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How To Pack Your Makeup For Travel: 4 Expert Tips

June 24, 2020 4 min read

Travelling Girl Mini Travel Size Makeup

When it comes to packing for a trip, it can be really easy to get carried away and overpack your suitcase. This is especially true when packing your makeup - sometimes it feels like I need all the makeup I own...for a weekend getaway.

Your cosmetics and skincare actually take up a lot of unnecessary space because of bulky packaging (20% of the space in your bag, to be exact). That space could be used for shoes, accessories, extra outfits, and more. 

At Subtl Beauty, we are no strangers to frequent traveling, and along the way we have picked up some of the best makeup packing tips for traveling with a carry-on - here are a few of our favorites!

Only Pack One Brush

Yep, you read that correctly. Makeup brushes take up SO MUCH space in your travel makeup bag. You don’t need to pack a different brush for each step of your routine, you just need to find a good compact brush that can be used with multiple products.

Our recommendation: keep the Stack Brush BFF in your bag.  Why? 

  • The Stack Brush BFF is specially designed for travel!
  • It has an adjustable slider so it can be used for everything from bronzer to setting powder.
  • You can even use it for eyeshadow application!

Bonus: The Stack Brush BFF comes with a lid, so you can throw it in your travel (or work!) bag without worrying about it collecting nasty bacteria!

Related: Get Ready for Happy Hour

Invest In Multi-Use Makeup Products

Did you know the average woman uses 16 beauty products in her morning routine alone? Cut down on both effort and time in your morning by adding some multi-use makeup products to your routine.  

Our recommendation: try using your favorite bronzer and highlighter as eyeshadow. Why?

  • Using a bronzer in your crease helps add depth and warmth to your eye look
  • Adding highlighter to your inner corner, the center of your lid, and brow bone can brighten up your face and help make you look more awake, in spite of the jetlag

We’ve put together a whole tutorial for you to see this makeup hack in action!

We also recommend: leave your powder blush and lipsticks at home and pack a cream lip and cheek product instead! Why?

  • Cream blush tends to give a more natural-looking flush
  • Using the same color for your blush and your lip color can make your look more cohesive, plus it’s travel-friendly
  • Our Lip Cheek product is formulated with hydrating ingredients like Jojoba Oil and Shea butter, so it helps with the post-airplane dry skin

Not sure how to apply your new Lip Cheek? We show you two techniques in this video:

Related: 11 Makeup Tips Everyone Should Know

Use Travel-Sized Makeup

There are so many reasons to love travel size beauty products. In addition to the cheaper price tag, buying a “mini” size gives you a chance to test new products without committing to the size and price of the full-sized version. Plus, a more compact product makes traveling with it much easier. In fact, that was part of the reason Subtl Beauty was founded!

Our recommendation: pick up a Subtl Starter Stack. Why?

  • The Stack is great not only for travel, but also for keeping handy in your work bag, gym bag, or purse!
  • You get all of your essential beauty basics in a travel-friendly container
  • There are 3.5 grams of product in each layer, so you’re getting full-size 

We also recommend: swap out your full-sized mascara for it’s a smaller counterpart!

  • Travel-size mascara is the perfect space-saving addition to your travel beauty bag
  • With an expiry date of just 3 months, most people won’t go through a whole tube of mascara before it’s time to ditch itIt’s much more cost-effective to pick up a travel size of your favorite instead!

Bonus Tip: Try filling up a trial size foundation tube instead of bringing the whole bottle!

Travel Size Mini Concealer Mini BlushRelated: 11 Essentials For Your Post-Quarantine Workbag

Try a Makeup Kit

Part of the struggle of packing your makeup for travel is trying to fit large palettes and products into a tiny little makeup bag. 

We recommend: save your precious carry-on space for the essentials by swapping your travel makeup bag for a single makeup kit.

  • Look for sets you can customize, so you don’t risk purchasing products and shades that don’t work for you. 

  • Try a travel-sized kit with full-sized products that can be used for both travel and everyday use

The Subtl Beauty Makeup stack is our go-to makeup kit for carry-on travel. It has all of the full-size makeup basics you need for an everyday look, yet it's small enough to fit pretty much anywhere - including your carry-on. Plus, it’s completely customizable, which allows you to build your stack with whatever products and shades you use the most.

If you’re wondering how to figure out what your concealer shade is when you can’t test out products in-store, here are some awesome resources to make sure you get your perfect match!

Mini Concealer Travel Size Concealer MakeupRelated: How To Cream Contour and Highlight

After many years of traveling and overpacking our makeup bags, these tips have helped us downsize our luggage and save space - and money - while packing.  We hope that sharing them will do the same for you! If we’ve missed any crucial packing tips, make sure to let us know over on our Instagram or Facebook page.  

Happy Packing!


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