They’re a little too wasteful for daily use, but on a trip using them can be justified. These ones, in particular, are super gentle on the skin. They remove all makeup thoroughly, but they keep the skin hydrated with a dose of glycerin and panthenol. Get them from Ulta!
9. Milk Makeup KUSH High Volume Mascara Mini
A dark black, volumizing mascara is awesome to have while you travel. It will often save you the need for eyeliner, and it will make you feel done up and awake in seconds. The Kush mascara from Milk Makeup will also keep the lashes moisturized and healthy, and in its miniature size it fits into even the tiniest makeup bag easily. You can buy it from Sephora.
10. E.L.F. Cosmetics Flawless Face 6 Piece Brush Collection
Give yourself a full-face look with just 6 makeup brushes! This set is perfect for travelers, as it includes all the brushes you’ll need to do a full-face makeup, and they don’t break the bank so if you lose one or two it’s no big deal. The set includes two complexion brushes and four eye brushes, and we can think of all kinds of creative uses for them to ensure that you’ll need nothing else. You can order them from Ulta.
11. NARS The Multiple Stick
This all-in-one product is perfect if you’re truly low-maintenance when you travel. The NARS Multiples are makeup sticks that can be applied to the cheeks, lips, or eyes – that’s right, a single product that can be a blush, lipstick and eyeshadow! You can take just one, or choose a few instead of all of your blushes, highlighters, and shadows. Orgasm is the perfect gold-flecked coral, Portofino is a gorgeous rose, and South Beach is the loveliest golden tone for highlighting. Choose your favorites from Nordstrom!
12. YSL Baby Doll Kiss & Blush Lips & Cheeks
If you like a more saturated color in a product that takes up even less space, then opt for a lip and cheek tint rather than a stick. It won’t work for the eyes, but it’ll give you super gorgeous lips so perhaps the exchange is well worth it.
These lip tints are perfectly blendable for an easy blush application, while they can be built up to opacity on the lips. They keep the lips soft and hydrated without being too matte or glossy. Choose Nude Insolent for a day to day shade, or Fuchsia Desinvoltefor something more dramatic. They are available at Net-a-Porter.
13. Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner
I normally wouldn’t bother with a liquid liner while traveling – I find it much easier to apply dampened eyeshadow with a small angled brush. However, for many women that sharp wing is a must, in which case this waterproof liquid eyeliner is awesome to have. It won’t budge on hot days nor will it require touch-ups, and the design is sleek and streamlined so it’ll fit in any travel makeup bag with ease. You can purchase it at Sephora.
14. Nudestix Nudies Matte Blush & Bronze
I’m not quite done with stick products yet! They’re just so convenient for travel beauty on the go. Many folks prefer doing all-cream looks when they travel, so these sticks are perfect for contouring and blush. They can go anywhere on the face, and they even come with a brush on one end for blending. Choose Bondi Bae as a contour shade for lighter skin or Deep Maple, Eh as a contour shade for darker skin. Both are available, along with three blush shades at Sephora.
15. Tarte Tarteist PRO Glow To Go Highlight & Contour Palette
If you prefer powders, this little set is perfection. It includes a bronzer, highlighter, and blush in a sturdy package, and a nicely large mirror. All three shades can also be applied as eyeshadows, so you can leave your…