Traveler’s guide to overpacking: Makeup

If you’re like me you never know what to pack for a trip and therefore likely over pack. I don’t know why I think that being on a trip is going to magically change me into a person that gets up earlier to put makeup or wear elaborate outfits that have sat in my closet for months, but for some reason when I got to pack I keep repeating the same line: “But maybe I’ll need it.” Spoiler alert; I won’t! To help with this near constant dilemma I created a little “cheat sheet” to help eliminate unnecessary bulk and at least a “base” to start with for each trip.

I thought I would start this series off with the one thing I ALWAYS overpack on…makeup.

Or really beauty products in general. I never seem to know what I am going to use! For me, I think the issue lies in that I don’t get to wear makeup much at home so I always think when I go out I will want to wear it! I never know what I’m going to be in the mood for so I just pack everything, you know, “just incase.” Hopefully, I can provide an easy to use guide to get you started on minimizing your packing experience and maximizing your travel experiences!

There are different section for different types of trips/locations so you’ll have some diversity. Keep in mind I am a pretty minimal makeup wearer and your perfect look might be more or less extensive than mine.

Summer/Hot weather trips!

Examples: Beach/amusement parks/cruises/outdoors

The first thing to keep in mind when packing for any trip is your itinerary. Is this the kind of trip you’re going to be spending on lots of outdoor excursions? Spending time on the beach, in the ocean or jungle, or will you be exploring cities and shopping? Maybe a mix of both? Knowing you’re plans is the best way to ensure you don’t over pack.

For days you’re going to be outside, whether it’s on a hike through the mountains or a ride on a roller coaster there are two things to remember; one, you are going to sweat if you’re sweating you’re smudging so keep that in mind and choose your makeup choices accordingly. And number two, you’ll be in the sun which means you need to protect your skin! Choose makeup such as BB cream or chapstick that has SPF (at least 30 is best!)

For outdoor days:

Waterproof mascara
Multipurpose eyeshadow pallet in neutral colors
BH cosmetics eyeshadow pallet doubles as bronzer and highlighter making it the perfect addition to a traveler's makeup bag.

Something like this, that has eyeshadow, bronzer, and highlighter all in one place is the BEST for traveling and saving space. The neutral colors are great for playing with and getting a more “natural” look that is typically desirable in both outdoor and hot conditions. Just make sure you’ve tried the pallet out ahead of time to ensure the bronzer/highlighter shades will match your skin tone. No one wants to look orange on the beach!! (PS this is my go to pallet by BH cosmetics in the picture, the link is to the closest thing on their website I could find since the pallet has been discontinued)

Concealer tinted Moisturizer or BB cream (with SPF)

Tarte’s BB Tinted Treatment Primer (SPF 30!) Is my go-to in the summer if I’m looking for more full coverage, for days I’m feeling a bit less or can get away with not needing the sun protection I opt for NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer.

NYX high definition finishing powder in banana yellow, used to set any face of makeup while on the go

My all time favorite powder that I use for almost every occasion is NYX High Definition Finishing Powder in the shade Banana Yellow.

Chapstick (tinted or non but definitely SPF)

Your lips can take so much “wear and tear” in the summer from being sunburnt to becoming dry in the heat. Take care of them with chapstick that has SPF. You can either get a tinted version or lay a light lip liner under it to add some color. My two go-to’s for chapstick are always Burt’s Bees Coconut & Pear or Sun Bum in Banana!

In addition to this “base” I would add the following for days in the city or nights on the town if I know we are planning on going out or I need to look nicer.

Darker color eyeshadow pallet

Liquid liner

Darker/nude liquid lip

Too Faced Melted Matte Lipsticks, a perfect go-to for a traveling and long wear makeup kit.

BY FAR, my favorite liquid lipstick is Too-Faced Melted Matte Liquid Lipstick in Cool Girl. If I am wearing a nude liquid lip, it is almost always this shade.

Brow pomade

Travel Blogger showing off her perfect eyebrows from using NYX Brow Pomade while traveling

If you know me, you know I hardly go anywhere without filling in my brows, NYX Brow Pomade is my GO. TO. I literally have one in my bag and in my bathroom since I never know when I’m gonna need it. Brows frame the face, if they look good nothing else matters! Also please enjoy this highly washed out picture where my brows are looking BOMB on my way to work. 🙂

lashes/glue (if I’m feeling fun which I usually am! haha)

Again this is just the base I usually start with and, honestly, I rarely use any more even if I bring it. Of course you are welcome to bring more or less than what I suggested, but when you’re packing I challenge you to do these two things…

  1. Critically think every day through, what activities will you be participating in? How much time to get ready will you have? Would you rather have time experiencing traveling or spend more time getting ready? Try to envision yourself using what you’re putting into your bag.
  2. Once you arrive, challenge yourself to use every single thing you brought with you. Once you have used an item put it somewhere separate from the rest of your bag and when you’re leaving take inventory of everything you didn’t use and remember that when packing for next time!

Well that’s all for this week folks! Hope these tips helped you while packing and I think at 23 it’s time to practice what I preach and start working on MY overpacking. Its a journey we can take together!

Until the next adventure,


“Everywhere you go the culture is different, but the people are the same.”