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After years of lugging around a beauty kit that dominated approximately 75 percent of our checked-baggage allowance, we finally said enough is enough. A lot of trial and error and a few hard-won tips, led to a streamlined set of everything needed to look as good on the road as at home. Ahead, our tried-and-true travel beauty essentials that’ll fit neatly in your carry-on and leave plenty of space for everything else you’re bringing along.
PACK AND PROTECT
First and foremost, of course, you’ll need need a little spill-proof makeup bag to tote all your little liquids. This one comes stuffed with four TSA-approved sun products, only two of which you’ll actually need, so empty it out and re-pack it with just the facial and body SPFs. Now there’s plenty of room for all the other items in your kit.
Coola Organic Suncare Travel Set
The optimist in you might think, “This is the perfect time to discover my new favorite shampoo and conditioner in the trial-size bins at Walgreens!” The likely result of that kind of wishful thinking, however, is a bad hair day that stretches the length of your vacation. These squishy bottles are the best—and I mean the best—for refilling with your old standbys. They have a wide mouth that makes them super easy to top up whenever you’re headed out on a journey.
Humangear GoToob Travel Tubes
Unless you want to spend your vacation averting your gaze from all reflective surfaces, don’t deviate from your regular hair styling regimen either. The travel-friendly fix: Pack stumpy versions of your standard curling iron, dryer, and flatiron. I bought a similar set to this trio several years ago and it’s been my constant companion on every single holiday I’ve taken since.
CHI City Chic Travel Size Hair Tools
If you have extremely sensitive skin, go with the products that you know, scooping your favorites into mini-pots like these. If not, however, now is the time to sample some new skincare options. If you shop at Sephora, you probably already have a drawer filled with minis just waiting to be tested out. Shove them in your sack and you’re set. If not, this trio of tiny bottles has all the essentials: day cream, night cream, and serum.
Ole Henriksen 3 Little Wonders Mini
My advice: Don’t waste your extremely limited liquids space on body wash. It’ll be gone in two showers. If you do not already have a box filled with hoarded hotel mini bar soaps, then purchase a prettily scented one like Claus Porto’s and pop it into a little dish like this to keep it from getting all gummy. Be sure to choose a soap gentle enough to use on your face too.
Claus Porto, Voga Acacia Tuberose Mini Soap
Plan to use around a quarter ounce of body lotion per day of vacay. Pick up a set of 1-ounce mini bottles, then pack as many as you need based on the length of your trip. For two weeks in Tahiti (lucky you!) bring four. Weekend trip to your parents’ lake house: just one.
Pacifica Mini Body Butter Collection, set of 5
We’re not going to tell you what to do when it comes to bringing your makeup kit. It’s your face, after all. But if you really want to travel light, consider paring down to five small-sized essentials: mascara, lash curler, concealer, eyeliner, tinted lip balm. I reluctantly tried it. It worked. It’s now my standard travel M.O. Lashes are the most important area of focus, of course, and this travel mascara comes teamed up with an equally petite lash curler.
Tarte Picture Perfect Eyelash Curler Duo
You’re on vacation so your under-eye circles might be disappearing on their own in a day or two. As insurance, though, pack some concealer. This is the teeniest, tiniest tube of what just happens to be one of the best concealers ever.
It Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye Travel Size Concealer
Your favorite pencil liner won’t take up too much room in your kit—but this one takes up even less. Plus, no sharpener required, which is excellent news because when have you not forgotten to bring your sharpener?
Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real Push Up Eyeliner Mini
TINTED LIP BALM
The final piece of the puzzle: A tinted balm. Obviously, it keeps lips hydrated, but...double duty! It makes pretty stellar blush, too, when daubed on you cheeks.
Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm
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