The Best Beauty Products for Travel
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, living in the Florida humidity, AND running around as an elementary teacher… I trust them!
TRAVEL SIZE TOILETRIES: MAKEUP ESSENTIALS
MAKE-UP PREP ESSENTIALS
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 grip your make-up after putting it on.
The e.l.f Power Grip Primer is currently my favorite primer!
This is one thing I never used until a few years ago. I always just slapped on some powder and called it a day. However, I use foundation when I want more coverage.
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 Conceal & Define Foundation and Tarte Face Tape Foundation have both proven themselves for all-day wear.
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!
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. My only complaint is that it doesn’t come in as many shades as I would like to see.
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. However, I’m also the type to take a small drugstore non-shimmer bronzer to use as a contour option if I want to save space.
The Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit is my personal favorite for day-to-day use. I do take this traveling but it can be a bit bulkier at times. If you want something more compact I suggest the Ilia Nightlife Powder Bronzer.
If I could only pick three make-up items to bring on a trip, one would be blush! It’s one of my favorite staples! I personally like using either liquid or powder blushes so I’ve included both options. Liquid blush is best used before any setting powder and is heavily pigmented so you only need the TINIEST amount and I mean tiny! I learned this the hard way. I like to use powder blush after I’ve added some powder but before setting spray.
EYE MAKE-UP ESSENTIALS
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. I’m probably aging myself as a Millenial here but I still use Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion.
Eyeshadow is something I tend to change up daily depending on my mood or outfit but when traveling I tend to stick to neutral colors and only bring a few small individual eyeshadows or a small palette. Some of my favorite shadows are from MAC or Colourpop.
This is one of the travel-size toiletries where I’m usually going with whatever small sample came with another larger purchase so I’m always trying new mascaras. However, below are a few of my favorites that I’ve tried.
I would say the only difference between some of the drugstore mascaras and the higher-end mascaras is how long they last. I feel like a lot of drugstore mascaras I buy can also have some “flakiness” to them as well.
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.
I have virtually no eyebrows without an eyebrow pencil, partially due to a bad brow wax (my first and last) and years of overplucking… I blame Teen Magazine. My favorite is the NYX Eyebrow Pencil which comes in a variety of shades and lasts a long time since it can be sharpened. But I also like Benefit’s Brow Pencil for more precision. I recommend both of these because they’re easy to apply and stay on all day. I never worry about smudging.
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.
This setting powder takes away shine,
Makeup Setting Spray
THIS STUFF IS A DREAM. I have used it on all different trips 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. Then finish off with your setting powder. I use the Urban Decay All-Nighter setting spray because it works well for me!
TRAVEL SIZE TOILETRIES: HAIR ESSENTIALS
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
When I’m traveling in the U.S. I try to bring my own reusable silicone bottles and fill them up with my regular-size shampoo and conditioner at home because most hotels only have travel-size toiletries that are single-use plastic. Here are some additional eco-friendly travel essentials and some gluten-free shampoos to choose from.
My current favorite shampoo and conditioner.
I actually don’t wash my hair that often. Usually, every 5-7
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 but when I’m traveling I usually only bring a root-boosting spray and hairspray. I prefer a light to medium hold hairspray that I can brush out easily because heavier hold hairsprays tend to be too sticky for me.
TRAVEL SIZE TOILETRIES: SKIN ESSENTIALS
I love to use makeup-removing balms at home and recently found out that my favorite one by Farmacy has a travel size! If I use a make-up removing balm I usually bring cotton pads or a small towel to remove my make-up so I don’t ruin hotel towels. I have also used makeup-removing wipes before which are convenient for travel!
I don’t typically buy travel-size face wash because when I switch things up too often I tend to have breakouts so I am picky about what products I use on my face. Instead, I get travel-size bottles that are refillable that I can put my favorite cleansers in such as La Roche Posay’s Effaclar Cleanser.
Even on humid days wearing a moisturizer is important for hydrating and protecting your skin. I usually apply a moisturizer in the evening and in the mornings use an SPF moisturizer.
Here are two of my current favorites for moisturizers.
I take sunscreen pretty seriously so one thing I always recommend is wearing SPF daily and reapplying frequently, especially while traveling. Below you’ll find a number of my favorite sunscreens for the face and body.
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. SheaMoisture has been my favorite for over a year now and they do have a small travel size of a few different scents.
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?