5 Tips on Traveling with Makeup

Prepping your makeup bag for travel requires a more mindful thought process than simply choosing what best complements your day-to-day outfits. Your pack goes through a lot while traveling, and the bumpy ride can result in exploded foundations and crumbled eyeshadow palettes. Many travelers learn this the hard way, but there are fail-proof ways to travel with makeup.

If You’re Traveling by Plane: TSA’s 3-1-1 Rule

Bottles or tubes containing liquids (foundations, creams, eyeliner, etc.) may not exceed 3 ounces and all must fit in 1 transparent, 1 quart-sized bag. Hence, the 3-1-1 rule. This bag must be removed from and placed outside of your carry-on when you go through security. Following this rule is easy since many drugstores and travel stores sell packs of reusable, 3-ounce travel containers.

Now that that’s out of the way, read on for tips on the best way to travel with makeup.

1. Get a Good Makeup Bag

Red makeup bag with pockets

The first step for traveling with makeup is having a good bag, Look for pockets, hangers, and easy-clean material.


Your best bag will differ depending on how long your trip is and how much makeup you take. If you maintain that Maybelline look with nothing more than eyeliner and lip gloss, a small zip-up clutch is plenty. If you know yourself to travel with more makeup, seek a bag that organizes your products and keeps them secure. Traveler-adored features include:

Bags with hangers or handles – for easy carrying and so you can hang them in the bathroom

Easy-clean bags – made of nylon, PVC (durable plastic you see in transparent makeup bags), polyester, or oilcloth. These fabrics can be wiped clean easily with a cloth.

Zippers – super secure and won’t pop open en route

Pockets and sleeves – makes for easy organization and accommodates variety

*Quick tip: Searching “toiletry travel bags” heeds scads of affordable options with all these features.


2. Decide What Makeup You Need

Because you don’t want to over pack, mentally review your daily beauty routine. Don’t think about your evening look or what you’ll need if an exotic local invites you to dinner. Just note the products you use on an average day, from primer to powder. What do you use? Make a list as you get ready for the day to ensure you’re not forgetting essentials.

When it comes to packing the “Just-in-case-an-exotic-local-asks-me-out” necessities, think about the dynamic possibilities embedded in your everyday products. Black or dark brown eyeliner can transform your natural look into a striking smoky eye in minutes. Donning red lipstick come sundown shifts your look from day to evening in seconds. Throw a shimmery eyeshadow in your pack to brighten your eyes and to double as a highlighter.

Makeup scattered on table

Decide what you need by going through your routine and writing down what you use on an average day.


3. Bring Limited Products with Multiple Uses

Speaking of using shimmery eyeshadow as a highlighter, you can cut down your inventory of beauty products by being resourceful with others. A neutral or dark brown eyeliner pencil can serve the same function as an eyebrow pencil. Get one with a blender on the other end to achieve that smoky eye or rub to replicate eyeshadow. Lipstick can double as blush. Pat the lipstick with the pad of your middle finger and dab lightly on the apples of your cheeks.

A Beautyblender is a soft, egg-shaped beauty sponge that tapers at the top. It works with both wet and dry products and has a game-changing/time-saving reputation in the beauty industry. It can be used to apply and blend foundation, highlighter, powder, and blush. Having one can eliminate your need for brushes altogether. It also helps remove your makeup with a wiping motion.


4. Secure Your Bottles and Cushion Your Powders

It’s smart to enclose bottles and tubes containing liquids or creams in a Ziploc bag before packing them into your luggage. We’re not saying they’re guaranteed to explode, but when they do you’ll be glad the mess is contained. Because a stark change in cabin pressure is often the culprit of this tragedy, you can keep your products safer and on-hand by packing them in your carry-on. Just adhere to the 3-1-1 rule.

Crumbled foundation

Use the clothes in your suitcase to cushion your powders and prevent them from crumbling en route.


Prep your pressed or loose powdered products for travel by cushioning them against your suitcase walls. Pressed powder (eyeshadow, bronzer, powdered foundation etc.) is at risk of crumbling and arriving to your destination in little mosaic pieces. Loose powder (like a finishing powder) is susceptible to separating from its cap and layering your clothes with an unwanted dusting. Prevent either by wrapping/cushioning your makeup bag with your clothes and packing it in the center of your suitcase.


5. Pack Makeup for Climate Change

Waterproof products are praised as beauty’s best defense against climate changes while traveling. Pack a waterproof eyeliner and mascara to keep your look from smudging from sweat. Whether this happens on a humid tropical island or while riding coach, waterproof makeup is your longer-lasting friend. A tinted lip balm will also hold up better than lipstick against temperature change.

Facial wipes are incredibly useful. One cloth can remove makeup, dirt, and oil from your face with a splash of water, as oppose to face wash that requires a sink and towel for a thorough clean. Save room in your carry-on by packing facial wipes and keep your favorite face wash in your packed luggage.

Fresh-faced omen taking a photo

Keep your makeup looking fresh with waterproof products that won’t smudge at first sign of sweat.


Being in a new place doesn’t mean you have to give up your beauty routine. There are so many experiences awaiting you, and none of them will include worrying about your makeup. If you’re unsure about your destination’s climate, ask your Jaya travel agent. They’ll tell you exactly what you need to know while simultaneously getting you the lowest airfare. Call Jaya Travel today!

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