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Makeup Travel Kit: Guide to Everything You Need To Travel in Style

Makeup Travel Kit: Guide to Everything You Need To Travel in Style

When it comes to traveling, creating your own makeup travel kit to take with you can be difficult. How do you fit everything you need, plus your clothes, shoes, and other essentials, into your small luggage? If you've been struggling with what to bring and how to take it along with you, have no fear — our team at Subtl Beauty is here to help.

We'll tell you everything you need to know so you can be confident, fierce, and in style when you travel. Let's dive in for a closer look.

A Little Organization Goes a Long Way With Makeup

Have you seen those TikToks and Instagram reels where long-term travelers somehow fit a year's worth of clothing into a carry-on suitcase and backpack? How is it possible? After several attempts to do the same, we can say that we haven't exactly experienced the same results as those TikTokers. 

But guess what? If you compare the videos, you'll notice they all have a common organization theme. Nearly all of them incorporate packing cubes into their travel prep routines — yes, even for their makeup. 

The main idea is to avoid throwing everything randomly into a suitcase, creating a messy situation. Utilizing packing cubes and individual toiletry bags inside of your suitcase is a super simple way to solve this problem. 

When it comes to your toiletries and makeup specifically, consider using various smaller cosmetic bags for makeup brushes, hair tools, shower products, and other similar products.

If you can pack an organized bag and squeeze everything in there tightly, you're sure to be looking good in more than one way. Bulky, heavy bags are tough to lug around, and the sweat, strain, and stress will show on your face — not the best travel look. 

Try to organize everything, starting with your makeup, and you’re sure to have an easier travel experience.

Make Sure Your Items Are Accessible During Travel

Not needing to unzip the dreaded secondary expander on your bag can make a massive difference. Your bag will be easier to stow in overhead bins, and you're much less likely to be pulled out of the boarding line by a flight attendant to have your bag weighed and measured. 

It's also so much easier to pull out your wallet, electronics, makeup (for on-the-go touch-ups, of course), or anything else you might need along the way if your baggage isn't stuffed to the brim. You'll be able to find what you need much faster and won't have to play Tetris with your belongings every time you need to grab something or get ready in the morning. 

Packing with smart, streamlined products like our Makeup Stacks, your entire makeup routine (or almost all of it) can fit seamlessly into your bag within seconds. Want to touch up during a layover or before you leave your hotel? Grab your Makeup Stack, apply, and toss it back in. 

Pack With Your End Location in Mind

Before you start haphazardly throwing items into a makeup bag, make a list based on what adventures you’re planning. This will help you keep track of any special things you may want to bring along while preventing you from bringing unnecessary items.

For example, if you're spending New Year's Eve in Florida but live in Minnesota, you might want to leave heavy-duty creams at home and instead pack a more lightweight and humidity-friendly makeup routine. 

On the other hand, if you live in sunny Southern California and are going skiing in Colorado, you may need more moisturizing products to combat harsh winter temperatures and winds. 

A few notes about the weather and climate and a general idea of what you're doing during your trip can help you build a sort of capsule wardrobe for both your clothing and your beauty routine. This means leaving superfluous items at home and not lugging a 300-pound suitcase all over the place — AKA the ideal place to start with organization. 

Create a Capsule Makeup Wardrobe

A capsule wardrobe centers around creating an aesthetic for your trip and packing an assortment of mix-and-match pieces that interchange easily. This allows you to have multiple outfit combinations at your disposal without packing half your closet. 

Apply this thinking to your makeup routine as well. You don't need a dozen different lip colors and eye shadows for a different makeup look every day of your trip. Think of a handful of versatile products that can give a few different looks: a basic daytime look, a glam night out look, and a chill evening look, and include those products in your makeup travel kit.

Products like our Eyeshadow Duos and Lip and Cheek are buildable, so you can layer more eyeshadow or blush for a bolder, more vibrant look or use less for a softer, more subtle look.

Your Makeup Travel Kit Essentials

Whenever or wherever you’re traveling, you'll want to make sure you have all your makeup travel essentials. While this includes some of the basics, like a foundation, blush, mascara, eyeshadow, and lip color, there are some travel-specific items you’ll want to have.

First, while traveling is fantastic, it can mess with your body in terms of sleep, hydration, and nutrition. When these aspects of our lives change, those changes manifest physically in our skin and on our faces — we’re talking about those dark circles, puffy or baggy eyes, tired lines, and unexpected breakouts.

You’ll want to pack items that can help you handle these situations, so you feel confident when meeting new people and taking photos to share on Instagram.

Unexpected breakouts can happen for many reasons, from stress to the difference in hair quality. To help with that, you can bring a mist to keep your skin hydrated and add a layer of protection for your skin. You can also bring a mask or mask sheet to apply after you land and help your skin bounce back after traveling.

For puffy or baggy eyes, under-eye mini gel masks or cooling creams can work wonders. They can effectively reduce the signs of traveling under your eyes in just a few minutes. 

When it comes to dark circles, sleep is the healthiest option, though not always the most readily available solution. If you don’t have time for a nap, it can be effective to use our Creamy Concealer to create a flawless appearance.

Lastly, for those tired fine lines, a good primer can help disguise them. A primer can act like an eraser to make those lines disappear — just be sure to apply it gently under your eyes.

Consider Smaller, Travel-Sized Versions

Most other travel-sized products on the market are smaller than their full-size counterparts, making them technically TSA-compliant. However, their packaging is not always well-thought-out and can often be bulky or oddly shaped, which pretty much negates the purpose of travel-sized products in the first place. 

Other times, you'll find travel "kits" put out by different retailers to help you make packing easier. However, these travel kits usually don't have your specific travel plans in mind when it comes to the products included. 

Often, stores hope to hook you on a smaller-sized product in an effort to convince you to buy the larger (and more expensive) version or even multiples. Many of these sample sizes are just not large enough for trips lasting more than two or three days. What happens when you fall in love with a miniature-sized product and run out when you’re in a pinch? 

You'll either have to spend money on the full-sized product, find another possible alternative, or get another small-size product again. All that to say — travel-sized makeup kits may seem helpful, but they often don’t hold up in practice. 

The Science Behind Travel-Sized Alternatives

At Subtl Beauty, we’re not trying to charge more for purchasing an efficient alternative. While our products are extremely convenient for traveling, these mighty minis pack a deceptively large punch when it comes to product amount. 

Each product can last for 60+ applications, so you’re not going to run out on your week-long trip to Cancun. Lip and Cheek can actually even last up to 80 applications, so get ready for flushed cheeks all vacation long. 

We created one travel-sized option you could also easily incorporate into a daily routine for weeks on end. It may seem like a daunting task at first glance, but slimming down your cosmetic bag in the name of organization is easy, so long as you have the right products in your arsenal. 

Multi-Use Everything 

Imagine what your bag would look like if you packed different shoes, purses, sunglasses, and jewelry for each event during a long weekend out of town, including an outfit change between the daytime and the evening. Doesn't seem so efficient, does it? 

Unless you've got J.Lo's entourage helping you out (and her type of budget to check all those extra bags), it's really in your best interest to bring along items you can use multiple times — both in terms of clothes and makeup.

We aren't suggesting you re-wear socks or underwear, but we're suggesting you consider bringing pieces you could incorporate into multiple looks. Jeans, camis, and simple metallic earrings are timeless, flexible examples that will blend in with any local dress code. 

The same principles can be applied to your toiletry bag. There isn't any sense in bringing multiple perfumes, seven eyeliner options, or a 12-pan contour palette. 

The Subtl Beauty Difference

We set out to create the makeup industry's first and only all-encompassing makeup kit. Consisting of everything you need to travel efficiently, in style, and effortlessly, these powerful pigments can help you pack multiple parts of your daily routine into just a few singular items. 

Not sure where to start? Take the quiz today and build your ultimate custom Stack, guaranteed to completely change the way you vacay for good.



How To Pack a Suitcase | Travel Guides | The New York Times

TSA Rules for Cosmetics in Carry-On Luggage | USA Today

The Six Best Ways To Avoid Checked Bag Fees in 2022 | Forbes Advisor

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