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Best Travel Makeup Kit: Complete Guide to Beauty On-the-Go

Best Travel Makeup Kit: Complete Guide to Beauty On-the-Go

Long-awaited holidays, last-minute trips out of the city, or even daily commutes 

On the go makeup means one thing — being able to do your makeup when you need to haul ass. This can mean doing your makeup while you’re on the bus riding to work, in the back of your Uber (without making a mess in the driver's vehicle,) taking the train, or just trying to be quick and effective at home. The right travel kits keep things easy, can be applied anywhere, and are long lasting. 

No matter if you do your makeup standing in front of the mirror, sitting in bed while drinking your coffee, or literally on the way somewhere, you don’t want it to be a major mess or hassle. That’s why our focus at Subtl Beauty is keeping makeup routines simple and accessible, especially at the most inconvenient of times. 

Read on to learn more about the best travel makeup kit on the market to make your on-the-go routine something you can truly master when you may be short on time (or energy.)

Keep It Mobile

Some makeup requires a perfectly still and stationary spot for application and touch-ups. Eyeliner, mascara, lip liner, and super graphic shadow looks need precision, attention, and time. If your bus hits a pothole or your Uber driver has to slam on the brakes suddenly, it’s game over for a lot of looks.

While it’s not easy to use a lot of cosmetics in certain places, it’s also not exactly practical to try to spread foundation on the train, draw on contour on a crowded subway car, or to line your lips in a cab. However, our Makeup Stacks are super easy to use in all of these places.

Flawless Application

Before using your travel makeup kit, always sanitize your hands. This prevents any germs or anything else you may have touched throughout your morning from getting in your pores or under your skin during application. 

The first step for flawless makeup application is a concealer (when traveling, cream concealers can be easier to spread and use than liquid.) Dab your concealer over blemishes, red spots, and under your eyes. 

When you’re done, set your look in place with a translucent powder, like our shine control pressed powder, that will prevent shine and keep your face looking fresh trhoughout the day. Next, go in with some Lip and Cheek to brighten your face and add color to your lips. 

You can stop here if you want to keep your look basic. Just add a touch of mascara and you’re done. However, if you want to add a little more color, you can sweep some bronzer over your temple, cheeks, and nose (places where the sun usually shines) for a sun-kissed appearance. 

You can also add a touch of highlighter to brighten up your face and give it a soft, youthful shimmer. This often plays nicely with a delicate layer of blush. You can apply highlighter to your cheeks, jawline, cupid’s bow, under your eye, in the corner of your eye, and in the center of your chin. You can achieve different looks depending on where you place your highlighter and how heavily you apply it.

Make It Last

What is the point of having an easy makeup routine if you have to reapply it and fix it up every few hours? If you invest in a few smart products and start with a good base, you could be saving yourself time, money, and effort now and in the long run.

When we were growing up, our mothers consistently told us to wash our faces whenever we got home and before we got ready in the morning. While this may have seemed annoying at the time, it was a valuable habit to learn. Washing your face can have a number of benefits, the least of which is helping you maintain clean and clear skin and preventing breakouts. This can give you a smoother canvas when applying your makeup.

A good skincare routine doesn’t need to be extensive, but if you don’t want to worry about needing to glob on a heavy base layer every time you leave the house. Make sure you carve out a few minutes every morning and evening to clean your face and remove any makeup.

A Solid Foundation

Aside from having an established washing and removal routine, your first and last steps can really make or break the way your face turns out that day. A good primer can offer your skin extra moisturization, protect it from the sun and other elements, assist you in your fight against acne, and most importantly, make sure your makeup sticks all day long. A good setting spray is the perfect finishing layer to help lock everything in and make sure it doesn’t move. If you have really dry skin, a dewy setting spray will keep your skin hydrated instead of making you look overly powdered.

As for touch-ups throughout the day, a quick sweep of translucent powder should really all that you will need to make sure you look your best. When you apply layer upon layer of other face powder, in addition to whatever other other products you decide to add on, you run a high risk of suffering from cake face — something we all want to avoid.

Gorgeous Eyes in a Flash

Our best-selling Eyeshadow Duos are available in buttery smooth color combinations, making them ideal for applying in a hurry. They provide both a neutral and color-matched option for light, medium, and deeper skin tones. You can apply the colors lightly for a morning look and make them heavier in the evening to take your look from desk to dinner.

Applying Eyeshadow On-the-Go

With a clean finger, pick up some of the matte pigment in your Eyeshadow Duo and pat it on your eyelid and up into the crease. Taking the pad of your pinky finger, pick up some of the shimmering shade and pop it right onto your eyelid for a glamorous, yet natural extra touch. Another great way to add a touch of glam is applying a little bit of highlighter to your inner corner and brow bone.

These great color combinations are also easily applied with one or two makeup brushes. Our Dual-End Eyeshadow Brush is equipped with a sturdier side, great for packing on color, and a fluffier angled brush, great for sleeping all-over color onto your lid.

Tools of the Trade

If you have multiple eyeshadows on your Stack and want to switch between color collections, consider adding a Dry Brush Cleaner to your Stack. This ingenious twist-off component is a quick, waterless way to remove excess pigment from your brush with a few quick sweeps. Made up of a dry sponge-like material, it will pick up extra pigment from your brush, giving you a super simple way to clean your brushes when you’re in a pinch.

A compact mirror is an often overlooked essential for those of us on the go. Like the rest of our essentials, our Travel Makeup Mirror covers your bases and provides what you need, when you need it. Along with a standard mirror, we also included a side with a magnified mirror, for more precision application.

Put Your Makeup To Work for You 

Multi-use products are some of the best ways to lessen the number of things you need on your vanity and cut down on time spent. Our cream concealer is one perfect example of this. More spreadable and less messy than other concealers you may find on the market, it can easily be applied to your whole face as a lighter foundation or concentrated more on imperfections you might want to cover up.

Lip and Cheek puts one of the oldest makeup hacks in the book to work, but with much better ingredients. Using lipstick as blush has long been an easy way to bring color to your face. Our creamy formula is buildable, spreadable, and infused with jojoba seed oil, one of the most hydrating ingredients available. 

Don’t Sacrifice Feeling and Looking Your Best

Just because you’re pressed for time doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice looking and feeling awesome. Our Makeup Stacks offer an infinite number of customization options for those who want to do a full face on the train or those who only have a minute or two for a quick touchup before dashing out of the office. 

Not sure where to start? Consider one of our premade Stacks consisting of our best-selling essentials, or try taking our quiz to see what special additions are right for you.



To Those Who Do Their Makeup On The Train, I Say Bravo | HuffPost UK Life

Skin Cleansing 101: Why Washing Your Face is Important | Westlake Dermatology

How To Wear Lipstick As Blush Hannah Murray | British Vogue

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