Beauty Packing Guide: How to Streamline Your Travel Makeup Bag

Beauty Packing Guide: How to Streamline Your Travel Makeup Bag

Who else has ever packed way too much makeup that they didn’t end up using while traveling? ME! And I still do it… but I’ve really tried to streamline my makeup packing process over my past trips to save space and avoid bringing products I won’t use!

There’s no one perfect way to configure makeup for travel. It really depends on personal preference sometimes. For me, eyeshadow isn’t usually necessary so I’ll take at most 1 or 2 palettes if I know I’m planning on getting extra made up. But if it’s just a trip to see family or it’s a trip where I’m going to be very active, then I’ll skip eyeshadow and maybe only bring a small quad. So those are things to consider when reading my process – everybody’s going to be different!

Here are 5 tips to help you streamline your beauty packing:

  • Know What You Prioritize — This goes along with what I was just saying! I prioritize skin, eyebrows, and lips! So I don’t mind bringing along one mascara in order to bring an extra lip color or two. So find what you prioritize and set aside what you absolutely need to have. Then go back and bring extra products in the department you love to experiment with the most.

The travel makeup bags pictured above from Vera Bradley are my favorite that I own! The set is perfect for longer trips and fits nicely in a suitcase or is easily carried! Plus, the quality is great – I’ve had mine for several years and there are barely any signs of wear.

You can get the same travel bag set here:



  • Bring a Purse Makeup Bag for Extra Space — I typically pack my makeup in in the Vera Bradley set pictured above when I’m going on a substantially long trip (a week or more). Otherwise, I try to pack it all in one medium-to-large pouch. But when I have a little extra I want to try to squeeze in, I put the items I already used on my face in a small travel makeup bag that I squeeze in my purse or backpack.


  • Size Products Up — I can’t believe how much space individual products can take up! So the best way to be able to fit what you want and also streamline your packing space is to choose the most economically-sized products. You don’t always have to if there’s something you need to have that’s a bit bulky – but if that’s the case, then choose the smaller product where you can!



The size difference between these two powders is ridiculous! If they perform equally, streamline where you can & choose the smaller one. 


  • Take A Palette — When you can, you should take a palette. Whether it’s eyeshadow, blush, contour or all in one, it is a space saver and simply easier to work with when you are doing your makeup in a different setting. It also saves time not having to bobble a bunch of loose products on a tiny hotel vanity. My only vice with palettes is when they don’t have a large mirror – it’s so disappointing! I love doing my makeup in the mirror of a palette since it’s easy to navigate and bring closer/further from face depending on what I want – if anyone has perfect travel palette suggestions, let me know!!


  • Boot the Brushes — I overpack on brushes all of the time! I have lately been trying to fit all of the brushes I’m traveling with into the same makeup bag as all of my makeup. This saves me from having to find more room for an entire brush holder in my suitcase! I narrow it down to 5 or 6 essentials (and even that is probably more than I really need.)



My essential travel brushes – flat shader, fluffy blending, highlighting, powder, blush & small stipple for concealing.

There are so many ways to simplify the amount of makeup you take on a trip. I’m not saying I don’t indulge and bring a few extra products that are hard to part with – I do it pretty much every time. But streamlining is always a plus for me, saving space and time. And you won’t feel bad for not ever touching a random product you brought along on the trip! Let me know if you love makeup and what your travel beauty essentials are in the comments!

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— M


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