The Best Hair & Beauty Products for Travel

The Hair &Best Beauty Products for Travel

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Over the years, I’ve tried to find travel-size toiletries that are effective to use for everyday life but also for traveling in all circumstances. Yes, I actually use these products and carry them in my toiletry bag no matter if I’m backpacking, traveling with a suitcase, or just a small backpack. Here you’ll find my honest opinion on what I feel are the best beauty products for travel. Obviously depending on your make-up preferences, skin type (mine is mostly combination), age, and hair type you may want to try something else!

Might I add, if these travel-size toiletries get me through a summer of backpacking in Japan AND while running around as an elementary teacher… I trust them!

Mary Eddy's Brunch - Couples Getaway in Oklahoma




When my mom and sister told me about makeup primer I scoffed at them and thought “yeah… right… now I need another product? SURE!” But then I tried the stuff and *facepalm* I was hooked. It helps to hold your makeup in place and feels like you just gave your skin a glass of water. It also helps set your make-up after putting it on.

SPLURGE: Too Faced Hangover Replenishing Face Primer $15
STEAL: e.l.f. Mineral Infused Face Primer $6

Comparison: These two apply differently but have the same results. The Too Faced primer smells like coconut and has a more watery consistency whereas the e.l.f. primer is more of a gel. I didn’t notice a difference in these two travel-size toiletries when it came down to the length of wear.



This is one thing I never used until a few years ago. I always just slapped on some powder and called it good. However, foundation and I now are jiving and I love the way it provides me with full coverage and locks in my setting powder.

Over the years I’ve used a number of different foundations to find the one I love best. I tried a ton of the drug store brands and high-end brands too. The Makeup Revolution Foundation has proven itself time and time again for all-day wear.

STEAL: Makeup Revolution Conceal & Define Full Coverage Foundation $12


Traveling doesn’t always play nice for your complexion. So if you have a pesky spot you need to cover up or dark undereye circles, a heavy-duty concealer is sure to do the trick!

SPLURGE: It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer $24
STEAL: Makeup Revolution Conceal & Define Full Coverage Concealer $7

Comparison: There isn’t much of a difference between these two travel-size toiletries, besides the cost. The It Cosmetics concealer is a bit thicker, but I equally love both of these for coverage and wear.

Pressed Powder

You’ll notice that I only included one pressed powder and that’s because I haven’t found a dupe or anything better for my combination skin. In high school, I worked for an Aveda salon and instantly fell in love with their dual foundation powder. It applies easily, has good coverage, and lasts a long time.

Aveda Inner Light Mineral Dual Foundation $26

Highlight & Contour

Another one of the travel-size toiletries I didn’t realize I would love or find necessary until I tried it. Contour kits have become all the rave in the past years. When I first tried a contour kit I was impressed to find that I could add definition to my face and emphasize features like my cheekbones and nose.

I don’t use my contour kit every day depending on the kind of travel I’m doing, but it’s definitely awesome when you’re planning to be in photos or for going from a day to night dramatic look. The palette is also very slim and slides easily into a make-up bag.

SPLURGE: Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit $40
STEAL: NYX Highlight & Contour Kit $25

Comparison: I usually don’t splurge for prestige cosmetics unless it’s worth it and I will say that I like the colors of the Anastasia contour kit a bit better. I also think it applies more smoothly.


If I could only pick three make-up items to bring on a trip, one would be blush! It’s a staple that adds some rosy color to your face. As my mom always says “blush and lipstick make you look alive!”

SPLURGE: Tarte Amazonian 12-Hour Blush $28
STEAL: Milani Powder Blush $8

Comparison: The Tarte blush does last a bit longer but they look and feel the same!


Eyeshadow Primer

By now you’re probably beginning to wonder if I lived under a rock for a while but eyeshadow primer is another one of the travel-size toiletries I didn’t know I needed until recently. It helps keep your eyeshadow in place and saves you from having shadow “dust” all over your face.

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion $13


While on the go I personally don’t want to carry around a giant eyeshadow palette. Instead, these mini palettes are perfect for day or night looks. If you aren’t interested in a palette I also have used and love these shadows from Colourpop.

SPLURGE: Urban Decay Naked2 Basics $29
STEAL: elf Mad for Matte Palette Nude Mood $10

Comparison: The colors are slightly different but the application and length of wear are the same.


This is one of the travel-size toiletries I’m REALLY picky about because I want maximum length and volume and I HATE it when mascara flakes off during the day.

SPLURGE: Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara $24
STEAL: L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara $10

Comparison: Personally, I like the Too Faced mascara better because I think the applicator is better and I have noticed that L’Oreal does flake a bit and dries out a little more quickly. However, they’re extremely similar.



I’m adulting if I groom my eyebrows, right? But really, I left my tweezers once on a trip and it’s surprising how much they grow in just a few weeks’ time! Now I bring a pair with me every time because they’re super small and I don’t like being without them.

Revlon Slant Tip Micro Fine Tweezer $8

Brow Pencil

I have virtually no eyebrows without an eyebrow pencil, partially due to a bad brow wax (my first and last). I like these because they’re easy to apply and stay on all day. I never worry about smudging. ↓

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz Pencil $21
NYX Professional Makeup Eyebrow Powder Pencil $6.50

Comparison: Seriously the same except the Anastasia pencil has more color options. My go-to is the NYX Professional Makeup pencil!


I am pretty much obsessed with lip stuff. Chapstick, gloss, lipstick, you name it. You’ll pretty much find me applying it all day. These are a few of my long-time favorites.

Dionis Lip Balm $4
Colourpop Ultra Matte Liquid Lipstick $6.50 – My favorites in these liquid lipsticks include Sunday and Beeper.
Urban Decay Vice Lipstick $18 – My favorite color is Backtalk – it’s a dusty rose/mauve.


Setting Powder

This setting powder takes away shine, balances tone, and helps hold your face makeup in place. I usually only use this at home because it is a little bigger but I wanted to share all of my products with you in case you are on the hunt for some new stuff!

e.l.f. High Definition Powder $5

Makeup Setting Spray

THIS STUFF IS A DREAM. I have used it in all different settings and have been impressed with how much longer my makeup lasts because of this spray. One helpful tip I have is to spray this one after applying all of your makeup but before you apply mascara so it doesn’t dampen your mascara and cause it to run.

SPLURGE: Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray $15
STEAL: e.l.f. Makeup Mist & Set $4

Comparison: I have to say, Urban Decay does seem to work slightly better which is important to me because I don’t want to reapply makeup when on the go.


Shampoo & Conditioner

Nowadays many hotels offer complimentary toiletries. Depending on where I’m traveling determines whether or not I bring my own shampoo and conditioner.

For example, in Japan, I was impressed by the hair products offered in most hotels so I didn’t bring shampoo or conditioner for the three months we were there. They typically don’t use little bottles as we do here in the States, instead, they fill bigger bottles up.

When I’m traveling in the States I try to bring my own because most hotels only have travel-size toiletries that are single-use plastic. I have listed a liquid option as well as a bar option for the shampoos I love and use while traveling.

Using a bar shampoo/conditioner can be a tad strange at first but you don’t have to worry about spills and are the perfect eco-friendly travel essential. I also love the Aveda Shampure shampoo because it cleanses your hair and you can refill it easily with your bigger shampoo bottles at home. Here are also some gluten-free shampoos to choose from.

Aveda Shampure Shampoo $9
LUSH Jason and the Argan Oil Solid Shampoo Bar $12

Aveda Shampure Conditioner $9
LUSH Big Solid Conditioner Bar $13

Dry Shampoo

I actually don’t wash my hair that often. Usually, every 5-7 days depending on the time of year. But before you start judging, my hair is extremely thick and dry which doesn’t require me to wash it as often. On the last day or two before I wash my hair, I tend to freshen up my locks with a bit of dry shampoo.

Batiste Travel Size Dry  Shampoo $6

Styling Products

As I said before, I have extremely thick and dry hair so I am always looking for styling products that will amplify volume in the roots and smooth out pesky flyaways. These are four products I typically use on a daily basis but when I’m traveling I occasionally only bring a root-boosting foam and my hairspray.

Aveda Volumizing Tonic $9
It creates maximum volume and shine.
Aveda Phomollient Styling Foam $9
Creates a weightless body and volume.
Aveda Smooth Infusion Style Prep Smoother $9
Provides 12 hours of protection against humidity (UM YES PLEASE).
L’Oreal Paris Elnett Hairspray $5
I despise hairsprays that make you feel like you have a helmet on your head. I prefer ones that are lightweight but still have a stronghold. This one by L’Oreal has those qualities and brushes out easily.


Makeup Removal

Easy peasy makeup removal that is safe for your face and eyes. These are my favorite on the go! I usually tear them in half to make this pack of 25 equal 50.

YES TO Blueberries Brightening Facial Towels 25ct. $6

Acne Creme

Let’s face it… acne happens at all ages. Obviously, you’d want to zap that unwanted guest FAST. This Clean and Clear acne cream is the best over-the-counter acne medicine I’ve found.

Clean and Clear Persa-Gel 10 $5

Facial Moisturizer

Even on humid days wearing a moisturizer is important for hydrating and protecting your skin. I usually apply a moisturizer in the morning and evening.

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion $5

Body Lotion

I frequently am using different kinds of lotion but regardless of the brand or scent I always like one that is lightweight, non-greasy, and doesn’t have an overpowering scent.

The Body Shop Shea Body Butter $7

The list could go on and on! I know it seems like quite a bit but it’s not so bad once you condense it into your toiletry bag. What are some of your favorite travel-size toiletries you can’t travel without?

Making sure your makeup and hair style lasts all day can be a huge pain when traveling. Here are some of the best beauty products for female travelers! #beauty #beautyproducts #femaletravel


  • Reply
    Kimmie Conner
    January 14, 2017 at 1:26 AM

    Ahhh this is all amazing! I am always looking for the best travel products and I have even learned about a few more here 🙂 thank you!

    • Reply
      January 15, 2017 at 4:50 PM

      Glad it helped Kimmie! There are so many out there that I don’t think I’d ever make it through them all. Just thought I’d spark some ideas for others on what has worked for me. 🙂

  • Reply
    January 14, 2017 at 2:40 PM

    Looks like I need to get into the Hard Candy brand, especially if the concealer is really comparable to the MUFE one. And now I really want to try setting spray… Good thing you included inexpensive dupes or my wallet would be very sad! Hahah Thanks for the post!

    • Reply
      January 15, 2017 at 4:53 PM

      Thank you Jessica! Hard Candy is quickly rising to the top of my favorites list. I can’t afford to purchase many of these more expensive makeup brands either and received some as gifts or smaller sample sizes. I loved them but soon searched for dupes to each of them in order to be more budget friendly. My husband will never understand the cost of makeup!

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Jenna Kvidt
    January 15, 2017 at 1:23 AM

    Lots of great products! I know what you mean about looking young without makeup–that’s always been me too, but unfortunately I feel like that has been disappearing for me the past year or so, lol! Physicians Formula is always one of my favorites and that Urban Decay eyeshadow looks great! Fun suggestions!

    • Reply
      January 15, 2017 at 4:57 PM

      I feel you on that Jenna! I’m definitely not complaining about my “baby face” but sometimes I feel as if people don’t take me as seriously because I look so young without makeup! I even had a clerk at a store ask to call my “daddy” when I used my husbands credit card – I was mortified! Thanks for reading. 🙂

  • Reply
    January 15, 2017 at 4:51 PM

    Thank you so much! That’s a really good question! I bought the dupe blush at Target here in the States but I will look into shipping internationally. 🙂

  • Reply
    January 15, 2017 at 11:51 PM

    This is an amazing list of products. How convenient when someone else does the research and you have just have to pick up on their tips 🙂 Personally, I carry minimum makeup when travelling, mostly just lipstick and eye liner pencil.

    • Reply
      January 22, 2017 at 10:31 AM

      Thank you very much! Smart advice on not carrying too much! I too try to be minimal depending on the type of travel but alas… I still overpack at times! 😉

  • Reply
    January 16, 2017 at 7:52 PM

    Lol, I’m a lot like you! I don’t really wear much makeup, especially when traveling but I also look about 16 years old without it (and 18 with it on haha!) I don’t do foundation but I love a good mascara! The mini naked palette is also a winner!

    • Reply
      January 22, 2017 at 10:43 AM

      Thank you! I find it hard to WANT to apply makeup but I’m learning to live with it. 😉 Glad you and I are in the same boat. The mini naked palette is life changing!

  • Reply
    Chris Walker-Bush
    January 17, 2017 at 3:44 AM

    Sweet Lord! I didn’t realize just how much variety there was and how much work goes into it all.

    While I’m not a makeup wearer (often), I reckon my girlfriend and my sister-in-law might both appreciate this post being travelers who also like to look good. I’ll definitely be sending it their way.

    • Reply
      January 22, 2017 at 10:46 AM

      Hiya Chris! I swear putting on makeup is like painting a piece of fine art and let me tell you, I’m no Rembrandt! 😉 Thanks for sending it on to your gf and sis-in-law! I hope they find it useful/helpful. Cheers!

  • Reply
    January 17, 2017 at 10:02 AM

    Very handy post! Did you find the acne removal cream useful? I used to try one of those and the stubborn acne was still on my face for days… I’m also the type of girl who is too lazy to make up every day but still wants to look good, so I’m currently not using primer and foundation. But from what you’ve reviewed, maybe I should try them once to see how different my face looks / feels 🙂

    • Reply
      January 22, 2017 at 10:50 AM

      Hi there Fiona! I have used a variety of different acne creams and the clean and clear persa gel is my favorite – I even think it’s better than the prescription stuff I’ve tried. I think the key is the ingredient benzoyl peroxide. 🙂

      I’m soooooo lazy when it comes to my makeup but recently I’ve realized that sometimes putting in a little extra time in the morning allows me to spend less time throughout the day worrying about my makeup wearing off! Primer is awesome!

  • Reply
    January 17, 2017 at 2:36 PM

    Wow girl! Pinned this post as it’s definitely going to help me! I’ve seen lots of buzz over the elf brand in the UK so definitely one I’m going to try! 😀

    • Reply
      January 22, 2017 at 10:51 AM

      Thank you Amber! Elf has SERIOUSLY been a game changer for me… Extremely budget friendly and it works! Let me know what you think. 🙂

  • Reply
    January 17, 2017 at 8:33 PM

    That is so much make up to travel with. I love not having to wear makeup when I travel but I do take, eyeshadow, mascara, concealer, blusher and lip gloss with me!!

    • Reply
      January 22, 2017 at 10:53 AM

      You’re right! I don’t usually travel with ALL of this depending on the situation. However – I have many travel sizes of these products that don’t take up a lot of space. Each of these fits in my small makeup bag. 🙂

  • Reply
    Mar Pages
    January 18, 2017 at 3:33 AM

    I’m also not a fan of spending hours putting on make up. Would rather get out and go travel. But these are great, compact options when on the move – especially when you’re going fine-dining at a high-class restaurant!

    • Reply
      January 22, 2017 at 10:55 AM

      SAME HERE! Most days I don’t put on much, but I do love being prepared for the days that I am planning to go out in the evening and/or be in a photo! 😉

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Meg Jerrard
    January 18, 2017 at 8:17 PM

    Thanks for putting this post together! When I travel I’ve previously gone with very minimal makeup, minimal as in one foundation one mascara and one lipgloss minimal! But we’re starting to try and prioritize gorgeous instagram shots so I’m thinking I should expand my collection of on the road beauty products to have a little bit more to play with … so this is a huge help!

    • Reply
      January 22, 2017 at 11:00 AM

      Meg, thank you for reading! At home it’s easy to slap on makeup but I’ve tried to get into it more when I’m traveling – especially being in photographs. I prefer to carry small travel sizes so that I don’t have a ton of extra weight and so they fit easily in a small makeup bag. 🙂

  • Reply
    January 21, 2017 at 9:05 AM

    wow such a cool list! many brands I didnt even know before so next time I see them in some shop during travelling I might try some 🙂 concerning makeup during travelling, I would say it really depends on destination – if I go to some town sightseeing than I feel better with makeup (even though I dont use much) but while some adventure travelling I dont consider it important – less stuff in backpack less effort carrying 😀

    • Reply
      January 22, 2017 at 11:04 AM

      I couldn’t agree with you more Suzie! I typically only wear makeup when I’m strolling around a city, going out at night, etc. But wearing makeup with hiking, camping, or any other outdoor activity? NO WAY! 😉 Thanks for reading.

  • Reply
    January 22, 2017 at 10:28 AM

    Bahahaha! Thank you Christopher. I guess we do try! 😉

  • Reply
    January 22, 2017 at 10:29 AM

    Aveda is the best! I also love their products (if you couldn’t tell)! Thanks Nathan 🙂

  • Reply
    January 22, 2017 at 10:39 AM

    Bronzer has become a favorite of mine as well! Thank you very much 🙂

  • Reply
    January 22, 2017 at 10:41 AM

    Thank you very much for reading anyways! We definitely try. 😉

  • Reply
    January 22, 2017 at 10:57 AM

    Hi Loudy! This body lotion is great but I’m not horribly picky about my lotions. My main requirement is that it isn’t greasy but also moisturizes. I usually go through a few different ones a year and they’re all about the same! Recently I’ve been a fan of the Jergens I listed and Gold Bond 🙂

  • Reply
    January 22, 2017 at 12:34 PM

    I am a big fan of Urban Decay’s palettes, I had On the Run for our big 18 month travel trip. I am all about the factor 50 face moisturiser too. Great post!

    • Reply
      February 26, 2017 at 7:10 PM

      Love all the cool colors on those palettes! I always try to mix it up but often go back to the same ones. 🙂

  • Reply
    January 23, 2017 at 11:50 AM

    Great tips! A girl never has too much makeup items, nevertheless looks like too much stuff to take while traveling. Over the years I’ve learn (the hard way!) to travel lighter.

    • Reply
      February 26, 2017 at 7:14 PM

      I would never take these in full sizes! It would be ridiculous. Granted I also pick and choose what items can stay behind depending on the type of traveling I’m doing. Camping and hiking? No way! 😉

  • Reply
    February 26, 2017 at 7:13 PM

    It can be at times! Thank goodness for travel sizes. Thanks for sharing it with her. 🙂

  • Reply
    February 26, 2017 at 7:16 PM

    You are spot on! While in Jamaica I hardly put anything on unless going to a fancy dinner. I can’t imagine having to wear it daily in a tropical area!

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