Beauty, Makeup

How To Pack A Makeup Bag for Travel: 10 Helpful Tips

How to Pack a Travel Makeup Bag

How to Pack A Makeup Bag for Travel – 10 Helpful Tips

Taking a vacation is fun. Packing for said vacation is not (at least not to me). Nothing heightens my anxiety more than the thought of forgetting something on a trip, especially an essential item. Knowing exactly which products (and how much of them) to pack in your beauty bag can be a bit overwhelming. To help you better prepare, and to ease my own anxiety, I came up with 10 helpful guidelines for packing a makeup bag for travel.

e.l.f. cosmetics

1) Find the Perfect Makeup Travel Bag

The most important thing when packing your travel make up kit is to have a quality makeup bag. You want to look for something that will allow you to carry a decent amount of products & tools, while making it easy to see everything in a glance. Look for a bag that has transparent or mesh pockets, it will make ALL the difference. As a makeup artist I can’t begin to explain to you how important having sheer containers and bags are – they’re legit a lifesaver and help me find things faster in my kit. You’re going to be busy on your trip, and don’t need to waste time dumping out the entire contents of your bag looking for a particular product.

My Travel Makeup Bag Recommendations

I’ve listed a few of my makeup travel bag recommendations below, from minimalist to hoarder-worthy bags.

Transparent Multi-Bag

This 3-in-1 bag is great for makeup conissieurs or ladies who plan to take a large amount of makeup and toiletrie products with them. I use a similar set from WalMart, and am able to get ALL my toiletries in it. It’s amazing!
>> Funbase 3Pcs/Set Clear Makeup Bag

Minimalist Bag

Not everyone is huge in to makeup, and that’s ok. This bag is perfect for those who just want to bring the essentials, and nothing more. The clear case make it easy to see and find all of the products.
>> Louise Maelys Clear Cosmetic Travel Bag

Hanging Bag

This bag is cute and practical, perfect for ladies who would prefer to hang their makeup case up and out of the way. Don’t worry, you can fold it and keep it on a counter as well!
>> Mooxury Waterproof Hanging Cosmetic Bag

Practical Bag

The bag is perfect for the average lady who’s looking to bring a small to moderate amount of makeup along on the trip. The pouches are mesh and make the items easy to find. This is a great all around bag.
>> Itraveller Portable Travel Toiletry Bag

Brush Connoisseur Bag

This bag is geared towards makeup artists or makeup brush connoisseurs who plan to bring a ton of brushes with them on their trip. Brushes fit easily in the top, while the makeup stacks and is easy to find at the bottom.
>> Chillax Premium Large Cosmetic Bag

2) Walk Yourself Through Your Daily Makeup Application

Once you’ve scored a quality makeup bag and are ready to start thinking about the products, grab a pen and paper and walk yourself through each step of your daily makeup application routine. Make note of the items you grab for the most. Do the same exact thing for your go-to evening out look. Chances are you’ll be going out to at least one night time event on your trip, so I would plan accordingly (ie: bring one darker lippie and darker shadows). Jot down these items as well. The products you have written down are the bare minimum you want to have on hand during your trip!

3) Location, Location, Location

The destination of your trip also needs to be taken in to consideration when packing your makeup bag. If you’re going to be swimming and outdoors most of the time, you likely don’t need to pack as much makeup, just waterproof (and possibly SPF). If you’re traveling somewhere where you may be fine dining, wine tasting, going to shows or partaking in the night life activities you’ll likely need to bring more.

Benefit Cosmetics LLC

4) Stick With What You Know

Vacation is not the time to test the waters with new beauty products (unless you buy some on the trip, of course). Go for products you already use and know work well for you. Cakey / discolored makeup or an allergic reaction is the last thing you want to worry about on your trip!

5) Keep It Simple

Even if you’re a huge makeup connoisseur like me, it’s vital to take a step back and bring only what you need. For things such as mascara, concealer, bronzer, foundation, blush & powder – you really only need to to bring your ONE absolute favorite product. Trust me, we don’t need 4 mascaras. I know, it’s rough.

6) Optimize Your Makeup Bag Space

Making the most of out limited bag space is going to make your life, and trip, a hell of a lot easier. How does one do this? Organization, downsizing and depotting, of course. Got a huge tub of loose powder? Buy a small plastic container to keep some in instead of carrying the whole lot. Looking to bring a wide range of eyeshadows, blushes, bronzers & highlighters? Depot them (remove the product from the original packaging, except for the metal pan they come in) or buy single pans and get a Z Palette (magnetic customizable palette).

Z Palette

Z Palettes are magnetic, customizable eyeshadow palettes. They hold metal pans of any powder makeup you can think of, eyeshadow, blush, bronzer, etc. They’re great for on-the-go, because you can customize and only put in what you want to bring. They do come in different sizes.
>> Large Z Palette (Black)

7) Think Small

Travel sized products are your friend. You won’t need much on your trip, so if you can afford to buy yourself a secondary, smaller version of your favorites I would highly recommend it. What’s nice about having the travel sized products is that you can keep the products right in your travel bag for next time, granted they won’t expire before your next trip.

8) Research Allowable Liquid Product Sizes When Flying

If you’re going to be flying to your vacation destination it’s important to research the rules and regulations your airline has in place for allowable sizes ahead of time. This way you’ll know what you can and cannot bring, and how much of it. Here’s a good rule of thumb: https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/liquids-rule

Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Limited

9) How Tan Will You Get?

This one may seem kind of out there, but it’s something that can be easily overlooked. Some women tan rather quickly, especially when sun bathing frequently on vacation. Nobody want’s a white face and tan body, right? If you seem to tan fast and think your foundation shade may change over the course of the trip, you may want to bring 2 shades of foundation just in case, one in your current shade and another 1-2 shades darker. If you get a little tan, but not AS tan as the darker shade just a mix a little bit of the darker foundation in with the lighter for a custom shade.

10) Consider Your Wardrobe

It’s important to take your clothing in to consideration when packing your makeup bag, as you want to make sure your makeup and outfits compliment each other. For most women, carrying a few neutral shades of eyeshadow and lippies should be just fine, but if you’re more of a crazy colors girl, it’s imperative you choose colors that will flatter your wardrobe.


Hoping these ten tips help you beauties better prepare for your vacation! I hope you have an amazing time on your trip! Let me know what products you packed for your trip, and if you found some awesome foreign products abroad!

Stay Beautiful, Inside & Out!

Simply StephanieKay xoXO

Shop Temptu Today for the Best in Airbrush Makeup.
Benefit Cosmetics LLC
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Disclaimer: Some of the links across this post may be affiliate links in which I earn a small commission off of. This allows me to continue to blog and provide helpful articles for you guys! 😉

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3 Comments

  • Reply Sydney Rose June 28, 2017 at 3:18 PM

    so helpful for my trip thanks!!! for some reason I can’t follow you right now but I’lll try again later 🙂

  • Reply actuallyannaa June 29, 2017 at 7:24 AM

    These tips are so helpful! Thank you!
    xoxo Annaleid

  • Reply Bay Area Beauty Blogger June 30, 2017 at 7:47 PM

    These are fantastic tips! Thank you so much for sharing! I’m pinning so I can refer to this before my next trip. 🙂

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