Thursday, August 21, 2014

Travel Makeup for Long Trips - packing the essentials

What do I do when I have to pack for a 5 week trip with only a 55L backpack and a smaller regular sized backpack?  Pack the essentials, make sure everything is absolutely fool-proof, and use as many space saving solutions as possible. 

For my first packing post, I thought I would show you how I packed my makeup, and how I managed to pare everything down to the bare essentials (sort of) for a 5 week trip.  Except for my lip products...because when I keep my eyes simple I need to have options with my lip products. I'm quite proud of everything else that I packed, as now that I'm back from the trip I can safely say that I used everything, but wasn't lacking anything!

The trick for me was packing as many travel sized/samples of products as possible for me.  I basically amassed everything I could find in a travel size and brought them with me.  This includes travel size brushes, and *shudder*..using sponge-tip applicators as my eye brushes!

How it all fit in my two makeup bags, complete with foundation spills.

 For the face, I brought with me a deluxe sample size of the Becca Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector because 1) it's mattifying and 2) it's the perfect sample size.  Although I brought a proper SPF 50 sunscreen, I also brought the Clinique City Block Sheer SPF 25 sunscreen to put under my foundation.  As for liquid foundation, I always like to wear different coverages depending on what I'm doing, and instead of taking large bottles, I bought tiny little sample jars from Amazon and decanted a  couple pumps of my favorite foundation into each of them.  My favorite foundation is the MAC Face and Body Foundation (in the brown Korres tube) so that had to come along with me.  For a sheer, everyday foundation, I brought the Maybelline Dream 8-in-1 BB Cream, and it also had the advantage of being a little darker so I would have something to wear when I got tan.  For fuller coverage, I brought a little jar of the Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-in-1 Foundation mixed with Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation.  And finally, I brought along a teeny bit of the now discontinued Revlon Colorstay Mousse Foundation because it keeps me extremely matte, but it is a little cakey on its own so I always mix it with other foundations.

For powder, I brought the Bare Mineral Ready Pressed Powder Foundation.  It was long-lasting and had a little bit of coverage if I didn't want to wear liquid foundation. And then for an oil-absorbing translucent powder, I have the Tarte Amazonian Clay Powder, again, in a mini travel size.  My concealer includes just my essentials, the Bobbi Brown Peach Corrector to correct my undereye circles and the Revlon Age Defying Concealer for undereyes and blemishes.  Finally, although this really belongs in the cheek section, I brought a mini cream highlighter, which is the Benefit Watt's Up cream highlighter.

Although this looks like a lot of base products, I used all of these like crazy, and since they were such small quantities of each product, it didn't take up a lot of space.

These were the only cheek products I brought - shocking, right?  I had a Gift with Purchase cream blush stick from Clinique, as well as a mini powder set from Benefit that had Hoola, Coralista, and Bella Bamba.

My eye bases and brow products are some basics that I always stick with, including the Too Faced Shadow Insurance and my favorite brow powder from Make Up For Ever  in 139.  And since I always like to use a cream eyeshadow as a base, I included the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Shadows in Sin and Rebel, as well as the discontinued L'oreal HIP Pure Pigment Shadow Stick in Meticulous, and then the Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Stick in Cocoa.  With these four shades, I could create cream bases for my lid, crease, and inner corner, which really helped my eye makeup stay vibrant throughout the entire day.  Lastly, I brought the last little bit of Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner in Lucky as its my daily undereye liner.

These were my only eyesahdows. No joke. They are tiny little Clinique GWP palettes I've had for forever and have obviously loved.  With these seven little shadows, I actually had everything I needed to create a day to evening look.  Included in the quad are the shades Just Peachy, the Sunburst Duo, the brown shade from the Copper Canyon duo, Lucky Penny, Enchanted, and Champagne.  To apply these shadows, I used the sponge tip applicator to pat them onto my lid, and then used a blending brush to blend everything out.

 Eyeliner is what really makes a difference in my look so I brought a black liquid, gel, and pencil eyeliner.  For gel, I brought the Essence Gel Eyeliner, Stila Stay All Day Waterproof for liquid, and then the Milani Liquid Eye Pencil Eyeliner for the pencil eyeliner.  For color, I never travel without the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil in Lucky and Electric, as well as the Sonia Kashuk Eyeliner in Purple Passion.  These bright colors are essential for creating some interest in my neutral looks  I also brought a long a navy eyeliner for good measure - the Prestige Total Intensity Eyeliner in Blue - which I actually ended up using a lot.  Lastly, I always bring a regular mascara, the Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara, and then a waterproof mascara, my trusty Covergirl Lash Blast Volume mascara.

Lip products are obviously where I splurged a little bit.  I love how easy they are to use to change up a look despite wearing the same makeup every other day.  The first, the Wet n Wild Mega Last Matte Lipstick in 906D is actually a stowaway....I didn't intend on bringing it but I found it in my purse on the way there.  That being said, it it's a great mauve-berry shade that almost shows up as a red on my lips.  Revlon Super Lustrous Pink in the Afternoon has been a go to for a subtle but brightening pink lip to pull my looks together without looking over the top, while the Maybelline Color Whisper in Peach had a similar effect, but with a more neutral, peachy tone.  I had to bring along some bright lipsticks, so I included the Revlon Super Lustrous Moon Drops Lipstick in Blase Apricot for a bright coral, the Revlon Balm Stain in Rendezvous for an orange lip, the Maybelline Color Sensational Vivids Lipstick in Electric Fuchsia, and a travel size version of the Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in Catfight for a bright magenta.  Finally, I brought a MLBB shade, the Make Up For Ever Lipstick in N9 that was part of the birthday gift from Sephora.

These are some of my most used lipglosses so it was natural to bring them with me on the trip.  The C.O. Bigelow Ginger Mentha Lip Shine Shimmer is a subtle gold shimmerthat I can use with any lipstick.  The very underrated Revlon Mineral Lip Glaze in Timeless Nude is a perfect pink-nude that doesn't wash me out and also lasts for a few hours on my lips.  The Revlon Super Lustrous Lip Gloss in Cherries in the Glow, a translucent red that I absolutely love.  I also couldn't forget the Revlon Super Lustrous Lip Gloss in Coral Reef as its the perfect coral gloss for the summer.  For a red lip, I brought the L'oreal Color Elixir in Endless Red as it is extremely long lasting, glossy, and a great dupe for my favorite YSL Glossy Stain in #9.

To save room on my brushes, I tried to bring only travel sized brushes.  A lot of them are from Ecotools or MAC.

I used all of these brushes daily.  The Ecotools Travel Size Retractable Kabuki is one of my favoriteall time favorite brushes.  For any highlighting, I used a travel size of the MAC 187SE.  My favorite blush brush, period, is the Ecotools Travel Size Blush Brush (in their travel brush kit).  For my bronzer, I have an old mini kabuki brush from the brand Goldie that used to be in Bath and Body Works.  

THe rest of the brushes are eye brushes, including my daily brow brush from Kirkland, a (mostly) unused double ended eye brush also from Kirkland, and then a blending brush, a smudge brush, and a highlight brush from the Ecotools travel eye brushes kit.  For liner, I brought the brush from the Kanebo Kate gel eyeliner and then a flat eyeliner brush from Kirkland that ended up being my favorite eyeliner brush.

And that's it!  For someone that usually overpacks makeup, I am extremely proud of how much I pared it down.  I can say that over the five weeks I was gone, I used everything if not a few times a week, then every single time I put on makeup.  Since I didn't bring too many options, I didn't have to think about what I put on every morning, leaving me more time to enjoy my vacation!

What are your favorite or must have travel items?  Let me know below, and watch out for a travel clothing post! 


  1. Perfect! I will have to use these tips when packing for my trip this November. Thanks for the tips!

    1. Good luck with your packing! It's probably one of the most tedious tasks when I'm preparing to travel!