We’ve spoken a bit about minimalism on Peaceful Dumpling before. While I do admire minimalist style, I’m certainly no minimalist when it comes to beauty. I currently have three rather large eyeshadow palettes on rotation, and I’m not even going to go into my nail polish collection (but let’s just say I’ve got the rainbow covered). If you’ve read my posts on skincare, you’re probably aware that my penchant for “beauty abundance,” if you will, doesn’t stop with makeup. I typically follow a multi-step morning skincare routine that includes cleanser, toner, eye cream, and serum.
When I travel, however, I try to make my skincare and makeup routines less involved. (Okay, the exception to this was when I got married and packed an entire carry-on sized suitcase with beauty essentials for my bridesmaids and me, but how often can you get away with that? I had to take advantage of the opportunity to go overboard!)
Major life events aside, when you’re travelling—whether by air or road or boat—chances are that you don’t want to be weighed down with products. The following tips will help you pick the right beauty products to pack, so you can pack lightly while still making sure you’ve got your bases covered.
What will you be doing at your destination? This is one of the most important questions to ask yourself when you’re planning your travel beauty arsenal. If you’re planning to attend a formal event, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got all of the things that will help you get ready for that (your favorite straightener, your go-to red lip…) If you’re planning to do more casual, outdoorsy activities, be sure to save room for SPF (face and body) and possibly bug spray. When I’m just going to visit family, I like to bring the beauty products that make me feel comfortable: a BB cream, mascara, an easy-going perfume, and a good moisturizer.
What will the climate be like? If you’re headed someplace pretty warm, you probably won’t want to bother with makeup that’s liable to melt off your face (like heavy foundation). If you’re going someplace cold and windy, prioritize a rich lip balm and skin moisturizer.
What kind of time will you have to get ready while you’re at your destination? If your schedule is looking pretty full but you still want to make a beauty statement, streamline your kit, so it includes only the things that will make a big impact—like a bold lip and a smudge-able eye liner (instant smoky eye!).
My basic travel beauty go-tos:
Lipstick/lip stain that can double as a check stain. When I’m packing, I always try to include a few multi-tasking products that can save space in my luggage and simplify getting ready. A lipstick or lip stain that can be used as a blush is a favorite of mine, especially if I’m travelling by plane—eventually, I’ll want to restore my color, which, for some reason, air travel always zaps!
Foundation or BB Cream with SPF: Another multi-tasking product, a foundation that provides sun protection, an antioxidant boost, and perhaps even moisture will keep my skin healthy and my complexion looking even.
Concealer. From jet lag to late nights, travel can do a number on our skin. I love including a brightening concealer in my travel kit to erase under-eye circles and, if need be, cover a blemish or two.
Good moisturizer. Little makes me feel more comforted than applying a rich moisturizer after I’ve removed my makeup before bed. A no-nonsense face and body lotion is a must if you’re traveling by air (not much humidity on the plane) or to a dry climate.
Mascara. A quick swipe of mascara before dashing out of the hotel can make me feel pretty and polished (and awake)—even if I haven’t gone through my normal, elaborate beauty routine.
Perfume. I’m such a fragrance person. I almost feel incomplete without something that smells nice. Since scent is so intimately tied to memory, I find it nice to wear a fragrance that may one day remind me of my trip! (For more fragrance inspiration, consult Juhea’s lovely post on finding your perfume personality.)
A hot tool. I usually pack my trusty 1” curling iron, and if I don’t expect to have time to curl my hair, I may bring my straightener, which I can use to quickly add a bit of polish to my hair. Like mascara (or a good lipstick), a pretty ’do can lift your mood and make you feel more elegant and polished—even when you didn’t have that much time to beautify.
A neutral nail. If I bring nail polish at all, it will usually be a neutral color (chips will be less obvious). Normally, I do my nails before going on a trip, but if I’m going to be away for more than a week, then I’ll pack a light pink or fleshy tone. Alternatively, if you don’t want to bother with polish but would like pretty nail, go for a buffed, no-polish manicure. Simply buff your nails until they’re soft with a light sheen 🙂
What are your favorite travel beauty tips?
Also see: How to Survive a Long Haul Flight
Photos: Mary Hood Luttrell