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Makeup Organizer for Travel: Everything You Need To Look Great Everywhere You Go


It’s funny how you can spend weeks (and sometimes months) planning, preparing, shopping, and packing for a vacation, only for all that organization to go out the window when you arrive at your destination. 

Picture it: clothing laid out across the hotel room, skin care products littering the bathroom countertop, and makeup bags seemingly turned inside out on vanities. It sounds like a nightmare to us, but it’s often the reality while traveling. 

Luckily, there’s a solution, and it’s not a set of acrylic makeup organizers to hold all the chaotic beauty supplies. Our Subtl Beauty Makeup Stack is the secret to becoming the best makeup organizer of them all.

How Do You Pack Makeup Based on Your Destination?

The first factors to consider when it comes to makeup storage for a trip are: 

  • Where are you going?

  • When are you going?

  • How long will you be gone?

  • Why are you going?

All of these are considerations that will affect what you put in your makeup case.

Your cosmetic bag for a short weekend out of town to attend a football game will look different than the makeup collection of someone who’s jetting off to a tropical island for a week, sightseeing in the nation's capital, or taking a month-long journey to Europe or the Amazon. 

When you stop to think about where you’re going and what you’ll be doing, you can save a lot of space in your suitcase. Stopping and assessing keeps you from bringing unnecessary items — and overstuffing your makeup bag. 

Just because something is in your everyday routine back home doesn't mean you'll use it on the road or while abroad. If you don’t need it, leave it in the extra-large drawers of your cosmetic organizer back at home to declutter your suitcase and save yourself some storage space.

Consider what activities you’ll do, the weather forecast, and other environmental factors like humidity, as well as what kinds of bags you’ll bring. Also, remember that many museums and historical sites will only allow small handbags of a particular size. You can create a much simpler packing list with all these considerations in mind.

What Makeup Do You Really Need To Bring on a Trip?

Unfortunately, several of the most popular travel-size items aren't really feasible for actual travel. They’re hard to even fit in that giant 360-degree rotating makeup organizer you have at home.

What’s the point of having a travel-sized eye cream if the packaging takes up more room in your travel caddy than the cream itself? Furthermore, these short-lived products often aren’t kind to the environment. Ask any makeup artist, and they’ll tell you to pass on these tiny products for something more sustainable.

A Subtl Beauty Makeup Stack is an excellent alternative to grabbing items from your beauty organizer at random. Our simple stackable packaging puts product first, ensuring you get your money’s worth without needing to fill up an entire cosmetic storage box to look good. Best of all, every item includes enough product for at least 60 applications. 

Consider us the poster child for the phrase “small but mighty.”

Travel Organization Made Simple

With a game plan in mind, it’s time to pack up. Break your list down into sections and pack accordingly. Try packing three smaller, separate beauty pouches containing the essentials from your makeup collection and general beauty supplies. This way, once you get into your hotel, the steps of your routine will all be easily organized within their specific storage organizers.

Lay out all of the following on a bed or tabletop and group them into small clear plastic organizer boxes or pouches. Look for something around the same size as a portable jewelry organizer — simple and compact.

  • The first can hold non-liquid cosmetic makeup (more on that in a second), makeup brushes, and other tools you may use.

  • Hair brushes, elastics, bobby pins, clips, and other similar items can go in the second.

  • The third can fit the rest of your toiletries and other hygienic items like deodorant, razors, cotton swabs, or tweezers. 

Three Small Cases Are Better Than a Big One

Trust us on this one — avoid throwing everything into one huge cosmetics case. 

A messy toiletry bag full of lip gloss, eyeliner, and countless other makeup products will only make it harder for you to find what you need when you’re at your hotel trying to get ready. The frantic search for the right item leads to chaos on the bathroom counter, especially if you’re sharing your hotel room with other people.

If picking up multiple cases isn't feasible, consider a makeup bag with internal dividers instead. 

What Are the Rules of Travel Makeup?

Any liquids you carry onboard must follow the TSA’s 3-1-1 rule if you're traveling by air. This means:

  • All liquids must be 3.4 ounces or less.

  • All liquids must all fit inside of a singular transparent quart-sized bag.

  • You’re only allowed one bag per passenger. 

Sticking to these rules can be challenging, especially if your daily routine includes a lot of serums, creams, and other liquid-based products. However, you won’t need to find as many storage solutions if you keep your routine TSA-friendly.

If you find yourself strapped for space, go through your liquids and see if there is anything you can carry in solid form — or leave it at home in your vanity organizer. Trade in bulky cans of spray-on dry shampoo for sprinkle-on powder. Bring a bar of soap instead of liquid shower gel. Substitute liquid glosses for solid lip balms. 

The best travel makeup tip? Throw out your old routine and opt for a smart and compact Makeup Stack. None of our products are liquids, so they help you avoid the 3-1-1 dilemma entirely. Not to mention, our sleek and minimalistic design saves space in your bag. 

How Do You Simplify Your Travel Makeup Routine?

Maybe the limit on liquids isn't an issue for you. 

Maybe you’re checking a bag, or perhaps you’re traveling by car. Regardless, this is a time to leave bulky, unnecessary products at home. Large, elaborately designed face and eye palettes and brush organizers look lovely sitting on your vanity — but they take up space in your bag and hotel room. 

Color Coordinate

A simple way to slim down your packing list is to color coordinate for the whole trip. 

Pick one color shade (maybe rose gold or taupe) and coordinate your cosmetics, accessories, nail polish, and wardrobe around this color. This makes packing easier, allows you to create a capsule wardrobe of sorts, and also looks sweet on your Instagram feed. 

Are you headed to Miami? Make it a neon-themed trip and mix and match brights. Are you hitting the Big Apple during the winter? Monochromatic black looks are always in. Maybe this is your “Pretty in Pink” phase. If so, pack your most feminine statement accessories to pair with black and white basics — and arrange your makeup to match. 

Go Minimalist

Luckily, one of the biggest trends across fashion, accessories, and makeup right now is simplicity and comfort. The focus of most modern beauty trends is to have easy access to your essentials.

Apply the concept to your makeup routine and slim down your travel regimen. Look for purposeful essentials you can use across multiple steps of your daily routine (hello, have you heard of our Lip and Cheek?). Focus on smart, streamlined packaging that won't take up unnecessary space. 

Use an All-in-One Makeup Stack

Our revolutionary Makeup Stack features a convenient, portable, all-in-one design, so you have everything you need to look fabulous — no matter how far you may be from home. 

Our top-selling Starter Stack consists of five of our most essential, high-quality formulas: Cream Concealer, Shine Control Powder, Lip and Cheek, and Highlighter. You choose your concealer shade, and we’ll put the rest together.

How Do You Apply Makeup While Traveling?

Here’s how you use Subtl beauty products to look your best while traveling.

  • Start off with the Cream Concealer, dabbing it over whatever imperfections you need to cover.

  • Next, apply Lip and Cheek, designed to give a corresponding pop of color to the face and pout. Dab the pigment on the cheeks, using two or three fingers to blend and melt it onto the skin. 
  • Use that same brush to apply Bronzer to the high points of your face and contour along your jawline. Apply within the hollows of your cheeks for a natural yet defined look.

  • Follow up with a dab of Lip and Cheek on your pout.

  • Finish up with a touch of Highlighter on the high points of your face. You can apply a highlighter with a fluffy brush or your fingertips. 

Together, this is everything you need to put together a fresh face on-the-go, and the cherry on top? Every Subtl Beauty purchase includes a Stack Brush BFF, a portable fluffy brush for on-the-go application and touch-ups. 

An Extra Simple Travel Makeup Kit

Craving something even easier? Tones by Subtl Beauty are simple trios consisting of Cream Concealer, Bronzer, and Lip and Cheek. No matter what your plans entail, this kit will keep you looking your best at all hours of the day. Plus, instead of a clunky clear acrylic makeup organizer, you get an ultra-portable stack.

Each of Subtl Beauty’s components can be selected individually, allowing you to build your own stack. 

Build Your Own Travel Makeup Set

Do you want to level up your makeup just a bit without adding all that extra bulk? We’ve got you covered — and everything still comes in that sleek, minimalist packaging that’s easy to take on the road. 

Our Powder Blush is a fantastic way to not only set Lip and Cheek but to further enhance your glow as well. 

Our best-selling Eyeshadow Duos all include a silky matte shade with a complimentary shimmer counterpart, all of which are designed to pair well with any skin tone. They’ll also save you the trouble of carrying around a full-sized eyeshadow palette. 

Lastly, our Lip Balm guarantees the highest levels of hydration, round-the-clock moisture, and a touch of shine.

Less Is More

The “less is more” rule does not only apply to makeup application — it applies to your travel bag, too. 

With fewer components to account for, your hotel bathroom routine will be shorter, easier, and infinitely less chaotic. 

Consider one of Subtl Beauty’s pre-selected Makeup Stacks for the ultimate grab-and-go packing hack. With literally hundreds of ways to customize a Stack, you’re guaranteed to look stunning.

FAQ: can you bring a razor in carry on?

Here's the answer right from the TSA: There’s confusion out there as to what we—the TSA—accept with regards to Razors and your carry-on baggage. 

  • Safety Razors: Because the razor blades are easy to remove, safety razors are not permitted in your carry-on luggage. They’re fine to pack in your carry-on without the blade, though. The blades must be stored in your checked luggage. The same applies for straight razors.
  • Disposable Razors: Disposable razors come in two types. The kind that is completely disposable (handle and all), or the kind where you replace them with cartridges. These are permissible in carry-on luggage with the blade and replacement cartridges.
  • Electric Razors: Electric razors are permitted in both checked and carry-on bags.     



Bar Soap vs. Liquid: Which Is Better for the Environment? | The Irish Times

What Is the 3-1-1 Liquids Rule? | Transportation Security Administration

What Is Minimalist Design? | The Spruce

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