The Beauty Essentials I Can’t Travel Without

I like to travel to see new places and have new and memorable experiences. One of the things I don’t like about traveling is packing. Especially the packing of my beauty products.

I feel some products are essential to my skincare regimen. Especially when I travel. So I tend to stress about how I’m going to pack certain products that don’t come in travel sizes.

I also worry about making sure I bring the beauty products I can’t live without because it’s not always easy to get my hands on them when traveling. Either I won’t have the time, the products will be too expensive or I’m vacationing where those products aren’t available.

To try and lessen that worry and stress, I make sure to pack these 13 beauty products when I travel.

makeup bag sitting on top of a black carry-on suitcase
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1. Face cleanser

To remove makeup and wash my face I use two different facial cleansers. To remove makeup, especially when it's a full face, I like to use a cream cleanser like the Noxzema Classic Cream Cleanser or the Walmart store brand version. I don't usually remove makeup during the day, I do it at night before going to bed. 

To wash my face in the morning I typically use a foaming cleanser like the Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser. Cetaphil Daily Cleanser. It does a good job of cleaning my pores and refreshing my skin. A little bit of it goes a long way so a travel-sized bottle can last for several days. Plus, I can buy the small travel size from the store and keep the bottle for a while and keep filling it up.

Both cleansers are easy to travel with. The cream cleanser especially since I can pack a lot in a small jar. So a small jar can last me up to two weeks. Plus, a cream cleanser isn't going to spill out of the jar.

2. Facial toner and cotton balls

Even when I travel I like to take my toner with me. The one exception maybe if it's a one-night trip since I like to pack light for those. 

When traveling I use the same toner that I do when I'm at home which is one of the Thayer's toners. I use the toner day and night.

All I do is pour some into a small travel bottle and make sure the top stays on the bottle I cover the top with duck tape. Doing that I haven't had one spill.

I also take some cotton balls to apply the toner to my skin. I take enough cotton balls so I can use two a day plus a few extra because you never know. I put the cotton balls into a small plastic sandwich bag that I can use over and over again.

3. Face serums

I don't want to sacrifice my full skincare routine when I travel. That's why I make sure to pack some of my key skincare regimen items like facial serums. The two I use the most often, whether traveling or not, are The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 and The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

If space is an issue when I'm packing and I need to leave something behind it will most likely be the Hyaluronic Acid serum as the Niacinamide is great for helping with breakouts and pimples don't ever take a vacation.

4. Face moisturizer

I clean my face without moisturizing it afterward. When I’m at home I tend to use a nighttime formulated moisturizer at night and a moisturizer with SPF in the daytime.

How long I'll be away from home determines whether I take both types of moisturizers or not. If it's a quick overnight or weekend trip and I want to pack light I will pack only one moisturizer. That moisturizer is the one with SPF because I want to make sure my face is protected from the sun. By taking only one moisturizer I end up using that moisturizer during the day and at night.

The two moisturizers I use are the

5. Makeup primer

I wear a makeup primer most days for one of two reasons. The first is to help keep my face from getting too shiny during the day whether I wear makeup or not. The second is to keep my makeup in place during the long days I spend outside sightseeing.

I like to use a matte makeup primer or one that will minimize my pores. Because I have oily skin and I use a hydrating facial moisturizer I don't use a hydrating makeup primer.

To see which primer I'm currently using check out my skincare routine page.

6. Foundation

What’s the point of taking makeup primer if I’m not going to wear foundation? Now admittedly I don’t always wear foundation when I travel. It just depends on what I’ll be doing that day.

For example, when I’ve gone on mission trips overseas I’m usually spending a lot of time outside working in the sun so I’m sweating constantly. In those instances wearing foundation doesn’t make any sense.

The foundations I take are the Too Faced Born This Way Matte Foundation and the Maybelline Fit-Me Matte-Poreless Powder.

I like the Too Faced Born This Way Matte Foundation because of the versatility it provides. I can put on a light layer, add additional layers for more coverage, or use it to just cover blemishes. Plus, it doesn't feel heavy on my skin.

The Maybelline Fit-Me Matte-Poreless Powder is used as a setting powder or when I want some really light coverage and wear a little something on my face but don't want to bother with foundation.

7.  Setting spray

If I'm going to be galavanting around who knows where in what kind of weather I want to make sure my makeup doesn't melt off and looks as good as possible through the end of the day.

My go-to setting spray, especially when I travel is the Urban Decay All Nighter Waterproof Makeup Setting Spray.

8. Makeup sponges and brushes

When I'm on vacation, especially during the summer I don't wear foundation every day. On the days I do wear foundation I'm wearing a liquid foundation or tinted moisturizer. I like to apply either one of those using a makeup sponge.

My two favorite makeup sponges are the Sonia Kashuk Marble Latex-Free Makeup Blender Sponge and the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge. By using a makeup sponge I'm able to get a smooth finish with my foundation, plus I can use that same sponge to apply liquid foundation, tinted moisturizer, concealer, and loose powder. 

For makeup brushes, I only take the ones that I need to apply my eyeshadow. I don't wear blush much and rarely use a brush to apply my foundation or powder. Some of my favorite eyeshadow brushes are from ELF Cosmetics and Real Techniques.

The types of eyeshadow brushes I take are a large fluffy brush to apply my transition shade, and then a blending brush to apply the rest of my shadow and make sure it's properly blended.

9. Eyeshadow palettes

Even when I don't wear foundation I may wear a little bit of eyeshadow. I take one or two eyeshadow palettes with me to keep the packing simple and cleaner, and because they don't take up a lot of room. These eyeshadow palettes are typically natural or neutral shades so they go with all of my outfits.

To see which eye shadow palettes I'm currently using check out my makeup favorites page.

10. Brow gel

Even if I’m not wearing eyeshadow or foundation, I’m wearing brow gel At a minimum, I feel like I need to have my eyebrows looking good.

 The Maybelline Brow Ultra Slim Defining Eyebrow Pencil is perfect for travel. It’s self-sharpening, easy to apply, and has a brush on end so I don’t need to bring any other tool to brush my brows all in one direction.

11. Mascara

In addition to brow gel, I have to wear mascara even if I don’t wear foundation or eyeshadow.

I tend to change up my mascara based on what's on sale when I need to buy a new tube.

12. Sunscreen

When I travel, particularly when I'm on vacation, I spend a lot of time outside. So I need to make sure I’m protecting my skin from the sun’s harmful rays.

I prefer using the spray sunscreen instead of the lotion-type like the Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen or Neutrogena Beach Defense Spray Sunscreen.  The spray is easier to apply and less messy. The one I’ve been using lately is the Walmart store-brand sports sunscreen.

13. Body lotion

I don’t want to look ashy or be itching all day, so I need to take body lotion with me. To get the most from my body lotion my go-to is usually a formula that has cocoa butter in it. If I’m not using Suave Skin Solutions Smoothing with Cocoa Butter and Shea Body Lotion, I’m using the Walmart store brand.

How I pack the items

With these 13 products, there are a few that don’t come in containers that are travel-friendly. For those products, I transfer some of the products to a travel-size container.

In particular, I do this for my leave-in conditioner, body lotion, and face moisturizer. I use little containers like the ones in the picture below that I can get at Walmart in a 3-pack for about a dollar. I share more about how I pack for my summer trips and vacations in How I Pack For My Summer Trips.

What beauty products do you take when you travel?

The Beauty Essentials I Can’t Travel Without |